“Help: I fooled around with a friend and now it’s super awkward”

Dear Sarah,

I’m a junior in college and I recently slept with my guy friend—someone I’ve been close to since the beginning of freshman year. We were both a little drunk, but it was a lot more romantic than it’s ever been for me (I’ve never had a real boyfriend before). I think there was always an attraction on both sides, but he was in a serious relationship for the first two years of school.

To be perfectly honest, I like him as more than a friend and have for a while, but still, I’m not sure what to do. I kind of think he feels the same way but doesn’t want to jump into another relationship right now. And I don’t REALLY know anything for sure because we didn’t talk about it after! I don’t want to stop being friends, because he’s important to me. I’m also going abroad for a semester in a couple of months. How do I make this less awkward?

–Falling for a Friend in Baltimore, MD

Dear Falling,

While I do enjoy indulging my and other’s hopelessly romantic sides, I also don’t want to lead you astray. Given that you are going far, far away very soon and he’s not ready for a relationship, the chances of this evolving into something serious right now are pretty low. It also sounds like the most important thing to you is maintaining your friendship, even though you are crushing on him.

So, one word: Email. This is basically why email was invented as far as I’m concerned—to broach uncomfortable subjects without having to be face-to-face. There are many situations where email is terrible and can get you into deeper trouble, but this is not one of them. Write a short letter t0 get stuff your chest. Its fine to admit you feel awkward and be a little jokey—you are buds, after all. The next time you actually see each other, I predict you’ll feel 90 percent percent normal. Don’t be super duper explicit in case he’s the forwarding type, but be honest. You can say that you while the other night was awesome you are feeling weird and want to break the ice so you can carry on with your friendship. He’ll probably be relieved that you reached out.

Go away and have an amazing adventure during your semester abroad—with no strings attached. You can always re-evaluate your friendship and the relationship potential when you return for your senior year.

Love, Sarah

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