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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 advice@escapistmag.com.

Dear Love FAQ,

This girl I’m interested in is great. We get along well; she’s fit; and although she isn’t a monstrous geek, she does dabble in Halo or L4D when she gets the chance.

I asked her out, and she said no. Now, this usually wouldn’t bother me so much, but one of the biggest reasons she rejected me is because I’m not Christian.

This is something that is actually completely beyond the scope of my understanding. I poke fun at theists every now and again, yes, and she knows that, but she also knows that ultimately I will respect anyone’s beliefs. While I understand why having a partner of the same religion would be ideal, I cannot understand why she makes it a prerequisite, giving up what could be a rewarding relationship with someone who’s great with her in every other way. Is there a way this could be worked around or is this just a lost cause?

Sincerely,
The Lonely Heathen

Dear Lonely Heathen,

Lost cause. Sorry.

Whether or not you agree with her about religion is irrelevant, because this divide isn’t really about Jesus. It’s about her definitions about what she wants in a man and a relationship. She might’ve instead specified any number of criteria – she needs a man with a job; a gamer; someone who doesn’t want children; etc – but she didn’t, because the fact is: A shared faith is what truly matters to her. And who are you to tell her that her priorities are the wrong ones, simply because you don’t like them?

Yes, it sucks, and yes, she’s missing out. But that’s her loss. So stop wasting your time on a girl who doesn’t share your priorities. Go find someone more like you, who doesn’t want Jesus as their wingman.

P.S. In the future, quit mocking the faith of girls you’re interested in, even if you only do it “every now and then”. What you think of as “poking fun” may instead be interpreted as “ridiculing my deeply-held beliefs,” and nobody wants to sleep with someone they think is an insensitive jackass.

Dear Love FAQ,

For several years, I had been in a long-distance (think different continents) relationship with another woman. It was hard and frustrating, and it finally came to an end recently with the painful revelation that she had been cheating on me for about two years with a guy in her area code. They even got engaged at the beginning of the year.

Now, that doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, because I could feel her pulling away and knew that it was ending. If she hadn’t ended it, I would have. What hurts is the fact that, for two years, she strung me along.

But I still like her, and enjoy speaking with her, and generally think that she’s a decent person. And now that everything is out in the open and it’s accepted that our relationship is over, I would still like to be friends. Only, I’m still hurt and angry.

I value her as a friend, but am I just setting myself up for more disappointment to stay on friendly terms with her? I’m not sure I can forgive her for not saying anything sooner, but I don’t want to lose her friendship.

Sincerely,
The Tyrol to Her Sharon

Dear Tyrol,

Let me get this straight, this girl cheated on you for two years, and is even marrying the guy she cheated on you with-and you still want to be friends with her?

Dude. That’s so far beyond masochistic it might actually bend the space-time continuum.

Just cut this toxic sarlaac out of your life once and for all. The sooner, the better. Let her go chew on someone else’s heart for awhile.

And in the meantime, do some soul searching about why you’d ever want to be friends with someone who clearly doesn’t care one bit about your feelings.

Dear Love FAQ,

There’s a girl in my same high school year I’ve been good friends with since middle school. Recently, she started going out with a good friend of mine.

The problem? The two of us were (and still are) pretty close. We hang out a lot, talk a lot, and pretty much stay around each other a lot. And I don’t know if I’m being too close or not. I want to stay close enough so that they both still think I’m a friend, but back off a little so they don’t think I’m against them being together.

What I’m pretty much asking is, how do I stay firmly in the friend zone?

Thanks,
Happy Where I Am

Dear Happy,

You accomplish it by not giving a shit, and doing exactly what you were before.

You were there first. And since you three were friends beforehand, he would’ve had to have been blind (or willfully stupid) not to recognize how close you and his now-girlfriend were.

If the guy has a problem with his girlfriend’s best buddy being a guy, then a) it isn’t your problem, and b) he needs to suck it up and deal. Because life isn’t a Meg Ryan movie, and in the real world, men and women can be friends – even good friends, even best friends – without it necessitating the existence of some undercurrent of unspoken sexual tension.

Of course, if the question comes up, then you can reassure him that your intentions are pure, and you have no interest in sleeping with her. You can even gently remind him that, if you did, surely something would have happened between you two in the several years you’ve known each other. And it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own love interest around now and then, or at least drop a casual mention here and there, just so both of them can be confident that your eye wanders elsewhere.

But if the question doesn’t come up, then just let it lie unasked. And don’t feel you have to rejigger your friendship just to placate someone’s unexpressed (and potentially non-existent) notions about what cross-gender friendship looks like. Quit worrying what he thinks, and just be the same awesome friend you always were. Your friend will appreciate it, I’m sure.

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 advice@escapistmag.com. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.

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