Friends, I need some love advice!

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Duane
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Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Duane » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Hey everyone,

A bit of an odd request, but I'm in need of a bit of advice to set my mind right about a young woman I'm friends with, but who I want to make a bigger part of my life. Can't discuss it on facebook; she'll be there to see it. We have about 30 mutual friends, and I really don't want to bring it up with them (though I might with one in particular, but that's more of a last resort).

BTW, none of this stuff gets easier with age. If anything, you tend to tie yourself up with far more elaborate knots.

Here's the situation:

I met "Karen" two years ago through mutual friends on a hike. She's from Eastern Europe, recently graduated from UCLA with an MFA degree in the directing program. She was 26 then, is 28 now. We had a nice conversation, and I decided I wanted to get to know her better, so at a beach party the next weekend, I asked her out.

Her response was "I don't want to date right now; I'm deeply involved with school; I don't want to deal with relationships. But hopefully we can still be friends and hike together, etc." Fair enough. I laid off, but I think it dawned on her over time that I liked her, and she shied away from me for several months. It was uncomfortable, but I dealt with it.

We reconnected as friends early last year; I was an extra on her MFA thesis film, which she directed, we continued to get together, primarily with groups, but occasionally just us, for hikes (a passion for both of us). We talked a lot about our lives and the future, and the uncomfortableness slowly drained away. I think she knew I still liked her (why do I feel like a 15 year old while typing this?), but got to know me well enough to be OK with it.

Fast forward to now. We are both extras on a mutual friend's MFA thesis film (a lot of those on my friends list!), we both hang out and have a really good time. Nothing physical, but I began to feel a real emotional intimacy with her as I walked her back to her car. We hug, as is custom, a little tighter than before (perhaps it was just me), and we go our separate ways for the evening.

I emailed her some info. on a hike she had expressed interest in, and she emailed me back saying it would be a great idea, and that she would invite some friends along. We go on said hike, and she spends the majority of the time talking to another male friend. I know her well enough to know she isn't "into" him any more than she's into me, but it's a bit of a revelation. Not only is she not looking my way (at least as far as I can tell), but she isn't looking anyone else's way, either. People love talking to her, and she loves listening.

So here are my options:
1> Deal with it, suck it up, be a man and take what she gives you.
2> Suck it up, be a man, call her and ask her out on a real date, which could conceivably end the friendship (though I can't think of any reason why she would hate me for it)
3> Explain my feelings to her (more emphasis on "I want to get to know you better" than "Please bear my half-Slovakian love babies").

I'm leaning towards <3>, and I would probably approach by asking her if she wants to do a hike with me alone, rather than with friends. I'm sure she appreciates honesty and tact, and I would use every bit of it that I could in this situation.

I'm not expecting her to fall into my arms, so to speak; what I'm seeking is some form of closure. If I do <3>, and we part as "friends," I can pride myself in the fact that she knows how I feel, and she can never say to someone she meets randomly at a climbing gym "Sure I'll go out with you; none of my guy friends seem interested."

Thoughts?

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Duane
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Duane » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:52 pm

PS: She's done with school, and is sticking around LA looking for work, so those issues that appeared to be "in the way" at the beach party have largely disappeared, which is why I feel OK in making the attempt to move forward now.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:47 pm

Duane

Maybe this will be of help. My best friend and I have been friends for over a decade now, and I fell in love with him about 6 months after I met him.

Long story short, friends of mine kinda forced me to be honest with him about it. He was going to take a job in Alaska, and they didn't want me missing out on knowing if he felt the way I did. He didn't, and kindly let me know that if I wanted to be his friend, that he was fine with that.

Don't make "Karen" try to read your mind, she may come to things you have no intention of ever feeling or doing. Gently remind her of the conversation that you had, and ask her if she's ready for a relationship, and if she'd be willing to give you a shot if she is.

Putting yourself out there like that is never, and I do mean NEVER, an easy thing, but the possible rewards are so worth it. If I didn't tell Vance how I felt, I'd have missed out on a wonderful friendship.

The surest way to fail is not to ever try.

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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Moderator » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:23 am

I think Lori's advice is solid, Duane. I agree completely that waiting for her to read your mind is a tactical mistake.

I would, however, position it as something more towards "I'm growing very fond of you. I don't want to damage our friendship, but want to know if you think we could be more than that."

My guess is that telling her you love her might come as a shock and could, indeed, damage the friendship if the feelings aren't as intense at her end.but you owe it to yourself to at least find out if it could be more.

My two cents.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Duane
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Duane » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:49 pm

Thanks Lori & Steve! That's the general direction I was leaning. Nice to know I'm on the right track. I'll keep y'all apprised, though I suspect 9/10 it will be a respectful friendship. The closure is important to me, though, regardless of how it goes.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:59 pm

Duane, I'd ask Karen out, but first ask her why she was distant at that beach party? Ask her to be honest, to tell you what it is about you that she likes, that she doesn't like, what she looks for in a romance, why you may or may not make the list. It stinks but men do usually have to make the first move. I hate it, but that's the shakes. Hope all goes well and you and her get cozy. :)

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Duane
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby Duane » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:53 pm

Frank, I love the fact that I get to make the first move, which is why I find Lori and Steve's responses so empowering. I'll run into her again in a few weeks (she lives about 20 miles away), and when the timing is right, I'll broach the subject, pretty much using Steve's suggested verbiage word for word (in a way). Even if it doesn't work out as I hope, I'll still walk away feeling better, because now she knows.

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David Loftus
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Re: Friends, I need some love advice!

Postby David Loftus » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:10 pm

I wouldn't bring up all the stuff Frank mentions until after you know where you stand with her -- preferably things'll be copacetic, then.

But do let us know how it turns out. We're all rootin' for ya, and we'll be here whether she turns out to be or not, ultimately.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


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