I just got rejected by a girl whom I was certain had wanted me to make a move. I am very confused now. If anyone wants to venture a guess as to what happened I would appreciate it. Long story after the jump.
posted by thescientificmethhead to human relations (94 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I’m a 22 year old male. All of my life I’ve suffered from a confidence deficit in my relations with women (girls), mostly as a result of believing that I am too ugly to win the affections of an attractive girl. I’ve had one serious girlfriend who is also the only person I’ve had sex with, and that relationship ended roughly three years ago. Since then I haven’t shared contact with the opposite gender outside of friendly conversation. I’ve made an art and bad habit out of unrequited love.
Recently I’ve been investigating the power of positive thinking and the notion that the scenes of our life are not external and separate from us, but are actually mirroring our internal conditions. From this line of thought I came to the realization that my lack of confidence and expectation of failure was what was keeping me from the relationships with women that I wanted. From this perspective the history of my repeated failures with the fairer sex (as I remembered it) seemed completely different to me. Before this paradigm shift I had seen myself as a hopelessly ugly and inept victim, doomed to long for the beautiful and alluring specimens of femininity that crossed my path but never deserving to see those feelings returned. And now, when I revisited those scenes from my past I saw that many lovely ladies had been well within my grasp, and most likely waiting for me to reach out to them, to “make the first move,” which my fear (grounded in my certainty of rejection) prevented me from ever attempting. I imagined the scenarios as I remembered them from the other person’s perspectives, and became aware that I actually may have been hurting these beautiful people and calling myself the victim!
Moving along: Last school year I started hanging out with this guy, who I will call Tom, and he is now one of my best friends. Tom has a girlfriend named Martha. They met first year of college and have been dating steadily for nearly four years. They are very close, each other’s first lovers and all that. Because of the young lovers’ affinity for each other, I soon found myself hanging out with both of them fairly often, and the three of us have spent a good deal of time together over the past year. Martha is a beautiful girl, and very sweet, yet somehow I managed to conduct a platonic friendship with her without ever developing an infatuation, which is historically what I’ve done in similar situations. I was happy enough just being her friend, without wondering if I would ever hold her in my arms, and I enjoyed hanging out with her and Tom enough that those kinds of questions never bothered me.
Earlier this summer Tom was out of town for a month. During this time Martha made several unsolicited visits to my roommate and I’s apartment (Martha’s apartment is just down the street, about a ten minute walk). The first time was on a Saturday, and she was wearing what I perceived to be a very sexy outfit. I thought it odd that she was so “done-up” on a weekend when her man was out of town. Also, Martha had never come by our place on her own while Tom was around, it would always be in her presence. My roommate and I joked that it seemed like Martha was looking for some love while Tom was gone. I tried to put it out of my mind, but a day later Martha sent me a text message asking if I wanted to watch a movie over at her place. This is also something that had never happened previously, let alone when Tom was around. I thought that the invitation seemed like a hook up line. Martha is a great girl and I would be privileged to be with her, but ultimately I sided with loyalty to my friend, as I couldn’t in good conscience make a move on his girlfriend while he was away. Martha came by again one evening after work while I was home alone. We talked for a while but I was careful to not intimate anything beyond platonic interest. She excused herself to leave as she had to be up early the next morning, and when she got to the door she paused and turned around and sort of arched herself toward me in a gesture that I interpreted as very suggestive body language, and said, “By the way, Tom is getting back next week, not this week.” Then she left. Now, maybe I was projecting what I wanted to see onto what Martha was actually communicating, but that statement sounds to me like she was saying “Why don’t we have some fun while my boyfriend is still out of town?”
As far as opportunities for great spontaneous sexual relations go, this scenario was a perfect storm. But I did what I thought at the time was the right thing and resisted temptation. So Tom returned and things got back to normal more or less. He did seem somewhat ill at ease with the information that Martha had been coming by my apartment while he was gone, which indicated to me that he had the same suspicions about her motives as I had. I never mentioned any of this to Tom, since nothing had happened from it and I didn’t see the purpose in telling someone “Hey, I think you’re girlfriend was acting real slutty while you were out of town.” As time went by, however, I began imagining what things would’ve been like if I had responded to Martha’s advances, and I started to regret that I had let what seemed like a golden opportunity to be with someone I really like pass me by, leaving my already uneventful romantic life unchanged. This regret festered inside of me until I made the decision to seize the missed opportunity, or at least create a second opportunity.
Tom left town again last week, and the same day that he left I messaged Martha to ask if she wanted to get together over the weekend as I suddenly and unexpectedly had a house all to myself. She got back to me a couple of days later and said that she was going to make some popcorn and watch a movie and that I was welcome to join her. Doesn’t that sound like a ‘date’ scenario to anybody besides me? Well I got it into my mind that I was going to finally close the deal with this beautiful girl who I thought had been begging me to make a move. With confidence in myself and love for all sentient beings everywhere in the universe I drove to meet her.
We chatted while making popcorn, watched some Olympics, and then tried to start the movie but the disc was not cooperating. I interpreted this technical malfunction as a sign from the universe to quit stalling and make my move (an interpretation I also ascribed to an Olympic commentator’s use of the phrase “first erection” to describe a gymnast’s maneuver). Sitting beside her on a loveseat I turned to face her and said, “Obviously I’m terrible at making the first move, so is it alright if I kiss you?” And she said “No,” which I had not expected. I asked her why and she said, “I’m with Tom. I just couldn’t do that to him.” At this time I wasn’t hurt or broken, but I did feel something that I think must be akin to shock. I just couldn’t believe it. I had been so confident of my success, and so sure of the signals I thought she had been sending. After a moment of thought I asked her, “But weren’t you coming on to me while Tom was out of town?” She said that she hadn’t, that her visits had all been made in the spirit of friendship, and that “I guess everybody just perceives things very differently.”
Now, I believe that we all view the world through a “reality tunnel” that filters our perceptions in accordance with our beliefs. I am inclined to agree with a Mefite who commented on a post recently that “reality is spontaneous and unique to each of us.” I am versed in the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, and I think I understand that “whatever the thinker thinks the prover proves,” that we all live in separate realities and that all perception is gamble and so forth, but her assertion that I had hallucinated all her advances was truly mind-blowing to me. I also want to mention that during this exchange following my bid for a kiss Martha remained remarkably composed. She hardly stirred or batted an eye after my question, almost as if she had expected it or something similar. She didn’t seem upset, didn’t raise her voice or ask me to leave after I revealed my intentions, which also seemed strange to me. I didn’t challenge her version of events any further however because I was stunned, mind reeling and what not. So I have been trying to figure out what the “truth” behind his scenario is. Perhaps I am dangerously crazy, and my perception of reality is more hallucination than I had considered before; that I had seen Martha making come hither advances toward me simply because that is what I wanted to see in my heart of hearts? Perhaps she is crazy and wasn’t aware of the messages she was transmitting; or perhaps she was subconsciously seeking male attention, consciously unaware of her actions. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt; I have always thought of Martha as a sweet girl, and I don’t want to give credence to the conspiracy theory that she conducted this elaborate game with my emotions just to be able to deny me and revel in my humiliation. Should I have just moved in to kiss her instead of asking? What happened here, where did I go wrong?