15th November 2022

Agony Aunt Angela: A library full of possibilities

Flustered, a distracted student reaches out to Aunt Angela about a library crush. But is it possible to overcome your fears and find love in the Ali G? Or should they just keep dreaming from afar?
Agony Aunt Angela: A library full of possibilities
Photo: Jess Walmsley @The Mancunion

“Okay, so I have the BIGGEST friend crush on a girl I always see on the library sofas. Like gurlllll I wanna hang out sometime and I don’t know how to ask. When she smiles at me I actually melt a little inside. But I’m too scared to ask and she’s too pretty and cool for me to be bothering her. I don’t know how to make friends with her to be honest. Any advice?”

I love a good crush scenario, even if it is just as friends. Usually, our minds overcomplicate crushes to the point of alienating the possibility of actually dating that person. We place them on a pedestal, like we do celebrities, and begin to obsess over them. The drama! The possibilities! I love it.

First off, get it out of your head that she’s cooler than you or far too pretty. If you even stand a chance of having a normal/non-awkward conversation with her, you’ve got to believe that you’re on an even playing field. There’s no such thing as ‘out of your league’, that’s just a social construct that caters to pretty privilege.

Once you get over your fear and take her off the pedestal, work out what you’re going to say to her. What do you want out of this conversation? Bare minimum: acquaintances. The problem is that going up to someone and just blurting out “friends?” can be a bit odd in the adult world. It’s a slow natural process that can sometimes lead to other things.

A perfect sneaky way of working up to a conversation is sitting near her. If you arrive in the library after her, look around for seats and just so happen to pick a spot next to her. Oops! If she arrives after you, that’s a little more tricky. Maybe pack your things and grab a coffee, sitting near her on your return. Or, if she’s sat near(ish) to a power socket, move to ‘charge’ your laptop.

Ok, so now you’re sat near her, and the chances of falling in love and living happily ever after (as friends of course …) are much higher. The oldest trick in the book is to ask a question, more specifically, asking for help – that’s how you start a conversation. Compliments are good sometimes, but they’re a dead end. They don’t lead to conversation. The perfect convo formula? Question, compliment, question, conversation. E.g. Do you know where x is? I like your x. Where did you get it from? Etc. Even if you know the answer, questions can be a good ice breaker.

Once you’ve had your initial conversation, maybe ask to be study buddies. Make your intentions clear. It means neither your or her time or even hopes are wasted.

But, the best bit of advice I have isn’t the usual ‘just be yourself’ spiel. It’s be confident, or at least fake it. Don’t be afraid to be shy or to have periods of quiet, but don’t sell yourself short. If you’ve exchanged smiles, it’s likely she’s open to chatting and friendship too.

Good luck!

Kisses, Agony Aunt Angela

Need some advice? Send in your mishaps and worries here!

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