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Heart-to-Heart — Volume III

The Life Section’s Love Columnists answer burning relationship questions submitted by the University’s student body

<p>Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers</p>

Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers

  1. How do I make a girl more interested in our relationship?

This is tough. There are a lot of elements you could be referring to here, and unfortunately there’s no quick solution or advice that could necessarily mend this situation. However, the foundation for all conflict and resolution of a relationship begins with communication. At the very least, you both need to be on the same page about this. What has she done to suggest she is less “into” your relationship? Do you mean you’re putting more effort into the relationship than she is? Have you discussed your feelings and anxieties surrounding the relationship together? 

It is important that you establish mutual expectations surrounding the label of your relationship itself. Would you say this is a serious, mutually-exclusive relationship or more of a “situationship?” Do you imagine a long future ahead together or is this something more short-term? What would she say? Observe if your answers are the same and uncover where and why they differ.

Further, it’s unhealthy for someone to be in a relationship in which they're not happy. But it can be equally hurtful for someone to be with a partner whom they feel they cannot satisfy. If you feel that you are more invested in this relationship than she is, convey your doubts and insecurities to her. Ask her what her thoughts are about her role in the relationship, as well as her value of it. I’ve found that sometimes, someone is not aware of the way they are feeling or behaving in a relationship until it is brought to their attention by their partner. 

The reality is that you can’t make someone more “into a relationship.” You can either make her aware of this feeling, which may alter her behavior or view of the relationship and in turn strengthen your bond for the better. Or you can move on from the relationship, knowing the two of you aren’t on the same page, at least right now. You may cross paths again when you are both in a better state to be each other's partner. But if not, you’re one step closer to meeting someone who is meant to be your partner.

My closing advice is two-fold. First, sometimes the truth is as simple as this — if it’s right, it will feel right. Given you’re in your ripe college years, there’s no need to waste time forcing something that doesn’t seem to work. This is a crucial and formative time during which you should be as present as possible — in the classroom, at brunch with your friends or out at Trin 3 dancing with new people. If you’re with someone who augments your University experience and you augment theirs — great. But if the relationship is not a net positive for you both — crucial detail here that it can be positive for one and not the other — then there’s no need to go to marriage counseling to fix it. You have a lifetime of romantic exploration to come, and you don’t have to forge a permanent relationship at this age to feel happy and fulfilled. 

That being said, don’t just sit with this feeling or flee without addressing it. Get answers in a communicative, inquisitive and mutually respectful way. Achieving some sense of understanding before you relinquish or repair a relationship will only benefit you both, as partners and as individuals.

  1. How am I supposed to know if I have a crush on a friend?

“Knowing” is such a subjective experience. I’ve long been resistant to that cliched expression, “you just know.” I didn’t “just know” when I toured colleges that a school was the fit for me or the dream place where I saw myself. And I’m not sure I believe that you can “just know” that you’re in love with someone upon meeting them. Love builds over time. 

Likewise, I think attraction can sneak up on you. You can have a platonic relationship with someone for years before you develop a crush or start to view them romantically. Over time, I think it is possible to have a feeling of “just knowing,” that sense of assurance that you’re in the right place with the right person. But it can also take days to decades of mixed feelings and ambiguity to arrive there.  

Cheryl Strayed, author and life advice columnist, says that most people who seek advice already know their answer. The scariest part is the space between knowing and acting.

Think critically here. How much real estate is this friend occupying in your brain?  How would you feel if your friend was in a relationship with someone else? Are you often jealous when they flirt with others? And, most importantly, would you genuinely like to date this friend?

Again, I won’t advise you to “trust your gut” because that expression nearly always makes me more anxious and self-questioning when I receive it. But as I’ve said before, I do know this — if it’s right, it will be right. If you’re meant to be with this person, somehow, I trust you will be — eventually.

So, in the meantime, try not to stress over your uncertainty. Trust the process, ask yourself the critical questions and keep submitting to us so we can follow your progression with your friend and gain more insight into the dynamic. We’re looking forward to it.

Heart-to-Heart is a regular column written by Life columnists Katherine Schwartz and Jenna Onetto. To submit a question, fill out this form and our columnists will do their best to address it in an upcoming issue.


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