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LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to [email protected].

Dear Love FAQ,

I met a girl in one of my school classes this year. I think she’s really cute and she seems nice. I was thinking about trying to get to know her better, maybe even ask her out.

However, she was missing from school for a couple weeks because she was in the hospital. She came back to school recently and it turns out that she has to visit the hospital rather frequently. This is a bit of a problem because I have a phobia of needles and syringes, especially those intravenous things they always hook patients up to. If we were to start dating, I’m afraid that I would need to start visiting the hospital, which I tend to have quite a bit of trouble doing.

Should I just man up and ask her out? Or would she more trouble than it’s worth?

Sincerely,
Not Looking to Check Into Brookhaven Hospital

Dear Brookhaven,

Well, I suppose it is possible that, if you ask her out, you may eventually reach a point where you’d be expected to visit her in the hospital. But you could say the same about any fairly unpleasant and intimate activity, like throwing away her used tissues or picking her hair out of your shower drain.

That’s just the way it is in a relationship: As your level of commitment grows, you naturally let down your defenses and start farting and vomiting and scratching yourself in all manner of undignified places. But by the time you get to that point, you generally don’t mind as much, because love has a way of dampening most of the unsavoriness.

But I’m putting the kart before the koopa shell here. Asking a girl out isn’t equivalent to snuggling up to her IV bag to watch Days of Our Lives re-runs. It’s just asking a girl out.

So stop talking yourself out of it and do it already.

Who knows? You might find that love makes you braver than you ever thought possible. Or you might get so squicked out that even the sight of her bare forearms will fill you with dread. Either way, you won’t know until you go for it. And if you don’t ask her out, you’ll always wonder what would’ve happened if you did. So go live your life with as few regrets as possible.

All the same, you still might want to avoid any Halloween parties where she plans to dress as a sexy nurse.

Dear Love FAQ,

I live in a relatively small town, and I am one the very few nerd girls there. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a nerd chick. But my problem is: Guys have started flirting with me and I have no idea how I’m supposed to react. Do I smile back? Slap him? Run away?

– Morrigan Disapproves (-40)

Dear Morrigan,

Whoa there, Witch of the Wilds. Slow down a tick. Harmless flirtation doesn’t count as casus belli.

Generally in polite society, when one person flirts with another, the polite thing to do is to flirt back. Or smile. Or otherwise acknowledge the compliment and move on.

And if you’re not interested in any game the guy’s serving up? A simple “Thanks, but no thanks,” or “I’m flattered, but not interested,” or heck, even “You’re not my type,” will effectively shut down any further unwanted attention.

Don’t let yourself be harassed, of course, but an errant pick-up line isn’t the end of the world, and you’ll find most men are more than willing to let the issue drop if you politely but firmly make your disinterest clear.

In the meantime, you may want to ask yourself why you react so violently to the idea of someone finding you attractive. Seems like a larger story lurks here that’s worth exploring.

Dear Love FAQ,

I hear so much about the dreaded “friend zone” problem. But frankly, I’m just not comfortable dating someone unless we’ve already been friends for a fair amount of time.

Am I cheating myself out of opportunities by not being willing to go out with someone I don’t already know well? Or is it actually possible to be “just friends” first?

Sincerely,
Friendship is Magic?

Dear Friendship,

Oh dear. I fear I’ve given all my readers a complex about the “friend zone”.

Of course it’s possible to be friends before lovers. It happens all the time. But the transition from friendship to romance isn’t always easy.

Most people view the early days of any new connection – be it romantic or otherwise – as a reconnaissance mission, wherein one learns which of the many available Boxes this new mystery being should be assigned: the Platonic Box, the Dateable Box, the Douchebag Box, etc. Once you’ve been sorted, you can still be re-assigned, but the longer you know each other, the harder it becomes to change and re-evaluate that perspective.

In the end, it comes back to sexual tension. If you expect to ever make the switch from friends to lovers, at least some sexual tension must exist from the very get-go. And that requires both parties be equally interested. It’s like tug-of-war: If one person tugs on a rope that the other person lets fall slack, the first can yank all day long without actually pulling anyone any closer.

Usually when you hear someone complain about being “friendzoned”, this is exactly what has occurred: Long ago, the other person let go of the rope and walked away.

So yes, it is possible to redefine a relationship, although not every relationship can survive it. It’s a risk you take, and unfortunately, not all risks pan out.

But when they do, the rewards are so very, very worthwhile.

Dear Love FAQ,

I’m sleeping with my college roommate. She doesn’t want to openly declare us as a couple, in case things become awkward later. However, I have some pretty romantic feelings for her, and it hurts that she either won’t reciprocate or admit to it.

Do I get out before I get badly hurt (and have to see her every day, maybe even in a new relationship), or stick it out and just hope they’ll grow to feel the same way about me?

Yours sincerely,
Porn Made This Look A Lot Easier

Dear Easier,

If she’s just not that into you, then break it off and find someone who is, before you get even more attached. Sticking your head in the sand only works for ostriches.

Also, do yourself a favor and find a new roommate. This one’s clearly lost its pizzazz.

Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor – just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don’t take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.

Got a burning question (or a question about burning) for LoveFAQ? Send your emails to [email protected]. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.

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