Harriette Cole: I screwed things up with my new flame. What do I do now?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently met someone who swept me off my feet.

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I haven’t had an intimate relationship for years, and just being around this guy turned me on. I got so caught up, though, that I think I scared him off.

We were talking every day, sometimes well into the night, but a few days ago he stopped calling. Do I press him to find out what I did wrong or wait to see if he will come back?

— Hot

DEAR HOT: Trust your gut. It sounds like you pushed too hard already. Don’t do anything.

If this guy remains interested in you, he will reach out.

Meanwhile, don’t just sit and wait for him — live your life. Be grateful that you have rediscovered your sensuality.

Maybe that was this man’s role in your life, to reawaken you to yourself, not necessarily to be your partner. It could be that he served his purpose.

Hold on to the good feeling that you got from engaging with him, but don’t try to make more of it than there is.

Now calm down and open your eyes to see who might be a good partner for you. Don’t try to force anything; just be present.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 25-year-old woman, and I want to pursue a relationship with my childhood friend.

He and I have been friends since we were 5 years old. We went to the same schools from elementary through college, and now we both live in Boston.

Over the years, our friendship has been a constant source of joy and support in my life. We’ve shared countless memories, from playing in the neighborhood as kids to studying for exams in college. He knows me better than almost anyone else, and I cherish the bond we have.

Recently, I’ve started to realize that my feelings for him have deepened beyond friendship. I find myself wondering what it would be like to be more than “just friends” and whether there is potential for a romantic relationship between us.

The idea of exploring a romantic relationship with him excites me, but it also makes me anxious. I’m worried about the possibility of ruining our long-standing friendship if things don’t work out.

Additionally, I have no idea if he feels the same way about me or if he even sees me in a romantic light.

I’m not sure how to broach the subject without making things awkward between us. How can I approach this situation?

— More Than Friends

DEAR MORE THAN FRIENDS: Drum up the courage to talk to your friend about this. Tell him that you have a sensitive matter to discuss, and you hope he is open to listen.

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Remind him of how much you value your friendship, and tell him you have been wondering if you two can be more than platonic friends. Admit that you are worried that bringing this up could damage your friendship, but you figured it is worth considering. Ask him if he has ever thought about the two of you as a couple or if he would consider it.

Don’t pressure him to make a decision on the spot. Have patience, and see what he says.

If the answer is yes, explore the possibilities. If it is no, give yourselves some space, if needed, and then agree to remain friends.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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