Take him or leave him
This is my first year at Bowdoin. I live on a coed floor, and I really like one of the guys down the hall. We get along really well and are pretty flirty with one another, especially when we see each other out at parties. However, he has a girlfriend from back home. They've been dating since the end of senior year and spent the whole summer together. Whenever I try to bring her up, he changes the subject, so I don't know how serious their relationship is. Should I let him know I'm interested in more than a friendship?
Dear Frustrated First-year,
Since your current situation is obviously making you unhappy, you need to do something about it as soon as possible. Don't prolong your misery any longer than necessary (unless you are one of those people who has watched one too many soaps and are trying to turn your dorm into "Days of our Lives at a Small College in New England"). You must figure out how serious he is with what's-her-face back home. Obviously your casual attempts to bring up their relationship aren't working, so it's time to take a different approach.
Now I realize that taking action will be difficult, because you don't want to a) find out that the ring he wears on his left ring finger is actually a premature wedding band or b) discover that he's over her but not into you - ouch. Keep in mind that there are eight-hundred-some-odd male polar bears out there who may just be waiting to claw up your dorm door. Grrrrr. So, here are a few options.
One, be direct. The next time you're alone with Mr. Wonderful say, "So, your girlfriend's somewhere else, and here I am. Funny ." This is best said with an innocent wide-eyed, doe-like expression, since you don't want to come on too strong or anything. Two, ask one of your two roommates (whichever one you're "tighter" with) to ask one of his two roommates (preferably the one he's more "buddy buddy" with) why your love interest is living in the past when the future is not only now, but a few doors down.
I don't necessarily advise you to go with option number one or two. I'm just giving you choices. What I do advise is that you put on your detective's hat and start to look for certain tell-tale signs that reveal how committed your man is to holding onto the past. For instance, next time you're in his room, look around for pictures of "her." I don't mean to dash any of your hopes, but if you immediately spot a framed 8x11 portrait beside his bed that is signed "I love you always" with hearts around it, beware. However, if there is no pictorial evidence anywhere in the room that a girlfriend even exists, continue on with your investigation.
Take a careful look at his clothes. Does he dress well? Does he dress
too well? Here's an example: any given day he is likely to be seen wearing
boat shoes, khaki shorts, a grosgrain belt, and pink Lacoste shirt. This
could mean one of two things. One, he went to prep school. If so, the
boat shoes will be scuffed up, the khakis wrinkled, and either a shave
or a haircut will be a bit overdue. Two, his girlfriend dressed him all
summer long, and he has yet to realize summer is over and that his relationship
should be too.
Are you in need of advice? Do you have burning questions about life at
Bowdoin that you'd like answered? Direct all questions to Lindsay Mullin
at S.U. 439.