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    Taking, and Living with, The Hint
    Kamicha posted:
    Good afternoon, WebMD commune.

    I am an involuntary celibate and have not had any kind of serious relationship, that I know of, for years now. Most recently, I began to think that I was becoming involved with a wonderful girl I know; now I am beginning to fear that either I was imagining things or that I turned her off somewhere along the way.

    What exactly I would like from you all is some advice, both on how to detect when the desires of those around you do not parallel with your own and how to conduct yourself in light of such conflict.

    While I also believe that a knack for reading and understanding hints is important, I feel that knowing how to shake hands with rejection and becoming acquainted with humility are far more important.

    It is debatable whether or not this wonderful human being reciprocates any of my feelings; but I frankly am too exhausted to analyze the situation anymore. I simply want advice on coping with the (in my opinion) worst possible scenario. I want to enlighten my ego.
    tmlmtlrl responded:
    So I'm sure you've heard before how important communication is in a relationship? It's true and it honestly pertains to all types of relationships we encounter.

    It will be much healthier for you to start this conversation with her than to sit back and potentially over analyze the situation. You are already ready to throw in the towel and accept the worst possible scenario without considering other possibilities. It actually seems like you might have her just as confused as she has you. Ever thought of that?

    I understand that people who've faced rejection can sometimes embrace future rejections before they happen or choose to create their own rejection before it happens. You need to determine if you fall into either one of those categories and if so make a choice to not continue such a pattern.

    My suggestion to you is, Ask her. Even in relationships where people are already together, we ask. Because the only true way to know the answer to any question is to ask it. Assumptions are only going to haunt you.

    This is one thing I've told my teenage son. Never assume someone is your girlfriend. You have to ask. You have to establish that together. You cannot assume that you are in an exclusive relationship if that's not been discussed. Maybe once upon a time, but not nowadays.

    And remember this:
    F - fantasized
    E - expectations
    A - appearing
    R - real

    Don't give fear power it doesn't deserve. You want to know what's going on with this girl, ask her. And then discuss what you both want or where you see it going. Even if the answer is not what you want to hear it will still be an answer and you will know whether or not to continue to give her your time and energy in the fashion that you've been so far.

    Good luck!
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Kamicha- You sound like you've been through a lot, and like you are exhausted from it. But, if you are willing, I think it might help for you to share more about this situation (more details about your relationship in general and some specific interactions that you are really struggling with) so that the community here can understand better what you are going though and maybe provide some advice specific to you.

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