DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently received a phone call from a female friend whom I haven't heard from in more than six months. She invited me to her house for a drink or two and whatever the night might lead to.
Any normal man would jump at the opportunity to go to a woman's home. But I'm hesitant about visiting this woman. I think she is a little crazy, and I prefer to have a friendship from afar.
We are scheduled to have another conversation this evening, and I don't want to hurt her feelings by saying that I'm not interested in going to her home. I don't know what to do. -- At a Distance, Newark N.J.
DEAR AT A DISTANCE: The great news is that you are clear about your feelings and intentions. Don't sway from that.
Basically, it sounds like this woman has reached out to you for what many now describe as a "booty call." Good for you that you don't want to get involved in that with her. Compounding the dubious nature of her invitation is your thought that she is not mentally fit.
You have to make a decision: Do you want to see her at all? If you do, you could invite her to meet you in a public place for coffee, dinner or drinks. If you don't, just tell her that you are sorry, but you are not available to meet up with her. You don't have to be rude about letting her down, but don't lead her on, either.
If she asks for a rain date, make it clear what you are willing to do, meaning a) no, if you don't want to see her, b) yes, in a public setting, or c) maybe, but not at her home.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I've had a crush on a friend for a while. I told him, and he had no reaction. I even asked if he liked me, and he completely avoided the question and changed the subject. I thought this meant he's just not interested, but he's never awkward about it and he's never brought it up. Everyone around us thinks there's something going on between us. Is he not interested, or should I try to bring it up again? -- Longing for Love, Philadelphia
DEAR LONGING FOR LOVE: I'm sorry to report to you that your friend has answered by saying nothing. It sounds like he wants to remain your friend and isn't sure how to respond to you. Unfortunately, when you put your feelings out there and get nothing as a response, it can feel awkward to move forward.
You have to decide if you can remain friends despite your feelings for him. If so, do your best to relax back into a platonic friendship. And, by all means, keep your eyes open. Mr. Right may be in your midst and you don't even realize it.