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I'm in Love With a Girl But Don't Want to Scare Her Off 

Dear Athena,

I think I'm in love with this girl I know, but I'm not sure whether or not I should tell her. We don't really know each other that well, but we see each other regularly. The weird thing is that I feel it so strongly — more than any other relationship situation I've ever been in. My initial instinct is, I want to let her know. But I don't want to sketch her out or scare her off. What do you think I should do? Come right out and put it all on the line, or try to be more tactful and construct some kind of history with her before I let her know my feelings? Any advice would help.


On the Line

Dear On the Line,

An article has been popping up on social media recently called "Fuck Yes or No" by Mark Manson. Look it up. In the piece, he suggests that when you're confronted with a should-I-or-shouldn't-I scenario like the one you've described, the first thing to do is decide if it's a "fuck yes" or "fuck no" moment. Manson writes:

"The Law of 'Fuck Yes or No' states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say 'Fuck Yes' in order for you to proceed with them.

"The Law of 'Fuck Yes or No' also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a 'Fuck Yes' in order for you to proceed with them."

It's a great philosophy, and it applies to all sorts of decision-making moments, not just the one you are confronted with here.

Do you shout, "Fuck yeah!" when you think of telling this girl how you feel, or is it more "Abso-fuckin'-lutely not"?

You're afraid she won't be interested in you, but you'll never know unless you put yourself out there. And, honestly, if she thinks you're a weirdo for expressing interest in her, then good riddance. Even if she doesn't reciprocate your romantic feelings, she should be flattered that you want to get to know her better.

I'm not suggesting you pull a Lloyd Dobler and stand outside her window blasting Peter Gabriel through your massive boom box, à la Say Anything. That may be a little much. You don't have to tell her that you love her — in part because I'm not certain that's accurate. You hardly know her; you're probably feeling a lot of lust at the moment, which can easily be confused with real love. When you're super-psyched about someone, it can be hard to know the difference.

Instead, tell her that you really like her and want to get to know her better. You could even send her flowers with a card inviting her on a date — that would get her attention. Life is too short not to try. I hope you go for it, and I hope you say, "fuck yeah," the whole way.



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