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Advice Goddess

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Buddy language

I have such a crush on my co-worker that I actually have to bite down on my lips to keep them from quivering while we talk. Although he seems to enjoy talking with me, he hasn't expressed any interest. I've tried avoiding him and denying my feelings, but I just start obsessing — thinking he's shy, or we don't talk enough, or I get too nervous and he doesn't see the real me. Or, maybe he's shallow, and I'm not pretty enough, blah, blah, blah. Now, he's moving to a different company, and I feel like I'm losing out. I've been on this for a year, and I'm too scared to say "I like you. Do you like me?" — Stuck

How amazing that the guy doesn't seem to know how you feel when you've been sending signals for an entire year — telling him you're as hot for him as you are for the elderly receptionist and the paunchy Polish janitor with the exposed butt crack. Yes, who knew, "Take me right here and now on this desk!" can also be phrased "Bye, Mr. Raszewski, have a great weekend!"

Although you're utterly overwhelmed by the prospect of rejection, you seem to think it's easy for guys, that they just say to themselves, "Oh, look! It's human and wearing a bra. I think I'll ask it out!"

Unless you're stunning — in which case, all you have to do is exist in a guy's eyeline — you need to let him know you're open for business; specifically, his. But, you don't just march up and blurt out "I like you. Do you like me?" — which is about as alluring as "Drop by some afternoon so I can give you genital herpes."

Asking a guy out is another lousy idea. Men will tell you they're fine with it — just as they're subconsciously knocking you from an 8 to a 3.6 for doing it.

Because sex is more costly for a woman — potentially leading to nine months of pregnancy, then a kid to drag around — women evolved to be the choosier sex and men evolved to value choosy women, and to apply to be chosen. This isn't to say all the work should be left to men. It's your job to flirt with a guy, signaling that if he asked you out, you wouldn't scream "Rape!", fall on the floor laughing, or report him to Human Resources and have him demoted to crossing guard.

Instead of spending a year chewing on your lip, you could've spent a week or two smiling at the guy, making eye contact and looking away, playing with your hair, toying with objects around you, and touching his arm (female flirting moves recognized across cultures). Then it would've been his turn, perhaps to drop mention that he, too, is looking for a boyfriend.

If only you'd signaled your interest, even inaction on his part would've been progress — telling you to move on. Then again, maybe he would've asked you out, and maybe you would've found he's mean to the waitress and twirls his nose hair at the table. Yes, for all you know, you don't even like the guy — the real guy, not the one you've turned into a rock star in your head.

While you could finally give flirting with him a whirl, with the way you've built him up, your best bet is probably meeting new guys and practicing your body language — those little pronunciation tricks that make the difference between "Ask me out" and "Ask me if I'm often constipated."

While you weren't sleeping

Before I moved in with my long-distance boyfriend, his thrashing around in his sleep was an occasional issue. Now, I'm exhausted daily. I suggested I sleep in the guest room, but he sees that as a foreboding sign. — Eyebags

Some people count sheep; your boyfriend chases them around the barn trying to wrestle them to the ground. While there are mattresses with individual "sleep numbers," you two could use one divided down the middle by one of those Plexiglas windows they have at the bank.

What does it mean when a couple can't be unconscious together? Perhaps that one of them has a serious medical issue — something a doctor should check out. Other than that, not a whole lot. Unfortunately, your boyfriend seems to be equating your need to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel with all that negative stuff you see on TV about the guy being deported to the couch.

You can put a futon on the floor or sleep in another room and crawl into bed with him in the morning, then thrash around together while awake. The guy just needs to face the facts: He sleeps like a baby ... great white shark trying to break into Jacques Cousteau's sharkproof cage.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or adviceamy@aol.com. Read her blog and more at advicegoddess.com.

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