Ask Nicci: Actions always speak louder than words

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From the July 26, 2012 edition

For a couple of months, I have been casually dating a girl who moved into my apartment complex. Recently she disappeared, was vague and nearly unresponsive for a couple of weeks. Then out of nowhere, she texts pictures of herself from the Warrior Dash in very short running shorts and a tight tank. The next week she brought a new dude to the pool while also texting me randomly. I was always apprehensive about seeing someone that lives that close, but at this point I am confused. Does she like me or not? —Mitch 

Deciphering whether or not she likes you is not the problem. I’m trying to understand why you would waste your time any further. The fact that she is your neighbor only escalates the level of frustration and awkwardness!

Actions speak louder than words. If she is interested, she will show you. This advice goes both ways. Your reactions will also dictate where this relationship goes, or for that matter what behaviors you accept in your future relationships. The dating process is just as much about learning about yourself as it is learning about another person.

If you want my opinion about this girl, she is probably using you and only interested in getting attention. Stop feeding her insecurities and cut things off now. Move on and realize that you deserve something more.

I am a recent college graduate with a masters degree. I worked very hard to achieve my degrees and have been interviewing to start my career in other cities. This summer I am totally falling for a guy that never finished college and works a blue-collar job. I always envisioned that I would marry a guy that has a good job and who is ambitious like me. I am smitten with this guy, and now I hesitate when getting interviews that would require me to leave. I am really questioning my next move should I go with my head or my heart?Nina, 24

I can guess what your parents would tell you to do after spending thousands of dollars and many years to educate yourself! But we can’t help who we fall in love with, can we?

Start with a reality check. You sought an education for some reason, right? I’m guessing that all of your goals for the preceding six-plus years prepared you for this next step in your life. Don’t just abandon your passions the second you get butterflies on a date.

Now that you have graduated, revise your personal goals and look back at the ones that you have accomplished. Just as importantly, I want you to believe that the true love destined to be in your life will find its way to you no matter which you decide to follow, your head or heart.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.