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

This week: avoiding the friend zone, a new lover’s obnoxious tics, and a younger man.
Art & Culture
Advice From Paradise: Love Advice (and Music) from Nedelle Torrisi

This week: avoiding the friend zone, a new lover’s obnoxious tics, and a younger man.

Words: Nedelle Torrisi

June 12, 2015

Advice From Paradise

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 [email protected] or ask anonymously at


Hi Nedelle. What are some good tips to avoid being pushed into the “friend zone” by a girl who you have only met a few times? Has she already made up her mind about whether she’s attracted to you or not the first time she lays eyes on you? It seems like the girls I REALLY want usually end up throwing me into the friend zone.

Girls may not decide on your boyfriendability the first time they see you, but they probably will pretty quickly thereafter. I feel like there are three options for you. The first: You can decide to tap-dance your shit right outta there and not be available to her as a friend for fear that you’re priming yourself for a soul-crushing “she’s just not that into you” moment. Give her the space to decide that you’re the one who got away! Then cross your fingers and hope that she’ll have the type of epiphany Cher has in Clueless when she thinks of her stepbrother Josh (ew, gross) and realizes—it’s him. It’s been him all this time.

The second tactic is a wimpier version of the above advice. I refer to it as the romantic “long con.” You can keep being friends, but hint at times that you wish it were more. She might love the attention but not return it. She might string you along for weeks, months, decades. But maybe one day she will be so overwhelmed by your continual love and support, she’ll give it a try with you. You know? It happens.

The third option is complete transparency. Be blunt—simply tell her how you feel and ask if she’d ever give you a whirl. And if she says no, at least you got a fast answer, which could be a relief. For reference, watch that old Louie episode where he tells his friend he’s in love with her at a flea market and gets rejected hard. Good luck!

Song recommendation: “I Want You” by Marvin Gaye



I’m in a new relationship and my boyfriend has a couple of things he does that really annoy me. I never know whether to say anything, because it might come off as mean. Maybe I am mean. How forgiving should a person be in a relationship? Should I just shut my mouth?

Lolz. I like this question. If you think about a relationship from the outside, it’s a pretty insane idea. We go from being strangers to being inseparable. Well, maybe not inseparable, but you probably spend a ton of time with this dude. There’s an extent to which I think it’s fair to speak your mind to your partner. If he chews too loudly, say something. If he hogs the bed sheets, speak up. If he looks at other women, what are you waiting for? But if you think it’s more of a personality flaw, maybe you should tread lightly. If you find yourself constantly criticizing him or picking him apart, even if it’s not out loud, then have a serious one-on-one with yourself and decide if this is the guy for you. Good luck!

Song Recommendation: “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers


I just met a boy who might be too young for me. Also, we do the same thing professionally, which could get weird and competitive. Should I pursue this?

Speaking from experience, dating someone who does the same thing as you is a double-edged sword. It’s fun to talk with someone and not have to use simplistic terms so that they can understand you. It’s fun to share your ideas and projects with them and even to work on projects together. That said, if you’re feeling any weird, competitive vibes—especially early on—then that’s the other side of said sword and you might want to bounce out ASAP. Or if you’re seeing any other red flags, for that matter. (And, perish the thought, are you insinuating that you might be the one bringing weird vibes to the table? I hope not.)

As for the age difference thing, I can only advise on a case-by-case basis. In general, it’s not a big deal. But it can cause problems, maybe even more problems when the woman is older (due to biology, etc). But don’t fret! A person should go into a new situation with an open heart and mind, and though there may be potential potholes in the road, it never helps to start a journey anticipating them.

Song recommendation: “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop