August 18, 2010

Dating Dilemma: Cooking up a Mess

Let's face it. I love talking about love and all its aspects. When I was in junior high it seemed as if all my friends who had girlfriends or boyfriends wanted to talk to me for dating advice. Was this to rub their blooming crushes in my face? Did they just know I would be honest? Was it some lesson sent from the Universe reminding me that I was boy crazy and would be talking about dating for the rest of my life?
Who knows. Who cares?

So let's chat, shall we?

One of my friends from NYC has a bit of a dating dilemma. She's fun and sassy and hopes to make it big on Broadway someday instead of working in an office or pouring people lattes. She can do it! She has "success" written in the stars! So why in the world is she so hard on her luck when it comes to this boy situation? I asked her if I could post this email she sent me, so here goes:

hi! i miss going to the movies with you and staying up talking and taking secret trips to applebee's in the bronx. but that's not why i'm writing to you today. i'm writing because, as usual, I HAVE A BOY PROBLEMMMMMM.

basically, there is this boy who i've known for a couple of years. he's really funny and nice and w
e're good friends. sometimes i feel like he likes me as more-than-a-friend. i definitely like him that way. in the last few months, we've gotten into this pattern where we will get together and have a lot of fun, and be affectionate with one another, etc., and then he'll totally pull away--like, radio silence for days on end. he often invites me to do things with him, or invites himself to my house to cook for me. i'm usually the one who initiates things like cuddling, but he never seems adverse to the idea. we haven't kissed, but things just feel intimate when we get together. i love spending time with him and really want to take our relationship to the next level, but every time things start to feel like they're going somewhere, he disappears. i usually end up feeling hurt and rejected, vow to never speak to him again, delete him from my phone...but then i get lonely. and i remember all the fun we have. and i decide to give him another try.

am i being so dumb?! should i cut him out of my life forever? force him to (gasp!) talk about his feelings? just plant one on him the next time he's making pesto in my kitchen? please help!!


Oh goodness!
I can't believe she's still talking about this guy! I can remember telling her two years ago, "This guy has no idea what he wants," and yet here we are still talking about him. How is it that some guys get a hold of a girl's heart and then we just let them do whatever they want with it?

Here is my basic thought, "If he wanted some sort of relationship with you, you would know." If you're thinking, "I have no idea. How will I know that?" then maybe you could do one of the following:

1. You could always ask him. That's the scary moment when you put yourself out there by saying something similar to, "Do you like me? Because I like you." Sometimes this has worked out for me -- in the short term. For some reason, this approach hasn't really been a great long-term approach for me. Maybe because I have been fully in the driver's seat and haven't let the boy be the boy. I don't know. But asking Mr. Pesto in the Kitchen if he likes you seems like it would really solve your mystery.

2. You could always let him come to you. When he comes over to make you dinner, try just keeping the focus on having fun and not making things physically intimate. If he wants to cuddle with you in the corner, then let him make the move. <== Now, I really, really hate that idea, but I know that's what a lot of girls do. In the end, it leaves girls feeling more confused than they ever were before. And because of that... 3. Do not kiss him! You've been so good avoiding kissing this guy! Can you imagine how twisted you would be if he kissed you and then fell into his typical silent treatment? Yikes! I don't even wanna think about it! 4. You could always tell him that you will only hang out with him when he is ready to ask you out on a real date. IF YOU DO THAT, you need to be ready to hear that he doesn't want to date anyone right now. Truth is, you might be ready to move forward while he still doesn't know what he wants. He might be working on a different timeline than you. This is always a reality that is kinda hard to swallow. I always heard, "If it's the right guy at the wrong time, then it's the wrong guy." Ouch. Are you willing to keep waiting for him until he's ready for a relationship with you? And then, (forgive me for uttering this)... what if that day never comes? 5. No matter what approach you end up taking, I really think your first step is to decide what you want from this guy and set some limits. So far, you're letting him know that it's okay to come over, eat dinner, cuddle, and leave. He probably has no idea that you're left cleaning the dishes while thoughts are spinning in your head of deleting his number while screaming to the Universe, "Why won't you call me?!!!!" So it's no wonder that he's thinking he can come over and have some fun with you and then go home and call other girls (not that I'm saying he is!!). Applebee, if you want things to change with this guy, you have to change the way you're allowing things to play out.

Okay, so these are just some ideas.
Applebee, I know you really like him and have endured this crush longer than most of us could bear. I think it's time you earn your reward.
So maybe make a list (you know I love lists!) and figure out what you want in the long-run from this guy. Imagine yourself two years from today. What would you like? Be specific. And keep in mind that he is in control of his own choices.
Do you want to be loved and adored? Do you want something more than just pesto and cuddling? Personally, I would like to see more flavors in your life than what you're letting in. But that's just me.

****IF you choose to comment on this post, please remember that this dilemma has been presented to me by a real person with feelings, not just someone I'm making up. Please keep that thought in mind as you kindly formulate your words. If you were her best friend, what would you tell her?


luminainfinite said...

I agree with what you said Tam. Sorry babe, but this guy is just not into you, get him off the calendar so that there is a place for the other guys that will kiss your face off!!!

Unknown said...

This friend of yours has a fever and the only prescription is to lose this guy!

She is doing all the work; he may come over and cook and be nice and cuddly, but where is the emotional give and take. It is all just emotional take.

First, let me defend this guy: Being a guy, he is probably just stupid. He probably is unaware of how is actions affect your friend. He probably just thinks that everything is cool and this is okay. I'll bet he dates OTHER women. I bet when things don't work out with them he goes back to the safety of your friend. He is stupid because he believes that this is okay. Let's be clear, it is not okay!

Now to your friend. COME ON!! If she is as great as you say and so convinced about professional success, why is she torpedoing her personal success? What is she hiding from? Why is she giving him everything and allowing herself to be miserable.

She may have a serious crush on this guy, but does she want a relationship with someone who is not going to communicate with her? Or is she just not "listening" when he communicates because she doesn't like what she hears?

I think that you are being too kind to her. I think that you need to tell her that she deserves to be with someone who wants to share everything with her and then you should set her up on a blind date or two. I think that once she sees that there are some better options than some guy who won't truly give her what she wants she will be okay.

The real question is; what does she want? Does she want a healthy relationship, does she want a healthy relationship with this guy, or does she just want go along to get along in order to maintain the status quo so she can at least have a little from the crush.

My say; she needs to cut ties and tell him why. Not say, "Do you like me too" or "We can only hang out if it is an official date." But cut ties; the guy doesn't want her. If he did he would have done something about it. Remember guys are stupid. They usually go after what they want.

PS - I'm a guy

Meg said...

I agree with Cosmo. It is fascinating to read the story of another girl and think, "This is so painfully obvious! He is just not that into you. He is not even pretending that he might be," when I know that if I was in that situation, I might very well have the oodles of hope that she is exhibiting.

Cut him out. While I am sure he is a decent guy, who has no idea the damage he is doing, his lack of enthusiasm means that he is not worth wasting time on.

Anonymous said...

The comments in here get to hand out advice with the added luxury of not knowing the person that they are giving the advice to so they are free to be as harsh as they want.They are free to view everything as a black and white situation. That also doesn't mean the black and white advice is bad or wrong, it just means that Applebee needs to take that into account when weighing all the advice given.

I think that the advice originally given was done with more care and understanding for the delicate nature of the situation because she knows the person. I'm not saying the original advice was all fluff, but when receiving advice it is much easier to digest when the advice has many options for the person to weigh (even if the adviser in their own mind knows how they would react). I think the advice given from Tamara will help this situation at least come to a conclusion on “Applebee’s” terms. If Applebee just cuts him off then there will definitely be feelings of what if or if only. This way those questions are answered and either she gets what she wants or moves on, and in the end both are a step in the right direction.

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