Chloe gets too many questions to answer each one. Chances are someone has already asked the same or a similar question, so check the archives or "How to Tell if Someone Likes You."

Today's Column: Another double length column! Know where you stand, marital problems, martyrdom sucks, lots of crushes, my best friend betrayed me, one reader's wisdom.

 

Dear Chloe,

I'm 19, and I've known this guy since I was 15 through a mutual good friend, also a guy. We hang out with the same people. About ten months ago, we started going to dinner at this casual place with coupons, we paid for ourselves etc. Five months ago, he started trying to kiss me when he was drunk, and I would reject his advances. One night we just started making out when he was drunk and I thought nothing of it. It kept happening though, even when we were sober. One night he was trying to get on me again, and I decided to ask him why this always happened. We ended the conversation with both of us keeping our options open, but he told me I had "nothing to worry about" (he was drunk).

Nothing physical happened for a couple more months and we started hanging out, just the two of us, watching our favorite shows late into the night, a couple times a week. I've been focusing on getting to know him and just being his friend.

Before he left for spring break, he asked if I was going to miss him and we made out again. Again I didn't think much of it because he was going on spring break and who knows why he kissed me.

After spring break, we're hanging out and he's putting his arm around me and everything again. He kissed me goodbye that night, and the hug was different. Like he was squeezing me or something.

He's always tickling me, and he's teaching me to play guitar. We trade back rubs. We're both transferring to the same college next fall. But there are a couple complications: we work together, and the mutual friend from above has "been in love" with me for a few years. I don't like my other friend that way at all, but he is the last person I'd want to hurt. At the new college, we won't be working together anymore and there will also be some distance from the other friend.

I don't know if he is just doing this because he can or if he truly has feelings for me. I just want to get to know him and further our friendship, but I do think this could evolve into something a lot bigger. I'm very comfortable with the kissing and cuddling, so I guess that's not considered a friendship.

I want to go with the flow and take things really slow like we have been. But I need to know if he likes me so I can let my guard down. If not, it's not really a big deal and my guard will stay up. I just don't want to screw this up by keeping my guard up and protecting myself and then missing out on him.

Sincerely,

shafa

 

Dear shafa,

I'm not sure what to make of this situation. You get physical, you think nothing of it, you go on about your daily business. You're all bottled up, yet you've been intimate. Why is it OK to share bodily fluids but not the other stuff you're holding in?

He seems content with the status quo. Maybe he thinks that's what you want, too. The "keeping your options open" routine is a cop-out, especially at this point. Have a conversation about where you both want the relationship to go. Preferably before your next make-out session. You're entitled to know where you stand with him. Figure out what you want, whether it's a commitment, or whatever, and tell him. Otherwise, you're just wasting time.

p.s. Don't worry about the friend who is in love with you. That's his problem, not yours. You can't sacrifice yourself to protect someone's feelings (see letter from reader "smile", below.)

 

Dear Chloe,

I am separated from my wife and heading for divorce. She asked me to promise not to date anyone until the divorce is final. Yet my friend saw that she put a profile on a singles website. What can I do? She's the one who asked for the separation while I was in the hospital. Part of me wants to start dating since she's moving on before the divorce.

Sincerely,

jaronow

 

Dear jar,

Are you kidding me? Even if you're not ready to start dating, (and I don't think you are) get a printout of her profile and confront her. I'd want to know when she put that up, too, i.e. while you were in the hospital?

 

Dear Chloe,

I was in a long distance relationship for almost a couple of years. I really thought it would work, but somewhere along the line, we grew apart. We are actually in different continents. I thought I should end it because I realized that I may never be moving back where he is and he's not about moving closer. I also found out that he was cheating on me with a friend.

In the process of trying to break up with my boyfriend, someone else comes along. (I've known him for a while. I had his back when he went thru a bad breakup and we've just remained friends, not close friends though. He'd always told me that he liked me and wanted something more, but I declined because I was still with my boy and I still had feelings for him). I didn't think I'd have feelings for him, but we got to hang out a little more and I started to really like him. This guy also knew that I was still dating someone else, but I didn't tell him that I was about breaking up. He asked me out and I told him not to rush, that I had to think about and do some things. I wanted to let go of my boyfriend before getting into anything with him. It was hard to get in touch with my soon-to-be ex because of the time difference and his phone was bad.

I wanted to date this new guy, so I told him to give me some time; that let's take things slow, be friends and see where things go. Soon after I told him this, he started acting all funny; saying he was busy when I called or not picking up and all. I figured he was mad and decided to let him boil over. I still called him every now and then. While all this was going on, I finally got in touch with my boyfriend and broke up with him. I called up the new guy to tell him I was ready to start dating him, and he wouldn't talk to me. I found out he was checking out someone else. This was barely a couple of weeks after he'd said all these amazing things about how he'd never felt the way he did when he was with me. I talked to him and after some calls, he told me he now liked someone else, and that all that happened between us was a mistake, wasn't meant to be.

He'd said that he'd had liked this girl for a while. I don't fall easily for guys, I honestly really liked him and still do. He's with someone else now, who happens to be in the same group of girls I hang out with on campus. He said he told her what happened between us and that I was never his girlfriend. One of his good platonic girl pals said that I deserve what I'm getting because I was playing around with his emotions. I wasn't, I just told him to take it slow.

I still like him. It hurts like hell to see him with someone else that I know. Now she hardly even talks to me, it's like we've got beef or something. I can't tell any of my girls anything because it'll float around the same circle and spoil someone's relationship. I have to see them a lot since we all go to the same school.

But I've figured out the places that I'm least likely to see them and I hang out there. It's been three months now and every time I see him, I feel so sad and I feel even more hurt when I see them together. Now, his girl isn't nice to me anymore. I saw him the other day and he was happy and like, "I haven't seen you in a while, what's up?" but when he is with his girl it's different, I'm not over him and the pain I feel is as raw as the first couple of days. I have all these nice people who want to date me, but I still think of him when I'm with them. I don't think I should get into anything till I'm over him. Thing is, I don't know if I will. I still cry and hurt and I still like him.

Sincerely,

x5pluto

 

Dear x5,

Look, we've all been there. I've been there. The crying, the heartache, the whole engulfed in misery thing. It gets better. It always does. And then you feel a little silly when you think back about how your world collapsed.

Clearly, he's moved on. I don't think you did anything wrong, and it doesn't seem like you played him. You sounded honest and reasonable to me. It's a common scenario, guy likes girl with boyfriend, really digs her until she ends the relationship and then he changes his mind.

He did you a favor -- it's true that it wasn't meant to be. It also means that there is someone out there who is better for you. Just think how much worse you'd feel if you had been more deeply involved. There's nothing wrong with being alone for awhile. Stop telling yourself you won't get over him. Sure, today sucks. Tomorrow will, too. And probably the next day. But it won't suck forever.

 

Dear Chloe,

Hi! I've this really big crush on a girl for like two years but I just can't seem to ask her out or know if she likes me. When I first met her my friends told me that she liked me, but I don't know if that's still true. She had a boyfriend, but for only a week or two. I talk to her all the time and I think she flirts around me, but I'm not really sure with this whole flirting thing. If you could help me out in any way I would appreciate it. Thanks much!

Sincerely,

Mike

 

Dear Mike,

Two years, man, and you haven't made a move yet? Two years of flirting is just...flitting. When your friends said she liked you, why didn't you believe them? Why do we girls have to spell everything out for you?

The problems with waiting so long are, 1) she's going to assume that you're not interested. Her interest in you will wane as well. 2) You may have moved from The Dating Pool to The Buddy Zone. Once you're tagged as a "Buddy," you're done.

It's also a turnoff when we have to wait and wait for you to show some gumption. It's quite attractive and flattering to have a man risk humiliation and rejection for the chance to go on one date with us. We know it's not easy to ask someone out. We really do appreciate it.

It doesn't have to be a heavy duty event. Meeting for lunch or coffee will do.

 

Dear Chloe,

So need help. Started a new job a few weeks ago and have this feeling about a guy I work with. He treats me very respectfully, compliments me, teases me, we just communicate really well. He gets into my personal space, every time he hands me something he holds it so that our fingers touch, paper, pen, whatever it is, which I find a little unnerving, but good. He knows my likes, dislikes and goes out of his way to learn things about me. He reads me well, asks if I'm okay when I'm frustrated with learning something new...Am I high or is he flirting with me? He's from the South so I don't know if he just has that Southern charm thing going on or what, what's your take?

Sincerely,

Mahoneym

 

Dear Mahoneym,

This is not a Southern charm thing. I mean, he may be respectful in general, but he is going out of his way here to make an impression on you. (Unless he's like this with everyone, then that would be a little creepy.) He digs you all right, but as usual I must caution you about getting involved with someone you work with. Instead, I would simply enjoy his attentions as a job perq.

 

Dear Chloe,

My best friend of about one year has started dating my ex-boyfriend. I'm outraged!! We've only been broken up for two weeks and I have had suspicions that they were seeing each other behind my back.

They texted daily and even talked and he even invited her to go out with us! I confronted her and she lied. Then a few minutes later she admitted they had been seeing each other for about a week!

I am dating someone else and could really care less about my ex. But the thing is this isn't the first instance that this has happened (my ex-fiancÚ is married to my friend!) and my best friend knows about how badly that hurt me. I never want to speak to her again! I'm furious that she would betray me as a friend.

Sincerely,

outraged

 

Dear out,

OK, so your best friend of "one year" betrayed you. No big loss. Technically, I'm not sure if they were cheating, since they started dating a week after you two broke up.

But even if they did, who cares? She did you a favor. There are a lot of selfish people in this world. The Universe will take care of them. Have you ever seen a really happy selfish person? I haven't.

Sure, it blows that you had to experience this again. But if your girlfriends want to pick up your sloppy seconds, why get upset? Take it as a compliment. I don't see the point on dwelling on this, or her. You've moved on. Just be a little more discriminatory about choosing your "best" girlfriends.

 

Dear Chloe,

I am 23 and in college, and a year and a half ago, I became friends with a very nice guy. He and I were both in the art program, go to the same church, interact in the same organizations.

We would have long conversations and became friends quickly. He eventually told me that I was the first girl he had ever trusted or gotten close to. He had never had a girlfriend, and I really started to like him. I didn't know if he liked me or just confided in me as a friend. I never told anyone of my feelings for him.

During this time, one of my girlfriends confessed to me that she had this huge crush on him for a long time. Well, feeling sad and not wanting to be a bad friend, I talked to him about her. She didn't know that he and I were such close friends. She didn't really even know him, but she saw him in the art department too, and at our church. He seemed really shocked the day I talked to him about her... as if he wasn't sure. He said she was really nice, but his whole face dropped. I started talking about this other guy, and he said he didn't want to hear about it, and got up and left.

A month later he came to me and talked to me about her. I helped get them together. During their relationship he would come to me when things were going badly between them, and she would show me things he bought her or tell me about sweet things he did. This was so hurtful to me. He would tell me things she was doing that was damaging their relationship. Then sometimes when I see him he'll look at me from across the room in a long stare. When she's not there we have longer talks or he hugs me. I don't know.

This has become so hard, and I have come to love my guy friend. Every time I see them my stomach starts to hurt, and I have to leave the room when he's there now. He and I don't talk as much anymore, because I don't want to hurt either one of them. His girlfriend and I are still friends, but not close the way we used to be. I had to call him the other day about something for church and she wouldn't even let me talk to him on the phone, which is weird, because I never call him.

Then a couple weeks ago they broke up, and he came and told me they broke up before she did. Well I wanted to tell him, but I still couldn't. Then they got back together, and I recently saw him and it's really hard. I finally wrote this 3-page letter about my feelings for him and the whole situation last year of her liking him, and me not wanting to see her hurt. I feel like I sold myself out, and sometimes I really feel like he may have liked me or still does. I have not sent the letter, but am weighing the pros and cons of what could happen if I did. I have loved him for a year and half and have never told anyone. I think his girlfriend may suspect something, but I'm not sure. I mean she's seen him talking to me, and well, it's definitely a difficult situation. What to do? I just want him to be happy, but they have had a lot of problems and why does he always come to me?

Sincerely,

smile

 

Dear smile,

Oh, boy. This is all about being a martyr. Getting your friend to hook up with your crush because you don't want to hurt her feelings. People's feelings get hurt every day, and the world doesn't end. Now instead, three people are miserable. Clearly the relationship isn't working, clearly he liked you better but you never gave him any reason to go for it. Instead, you talked about your girlfriend and some other guy. This is what happens when you play games.

Now maybe your intentions were honorable. Maybe you thought it wasn't going to work out because you knew he liked you, but you didn't count on it feeling this bad. I don't know. I would give him the letter. He may get angry. It may be too late. I do think you would be a better fit than his girlfriend.

Next time be honest with everyone. Your friend, your crush...yourself.

 

Dear Chloe,

I work at a large company in an office environment, and have a major crush on this really cute guy. He seems to also have a crush on me, but here's the problem, we've never actually spoken to each other, besides an occasional, "Hello." He seems to go out of his way to walk by my desk every day multiple times just to use the restroom, when there are much closer restrooms located near the area where his desk is. He smiles at me often, but mostly I catch him walking by and glancing at me from the side of his eyes nonchalantly

He's got a girlfriend and according to some friends of mine who know him personally, he's a very sweet and nice guy and his girlfriend is just awful. She's needy, snobby, and stuck on herself. Also, they've been together for several years, and she wants to get engaged or married to him, but he won't commit to her because of her personality and attitude. They fight a lot because of her negative attitude. Could he possibly be interested in me and maybe looking for another fish in the sea?

Sincerely,

amber

 

Dear amber,

Look, there's got to be something else going on here. Sure, it sounds like he's interested, but so what? He's not available. So why would he stay for years with someone if he's so miserable?

1) She isn't as bad as her rep 2) He's got no backbone 3) He's lazy 4) He's a masochist. If he's so nice and sweet he would have ended it by now if they are so incompatible. I'd stay away.

But just for kicks and giggles, let's say he does break up with her to go out with you. He ends a serious relationship that lasted several years to date the cute chick from the office. What are the odds of that working out? Dating a coworker causes more problems by itself. Plus he's rebounding, and he's not addressing why he was in that relationship for so long (assuming it's that bad.) And if he doesn't want to get married, we can add 5) commitment issues to the mix. Ugh. Why would you want to do that to yourself? Just enjoy him for what he is, the cute guy in the office.

 

Dear Chloe,

I really like this guy. The thing is he's my ex-fiancÚ's friend. My ex-fiancÚ and I have this agreement that we won't date any friends, but then he was abusive towards me, so I don't feel like I need to honor that agreement. I kissed "the friend". We decided to keep it to ourselves. He knows that I like him, because I told him, but won't pursue things because he's such great friends with my ex. How do I deal with this? It'd be easier if we didn't work together, but I can't change that. I really want to stop crushing on him, but he's always on my mind, and staying busy is not helping. It's driving me crazy! What do I do?

Sincerely,

Always the friend

 

Dear Always,

Getting involved with this guy would be an enormous mistake on so many levels. Be grateful that at least he recognizes that.

Having said that, what else can you do but move on? They say infatuation lasts about three months. That's not a lifetime.

You can always change jobs if you absolutely have to. If not, avoid him as much as possible. It's nearly impossible not to think about someone -- so go ahead and think about him. Revel in a fantasy or two. After a while your mind is going to want to switch to something else.

There's nothing wrong with a workplace crush. It adds a little spice to the day. Just keep in mind that a relationship is not appropriate and that you have to move on.

 

Dear Chloe,

I've been looking looking around your site for a while and I just want to say thank you. Although you never gave me any advice I saw the archives of all the stories from other people with "love problems". I think the most common question on this site is "does he/she like me?" It seems like such a harmless question but at the same time, one that causes people a lot of pain.

I know how it feels to be rejected, and yes, it's not fun at all. But hey, it's not gonna kill ya to have someone NOT be interested in you. Life goes on, and so should you. If a guy rejects you, don't assume it's because he doesn't find you attractive. Looks aren't everything and a guy who thinks they are isn't worth my time or yours.

I think the most important lesson I learned was that in order to get the person you want, you have to meet them half way. That means asking them out or making the move. It's a pretty scary thing to do but at the same time, will only help you in the long run. Don't worry about losing, because it will only torture you and prevent you from achieving your goal: happiness.

When we're born, we're given a lot of things: our looks (which may or may not be good), intelligence (again, good or bad), and time. I think time is a very precious gift, and it should be used. If you like someone, let them know. Don't waste precious time trying to analyze every little thing they do, because in the end, it's not worth it. You'll only waste more time, and that person you like could already be gone. This holds true for a lot of things: college, a job, other relationships, and you. Don't waste time getting nothing accomplished because before you know it, you'll be old and gray. I too have someone I like...and now...after reading all those stories of excuses and what not, I'm going to do it! I'm going to tell him how I feel! You see, I don't care if he says no, I don't care about losing. It's just one step closer to finding the right person, and at least now I don't have to wonder if he really liked me or not.

Chloe, you give amazing advice (I really mean it). You inspire me to be the best possible person I can be. I, too, give people advice. I don't own my own website, but I find ways...AND I make sure that the advice is wanted. Many people consider me to be a wonderful person, someone who stand outs from everyone else. Please know, that I am in no way bragging about this. I'm just telling you what my closest friends think of me. Please continue guiding people on the right path. You're very talented at it. Good luck.

Love,

Annie

 

Dear Annie,

Thank you, Annie for your awesome, sweet letter! Good luck with your guy and let me know what happens!

Hugs and kisses,

 


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