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Do It with Emotion

This is a column where we address questions and topics of all kinds concerning sex and relationships. Dr. Do It and Ms. Emotion do not claim to be experts in the fields but have been “around the block” a few times and have seen their share of situations involving relationships and sex. The opinions of Dr. Do It and Ms. Emotion do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication.

Dear Dr. Do It and Ms. Emotion:

I’m really infatuated with Natalie Portman. Now that she’s attending Harvard, I want to know what I can do to try to get closer to her. Do you have any suggestions?

- Overcome by "The Force"

Dr. Do It: Natalie Portman is attending Harvard. However, she currently has a boyfriend. So I’d say it’s a safe bet that you should not try to do anything to get closer to her at the moment.

Dear Dr. Do It and Ms. Emotion:

My best friend and I are really close. I think I'm falling in love with her, what should I do?

- Getting too close?

Ms. Emotion: You should definitely be very careful with this situation. On one hand you have a really close friend whom you probably confide in heavily. On the other hand you have the possibility of taking your relationship to a different, more intimate level. There are definite risks here, which I’m sure you are aware of. Some people swear off dating their close friends because there is the possibility that the relationship might end badly and they will not only lose a relationship but a close friend as well.

This does not mean you should totally write it off. Your best friend may be having the same feelings for you. It might be a good idea you talk with her about the way you feel and see how she reacts. She should be able to handle it because she is your best friend. And based on your discussions, the two of you can determine whether it would be a good idea pursue it further. Just keep in mind there are certain risks and ramifications to consider.

Dr. Do It: Have you talked it over with her? This is a tough one for me to answer because I have seen really strong friendships blossom into very strong intimate relationships and some that have ended very badly, to the point the two people don’t even speak to one another. Because of the serious risks involved you should do some very serious self-evaluation. Try to determine why you are beginning to feel this way and make sure that it is for the right reasons.

I think that some people have fallen in love with their best friends out of convenience or a misinterpretation of the type of closeness shared in a close friendship and they think it should be taken to a more intimate level. These relationships can definitely end badly. However, if you find that you are falling in love with this person truly for who she is and feel strongly enough about her, then you should feel confident enough to talk it over with her. I strongly suggest that you both weigh in the risks and make sure both of you are confident you are willing to take the next step.

If it turns out that the feelings are not mutual then I am sure that you can still be close friends although you may feel a little awkward for awhile. But this will pass in time and you will most likely find someone else and your friend will be there to support you.

If the feelings are mutual and you do decide to go to a more intimate level, then you will both have to rely on your openness with each other to communicate what each of you wants in the relationship and not try to step on each other's toes. Communication is the key to a strong relationship, whether it's a friendship or a more intimate one. So even if the two of you find at a later time that it's not working out, you can both hopefully remain close friends because of your openness with each other.

If you have any questions for Dr. Do It and Ms. Emotion or topics you would like them to discuss, please send e-mail to advice@the-tech.mit.edu.