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I confided in the world's worst confidant: Advice
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Apr 12th 2007 edited

Okay, this story is a doozie. I'm not even sure what advice I need on this matter, but I need something of the sort. It all starts a while back when my friend "A" develops this crush on this single guy that's been coming to our church lately. They talk every Sunday, but that's it. She's putting out all the right signals, but he really doesn't seem to be responding. We figure it's because he's a little shy.

Last week A and my other best friend invited him to this barbeque we were having. We were pretty surprised when he agreed to come. A and the guy are talking a lot, we got to know him a little better, and he's really nice. Sounds swell, right?

Not exactly. Here's where it gets a little iffy. So I would in most likelyhood be interested in this guy, if it weren't for the fact that A, who is one of my closest friends, really, really likes him. Plus, she's had a truly crappy year, and we're all trying very hard to be supportive of her right now. So I have absolutely no problem just staying friends with everyone.

Here's wrench number three. The guy still talks a lot to A, but seems to be showing some interest in me. At the bbq, I mention I've never seen Indiana Jones, he later says, "You, me. We should watch it sometime." I said something vague in response and changed the subject. I'm pretty sure A heard, but she hasn't said anything. Last night we were all hanging out again, playing games and watching Labyrinth. (Weird, weird show, btw.) The guy and I have a similar sense of humor, so we get along and have fun, but A still likes him and I stay out of the way.

I figured nothing else would happen, since he's moving soon and I'm going back to school. Yet, this morning, he calls me and says that he "wishes he got to know me better." This is no piece of fruit leather, people! I kind of invite him to hang with us tomorrow, since I was worried he was going to exclusively ask me out or something. So we'll see what happens tomorrow, if anything at all.
This is where you all come in. I don't know how to approach this at all. I don't know what to tell A or the boy. I just don't know what to do. Help!

Apr 12th 2007

Pheremones, baby. You can't help that you smell good to this guy.

Anyway, it sounds like, if he's moving and you're going back to school, it's going to work itself out pretty soon. I think the tack you've taken is a pretty good one: Try to keep the interactions in group situations until you've gone back to school or he's moved. That way you can keep from hurting anybody's feelings, and then life goes on once the situation has changed.

That is assuming that what you really want to do is put your friend ahead of your own romantic interests. Which is a question I can't answer.

Apr 12th 2007 edited

That is assuming that what you really want to do is put your friend ahead of your own romantic interests.

That would be my goal, yes. Thanks for the help, DftF. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Ahem, Dr. Phil...

Apr 12th 2007

I think that's my cue:

Generally when someone is the object of affection for a friend of yours, and he/she likes you better, it has the trappings of a really bad Eighties romantic comedy starring C. Thomas Howell. But I think there's some good that can come of this.

You say this guy is moving away, right? If his feelings for you are more than just pheremones, when he comes back in the picture (assuming that he does) and still wants to be with you (or indicates that), I think the thing to do is say that your friend had her chance and go for it.

That being said, you don't want your friend to hate your guts. At least that's what I'm assuming.

Play it cool, but not cold; if he mentions anything about staying in touch (via email, phone, etc.), mention your friend as maybe more likely to want to do that. Or go for it yourself.

Generally, when two people in this crazy, mixed up world find each other, it's easy to say go for it because how many times do you really connect with someone like that? But when a friendship could come to an end if you pursue any romantic feelings, it gives you food for thought.

So, after all that, I say: follow your heart on this one. God knows I've let off when I should've hit the gas, and I've hit the gas when I should've been shifting into neutral. So I'm not sure I'm the right guy to be giving this kind of advice. Play it by ear, and do what feels right for you or your situation.

Apr 12th 2007

Generally when someone is the object of affection for a friend of yours, and he/she likes you better, it has the trappings of a really bad Eighties romantic comedy starring C. Thomas Howell.

snerk

Is it one where they pretend Molly Ringwold is hot and Ally Sheedy isn't? Those are always the best ones.

Apr 12th 2007

The message of any Eighties romantic comedy: all a girl needs is a little bit of make-up.

Set back women's lib an entire generation

Apr 12th 2007

Sadly enough, that's so true.

Apr 12th 2007

I think it will work out ok if you are both going away soon. If he is still interested in you later your friend may have gotten over him by then. I think for now spending time with him in a group is a good idea, because you both can get to know him better, and see how interested his is in either of you. Maybe if your friend gets to know him better her opinion of him might change. If she notices that he is more into you and that you are respecting her feelings, maybe she'll decide he's a better match for you. You never know :)

Of course this is coming from a girl who is almost 21 and has never been on an actual date, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Apr 12th 2007

Pheremones, baby. You can't help that you smell good to this guy.

I assume they've found a way to bottle that stuff where you are, right? Could you smuggle some back with you sometime? What if we promise not to mess up the space-time continuum? Post-it could just sprinkle a little of that on some other dude, plug her nose, and friend A would quickly forget all about The Guy.

Sorry, I'm not being very helpful.

Apr 12th 2007

The message of any Eighties romantic comedy: all a girl needs is a little bit of make-up.

Set back women's lib an entire generation

And that generation is currently in high school. It's a common theme of several movies of the past few years.

Apr 12th 2007

So guess who just called? Yeah, that's right. He wanted to know if I wanted to go bowling and have dinner, but in addition to the best 30 minutes of my week coming up, I'm also monumentally busy. I feel bad for saying no, I fear I was a bit too harsh. He sounded a little hurt, and know that I really do admire guys for asking out girls. (Although, I've been there a time or two or more... I got asked out once in high school; the rest of my dates were guys I asked out.) I guess we'll just see what happens.

Apr 12th 2007 edited

My current husband and I met during the busiest semester of my life. Not only was I teaching and going to school, I was involved in the school musical. He called to ask me out in late April and I had to say no--I really couldn't make the time. But I got out my calendar and asked if we could make it June 5th, and if he could call me around June 2nd to set it up. I don't know what he thought of that or said about me to his friends, but he called and we went out.

I think offering a firm date made it seem less like a blow-off. If you really want to go out with him, can you give a day when you would actually be able to? If he can't handle you not being available on short notice he isn't a guy to go out with anyway.

I also ate my first sushi on that date by mistake--and loved it. I didn't know what sashimi was when he asked if I wanted to order it so I said yes and couldn't refuse to eat it when it arrived, so I consider that I got lucky twice that night.

Yep, TWIS!

Apr 12th 2007

Mrs F asked me for my number at a party. That we both attended with other people with whom we were on first dates. I felt guilty about it then. Not anymore, though.

Apr 13th 2007 edited

I'm going to be a tad more direct, and unfortunately a little less positive than most of the other advice so far. Never ever ever betray your friendships. If "A" is not going to like it, don't do it. Period. Friendships, especially long lived ones are far more important. At least in my experience.

Apr 13th 2007

I agree that friendships are more important.

But I'm liking that this guy bellied up to the bar and was very direct in his interest. If I were you, I'd tell him something equally direct but still hopefully honoring your friend, like "I'd like to know you better, too, but due to circumstances that are beyond my control, now is just not the time for me. I'm just telling you this because I think you're cool. Who knows --maybe someday."

I wish I could encourage the "Have you considered my friend A?" approach, but I'm guessing that once this guy set his cap for you that A lost her shot, if she ever had one.

I hope her year turns around quickly.

Apr 13th 2007

Have you talked to "A" about the current situation?

Apr 13th 2007

I am today, since I figure I'd want my friends to be honest with me instead of seeming like they were hiding something. I mean, it's not like I have anything to hide, but I'd still rather have the honesty.

I hope her year turns around quickly.

Me too-you have no idea how much.

I'm going to be a tad more direct, and unfortunately a little less positive than most of the other advice so far. Never ever ever betray your friendships. If "A" is not going to like it, don't do it. Period. Friendships, especially long lived ones are far more important.

Exactly. Well written, Mixed Berries.

Apr 15th 2007

Ok, I am in need of some advising. I got an offer to join a summer research program at UCLA, for about six weeks starting in August. It's basically a way for incoming doctoral students to get accustomed to scientific research, reading papers, giving presentations, etc. There is a stipend (very good, btw) and it generally seems like a really good thing to do. I was sent an email asking if I wanted to join the program (i.e. I don't have to apply), though on the website it says that applications were due back in December. So I'm wondering if they just don't have enough people to fill all the spots.

Here's the catch: the program is called "Competitive Edge" and one of the eligibility requirements is that your background is from an "underrepresented group i.e., African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, or Pacific Islanders". What percentage of your background would have to be from one of those groups to legitimately qualify?

I didn't fill out any ethnicity questions on my application, though I did mention it a bit in my essay. Thoughts?

Apr 15th 2007

Do you want to attend and qualify but the principle annoys you? Or are you considering lying? If you want to go, take it. Opportunity is opportunity. Who cares if you were the second tier and you are wondering if they only asked you to fill a spot? But I'd feel funny about lying or exaggerating to go. It's probably a preference rather than a rule, so you likely don't have to. They asked you based on information they had. They must want you!

Apr 15th 2007

I'm not really considering lying, but I'm not sure what constitutes lying in this case. I am a quarter Mexican, so yes, part of my background is Hispanic, but 75% is unknown Caucasin mix. Does that count? I would tend to think no, but I don't really know. Maybe I'll just email the lady and see what she says, because yes, I would feel funny if I went and they thought I was (completely) of Hispanic origin.

Apr 16th 2007

FWIW, Hispanic origin is considered Hispanic, whether or not you are also of partial non-Hispanic ancestry. At least that's how it's treated by the US government. My mother is Mexican American and my father is Caucasian, we kiddos are Hispanic.

Apr 16th 2007

I am a quarter Mexican

Is there another term we can call you besides "Mexican", something less offensive?

Apr 16th 2007

got an offer to join a summer research program at UCLA

smarty pants. Congrats, CZ-J. It sounds like a really worthwhile program. Congrats too on the expanding family. My brother is 7 years younger than me and that seemed a big gap... wow.

Apr 16th 2007

lol, Jinx

Apr 16th 2007

CZ-J, I agree that you should just email them back and ask if you feel unsure about it.

Apr 16th 2007

How is Mexican offensive? Calling someone French or Italian isn't. She said she was one-quarter Mexican, so we aren't making a blanket assumption about her possible origin of ancestry based on looks.

Should I tell my neighbor about the dream I had in which I pointed out that his baby (half-Italian) was twice the greasy wop that my baby (quarter-italian) is? I actually call my baby a greasy wop because her hair gets greasy every day whether or not we even leave the house. Or is this something I take to my grave?

Apr 16th 2007

How is Mexican offensive?

There are certain connotations...

Apr 16th 2007 edited

KarenM, please go watch "Diversity Day" and then hopefully you will not think I'm a horrible racist! :-) Besides, I'm sure CZJ is defined by more than her Mexicanity.

Apr 16th 2007

Personally, I enjoy celebrating my Mexicanness.

Apr 16th 2007

I bought season 1 last week but I haven't watched it yet. Por supeusto. I took four years of Mexican in high school, you know.

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