Ask Dr. NerdLove: Love Is A Contact Sport

Dr. NerdLove is on vacation this week, so we’re keeping things short and sweet. Besides, sometimes a question doesn’t require a dissertation in response…


Dear Dr.Nerdlove,

I seek your guidance.  I’m 18 years old going on 19 in college and I’ve just experienced my first crush.

Before I go on keep in mind. I’m somewhat of a sheltered child. I’ve spent all my life in private school and I’ve never really found any attraction to any one, I’ve just been more focused on just  being friendly. My friends and I came to the conclusion that I might be Asexual. Or so we thought up until now.  Now the girl I have this crush on I’ve known for the last four years. We’ve become good friends and we even do a comic book podcast. Now this crush wasn’t at first glance. It’s something that just sort of developed. But here is where  I seek help. As I’ve pointed out I’ve never been in any relationship in the romantic or sexual manner.She’s just recently broken up with her boyfriend back in January. An the cherry on top of this is she’s 5 years older then me. Approximately 23 going on 24. We’ve planned to hang out this summer but I don’t know how to treat this. I know not to force the idea of a relationship outside of our friendship. But this annoying little voice in my head keeps insisting be direct and just ask.  So do I listen and just see if this is something she wants to do and let her decide? Or do I just shut the little gnome up and play it safe?  

Look, dating is a contact sport. If you’re going to play, you have to assume that there’s going to be riskPlaying it safe is only going to ensure that nothing happens.

To switch to a different metaphor entirely: if you’re planning on dating at all, then eventually you’re going to have to leave the metaphorical nest and try to fly. You may make it on your first try. Most people don’t and end up crashing to the ground. It’s part of the learning process; you have to be able to handle being rejected or breaking up if you’re going to be trying to have a mature adult relationship. If you keep waiting for the “perfect” opportunity where you have 0 risk of things going wrong… well, you’re going to be single for a long, long time.

You’re interested in her. She’s single. Man up and ask her out on a date. The worst thing that she says is “no”, in which case… well, it sucks to be you, but at least you tried. Laugh it off, go back to being friends and look for a new Ms. Right.

Good luck.