I’ve been infatuated with my female friend for a long time but the timing has never been right for us two lost souls. We’re really close and even hooked up once after a gig of mine, which we talked about and decided was a mistake. But that was a long time ago and she was freshly out of a relationship. I’ve known her for almost 10 years and I’m kind off sick of sitting around and waiting for something to happen. Should I make my move? Will it ruin what we have? I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I want to eliminate bullshit and start being more honest, but part of me thinks that if it’s gonna happen, I should let it happen naturally. Any insight from a woman would be great. Thanks.
Sincerely, Impatient but willing to wait (I guess)
A gig, you say? Okay, I’m going to assume you’re a musician. Let me ask you a question then. Are you any good? Nobody will know your answer, so please really meditate on that question and be honest about your skill level. The reason I ask is because if you’re a talented musician, this pain is absolutely imperative for your growth as an artist. I fear if you transcend the bullshit of life and settle into a nice comfy bubble of domesticity, your art could suffer. And it’s not all about you. Becoming happy could potentially deprive the world of some really gut-wrenching, unrequited, love-fueled music and we need that right now, more than ever. Imagine if, in the late 1990s, I had told Beck to buck up after he discovered his fiancé had been cheating on him, and go out dancing or something instead of falling into a dark pit of melancholy in a dank, seedy hotel room. We may never have had “Sea Change.” Think about it. So, I have to tread lightly here.
Now, if you’re a shitty musician, I want you to be happy. So here’s my advice: Go for it. Tell her how you feel. This advice goes out to anyone who’s unhappy and thinking of making a big move that could potentially make them less so. As long as it doesn’t involve something evil, illegal or morally corrupt, go for it! No matter the outcome, you will literally be better off than you were before you took a chance. Right now you are in this ambiguous, no-man’s-land territory that could just go on forever and ever until it’s too late. This territory sucks, because it’s surrounded by false hope and what-ifs. Some of these narratives are based on delusions that you’ve created yourself by overthinking and rationalizing things. Having the courage to shatter that delusional bubble will mean that you can move on, whether it’s with her or without her. I’m guessing if you’ve been pining for this person for a decade, you’ve probably turned your back on other wonderful people because, let’s face it, you’re living in a fantasy and fantasy is often more intoxicating than reality.
So, sit down with her, tell her how you feel and let the chips fall where they may. I know this is a cliché that I’ve said before, but life really is so short and fear holds us back from so much. Fear of rejection is legitimate and huge, but is it as scary as never going for anything and just being complacent your own life? I don’t think so. To quote Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: “Maybe you’re perfect right now. Maybe you don’t want to ruin that. I think that’s a super philosophy … That way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody.” So, take that risk. No one is as perfect as you think but sometimes reality can be better than our fantasies.
Unless you’re an incredible musician. In which case, then, I’m really sorry, but your path has been chosen for you. You need to suffer more. You need to get your heart broken several times. You need to be maladjusted. I, for one, can’t wait to hear your album about loneliness, regret, failure, isolation and fear. Just think – one day, 20 years from now, the painful album you can’t even bear to look at anymore could help some poor kid get through a breakup. They’ll listen to it in its entirety, have a good cry in a parking lot, and then move on with their life, happy that they’re not you. And it’ll be all thanks to you.
Sincerely, A Woman
Ask A Woman is an anonymous advice column wherein this Asheville writer gives candid, honest advice about everything from consent to dating to harassment and whatever else you people cook up. I’m providing a platform of anonymity, not so either of us can hide behind invisibility, but to eliminate egos and insecurities and cut out the bullshit in an effort to perpetuate education. If you would like to ask me a question for my column, drop me a line here. -Eve S. Dropper