Should I ask her out now?
April 24, 2009 7:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving nine hours away and she'll be closer....eventually, should I ask her out beforehand?

I met this girl through an online dating site. She was listed as looking for friends but I thought I'd try my luck and over the course of a few months we've been on three "hang outs" and it's been great.

I'm moving nine hours (car ride) away next week for a job and graduate school and she will be coming up in the summer (she is from there). Also a few months after she comes back up she will be going to Europe for 6 weeks for a study abroad program. After all is said and done she will be back home (where I will be).

My question is: should I ask her on a "date" next week with the express intention of telling her that I like her a lot or should I wait until summer, or should I wait until after the whole Europe stint?

I know (from reading a lot of askmeta) that long distance relationships don't work, but this one is confusing in its complications.

Another alternative I was considering was to just -over the phone- tell her how I feel about her.

posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total)
If you really like this girl, tell her now. If she really likes you, you'll both find a way to make it work, even through all of the apart time.

If it doesn't work out and she's not interested, it won't be that bad, because you'll be where you are and she'll be elsewhere, and it's not like you'll be running into each other all the time like you might be once she's home for the summer / home after Europe.
posted by alynnk at 7:55 AM on April 24, 2009

If it was me, I would not get "involved" until you are both living in the same place. It will also give you more time (beyond 3 outings) to see if you want to be involved with her. Why tie yourself down unless you know for sure?

That said, I don't think it is a big deal to go on some casual "dates" (I am assuming "outings" are strictly platonic). I don't see the harm in letting her know that you have some interest beyond platonic friendship. Just keep it casual for now.

This also gives you the chance to see if the feelings are in any way reciprocal---I would hate for you to wait around hoping if there is no hope.
posted by murrey at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2009

I say go for it: life is too short for regrets. Play it cool though-- and definitely don't profess your love over the phone-- but invite her out for a meal or take her somewhere fun like a show or for a dance. Try not to get stressed out by the time constraints because if you like each other, love will find a way.

For what it's worth, I had a similar relationship: met an amazing girl about two months before I would graduate college, after which I would be moving to another city 300 miles away and she would be staying in school for another year. We liked each other and are making it work three+ years later.
posted by gushn at 8:01 AM on April 24, 2009

I think you should ask her out now, but I'd go for asking her out more than telling her how you feel. If she likes you and has already been thinking about you in a dating capacity, it probably doesn't matter a damn how you do it because she'll be happy to hear it, but if it's anywhere in the grey area, holding back is useful just so you haven't completely shown your hand straight away.

(I am not suggesting game-playing in any way, just that I've found through a series of crappy experiences that straight up saying that you like someone a lot can be pretty full-on, and if you can approach it with any more subtlety, it gives the other person a chance to prepare/consider while giving you a chance to gauge appropriateness.)
posted by carbide at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2009

Usually, I'm the type of person to suggest that you go for it.

But you're about to start graduate school, and a new job. You'll be meeting all sorts of new people, and I don't know if a relationship founded on three dates is really going to be able to withstand the draw of new people in a new place.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2009

It's a little tricky to figure out your timeline there. Let's see if I've got this straight:

Right now you're in the same place (City A).
1 week from now you move 9 hours to where she is from (City B).
about 2 months from now she will be back in B
3 months after that, she studies abroad for 6 weeks.
After that, you will both be in B indefinitely.

I guess you've got two problems here. One is seeing if she's interested in taking your relationship to a different level. The other is whether it's wise to bother given that you'll have two brief periods of long distance when the relationship is just starting.

Two 6 week long stints aren't too bad if you really like each other. When people talk about LDR not working, they're usually talking about months/years, not weeks. Even though it still sucks.

Bottom line, if you like her, just tell her what's up. If she's not interested in something more serious, hey, at least you tried.
posted by JauntyFedora at 8:16 AM on April 24, 2009

Show, don't tell.

Ask her out on a date. If she's game for a date, at some point, you could flirt. If she responds to that, you could kiss her. If she likes that, see if she wants to go home.

If you wind up taking her home, then you can have the conversation in the morning, "I really like you. Think we could do this again when we're back in the same place?"

In my experience, girls don't like it when you talk about your feelings before showing them. They'd rather you have the guts to go for it, and then, if necessary, y'all can talk about what happened.
posted by musofire at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2009

DerailFilter: Can someone state briefly the difference between hanging out together and a date? To me they're synonymous. If you explain, I'll try to learn it, I promise.

I have a 14-year-old son who will soon be talking and thinking like you guys.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:38 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't regret the chances I didn't take nearly as much as the chances that I completely screwed up by not clearly thinking them through.

I say wait. Going for it now is an unnecessary risk. By all means, see her again. If there's an opening, you can go for it. But if you push she issue and blow it now, it's blown. The awkwardness will fester while she's away.

If you play it cool now, you'll be her friend in city B "gets it" when she talks about city A. You're a bridge between her city A life and her city B life, if you will. This gives you a huge advantage. Don't squander that.

Also, JimN2TAW, I don't think there's a difference until you're in college. I think in high school, boy+girl+out = date unless otherwise stated.
posted by originalname37 at 8:52 AM on April 24, 2009

Sorry for the unreadable comment. I mean "push *the* issue" not push she issue and her friend in city A *who* "gets it" not "her friend in city A 'gets it'".
posted by originalname37 at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2009

"Can someone state briefly the difference between hanging out together and a date?"

posted by Groovytimes at 9:17 AM on April 24, 2009

Is it really an online dating site if she can say she's looking for friends? I mean, isn't the point of an online dating site to find, well, dates? Could it be that you saw her on a social networking site (which is differnet)?

And why do you put "date" in quotes? Did you ask her on a date, or didn't you? Anyway, I think you should tell her you like her. If I'm understanding correctly, you'll be in the same place all summer (which is coming fast), then have six weeks apart then be in the same place again indefinitely. That's barely long distance.
posted by amro at 9:34 AM on April 24, 2009

if you tell her you like her now, you'll just feel shitty when she bones someone in europe.
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on April 24, 2009

Meh, wait. Basically for nadawi's reasons: interest is basically never sustainable for two people in the hyper-early stages of dating over extended distance. Make the try now and you poison the well for later.
posted by paultopia at 10:37 AM on April 24, 2009

I know (from reading a lot of askmeta) that long distance relationships don't work

Woah. Maybe you should read less askmeta.
posted by ekroh at 10:47 AM on April 24, 2009

Long distance can totally work. My boyfriend and I have made it through 4 month separations twice. No prob. Don't let that stop you.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 10:51 AM on April 24, 2009

The trouble with long distance isn't that it doesn't work. It's that it works too well. You can waste a long time on the long-distance portion of a relationship only to find, when you're finally in the same town, that you don't really get along that well in real life (only on vacations and the phone).
posted by originalname37 at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2009

I want to jump back in to comment on what originalname73 is saying--I'm in a long distance relationship so my objections to taking a chance with this girl aren't about the distance per se but rather that you don't know her very well at this point, and she doesn't know you--if you had several months to get acquainted (or, like me and my partner, several years), then of course it would be worth trying. But it's pretty much impossible to do the early stage falling-in-love stuff, to build trust and confidence in your partner, over such a long distance.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:55 PM on April 25, 2009

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