Each week in Ask Weezy, Louise “Weezy” Palanker will answer questions from readers about coming to terms with themselves, living, and growing.
So this girl friend-zoned me but she always wanted to be near me and hug me and still asks me to go to the movies with her. Do I have a chance?
Yes, you do. I would say that you can and should enjoy all of this great stuff with this girl for a month or two. Be yourself. Have fun. Enjoy your time with her. Show her who you are. Be a fantastically fun friend and then you can say, “I understand that we are just friends but we are doing really datey things together.” Stop talking and see how she reacts or what she says. Then say, “As you know, I do have feelings for you and I will always care about you but if you do start dating someone else, that is really going to hurt.” Stop and see what she says. Then, based on what you are hearing or not hearing from her, you can say, “So, I think I am going to need to step away.”
Here is why I think it’s important that you say and do all of this (unless somewhere within your conversation she suddenly and dramatically confess her love for you):
Within any friendship, when one person develops romantic feelings for the other person the friendship falls out of balance. You want one thing. She expects another. All of your interactions with this girl get rewound and analyzed by you. Investigated and dusted for any sign of latent love or longing. It’s exhausting and so completely preoccupying that your mind and heart are not available for someone who is ready to love you in that romantic way. It’s not healthy for you to remain in an unbalanced friendship for too long. Doing so teaches you that love is lopsided and full of unrequited longing. That is not an OK lesson.
So, give her a couple months to know and experience the glory of your hugs and your movie buddy greatness. Then remind her of your romantic feelings and if she still does not share them, as painful as this will be, learn from what you have shared and experienced with her and move on.
Hi Weezy One of my girl friends at work has a crush on a guy that has a crush on me. I told her that I wasn’t interested in him but I have an idea of how she is feeling because I have been in her shoes. I catch her staring at me sometimes and she smiles when we make eye contact. Is she thinking what I used to think when this same thing happened to me? “What does she have that I don’t?” I wish I knew what is going through her head. The point is yesterday the guy that has a crush on me started talking to me and we realized that we have so much in common. I like him as a friend and I know he has a crush on me. Now it is not only how should I act with him and not lead him on but it’s also how to act around my girl friend. How is she gonna feel seeing me talking to him and being friends with him? I really don’t wanna hurt anybody please help me figure this out.
What matters so much in life is having good intentions. So the most important part of your note to me is the last sentence, “I really don’t want to hurt anyone.” That’s how we know that you probably won’t. As you’ve seen, crushes come and go and we don’t have a ton of control over them. Crushes are like balls bouncing around a room. Eventually, someone catches a ball and two people start dating. Until that happens you get to be friendly and kind and fun and flirty in whatever way feels natural to the friendship you are building with that person. Especially in a workplace, these crushes are going to ping around like pinballs. You may like a guy who likes another girl who likes another guy who likes another guy or whatever. You may wonder what she has that you don’t have and vice versa as you are seeing. It’s not even about that. It’s about your energy eventually connecting with the energy of your crush. It happens when it happens. No one can really explain why.
As you get to know potential friends and potential romantic partners every relationship that you forge is valuable. Each person is a treasure. You are all here to teach each other something. Be respectful and kind. Listen. Watch. Learn. If you are worried that you have hurt someone ask them if they are OK. If you see two people really dating, take your flirting down to friendliness. You will know what to do. Trust yourself. You are a great person. You do love and honor your fellow humans. I can see that.
If you like this guy as only a friend that is fine. When and if he asks you out, tell him that you don’t see your friendship that way. You do not owe anyone any more affection than you naturally feel for that person. You have already told the other girl that you are not interested in this one boy romantically so you’re good there. Just continue being nice to her. Maybe help her get to know him better. These things have a way of working themselves out. Just relax and continue being awesome.
So I have two best friends Anya and Beth. The three of us always hang out. Sometimes Anya and I alone but that’s because we’ve been best friends for a while. Beth and Anya were best friends before but that was for a little bit and then they stopped hanging out until last year when all three of us began hanging out as a group. Last week I had both of them over for a sleepover. Tuesday I asked them if they wanted to hang out. Last night they had a sleepover without me and were sending pictures of the two of them to me. I wasn’t invited but I know they knew I was free. Should I be mad? I feel like Anya is kinda pushing me out. For example, on Tuesday she was discussing this boy to Beth and another friend and then I said something and she just let out this little giggle and was like I forgot you don’t know. A lot happened. And then she just didn’t elaborate and went back to the conversation with the other friend. Am I being excluded? Should I be mad? I feel left out but I don’t know if it’s my place to say anything…
I think that you should feel however you are actually feeling. We don’t want to judge our feelings. We just want to feel them and then figure out what to do with those feelings. I would say that yes, it’s FOMO inducing to see your two best friends hanging out without you and sharing secrets that exclude you but you do have to be careful about how you react. Think about your objective. It’s to be included. So be careful about saying something that would push them away. You really only want to give them an earful and throw that “AND ANOTHER THING….!” grenade when you are truly ready to walk away for good.
If you still feel very connected to these two girls then I would say that your best play is to barely react when you learn that they are hanging out together. Pretend you had something else going on anyway. Even if it was just Netflixing with the fam.
You began your post to me with some background on the ebb and flow of these friendships. Expect that to continue shifting. Be as flexible as your evolving relationships. The truth is that any two people have a right to hang out. No one is ever obligated to always include a third person. This means that you could do something alone with either one of these two girls. That’s just life. It’s going to happen and it should be able to happen with no fuss or muss. The problem would only be if it is happening repeatedly. That is when you could pull one girl aside and have a conversation.
When and if you do this, It’s critical that you do not accuse but instead inform. Make “I” statements. “I feel a little hurt when I’m not included. Is there something I should know? Have I upset you in any way? Help me understand.” That type of thing.
You can not shout or rage or guilt someone into being your friend. By definition, a friend is someone who wants to be your friend. In turn, if someone is not BEING a good friend then your best choice is to walk away from the friendship. Even then, I would advise that you don’t burn it down with an exit tantrum. Friendships can be cyclical. Just walk away with dignity and then if that former friend comes to realize that you were an awesome and excellent friend they will return on their own terms. The calmer you remain the more beautifully you are showing the world that you are an outstanding person to know and love.
— Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.