Saturday, March 31, 2007

Date a higher-up?

I have a crush on, none other, than my boss's boss. Cliche yes, but there is a context for this crush. A few months ago, I had to make a decision to stay with my current job and break up with my boyfriend, or try to "work things out" in a failing relationship and take a higher-paying job. Talking with my boss's boss, without revealing anything about the decision, made me realize how fortunate I was to have a choice about my relationship direction. Other friends helped me to realize that leaving a failing relationship was a smart move, but my boss's boss is one of the reasons that I stayed with my current job. In the course of talking, I got to know him really well, and found in him someone else who is as much of a geeky workaholic as I am.

Even in some of the worst days of my post-break-up gloom, I was always happy to talk to him, and chatting for a few minutes with him could leave me smiling all day. Lately, it's been really easy to get distracted thinking about this person who I think is brilliant, honest, and kind.

Now, I'm starting to remember what it feels like to be happy. I have a new apartment with a great roommate in a great town outside the city, and I owe some of that to my boss' boss, who is now my crush. Recently, he and I have gone out with a group of people to a local bar, and I'm not sure the crush is mutual, but I can only hold back the shoulder rubbing, giggling touchy-feely for so long when I'm tipsy.

Should I pursue something further? At the least, I want to thank the guy for affecting my life in such a positive way. Any recommendations for how to do that without it being awkward?

Conscientiously Contemplating

Dear Contemplating,

Unless you two have forged a friendship outside of work, I think it's going to be awkward. It's going to be even more awkward because you actually like the guy.

Whether or not you realize it, that choice you had to make about your relationship did not really coincide with your job unless you and your former mate were working in the same cubicle. Perhaps it was coincidence that the two came up at the same time, but the job choice had to be based on what was best for you. You chose a supportive team of people lead by a great guy, and that's a smart match that some people don't make because they were blinded by money.

As a good co-worker and boss's boss, your crush was patient and kind and listened to you. This is what good co-workers do. Perhaps rather than thanking him directly, you could thank him by listening back when he needs it.

As for the crush, making something of it is going to be exceptionally difficult because you do work together and couldn't follow The Golden Rule of Dating in the Workplace. It's really only going to have a chance of working if he isn't somehow your superior and isn't in your department. Neither of you should have control of one another if things go sour.

If you have your heart set on it, I'd at least wait to see if he shows interest before flirting. Make sure you have your head about you if you do end up flirting, so start drinking glasses of water in between drinks. It doesn't pay to make a drunken pass at someone.

Aunt Amy

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Funding a dream

I'm a 16-year-old trying to make money. I have a part-time job making $7.75 an hour.

It's not enough. I want to earn $50,000 to $100,000 in 6 years so I can successfully move away to my dream residence. I'm currently working 20 hours a week. I want to get a second job for some extra cash and maybe even a job at school working on spares. If I need to work everyday, I will.

I plan to graduate, but I don't plan on going to university. I plan on opening a franchise when I grow up. Right now, I save every penny I can find. How should I make some more money?

Earning all of it

Dear Earning,

When I turned 8 or so, my father started giving me one dollar per grade level. I saved up that $3 a week and more and eventually had two $100 bills in my bedroom. I only bought one Barbie for myself the whole time.

When I was 16, I got my first over-the-table job cleaning a deli/convenience store. I eventually moved up to making sandwiches and running the register. I stayed there for a year, and as a matter of corporate policy, was given three raises during my tenure. I don't remember how much I made, but on average I worked 15 hours a week. I saved every penny.

After a year, I had to leave for college. With me, I took something like $2,000. I worked for 10 hours a week but never could save any money again because it was my spending money. When I graduated, that cushion helped me buy furniture and pay for the security deposit on my apartment.

Yes, like you, I once had grandiose dreams.

I haven't been on this Earth long, but what I have learned is that there is no shame in loans. Or debt, but only the good kind (like student loans). People who can't take the occasional loan, like school districts who never bond their facilities projects, often find themselves without any savings at all when it really matters. And without a line of credit, you will find it hard for people to trust you with loans even if you've always paid your bills.

I gather from your letter that you want money, and you're willing to work for it. That's good! You realize that money doesn't grow on trees. So let's say you actually get that $50,000 or $100,000 and can buy that dream home. Where will you get the money to start up a franchise? Chances are, only some of it will be from a loan, and that's only if you can get one. Remember, you have no credit. And that dream home will cost more than it does now based on inflation.

My point is that you can sit there and save every penny you find on the street, but there will always be something to eat up your money. Your money will always be spent elsewhere. So rather than worrying about working so much for peanuts now, study hard, graduate, and then work hard for larger peanuts. Get a line of credit and pay it off responsibly. Apply for a loan or mortgage when you get to that stage where you need one. Never, ever work forever just to spend your money on one thing.

And seriously consider attending college for business classes. It will help you immeasurably with your start-up.

Aunt Amy

Sunday, March 25, 2007

She says yes, she shows no

I met this girl in my college course. I saw her looking at me from across the room one day and I decided to talk to her. One thing led to another and finally I asked her for her number, which she willingly supplied me with.

We scheduled our first date. We went to a nice restaurant and then drove around town as we continued our conversation. Then after a couple hours I dropped her off at home, she gave me a hug, and then we started making out for a little bit. After that, we scheduled a second date. We went to some local spot where we cuddled and just relaxed. Then one thing led to another and we started making out again. Only this time, it lasted for 2 hours. I think she really enjoyed it because she was all over me. After that night, we went on a third date. We went to a really nice restaurant and basically the same story as above continued.

This has happened a couple times now: she says she wants to hang out in a couple days. I'd call her but she won't return my phone call until it's too late to do something. Then as we talk on the phone she doesn't even mention the fact that we were supposed to hang out or give any excuses. Why would she just totally ignore the fact that we were supposed to hang out? I don't mention anything about it because I don't want to make a big deal about it and I don't want to sound desperate as I sit waiting for her phone call all night. :( Sometimes she won't even call for a couple days and she just leaves me hanging there wondering what is going on. It really sucks.

After a couple times of her playing games with me by not acknowledging the fact that we were supposed to go out, I figured that two can play this game. In class one day, I decided to just be rude to her. I didn't give her any attention and when she asked me questions I would answer very briefly, yes or no, and then look away. The whole time in class she wouldn't stop staring at me and I could tell she wanted to talk to me so bad. Then, on my way home, I get a phone call and I don't pick up. Then after a couple hours, she sends me a text message saying, "I'm sorry if I didn't anything to upset you. I had fun hanging out with you. I'm still interested, etc." What do you make of this situation?

She's always telling me to come visit her at her place of work (a restaurant). Is this her way of showing me off? A way of gaining approval from her friends? I am going to visit her in the next couple days, so hopefully it all goes well. Is she playing hard to get? What are the games she is playing? It appears as though she has been talking about me with her co-workers because I sorta know someone who works with her and she mentioned the fact that I was dating her. If she is talking to people about me, that must be a good thing? Right?

All I know is that i can't stop thinking about her. She is always on my mind and I really like her. How can I tell if she feels the same way without actually asking her? I just want things to fall into place without ruining any chance of a relationship.

What do you make of this situation? I really like her. How can I improve these issues I am having?

Desperately wanting

Dear Wanting,

I'd like you to get out your checkerboard.

I'm going to make the first move, and you're going to counter it. After dancing around each other for a while, one of us is going to mess up and leave ourselves open, and the other person is going to jump that person and throw their piece off the board. There will be many pieces like this.

But eventually one of us will be down to just one piece in the corner that we move back and forth to avoid confrontation while keeping up appearances of playing the game. The cycle may be endless. I think that is what's happening here.

So you moved your black checker closer, and you two danced around without wanting to hurt one another. But after that third move (or date), something was off. Suddenly someone had to jump someone else, and unfortunately for you, the red checker won. Then you got a little swipe back at her, spilling some red from her checker right off the table. And so the game began. And for a moment, at least one, you both were in the game.

But I suspect you don't really want to play anymore. She keeps winning and kicking you out, and you've got her in a corner and she won't stop for a moment lest her heart break. She's interested enough to keep you around, but either can't commit to the possibility of losing or doesn't realize how much you want both of you to win.

Stop the game and find a way to talk to her. Tell her you're interested in dating her more seriously and would like to actually spend time with her, but she's making it wicked hard. If she's non-committal or promises but then doesn't call, then that's probably it. You can't squeeze a relationship from a moving target.

This is why relationships and checkers are usually a two-person game. Thing is, both sides have to be equally invested for it to go anywhere.

Aunt Amy

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jealousy and consistency

I have this huge problem. For one year, I was going out with a guy who was extremely jealous. From the beginning, he was sweet, but he said it straight away, that he was very jealous.

But for the first 4 months I could manage. He kept asking me silly questions, like if people looked at me and so, got upset, if I went somewhere on my own, but he wouldn't stop me. After 4 months, suddenly he wouldn't leave me for a moment. We worked together in his father's restaurant, me as a waitress, him as a chef. Before, he slept at my place every day, but always left me for few hours and went to his own home where he lived with his mum. But after those 4 months, he wouldn't leave me for a moment: we worked together, we lived together.

He was really getting upset with people just looking, and when they said something...Soon, he started with insults, with pushing me. Sometimes, he broke something, like my SIM card. He was worse and worse, and because I loved him, I wanted to make him happy by giving in. Later on, I was too worried to live with him on my own, so we moved in with his mum, but he still would treat me very bad. I couldn't go even to the shop on my own. He wanted to separate me from everyone.

The few times we broke up, I ran away from his house, but in a week, I was back. Then we broke up for a month, and meanwhile, I had gotten a new job and wanted to keep it, but soon made me to lose my job. We had such a bad row one night that he punched my head.

I left him and have been gone for 9 months. When we were together, he tried to go to a few therapists, but no one would help. Since we have been separated, I kept saying he has to go to see one again if he wants to be with me ever again. For the last 3 months, he has been seeing one guy who seems to be helping him. He also changed a bit. Before, he would ask so many questions, like who was looking at me, who said something, what I was wearing but now he has stopped.

He keeps telling me that if i come back that he will let me work because I've been working for such a long time now without him and there isn't point of stopping me and facing breaking up again. The way he talks and behaves now is much different than he was few months ago. Now he seems to be reasonable.

But yesterday he said he won't be in touch anymore, as I've been saying I won't come back to him. He said he still loves me, and still wants to be with me again to show me that he can make me happy, but that he can't keep begging me.

I'm really confused. I'm scared to come back and face his jealousy again. On the other hand, maybe, he is really changing and together and with bit of a work, we can make it. But I know that once we lose touch completely, there is no chance of getting back.

Can people like this change? Is he changing? It is breaking my heart that I would really lose him forever and think, that maybe if I came back to him, and if he kept going to therapy and we worked on his issues, we could make it. On the other hand, I'm scared. What do I do?

Debating the future

Dear Debating,

Let's review the facts of your relationship for a moment.

So you dated a guy for a year who you knew was the jealous type. He manipulated you and kept you away from other people. He was, in essence, abusive. But then he sought help and seemed to change. Suddenly he isn't asking about every detail of your world or breaking your things, but is asking you to come back to him. And if you don't, he wants nothing to do with you.

Obviously this is a tough decision. You miss the good times of your relationship...oh...wait. You didn't mention those at all. When he wasn't being jealous, he was being sweet, right? It redeemed him, right? And he only broke your SIM card because he loved you, right?

Three months of counseling isn't a lot, frankly. There is a good chance that he could just be tricking you. If you went back, you would feel foolish if it was to the same wolf in sheep's clothing.

If he is truly changing and it was meant to be, maybe you'll date again in the future. But in the meantime, I think it would be wise to reflect on what is going on here, perhaps with the help of a psychologist.

Aunt Amy

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Staying or going?

I've got a girlfriend whom I've known for three months now. We're getting along fine and everything, no quarrels yet. In a year's time she will be going overseas to study because my school has a programme with a university overseas that both of us applied to.

I have to stay back for 2 years for government service before I go there. By that time she would be back here and working. The study abroad thing will last one year, but she broke up with her ex like 4 months later when he went overseas.

I really really love her and one year to me seems long which in time I feel she might someone else. Do you think she might? Should I break her heart now or should I carry on and hurt myself later on?

Potentially in pain

Dear Potentially,

I don't think you can really worry too much about this yet. You've only been dating for three months; it will be another year before she leaves. Who is to say that the relationship won't go sour before then?

But I'm really an optimist, so let's say you stay together and she goes overseas. I'm not going to lie and say it's easy. Being far away from your sweetie is hard, and even harder when she's thousands of miles away. If you're in a committed relationship at that point, you will have to make a decision to remain together and faithful despite the distance, agree to see other people while you're apart or break up completely and remain friends.

If I'm reading your question properly, this will be a little harder because you intend to go overseas for a year sometime after she returns and the issue will start all over again.

Ultimately, I think you need to wait and have this discussion later on. Don't compare this to the situation with her ex. Just because she dumped him when he went away doesn't mean that will happen here. Enjoy your lady while you're in the same country and everything will work its way out.

Aunt Amy

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Amor desperada

I met this guy in January and slept with him the first night I met him. For a month we went out together. I went to eat with his parents and everyone was like, "y'all don't go out yet?" Then I went a week without speaking to him and his best friend and him had a physical fight and he joined the Navy. I spilt everything I felt for him to him and we really haven't spoken much at all.

Before him, in December, I was talking with a guy and he got interested in this other girl, so again I did the same thing and I got the same reaction.

I met this guy Saturday night at a party and I really want to make this work, because out of the 3, he is the easiest to be with, the best to talk to and honestly the best looking as well. Well, today is Thursday and he called me last night. I got so excited. I don't want to sound eager or desperate nor do I want to seem that way around him.

I work the night shift as a Hooters hostess and he said when I got off to call him. I plan on it but what should I say? How do I not come off as eager or desperate for love? How do I control myself from calling him, texting him and sending him messages and comments on MySpace?

Squelching desperation

Dear Desperation,

With all of the attention you're getting, I'm reluctant to say you're desperate at all. But before you call that guy, take a deep breath. You want this to work out, so you can't go whole hog and start pouring out your feelings for him. I suspect you overdid it the first two times.

Keep yourself in check. Just talk about your days and make a date or time to hang out. You're still getting to know each other, so stay away from the movies. You need time to talk.

As for contacting him, if you contacted him as often as I think you might, he's going to think of you as a stalker. For now, restrain yourself to one message a day that you initiate. So leave him one thing on MySpace, or text him once or call him once.

The one thing to remember is to remain calm and let things develop. If it's right, they will.

Aunt Amy

Friday, March 16, 2007

My world of stress

I have a very "colourful" past, and my family/life has always reminded me of an overly dramatic soap opera. I have also spent the majority of my time crying about it. If anyone knows how to have a good self-pity party, it would be me.

I am 18 years old, finishing off my first year of university as a biochemistry major with a possible psychology minor. I have managed to fall ridiculously behind in all of my courses and labs, and I'm only hoping on passing. I am getting 9 hours of sleep on average per week, and having one measly meal a day, and I'm definitely not anorexic, but right now whatever I put into my mouth, just wants to come right out.

My father just came out of a surgery and recently had a heart attack. My mother's emotional/psychological state is very unstable considering last year's incredible betrayal/infidelity, which happened for a second time. My kid sister resents me for leaving her with the "crazies" as she calls them, and is also very unsure about her life/self at the moment.

I am expected to be the "great fix" for both my mother and my sister, which I don't mind really, because I love them, but I don't think they see that I am also under a great deal of pressure. They seem to believe that I can somehow manage everything without falling apart. My father has started discussing financials with me as if he won't be here tomorrow, and it scares me because I am so not ready for this.

People in my dorm are also giving me a very hard time. If they're not making fun of me right outside my door, I can hear them playing loud music or "partying" until all hours of the night, literally! I mean from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., smoking marijuana or screaming strange profanities and what not outside my door. Then they ask each other "do you think she heard that, how could she not?" as if they want to get a rise out of me. Well, it didn't happen.

Oh, and besides that I am constantly subjected to hearing a play by play of my neighbour's sex life, and it's not pretty. It certainly makes me wonder why all of these people who had relatively normal childhoods are going wild, while I, having had the past that I did, with a history of sexual abuse (which I am slowly beginning to get over, without therapy for the time being), and then some, still manage to keep my morality in check? Or perhaps, I'm a prude, and too uptight to understand this whole concept of being carefree and taking it easy.

I also don't have a single friend in this world right now. I used to think I did, but now it seems they're only around when they need something out of me. And the others who I thought were my true friends recently rejected me, making it very clear that we were to only be acquaintances because they simply did not have the time to make an effort at a friendship with me. I guess from my point of view, considering how pathetic me and my life is, no one wants to stick around. Oh yes, and they also betrayed my trust by telling others personal and intimate details I confided in them about my life, saying it was not a breach of trust but that the importance of my emotional safety trumped "keeping a secret."

Also, I recently went from being somewhat agnostic to being Christian because these friends of mine got me interested. Sometimes I wonder if that's all our relationship ever was, a way to get into God's good graces. And of course, they were also the ones who told me that the only way to help myself was to learn to be happy, because it was a choice, leaving all the drama in my life behind. I can see now that perhaps it was easy for them to say, because they haven't been where I am at and have been for a very long time.

Despite all this, I'm unusually calm compared to my usual self. I haven't reacted to a single thing in my life, and am continuing on as if life is perfectly dandy. I haven't cried, freaked out, blown up in solitude or at someone, haven't stopped waking up to go to class every morning, (provided I am sleeping through most of my morning lectures) am still hopelessly trying to catch up on everything, fix other peoples' messes, and still smile at the people in my life at the end of the day, as if I don't have a care in the world. And they seem to be buying it!

How do I make sense of the drama in my life, and fix it? And secondly, you know how that saying goes: If life gives you lemons make lemonade? Well, currently I'm left wondering if my new found behaviour is indicative of me making lemonade... or is it just my denial?

Lemonade or denial

Dear Lemonade,

You're right! You do know how to throw yourself a pity party :)

All snarkiness aside, you obviously have a lot going on in your life and no support system to help you out. All of these stresses are causing you to not take care of yourself properly. And let me point out an inconsistency here: you HAVE cried. You have broken down. You're not the person you were. And no one should be expecting perfection from you even while all of these things are going on.

The first thing you need to do is seriously consider getting counseling. Most universities provide free sessions, but sometimes you have to wait a few weeks for the intake appointment. I think you really need this to help sort out what going on with your family, your school life and your personal life even if it requires you to shell out a little money.

While you're waiting, it's time to make a few changes to take things to a less intense level. You may consider dropping a class. At the very least, tell your professors that you're having some personal and family issues. See what they can do for you to get you through the rest of the semester. Then talk to your residence director about moving. I know the kind of people who live in your hall (I used to be a resident assistant), and they make living in dorms unpleasant. It's time to start over on less of a party hall. And I don't really know what happened with those so-called "friends," but I think you have other things to worry about right now.

As for your family, you need to tell them that you're seeking help because you're overwhelmed. They will need to lay off if they've been relying on you for some things. In regards to your parents, you can't solve their marriage, but you can be supportive of your father as he makes his plans. Those are things he needs to manage, and I suspect you're mature enough to be there and know what he's doing.

You aren't making lemonade here, you're drowning in it. Now you've got to be the one to pull yourself out. And once you do, stop taking responsibility for things that others need to take care of.

Good luck.

Aunt Amy

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A little naughty, a little nice

My lady friend recently hinted at doing some BDSM. I was surprised as she is usually so prim. How do I find out if she is serious and if I should make the first move?


Dear Intrigued,

Well, it seems you may have a kinky lady friend on your hands! Let me start by saying that I'm happy to know you're interested in indulging her if she's into BDSM.

But now you need more information. BDSM includes at least three subgroups: bondage and discipline, domination and submission and sadism and masochism. That spectrum may not involve sex at all.

Based on her comment, I suspect you have an idea of what she may want to do. Open a dialogue and see if she truly is interested in at least trying it out. I suspect you will have many fun nights ahead of you once you start sharing your fantasies.

Aunt Amy

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bottle trouble?

I used to be a problem drinker, and then gave it up for three years because of medication I am on. Lately, however, I have been stressed and got drunk again on a particularly emotional day. All went well, and the blacking out and random injuries were not present (though I did have a monster hangover for three days... ouch) but now I am concerned.

Now that I know I can get drunk on my medication, I feel like I may start using it as an emotional crutch again. My drinking was partially responsible for my college career's demise and the loss of many relationships, but I maintain that I am not an alcoholic, just someone who has issues dealing with their problems and uses substances as a way to get by. Am I in denial or is there some way I can drink without letting it get out of control?

Troubled in Texas

Dear Troubled,

Let's review what you've told me. You used to be a "problem drinker," which caused you to stop attending college and lose friends or family ties. Now you're feeling stressed and using your medication to get drunk. The tie in all of this appears to be stress or changing situations, and none of it appears to be positive. You realize that it is affecting you emotionally too.

A person who uses substances to get by may be addicted to them. Despite the signs, you don't seem willing to admit that you may have a substance abuse problem. It is possible to drink responsibly, but because of how you're using your medication now, I don't think you will drink a healthy amount if you try it alone or in social situations.

You're the only one who can get you help, but you can't get help until you're ready for it. When you are, start here.

Aunt Amy

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Believing a teenager

I have an abusive mother. I have no relatives and my dad left before I was born. I told someone about it once, but my mother is very manipulative and smart, so little 10-year-old looked like some lying little girl who was crazy and couldn't be trusted. I even got put into a sanitarium/weird hospital for about three weeks. After I finally got out, everyone still thought I was loony, so I had to go to a "special" school for "special" kids like "me." I went to that school for about a year and a half.

I got back into normal school, and I am now in middle school. I know this is very odd to be asking, but I really want to become someone special when I grow up. I want to make a difference in the world and help people, but I mean a BIG difference. I was wondering, is there a way I can tell someone about the abuse and get help, and still be able to pay for things like college?

I'm worried that I may just become some other drug dealer if I run away, and if I get help, I may become hopeless and lost and not become anybody. I have no friends or anyone to help me get through this and I'm so scared and frightened about the future, about my mom, and about life. I'm 13 now. I need advice! HELP!


Dear Unbelieved,

Let me begin by telling you that I Googled your e-mail address and read your blog in case there was more information out there that I could use to answer your question better. Unfortunately, I don't think it's something that I can get into here too deeply for reasons I have written you back about.

Since you don't seem to have any a trusted friend's mother or a relative to talk to you, you should talk to a teacher or counselor at school about your home life. If the person you talk to isn't paying attention to you, find someone else. Don't stop until someone listens.

As for the future, well, don't worry about it until you get there. If you're really willing to make the effort, you can do something world-changing in your life.

Aunt Amy

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Making new friends

Lately I have been having a re-occurring problem with getting out. I have never really been a social person, and have found it very hard to make new friends without a forced environment (summer camp, college dorms, etc). This has become an issue now that I have a real job for the past two years. In these two years I have not gone out socially other than visiting "old" friends' houses. I also have not made any new friends. This leaves me very lonely since most, if not all, of the friends I have live out of state.

Over and over I will find a neat event I want to go to, say the radio station is having a live band in a local restaurant/bar, and plan to go. I'll get directions and everything. Only then, I just don't go. I'll stay at work working, or I'll go home and just sit online wishing I were out having fun. How can I stop being such a social chicken?

Bored at home

Dear Bored,

Once you're outside of the comforting hug of education, friends can be much, much harder to make, as you've discovered. Your most obvious option is finding them at work, but that's not always possible in smaller companies. If you're working so much or are afraid, you won't get yourself out there and meet new people.

That's the key. You have to meet lots of new people, and those who share interests with you will come out of the woodwork. I admire that you're willing to go to an event by yourself, but realize that it can be really hard to make new friends in a setting where most people have already brought their friends along.

Is your financial situation good enough that you don't need to work beyond your slated 40 hours? If you work regular hours, I recommend joining something. A fun gym class, a knitting circle, a skydiving club...something that reflects your interests and something else that you've never done before. This might not work right away, but as you try new things, you will meet more people, and some of them will become new friends. If you don't have the cash, try volunteering for something like a race or even at the zoo.

Don't discount the possibilities around you, either. Are there people you know now that you want to get to know better? You could ask them to come to that bar and see the band with you, or get a drink with them after work.

Just don't stop traveling to see your old friends when you can. Long-lasting friendships are hard to come by, and sometimes can lead to new ones.

Aunt Amy

Thursday, March 01, 2007

No loving touch

I'm dating this really great guy. He's friendly, he makes me laugh, he treats me like I'm a lady, he's basically everything I've been looking for. The only problem is, he never touches me! He doesn't hold my hand or even give me a hug! I'm starting to think he doesn't even have romantic feelings towards me.

How can someone who is so right for me not want to have any physical contact with me? Do you think he's just one of those shy guys who wait for the girl to make the first move? How do I bring this up to him without hurting his feelings or worse, ruining the relationship we already have? All I know is, if it keeps going on like it has been, I'm going to start feeling badly about myself and start feeling ugly and not worth touching.

Feeling Not-So-Hot

Dear Hot,

If I didn't know better, I'd think you were 13 years old: "We're dating! He's awesome! He's too scared to touch me!"

But since you can spell, I'm going to assume that you're a bit older than that. And yet you're still in the middle of a situation which has confounded teenagers. If he's an adult male and you've been dating, why isn't he interested in making a move?

I don't by that he isn't touching you because he's too shy; even a shy person would try a subtle move eventually. Presuming you aren't needy or nuts, I'm going to guess that he isn't attracted to you.

But my guesses are worthless when you have him around. Sit down with him and talk about it. Tell him you've noticed he hasn't been interested in holding your hand, and you've been to shy to hold his. If he doesn't give you a valid reason for any of this (and mind you, there are few valid reasons), then you're better off calling it quits and finding an amazing guy who also wants you to be pantless after a few dates.

Aunt Amy