Luv Doc,
I work with a guy who is always flirting with me, but he never actually asks me out. He has left candy on my desk and “anonymous” flattering notes, and he even gave me a candy heart for Valentine’s Day last year. Why would someone go to so much trouble and have nothing to show for it? He seems like a nice, sweet guy, and I would probably go out with him if he asked, but either he can’t get up the nerve or he’s secretly gay. What do you think?

I think it’s probably a good policy to assume that all men are secretly gay—at least until their actions prove otherwise. If the prison system has shown us anything, it’s that people are highly adaptive and given the right circumstances can even adapt to different interpretations of their preconceived gender stereotypes. So, just assume he’s gay and then work on proving your hypothesis.. The world is littered with men and women who have been the victim of a faulty gaydar, so just toss out your gaydar altogether. The fact that this fellow hasn’t been able to pull the trigger doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay, nor does it mean he’s gay if he has really good hair, dresses impeccably, and smells like heaven. Don’t get me wrong, those factors definitely increase the odds, but if you’re going to make decisions based on assumptions, it’s best to start with the assumption that you are always going to be wrong, right?

You do seem to be in a bit of a pickle here, so I am going to give you some solid advice: You should just go ahead and ask him out. I know. That is a great idea. Frankly I am surprised you didn’t of it yourself. This is assuming, of course, that starting a romantic relationship with this fellow isn’t a violation of your employee manual … or that you aren’t the subject of a restraining order … or that you haven’t recently been bitten by a zombie. Starting a new relationship with someone with the knowledge that you were recently bitten by a zombie is dirty, dirty pool. As a matter of fact, if you pull that kind of shenanigan, you should be thrown out of the dating pool entirely … and not just because there is a high likelihood you will turn into a zombie, but because you are a terrible person—maybe even worse than an actual zombie.

However, given that you haven’t recently been bitten by a zombie, you have my full permission to rip out your heart, staple it to your sleeve, and ask this gentleman on a real date. Yes, he might shoot you down—maybe because he’s suspicious that you might be a zombie—or maybe because he’s actually gay, but regardless of his sexual orientation and zombie status, you will know whether he wants to go you with you. Frankly Abby, just in the time has taken me to write this, the suspense has nearly killed me. I don’t know how you have been able to live with it for more than a year, but it can’t be healthy. Time to put your inhibitions aside and go on a glorious, possibly fruitful crusade for the truth. You owe yourself that, don’t you?