DEAR ABBY: A woman I have known for some time recently moved back to town and we have run into each other on several occasions. We're both in our mid-20s and neither of us is involved with anyone right now.
A few years ago I began to develop feelings for her that I never had the courage to express. I don't remember when they started, but since her return I realize I still have them, and now when I am around her I can think of little else. I don't know if she thinks of me as any more than a friend.
I've been infatuated before, but I don't think what I've been feeling for these last few years is infatuation. I believe it is love. I want to tell her how I feel, but I fear damaging our friendship.
If I tell her and she does not share my feelings, I don't know how I will get past the awkwardness of seeing her in social situations in the future. Our social circle is tight, and chance meetings would be unavoidable if I want to keep my friends.
What do you think, Abby? Should I take a chance and tell her how I feel? I have everything to gain, but it looks like so much to lose. -- LOVESICK AND LOSING IT
DEAR LOVESICK: There is something that's in between ignoring your feelings and confessing all. It's called a date. Ask the young woman to have dinner with you. Take her to a restaurant where the noise level is low and you can talk. During dinner you'll have an opportunity to steer the conversation in a personal direction. Be attentive to her responses, and you'll come away with a good sense of where your relationship may or may not go. Good luck!