Should I pursue this crush?

Having trouble on apps? Dealing with a crush? A breakup? Moving in with someone for the first time? Making a life change? What's on your mind? Send a letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

Hi there,

There was this guy at work (I say "was" because he recently went back to school to change careers) that I found myself head-over-heels for. I thought it was a crush and that it would pass, but it didn't.

Every day we worked together, my feelings just kept getting deeper and deeper. Every day I learned more things about him I liked. Even his flaws. We hung out once, and I was able to probe about his life a little. I found out that he was hurt in the past and because of that, he chose to work on himself and stay single for a while.

I can tell he likes me (perhaps not as much as I'm into him) but he doesn't really talk to me outside of work. I'm afraid of pushing him too fast. Or bugging him when he's studying. I'm a patient girl but I just want to know – is this worth the energy I so desperately want to give him? Or is this potentially great relationship a waste of my precious time?

– Hoping and Waiting

I don't know how he feels about you or whether he'd consider romance right now. He holds this information – so you have to ask him for it.

The biggest, most confusing waste of time is the pining so many of us do when we have a crush. Thinking about someone 24-7 for weeks or months before getting an answer only inflates the person's importance before they've earned it. And hey, I get why pining for someone is an appealing route for a bit. If you silently harbor feelings for someone, there's no real risk. There's time for fantasies. It can feel dramatic. Analyzing every moment of body language that happened during a dinner can seem more exciting than just asking someone how they feel.

But that's where the time starts to disappear. Patience isn't always the right answer.

My advice is to keep things low stakes, but to ask for what you want. Say something like, "I wished our time out together had turned into a date. Can we have a date one night? It could be very fun." Or something. If he says no, that's that. Honesty is such a time saver.

– Meredith

Readers? What role does patience play here?