How to go from dating to friendship

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    “Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action.Take action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron Paul and I had been acquaintances for eight years.When I opened the door to his office one afternoon to offer our usual casual hello, an alchemical change packed a walloping charge through my body.

    When had my coworker become a handsome man with whom I suddenly wanted to share more than impersonal cafeteria trays in a crowd?I’m not sure what flipped the switch for me, but I’d already cheered him when he ran two marathons, listened when his wife left and they divorced, and written while he lived abroad twice serving a medical charity.We’ve raised money for causes and exchanged myriad e-mails about jobs, travels, and our families—my sister’s marriage, his siblings’ children being born.While my sudden unspoken desire was to deepen our intimacy, Paul’s signals proved alternately encouraging then confusing.

    A promised lunch together that fell through due to sickness; a lingering smile at my door one day turned into distracted “gotta run, department meeting” the next.Just as I began to understand that he wasn’t interested in me in that way, he’d come back, affectionate and confiding.His long-distance girlfriend had broken up with him or his relative was terminally ill. Nothing further is exactly how our relationship played, while, to my great consternation, we hit a plateau between consolation and water cooler repartee.