DR. WALLACE: Sara and I have been best friends ever since first grade and love each other like sisters.

We do practically everything together and will be best friends forever. We both had boyfriends and often double-dated until I broke up with my boyfriend a couple of months ago. She continued to date Ken until a couple of weeks ago when they broke up because Ken wanted his freedom to date other girls. Sara was really upset about this until she figured out that she is also now free to date other guys. She is very pretty and charming so she will have lots of dates.

So here is my problem: I got to know Ken when we double-dated and I always thought he was nice, but I didn’t think about him in a romantic way. He is outgoing and friendly and has a super sense of humor.

Last night, he called and told me he had won two tickets in a contest and asked me to go to an Atlanta Braves baseball game in a couple of weeks. I told him I would have to have a couple of days to think about it, and he understood.

After I hung up with Ken, I called Sara and told her about the invitation and asked her what she thought I should do. She said she’d give it some thought and call me back. She called me back in half an hour and told me she thought I should go to the game with him. I asked if she was sure and she said, “Very sure. I’m OK with it.”

I’m really not a baseball fan, but I think I would like to spend time with Ken. I’m a little hesitant about dating Ken, so that’s why I’m writing for your thoughts about this. Please give me your advice as soon as possible.

— Nicole, Atlanta, Ga.

NICOLE: Your dilemma is a common one. I often receive letters like yours and my response never changes: Dating a best friend’s ex-boyfriend is the fastest way to wind up with an ex-best friend.

DR. WALLACE: I’m a high school football player and will be a senior next year. This year I played defensive tackle and I weighed 278 pounds. My coach has suggested that I lose 18 pounds because at 260 pounds I’d be quicker and be a better player. He said it might give me a good chance to play in a major college football program.

— Nameless, Somewhere in Texas

NAMELESS: Milk is, indeed, the “perfect food.” It’s chock-full of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and is high in calcium. But whole milk has a very high fat content. Switch to skim milk. It contains all the good stuff without the not-so-good stuff — fat. Your coach is 100 percent correct.

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.