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by Abigail Van Buren

Survivor of Childhood Rape Has Learned How to Move On

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old guy. Two years ago I saw the cutest guy at work I had ever seen. After finally working up enough courage, I asked "Peter" to go out with me -- as friends. The more I got to know him, the harder I fell for him. Peter is quiet, intelligent, a perfect balance between introvert and extrovert. For lack of a better word, he is "distinctive" -- unlike any person I have ever met.

Earlier this year he asked me to be his roommate. I was unsure if that was a wise decision, knowing how strongly I feel for him. I decided to do it, wondering whether Peter's feelings for me would strengthen as he got to know me better through our living arrangement. We have discussed our goals in life, and Peter says he doesn't want to be in a serious relationship until he reaches his 30s. (He's my age.) That said, I have gotten mixed signals.

Abby, I am ready for a relationship and I want it to be with him. Should I tell him how I feel? I worry that if I don't say something now, I may lose my chance to someone else. -- HEAD OVER HEELS IN WISCONSIN

DEAR HEAD OVER HEELS: Remaining silent is not a solution to your problem. But neither is forcing Peter into making a premature commitment he doesn't feel he's ready for. You need to tell him your feelings without demanding a commitment from him to determine if your feelings are in any way reciprocated. Then you can decide whether or not you need to move on. I can imagine few things more painful than loving someone and having to watch that person become romantically involved with others.