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Parallax - Advice

November 12, 2001

Friendly attraction...

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!How do you approach a situation where you feel yourself attracted to a friend?Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Magnetic,

Firstly, tackle and wrestle friend to ground. Don't go into this lightly; you are friends after all. Come out swingin'...and I mean swingin'. Have your target meet you at your place before your typical ritual outing and answer the door naked. I'm sure your dating target would have seen it all coming so your little display of affection will come as no surprise. Make a full pass - not a half-inspired effort that will appear lame and hedgy.

Secondly, start thinking long-term very early. You already know your target, so might as well move things along swiftly. You're probably no spring chickens and time's a wastin'.

Thirdly, make no assumption that you somehow need to be nicer, or make any special effort. Your other half already knows exactly who you are and has accepted this. This is the beauty of this newfound relationship. Just be yourself and be comfortable with that - no changes are necessary.

Lastly, be demanding. Remember this is a person who already likes you; therefore, you have the upper hand. You do not have to win over your new suitor - your new soul mate has already adopted you as a fine little creature.

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His view:

Dear Magnetic,

The way I approach attraction to my friends is to ignore it. It's usually just a passing phase and not deserving of being called a situation. If said attraction persists after a few weeks, I discuss it with my mother, my therapist, my pet iguana, and my inner-self. Only after these discussions do I decide to upgrade the attraction to a situation - not by virtue of the attraction itself - but because I have actually engaged in these discussions.

Now, situations can be situations. Or they can be tricky situations. Or they can be boring situations. Or just plain situations. If you feel yourself attracted to a friend, that's likely to be a tricky situation. If this friend suddenly turns into a must-have, can't wait, give-it-to-me-baby, light-of-my-life, that's all the more trickiness to contend with.

So the approach depends on the situation. Let's assume we're dealing with a very tricky situation. In this case, the first step is to recognize that this is no longer a typical friendship; it's not really a friendship at all. It's simply a question of, 'Do I have the guts to tell her or not? Am I just going to pretend all is well and go on with the watered-down version of the reality I truly want?' Hell no.

I'd invite my friend over for some wine and frank conversation. Once an appropriate level of inebriation was achieved, I'd confess my attraction to her. Regardless of the outcome, I could always blame Captain Morgan for my lunacy. Yes, it's not brave, but it's better than never knowing what might have been.

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