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

This week: how open should you be at the very beginning of a relationship, getting strung along by someone who just might not be that into you, and what to do when your brand-new love interest recently got laid off.

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.


Hi Nedelle,

I’ve been dating this clean-cut, nice guy for about three weeks, and I’m scared to tell him about a DUI I got last year. I had to go through community service and AA, but no jail, thank God. I’m scared he’ll leave me if I tell him, but if I don’t, there’s a chance he’ll find out. Should I tell him this soon in our relationship, later, or never?

It’s too soon to tell him such things! This is the time for excited, nervous chatter, and gazing into each other’s eyes for stupid amounts of time. When you look back on the first weeks of a relationship you want to think, “How blue the sky was!” There’s no point in mussing it up with emotional smog. Heaven doesn’t have smog, you feel me? Plus, it’s not official yet. I say ride it out until he’s way into you, and then mention it matter-of-factly in a context that makes sense. If he really cares about you it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. And if it is, then you’re better off finding someone more understanding. We’re only human!

Song recommendation: “I’m Only Human” by John Maus

Dear Nedelle,

I’m a straight guy with a girl/friend situation. We went to another country together recently (she asked me to go) and I have a crush on her, but recently she told me she is still hung up on her ex (they split right before we met), and she thinks they’ll end up back together. I’m confused because I thought she liked me back. Was I crazy for thinking that? Should I keep in touch with her just to keep her friendship? Thanks!

You aren’t crazy for thinking that she was into you (but the fact that you didn’t make out on the shores of the French Riviera could’ve been a sign). You’d hope a pretty lady would know when to draw the line, and that line would be before traveling abroad with a guy. Geez. If justice could be served in the Court of Love, I’d charge her with “prolonged hanging out without the intent to kiss.” Bailiff, take this woman away!

Here three reasons you may have become friends shortly after her breakup:

1. She was playing naïve about your feelings because she didn’t want to be alone at the time
2. She wanted fodder for revenge so her ex would find out she was getting close to someone else. (Even if that meant telling him herself; this is obvi the worst-case scenario.)
3. She might’ve been ‘trying you out’ to see if feelings would develop. (Refer to my sentence about knowing when to draw the line.)

I think when we have crushes, we get so involved in the fantasy world, we can trick ourselves into thinking that the person likes us and just isn’t telling us, as opposed to them just… not liking us. I just want you to be aware that this delusional state of mind exists—and I urge you to ditch this girl and move on, or make the friendship super casual and don’t expect anything more from her.

Song recommendation: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” by Glen Campbell

Hi Nedelle,

I’ve been dating around a lot, and no one impresses me. But recently, I met a guy who’s really great and I think I like him, though it’s too soon to say for sure. The thing is, he just got laid off, and though he is curious and interesting, I’m not sure he’s that ambitious. I myself am a broke artist, so it seems like our future could be fraught with monetary misery. Should I cut it off with him while it’s still new, and pursue better options? Thanks for the help!

There are two types of scrubs: scrubs with aspirations, and scrubs who are scrubs for scrubs sake (also known as busters). Lots of great guys are scrubs with aspirations. It’s not their fault, per se; they could be doing something really cool with their time, but sadly, this world doesn’t throw itself at the feet of creative people who make beautiful things. If the scrub you speak of is in this category, then you might not want to throw him to the curb so hastily.

Two other important things to consider: there’s a fine line between a scrub who says they’re doing something and someone who is actually a hard worker. Don’t jump into anything until you figure out what category this dude falls into. Also, do you appreciate what he does with his time? Do you think he’s making cool shit, or is he getting it all wrong? I personally think it’s impossible to be with someone who is doing something that I don’t admire. Just be discerning, because you deserve the best scrub ever.

Song recommendation: “No Scrubs” by TLC

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