Content Warning: misogyny

Hello Darlings and welcome to our new advice column by the editor's friend Aunty Val. Appearing whenever any of you lovely lot send in requests for counsel Val will give you some not so straight talking (ed. thinks she's funny, don't encourage her) advice. And then we turn it over to our tumblrite followers because crowd sourcing is always the answer. Our first letter comes from a lovely reader I'm calling Heartbroken in Musical and now I'm handing it off to Val.

I am heartbroken. I'm in the cast of a musical with a girl I've really developed feelings for, partly because we've spent the last few months flirting heavily. Recently she told me that she was joking all along, and even compared me to some castmates in terms of attractiveness. I didn't win the top spot. I was really hurt at being compared and misled and we had a talk about it where she told me that sex and relationships freak her out (she's not experienced at all) and when I asked her how she felt about me she said she "couldn't say she returned my feelings 100%". But I'm wondering if that's because the idea of a relationship makes her uneasy in general or whether she's just not attracted to me personally. I want to ask her but I don't want to bother her. Do I need to calm the fuck down and get over it?

Val says:

Dear Heartbroken,

I want you to take a moment to congratulate yourself for having the courage and directness to approach this girl openly and honestly. I think it was unkind of her to compare you to your other castmates in terms of attractiveness, and I think it is good that you had a talk with her about this. That said, I think her words to you about her feelings are pretty clear. For so many people, women and girls in particular, it is extremely difficult to say a flat "no". Given this information, I would say that it is better to err on the side of caution when trying to read the nuance in her words. The clearest take away from what she said is that she doesn't feel the same way about you that you have told her you feel about her.

Whether this is an issue of your attractiveness (and I want to remind you that your attractiveness in her eyes does not set an objective benchmark for how attractive people will find you), or her own feelings and fears around sex and relationships is actually not pertinent information. I don't think it will make you feel any better about the situation to seek further clarification, and in either case there is nothing you personally can change about the situation. She will have to become comfortable with the idea of sex and relationships (with you or others) by herself, I don't think it's something you could help her with, particularly as someone interested in dating her.

My advice would be to be proud of yourself for putting yourself out there and telling her how you feel, even if it didn't work out the way you had hoped on this occasion. Now that you have information that she is not interested, you can put your energy into other relationships and interests. Be kinder to yourself than saying "calm down and get the fuck over it". It's natural that you will have some feelings about this situation, so give yourself space to process them. I want to tell you, though, that relationships can and should be a source of happiness and comfort in your life. A good partner should return your feelings 100% and be as happy and excited and invested as you are. Why settle for less?

Aunty Val

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Advice giver. Cat lover. Geek. Jedi hugger. Definitely the coolest person the editor knows.