Can't Read This Guy
Q: I've had a crush on "Logan" from my Shakespeare class since the moment I laid eyes upon him. That was three months ago, and although we could be considered friends, I desperately want to be more. Logan is a writer - shy, timid, gentle, compassionate, quirky and brilliant - the whole package for me. However, with his timidity comes mysteriousness. I can't seem to figure him out! I noticed in our early encounters, he'd act nervous. He'd pull up his socks and tug at his hair when we spoke. However, nowadays - and maybe it's just because we're more comfortable with each other - that's not the case anymore. He doesn't live on campus, so the only chance I have to see him is in class, and sometimes at the library. Therefore, a lot of our encounters are walking side-by-side, so body language is really hard to figure out. Basically, my day is either stupendous or miserable, depending on whether or not I get an encounter with him, which I know isn't healthy. We really only speak if I time my exit from class with his, and he'll walk with me to my next class. He's always so pleasant, asking questions about my day and major, and I always make sure to reciprocate. I feel like I'm doing everything right - even "accidentally" bumping into him at the library two or three times. However, he doesn't seem to go out of his way to talk to me. I find it hard to tell whether he's interested or just being polite. What do you think? I'm too traditional to blatantly ask him out. Is he gay?! I'm not outrageously beautiful, but I've never had a hard time finding a date, either. And I feel like when we talk, it's an enjoyable conversation, but I can't shake the feeling that he's too much of a scholar to want a girlfriend. He's always at the library! I have only two or three more weeks to figure out what to do before the semester is over and I never see him again! -- Ellen, 19
Dr. Susan: It seems you've fallen heavily for a guy with whom you've only had the briefest of superficial conversations over a three-month period. For all you know, he could be living with someone, or in love with someone else, or simply uninterested in developing a relationship with you for any number of reasons. The chemistry could simply be missing for him. The fact that he spends a lot of time in the library makes him a serious student, but it doesn't mean that he is beyond enjoying the company of the opposite sex (unless he is gay, which you can't rule out). Yet he may not be ready for a time-consuming emotional entanglement. I agree that you're doing everything "right," and your only chance now is to ask him for a coffee or study date and see what happens. You risk nothing. But remember, as obsessed as you are with him, you can't force his interest to be reciprocal. You can only put yourself out there, and if he doesn't take the bait, try not to get too bummed out. We all go through such things, and while they last, it's torture. Luckily, they tend to pass when the next "perfect" specimen turns up.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.