Dear Auntie SparkNotes,
I'm a sophomore in college, and I've liked this guy since some time during my freshman year. He's been single for a couple of months now, and we've been hanging out more. He knows I'm into him, and all he's said is that we should hang out more and see how things go.
I've never felt like this for a guy before, so I'm kind of freaking out. After a party at his apartment, I ended up spending the night, but all we did was kiss and cuddle (which I'm perfectly happy with, and he didn't push for more)... and the next day he made me breakfast and cuddled until 4pm when I had to meet some friends for a study group. It's been almost a week since and we have plans to watch a movie together eventually.
But I'm still wondering if I'm setting myself up to get hurt. Am I crazy? Should I just be happy and let things happen? According to him, "You're cool as hell, really attractive, I like spending time with you... but the jury's out as far as anything else goes." What do I do? Why is the jury still out?
Okay, Sparkler, here’s what you do: you sit down, open a beverage, take a deep breath, and repeat after me:
It has been a week.
It has been a week.
IT HAS BEEN A WEEK.
...Well, okay: so at this point it’s been more like two weeks, but you get the idea.
And unfortunately, the answer is yes: you are, indeed, setting yourself up to get hurt—as is any person who can’t look past the immediate excitement of having finally caught the attention of someone they’ve liked forever in order to see things from their crushee’s perspective. (Although I also want to acknowledge right now that it is very exciting, and hooray for requited crushes, and if you want to take a quick break to run through a field of wildflowers to a soundtrack of 1960s girl group love songs while squealing at the top of your lungs, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND.)
Because while you’ve been pining for this dude for nearly a year, you’ve been on his radar for a mere matter of weeks—weeks in which he’s not only been getting to know you, but getting back on his feet and into the swing of things after a breakup. And while a marathon kissing, cuddling, and breakfast-eating session might be all the evidence you need that it’s time for you two to start planning your wedding, he’s not there yet. Which is not only implied by his having only just become single two months ago, but also something he told you up front and in actual words.
So, what should you do? Whatever you want—but with the understanding that you’re way, way ahead of him when it comes to relationship readiness. He did you the courtesy of being honest about his feelings; please do him the courtesy of respecting them. He likes you, he enjoys your company, he wants to spend more time with you, but he’s not making any promises of commitment... and while that might be frustrating to you, it also a perfectly reasonable position to take on a relationship that’s seven days old.
In fact, it’s a position so reasonable that I hope you’ll take it up yourself.
Because despite the length of your crush on this guy, you’re both starting off at zero when it comes to getting to know each other in a romantic context—which means that you have just as much reason as he does to take it slow, explore your options, and see what you’ve got before you start worrying about where it’s going. The fact that you've been waiting forever for the love train to leave the station doesn't mean you can speed up its itinerary. And while there's no guarantee that investing in a relationship won't eventually wind up getting you hurt —because when relationships end, and most of them do, someone always gets hurt in the bargain—allowing this romance to move only as fast as its slowest participant is your best bet to avoid unnecessary pain.
Not just because you’ll spare yourself the disappointment of too-high hopes if it ends up going nowhere, but because if it’s going somewhere great, you'll be glad you both did it on the same schedule.
Have you ever been relationship-ready ahead of your crush? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.