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November 8, 2012 12:22 PM Subscribe
I'm wondering if I should keep emailing someone I've only met once and won't see again for six months.
posted by anonymous to human relations (11 answers total)
Hi, I'm an overthinking female. I wrote to a guy on OKC about 5 months ago and we've been exchanging emails since then (all offline - neither of us is on it now.) Honestly my intention was not that romantic, but he seemed like someone I'd get along well with. We are both in our 40s, we live about an hour away from each other, but are both really independent and such heavy travelers that we've only been able to meet in person a single time, after three months of emailing. Until then I admit I wasn't very consistent about writing, only because I didn't want to get too far along online without meeting. It was an unremarkable first date: pleasant and a bit awkward, but nothing sparky. We spent an afternoon at a museum and then made dinner at my place. My guess is neither of us is exactly each other's type - and I wasn't that attracted to him physically, but to my own surprise I started to put it together that we had some important and rare things in common, and definitely wanted to get to know him more. We write every couple of weeks, mostly platonic stories of our adventures, nothing inappropriately intimate - though it seems we're both interested in each other. I like him a lot as a human being. I also like that we're both of the dating temperament to just hang out and see if we like each other, without any intense romantic expectations.
After we met, he left for another state for two months. We tried and were almost able to meetup there - I was traveling nearby for business - but couldn't quite work it out. I made more of an effort to meet than he did, but we also miscommunicated and he said he was sorry and appreciated my effort. But it stung a little. After that I backed off on my emailing again because I realized I was in fact developing an attachment to him but that I barely knew him at all in real life, and lord knows I'm already pretty good at projecting. I wrote and explained that to him, that I wanted to stay in his life but didn't think it was wise to write so much until we had a chance to spend more time in person first. I let him know I was open to him contacting me when he got back into town. (I should mention that one thing we have in common is our hatred for cell phones, so we've also only even spoken one time.) I have wondered if he is one of those superreserved types that believes they've got to know a ton about you before meeting and doesn't get how risky it is to carry on this way, and instead is interpreting my sporadic contact as me being flakey or uninterested. He sent a few more nice emails and I had little heart pangs but felt a bit irritated. I was tempted to keep going along writing, but decided to go with a short note - "great to hear from you, looking forward to seeing you when you get back, btw my work schedule has changed and I'll be out of town on XX dates."
Still with me? Turns out "XX dates" fell exactly within a small window of a few days he was going to be back - just long enough to pack and head out of state again - for the winter. This isn't a surprise, he told me this months ago. He has just written saying, "sorry, I know six months is a long time, but I'm willing to keep emailing if you are."
I like him, but I feel like I am wasting my time at this point. Because (pick one): he's just not that into you / he's not available / plenty of fish (but fewer after 40, trust me!) / bad idea to go that long without relating in person / etc. I don't get the sense at all that he's playing me, more likely that he is ambivalent, shy, or even intimidated (I've got a few degrees, he is awesome without them). Should I confess I've got some Feelings? What would that accomplish? I don't think we have enough history to call it a relationship, ask if we're dating, or propose trying to visit each other. Should I keep in touch but try to keep it platonic? I don't know if it's possible for me to dial it back now. Part of me thinks the type of attraction I'm feeling might be the slow-burn, seriously-good-match kind, and that it would be a shame to not give that a chance. But who the hell knows - this is based only on one afternoon together and bunch of emails.