“Love, Posey” is an advice column in our print issue. In the words of Posey herself, “If you ever find yourself tripping up the stairs or laughing so hard you snort during church or not knowing an answer to a question, find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can remain anonymous or create a pen name or whatever suits your fancy.” Posey is always ready to give advice, so send your questions to the email above!
Dear Love, Posey,
I need some advice, and I don’t know who to ask. I am kind of embarrassed, and I have never submitted a question to an advice column before. So here it goes: I have this guy that I’ve been working with for a little while now. I am not going to lie — he makes my heart flutter! But I do not know how to talk to him. He just has this way of talking that is not usual for college guys. I have been texting him a little bit, and it seems like he is interested because he continues the texting conversation. I am having trouble because I keep over-thinking everything he sends to me. I guess my question to you is: how do I continue texting him without looking like an idiot? I am not good with text messages, but I want to continue to talk to him outside of work. What do you suggest? Also, while I am at it, how do I ask him to spend time with me outside of work without making it seem like I have a crush on him? Thanks for your help!
Thanks for dropping a line, HH. Welcome to Love, Posey. I like to think it’s a nice place to rest all kinds of questions in. Hopefully these scribbles will help you make some sense out of the flutters.
So here’s what I think, and I’ve got a feeling it holds true for lots of things — for relationships and text messages and our perceived mess-ups and all those other messy things. I think we have this staggeringly human way of making things bigger than they actually are. We make mammoths out of milliseconds. And unless we do the work of tilting our own internal axes, we remain trapped in the center of our own universe. My roommate, a psychology major, tells me about the spotlight syndrome. It’s the phenomenon that compels us to believe that we are being watched more than we really are. I say all of this to tell you one little thing:
The cosmic order of the universe will not be thrown off by a text message that falls flat.
And isn’t that liberating? Isn’t it fantastic to know that a couple of letters on a screen don’t have to be a determinant of all that much? Isn’t it good to know that you don’t have to agonize over little blue blurbs?
I am certain that you have no need for red cheeks. And even if you did, it really would be no reason to hide. I have a professor who taps his temples, chuckles, and says “dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb” each time he goofs up. And then he marches on in his own merry way. It seems to me like a pretty good way to approach risks.
Own your communication and remember not to strain yourself into something you don’t recognize, HH. The conversation will improve a thousand times over if you just speak like and for yourself.
As for spending time together outside of work — friends do friendly things together. It’s kind of how friendship happens. You just have to build it.
Raise up your voice to the truths singing inside you, sweet Hannah. I think you’ll be happy when you do.