WWSD

What Would Sarah Do?  Ancient advice for modern times.

He loves me... He loves me not...

 
"He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" by John William Godward, 1896. Public Domain image.

"He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" by John William Godward, 1896. Public Domain image.

Dear Sivan,

A couple of years ago I confessed to my best friend that I was in love with him. He responded with many reasons that we should just be friends (we work together, he is emotionally unavailable, we would ruin what we have together as friends if we became romantic, etc.). I accepted this and we remained close. But recently things seem to have changed. More specifically, recently he seems to have changed.

Over the years since I told my friend how I felt, I have sometimes felt chemistry between us, but NOTHING like this. All of a sudden I feel crazy sexual tension, and it does not feel one-sided. He has been more flirtatious, but he has also lingered longer over hugs and goodbye kisses. He sits right next to me, our bodies touching, when there is plenty of room and no need to sit so close. And there has been A LOT more touching.  

My friend's actions are telling me that things have changed. My body is responding, and I am ready to jump his bones, to be honest. Do the changes in his actions mean his feelings and intentions have changed? Should I go for it, now that he seems on board? What Would Sarah Do?

Please help,

Feeling Frisky in Fresno 

 

WHAT WOULD SARAH DO?

Despite their legal status as chattel and the numerous instances of their lacking power, voice, and choice, biblical women often went after exactly what they wanted. And got it. 

When Sarah could not bear a child, she got one through a surrogate (Genesis 16:1-4). When she grew jealous of that surrogate, she exiled her. Twice (Genesis 16:4-6; 21:10-14).

Abigail, best remembered for her humility, was not the meek servant she might appear to be at first glance. She marched right up to King David and brokered a peace deal that saved her husband's skin and her household in one fell swoop. When her abusive husband died not long after, she went on to become David's queen (1 Samuel 25:23-39). 

"Samson and Delilah" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1615. Public Domain image. 

"Samson and Delilah" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1615. Public Domain image. 

Samson and Delilah are two of history's most famous lovers. But it should be noted that he fell in love with her; the feeling was not necessarily mutual (Judges 16:4). Delilah wanted to learn the way to Samson's weakness, so she asked him. And he told her (Judges 16:6-15). What was in it for her? She was paid 5,500 pieces of silver to sell Samson out to her people (Judges 3:3; 16:5). That's 183 times the price Judas was paid to sell out Jesus (Matthew 27:3). With this little act of asking-for-what-you-want, Delilah became a wealthy, independent woman. "All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me..."

Judith got fed up waiting for the men of her town to defeat their enemy. So she walked right into the opposing general's camp, seduced and beheaded him. His troops fled and she saved her people (Judith 8-15, Septuagint.)  

"Judith with the Head of Holofernes" by Cristofano Allori, 1613. Public Domain image.

"Judith with the Head of Holofernes" by Cristofano Allori, 1613. Public Domain image.

So what would Sarah do? She would tell the man she loved exactly what she wanted, and she would get it. 

 

WHAT WOULD SIVAN SAY?

Dear Frisky,

Let's look at your situation without reading anything into it. "Just the facts, ma'am."

You told your friend how you feel, and he told you he did not want to be in a romantic relationship with you.

He gave you sound reasons for this. Dating a coworker is risky business. It can work out, but if it doesn't, well... don't shit where you eat, as the saying goes. He values you as a friend and does not want to lose you in that capacity. Another example of sound reasoning. Once you cross over from the friend zone to the honeymoon suitefor better or worseyour relationship will never be the same again. 

He told you he is emotionally unavailable. That is not a fact to ignore. When people show you who they are, believe them. If you act in the face of this informationwithout your friend telling you things have changedand he ends up hurting you, he can say, "I told you I am emotionally unavailable." And he will be right. It would be fair to say you knew what you were getting yourself into. 

Courtesy of Oprah.com. Labeled for reuse.

Courtesy of Oprah.com. Labeled for reuse.

The changes in your friend's behavior probably mean something. You don't just turn up the heat like that in a vacuum.

But do they mean what you think they mean?

Could this newly intense flirtation mean your friend wants to be in a relationship with you? Sure. Could they mean he wants to jump your bones as badly as you want to jump his? Absolutely. Might they mean the latter to the exclusion of the former? They might. And without an actual word from your friend about where he currently stands, I would act on this assumption.

You can do one of three things:

1) You can do nothing. Wait and see if your friend goes after what he wants, whatever that may be. I like this option becausefrom where I standthe ball is in his court. You've already been brave and confessed your feelings once. And you got shot down. If he wants a second chance at the awesomeness in front of him, I'd like to see him take a risk and go after what he wants, as you did.

2) You can jump his bones. If you are misreading the current situation, he may rebuff you. But if he is as into it as he seems to be, you could have a smokin' hot time. The guaranteed rewards, however, stop there. This option is a gamble, and your friendship is on the line. 

3) You can talk to him. Ask him if he's felt a change in your relationship, and what it means to him if he has. Ask him what he wants. Or tell him what you want, again, and see what he says. Personally, I would talk to him before jumping his bones. It's better to know where he stands before you take your relationship to the next level. 

Whatever you do and whatever he does, know that you are one of a kind and are worthy of love and of being loved in return.

With women's wisdom and women's words,

Sivan