Dear Yente,

I think I may have fallen in love with a family friend. It’s weird because we’ve known each other since we were babies – our moms met in Lamaze – and we’ve only ever acted like siblings around each other. Now, suddenly, I find myself wondering when she got to be such a beauty!

What makes things even worse is that our parents keep saying horrible things at holiday dinners and family gatherings like, “They look so natural together!” I just want to handle this on my own time without direction from anyone else. And yet, here I am, asking for direction from you. Please help! It’s so awkward to have a crush on a friend. What do I do?

—In Need of Direction


Dear INoD,

Dude. It sounds like you hit the dating jackpot. You don’t have to deal with the muck and mire of certain swiping apps, going to skeevy bars or discovering too late that your date is a jerk/idiot/circus performer/scientologist. Basically? Your only concerns are whether or not you have physical chemistry, and if you are romantically compatible. Score. When it comes to your family … look, your family is most likely just excited for you both and trying to be supportive and enthusiastic; they’re not trying to be annoying, but that’s, ya know, how family works.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Ask this family friend OUT. As in, on a date, perhaps for dinner? And no, that dinner cannot be Thanksgiving dinner!
  2. See if you … ya know, like them.
  3. Based on the results of #2, proceed to another date or throw in the towel and see your family friend at Shabbat in 2018 (or whatever).
  4. Kindly tell your family to knock it off until you know what is up.
  5. Listen to musical theatre songs to get you through whatever the results may be. To quote Dan Savage of “Savage Love:”

“Listen to the original Broadway cast recordings of Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music – music and lyrics, in all three cases, by Stephen Sondheim (peace be upon him). […] Epiphanies, insights, and breakthroughs come most reliably in moments of silence, i.e., when you have to flip the record over.

“Here are the songs you need to pay close attention to: “Sorry-Grateful” from, “The Road You Didn’t Take” from Follies, and “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music. (You might be a little too fragile for “Too Many Mornings” and “Losing My Mind,” both from Follies.) Listen over and over again – until you know the lyrics of all three songs by heart. Discuss what these songs mean with your new(est) gay friend. Then you’ll know what to do.”

Good luck.

Alexandra SilberALEXANDRA SILBER, who plays Tzeitel in the upcoming revival of Fiddler on the Roofis a 2014 Grammy nominee for her portrayal of Maria in the historic, first-ever concert presentation, accompanied by the first-ever full symphonic recording of West Side Story, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony. Broadway and New York credits include: Sophie in Master Class (with Tyne Daly), Sara Jane in the premiere of Arlington (Outer Critics Circle nomination), and The Young Wife in Hello Again (Drama League Award nomination). Film and Television: The 57th Grammy Awards; Kiss Me, Kate; The Mysteries of Laura; and 1408. Training: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow Interlochen Center for the Arts. Come see Tzeitel tackle her own dating problems at The Broadway Theatre in Fiddler on the Roof, now in previews.
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