I really don't know the answers. I only pretend to. In fact, what is to follow might just be gobblygook that I pulled out of thin air... but you're still welcome to read it and adopt it as your own if you like.
Now that we've covered my credentials, let's get down to business. I've always been a little preoccupied with how men and women interact (case in point - the speech I did on "Flirting" back in high school), and I am fascinated by all things "relationship" or "almost relationship" or "wanna-be relationship". I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I totally dig living vicariously through the lives of my single friends. If I could go back to college and pick any topic to study, it would hands down be human interactions of some sort. Sometimes I even fancy myself to be the next Dear Abby or Ask Annie....
So to all you singletons in the world (especially the girls, because the male-mind is impossible to understand), I have three basic suggestions to you to alleviate some of the confusion that tends to surround all types of men-women relationships. Here they are in no particular order.
1) THE KEY IS COMPLETE AND UTTER STRAIGHTFORWARD HONESTY.
While flirting is fun for the first few interactions you have with a certain someone, there comes a point, when it's just time to get your feelings out there without any pretense. Let's be honest--guys aren't so great at "taking a hint". Half the time you are flirting with them, they either aren't seeing it, or they are choosing not to see it. So why waste your precious flirting energy any longer? Just stop the madness, catch the boy off to the side, and say "Look, I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but I really dig you... and if ever there is the same interest from your end, I would happily say yes if you asked me on a date." Then turn yourself around and march right back into the throws of whatever social event you are attending.
Pro's of this method: You're no longer left wondering "Does he like me? Would he date me? Does he know I like him? Is he just scared of rejection?"
Cons of this method: You know the answers to those questions (even if they might be negative), so you may realize that all your dreams of your 6 beautiful children living in a nice home and taking vacations at the Ozarks each summer with this fellow as the wonderful Papa and Husband are really just that - imaginings. But at least you can pluck a new fellow into that spot now... right?
2) FORGET THE CODE. FIVE YEARS FROM NOW IT WON'T MATTER ANYWAY.
You know how there's that unwritten code that you're not supposed to "go after" the same guy that your friend has dibs on? I means she's liked him for 3 years... it just wouldn't be RIGHT of you to go on a date with him. I think there's two sides to this story. Point A: I think the code is valid if you actually are persuing a guy that your friend has a crush on. That's pretty underhanded and wrong of you. I mean, she's your bestie. She's seen you through thick and thin. She has been mooning over this silly guy for a long time, and out of respect for her, you just shouldn't ACTIVELY flirt with him. On the other hand, Point B: If that guy asks you out, and you actually sorta like him, I think you have to say "yes." It might not be a terrible idea to talk this out with your friend first. But neither of you know for sure God's master plan, and it might just be that you're meant to be with him even if she wants to be with him. I have two concrete examples of this exact situation that occurred in my own life. And now I've got two best friends married to the guys that God intended them to be with. And, guess what? It's all good.
Pro's of this: People who are supposed to be together don't have to deal with stupid roadblocks like the "bro over hoe" code.
Cons of this: It can put some serious strain on friendships in the short term. But over the long term, if the friendships were any good to start out with, they will survive and possibly be even stronger.
3) WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR ANSWER, JUST LET HIM GO... OR KISS HIM.
So you're the girl who has done the previous two things: You've crushed on this guy for years. You've been obvious and vocally honest about your feelings for him. But he's just not getting it. Guess what? This advice sucks... but it's time to let it go. Though I don't know much about guys, one thing that I'm fairly certain of is that if they are truly interested in a relationship with you, and you've made it clear to them that you want the same thing, they will make it happen. If they don't, then they really aren't interested. And, in my mind, there's only two good ways to "let it go." The first - Just walk away. Don't spend time together anymore. Give yourself some space so you can recover from the crush and open your eyes to one of the other 40 million single men in the United States. The second - just kiss him. Yes. That's right. Haul off and kiss that guy. Maybe his hangup is the stupid, and usually lie-filled excuse of, "We'll lose our friendship." Um... hello, dumb boy, a marital relationship is based on friendship.... So show him you can be both. Friend and Beloved. And if he doesn't get it then... just leave him be. He is not the guy for you.
Pros of this method: If you choose option two, you might finally get to kiss that cute fellow that you've been mooning over.
Cons of this method: You're quite possibly ending a relationship that has been a fairly large portion of your life. Whether that portion was a friendship or just a really sweet fairytale up in your imagination... it's time to let it go, and there will be tears, depression and ice cream to follow. But soon, the process will start all over again and you'll keep having fun until Mr. Right For You finally shows up. (where is that guy anyway??)
So there you have it from my point of view. Too often, I think, people get all hung up in the "what ifs" and "what thens" and just forget to live. I say you drop the games. Stop guessing when you really don't know. And get on with your life. There's too much fun and joy to be had out there to let these questions put your life on hold any longer.
And that's all I have to say about that.