Features 36 Question Mark
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Dear Mark,

 

I have a question to ask.  There’s this guy I saw at the grocery store.  He is a pharmacy technician and works at the pharmacy department. He is younger than me.  I see him looking at me the whole time I shop.  Every time I go to the store and he sees me he looks at me.  He gives me a small look like his eyelids are half closed and he turns his eyes at me.  If I look at him he turns his eyes to look down.

 

Features 36 Question MarkDear Mark,

 

I have a question to ask.  There’s this guy I saw at the grocery store.  He is a pharmacy technician and works at the pharmacy department. He is younger than me.  I see him looking at me the whole time I shop.  Every time I go to the store and he sees me he looks at me.  He gives me a small look like his eyelids are half closed and he turns his eyes at me.  If I look at him he turns his eyes to look down.

 

Last  week, I went to the store to get a few things and as I was leaving I saw him sitting in his Kia Sportage car looking at me.  He just kept looking at me as I was putting the bags in my car.  He kept looking at me every minute as I bent to reach the glove compartment to get the handy wipes because my left hand got sticky from the orange juice that it leaked all over my left hand.  And he was still looking at me as I was cleaning my hand.  He didn’t see my face just the top of my head and then I raised my head up he was still looking at me.  Then I started my car to leave and as I drove away  I passed his Kia and he turned his head back to look at the rear view mirror.  After I passed him he turned his head to look the other way and he continued to look at me as I was driving away.

 

The next time I went into the store I got the same behavior from him.  I am single and definitely open for dating.  And this guy is pretty cute.  But I don’t want to embarrass myself either.  What are your thoughts on this?

 

Sincerely,

 

Bruce

 

Hey Bruce,

 

It sounds like this guy might have some sort of feelings for you.  What those feelings are exactly remains to be seen.  It seems pretty likely that it may be some sort of a crush he has on you.  He may be interested but watching you from a distance may be all he is capable of.  You mentioned you thought he was cute.  Perhaps he has found you glancing at him and is just returning the favor.

 

There is another scenario however.  It’s more along the lines of a cautionary tale.  Be wary of strangers.  More likely than not, they are harmless.  He most likely thinks you’re attractive and just wants to get to know you.  But please be careful.  If you make contact, make sure you meet in a public place and get to know each other first.  Even have a friend meet him or at least have his phone number just in case.  If you end up tricking with him, be sure to email his info to a friend.  I know this may sound extreme but you really cannot be too careful in these sorts of situations.

 

My advice would be to approach this man and see what kind of vibe you get from him.  If it is friendly, proceed with a mix of hope and caution.  There is an odd similarity in male mating practices between the “I want to kill you” look and the “I want to have sex with you” look.  Your success rate with men will be somewhat contingent upon becoming proficient in discerning between the two.  I say give it your best shot.  Flirt back and see how open he is to it.  If he is not receptive, cut your losses and move on.   Good luck.

 

Take Care, Mark Rutherford LCSW

 

 

Dear Mark,

 

My boyfriend and I just broke up after being together for almost three years. We were really good friends before we started dating, and about three months after we started sleeping together, he moved in with me. We had a very good relationship, got along great, rarely ever fought and enjoyed each other’s company. But slowly I began realizing he just wasn’t the right person for me. It pained me greatly as this realization grew stronger and after almost three years, I decided that it wasn’t fair to him to continue being  together if he wasn’t making me completely happy.

 

Now, considering we had been friends first and are staying close friends, is it a bad idea to continue to live together? There are two bedrooms, so we wouldn’t have to sleep together anymore, but is it generally a bad  idea to continue cohabiting with someone after you’ve broken up?

 

Thanks for your advice.

Signed, Breaking Up is Hard to Do

 

Dear Breaking Up,

 

Your question falls under the heading of “case by case basis.”  There are so many factors involved in transitioning from a love based relationship to one based on just friendship.  Some couples find the sexual/emotional component to be the hardest change.  The trouble spots that usually pop up are around outside sexual behavior and dating other people.  Will the two of you have sex with each other at all anymore?  Can you date other people?  Is it okay to bring another someone else home for the night?  Do you tell each other about your outside sexual/emotional encounters or try to spare their feelings?

 

Another problem area is around finances and the separation of previously joined assets.  Do you separate your accounts?  How will bills be paid?  Do both names stay on the mortgage/lease?  Does furniture you have bought together as a couple get divided between the two of you?  Who gets the dog should one of you decide to move?

 

What are the rules?  Each couple is different.  What works for one couple may not work at all for another couple.  Some couples transition with minimum difficulty.  Some couple’s find it is too hard to try to stay together and just be friends.  My suggestion is to talk with your friend/ex-boyfriend and get some idea of where he is coming from.  As the person who is being left, he probably has some thoughts of his own.  Whether it be with a boyfriend or best friend, the ability to discuss all topics, good, bad and ugly, remains a crucial component.

 

 

Mark Rutherford is a  licensed psychotherapist in private practice in West Palm Beach.  He can be reached at

561-835-6821 or at MDRutherford@aol.com

 

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