On Sep 2, 2009, at 6:51 PM, Hopeful in Hanna, Montana wrote:

Dearus Julius Pleasar,

I find myself in a bizarro sit­u­a­tion and request your advice on the mat­ter. I must resort back to 3–2-1 Con­tact meth­ods and men­tion that the names are made up, but the prob­lems are real. Let me give you a li’l back­ground info.

I was liv­ing in Saska­toon, which is in Canada, and met a charm­ing Cana­dian guy named W. We ended up liv­ing together for a year until I had to move back to the States. W. found a job and moved in with me. We had always expe­ri­enced some com­mu­ni­ca­tion issues and other minor prob­lems, because I was W.‘s first girl­friend. He claimed that he was not a good com­mu­ni­ca­tor, which is an understatement.

How­ever, over time, W. did not develop any friend­ships or par­tic­i­pate in any activ­i­ties other than Playing-A-Computer-Game-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named with his work friends in a purely online envi­ron­ment. The romance in our rela­tion­ship dwin­dled down to non-existent, and we were more like cohab­i­tants than any­thing else. I became uncom­fort­able around him and didn’t even like to give “hello kisses” any­more. I started to have a com­plex about myself and thought I was unde­sir­able. I devel­oped a friend­ship with a younger class­mate of mine and found excite­ment spend­ing time with him. Although noth­ing phys­i­cal ever hap­pened, a def­i­nite change had occurred in my mind. Because of the tricky international/living/financial sit­u­a­tion, I thought it was dif­fi­cult to end things with W.

Months later, I made plans to move to another city for school, and W. even­tu­ally found a job in Van­cou­ver and moved back to Canada. Cur­rently, I like W. as a friend. We are both liv­ing in dif­fer­ent places doing our own thing, but we never actu­ally dis­cussed the sta­tus of our “rela­tion­ship”. Accord­ing to his Face­book, he is still in a rela­tion­ship, and he has a pic­ture of the two of us as his pro­file picture.

I stud­ied abroad in Switzer­land while W. and I were still liv­ing together and met a per­fect dream­boat, whom I shall call L.C., the last night I was there. It was by chance that we started talk­ing after a party when every­one was going home. Con­vers­ing with L.C. came so nat­u­rally; it made me real­ize that noth­ing was wrong with me! Skip­ping ahead, L.C. and I had a hot night of That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named, and I was totally com­fort­able with him and was rid of my complex.

I have kept in touch with L.C. through e-mails, and he is now work­ing in Ver­mont for six months. I sent a mes­sage invit­ing him to visit me or travel with me to the Pacific North­west, and he actu­ally seemed highly interested.

I real­ize that what was sup­posed to be a small amount of back­ground info seems like a lot, but, trust me, it is actu­ally brief. To sum up my issues:

  1. W. is liv­ing in another coun­try, and I’m not sure where our rela­tion­ship stands. Do I let it be or do some­thing about it? I do not know how he feels about the sub­ject, but in my mind, we are cur­rently friends.
  2. I have major affec­tions for L.C. and need to know how I can see him again while we are in the same country.
  3. I am look­ing to meet inter­est­ing guys that aren’t teeny bop­pers at my new school. Most of my class­mates are six years younger than me. So far I find my TA’s to be the most promis­ing can­di­dates, but that is prob­a­bly a bad idea.
  4. [Side­note] I also need a roommate.

I trust that you are all-knowing and can help me with my sitch. Ren­der unto Pleasar that which is Pleasar’s–including the abil­ity to deny com­ments! I, for one, am glad that you don’t allow com­ments, because I am writ­ing to you, not THEM! So please give me your two cents.

Hail Pleasar!

Hope­ful in Hanna, Montana

Hope­ful in Hanna, Montana,

At Hail Pleasar, names and faces are always changed. Anonymity is a pri­or­ity here, so much that I’ve whit­tled down the pseu­do­nyms you’ve pro­vided to initials.

In any case, you already have your answers. Every­thing before your sum­mary list was just you ratio­nal­iz­ing to your­self the deci­sions you’ve already made and have either already acted upon or have yet to for what­ever rea­son. Now it’s time for that final push.

  1. You think of W. as a friend. He obvi­ously thinks of you as more than a friend. You need to own up to your­self, to your emo­tions, and tell him. What­ever excuses you have in your head for not hav­ing done it sooner, ditch them. You know where your rela­tion­ship stands and now it’s time for you to let W. know. Man up, woman.
  2. Let L.C. know you want to see him. He will either be recep­tive or dis­mis­sive. Either way, you’ll have your answer and you can stop won­der­ing. You say he seems “highly inter­ested”, now make def­i­nite plans that fall on a spe­cific date. You have a lim­ited amount of time avail­able so go get a move on. Man up, woman.
  3. Dat­ing your TA is not only a bad idea, it’s schol­arly uneth­i­cal and could impose dis­ci­pli­nary action on that TA. Besides, who says that you’re lim­ited to meet­ing peo­ple in your classes? There are plenty of other social avenues to explore—coffee shops, study groups, extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties, bars, clubs, knit­ting cir­cles, sports clubs, etc. Get out there and start intro­duc­ing your­self to peo­ple. Man up, woman.
  4. Put an ad out on craigslist and make fly­ers to post on the boards across cam­pus and local cof­fee shops.

Deci­sions are only as dif­fi­cult as you make them. Your sit­u­a­tion is “bizarro” because you’ve allowed it to be. Let go of fear and stop drag­ging things out, oth­er­wise you’ll end up giv­ing your­self an ulcer.

Man up, woman.

Just my $0.02
Julius Pleasar

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