Fitness Or Romance? Should I Tell Him I Like Him?

Hi T!

I just recently found your blog and really liked your advice so I figured I’d ask you for some! I have a crush on one of my martial arts instructors and am dying over it. We share a lot of interests and get along really well. He seems to treat me a little differently and I don’t know if it’s because we’re friends or what. We’ve known each other for 5 months now and see each other 5/6 days a week. I’m extremely hesitant to even hint at asking him out because I don’t want to fuck up what we’re currently vibing with.

The few times we’ve been out in a group he gave me a hug (he doesn’t like touching people/people touching him and he initiated the hugs each time). The time we went out to a bar with some others from our studio, I had alcohol for the first time ever, and he babysat me.  He made sure I drank lots of water, let me rest my head on his shoulder, and walked me out to my uber.

I know he’s currently single. He told me he bragged to his brother and his soon-to-be sister-in-law when he took some of the treats I made home for them to try and boasted about being able to have my treats weekly.  I know he swings my way, I’m AFAB non-binary, and after I casually mentioned I was nb he asked for my pronouns so as not to make me uncomfortable.

I’m just so torn between saying nothing and enjoying what we’ve got going.  Or asking him out and possibly fucking things up. I like him and our studio and everyone there. It would suck if I said or did anything to make him uncomfortable or make things between us awkward.

Should I just say ‘screw it’ and ask him out? Or bite my tongue?

Thank you! <3

-Martial Arts Admirer

Dear Martial Arts Admirer,

Thanks for writing to me.  I’m glad you’ve came across my website and felt comfortable enough to seek my advice. Luckily for you, the dilemma you’ve presented me with is very similar to the dilemma several other people have asked me about on here.  Which means, I’m going to present you with some words of wisdom that’s pretty consistent with what I’ve told the folks before you.

In general, messing with someone you have a professional relationship with is risky business.  Really for the same reasons you hinted at above.  If you two get involved and it doesn’t wind up working out, things will probably get very awkward for you at the martial arts studio.  Heck, even if you open your mouth and tell him you like him but he just doesn’t reciprocate the feelings, things will probably still get a little weird.  And no one wants to be in a situation where they are paying to be uncomfortable. I get it.

But like I always say, if two people have a genuine connection and have the potential of being each other’s soulmate, then one of them has to pipe up and say something. As the expression goes, “closed mouths don’t get fed.” You won’t know if your martial arts instructor is your very own Prince Charming until you say something. Or until you convince him to say something to you (which takes a little skill on your part, and takes a little courage on his).

Now before you utter a word, make sure that you actually like your instructor and not lust for him. If you don’t have feelings for him that are based on more than physical attraction and wanting to roll around with him in the sheets, then it’s not worth compromising your professional relationship. Just admire his good looks in silence and go find someone you have a more well-rounded connection with.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. You need to figure out if your attraction for this guy is lopsided. To determine if you are misreading the signs you think are there.  (Check out one of my oldies but goodies.)


  1. If you think without a shadow of a doubt that your instructor is attracted to you too, then open your mouth and get the ball of romance rolling. However, be prepared for things to change if whatever you get started doesn’t wind up working out.

As always nothing but love,

Tavion Scott

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