Dear Dr. Date,M…

Dear Dr. Date,
My roommate and I are in an awkward predicament. We are both single men and have developed crushes on our female neighbors. We have become friends with them and their roommates. We want to take our relationship with them further, but are at a standstill. We are not sure if the specific two persons we like feel the same way, or if one of their other roommates like either of us. How do we discreetly find out the answers to our questions without losing our new friends or making it uncomfortable from here on out?
–So close, yet so far away

Today I’ve handed over the keys to one of my trusted Love Nurses, Catherine. Strange? Not if you consider we’re busy putting together yet another Mixer where the Love Nurses will fill your head with all sorts of solid ideas about love and dating. Mark your calendar today for Friday, Nov. 13, at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. Without further ado, I present Love Nurse Catherine’s advice:
Have you considered throwing a dinner party, inviting your crushes as well their roommates? Make it a fancy-dress party, where the ladies come in their best cocktail dresses and the gents in dapper suits. If you can cook — and really, everybody can — impress them by preparing a nice sit-down meal for the crowd. Here’s the opportunity to get a better feeling for your crushes’ intentions. During the evening’s dinner-table banter, don’t be afraid to make a few not-too-subtle flirtatious remarks or gestures toward the objects of your affections. See how they respond. Are they confused? Pleasantly surprised? Physically repulsed?
If they seem to warm up to your advances, you can take the next step during after-dinner cocktails (or after-dinner sodas, if you’re underage). One of you could ask for help clearing off the table, while looking your beloved in the eye (hint-hint). While you have her alone in the kitchen, suggest that you would like the opportunity to get to know her better one-on-one, and ask if she wouldn’t like to (fill in blank with preferred activity) with you sometime. The other one of you could corner your potential date while in line for the bathroom (and there will be one if you plan your meal accordingly), and follow steps two and three above. You can’t go wrong with bluntness. Otherwise, you are going to be stuck in crush-on-your-neighbor limbo forever.