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?

Solitary Sweetheart

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I haven’t been in a relationship or had any hookups in the two years since my last girlfriend. At first I thought I was just recovering from the breakup, but as time went on I began feeling more disinterested in other people and more apprehensive of connecting romantically with somebody. At this point I feel neither willing nor able to initiate contact with people who I have any vaguely romantic interest in, but I’m increasingly lonely and unsure of how to express those types of feelings. The only thing bigger than my fear of being rejected at this point is my fear of what to do if my feelings are actually reciprocated.

Got any advice on trying to rebuild a love life?

Sincerely,
Solitary Sweetheart

Alone not Abroad

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

How do I cope with my significant other being so far away?

We knew that studying abroad would have its fair share of trials, but this seems like too large of a burden for my heart to carry. We have always been trusting of one another—strong on our own and even stronger together—but now it seems that we are both relying on someone who isn’t even available for a simple “Skype date.” Our times never match up and one of us is always having to stay up too late (me) to make time for the other.

I want to do well in all my classes, but not having my SO here makes it that much more difficult to focus on my studies. I’ve even considered telling them that we need to take a break, but don’t want to ruin their study abroad experience.

I feel so broken and hurt and jealous, I don’t know how to make us both feel better. Whenever we do talk, it always leads to one of us arguing about the other ignoring us, or a jealous accusation of spending too much time with our “friends.” I can’t help but fear that maybe we didn’t get the chance to form a solid foundation before they left, but I know we have something special. But nothing is more painful than spending time with friends, getting inebriated at a Reed event, and sending out an “I miss you” text, only to receive a “same.”

I don’t think I can do it anymore Miss Lonely Hearts, but I also can’t stand the thought of losing them or them being with someone else. Please what should I do?

Sincerely,

Alone not Abroad

Chaste and Confused

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I came to Reed a virgin, and sort of assumed college would happen and I'd be de-virgined pretty quickly, but a few years later I still haven't found the right person and I still haven't had sex.

It's not that I haven't found anyone that I could have sex with, if I wanted to. I've hooked up with people during my time here, and we probably could have had sex if I'd wanted to. But I'm 21 now, and being a virgin at 21 feels pretty freaking awkward sometimes.

I want my first time to be with someone I love, but I've never fallen in love with someone at Reed and been in a position where we could have sex. I do, however, hook up (i.e. make out, grind, cuddle) with guys occasionally, but I feel like the fact that I have no idea what to do with a penis sort of makes it awkward at a certain point, too.

I'm stuck in this endless loop of being self-conscious about hooking up with guys because I don't feel comfortable getting them off and then it feels weird and awkward, which makes me not want to hook up with anyone. But then if I don't hook up with anyone I will never learn what to do with a penis, which will only make me feel more shy and awkward about hooking up with anyone, and it goes on and on.

Part of me just wants to get this whole sex-for-the-first-time thing over with so I can have casual hook-ups (I feel like I might be missing out on the whole "casual college sex" thing), but I also don't really feel comfortable sleeping with someone I don't at least sort of love. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Chaste and Confused

Back Away from the Future

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I’m in a relationship with a guy I really love. He’s a year older than me (he graduated last year) and we’ve been together since my freshman year. I know that might sound like I just have never really been with anyone else, but we’ve been on and off before and we always get back together because we really love one another and we’re committed to working things out.

I’m pretty worried about our future, though. Since he’s been out of school a year he’s gotten a job in Portland that he really likes and a lot of his friends still live in the area, so he feels pretty settled down for the foreseeable future. But I’ve been applying to grad school programs for next year and I haven’t gotten into any yet, so I have no idea where I might be next year. He’s the only reason that I’d be staying in Portland, because I don’t really want to stay here. . .so if I got into grad school in Seattle or New York or something I’d be moving there, and if I didn’t get into any grad schools I kind of want to move back home and reapply next year? I don’t think that it’s fair to ask him to follow me home (on the east coast) and then just keep following me wherever I end up, but I don’t know what else to do. I really don’t want to break up with him, but I can’t think of any way that we can stay together.

Help!
Back Away from the Future

Alonely

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

 

There’s this guy I know who recently left Reed, who I lived with for a year. He dropped out and, while we used to talk every day when we knew each other, our conversation gradually became more infrequent after we stopped living together. Before he left we only really spoke in passing, nodding to each other on the blue bridge the way Reedies do when they want to acknowledge, but not engage. Since leaving, I know he’s been pretty isolated. "Loneliness" was the main reason he left Reed, and I can’t imagine it has improved since he moved back in with his parents. Now it seems like he’s trying reaching out to me. He keeps texting me. He wants me to friend him on Facebook. He wants me to add him on LinkedIn. I don’t even have a LinkedIn. I don’t really want to speak to him but I’m not sure quite how to tell him to leave me alone. It feels wrong to just keep ignoring him but I don’t want to say “fuck off” either.  


– Alonely

Jimmy Brooks

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

Before I came to Reed, I had a great girlfriend. I know you have to be close with your gf but we were super close... she used to call me all the time, sometimes even in the middle of the night. I knew when I left to come to Portland things would be different, but I guess I didn’t realize how different they would really be. So many things have changed since I left. We didn’t talk much during last semester, and I think things are pretty weird between us now. Even though I’ve lost contact with her, I’ve been hearing a lot about her from our friends that are still in the city.

Here’s the thing: ever since I left the city, my girl got a reputation for herself. I mean, everybody knows. She’s started wearing less and going out more, and I’ve heard from our mutual friends that she drinks glasses of champagne out on the dance floor. She even hangs out with some girls they’ve never seen before.  

As you can imagine, Miss Lonelyhearts, all of this has got me down. She’s got me stressed out! My mind just goes in circles. I’m constantly thinking about how it was with her and all the things we did together. Most often, I find myself thinking about how she used to call me on my cell phone late in the night when she needed my love. I knew when that hotline bling that could only mean one thing. But now, she doesn’t need my love. I wonder all the time if she’s bending over backwards for someone else, or if she’s getting nasty for someone else. She used to stay at home and be a good girl. Now, she’s never alone! It seems like she’s always with someone else. In my opinion, she doesn’t need nobody else. She should just be herself! But right now, Miss Lonelyhearts, she’s someone else.  

I’m not asking for advice on how to get her back. Ever since I left the city, she and I just don’t get along.  She makes me feel like I did her wrong. Yet, I need help with this break up.  She’s changed for the worse. I still like her; I think about her all the time. I care for her, but she’s not the girl I used to know. How do I go about this??

Much love,

Jimmy Brooks