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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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If only she knew what I know now…

By Jennilyn Merten and Jeff Chapman

Jennilyn and Jeff,

Here’s the deal: I’m friends with a girl I like, who doesn’t seem to like me at? the moment. The weird part is, I shouldn’t like her either. Our priorities are completely different, and she definitely has some growing up to do. Even knowing that, I still have feelings for her. I’m trying to be a good friend to her, but sometimes I think it might be better if we weren’t friends at all.

I know it’s selfish, but I can’t stop liking her when she’s a part of my life. All I want is to move on and still be friends with her. How exactly do I do that?

Another thing is, when she does grow up I definitely want a shot with her. I think she’s amazing in every possible way, just lacking maturity. The last thing I want is to get stuck in the “friend zone” when she finally realizes there’s more to life than bars and a******s. Any ideas? I’m all out.

Dear Judge, Jury, Executioner,


Remember that scene in “High Fidelity” where John Cusack’s character tries to figure out the import of his girlfriend’s use of the word “yet”-as in, “I haven’t slept with him yet”?

This short word has a large assumption buried in its little core. So, when you say “she doesn’t like me at the moment,” it reads something like: “She doesn’t like me yet,” which sounds like: “She ought to like me and not those other losers she’s gawking at through oatmeal-stout beer goggles” and concludes with: “When you grow up, you’ll realize how great I am.”

Such an epiphany might occur to her, but not if it’s your idea. Make sure she doesn’t find out that you think you know her better than she knows herself.

And don’t call her lack of interest or attraction towards you a failure of maturity. She may have the maturity level of an eighth-grade basketball team benched in Victoria’s Secret, but it might be that she’s just not into you.

Women, barring extreme cases, aren’t attracted to a******s because they like to be treated badly. Two things happen:

1. When a guy gets rejected by a girl, every guy the girl dates after that rapidly loses stock in his eyes. Sometimes assholes are a mirage caused by blindness. Which means women, the majority of time, aren’t actually dating a******s (who, of course, aren’t extinct either). This rift in the classic equation leads to my second point.

2. A lot of women, like a lot of men, prefer Woody Allen’s dating maxim: “I wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have me as a member.” Translation: We all like things just out of reach. Though we all want to be needed, few us want the needy to want us.

Avoid being a lovesick, patronizing friend by following your own priorities. Self-sufficiency is totally sexy. Be a friend if you can relinquish the “not yet” and have fun without further motive. Focus on yourself and chances are you’ll leave her wondering why you’re such a catch. Trying to convince someone you’re the right person is the quickest way to be wrong.


What a martyr you are. What a good friend. If only she saw how wise you are. If only she had your opinions. You know what she needs.

A hint to start us out: It’s condescending to act like you know how a person should act more than they do. Even if you are right, it’s condescending.

If she wants to hang out in bars with jackasses and this drives you crazy, the problem is with you, not her.

You can’t judge someone else’s choices based on your values, especially if you want to be involved with her eventually. One person’s “needs to grow up” is another person’s “I’m enjoying my college years, b****.”

Some of us have the tendency to want to evaluate others’ lives based on our own principles and ideals. I had a friend who did a master’s degree in creative writing and then ended up choosing a job in nine-to-five corporate America. I was hugely disappointed because she stopped writing and, in my eyes, was squandering a great talent. And for what? A ridiculous job she hated.

I mentioned to another friend how frustrated I was, and she slapped me. She didn’t physically slap me, but verbally I was laid out. She let me know, in no unclear terms, that I was not allowed to judge my friends because they make different choices than I would make.

She was right. I had to understand that people have their own decision-making process. Your friend is not making bad decisions; she’s making her decisions. If this presents problems for you then you need to adapt or pull away.

Caveat: You can try to intervene if your friend is beginning to hurt herself. For instance, if you’re worried that, by hanging out at bars with jerks, she’s putting herself in a position where she might get raped, you can express your concern. Even then, remember that concern is not the same thing as judgment.

There’s good news in all this. If you can learn not to judge, you might get exactly what you want. This might be the key to moving on and remaining friends.

Another problem with the situation is that you’re too invested. You have all the desire, and therefore, she has all the power. This is a recipe for disaster. If you can let her do her thing and be a great friend when she needs one-but go do your own thing when she doesn’t-then you might do okay.

As Jennilyn also says, no one wants a lovesick puppy dog.

A while back I came up with a Zen-like mantra about situations like this, where one person wants another more than the other wants him. Often, the only way to get what you desire is to give up your desire.

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