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Writing online advice..

April 8, 2018

for what it’s worth..

I’ve taken on an odd hobby.. answering questions on quora.com. That is a site for people to ask pretty much any question, and maybe someone comes along and answers it.

I answer questions about movies, music, religion, and various aspects of human interaction. It can be a bit reckless to offer advice.. but..

I spent over 7 years studying the behavioral and social sciences in college (mostly psychology and sociology), am a former social worker, and have learned at least some things from experience..

So.. might as well try to help some folks.. and hope to be doing more good than harm.

Here is the most recent question I answered, and my answer..

“I’m starting to get feelings for a guy but I don’t want to be in a relationship. How can I control myself and get over it?”

My answer to this total stranger..

“I’ve had this problem too… feelings for women I didn’t want to get involved with. Unfortunately, part of being human is sometimes having feelings for those who are not good for us, or having certain feelings at wrong times in our lives.

It’s likely the best thing to do is avoid the guy, if possible. Not being around him will help the most. Hopefully, you have the option to remove yourself from the presence of the guy. But don’t just avoid him, and spend time alone feeling bad..more on that at the bottom of this answer.. but first.. read on..

If you cannot avoid the guy.. and..

If you are friends, if you know the guy already likes you, and especially if the subject of dating comes up, read this next part.. but, if he is not into you, as far as you can tell.. skip to the last part of my answer..

Ok.. so, if you know he likes you..especially if the subject of dating comes up.. it would be good to mention that you do not want to be in a relationship at this time. The guy might take it personal, and feel rejected.. but that’s how it goes. It’s pretty much impossible to go through life without rejecting at least a few people. Just be kind, if you can.

Years ago, a woman I liked, and who I was already friends with said, right out of the blue.. “Don’t fall for me, Tom, I just got out of a relationship a few months ago, and I don’t want to be in another one right now.” She said this to me, even though I’d not expressed romantic interest, and we hadn’t been talking about dating. She’d just figured me out.

I’d suggest that you not be quite as blunt as this woman was, unless you really feel the need to be. It might be best to wait until the subject of dating comes up. But maybe not. I don’t know you. I don’t know the guy. Luckily for me, I knew the woman well enough not to take her frankness personally, and was not offended. I was glad she was so honest and direct with me. Your situation might be different.

By the time she told me what was on her mind, I already liked the woman a lot (liked her right away.. couldn’t help it), but after she said that, I at least knew not to ask her out. We stayed friends for the rest of the time we worked together, though this was tough for me. If I and the woman had not been co-workers, I would have avoided spending time with her. But since we worked together, I thought it best she and I continue to get along.

Maybe you will remain friends with the guy, maybe not. But DON’T ever say to a guy.. “We can still be friends.” If he is into you, he doesn’t just want friendship. He might not want sex right away – not all guys do.. but he’ll be wanting a romantic relationship with you.

——–

Here is the last part of my answer: one other thing to consider, and possibly a helpful strategy to get past your feelings and move on..

I hesitate to write this next part.. I don’t know any details about your situation.. don’t know the guy, etc. But.. it might be possible that even though the timing isn’t great.. if the guy is great.. that might be the important thing.. not the bad timing..

Something to think about.. if the guy is great. If not, nevermind.

Alright.. here is a good strategy.. one that can work regardless of whether or not the guy already likes you.. get busy and stay busy with other people and activities. Hang out with friends (if they are good friends, and if the guy isn’t part of your crowd), make new friends, go on a road trip, join a gym and commit to working out at least 3x a week, volunteer, explore new interests. Take up the guitar or learn to paint, for example. Find something you like and put effort into doing it. Spend time with worthwhile people. Do good, enjoyable things. Some of what I’ve suggested will take courage and patience, but can be very helpful.

I wish you well.”

I hope I answered this question well, and am not being foolish by offering advice. I’m trying to do some good.

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