Ask Jasper: On Making Friends And Making Love

Hey Jasper!

When do you think are appropriate times to approach someone to talk to them? Everyone always seems so busy and there never seems to be a good time to do so.

More broadly, how does one go about initiating a conversation amidst our crazy academic lives?

Sincerely,
Shy Sheep

 

Dear Shy,

I know it can feel hard to take a moment in our busy schedules to reach out to one another. But I think it is definitely doable, and it’s important to take time to foster friendships.

There are better and worse times to reach out, though. I would avoid stopping someone when they are in a conversation with someone else or are clearly busy doing work.

I recommend waiting until you see them in a dining hall or in passing between classes. Ask them if they would like to make plans to get coffee or a meal, to study together, or to just hang out sometime in the future. Making plans for a later date allows you both to set aside some time for each other.

Of course, this initial approaching is tough. If you don’t know this person well, it will probably be even tougher. You will have to work up the courage to approach them and say something like “Hey! I was wondering if you wanted to grab coffee or a meal sometime?”

You can also add something more specific. For example, if you have a class with them, you can use that as a jumping-off point (“Are you free after class?”). They may not be free and/or seemingly interested, so you’ll have to consider that outcome. It’s a high-risk, high-reward kind of situation.

And if you do know them personally, you will still have to approach them, but I think this might feel less intimidating. You can always resort to messaging them online or via text. But face-to-face interaction usually allows for more effective communication.

I think most people, whether they show it or not, are flattered and feel happy when someone reaches out to them in a respectful way.

Go get ‘em,

Jasper

 

***

 

Hi Jasper.

My partner and I have become more like best friends than lovers. I think there's nothing wrong with being best friends with my partner, and in fact, we've always been like best friends, but I really miss the sexual and romantic intimacy in our relationship.

We used to go out all the time, and now we often stay in with some beers and crack jokes, and we end the night with snacks rather than sexual acts.

Don't get me wrong, I love the time we spend together, but since we're a monogamous couple, my partner is really the only person I have the opportunity to act like a lover with. I can drink beer and laugh with any of my other friends, so I want to bring back some of the passionate love that we expressed before we became settled in our ways.

How do we get our relationship “out of the friend zone” and bring it back into a passionate romance?

Sincerely,

Friends Forever?

 

Hi Friends,

The space between a platonic and romantic relationship is a tricky and often awkward one. The best way to find clarity in this limbo is to communicate. Perhaps your partner has something else going on in their life that you don’t know about, or maybe they feel the same as you do. You might not know until the two of you talk about it openly. I recommend bringing it up at a moment when you both have time to focus on the matter and can hear each other out.

I would preface the conversation with an acknowledgement of how much you appreciate the non-sexual or non-romantic intimacy in your relationship. You can transition with this point and say that you value this type of intimacy, but you don’t want it to be the only type of intimacy in your relationship.

I also recommend going into this talk — to the best of your ability — with the attitude that you are at the least opening up a conversation. Relationships are often about figuring out a balance between giving and taking. It’s important to hear your partner and understand their side, while also listening to your own desires and needs in the situation. Talking the issue out, while perhaps difficult, should hopefully help achieve a better balance.

Wishing you luck,

Jasper

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