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Ask Amy: Long-distance relationship drifts into friend zone

Dear Amy: I got divorced about a year ago after 20 years. Shortly after the divorce I started chatting with a woman who had gone to my high school. We've met quite a few times, we've have had coffee and lunch together, and some outdoor activities.

We have had a very good time every time we've met, even if it's just for a few minutes. (I have to drive one hour from my town to hers.)

She warned me that she wasn't looking for a relationship. She's separated from her husband (but not divorced) for two years.

I had promised her I would be respectful and not try to take advantage or try to do something against her will, but after a few months, I realized I had fallen for her, and I told her so.

She replied that even though she knew what a good person I was, she had told me before she wasn't looking for a relationship, and to just stay as we were, but that "maybe, after a seed that has been planted — who knows what can grow?"

That was five or six months ago. Things remained the same; I had that little bit of hope, but over the last month, the communication between us has diminished. If I don't reach out to her, she will not proactively contact me. For the last few days, she's gone "quiet." She "likes" some of my social media posts, but that's it.

I feel like she's trying to get out of our relationship, for whatever reason, and that her silence is the best answer, so maybe I could talk to her and let her know I will no longer reach out to her because I can't see her just as a friend.

At the same time, my heart tells me to just watch and listen, since the answers are evident, but to somehow keep the faith.

What do you think I should do?

— Lovelorn

Lovelorn: You’ve already done it all — and good for you. You were honest about your feelings. Your friend was honest about her own intentions. She should not have dangled any promise of a future with you, but she did, and you seized upon it.

You might assume that your friend is either reuniting with her husband or engaging in other relationships. Don’t contact her again unless you are willing to stay firmly in the friend zone.

I hope you will take this rookie relationship experience and apply its lessons toward your dating future.

Ask yourself: Am I always making the effort? Do I always initiate contact? Do I often feel off-kilter or unsure about this relationship?

When you meet the right person, they will find ways to signal that you two are on the same page. It’s a great feeling, and its one you deserve to have.

Dear Amy: I am headed to college this fall, and soon I'll be choosing which classes to take.

I was wondering if you could give me any advice on how to choose my classes.

I want to pick classes that I like, but I have also heard it is not bad to step out of your comfort zone and try something different.

I want to mostly take engineering classes, but I'm also interested in marine biology.

What is your best advice on picking other classes at college?

Should I stick to only classes that interest me or ones that may seem different in order to try new things?

— Conflicted

Conflicted: Many colleges require that all students take a freshman seminar, where they all study the same curriculum. This offers you an opportunity to better gauge what you want your college experience to be like.

If you ultimately decide to major in either engineering or marine biology (or both!), these fields are rigorous and will require a lot of dedicated course work.

My advice is to start out broad, and then narrow your focus as you go. Take a drama class, join an intramural team, robotics club, and/or service organization.

Yes, college is the perfect place to leave your comfort zone, and I hope you will.

Dear Amy: "Not Really a Fashionista" said that she was tempted to tell a lawyer in her networking group that his suits were ill-fitting.

Thank you for counseling against it, unless this sort of feedback is requested.

I wonder how she would like uninvited commentary about her own wardrobe?

— Baggy

Baggy: Exactly.

2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency