Childhood Girlfriend Now Cool to Him

Q: I have been in love with a girl since we were 12. I never had the courage to tell her or ask her out. I was even cowardly enough to avoid asking for her number. Unfortunately, I had to move to another state, and for years I could never forget about her. Every time I thought I had moved on, I would have these random dreams about her. Recently we got in touch again, but the gap was so long that I'm as good as a stranger to her, but to me she is still the same. She barely replies to any of my IMs and I don't have any other means of communicating. What should I do? I don't want her to fall for me. What I want is to get her to talk to me as a close friend again. — Nathaniel, 21

Dr. Susan: To be close friends with someone, you have to build a genuine relationship until you trust one another enough to open up and share your experiences. You and this girl have been apart so long that there's not much to build on. You also say you just want her as a friend, but your longings for her and your dreams suggest there's more than friendliness in your fantasies. If she doesn't reply with warmth to your messages, then she's telling you clearly she's not interested. You probably don't have anything in common anymore.

I know how sad that sort of loss can feel. You were kids together, you were nuts about her, you were close friends. And now she is reachable again, but not really. You can't make someone want to talk to you. Perhaps someday an opportunity to meet again will come up, but for now, I'd suggest you put your longings for her aside and make real connections with women in the here and now.

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