How do I fall in love?

I'm with her and I like her but I'm shy and don't know really what I'm feeling

Topics: Emotion, Shyness, Introversion, Love, relationships, Travel, Since You Asked, Love and Sex, Innkeepers,

How do I fall in love? (Credit: Zach Trenholm/Salon)

Dear Cary,

I’m a 31-year-old man with a very childish mind regarding the world and women.

I’ve been into a relationship with a nice girl for six months now, and while I’m attracted to her by her personality and physical attributes, it bugs me that I’m not falling in love with her.

We work at the same place and get along very well. I enjoy chatting and talking to her, going out to public places, and having more private encounters.

I must confess this is my first relationship. I’m extremely shy and it took great courage to start talking to her. Since then we’ve been getting along well, but we’ve also been separated twice — mainly because I started freaking out.

She seems very much into this, and I’d like to correspond but I don’t know why I can’t. Right now, I feel like a liar, but when we were separated I felt miserable and empty.

I owe her a lot, but I’m saddened because she’s not after anything else than my affection and I seem to be unable to really fall for her. I just want her to be successful and happy, and safe from any harm.

Shall I continue with the relationship? Is it good enough if she feels loved? What if I am feeling love but I don’t know it?

I need your advice, Cary.

Not Really a Person

Dear Not Really a Person,

Slow down.  She likes you.

Stay with her for two years. If after two years it doesn’t feel right, tell her you have to go on a vacation by yourself. Go to a seaside resort. Get a room with a view of the ocean. Sit on the floor and pray. Ask what you should do next. Keep sitting there. Have a pitcher of water at your side. When you become thirsty, pour some water. Pour some water on your hands. Wait for the water to slowly evaporate. Listen to the sound of the sea. If there is a book you have brought with you, sit in a chair and read the book. Eat your meals alone. Go to the sea at sunset and walk for a long time. Don’t make phone calls. Go to bed early and get up early. Write down your dreams if you remember them. Be polite to the people who run the inn. Tip generously but consistently. Don’t shop for knickknacks. On the third day in the inn, write this girl a letter. Tell her how you are feeling and what your life is like. Talk about the future, how it could be. Tell her everything you want to tell her. Tell her everything you are thinking and feeling. Then put it in an envelope.



Think about sending it.

Send it.

Tell the innkeeper you would like to stay a few more days. Tell the people at work that you need a few more days. Find a place where you can exercise. Or if there is no place like that then just run until you are exhausted. Lift heavy things. Swim as far as you can. Do push-ups. Eat a good meal. Bathe well. Go to sleep early. Stay in the inn until you are truly ready to leave or until circumstances dictate that you must. When you come back and she asks you how your trip was, tell her it was very good. Tell her about the inn. Ask her if she would like to go there with you sometime. Ask her if she has vacation time. If she has vacation time, take out your calendars and mark them with the dates that you will go to the inn. When those dates come, go to the inn together. Greet the innkeeper with familiarity but reserve. Tip the innkeeper. Go to your room.

Open the windows and look out at the sea together.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>