I am a third-year student who works and attends school full-time. At the beginning of fall semester, I met a girl who seemed to like me. All throughout the fall, we got closer and closer, little by little. What began as a small crush soon turned into a big friendship. We share a lot of interests (self-tattooing, shark attacks and short-lived adult cartoons). I hate to sound shallow, but on top of all that, she is also super hot. By the time finals were over, I felt myself really feeling more and more strongly about this girl, but I just hadn’t expressed it yet. I’m writing to you because I now worry that she feels even more strongly than I do, and I don’t know what to do about it.
During winter break, we hung out after work most days, and eventually the tensions boiled over. We were speaking closely with the TV on in the background, and I decided to finally go for it. She looked a little surprised at first, and asked me if I meant it. I said I did—and I did. She kissed me back, and it was awesome. What began on the couch moved to the bed, and there is no need to go into detail here, but it was wonderful. She grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and pulled me in for a kiss. Before our lips could touch, she said it: “I love you.” Devastating. After the kiss, in a confused state of pleasure and terror, I said it back. But here’s the thing: I’m not sure I meant it.
She went on to tell me that she’d never been with anyone like this before, and that this was her first time, to which I could only respond with a wide-eyed “OK.” She spent the night, and we shared breakfast and goodbye kisses, but since then it has been very weird. This feels like it’s moving too fast, but I’m also not ready to let go of this new thing. Do I fake it till I make it? Do I run like hell? Should I try to embrace it? What’s your advice?
Hi Confused Lover,
You’re not confused—you’re freaking out because you realize that you’re about to have to break someone’s heart. I can see that you like this woman, but I wonder how you would define “like.” Yes, it’s shallow to mention how hot she is, but I think you’re less bothered by your own misogyny than you are at having to admit to it publicly.
You spent an entire semester putting this woman on a pedestal in your mind, cultivating “strong” feelings that somehow didn’t seem to encompass actual emotions or mutual respect. I think you lusted after this woman for months and months, and when you made your move over winter break, that’s all it was: a move. You went to shoot your shot, and you got nothing but net. Good job, but nowhere in there did you even think about the emotional impact of physical intimacy or what sex might mean to her. You knew nothing of her romantic history. You didn’t even ask. You call her your friend, but are you really?
Tell her the truth. You were just trying to smash, but she caught feelings, and you’re not trying to do all of that. It sounds like you’re still seeing her in some capacity, and you know the other shoe is gonna drop soon. She’s in love and you’re faking it, either to stave off the inevitable or to continue to have a bed buddy, and I have no words to absolve you of your wrongdoing. You pulled a real dog-ass move. All you can do now is come clean and apologize, and the future of your relationship, platonic or otherwise, will be up to her.
This is why I tell y’all to talk to your partners before you have sex, Athens! If all you wanted was to bed your crush, then you should have told her before you initiated a sexual act. Make your intentions clear next time, and NEVER tell someone you love them if you don’t mean it. That is messed up.
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