I'm confused
September 13, 2008 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible for friends to develop a relationship that's more than friendship even if one of them is happy with the way things are right now?

She: Knows how I feel, is flattered, and would still like to be friends but isn't quite ready for a relationship yet.

Me: Have been secretly in love with her for the past 2 years, and would definitely like to take the relationship forward.

Only problem is, I don't want to jeopardize the friendship that we have... how do I go about doing this? Is it possible to still be friends with her and let her know that I still desire her in this way. Will she be put off by this (she told me that she doesn't like me talking about falling in love with her--but she doesn't mind me expressing my feelings for her in this way: I usually make sure that she knows how much I care for her and how concerned I am that nothing happens to off-shoot the bond that we've shared). I really do care for her, and I would like nothing more than to show her how much, but I don't want to risk losing her.

Is there any chance that I could win her over yet?
posted by hadjiboy to Human Relations (41 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Please don't copy and paste "she told me that she doesn't like me talking about falling in love with her" and say--well--there's your answer, or something equally unhelpful.

Don't mean to sound rude, but I would really like to know what I can do here. Thanks!
posted by hadjiboy at 7:15 AM on September 13, 2008

You don't want us to copy and paste what is basically your answer. As a woman, and as someone who has had male "friends" force their unwanted feelings on me (when I was in a relationship!), really, really, really, the best thing you could do is to stop talking about it and try to move on emotionally. Life is not like Chasing Amy. You're much more likely to alienate her as a friend if you continue to place more emphasis on her feelings than on yours.

I really do care for her, and I would like nothing more than to show her how much, but I don't want to risk losing her.

If you really do care for her, that needs to include respecting her wishes. The relationship is almost certainly not going to move forward, so you need to move on.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:25 AM on September 13, 2008 [9 favorites]

Is there any chance that I could win her over yet?

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. You ask twice variations of "could this work?" and I suspect that you know that a lot of people are going to tell you "No" and yet you also request no "unhelpful" answers. If you're looking for what you can do here for yourself, my best advice would be to figure out if you would be totally happy with a friendship with this girl if you knew your feelings weren't reciprocated. If the answer is no, I'd start easing back somewhat.

Keep in mind that many things here could be true and I'm not sure how many of them you have considered but I see two common scenarios

- she is trying to be polite by saying she's not ready for a relationship; what she means is that she's not ready for one with you. Would you feel angry if she started dating someone else? If so, then your friendship is pretty conditional and my easing off suggestion stands
- she is maybe actually not ready for a relationship and you're in a position of waiting until she is ready saying "how abotu now? What about now?" this sets the two of you off on an unequal footing and, to my mind, is not a great way to start a life together.

Put another way, I don't see what is confusing here. She has said she's not ready for a relationship which could mean one of two things (well it could mean many things, but I see those as the two main things) and she has been clear in telling you she doesn't like to hear you talking about falling in love with her.

If you were a guy I was spending friendly time with and I had said "I do not like to hear you talking about falling in love with me" then I'd say your next move would be to cease talking about falling in love with me. This seems to be your next move. Truly caring about someone means taking their feelings into account when you consider how to express your own feelings. Your desire to show her "how much" you care about her directly contradicts her own desire that you not do this. Put another way, why do you want to do this if she has said that this is not what she wants? What do you get out of it?

Telling someone you desire them in some way is usually a pretext to determining if they also feel the same way about you. She seems to have said she doesn't feel that way about you. Telling someone you desire them when they have already said they do not feel the same way about you can seem pushy, needy or somewhat creepy. I know that for someone feeling this sort of longing it can seem like there is nothing more admirable that expressing your true feelings, but in real life, with real people, this is rarely the smart move.

Ask yourself what you are really looking for, and then ask yourself how you think is the best way to go about getting it.
posted by jessamyn at 7:26 AM on September 13, 2008 [7 favorites]

Knows how I feel, is flattered, and would still like to be friends but isn't quite ready for a relationship yet.

This was a polite way of saying no. Sorry.
posted by phrontist at 7:27 AM on September 13, 2008

No. There is no chance. She already knows how you feel, and she is not interested.

The reason she doesn't like you talking about falling in love with her, and what I think you're not getting about this whole dynamic, is that if your feelings aren't shared it makes the situation actively unpleasant for the other person. By bringing it up you're hoping that one day she'll say "oh yeah, all of a sudden I'm totally in love with you, I forgot!" But what she is confronted with is the need to make some kind of response other than "baby, I love you, let's get freaky" without hurting your feelings. And there's no way she can do that. She knows how much you care for her--if you really do care for her, stop putting her in this position.

In addition, I suspect the friendship is doomed, since from I understand it's just a hollow sham set up around your romantic feelings. (I am speaking from personal experience here, so don't take this as an attack.)

What you need to do is take a long, hard look at your real relationship to this girl and think: if this girl never falls in love with me, no matter what I do, is the disproportionate emotional investment I'm putting into this whole thing really worthwhile, and is it really anything like friendship? (To ask yourself this requires cutting through layers upon layers of your own personal bullshit.) And if the answer is "no," which I think it should be, you need to act on it.
posted by nasreddin at 7:33 AM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

Look, anything can happen tomorrow, next month, or next year, but counting on those probabilities is no way to live your life.

The way you word your question is incredibly telling. You know sometimes when we look at our selves, we subconsciously favor being confused because its a small step up or two from heartbroken and unrequited. Your request even has a strong push towards one-sided and frankly unrealistic answers that are a plea for false reassurance. The point is you're not being objective about this and the dissonance in your relationship is going to continue to eat away at you.

If you can't figure out how to subdue your romantic feelings at least for the time being, your friendship won't last. Constantly bringing them up won't help matters any, both in terms of your friendship and even your romantic aspiration.
posted by drpynchon at 7:36 AM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

As a counterpoint to all the naysayers, I was secretly in love with my best friend for about 5 years. He knew partially how I felt, or at least that I wanted to be in a relationship, but it wasn't ever the right time. He also said he didn't want to screw up our friendship. But about two years ago he realized what I had realized all along (that we're great for each other and with each other), and now I live with him and we're planning on getting married in a year or so.

So, it's definitely possible but it takes almost infinite patience on your end. The whole time we were 'just friends', I listened to his girl trouble and had to resist yelling "but i could make you happier", I went out on double dates with him and his girlfriends, basically I had to put aside my romantic feelings to be a good friend. and sometimes that can be hard to do.

It was worth it in the long run though. My mom always told me the man I marry should be my best friend, and it looks like that's going to happen.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 7:43 AM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: nasreddin, I appreciate the forthrightness. I forgot to mention that she had been in a previous relationship which she still refuses to talk about and has alluded to it being the reason why she doesn't want to get involved with anyone else. Other than that, I'm the only guy that she hangs out with on a regular basis (she usually spends time with a group of girlfriends on her weekends, and I usually take her out for a movie and lunch and we catch up on old times).

She's been there for me for the past two years. When I was in my depression, got diagnosed with BP, and wasn't too sure what I was going to do with my life. Women here are very particular about whom they associate with (a guy who doesn't seem to have any future prospects [at least on paper] is a big no-no, but she was brave enough to look past that, and that's what really bonded me to her).

I think she likes taking care of me as well, but ever since I've gotten better--I want to start taking care of her too. Do I make any sense?
posted by hadjiboy at 7:49 AM on September 13, 2008

Jessamyn's advice is spot-on.

It sucks, but I don't think she's interested. It can mean she specifically doesn't want a relationship with you because she just doesn't view you romantically, or it can mean that she doesn't want any relationship right now. Either way, there's nothing you can do except back off. If you don't back off, things will get messy.

And yeah, you should be comfortable with her dating other people, or else it's probably not a good idea to be friends with her.

Sorry you're in such a crappy situation. :-/ It's rough.
posted by Nattie at 7:49 AM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: d13t_p3ps1, congratulations!

I hope you both have a wonderful life together!

posted by hadjiboy at 7:50 AM on September 13, 2008

I don't think you have to worry about her 'forgetting' that you desire her in that way - trust me, she will not. I have been in that situation (as the girl) several times, and the relationship has gone one of three ways for me:

1) I felt so uncomfortable with the severe imbalance of emotions that it was too awkward to hang out anymore because it started to be too loaded with drama. Plus, whenever the guy would make any kind of sexual innuendo or joke, oh god, it was brutal.

2) He DROPPED IT completely and we eventually both started different relationships of our own and are still friends years and years later. But we still don't really talk about "remember that time when you were so into me back in 8th grade?", because that's kind of hurtful.

3) He DROPPED IT completely and afterwards I started pondering the 'what if' until I finally made a move back. We're still together (and happy!) over a year later.

So yes, it can happen. But in my experiences, the only way things could ever get back to normal is if you forget that you ever told her and relegate her to the friend category. That will be easier on both of you. Please don't wait for her to finally come back around to you - there are sure to be tons of girls out there that would be happy to hear about your crush on them.
posted by amicamentis at 8:15 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I've lived through several unrequited loves. None of them were ever fulfilled. But on an up-note, I eventually married and had a child with somebody who loves me as much as I love her, and can honestly say that love is deeper and fuller than any feelings I've ever had for an unrequited love.

Look here for a half-serious overview of the entire subject:

Agony and Rapture

posted by Roger Dodger at 8:24 AM on September 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

She has told you very clearly what she wants from you — to stop talking about being with her, and to respect that she is not ready for a relationship with you at this time.

So first, you have to (if you are serious about making her happy) chill out on the heavy talking, and chill out on pushing her to answer "are you ready yet?" kinds of questions.

But that doesn't mean that you should give up and go home. What you can do is to be there for her, treat her really well, and to make your life a really satisfying and complete place that she would be proud to be a part of. There's a big difference between being the person who is there to see a movie with once in a while, and being a romantic partner — lots more obligations, lots more expectations, lots more going on.

So you want to have a really happy and fulfilling life going on, so that when she sees you for your regular movie date she is looking forward to hearing about what you have going on. Not just big plans, but big actions, you know?

After all that, I have to agree with the people above who have said that almost certainly she is not interested in you romantically and is saying so in the nicest way she can ("It's not you, it's me", right?). This is why you have to chill out on the heavy stuff and the pressure, not just because she said so but also to keep your dignity — you don't want to be the supplicant, looking to her for all your needs.

But I also don't agree that there is zero hope. Everyone knows someone with a story like d13t_p3ps1's... but that is a long and painful path, and probably 99 times out of 100 it doesn't work out. Don't put all your eggs in this one basket; make sure you are out there and are social and engaged in other ways, too.
posted by Forktine at 8:25 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks Forktine, taz, et all.

(I really like the part about concentrating on my life, and leaving the option open of her coming back to me.)
posted by hadjiboy at 8:37 AM on September 13, 2008

Zero hope? No. Anything you can do to speed the process along? No.

That said, I think the best option is to behave as if there's zero hope and realize that, while you can't do anything to speed it up, you can certainly ruin any chances you have with her and your friendship if you're not careful.

In the end, the bottom line is this: she's either going to fall in love with you, or she isn't. Odds are that she won't.

Either way, you have to 100%, completely, absolutely drop it. No mentions, hints, allusions, or acting weird. If you can't handle that, you're not her friend, really, you're just a suitor.

I would actually recommend backing off from the friendship a bit as well. She likely has an internal struggle every time she thinks of asking you to do something because she's worried she'll lead you on. You can alleviate that by demonstrating (actions, not words) that you're over it, have accepted her decision, and aren't going to further burden her with your unrequited love.

Also, use this as an object lesson for future interactions: for the love of god, don't wait 2 years to figure out if she likes you back.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:42 AM on September 13, 2008

Nope, no real chance, sorry bud. nasreddin nailed the answer but was overly nice. It sounds like you're whole friendship is a hollow sham constructed around your feelings and likely her ego. You should stop hanging out with her and get new friends.

I suppose that you've some tiny chance here if (a) you stop giving her emotional support, (b) you get another girlfriend, and (c) she is shallow/competitive enough to feel jealous about this. But currently you're reinforcing her negative answer every time she gives it; indeed now every time you speak to her.

p.s. You'll notice that d13t_p3ps1 is a girl. Males are considerably more flexible about this than women.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:54 AM on September 13, 2008

You need to make it very clear to her that you listened to her message and behave accordingly. After all, if you don't listen to her and respect her boundaries now, she'll definitely (and correctly) assume that's what being in a relationship with you would be like.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 9:14 AM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

i think you have to let her go and concentrate on your own life. if it means putting some distance between you two, then do it. explain to her that you have feelings for her that she doesn't have for you, and you need space away from her to let those feelings fade. because right now, if you are looking for an amazing woman and you're spending a lot of time with her, she's going to be the only one who catches your eye. with some time and distance, you'll be able to see what you love about her in other women, too, and that will help your feelings bubble down.

as for future hope, well, my boyfriend and i went through a similar situation, only we were apart for about 9 years before reconnecting, so is it possible? sure. is it something you want to devote all your energy to? probably not.
posted by thinkingwoman at 9:24 AM on September 13, 2008

OP: I'm asking a question, but please limit your answers to those I want to hear!

Seriously, there has got to be a name for this, this thing that men do when they want to mount their female friends and some how continue to think they can commence with the mounting long after the friend rebuffs their advances...

Yes, women can be just friends with men. No, it doesn't make sense. No, it's not fair. Yes, they should be at least decent enough to hit us off with a booty call every now and then, you know, as a thanks for the friendship... ugh. No, there is nothing you can do about it.

You have to make a choice. Do you want to be friends with this woman or not? Are you emotionally mature enough to not loose your shit when she starts bumping uglies with some new boyfriend? Are you even capable of maintaining a platonic friendship with a woman? (It's okay, most guys can't.)

If you value her friendship (which I don't think you do, otherwise you wouldn't be pursuing her in this fashion) then be her friend, and stop fantasying about her dropping trow.

If, as I think is the case, you're not emotionally mature enough to be her friend, without lusting after her little debbie snake cakes, then you should put some space between you while you try and find someone else to date. Doesn't mean you have to stop being friends, but it does mean you recognize this fixation for what it is...
posted by wfrgms at 9:42 AM on September 13, 2008 [6 favorites]

I'm interested in hadjiboy's comment upthread. To me, these seem like reasons you've constructed that "show" that she really is into you - she has a previous relationship that she's still not over, and she likes to take care of you. This reminds me a lot of the "co-ruminating" that adolescent girls do (not trying to be mean here, I still do it) where they overanalyze every thing that someone else does to try to find "meaning" in it. I'm sorry to tell you that neither of these things mean anything. She may or may not be over the previous relationship (and just because she doesn't talk to you about it doesn't mean she doesn't talk to anyone about it - she may be sparing your feelings because she knows how you feel about her), and she may like helping you out, but neither of these things imply she has romantic feelings for you. And they certainly are much less significant than her telling you, straight out, that she doesn't have romantic feelings for you.

You can get a life of your own and hope for her to come to you, but I think this is framing it the wrong way, because you'll always be hoping and wishing for her to start feeling something she doesn't. You really have to drop it entirely and start focusing not only on yourself, but on dating other people.

I think the reason you've gotten so many negative answers on this thread is because many of the women here (and probably some of the men) have been in the position of having a platonic friend mooning over them. It really is very uncomfortable and unpleasant, and I think it's important for you to understand this and not ignore these comments. The "taking care of her" comment squicks me out; it's one thing to have a reciprocal friendship where you enjoy each other's company and do small favors for each other, but adopting a paternalistic role with her really isn't appropriate to your current relationship. I think the best thing for you to do would be to forget it and move on.

(I was in this position -- having a very intense friendship with a guy I was very interested in, who wasn't interested in me-- and I got over it eventually, although it did take a while. And I got over it by dating other people, cutting our overly-intense, dinner-together-three-nights-a-week friendship down to something more appropriate, and seeing that although he was a great guy, if he wasn't interested in me romantically, he wasn't the guy for me. Which turned out to be completely true. I wish you luck in getting over this because I know how painful unrequited feelings can be.)
posted by alicetiara at 9:48 AM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

You need to put yourself in her shoes, and then you'll have your answer.

Do you know a woman for whom you have absolutely no romantic feelings? If not, can you imagine one? I don't mean ones that you could see yourself "settling" for, but ones that you would never date or marry. If such a woman confessed their feelings to you, would you likely forget it? Would you feel comfortable with her reminding you of her feelings which, while flattering, you have no intention of returning? How would you like her to act towards you, in order to preserve the platonic friendship? Or, conversely, what sort of things would make you want to bail on the friendship?

If you have trouble conceiving of such a situation, replace "woman for whom you have absolutely no romantic feelings" with "male friend who has just come out of the closet", and repeat the exercise.
posted by CKmtl at 10:15 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Walk away, get a social and romantic life going that she's not central to, become a more independent and interesting person, and maybe in a couple of years you'll have a shot at her. Not now.
posted by nicwolff at 10:18 AM on September 13, 2008

It's possible (vanishingly unlikely, but possible, because I've seen it happen once) that she might change her mind and decide she wanted to have a relationship with you someday. And if you were also free then, and still interested in having a relationship with her, it might work.

Or it might not.

The point is that nothing you can do will make that happen. And waiting around for it to happen is a horrible way to spend your life.

The one couple I know who went from friends-where-one-has-a-crush-on-the-other to romantic partners? The crusher didn't spend his time mooning over the crushee--he dated other guys and generally had his own life, and eventually they were both single at the same time and the crushee thought "Hey, maybe my pal X and I might make a go of it."

And the crusher didn't freak the crushee out by talking about how much he wanted to get with him.

So basically, you have to decide that there's a thousand-to-one chance against it ever happening and live your life accordingly. That way, you've got nothing to lose--if she never changes her mind, you've got a life and a love life and everything, and if she does change her mind, you'll go for it if it seems better than whatever else you've got going.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:18 AM on September 13, 2008

You need to find a mindset where you are comfortable with this relationship being labelled as "just good friends".

The good news is that friendship can last longer than romantic relationships.
posted by Baud at 10:40 AM on September 13, 2008

Me: Have been secretly in love with her for the past 2 years... she told me that she doesn't like me talking about falling in love with her

This word "secretly" isn't working for me here.

She knows, she's still tolerating you as a friend despite the looming "threat" of you diving all over her, so back off and relax. If it happens it happens.

In other words: can it happen? Sure. But it probably can't happen on purpose.
posted by rokusan at 10:46 AM on September 13, 2008

Best answer: hmmm. The movie, Hitch, has, imo, some practical tips. And it's funny.

Unrequited love sucks. Bigtime. And the worst part of it is, that being unrequited usually triggers obsessing. Bigtime. No fun but fun but no fun. Around the hamster wheel of repetitive thinking one goes.

The distance between the unrequited person and the object of yearning can also trigger intense and intoxicating lust fantasies. Gee, wonder how I could know that? It's easy to laugh about it now. In the throes of yearning it was a delirium of exquisite, ongoing pain. One time, in 1981, I got myself into an obsession that lasted 5 months. Just agony. Never again.

In my case the template I was taught growing up in a dysfunctional family with an absentee father and emotionally unavailable (understatement) 'mother', meant that I went into the world with that as my emotional software. Not fun. Malware, lol. It's called a repetition compulsion. I replicated for years in adulthood what I knew as a child emotionally. Basically, it's a compulsion to caretake and be caretaken, to merge, rather than have a relationship as emotionally healthy peers, together but separate. Connected but individuated.

Rescuing others or wanting to be rescued is a type of fear of intimacy, taught unconsciously by a parent who wants to be 'rescued' by their child, which is not the job or purpose of a child. But it can feel intoxicating to think one can 'save' or be saved'. In adult relationships, it's playing the parent role to somebody else's child role. Or them playing parent to your child role.

In order to have a fulfilling life emotionally, that dysfunctional, old pattern needs to be deconstructed in what I think of as a recovery process, emotional healing either in therapy, in study, in offline and online recovery groups. One's adulthood needs to be developed in peer relationships.

One's needs need to be fulfilled in other ways too, so the burden of wanting one person to fill all one's needs isn't dumped on them. Like divide up your pleasures, movies, lunches, psychology discussions with other people. And, if you can, under physically/socially safe conditions, get laid, to release some of that lust.

If one isn't having sex as an unmarried young man, which is common in India, but hanging out with an attractive, lovable female, it's completely understandable that one might fall in love, have all those sexual yearning feelings.

The thing is that she sounds wounded and is probably in the process of her healing process, doesn't want to feel cornered. That may trigger intense feelings of discomfort and even revulsion in her. Give her space. And in the meantime, actively look for other female companionship. That may be depressing for you but it's what she's asking for and what I imagine you need for your own emotional well being.
posted by nickyskye at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2008 [8 favorites]

Only problem is, I don't want to jeopardize the friendship that we have...

You are going to jeopardize it if you try and make it happen.

You are worth more than one girl. Find another and let your friendship wane so that you can develop a relationship with someone else.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:49 PM on September 13, 2008

I'm confused. Is this the woman with the small son still?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:51 PM on September 13, 2008


She wants to be friends. Respect that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:13 PM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: I'm confused. Is this the woman with the small son still?

Haha, no.:)

We had a long, long talk yesterday (the girl in question and I) and I think I was able to convince her to give the relationship a shot. I know it's not going to be easy, but I think I'll be able to persuade her. After all, women get seduced by pieces of shit everyday... why can't I not try and persist on my quest. Maybe she'll meet someone better than me, maybe she won't, but for now--I think I'm the best choice she's got. Sorry, but that's the way I feel.

You can disagree with me if you'd like, but if you do, just know this--you're a fool, and I'm just pulling your chain--obviously...
posted by hadjiboy at 9:53 PM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry for breaking one of the rules of AskMe Jess, but I needed to do something to get my mind off of this thread... I know you'll understand.

Also, wfrgms, thanks for bringing something to my attention, I hope you don't mind if I take it to Meta?

posted by hadjiboy at 9:54 PM on September 13, 2008

hadjiboy, please don't pine. I say this as someone who had been on both sides of the coin many times. I've tried to turn down guys that hang on for way to long, to the point where it's clear we couldn't be normal friends, and I've (explicitly! repeatedly!) pined after guys that had tried to let me down gently. Both situations sucked. Hardcore.

So here's my advice to you. Take a step back and honestly reevaluate your situation. You've made you feelings clear to her and she's politely tried to turn them down. She wants to be your friend, period. As hard as I find wfrgms' comment to read, he makes the good point that you need to decide for yourself if you CAN be her friend without constantly having the "Well, someday she may like me" though going through the back of your mind. Take a break from her, and move on as necessary.
posted by piratebowling at 11:40 PM on September 13, 2008

hadjiboy, i'll be the first to admit i'm a fool, but sentiments like "I think I was able to convince her to give the relationship a shot. I know it's not going to be easy, but I think I'll be able to persuade her" just don't fit into my model of how things should work.

ideally, you should be after somebody who is into you as much as you are into them. why bother with all this convincing & persuading, if there's the option of having somebody fall into your lap who's pleased as all punch to be there?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:56 AM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

For the sake of argument, let's assume that your tactic worked and the two of you start a relationship.

How long will it be before the little voice in the back of your head starts wondering "Is she with me because she really likes me, or because I managed to persuade her...", "Am I her Mr Right, or just her Mr Right Now Because Other Current Options Suck Worse...", "Did she only say yes to shut me up, because I was overwhelmingly persistent...", etc?

This is not a good foundation for a relationship. Those examples are from friends of mine who were in similar situations, none of which worked in the long run.

Also, the undercurrent of you acting like you know what's best for her is a bit off-putting.
posted by CKmtl at 8:54 AM on September 14, 2008

Why did you wait 2 years? Girls know when you like them. They also like to be swept away- "taken". You can't do anything with this girl, because she knows you are not a man of action.
posted by Zambrano at 9:18 AM on September 14, 2008

She's trying to let you down gently. The answer for right now is "no".

All you can do for now is be a fun friend. Don't pine- be funny and at least superficially happy and okay with the situation around her.

Sure, be flirty, be charming, but don't cross the line. Reduce your contact a bit, but have a blast when you're together, but again, don't ruin by going all confessional on her. Your hope is that, sometime down the line, the weirdness between you know has faded. If you've been awesome in that time, she'll have positive, not awkward, feelings towards you.

And maybe, just maybe, she'll be in a position later on where she's single and you've been fun and confident and she already knows you so well and tonight was really great and, hey, why the hell not...
posted by spaltavian at 11:28 AM on September 14, 2008

Why did you wait 2 years? Girls know when you like them. They also like to be swept away- "taken".

This is ridiculous. Women are not a monolithic entity. Second of all, as a woman myself who knows lots of other women, I have never heard another woman say anything like that, nor observed it from her behavior.

Because women are not a monolithic entity, I'm willing to believe that Zambrano's dictum may apply to some women.

But I wouldn't put odds on any individual woman wanting to be swept away or taken or anything else one reads in the Harlequin/Mills &Boon any more than I would put odds on any individual man wanting to go rogue with nothing but a shotgun and his wits or anything else one reads in the Westerns/paperback thrillers about killing Hitler.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:44 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Would you say, though, that it's fair to consider women a monolithic entity inasmuch as when a woman says she just wants to be friends, you kinda have to respect that and not 'persuade' her to change her mind?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:40 PM on September 14, 2008

I know it's not going to be easy, but I think I'll be able to persuade her. After all, women get seduced by pieces of shit everyday... why can't I not try and persist on my quest. Maybe she'll meet someone better than me, maybe she won't, but for now--I think I'm the best choice she's got. Sorry, but that's the way I feel.

This is really not only not respectful of her or her wishes, but pretty condescending to her as an adult capable of making adult decisions herself. This is not a healthy foundation for a relationship, or for interacting with women in general.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:18 PM on September 14, 2008

I hate to say it, but PhoBWanKenobi is right. That's a nasty kind of "nice guy" sense of self-entitlement, especially the idea that you might be saving her from all those cads & blackguards out there, like a knight in shining armour.

The thing is, it's not up to you to decide such things on her behalf. It's her choice, and it sounds like she's already made up her mind.

I can understand how tempting it can be to imagine oneself as the ideal partner for somebody, though. It's nice to have that kind of self esteem, possibly even necessary.

Hell, in my more egotistical moments I can be tempted to think that anybody with their head screwed on correctly would be insane not to want to date me, but I shoot that idea down quickly with the line, "I could have any woman I please; the problem is that I don't seem to be able to please any" - a humourous bit of self-deprecation that reminds me that my opinions are only one half of the equation, and it's always up to the other party to decide for themselves whether I'm a good catch or not. De gustibus, and all that.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:42 PM on September 14, 2008

For your own emotional health, it is best for you to back off and seek out the platonic (and possibly even potentially love-interesting) friendships of other females. When someone has expressed no interest there are a hundreds ways of getting her very annoyed and even repulsed by you if you keep expressing interest, no matter how kind you are and what flattering things you might be saying. There are virtually none that will change her mind.

Speaking from experience from both sides of this particular fence.
posted by dabitch at 6:24 AM on September 15, 2008

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