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The object of my affection is leaving: should I say anything?

  1. Feb 12, 2013 #1
    I've grown very fond of PF posters, so I thought I would grant you a rare glimpse at my emotional condition in order to ask you a question that has become really significant to me in the last few months.

    About three years ago I developed very strong feelings for a girl (infatuation), but, contrary to what I expected, they have persisted. It's been eventful by my standards. We've had various classes together, have gone through significant fluctuations in our level of interaction, and she's had a boyfriend, an experience I reacted very poorly to. I've never been very social, romantic relationships are very unfamiliar territory, and because of anxiety, I've been rendered inert, but that is a discussion for another time.

    But now she's moving to he other side of the country to go to university.

    My main concern in this thread is whether I should say something or not. I've never strongly hinted towards any feelings, so I think she is ignorant unless she is incredibly perceptive or her friend told her, which is a real possibility. The conflict is that I would feel dishonest if I didn't say anything, but I'm also worried about the consequences of admitting my feelings. What if she comes back and it kills any chance at a platonic relationship? What if she recoils in disgust (melodramatic, but it's something I've considered)?

    While I have constructed these catastrophic visions, the secret has weighed on me for a good three years, and I'm wondering if it would just be best to let it out regardless of the consequences.

    She has become very important to me, however bizarre that may seem when considering my inaction, so this whole situation, to me, is a big deal.

    Anyway, I'm already embarrassed, so I'll finish by telling you that I did not start this thread intending to appear rational, and I hope this isn't all cloying. (I also hope I didn't rephrase the same point too many times.) Any insight/help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You've been experiencing the Hamlet effect - only for love rather than revenge.
    You have the same problem: to be or not to be. This is a test of character.

    In your place, and I've been there, I'd tell her - in the spirit of getting my feelings on the record as it were and events unfold as they will. The trick is to stay mature, avoid the needy-agony stuff and the stalker vibe. I've done it both ways - I've done the "lets not say anything". It has turned out less painful this way - though it has never got easier going in. But that's me and my character. Nobody can tell you what you should do in this case. This is about who you are.

    The place to go for good advise would be one of her best female friends who can at least tolerate you (preferably one who likes you). Another approach is to ask yourself what sort of guy deserves this woman ... one who would tell her or one who would keep quiet?
  4. Feb 12, 2013 #3


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    That's OK. What fun would life be if emotions were totally rational?

    Yes you should tell her. But you can start small. Like, instead of sitting down and formally having The Big Reveal, just let a little bit out now and then in your normal interactions...like, "I'm going to miss hanging around with you when you go!" Then you can judge by her reaction if it's a good idea to continue down that path.
  5. Feb 12, 2013 #4
    If you want my serious advice, dude, never ever commit to this girl. If your feeling is very strong tell her that you like her and then forget about her. But never commit. Infatuations must be avoided.
  6. Feb 12, 2013 #5
    Simon Bridge:

    When I was writing this I was thinking that I'm like a character ripped out of classic fiction (aren't we all?), though, strangely, the Underground Man came to mind first.

    Unfortunately, I've lost contact with the only one of her female friends whom I actually know. As for your question, I certainly think she would respect an honest person more than a dishonest person.


    Gradualness always seems like the best way to go about things. I'll certainly try it.


    Yes, I've seen relationships that were complete train-wrecks which were founded only upon simple bursts of passion, which is one of the reasons why I've been so hesitant in my life. I've always wanted something that was going to last, so I've just never bothered. However, then come the consequences of never trying anything.

    Anyway, thanks for the input! As for the main piece of advice all of you gave me, I think I'm going to try it. At the very lest I can benefit from being open for the first time in my life, and maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Also, I know this is a prototypical "first world problem", but I figured we're all entitled to some self-indulgence on occasion.
  7. Feb 12, 2013 #6


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    Excellent advice! I would add "I've grown rather fond of your company, and . . . " (or soften it a bit and state, "I enjoy your company, and . . . ") in from of the comment lisab gave, and one could ask that she write once in a while, or how often she might be inclined.
  8. Feb 12, 2013 #7
    My only worry is that I'm not very smooth. If you took Daniel Craig's Bond and divided his smoothness by 1 335 567, my smoothness would equal 1/10 of the quotient. Then again, if I remember correctly, she remarked that my awkwardness was kind of charming, so maybe I can pull it off.
  9. Feb 13, 2013 #8


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    Just look for an opportunity to express your appreciation for her kindness to you.
  10. Feb 13, 2013 #9

    Simon Bridge

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    You only get smooth with [strike]abrasion[/strike] practice.
  11. Feb 15, 2013 #10
    Ok, you have known and been talking and liked this girl for 3 years and you haven't said anything. At this point, you ought to tell her how you feel for the sake of earning how to express your feelings to someone. Do you expect to get any girlfriend doing what you just did? Probably not, unless you come across and extremely confident woman.

    And who knows, you may learn the joys and stupidity of a long distance relationship. What I can tell you is that you will acquire a major confidence boost breaking this barrier. Hell, you have it way better than I did when I first manned up and formally asked a girl on a date. I was 19, she was a mere 9 years older than me, and we only flirted/talked one time when she was cutting my hair :)

    Bottom Line: Tell her for your sake.
  12. Feb 15, 2013 #11

    Simon Bridge

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    I believe we have a consensus.
    At first the decision looks like a coin-toss - but the cost-benefit relation learned from decades of painful experience by many people always favors speaking up. It is better "to be" than "not to be" and don't worry about what is "noble in the mind".

    Let us know how it went.
  13. Feb 15, 2013 #12

    jim hardy

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    Isn't there a billy joel song "Tell Her About It " ?

    When one gets old, the things one regrets are those one didn't do.

    Either you'll make her feel valued and pretty,
    or you'll get rejected and feel crushed.
    A fellow needs to get some rejections under his belt lest he awake one day to find he led too timid a life.

    Looks like a win-win to me.

    old jim
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Feb 16, 2013 #13
    Thanks guys, I'm going to do it. Still have some thinking to do, though (and some Shakespeare to reread). :biggrin:
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
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