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I have known this girl for close to two years. She was a bartender at a place I frequent. Earlier this year, we started hanging out outside the bar. Instantly, I felt a chemistry between the two of us, and we have spent a good deal of time together. I have not professed my romantic interest in her, as she had stated that she was not looking for a relationship at the moment. (This was not revealed as a response to making a "move" on her, but rather in a casual conversation about one of her suitors).
Over time, I have noticed certain things, however, like how she would stop correcting people when they would assume we were a couple, and just smile. I had it in my mind that this pointed to a possible mutual romantic attraction. The problem now is that I believe she has developed an interest in another man (this is speculation based on social media). My question: How do I approach and have the conversation, where I can lay out my feelings for her without being too overwhelming?
You can tell her how you feel by repeating the things you said in this letter. You did a really good job of outlining what's on your mind, so use it as a guide. To sum it up in one sentence: You like hanging out with her, you've avoided showing your romantic interest because she hasn't wanted a relationship, but you've hit the point where you need to acknowledge your feelings, even if you're still trying to figure out what they mean.
I wouldn't bring up this other man right now. Let her decide what parts of her life are relevant to the conversation. (Also know that social media can be very deceiving. She might not have anything to say about that guy.)
Prepare yourself for the possibility that the time you spend with her might change. If she doesn't reciprocate your feelings – or even if she does – she might need time to adjust to the change in your intentions. And that's just one more reason to tell her. You shouldn't let her believe that you're just a friend if you're trying to figure out ways to be more.
Readers? How should the LW talk about these feelings?