Oceans Apart

I think I’ve found the right people to ask this question. To get straight to the point, I am in love with my best friend. A girl.

We’ve been close friends since we were sophomores in high school, and now we’re both 18. When we are by ourselves, one of us may come out of nowhere with an “I love you.”

A couple of weeks ago at the beach I asked her a question. “Yvonne, can you picture kissing me?” She looked me straight in the eye for a couple of seconds. Then she said, “It would be weird.” To tell the truth, I don’t blame her for thinking that, though I’m certain she knows as well as I do, that we are best for each other.

I feel I messed up falling in love with her. I know she isn’t “in love” with me because we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend, like I deeply wish. I try to be everything to her, like a perfect boyfriend would.

No other girl means anything to me but her, besides my mom of course. That’s how I feel. Bottom line, can I do anything about this except let time tell. Am I mistaking a really good friendship for love?

~ Karl

Karl, the Panama Canal is a shortcut for ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Through a series of locks, the canal raises and lowers vessels from one water level to another.

The Panama Canal solves a problem which can’t be solved in your relationship. You two are not on the same level. You met on a lower level—friendship–then you surpassed her. You speak from “I’m in love.” She speaks from “You’re my friend.”

If it was there for her, you would be dating her instead of hanging out. That’s the risky point in friendships, when love happens for one but not the other.

“Love the one you’re with” doesn’t work. Waiting for an opportunistic event—she has a weak moment or you simply wear her down—doesn’t work either. That would be like looting a store after the hurricane or boarding a ship like a pirate.

The Panama Canal is a shortcut between oceans, but there is no shortcut for love. Both ships must be at the same level.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Not Worth The Wait

My girlfriend of three years just left me. We are both 28 and considered marriage. She felt I was controlling. She said she wasn’t interested in someone else, just needed time to herself, without contact, to see if I could change enough and we could be together.

I have three questions.

First, while she decides, what can I do to take my mind off her? Second, is there anything I can do to convince her I’m the one for her? Third, how long is a fair time to wait before I consider dating again?

~ Gerald

Gerald, questions one and two are opposites. You can’t take your mind off her while convincing her you are her one. So let’s skip to the third question.

You can’t write a short email without mentioning dating other women. That’s like saying, “I love my job, but when should I start sending out resumes to other employers?”

In her mind you are controlling. You didn’t ask how to stop being controlling. You asked how to control the situation. You’ve answered your own letter.

She broke it off. How long should you wait before dating others? As long as it takes to finish reading this answer.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of December 18, 2017

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