Thanks, everyone for the requests. That gives me a lot to work with! I sense I'll be reading and rereading them all week.
This morning I'll look at the comment about the NCB, as I think this is one for the emergency room. Oh, wait, the one about not wanting a relationship with the Excellent Husband Material is an emergency room situ too, so I'll stick on a bandage: You don't HAVE to meet him in person or go out with him. Honour your gut. Your gut knows. More on this later.
Okay, today's issue:
Crush is on a NCB I’ve known for a decade. We’ve crossed paths over the years through various Young Adult groups, had some friendly fun conversations, and he dated one of my close friends for a couple years (she broke up with him and broke his heart—she later married someone else).
I never thought of this guy as anything more than a nice acquaintance, until I ran into him several times this spring and WHAM. Sudden hopeless, helpless, crush. I’m surprised it never happened before—we do share a lot of the same interests (including some very obscure authors and musicians).
Anyway, during one of our recent conversations he remarked how strange it was that he’d known me almost ten years and never realized how much we had in common. Twice he’s suggested things like “we should go together to see X Musician next time she’s in town” (Me: “That would be fun!” But nothing came of it.) and “if you’d ever like to get together to talk about Y writer, let me know” (Me: “I would love to do that!” But being a good Trying to Be Good Rules Girl, I did not follow up by setting a date).
A mutual acquaintance told me he brought me up last time she saw him, and was remarking to her how much he and I had in common. He has forwarded me a couple of links and articles around our interests—I reply commenting upon and thanking him for each, but never get a follow up response.
My intuition tells me he may be casually intrigued by me, but I don’t sense strong interest. I think he may also casually be seeing someone else (although unless he’s committed relationship, he tends to date multiple people). He’s a naturally outgoing and friendly person, with a wide circle of male and female acquaintance. I’m an introvert, so it’s possible that what I’m reading as “slight intrigue” is really just (inscrutable to me) natural extraversion.
The process of writing all this down now has my heart sinking and my head perhaps sadly clearing. But I’ll brave forward and ask anyway: Do I have any hope here and, if so, what can/should I do??
-- Another in her late 30s, Catholic, decently pretty & bright, but still single (and who chased a crush for years in her early 20s and is STILL mortified by it)
First, thank you for buying my book, and thank you for stating your problem so clearly, honestly and fearlessly.
When in doubt about a relationship, it is a very good idea to write it out as truthfully and fearlessly as possible so that you can see it out there before you on the page or screen. Truth is what is, as St. Thomas Aquinas wrote. Theologian Bernard Lonergan noted that we often run from the truth. (It's called "the flight from understanding.") Intellectual integrity means looking truth in the eye.
From what you've written here, I'm with your gut. A girl should always honour her gut anyway. Your imagination is complex and will lie to you all the time, but your gut is simple and has no time for lies. It can be wrong, but it will be honestly wrong, if you see what I mean.
But in this case it doesn't look like your gut is wrong. Men say all kinds of things; it's the follow-up that counts. I don't believe in men's vague words of "we should get together to do something sometime"; I believe in "Let's go to [specific thing] on [specific date]." Confident, outgoing men tend to do exactly what they want to do, so if they want to take a girl out, they take a girl out.
This confident, outgoing guy makes vague "we should" noises instead of firm plans, so that's not good. And although he writes to you, sending you links to things you're interested in, he doesn't follow up your thanks with invitations, so that's not good either.
And you've heard that he dates multiple people and you think he's naturally outgoing, so now a picture is developing. It doesn't sound like he's that into you, but just a friendly guy who likes to have a big circle of friends and acquaintances.
I'm sorry about that. That sucks. And there's nothing you can do to make it better but get over your crush. Of course this is easier said than done, but if you hit the post label "Crushes" you will find umpteen posts with suggestions on how to do it.
For now all I'll say is that crushes are as common and annoying and generally harmless as the common cold. Everybody gets them, including married people and priests, and it is important to take care of yourself during them, being careful not to do anything to develop them, so that they don't turn into pneumonia of the heart.
I hope this is helpful.
Grace and peace,