Dr. Date 5/27/2015

Dr. Date

Dr. Date,
 
I’ve been seeing this awesome girl for more than two months now. Our relationship is healthy, and we see each other a good amount during the week. Basically, I see her as my girlfriend, and she told me she isn’t interested in seeing other people. However, there is one thing that drives me nuts: I feel like I am losing control of my emotions whenever she isn’t around. Never before have I felt like the needy one in the relationship. I’m well aware of how to block those emotions when we are together, and I know not to dive into my feelings, but when we aren’t together I sometimes question myself about how much she really is invested in our relationship, which I know is wrong to do. 
My question is: How do I teach myself to not care so much about this relationship when she is one of the only things on my mind? I care a lot for her, yet I fear that my caring might end up pushing her away. Before you go saying, “Get some better hobbies and friends to see,” I have plenty of both, especially with summer basically here. I’m beginning to really, really like this girl — I only worry that I might do something that is too eager and that, for now, I’ve lost any true holding power in the relationship. How can I gain the power back and feel like I am more in control without being distant or non-responsive to her? 
 
—Feeling Kind of Like a Wuss
 
 
Dear Melissa,
 
It’s important to remember that, as you noted, this relationship is not your entire life. While you may be obsessing over this at the moment, come on — most people on this earth are obsessing over something at any given moment, so just keep your feelings within a wider perspective. Now, when it comes to how you can “gain the power back,” I don’t think that a relationship should ever be viewed under such terms. That’s also true when it comes to being “in control” of the relationship. You have to stop thinking in those terms if you ever want to be in a sincerely loving relationship. It’s toxic, and I think that mindset is exactly why you feel uncomfortable at the moment. You’re gonna care as much as you’re gonna care, but if that affection doesn’t have objectives like gaining control or establishing power, well then it can just be what it is — a beautiful thing.
 
—Dr. Date
 
 
Dr. Date,
 
There’s this girl I like whom I want to ask out, but I don’t know how to make the move without it being completely awkward. We’ve hung out a few times — mostly as friends — but we haven’t talked since finals. Now, I found out we’re working at the same place over the summer, and I can’t decide whether that’s a good or bad thing for me. I mean, it’ll make it easier to chat her up, but what if I ask her out and then it doesn’t work? It’ll be weird to still see her at work all the time, right? What should I do next? 
 
—Trying My Best
 
Dear Melissa,
 
I know a thing or two about hooking up with a coworker and then not wanting to show your face for a week, but you have to go ahead and do it anyway, because, you know, it’s work — not Chad’s house, but I still think that if you really like her and she seems to like you, you should just go for it. We get an iteration of this question a lot here at Dr. Date HQ: How can I ask this person out without it being awkward? Well, here’s a quick checklist: 1. Watch the critically acclaimed 2002 Paul Thomas Anderson-directed romantic comedy, “Punch-Drunk Love,” together. Afterwards, you will  both be in an emotionally open position, and the other person will probably be a lot more open to accepting the inherent emotional vulnerability required in asking someone out. So even if they say no, they’ll empathize with you, and it won’t be that bad. 2. If you can’t watch “Punch-Drunk Love” for whatever reason, then just simply ask them out for drinks or coffee, and if that goes well see if they want to go out on a date-date afterwards. 3. Make sure that you honestly think they might like you at least a good bit before you ask them out. 4. As long as you’re respectful, just go for it, buddy!
 
—Dr. Date