Advice A La Mode: Friend zone, obnoxious classmates | The American Word

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Advice A La Mode: Friend zone, obnoxious classmates

Rachael Somerville | 9/18/13 3:50pm

 “Advice A La Mode” is a weekly advice column written by Rachael Somerville. To provide complete anonymity to those who submit questions, we created the contact form (which you can fill out below) so you may ask questions without disclosing personal details. You may select a traditional “Problem Summarized in Name” format, tell her you want to go by “First Name from Place” or she will come up with a name for you. The more information you give her, the better she can address your problem.


“Dear Rachael,

So I really like this guy but he is my best friend. Over the past few months we have gotten really close and have even started say ‘I love you’ to each other. We stay up until the wee hours of the morning, share our deepest thoughts and secrets, and even talk about where we see ourselves together. Yet, with all of the opportunities we have never hooked up. I have thought about it but it has never happened. Everyone assumes we are dating and it is starting to get awkward because we don’t talk about it.

What do I do? Do I distance myself from him? Do I tell him that I want more or will that scare him off? I am really in love with him, but I don’t want to lose my best friend.

-In Love With My Best Friend”


This dilemma has confronted people for millennia, myself included. Having a best friend whom you’re in love with is simultaneously amazing and miserable; you spend a lot of time with them but are constantly faced with the fact that you want more.

Telling him you like him is a big risk, but I think you have to go for it; you wouldn’t be writing in unless you wanted to move things forward. Plus, you guys already act like a couple. To me, that’s a sure sign that he’s thought about you as more than a friend.

I asked my guy friend for the male perspective and he agrees. It’s worth the risk of bringing it up because staying silent is something you’ll regret. You can trust your best friend with anything, right? Trust him to handle this news respectfully regardless of his feelings.

Only you can decide how to bring it up. Maybe you can start with the fact that people already think you’re together and ask if he’s ever thought of you that way. Or, if that’s too direct, you could forward him this column and see what happens.

Just kidding.

You have to go for this. I think the most important moments in life are those where you stick your neck out for something you really want. If he is truly worthy of being your best friend, he won’t be scared off. Clearly you both care about each other a lot and it may be time to take things to the next level.

Best of luck and, of course, I would love to hear how it goes.


“Dear Rachael,

I have a problem with one of my classmates. There’s this girl in my class that turns everything into a competition. It’s like everything has to be her way all the time, or else the world is going to explode or something! She even argues with the professor while he’s teaching. Honestly, I’ve tried to be nice and not jump down her throat, but she just rubs me the wrong way. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even concentrate in class.

Do you think I should say something? Should I try to put her in her place?

-Fed Up with BS”


Unfortunately, not everyone takes their education as an opportunity to learn and I understand your frustration. Some students mistake themselves for the professor and try to impart their wisdom on their classmates.

However, this problem is primarily between the professor and the student in question. It’s up to his discretion if her “arguments” can be attributed to healthy skepticism or are out of control. Perhaps it seems as if he can’t keep control of his classroom, when in fact, he’s merely encouraging a wealth of viewpoints.

That said, your learning is suffering because of this student. I would talk to your professor after class about your concerns with her distracting behavior. Try to stay professional and leave your feelings out of the conversation.

Confronting her directly will only lead to animosity between the two of you. Chances are she doesn’t realize her behavior is out of line so your criticism would seem like an attack. Ideally, the professor will handle the situation. If he doesn’t, you can try to talk to her about the problem.

No matter how you settle the situation, you’ll have a roomful of grateful classmates. Good for you for tackling this awkward situation.

Best of luck,


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