Doc Joe is a psychologist and attorney who has consulted with and advised people of all ages. Katy Ann is a licensed marriage and family therapist who, like Doc Joe, has counseled and advised people of all ages.
The discussion and advice offered in their column is not offered as a clinical recommendation or as a substitute for clinical treatment. Rather, Doc Joe’s and Katy Ann’s comments are intended to stimulate thought, often with a sense of humor. Sometimes they agree; sometimes they don’t. So, read on …
Dear Doc Joe and Katy Ann,
I need your advice about whether I should keep trying to go out with a woman that I know.
I’m a 25-year-old grad student in biomechanical engineering. “Shandra” is a grad student in the same department. I’ve known her for about six months, and we’ve been in several classes together. We have gone out for coffee several times, usually talking about our classes or about research that is of interest to both of us. Well, last week we went out for lunch on campus, and she seemed to have a really nice time. So, afterwards, I asked her if she’d like to go out on the weekend. She said that she would be busy studying all weekend. Then, yesterday after class, I asked her if she would like to hang out this weekend, and maybe see a movie. I also told her that I really care about her. She then confided: “You’re really nice, Diego, but I’m just not ready for a relationship. But, I hope that we can keep hanging out, as friends.” I said: “I understand; I want to be your friend.”
I think that Shandra is really pretty, and we share a lot of interests. Do you have suggestions about what I can do to get her interested in me? Or, is this a hopeless pursuit?
Diego, from Northern California (and Spain)
Katy Ann: Diego, she sounds really nice, but she does not seem to be responding to your efforts at moving the relationship from friendship to dating.
Doc Joe: Ouch! I recall reading about the five greatest fibs in the history of mankind — with “I’m not ready for a relationship” being right near the top.
Katy Ann: You read that? Hmm … Well, I agree that she’s not interested this time, and she’s trying to be kind.
Doc Joe: You think Diego should keep trying?
Katy Ann: There are reasons that some people are truly “not ready” for a relationship, such as after a break-up, a serious loss or traumatic event. Yes, it may be worth giving it some more time, but you know, Joe, I’m a romantic optimist.
Doc Joe: Well … Diego, do you sense that Shandra is trying to say “I’m not ready, now,” or, “I just want to be friends?” If she wants to be friends, there’s little more that you can do.
Katy Ann: There is really no way to “make” her interested. But, patience, kindness, humor and good-listening are really appealing.
Good luck, Diego. You sound like a good guy. If she’s not ready, I’m guessing that the university girls will line up to meet you.
Doc Joe: Well, there you have it.
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