Luv Doc: More Than Just Friends
Life is not a Merchant Ivory Production
Dear Luv Doc,
There is a girl in my office that I have gotten to be really good "friends" with. We go out to lunches and happy hours and we sometimes hang out on the weekends. She is very physically affectionate with me. She puts her arm around me and sometimes she comes up behind me and massages my shoulders and she always hugs me hello and goodbye. I would like to have a romantic relationship with her, but every time I have tried to make a move she manages to make a quick exit. It is a confusing situation. I would like to take things to the next level but I can't tell if she is just leading me on and keeping me around so she has someone to hang out with. How do I know if she likes me as more than a friend? I don't want to mess up and ruin our friendship.
– Hugged but Not Loved
Here's how you find out if she would like to be more than just friends: You fucking ask her. Life is not a Merchant Ivory Production. You are not Anthony Hopkins. You don't have to suffer for years in infuriatingly frustrating silence because prevailing social mores don't allow you the audacity to share your true feelings. Ball. The. Fuck. Up.
Next time she is giving you a shoulder massage, just say, "Hey, I would like for us to have a romantic relationship. I would like you to be my girlfriend." Then shut up and listen to what she says. You may not get the answer you're hoping for, but you will get an answer. That, my friend, is the absolute best you can do.
And what you do with that answer is trust it. You believe it. You don't let your mind drift off into fits of fancy where what you imagine she wants supersedes what she says she wants. You don't start trying to "win her love" by showering her with candy or flowers or diamond earrings. You don't start stalking her or creeping on her social media posts. You just say, in the words of Ariana Grande, "Thank u, next" and go find yourself your next Pete Davidson, so to speak.
In other words, life is short and your search for love might be long. You don't need to waste time endlessly going over scenarios in your head where somehow you discover the true nature of her affection without actually putting your dick on the chopping block – metaphorically speaking.
Most importantly, your friendship with this woman is not on the line. Either you are friends or you aren't. If baring your soul to her screws up that friendship, it was pretty tenuous in the first place, wasn't it?
My guess is that you have been putting this question off because deep down you're afraid you might already know the answer. That's not a mentally healthy thing to do – either for you or for her. As a friend or a lover, she should know where you stand every bit as much as you should know where she stands. Unless you're some sort of clairvoyant who can tell how someone truly feels by the quality of their shoulder massage, I recommend you use the only other arrow in your quiver: verbal communication.