Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. It’s complicated crush: I have a super great friendship forming with my reserved pal, “Yorkie”—and I think sparks are flying? She is pursued relentlessly by a couple of borderline creepers in professional settings, which is stressing her out. Normally I’d just bravely admit my burgeoning crush, but in this case I don’t want to add to the pile-on of creepy suitors. We are at a dinner-and-lingering-hug-once-a-week stage, and she is super shy. Should I wait for a Clear Move and enjoy the queer-crush life, or gently risk the friendship and her comfort by bringing it up?
A: You don’t work with your friend, and she clearly likes you enough to get dinner with you once a week, so I don’t think you should worry about appearing like any of the creeps who won’t leave her alone at work. That said, now may not be the best time for her to deal with another declaration of affection if she seems particularly overwhelmed in having to manage romantic attention already. Since you say you’re fairly close, try to gauge how it seems like she’s doing before asking if she’s noticed any sparks flying too.