Nervous AF

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

This year will be my first Renn Fayre. I didn't go to the big meeting, but all my friends keep talking about how it's a tradition to kiss a bunch of people. I've haven’t had my first kiss yet, and it might be cool to kiss people at a big party like this, but how do I do it? I know consent is important, but how do you do that if it's loud or awkward? And what about the actual kissing part? Or should I just wait until I decide to kiss someone I really like some other time?

Sincerely,
Nervous AF

Shiver Me Tinders

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

While I've enjoyed some lovely long-term relationships in my time at Reed, I've never had a fling and feel like my college time to explore is quickly running out! I'm absolutely no good at flirting and don't like parties with alcohol very much, so meeting people for brief encounters that way doesn't seem like an option. Friends have had mixed experiences with Tinder, from downright unpleasant to amazing encounters that confirmed their being lesbian.

Should I sign up for a Tinder of my own? And if I do, how can I find a fun fling before getting spat out into the Real World?

Sincerely,
Shiver Me Tinders

Million Pieces

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

My girlfriend from home just broke up with me over spring break and I can't stop thinking about it. I really loved her and thought we would be together for much longer, but she didn't want to do long distance anymore. While I respect her decision, it's still shitty to deal with, especially being back on the Reed grind. I can barely focus on my readings. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Million Pieces

Two Depressed Cuties

Two Depressed Cuties

Miss Lonely Hearts,

I have been in a loving relationship for three years and we have lived together for two. I have known about my clinical depression since I was three years old. Now my lover has started experiencing intense symptoms of depression and I believe we contribute to each other's mental health issues just by existing, listening, and commiserating because both of us are incredibly empathetic. I don't want to leave him because of this, but I can't see the way we are currently living as healthy. He is my inspiration and he has helped me fight a lot of my darkness, I want to be able to help him in the same ways. So the question I pose is this: how can two depressed cuties live together without remaining an echo chamber of misery? How can we break this cycle?

Best,

Empathetic Emily

The Boy in Black

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

Good morning, afternoon, or evening. Whenever you read this. I do not write to you because of love. Although I wish I had a love in my life, that is not which I want to covey and ask you. I ask you if you have maybe not a solution, but at least guidance to the question of friendship. I ask not of the simple familiarity, or simply being in the same class, or simply near each other. I ask how does one achieve true, trusting friendship. The kind of friendship in every movie involving a small neighborhood kid going about his adventures with his best friend. The kind of friendship where you are not miffed whenever one of you has played a prank, because you understand the heart beneath. The kind of friendship where honesty is the first order of the day.

Quiet Tinder Crush

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I matched with this guy on Tinder about a month ago, a little after we first met. I don't use Tinder seriously, so I didn't think much of it. I thought of it as a mutual "ah, I know them! Right swipe!" kind of fun that didn't mean anything. During the past month I've been hanging out some with him and his friend group. We've never acknowledged the fact that we matched on Tinder (we haven't even had a Tinder conversation). As I've started to get to know him, I think I've developed a liking for him...And now my mind keeps jumping back to our Tinder matching—does it mean anything that he right swiped me? I always assumed it didn't, but now I want it to have meaning!! If it did mean something, I don't want to waste time being silent but...I also don't want to be weird if it was only a casual right-swipe...I don't want to mess with a friendship that is developing but I think it's developing painfully SLOWLY!

Sincerely,
Quiet Tinder User

Bi and Bi

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

Despite many clues throughout my life, I’ve just recently figured out that I’m bisexual. In high school I dated some guys, but now I’m interested in exploring the other side of my sexuality. How do I initiate encounters with women? What are ways to let people know I’m interested in them without being so subtle that they don’t pick up on it? Or worse, come off as creepy?

Sincerely,
Bi and Bi

Crushing

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I’m a freshman brand new to Reed but I have this huge crush on a senior. I kissed her while drunk at Dance Yrself Clean, but found out that she’s involved with someone else in an “open relationship.” What does that mean, exactly? Should I get involved? I feel like I might end up interfering, and there’s also the age difference. My friends think I should let it go, but I really like this person and she seemed interested in me. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Crushing

First Try

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

How do I take step one? This may sound silly, but how do I even begin to ask someone out? I've
never dated anyone before or anything like that, so I genuinely wouldn't know how to ask without it sounding uncomfortably awkward. Even if the person isn't interested, I'd rather still just be friends, and I'm worried that if I mess up asking them out that it'll ruin this nice dynamic we currently have!

Sincerely,
First Try

Bewitched Bestie

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

Woe is me: I have feelings for my best friend. Things started off completely platonic, but lately I’ve seen him in another light. To make matters more complicated, he already has a girlfriend. But hear me out. I’m completely opposed to the whole concept of the “other woman,” but I think my best friend might be unhappy in his current relationship. He and I talk about everything—we’re basically dating on an emotional level—and he often tells his girlfriend he’s studying or going to bed to hang out with me instead. I don’t like that he’s hiding something from her, but the fact that he feels he has to keep it a secret makes me think he might feel something between us, just like I do.

Maybe it’s Polyamory, Maybe it’s Maybelline

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for almost two years now. We started dating in our senior year of high school after an extended period of awkward flirting, and flash forward a few months, ended up deciding to go to the same college. We’re very happy together, and I am very, very much in love with him. But here’s the thing: I really like somebody else, too. And I think he might as well.

Labored Love

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I told my girlfriend of a few months that I love her. At the time she told me she couldn’t say
that she loved me back. Since then she’s slept over every night at my place. We continue to hang out and nothing has really changed in our relationship. I don’t know if she hasn't said “I love you” because she won’t ever love me or because she just hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I don’t want to belabor the question but I’m not sure I should stick around and wait to find out if she can ever love me. I’m having fun but the anxiety of feeling deeper thoughts for her than she feels for me is starting to get to me. When do I know to back out of the relationship? Is it worth waiting around?

Sincerely,
Labored Love

Miss Lonely Hearts Teams Up with Agony Aunt

After numerous requests for a platonic issue of Miss Lonely Hearts, I’ve teamed up with my friend Agony Aunt from PSU’s column “Ask Auntie” to tackle three of your most-asked questions.

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I befriended my bestie within a few weeks of freshman year and we’re still close to this day, years later. We’ve been through thick and thin together, and recently I’ve started to develop feelings for them. I worry that I might ruin our relationship, so I try to play it cool, but I can’t enjoy our hang out sessions because I’m so nervous. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Bewitched Bestie

Worried

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

My significant other has been having a really hard time lately. They’ve been depressed for a few months now and I\ think this is the first time they’ve ever dealt with depression. I’m not sure I’ve been much help. I can offer support, but I’m obviously not a professional. They don’t really want to see a professional though, and I understand that’s their choice, but as their SO I’m worried about them. How can I broach the topic of them seeking professional support?

Sincerely,
A Worried Partner

Smitten

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I’ve had a thing with a senior for a while. It’s not really going anywhere and I’m not sure it should. He’s a nice guy, but he’ll be gone in a couple months and I’ve still got a few years left at Reed. Being with him makes me happy, but we’ve started this relationship so late in the year I’m not sure we should continue it. What if I develop real feelings for this guy? Is this worth pursuing or should I let it die before it becomes anything too real?

Sincerely,
Smitten

Romance Rookie

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I started seeing someone about a month ago and, on the surface, it seems to be going pretty well. We’ve been on several dates and have a blast every time we’re together.

Seems great, right? But here’s the problem: this is the first time that I’ve ever dated someone casually, and I can’t tell if I am outside my wheelhouse. I might not know how “casual dating” works, but it seems like this guy is stringing me along. When we’re together, I am completely confident that he is interested in me, but lately, whenever we’ve tried to make plans, he’s come off as aloof and has even cancelled on me a few times. At first, this seemed like a clear signal and I assumed that he was no longer interested in me, but he continues flirting with me, texting me all night, making plans with me, and then backing out of those plans.

I really like this guy and want to spend more time with him, but it seems like he’s jerking me around. Is he just flaky or is he uninterested? Or is this all just part of the “dating game?”

Sincerely,
Romance Rookie

Anxious Dodger

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I dated a girl from Reed all of last year. Over the summer, I found out she was taking the fall semester off. We decided to end things because the long distance was really hard. I've been at Reed this past semester and I've been doing really well. I've moved on and I haven't spoken to my ex since we broke up over the summer. But she's back this semester and I've heard from mutual = friends that she wants to talk to me. I don't really want to have this conversation. I know she still likes me and I'm just not a confrontational person. I see her a lot in the halls and around campus, but I've been trying to avoid her. I can't keep this up all year, so how do I make it clear to this person that I don't want to rekindle our old relationship?

Sincerely,
The Anxious Dodger

Dazed and Confused

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I am a very nervous person when it comes to hooking up or asking someone out. I have never been in a long term relationship. I have never really hooked up with anyone unless I was inebriated and I’m not really comfortable with that. There have been times when other people have wanted to hook up with me, but they were inebriated and I was not at all. It’s not that I didn’t like the person, it’s just that I wasn’t comfortable with the situation. This brings me to my first question: what is the best way to say no to someone? Should I be worried about hurting their feelings? What if I do actually like them, but I am not comfortable in the moment?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I love my partner very, very much, but we’re seniors. I have to decide if I want to pursue opportunities after college around the country, or limit myself to places my partner may be going. Is it worth it? How do I know? I’m not sure my partner would do the same for me (if their future was a little more up in the air and mine was more concrete), but it’s something we're sort of avoiding. How do I know if it’s special enough?

Sincerely,
Should I Stay or Should I Go?