Ask Nicci: Friend has an ugly hooking-up habit

From the February 16, 2012 edition

I am married, but my single friend is notorious for hooking up with all my guy friends. She has gone through pretty much all of them. It is ridiculous. How do I get her to stop? —Carla

I’m sure it is embarrassing to you. But it’s more important to consider how demoralizing this is to your friend. She clearly has low self-esteem and is reaching out for the wrong type of attention.

Tough love is in order. She needs to know that her toxic behavior has to end; it’s not healthy for her mentally or physically. If her goal is to lure one of your guy friends into a serious relationship, she needs to grow up and realize that guys don’t commit to girls who have made their rounds with all their friends.

Your intervention may not be well received, so be prepared to stand strong. Maybe this will even set off the discovery of other emotional issues that she needs to address. Whatever transpires, be sure to focus on helping her and not on your need to not be embarrassed by her. You will get rewarded threefold: You’ll help a friend, keep your guy friends from passing her around and probably have fewer guys show up to your parties for their chance!

I forgot my girlfriend’s birthday and she left me. After hurting her numerous times, I guess this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I want to make it up to her and get her back. Any ideas? —Brian

Numerous times? Something tells me you are prone to be a repeat offender and will hurt her again. Your track record clearly supports my theory, Brian. I’m not sure this is a simple case of wooing her back with a little romance and thoughtful gestures.

I suggest giving her some time and space. If she does truly love you, I’m sure she’ll be open to hearing from you in a week or two.

At the same time, you need to take a hard look at yourself and how you treat women. You need to discover why you are doing this. It sounds like this lesson continues to present itself, and it’s time you understand the reasons behind it.

Absence sometimes does make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes, though, the line is crossed and there is no return. I hope you’ve learned a lesson and don’t take for granted the people you love.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to Or get in touch through her website,