Advice From Paradise: Love Advice (and Music) from Nedelle Torrisi

This week: ASSes, jealousy in the beginning of a relationship, and taking the leap to asking your crush out.

Hi, my name is Nedelle.

I’m a musician who started playing the violin and singing in musicals at age seven. I come from a Sicilian–American family; I’m the daughter of an ex-nun and an ex-priest who ended up working at a prison. My brother is a neuroscientist and will probably discover something really awesome someday. We’re all musicians, too.

I’ve put out a bunch of albums on different labels and under different monikers: Nedelle, Nedelle and Thom, and Cryptacize. The most recent one just came out on Ethereal Sequence/Drag City under my full name, Nedelle Torrisi, called Advice from Paradise.

I also began giving out love advice semi-professionally on my Tumblr a couple of years ago, after doing it unprofessionally for friends for years before that.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ask me anything at advicefromparadise@gmail.com or ask anonymously at advicefromparadise.tumblr.com.


Dear Advice From Paradise,

There’s this cute guy that I work with. He has a girlfriend. We’re pretty close friends at this point, and hang out after work sometimes. In fact, he goes out a lot at night, and she’s never with him. Recently, one of his friends told me that he gets “close” to many girls, but never cheats or leaves his girlfriend. Why does he do this? Are they in love and that’s just their style? Why lead girls on and get close to them? It’s very confusing. Thanks!

There should be a word for this type of guy. How about “FBT”: “flirtatious, but taken.” No, wait! I’ve got it: “ASS,” for “always seems single.” Yeah, that’ll do for now.

I’d say one of two things is going on here. The first scenario is a somewhat mythical relationship archetype, I’ll call it “separate togetherness.” This is when a couple hardly ever needs to see each other to feel close. They go about their days and meet up solely for the overnight cuddle session, and maybe the rare weekend trip. Naysayers are always suspicious of this type of relationship, and think that this separateness signifies that something isn’t working. But who asked them?

The second scenario is of the worst-case variety, and it can only mean that our friend here is an ASS. He loves to flirt and get attention from women, but has no intentions of ever making a move. Why he stays with his girlfriend is a mystery. He is clearly distracted and disinterested, but maybe he likes the stability, or doesn’t want to hurt her, or is afraid of being single, or who knows? Determining which type of guy your friend is will be a difficult task. You could ask him, straight-up, or let some more time pass, which could reveal the answer to your question. Maybe it boils down to the classic When Harry Met Sally conversation: Can guys and girls really be “just friends?”

I have a question for you, too: What do you gain by being his friend? Is it worth it, or is it more frustrating than fun? Maybe that’s where your answer is hiding. Good luck!

Song recommendation: “What Kind of Man Are You?” by Ray Charles featuring Mary Ann Fisher

Nedelle,

I recently had a panic attack when my friends told me that I have to accept that a certain girl that I’ve been seeing has other guy friends, because we are not officially dating. Am I crazy? Thank you.

Did you know that Shakespeare named jealousy the green-eyed monster after cats, who have green eyes and taunt their prey before the kill? Well, it sounds like all these “guy friends” are taunting you in a similar way! When we’re in a relationship, especially in the beginning, we fear that the end is in sight, and the other person is just playing around with us until they get bored and break our heart. But this is an irrational fear, and right now you should try hard to exorcise it. It’s not going to help in any way, and it’s very unattractive, too. So be strong! You got this!

Song recommendation: “Green Eyes” by Erykah Badu

Hi. So I’ve hinted for a long time that I like this one girl, but I’ve never properly asked her out. She’s the biggest crush I’ve had in a long time. She’s never really given me any hints back, but I want to make one official effort to see if I can make something happen before moving on for real. Do you have any ideas of how I could try to ask her out after knowing her for a long time? Should I be explicitly romantic? There’s zero dating culture in my small town, but should I try to ask her on a date?

When you told me there’s “zero dating culture” in your small town, my first instinct was to think that it could be really cute and romantic if you ask her on a proper date. It would be an overt gesture, which is what you want right now (there can’t be any ambiguity in your last attempt to get this girl’s attention) and also it would stand apart from what y’all are used to out there in Podunkville. I want you to get this over with, though, the sooner the better. It’s never a good look to be subtly pining for a girl for a long period of time. It seems like you don’t have the guts to find out the truth. And the truth will set you free, even if it’s the freedom to date other awesome ladies!

Song recommendation: “Where or When” by Dion and The Belmonts

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