I had a hot summer but was sad to leave my summer fling at home this year. When I moved into my dorm there was a new hottie right across the hall. She’s great but I’m just not ready to start anything. How can I let her know nicely and still keep the hot factor in my hall?~Sizzling in Sue B.

Dear Sizzling,

You’re right to not want to lead her on, but you don’t want to burn bridges. Who knows – the hottie across the hall could become a real possibility after your broken heart has mended. On the other hand, if you confess your dating history in a drunken sprawl, it may not weigh fairly on future relations with Ms. H-factor.

It’s all in the subtle conversations and – yes – body language. Instead of offering to watch “Vanity Fair” – just the two of you, all alone in the balcony seating – try a more neutral invite like a good ol’ frat party with your hall. No harm in the group activities, and you can spare yourself the awful limbo of one-on-one conversation.

Avoiding alone time is key to stopping the pitfalls of eyewinks and soft smiles. When in a group, an eyewink is much more likely an eyewink, but when alone, a kiss is never just a kiss. Avoid early-morning invitations to your room, known as booty calls. The 2 a.m. pizza and a movie is simply never for the pizza and may give Ms. H-factor some mixed signals, which is unfair to her and may in the end hurt you once again. Still, you want to keep all doors open, so talks are fine, group dinners, etc.

If she doesn’t seem to get the hint and keeps trying for a little tango, move to level two. Act just as nice to the other girls on the hall as you do to her. This clearly communicates that your friendly treatment is just that – the actions of a good hall mate.

It also allows you to be the friendly guy so there aren’t any harsh feelings. Unless Ms. H-factor becomes insistent, which if she is truly steaming shouldn’t occur, there is no need for a drawn out conversation on your feelings toward her. The danger in that conversation also lies in the unrealized possibility that Ms. H-factor may be dividing her sexy nature with others.

That is, dear Sizzling, Ms. H-factor may have a boyfriend, a girlfriend or may just be the friendly hallmate too. The deep conversation risks transforming you from friendly hallmate into just another creepy dude wandering the halls on Friday. Tread lightly, Sizzling, and you can preserve your little island of steam without leading the natives on or getting a nasty rash. Best wishes with your dorm dilemma.

Got a love and relationship question that’s literally, ummm… burning? Ask the Love Goddess herself, Robyn Tanner, at ctfeats@hotmail.com.

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