DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Shortly before the quarantine, my best female friend kissed me, but she ran away afterwards. Not like in movies and stuff, more like she was embarrassed and walked away in awkward silence. I think she might have been embarrassed. I tried to text her, but she won’t answer.
The thing is, I like her but I don’t want to blatantly tell her that. I want to talk about it first. This isn’t the only time she’s acted like this. Once she got drunk and tried to… make a move on me but since I was designated driver, I drove her home and put her to bed, then drove back to the bar, since I had other friends who needed to be driven home. I thought nothing of it, because she was drunk. I don’t know what to do about this, and I was hoping you could help me.
DEAR TWICE SHY: First: you made the right call of getting your friend home safe, then heading back to the bar to take care of your friends, TS. That speaks well of you. So, for that matter, does quietly pretending that nothing happened and letting the matter get shoved down the memory hole. We’ve all had nights where we’ve had more drinks than we should have and did things that would make us cringe so hard that our skeletons would pop out of our bodies and vacate the premise for a less embarrassing home. So good on you for letting your friend keep the shreds of her dignity.
But as the saying goes: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action a message. And it seems that your friend has been trying to send you a message for a while, culminating in this latest event.
That’s why I’m not entirely sure where the conflict is here, TS. She pretty clearly likes you. You pretty clearly like her. She hasn’t been sending signals so much as flares, even if she’s feeling shy and awkward about it all. Frankly, I don’t get why you wouldn’t to straight up tell somebody that you like them. I’ve seen far too many people who seem to think that actually being up front with their feelings is somehow “bad” or “weak”; not suprisingly, they’re also the ones that either end up stuck in The Friend Zone1 or complain about how women are impossible to understand.
So I’m not entirely sure what there is to discuss besides “hey, it seems like you’re into me, I’m into you, how about we go on a proper date and see what happens?” Because frankly, the only way she could be demonstrating her interest any more blatantly would be to hire skywriters.
Just ask her out on a date. Not “hang out some time”, not “get together” but a date. Then see where things go. Either she’ll be relieved that you finally got the message, or you’ll find out that no, she’s not that interested in you after all and this has all been a wacky misunderstanding. Somehow. With makeouts.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: So I’m in a bit of a pickle and I’m just gonna dive right in: My boyfriend’s birthday, Christmas and our anniversary are all within a month of each other. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
I’m a broke, unemployed 25 year old guy, so I can’t afford to buy him a gift for each occasion. I tried to tell him that last year, and he of course threw down the sob story that he only ever got one present for his birthday and Christmas growing up and how I must not love him as much as I say I do if I’m not willing to break the bank for him during the month of December.
Also, anytime I put my foot down with him, I am “yelling” at him, which is super annoying and not cute.
DEAR ONE’S ENOUGH: While I have sympathy for your boyfriend, OE, their situation’s hardly unique. There’re plenty of folks whose birthdays fall near or around holidays, who often have to deal with the “burden” of sharing their celebration with other events and occasions. And while it’s kind of a shame to be getting slightly fewer presents than others… that’s also hardly unique. Plenty of folks don’t get tons of presents for birthdays or holidays because the people in their lives can’t afford to give them lots of presents. That’s a reality of life.
Under other circumstances, I’d suggest picking one event to celebrate with presents and find something special to commemorate the other occasions that don’t involve spending a lot of money. This could be anything from a sweet (but inexpensive, or even free) date, a romantic (and simple) dinner or other experience. Hell, it could be reserving the night to have a marathon of favorite movies on Netflix or Hulu.
But that would be when you were dating somebody who didn’t act like an entitled little s--t about how many presents he gets.
While it’s somewhat understandable to have a vague sad about a Christmas-adjacent birthday, throwing a hissy fit makes me wonder just how mature your boyfriend is. His telling you that you must not love him if you’re not expressing it in presents you can’t afford to give makes me think that he’s either spoiled or an asshole or both. And the fact that he gets pissy when you try to lay down a line or set a boundary is a sign that he’s not relationship material.
Quite frankly, he doesn’t sound like someone who respects you, your boundaries or the fact that you’re broke as hell and is demanding that you shower him with things you literally can’t afford to give. Now maybe this is something that could be fixed with a come-to-Jesus talk about how inconsiderate he’s being, the fact that you literally can’t afford to do the things he’s demanding and that his trying to emotionally manipulate you is both unwelcome and f--king crass.
But honestly, this sounds more like a “kick him to the curb with the rest of the garbage” situation and find yourself a good guy who understands the realities of your situation and also doesn’t measure affection by material goods. Because frankly, I can’t imagine a world where this dude is so amazing at sex or great in other areas that his whiny bulls--t is worth it. And you deserve better than this, OE.
So if you think it’s possible, then I’d say sit him down and read him the riot act and make it clear that you don’t appreciate the way he acts. But otherwise? It may well be time to draw the curtain on this dude and to use this Christmas to find yourself an upgrade to something better.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org