Help me figure out what do next talking to this girl.
April 23, 2009 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Okay, so I met this girl recently at an event on the other side of the country. We really hit it off, and spent a lot of time together. But I'm not sure where I stand or what to do next.

Her facebook status claims that she is currently in a relationship. What I heard from her at the event seems to indicate that it isn't going very well. Furthermore, she seemed to be coming on to me pretty strongly during the event.

We won't for sure see each other until this fall, but she has been in touch with me since, and talked about the possibility of her working this summer in a city nearby where I live. She's also said that she's been thinking of me, and that she misses me.

I am interested in pursuing a relationship with her, but what should I do? Given that her current situation is complicated, should I just lie low for a little while? Or should I tell her how I feel?

In her last email, she said (paraphrasing) "I miss you. I don't like pausing these friendships after they began so abruptly." Would a reply to the extent of "I agree completely. But I hope you'll think of me as more than a friend." be coming on too strong at this point?

What should I do next? Man, I wish, at this point in my life, I was able to handle situations like this more elegantly.

Email followup questions to
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
She said "friendship." She put that word in there deliberately. For now, leave it at that- "I miss you too," should suffice. Then keep in contact. Continue to build a relationship. I don't think you risk slipping into the friend zone, if that's what you're worried about, over e-mail if you weren't headed there already (she does already have somebody else- the friend zone may have been your destination all along). If she works near you this summer, maybe that would be an opportunity to pursue something more by letting things develop and getting a better feel for her relationship status. But I don't think you're going to do anyone any favors by telling a girl who lives across the country and is involved with someone else that you'd really like to date her.

For what it's worth, and this might just be me, but I don't tell my friends that I miss them.
posted by PhatLobley at 6:05 PM on April 23, 2009

You have the perfect opportunity to wait out whatever drama she's in right now given the geography. You can stay in touch as a friend without seeming to be waiting too long to make a move (in person, it might seem like you're not interested, but from such a long distance it makes perfect sense to wait to ask her out or make any sort of move). Handling situations like this elegantly, to my mind, means handling them with minimum drama and maximum class: that means no professions of feelings via e-mail, and no such professions before each party is out of any previous relationships. So, all that's by way of saying: yes, your proposed e-mail comes on to strong (to my ears). I'd stick with "Yes, let's definitely keep in touch, and I'll see you this fall."
posted by Meg_Murry at 6:09 PM on April 23, 2009

she's testing the waters outside of her relationship to see if she's still desirable and able to play the game. she's in greener pastures mode, i'd guess. she could really like you. she could really like the thing you represent. if you push things you might force the issues, scaring her off. if you don't, you might find yourself in the friend zone.

keep things friendly but flirty if you really like her. see if she does show up close this summer. if she does - then see where things lead. trying to figure out how you or her feels long distance is a losing proposition. it's up to you if you want to wait for her.

for the email response - "i find myself missing you too - while pausing the friendship we're building is certainly difficult, it is nice that we get to keep in touch until we can hit that play button again" - you show that you miss her, that you understand she's needing a friend not a faroff lover right now, that you're glad to talk to her, and that you're happy about the chance to unpause, thus move forward.
posted by nadawi at 6:13 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Her facebook status claims that she is currently in a relationship. What I heard from her at the event seems to indicate that it isn't going very well. Furthermore, she seemed to be coming on to me pretty strongly during the event.

I think you shouldn't assume that when someone in a relationship flirts hard and downplays the strength of the relationship it means that they're going to leave that person. (And I think a lot of us have learned that lesson the hard way - maybe it's your turn!) She's in a relationship (on facebook, even!) and she used the word "friend" which is deliberate when deployed in a new relationship... so, if you want to keep flirting via email - go for it. Maybe something will happen down the line, illicitly or otherwise - but I wouldn't get my heart set on the idea that she's going to be your girlfriend. I also wouldn't get too excited about how she acted at "event". Maybe she was thinking - what happens at "event" stays at "event"! or oh, I am so going to get laid at "event" this year! People often do things at conferences, on vacations, etc. that they wouldn't ordinarily do.
posted by moxiedoll at 6:26 PM on April 23, 2009

I say ie low in terms of extra-friend relations here. There's a nice space between being in the friend zone and being cordial to her when you do communicate. I recommend staying within this if you truly like this girl. Like the others have said, keep it friendly but flirty. Let this girl's relationship work itself out on its own. Then, if she likes you, things will move your way. Be honest but not overbearing.
posted by JauntyFedora at 6:29 PM on April 23, 2009

lie low, not ie low. ugh.
posted by JauntyFedora at 6:29 PM on April 23, 2009

I second the lie low for two reasons. 1) It seems needy/coming on too strong, 2) you want to be careful with this sort of scene, someone in a relationship coming on to you. In my experience (and I do mean experience) this is a bit of a warning sign for someone flighty, possibly also manipulative/dishonest. You don't want to invest too much in this and find yourself in the position of the current dude a little while down the road.
posted by paultopia at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2009

Ok so... here's the first thing. You are emailing someting to her... remember - that means that even if you'd like it to be just for her, it could be a lot wider audience than just her.

Next, even if her relationship is on the rocks and she was indeed coming on to you, ask yourself if you want to be that guy. Sure, she may have be looking for an out in her relationship, but just keep in mind - you are on the opposite side of the country, and even in the event that you find yourself at some point in time on the same side of the country - she disposes of relationships in a way that wouldn't settle well with me.

With that said, PhatLobley is right - nobody tells their weekend friends that they miss them unless they just went to a 6th grade summer camp. She was definitely interested in you - perhaps attempting to establish a foundation for a future relationship. That means, if you want to pursue something - she definitely isn't holding the door shut.

Meg_Murry also makes a good point though - take your time - if indeed this is a relationship you are pursuing... take your time. Don't race through the email to hype up something that may not happen. I wouldn't push the flirty, but I would make sure that she knows over the course of a few weeks that your stable, confident, and looking forward to a lot of different stuff - by the time the fall arrives you want her to be imagining joining you for *more* fun activities (and I mean activities - not sex).
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:40 PM on April 23, 2009

Karma rules our universe. If you chase another's mate, you will have a third in your relationship that will affect you too. Acknowledging this will make life easier for you,
posted by Ironmouth at 7:58 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

Don't bother. She's not local, and she's in a relationship. Frustration lies this way.

But, if you insist on pursuing this, then don't reply that way. You'll be better off keeping your romantic interests fairly ambiguous at this point.

And, please, keep in mind some people (men and women) get into situations like this because they get attention from you that they should be getting from their SO. Doesn't mean they're going to leave them.
posted by PFL at 8:31 PM on April 23, 2009

2nding the karma rule. You, my friend, are flirting with a violation of the Dude Code. Its entirely up to you whether or not you're OK with that, but if you are, you have no legs to stand on when someone's OK with the same, with your girl.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:08 AM on April 24, 2009

It's not a matter of karma, it's a matter of character, both one's own and the person you're into. If you date cheaters, you're going to get cheated on, not because of the Dude Code or the workings of the universe, but, you know, because you're dating a cheater, and leopards really don't change their spots.
posted by paultopia at 12:39 AM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

If you date cheaters, you're going to get cheated on.

Susinct description of karma in a very Buddhist sense.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:33 PM on April 25, 2009

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