Hey BuzzFeed Community fam! My name's Hannah, and I'm here to offer you some guidance on the big questions plaguing your love life! Don't just think of me as a writer who covers various sex and love topics on the site. You can also think of me as your stand-in best friend who is here to listen to you (judgment-free) and offer up some thoughtful advice. It can sometimes be hard to talk about these deeply personal things with friends and family, so I'm here to help be your sounding board!
So, I asked you all, the BuzzFeed Community, to send me any questions you had pertaining to sex, love, dating, relationships, etc. This week, we'll be tackling questions about: attachment styles, rekindling with exes, situationships, young love, LGBTQ+ dating, moving on, dating without the apps, work crushes, and falling for friends.
1. Question: "Do you think two individuals with anxious/insecure attachment styles can create a long-lasting and healthy relationship? How do we not become consumed by the loneliness as codependent individuals?"
My advice: Oh, how I wish there was a simple, solid answer to this question! Like everything in life, this situation depends on so many variables. Short answer: With enough open communication, patience, trust, and understanding, you can create a loving, long-lasting relationship. All relationships come with challenges and baggage. The trick will be handling those challenges with a rational mind and the knowledge that you and your partner both have a tendency to become anxious, codependent, and guarded. At the very least, you can each understand what the other is going through or experiencing internally when it comes to relationship anxieties. Rather than let that be something that tears you apart or creates doubt or confusion, let it be a unifier. You can't rewrite your history, but you can learn from it and let it inform your future.
As always, communicate your needs and boundaries. Listen with an open mind and heart. Focus on what is real and concrete and in front of you and not the story your brain has written for you based on your biggest fears. Work to be present with one another. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Focus on building a foundation of mutual trust, while still acknowledging why you may struggle with letting your guard down. If it's worth the work, you will both do the work.
2. Question: "There’s this guy who I dated in high school, and things ended with him getting back with his ex. We tried to rekindle when we were both 20, but it never went anywhere due to him not wanting to commit. Now, we are both 22 and have been in and out of each other's lives over the last couple of years. He’s recently single and has started talking to me again. I feel as though I’ve never moved on from him. He always comes in and out of my life, and I've never connected with anyone else the way I connect with him. My question is: How do you know when you’ve given something enough tries? When is it time to move on? Can people change that much over the course of a few years, and is it worth giving it another go?"
My advice: Though I fully understand the temptation to give this relationship another shot because you feel a connection and a sense of comfort with this person, I have been in your shoes, and it did ~not~ work out for me! I dated (if you can even call it that!) the same guy for a period of time when I was 19, then again when I was 20, and then again when I was 21/22. Essentially, we'd see each other for a few months, he would end things with me because he didn't want to commit, I'd pretend not to care because I was busy and knew I'd be okay, and then, a year later, we'd match on a dating app or run into each other, and we'd start it all over. Each time was slightly better than the last, given we knew each other a bit better each go 'round. But, did I ever find what I was looking for? NOPE. Did he ever really change? NOPE. He just knew how to play me a little better.
If you and this person reconnected after, say, 10 years, I may have a different answer, but this is all too recent. I've met plenty of men in their young 20s, and they are (speaking from experience, don't sue me) typically not undergoing massive emotional evolutions overnight. Surely, some are! People mature or change at many different points in their lives for many different reasons, but I just don't feel like this time is going to be as different as you desire. In my case, my dude kept coming back to me because I didn't set a lot of boundaries and I was trying to be the cool, apathetic girl who was down for "whateverrrr." In reality, my emotions were involved, and I was hoping he was coming back to me because he really liked me and couldn't get over me, not because I made myself an available option to revisit.
I personally don't think this guy sounds like he's worth your time. Sure, he floats back into your life, but has he done anything to really earn his place there? Or, does he just show up when it's convenient for him? You're clearly a loving person who has a lot to offer, and I think your energy is better spent elsewhere. Cut your losses. I don't think this guy is deep enough for you. People are, overall, totally capable of change. I just don't think this situation has had enough time to breathe and allow for dramatic change. I think it'll likely become the same shit, different year. I feel for you, I really do. But, do as I say, not as I did. I lived and learned so you don't have to!
3. Question: "I have a dilemma. I was in a situationship with a friend I had deep feelings for. Probably not the best thing to do, but I did it anyway. We fooled around for a couple of months. They knew of my feelings, but I didn’t know of theirs. They then 'ghosted' me after talking to me about them getting serious with someone else, whom they are now dating. They confessed that they 'had feelings' for me but that they chose this other person because they 'cared more for them' when their life wasn’t going well, which cut me to the bone as I pride myself on being a loyal and caring friend. I feel hurt, used, and betrayed. I am now unsure if I should be their friend anymore. What should I do? Do I just move on, accept whatever happened, and keep them as a friend, or accept what happened, move on, and not keep them as a friend?"
My advice: First and foremost, I'm very sorry to hear that this person, whom you consider a friend (and potentially more), hurt you. I can tell you're at a crossroads in your relationship with them and feel conflicted. On the one hand, you don't want to lose them because they mean something to you. But, conversely, they took advantage of your feelings for them and led you on until there was someone else in the picture. Though it will probably be very difficult at first, I don't think you need to try and preserve or continue a friendship with this person. It doesn't all have to go down in flames. You don't need to send them some "F U!" text and enter your Reputation era. I think you can just let some distance naturally form. If they reach out, I think it's appropriate to tell them that they hurt you, and, as a result, you want some space.
Regardless of whether or not they have feelings for you, they didn't choose you. I know that's hard to hear, but it's something I've had to tell myself a lot recently. They took your friendship and your affection for granted. You were ready for something more to form with them, and for whatever reason, they couldn't reciprocate. They haven't earned your friendship at this time, and I think you'll probably be better off in the long run.
Plus, it could be painful for you to stick around and watch them in this new relationship. Before you know it, they could be texting you for dating advice or using you for emotional labor when they're fighting with their partner. It would be all too easy for them to keep you on the back-burner in hopes of rekindling something when their current relationship goes south. No. They don't get to have their cake and eat it, too. You've been generous with them thus far, but they haven't treated you with kindness and respect in return. I think it's okay to let this one go. Sending you lots of strength!
4. Question: "I (14F) want a boyfriend so bad. How do I get one? How come I always end up asking them out and they always say no? I think I'm good-looking and likable enough, so why does everyone else have a boyfriend and I don't?"
My advice: Oh, my dear friend, I'm sure you're sick of hearing this, but you are so young and you have PLENTY of time. I know it can be really hard to watch your friends begin dating, and it's easy to feel like you're being left out. I'll let you in on a little secret: 14-year-old boys are, overall, largely unpleasant to be around! Of course, this is not the case for ALL of them, but considering I was a teenage girl myself once, my overall consensus is: yikes. Even so, I completely understand your yearning. You want to experience this new, exciting thing so many of your peers are experiencing!
There is no rush, and I promise that when you do start dating, you will probably yearn for the days when you were single and had no boy drama in your life at all. Though it may be tough, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to be operating on the exact same "schedule" as your friends. I can promise you that, in due time, they will all be coming to you for advice or complaining about/crying over the boys they're dating.
Everything feels SO intense when you're 14 — as if the stakes couldn't be higher. But, trust me, making good friends, exploring your interests, developing new hobbies, and working hard in school are the most important things right now! Plus, doing the things you love is a great way to meet people with similar interests, which of course, could eventually help you meet someone you're compatible with.
Be kind, be a good friend, explore your passions, and get involved in extracurriculars. That way, you're putting yourself first, but also creating opportunities to meet more likeminded people. Best of luck, my friend!
5. Question: "Greetings from Peru! I am an Asperger’s lesbian in my early 20s looking for love. While I have struggled with and succeeded at making friends at uni, there’s no one I feel a spark with. My friends have tried introducing me to other people — I haven’t come out to them — and I can’t even stay in contact with the ones who seem friendly. I’d like to have a girlfriend, but suck at social interactions. My career studies are demanding and keep my agenda filled, but I think I could join a club to meet new people. Unfortunately, my university does not have a GSA or LGBTQ+ association where I could hang out, as they are nonexistent in my country. How do I get a girlfriend?"
My advice: Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that your university doesn't provide spaces where you can safely and comfortably meet other LGBTQ+ folks. I imagine that's really difficult, and I wish you had better resources! Are you in or near a city where you might be able to go to gay/lesbian bars, or attend LGBTQ-centered events? Are there social media pages or resources where you can potentially connect with other lesbians in your community? Even if your university doesn't specifically have a group, there may be Facebook or Instagram pages for LGBTQ+ students, or queer folks in your area in general.
I know you said you haven't come out to your friends yet, so I'm sure it can be tough feeling a little bit alone in this as well. You are definitely NOT alone, and you will find your people! And, when you're ready to come out to your friends, I'm sure they will be supportive and continue trying to play matchmaker. If they're not, then you know they're not true friends.
I understand feeling bogged down by schoolwork, and that can also make it hard to have energy for a social life. Are there study groups you could potentially be a part of? Or, could you start one yourself? That way, you're meeting new people and socializing, but still getting work done. Maybe there are other clubs or university organizations you could check out as well, given you have the time! You never know who you may meet. And, if you happen to find an organization you're passionate about, how cool would it be to meet someone who shares that passion?!
It can be really scary putting yourself out there, but it's exciting, too! Good luck, and I hope you find the love you're looking for, and the love you deserve!
6. Question: "This guy I like is ignoring me. How do I move on?"
My advice: If he's ignoring you in an attempt to "play hard to get," run, do not walk. You don't need to tolerate his petty mind games. If he's ignoring you because he genuinely doesn't have interest in you, there's not much you can do about that. You don't need to waste your time or energy trying to change his feelings because you really have no control over what he wants. Preoccupy yourself with someone or something that does deserve your attention!
7. Question: "How in the world do you even get involved in dating, especially without using an app? I'm trying to branch out and go to more groups, clubs, etc., but I have no idea how to scope out people who might be interested. It doesn't help that: 1. I'm queer and gender non-conforming (so I feel like that eliminates a lot of options). 2. I live a very quiet life. No shade to those who enjoy them, but I just can't do bars or clubs. I also don't drink or smoke tobacco or weed. 3. Either nobody has ever been interested in me, or I am seriously lacking some kind of social skill that helps me identify when someone's into me and helps me know how to proceed. I always see advice saying, 'Oh go, find someone cute, and hit them up! Flirt with them!'"
"How in the world do I even do that, especially when all the 'typical' flirting environments are out? People seem to just magically hook up with partners. Any advice would help. I'm only in my mid-20s and feel like I should write myself off as dying alone with my knitting and games."
My advice: If I'm being completely honest, dating is hard enough, even when you do use the apps and frequent bars and/or clubs. It's BRUTAL out here. I moved to New York City a couple years ago and thought dating would be a breeze. Oh, so many options! WRONG. More options does NOT equal better options. Anyway, enough about me...let's talk about you! OK, so you're avoiding some of the more "traditional" routes people are taking to find partners these days. I don't blame you because I know how overwhelming and disappointing the apps can be, and I also understand your discomfort with rowdier environments like bars and clubs. But, there are so many other places to go! Grocery stores (especially Trader Joe's) always seem to be teeming with eligible hotties. Coffee shops, bookstores, museums, parks — people are everywhere! Are all of them single? No. Will all of them be right for you? Also no, but we gotta start somewhere!
Do you have a dog? I've noticed that dogs are such a massive icebreaker for people, especially in NYC. People walk their dogs and become the most popular person on the block within seconds!
OK, maybe you don't have a dog. Are you a part of any social media communities? If not, could you see if there are any that fit who you are, where you live, what you're interested in, etc.? There's gotta be an online community for knitters on Facebook or Reddit or something. Or, if you're into video games, I KNOW their are online gamer communities. But, you see what I mean. There are communities for just about any hobby you could imagine, you just gotta find them.
Lastly, your friends could play a role in your dating life as well. Go on outings with your friends where they invite their other friends. Make connections with new people; expand that network! You can do so in a safe, friendly environment with low stakes. You're just meeting your friends' other super cool friends. Maybe one of them is kinda cute, or one of them has ANOTHER friend who has something in common with you! Baby steps. You don't necessarily have to walk up to someone on the street and ask for their number, but you can expand your network in less daunting ways and invite more people into your life. And then, maybe someone will catch your eye.
8. Question: "I have a crush on a guy who I don't know very well. We see each other and work together every day, but he's a year younger than me, and I'm having trouble starting a conversation with him. What should I say? How do I let him know that I'm interested?"
My advice: Ah, a new crush! So exciting, so confusing. What have you noticed about him that you could use to drum up conversation? Does he sometimes wear a hat with a certain team logo on it? Is he always ordering pizza from the same restaurant on his lunch break? Are there any little conversational "ins" you can use? Even if you can't think of any, it doesn't matter. You work together daily; there's no harm in some casual chitchat. "How are you?" "What'd you do last weekend?" "Can you believe that storm we had last night?" "I saw the wildest thing at the McDonald's drive-thru this morning!" "Oh, you drive a Prius? I was thinkin' about getting me one of those. How does that baby drive?" I don't know; there's gotta be something. Find a reason to break the ice and go from there, but keep in mind, if he acts uncomfortable, don't push it, and don't make work awkward for him.
Once you have your "in," try to get to know him a little better. Make sure you're compatible in some capacity. What if you get to talking and find out that every value you hold near and dear to your heart, he vehemently opposes? That would suck. You probably want to make sure there's more than some physical attraction there before making moves.
Do you know his name? You don't want to be a creeper, but you do want to set yourself up for success, so you might want to do some *light* research on him as well. Give that Facebook or Instagram profile a peek. You probably want to know if he's engaged before you ask him to dinner, so a little internet searching can't hurt.
If you break the ice at work and establish a pattern of chatting with one another, read his body language and note his cues. Does it seem like he's flirting with you, or is he barely grunting back responses to your questions? If he's not interested, don't push it. You are in a working environment, and he should not be made to feel uncomfortable. But, if you two hit it off and keep finding reasons to talk while at work, perhaps you can throw around the prospect of hanging out outside of work sometime. Maybe something will happen there, and maybe something won't. Be cool, casual, and respectful. You don't want to make work awkward for either of you, so tread lightly.
9. Question: "I'm gay (25F), and I'm in love with my best friend (24F). She has told me multiple times that she's straight, and I will always be her platonic soulmate. Obviously, I'm not gonna force anything, but how do I get over her? We live together in a small apartment, and we share almost everything. How do I get over someone I'm so close with?"
My advice: Oh wow, I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you. Falling for a friend is tricky business, even without the extra layers of your situation. I know you love this person deeply, but you must take care of yourself, too. Boundaries, baby! You both care about each other, but the closeness of your relationship is proving to be very difficult for you. How permanent is this living situation? If you continue to live with them and spend all of your time with them while having these feelings, I can't imagine it'll be easy to get over them. You don't want to ruin the friendship, and you don't want to make them uncomfortable, but you don't need to torture yourself. There is someone out there who will love you in a romantic way and who will give you what this person can't. This friend may very well be your "platonic soulmate," but the keyword here is "platonic."
You need to figure out what your boundaries are and how much space you need to create between you and this person in order to feel comfortable and begin moving on. Obviously, they are your best friend (and your roommate). If you suddenly pull away from them, they're going to notice and probably feel hurt. Conversely, if you continue to act like everything is fine and you remain inseparable, you're likely not going to wake up one day and fall out of love with them.
What do you need to do in order to be happy? What does the friendship need to look like moving forward in order to protect and respect both of your feelings? Can you create a bit of healthy space between you and this person without damaging the friendship? Do you need a break from the friendship in order to gain clarity? Is this something you want to openly discuss with your friend, or is it something you need to figure out on your own?
Maybe it wouldn't hurt to try dating some other people. You don't need to dive head-first into a relationship for the sake of "distracting" yourself. That wouldn't be fair to you OR the other person involved. But, perhaps some casual dating/dipping your toes in the dating pool wouldn't hurt. See what else is out there. Find people who could reciprocate your attraction. Remind yourself that you're a catch! It's not your fault that you fell for your best friend, but it's not their fault they love you in a different way. I understand the situation is so delicate and painful, and I'm sorry there isn't an easy answer. Sending you love.
If you have any questions pertaining to dating, relationships, love, sex, etc. and you want advice, I'm here to help! You can add your questions/queries to this anonymous form, and I may answer them in a BuzzFeed Community article or video.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.