This email has been posted with the reader's permission and with the names changed for the sake of anonymity.
Every so often our Germ staff is lucky enough to receive an email from a reader asking for advice. Since Ask Lara originally started out as an advice column, I was more than happy to help when we received a question from a young lady who just needed a big sister to help her out. In order to really get deep down to the bottom of this, I asked our amazing editors, Jordan Gripenwaldt and Briana Bailey, to get involved, and what came out of it was an email chain that was filled with answers and imaginary s’mores.
Hello Germ Magazine!
I would first like to say that I love your website and find it to be my own little safe haven for when I’m feeling down. You guys are such an inspiration
I do however have a few questions that I need help with. I don’t have an older sister to pester and I feel like my friends can’t help (you’ll know why in a second) and I feel like I just need some straight up blunt advice. I know this a long email (and probably very confusing and petty) but I hope you guys can help me out.
So basically I used to really like this guy (let’s call him Ben) for about two years. Not like a “oh he’s cute” but so much more than that. I was completely head over heels in “love” with Ben and we were temporarily in the awkward stage of “dating but not really dating”. Anyways, since September ’14 we slowly started to drift away, and don’t really talk as much as we used to, and he now has a girlfriend whom he has been dating since January. I’m still not completely over Jim but it seems pathetic to be pining over this guy who seems completely infatuated with this other girl. Is this normal?
So anyway I recently met another guy in February named “Jim”. Jim and I have recently been getting really close and I like to think we are friends. Now my best friend talks about this guy all the time. Somehow Jim’s name seems to come up in almost every conversation. Jim is indeed very attractive and I think my friend likes him, but when I asked, she said that she only found him attractive. So within the past few months I’ve started to develop feelings for Jim and I think that he is always kind of interested in me. However, all my close friends think I like this other guy (the weird kind of crush that lasts for a few weeks and then you immediately regret liking the person) and even though I’ve tried to tell them that I don’t, they don’t seem to believe me. The thing is, I really like this Jim guy but I don’t know how to tell my friends in case my best friend does end up liking him.
So by this point you are probably ready to delete this email because it sounds like something you’d read on Yahoo Answers (I’m so sorry) but I feel like I’ve been bottling this all up for the past months and I’m ready to explode and I just need someone else’s view point on this. What do I do about Jim? Should I go after him or do you think that my feelings are just a rebound from Ben still? And how do I let my friends know I like this Jim guy without potentially ruining a friendship if one of my friends does like him? Do you have any good advice you could give me in general about the situation?
Thank you so much for your time and dedication. Have a nice rest of your week!
Lily totally needs to read/watch Something Borrowed, but that is a totally different story.
Okay, so basically while reading this, I just kind of related it to my own life and what I have gone through, so this is what I would do/should have done…
I don’t think Lily is rebounding because it has been a good amount of time, and even if she is, Jim can be a good outlet to get over Ben if she still needs to do that. Who knows what can come of it? But again, I don’t think it is rebounding because she would know in her heart if it was…
As far as her friend goes, it is a huge touch and go situation because I have had a friend who will walk into a room, see the hottest guy, and just call “dibs.” If that is the situation, Lily needs to follow her heart and speak up about her feelings to her friend and let her know what’s going on. If her friend is a good friend, she will understand and back off. Basically, Lily should tell her friend that she and Jim have been getting along and she is considering pursuing the possibility of something beyond a friendship.
If Lily has a feeling her friend may like Jim on a deeper level, it gets tricky. She needs to somehow confirm it, and if her friend does like this guy past his looks, even a little, she needs to consider how strong this friendship is (i.e. if it can withstand a situation like this) and/or if the friendship is worth risking.
I hope this helps! I hate being in these kinds of situations, worst feeling!
I’m getting the feeling that Lily knows that her feelings for “Ben” aren’t worth doing anything over, because he’s dating someone, and that her lingering feelings will fade. That being said, I think that because she’s had another small/quickly stifled crush during the Ben-to-Jim period, it shows that her feelings for Jim aren’t necessarily a rebound.
The friend-potentially-liking-Jim thing is the root problem that really needs to be addressed. She needs to establish if a) her friend really does or doesn’t have a crush on him and b) if she does, is it more than a crush? Is she actually planning on doing something with him? If her friend has a mild crush but isn’t going to pursue Jim, then that’s something they need to sit down and have a serious discussion about. Because while the girl code holds that you don’t pursue friends’ crushes/etc., sensible people understand that it’s not fair to keep someone from a potential relationship over a mild crush you have zero intention of pursuing. That being said, I’ve seen close friends deal with this, and overall, time smooths over any resentments or ruffled feathers.
On the flipside, though, if Lily knows her friend really well and just knows that their friendship would suffer if it turned out she really did like Jim and Lily went for it anyway, then that’s something she’d have to weigh — like Lara said. Nine times out of ten, choosing a friendship over a guy is the best decision you can make.
Hello, Lily! My two lovely Germ associates have already given great answers, so I just wanted to chime in real quick about your situation with your best friend.
To your credit, you did ask your friend if she liked Jim way back when, and she denied having feelings for him. Now that you’ve become closer to Jim and have developed feelings for him (which I personally don’t believe are rebound feelings), I would suggest talking to your best friend one more time, girl to girl, and explaining your position and how you feel. It’s best to talk to her sooner rather than later because you don’t want to wait until she possibly develops her own feelings for him. Tell her you like him, ask her if she likes him too, and express that you want to clear the air because you don’t want to hurt her or your relationship. If you really like Jim and you see good potential between the two of you, then I say take a chance and go for it. Hopefully your friend will want you to be happy and will give you her blessing.