Did I blow this new relationship by being too needy?
October 5, 2010 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Have I blown it? Met up a person from a dating site in person, amazing connection, then got needy pretty quickly. This got pointed out to me, but I also realized what I was doing and was unhappy with myself. Why did I do it? And is there still a chance?

My last relationships ended 2 months ago. I felt pretty bad about it, but realized pretty quickly it was definitely for the best. (I asked a couple AskMe questions then).

So I thought I'd use an online dating site. The first person I ended up meeting last weekend I had an amazing connection with, and we both felt the same way. So many things in common, thought about things the same way, like the same TV shows etc. We agreed we hadn't felt like this about someone else in ages.

She's a very independent person, introverted and likes spending her alone time. In addition to working full time, studies part time and will be busy over the next 2.5 years. I said I understood all that because I had done a very similar program too, so I get her time to study, etc. and she said it was a huge plus. Lots of guys say they get it but don't actually get it.

We met up the next day, which she said she'd hardly ever do, but thought we had something really good going on (and I believe her). During that day we texted back and forth a few times about plans and a couple general things. When we met up, things got pretty serious physically. We both indicated that we're not really interested in meeting other people and wanted to give this blossoming relationship a good shot. So we'd be exclusive.

Today (we both work), I texted her in the middle of the morning. She texted back, vented a little bit about a coworker; I offered to meet up sometime for coffee since we work in walking distance of each other, but said it's just an FYI cause I know she's busy etc (I over-analyzed a bit at that point, I know); and we exchanged texts most of the day, irregularly. When I was leaving the office I told her, and she texted back have a good night.

Let me insert here that all day I was feeling very weird. I don't understand how I got so needy suddenly. I was very unhappy with how I was handling things, and don't know why I kept texting, when I knew she was busy. My last relationship the person did this, and I was unhappy with it. I realize I was doing the exact thing but continued. I guess I felt pretty insecure, and a bit "this is too good to be true" but no excuse matters. I knew I wasn't doing what I should and couldn't help myself.

In the evening she said she'd be busy studying since she has a big test later in the week, but I still texted her hi what's up. I know you're all face-palming right now, and trust me when I hit send I would've paid a lotta money to drag that text back. I don't know why I did this.

Forty-five minutes later she calls sounded stressed, asks if I have time to talk, and says she can't do this. It's moving too quickly, she's not in the same place I am, and she's feeling stressed out. She's been an independent person, lots of guys she's dated have been demanding on her time, and she can't handle that, and pointed out that I had said that I understood. It's a place she'd like to be eventually with me because she really likes me, but wants to take things slowly.

She didn't like that I was texting her all day, because it pretty much made her obligated to respond even though she was busy. And when I texted tonight she actually resented it. She said she's been on both sides of this sort of things before, and she's sorry if I feel bad but I did ask her that we should always be completely honest with each other.

Of course I agreed with her and pointed out that I was not doing what I said I would be doing, and that I was also unhappy with how I was handling things. We should indeed take it slowly, I don't like how I just dived right in like that. We agreed that we both want things to work out, but I couldn't go on being so smothering. I agreed. She said she can make the time for a relationship in addition to work and school, but she does value her private time a lot, and it will take a while to work toward that stage of a relationship.

She also said that she's a pretty independent person, and even in a relationship, she still likes doing her own stuff and doesn't want to be joined at the hip with anyone.

We ended the conversation with me saying I hear her loud and clear, I wasn't happy with how I was today either, and would definitely work on it. It's not emotionally healthy to be so much into a person 48 hours after you've met them. She said that she likes me and wants it to work out.

I said I'd give her a call later in the week to see if we can do lunch, and on the weekend. She has school on every other weekend and goes out with classmates after, and will have Thanksgiving plans on Sunday, and maybe doing something on Monday too. But said we could talk about hanging out Monday. Over the weekend she said she'd thought about asking me to go with her, and meet a few of her friends and stuff, which is unusual because she hardly ever introduces someone she's dating to her friends, but she had really liked me and thought we hit it off great.

My questions:

1. I was wrong right? (this one's a gimme)

2. Is there any hope that the relationship will continue?

3. Why did I feel and act this way?

4. Is there anything I'm missing out on here? This question is focused a lot about me, but is there anything about her that I may not be seeing?

5. There are 2 other people who I was emailing before I met up this woman. What do I do? Wait and see what happens in the next week before meeting them up (we did agree we would not see anyone else)? I don't like serial dating to be honest, I prefer to focus on one thing at a time.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
SLOW YOUR ROLL, SOLDIER.

1. Not necessarily. I mean, I don't think you were "wrong". Answering a text message doesn't actually demand much of her time. Normally, if someone is busy, they'll ignore the text and hopefully get back to you later. It's not like you demanded she go on a date with you or anything, it was just a "hi, what's up?" text. She's not obligated to respond to you right away, but firing up a quick response isn't THAT difficult either.

2. Well, why not? Try to ease up on the texting all day thing, simply because she asked you to.

3. You wanted to know how she was doing? That's not really a bad thing and doesn't make you needy or desperate. (If you want to communicate with someone, communicate with them. Because you want to. You don't need anymore of a reason to text her besides WANTING to. You are not needy or desperate for doing so.)

4. Just listen to her and do the best you can to honor her wishes.

5. You agreed not to see other people and Girl 1 hasn't exactly broken up with you, so you don't see other people.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 10:46 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. Eh. Not great. But you didn't, say, stalk her and show up at her work.
2. Sure! But only if you really back off.
3. REBOUND. Seriously. This is exactly what it looks like when someone is filling an emotional hole left by a recently over relationship. If you've never rebounded before, it's easy to miss.
4. Rebound, rebound, rebound!
5. Yeah, don't start e-mailing them again.

As for the question you didn't ask, what do I do?, chill. Don't call until at least Friday and do it in a totally nonchalant way. Have other plans for the weekend, and don't plan on seeing her at all. If you are going to see her, let her bring it up and don't go with open ended plans. It should be something that last a set amount of time and you should have something else to do when you're done.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:51 AM on October 5, 2010


There's nothing serious or time-consuming (IMO) about texting. If she was too busy to text with you, she should have said so, rather than reciprocating the conversation.

Think about what this girl is willing to give you, and ask yourself if it's truly enough to meet your needs. If so, control yourself and your texting fingers. If not, then talk to her about it and make a firm decision re: moving on.
posted by litnerd at 10:57 AM on October 5, 2010


If she was too busy to text with you, she should have said so, rather than reciprocating the conversation.

Exactly. Instead, she stewed about it and then got mad at you. I don't think you were really all that wrong.
posted by JanetLand at 11:05 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


**She also said that she's a pretty independent person, and even in a relationship, she still likes doing her own stuff and doesn't want to be joined at the hip with anyone.**

In answer to question #4 and your description of what she said to you above, I would at some time in the future want this clarified. Here's what I hear, " Even when I'm not super-busy, and if/when we're in a committed relationship, I will still make a conscious effort to be a "me" and not an "us"."
posted by teg4rvn at 11:06 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have to cool it a bit or you're going to screw up a good thing. What's annoying (as someone who has been on the receiving end of the incessant texting) is that she made it clear that space is important to her but she really likes you and you (probably because you are SO EXCITED because SHE IS SO AWESOME) got all texty anyway. While it doesn't take loads of time to respond to a text, I think this misses the issue. She probably didn't want to be rude and felt compelled to respond because it's early in the relationship. She could have been clearer during the text onslaught, but she explained her preferences later. The texting itself isn't the problem; the not understanding her need for space is the problem. If you feel yourself wanting to call or text because you are having an attack of the SHE IS SO AWESOME, go for a run or write poetry or something.

The good news is that she didn't fire you, and you have a chance to make it work. Do not go dating other people. You had agreed to be exclusive, so honor that. Quit with the texting and calling and stick to what you told her you'd do. Don't call until the end of the week, then see where you stand.
posted by *s at 11:08 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. I mean, you weren't exactly wrong, but you were definitely in self-destruct mode. It's intoxicating to go out with someone who feels really, really right for you, especially after just getting out of a not-so-great relationship. It's really scary, because you feel like you're careening down a steep hill and you're not sure if you're going to land safely or slam into a tree and explode into flames. Instead of hitting the brakes (bear with me with this metaphor, sorry) you hit the gas, kept dogging her, and here you are. Why?

You just got out of a heavy relationship and you're still getting your sealegs in the dating world. Which brings me to

2. and 3. You have reason to be optimistic, either by (maybe) saving your relationship with this specific lady or (definitely) learning from your mistake and not doing this again with a new woman. You need to wait, wait, wait before you jump into a new, exclusive, intense relationship. You did exactly what you knew was going to repel an independent and withdrawn person. Maybe you're secretly afraid of getting into something serious yet and sabotaged your own plans, maybe you're still just flailing from the break-up. This was a particularly bad scenario given the disposition of the woman in question because...

4. Lots of women, but especially withdrawn and independent woman, can smell Needy from a mile away (I know this because I'm that kind of lady, and I only settled when I met a guy who made it clear that if I blew his joint, he wasn't going to bang down my door to get me back). She told you she was busy, she told you she needed space, she told you she wasn't going to be co-dependent. She sounds like someone who knows what works for her, and she was straightforward and honest with you when your actions stressed her out and pushed her away. I don't think you're missing much, and I don't think she's withholding any vital information. So...

5. Chill out, man. Go on dates with other people and whatever you do, don't forge anymore exclusive monogamous relationships overnight. Take a week off from your lady love, get some perspective by seeing other women, and then maybe you can contact her when you have your head on straight. If/when you do email or call, say no more about dating exclusively. If she brings it up, tell her you want to take it a lot more slowly. If anything, now you'll have to prove to her that you're not a serial monogamist who just wants a warm body to fill in your Girlfriend Slot.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's possible that it's not about being "too busy to text" but rather the intrusiveness of the texts. People who are stressed out with many demands on their time can have a hard time dealing with even small additional demands and text messages that need a reply (even though it isn't an immediate reply) do fall into that category.

She said that she likes me and wants it to work out.

OK then yes, it can be salvaged. She's not saying "go away" she's saying "let me lead at my own pace." So do that - instead of asking her out for next weekend or whatever, it would be better to have let her pick the next date. Make your own plans and see her when she offers and you're both available. If it turns out you're happy with what she can offer, great; if you're not, back into the dating pool you go.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Tell her that if she's busy and doesn't want to txt you back that she doesn't need to and that there is no obligation felt on your end. You can also do less initiating if that's something she desires. I don't get how this is a big deal at all for either of you.

I also don't think you did anything wrong or clingy. There is a huge difference between calling someone 10 times compared to sending 10 texts throughout a day.

It looks like you're making a bigger deal about this in your mind than she is though. You already have future plans and it seems like she's still trying to keep things moving forward.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:10 AM on October 5, 2010


This person doesn't have or doesn't want to make the time for you. If you are the kind of flower that doesn't need a lot of water, then she's perfect, but it looks like you're not.

You weren't wrong to feel what you feel. I think she overreacted. There's a big difference between being "smothering" and what you did by texting her. Tell her you just saw it a little differently, that you didn't expect a response immediately from every text, just that she saw them and maybe they could have brightened her day. They didn't and you're sorry about that.

But seriously, I think the red flags are with her, not with you.
posted by inturnaround at 11:12 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this whole "I'm a busy, independent person" thing is all the rage with folks who are incapable/uninterested in serious relationships (or just aren't that into you).

I don't care if she's running air traffic controller, you texted her a few times during the day and she calls you "upset" and "stressed"? Give me a break. If you seriously like somebody you'll deal with a bit of over-communication and not make a hugely dramatic statement about "not being able to deal with this".

It's your call if you think she's worth it, but this is a not a good sign.
posted by lattiboy at 11:17 AM on October 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


I should also mention that I had a nearly identical situation a few months ago and boy howdy am I glad that didn't work out. It really does indicate a fragility in a future partner you should avoid.
posted by lattiboy at 11:20 AM on October 5, 2010


When I read all the complicated relationship threads I think, but never say, what I am about to write. But what the hell, I'm going to say it here: It should not be this complicated. Just calm down, ask her out again if you want to, and see where it goes. All this dissecting of minutiae is not going to serve you in the long run. If it's going to work, it's going to work, regardless of whether you freaked out about her a little prematurely in this instance. If she really likes you and you really like her, everything will be okay. If not, well, just keep at it until you find someone else.
posted by something something at 11:22 AM on October 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think there is nothing wrong with texting throughout the day. I also don't always feel an urgent responsibility to respond. I like when my honey reaches out throughout a busy day. I also do this & have done it with new intrests too. it's just who i am and how i communicate/connect. so i don't think keeping her posted on your whereabouts and reaching out is considered needy.

since you both are new to each other, it seems that there will be some adjusting & re-adjusting to be done which isn't uncommon and could be seen as just getting to know what works & what feels ok. for ex: she sees texting throughout a busy day as pressure to respond whereas you might see it as reaching out. ok so now you both know...maybe you can work from that point. less texting on your part and she can feel free to respond or not right away.

2. yes, if you both communicate what you need, expect & want.

3. b/c you're smitten. don't be so hard on urself. if i met a guy, clicked and he didn't hit me up a bit...I'd be a lil miffed.

4. not that i can tell from what you said but only she has info on her so just be mindful to get clarity when you can. for ex: her:hey i'm busy tomorrow so i can't really talk. you: so does that mean no texting?

5. if you agreed on exclusivity, stay that way for another week till you have a better idea about this.

dude, you're not out of line or even out of the ordinary on this one based on what you said. don't worry.
posted by UltraD at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2010


There is a huge difference between calling someone 10 times compared to sending 10 texts throughout a day.

Not to me.

That much back-and-forth about trivial daytime stuff is why people invented being in the same room.
posted by General Tonic at 11:33 AM on October 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


1. I was wrong right? (this one's a gimme)

Well there's not anything wrong with texting a decent amount with someone you're in an exclusive relationship with. But yes you apparently were trying to contact her more than she personally likes, which is not a good thing. This is less a right/wrong issue and more a compatibility thing.

2. Is there any hope that the relationship will continue?

You said that she "said that she likes me and wants it to work out" so that seems to be a pretty clear indication that she doesn't consider the relationship to be over. Obviously any relationship where you've known someone for only two days is not exactly a solid long-term situation but I don't see anything that would prevent you two from staying together.

3. Why did I feel and act this way?

It sounds like you really like her and are very gung-ho about the relationship. Going exclusive after two days seems very fast to me but if you are both cool with that it's fine. You probably just need to have a little more self control in not doing things that you know she won't like just because you feel the need to contact her. Or end the relationship and find someone else who is more compatible with your ideal level of contact if this is a real dealbreaker for you, but it doesn't sound like that's the case.

4. Is there anything I'm missing out on here? This question is focused a lot about me, but is there anything about her that I may not be seeing?

That's hard to tell without seeing it from her perspective. One thing that might be an issue is how she feels about texts. If she feels like texts are a burden you might want to switch to email or IM or something where either she can take her time in responding or can explicitly set times where she is free to talk and times when she is busy.

5. There are 2 other people who I was emailing before I met up this woman. What do I do? Wait and see what happens in the next week before meeting them up (we did agree we would not see anyone else)? I don't like serial dating to be honest, I prefer to focus on one thing at a time.

See, this sort of thing suggests that you probably should have taken it slower and not gone exclusive after only two days. If this person is so great that you can't see yourself being with anyone else, then why should you care about 2 other random online dating people? At any rate, try to cool out and not take everything so seriously with online dating. Personally I would stop messaging the other 2 people (this happens all the time and is not a big deal) given that you are in an exclusive relationship now, and if the relationship ends later you can either message them and try to explain why you stopped responding, or just chalk it up to bad timing and find someone else to message.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:35 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this whole "I'm a busy, independent person" thing is all the rage with folks who are incapable/uninterested in serious relationships (or just aren't that into you).

Funnily enough, it's also all the rage with actual busy and independent people who are self-aware, able to communicate their needs clearly, and would like to have those needs respected and reciprocated in a serious relationship.
posted by scody at 11:48 AM on October 5, 2010 [28 favorites]


Funnily enough, it's also all the rage with actual busy and independent people who are self-aware, able to communicate their needs clearly, and would like to have those needs respected and reciprocated in a serious relationship.

Do these same people feel so personally assaulted by a few txts that they have to call up somebody in a panic? Because that doesn't speak to strength or independence.
posted by lattiboy at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2010


As a fiercely independent woman who is incredibly introverted and protective of her personal time and space (and yes, maybe with a just a tiny bit of fear of intimacy) I would run screaming from any guy who texted me ten times in a day.

To me you seem incredibly needy and are moving far too quickly. Note that I said to me. People who are more well-adjusted/extroverted/social/"normal"/dependent/whatever would disagree (and have done above). Unfortunately, this woman is not those people.

1. You're not wrong. But you're not right either. You're just two different people with different needs/wants and dating styles. Back off and if you really like her, let her set the pace.

2. Yes, but only if you're willing to slow your roll and let her lead the way. Any future signs of neediness will probably freak her out and she'll cut you out completely. If she has to keep warning you off she'll end up resenting you hardcore.

3. Echoing what others said. Rebound. Nothing wrong with that. You're just vulnerable right now. But buck up little buddy, it'll get better!

4. There is no 4.

5. Meet up with them on a friend only basis. Everyone needs more friends!


(A few months ago I met a nice enough guy who got so needy and clingy after two dates that I removed him from my life completely. And he still texts/emails me to see if I've changed my mind. Not a chance in hell, pal.)
posted by elsietheeel at 12:02 PM on October 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


(I should say that we're having a larger argument about the validity of the excuse of "independence" in dating here. I am going to step out now as I have strong opinions that will not help the asker)
posted by lattiboy at 12:13 PM on October 5, 2010


1.
There's really no right or wrong. It seems that you're moving into this really fast, and she's giving you mixed signals. She readily jumping into exclusivity after one weekend, but insists on her independence, but responds to all your texts, but then panics about there being too much texting. She seems unstable, but that's your call. Sure, you should back off, give her space. Do other things that enjoy, call her later in the week, only to make plans on when to meet next. Stop the chit-chatting and "I just want to see how you're doing". She made it clear she doesn't like it, so stop. In fact, I think regardless of exclusivity, it's a good idea that early in a relationship, don't chat on the phone/text/online for no reason. Make specific plans for weekends and talk in person.

2.
I don't think what you did ruined anything, as long as you cool off on the contact for a bit. Even if this texting ordeal didn't happen, it'd be too early to tell if there is hope. Try to just go with the flow, and stop with the high expectations.

3.
You're excited, you're rebounding, maybe it's just the way you are. It seems you're over analyzing it, and then talking to each other, over analyzing it more. The serious meta-conversations you've been having is unnecessary at this point, and might put her off. Again, it's early. Chill out. Have fun. Don't take it so seriously.

4.
Well, you seem to be completely blaming yourself, but you should also wonder if she's really right for you. This is a time when you're both feeling each other out. So it's in your right to look at her behavior and wonder if it's a bit off. She seems a bit odd and is sending you mixed signals. She's possibly confused and high strung, but it's your call. Just remember, you don't have to be perfect, and she's not perfect either.

5.
If you don't want to meet up with them, then don't. Especially if you haven't made specific plans yet. They probably don't care or won't remember you after a week. People on online dating sites email tons of people at once. If you had been having dozens of conversations for weeks with these people, or already made plans, then tell them you met someone you liked and want to see where it leads. No hard feelings. You're not obligated to go out with them if you don't want to.
posted by lacedcoffee at 12:23 PM on October 5, 2010


It's hard to tell whether what you report is based on an assessment after the fact or represents what you knew at the time, but it sounds like you somehow knew while you were texting that it was intrusive. If this is indeed the case, why did you do so? Similarly, you referred to yourself as needy. Is this what you felt when texting or is this your conclusion based on the reaction you got?

I ask, in part, because there are no "official" rules for what is too much or too little and you need to be attuned to each other. Either you were so attuned and ignored it, or something else threw off the communication between the two of you. She might have felt it was too much and was unable to communicate this until she couldn't take it, (for example) instead of responding to the first text with a request for space. Or maybe she did try to subtly tell you to hold off but was too subtle, or you were too unwilling to notice her message.

At any rate, if your relationship can't recover from this now, there's more going on than meets the eye.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:44 PM on October 5, 2010


You didn't do anything wrong. You made mistakes in what you should do to date this person but that doesn't make either of you right or wrong. Someone who doesn't want to text shouldn't respond to a text. If you'd freaked out and sent tons of "where are you?" or "what's up?" texts, then you would have been wrong. But you didn't.

So stop treating this relationship in terms of what she wants being the end-all, be-all right thing. She's independent - great. Make plans with her on her time. Next time you see her let her casually know that you are glad she let you know how she felt, and you'll let the ball stay in her court as far as contact goes to make sure she's not put on the spot. Suggest some other plans to get together, but don't go out of your way to contact her. If you don't here from her, there are plenty of fish in the sea and if she wasn't worth your time. If she does, then great and all this worry is for naught.

What I'm saying is -- it shouldn't be this hard, as others have said -- but you aren't the only one making it this hard. Take care of yourself and realize that, no matter what kind of connection you have, if you have to become someone you aren't to keep that connection, then it isn't the connection you want.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:45 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are you my brother? This sounds awfully familiar.

"She didn't like that I was texting her all day, because it pretty much made her obligated to respond even though she was busy"

No, it doesn't. Unless you were texting her stuff like "Hey didja get my last text?"

"It's not emotionally healthy to be so much into a person 48 hours after you've met them."


You're too hard on yourself. Who hasn't fallen head over heels for someone that fast? (or faster?)

I'll tell you why you were needy - you just started dating again. You forgot how things work. As hard as it is sometimes, ask yourself, "If this were my friend in the same situation, and they asked me if I should send this 10th text/call/show up at their door, what would I tell them?"

There are lots of ladies out there, and if she's on a dating site, she's probably slammed with requests for coffee/dinner etc... I don't really think you were wrong, you're just not in the same place as her right now. Maybe the relationship has a shot, but go on other dates. If you think 48 hours is too soon to be gaga over someone, why make it exclusive?
posted by HopperFan at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2010


"As a fiercely independent woman who is incredibly introverted and protective of her personal time and space (and yes, maybe with a just a tiny bit of fear of intimacy) I would run screaming from any guy who texted me ten times in a day."

As a fiercely independent woman who is somewhat introverted and protective of her personal time and space, with some commitment issues, I loved it when my sweetie texted me a bunch of times during the day. I still do.

I am also probably just about as busy, or more so, than the OP's potential inamorata, and texts don't bother me. If I'm in the middle of something, I text them later. No big deal.
posted by HopperFan at 12:57 PM on October 5, 2010


I'll confess that it's been a while since I started dating someone, but I have to say that if it were me, 10 texts in a day wouldn't totally bother me that much if they were benign informative little blurbs, perhaps jokes or amusing/sweet statements. If you're peppering her with questions and trying to make plans, then yeah I'd be annoyed if I were here, since she'd already explained that she is super busy. This situation is very context specific.
posted by kirstk at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2010


couldn't finish it. but word to the wise: don't call it a relationship when you've not known someone for at least a couple of weeks. Been there, and it's not a good idea.
posted by sully75 at 2:07 PM on October 5, 2010


What you're seeing from the wide range of responses here is that different people think of texts in radically different ways. Some people find them intrusive and bothersome, some people think they're relatively innocuous. Some people think they come with an obligation to respond, and some don't. For my part, I like them unless I'm trying to write my dissertation. Since there's a part of my brain that would rather be doing anything else, it's extremely hard to keep my head in a writing place when I'm getting texts.

I only mentioned my specific case because you said she's a student, so that may be part of why she finds texts so problematic. But my real point is that we all think different things about this subject, but that doesn't matter, because she's already told you what she thinks about it. She needs less contact from you, at least at first. So give her that. I know it feels weird that you've so totally lost your cool over this girl, but believe me, it happens to the best of us. Since you seem to be a little bit of an overthinker, here's an elaborate way to handle this. Pick an amount of contact that is acceptable. Pick a simple, productive activity you can do instead of texting her. Keep track of how many times you text her. Once you've hit your limit, do your activity whenever you get the urge. Keep doing this until it becomes second nature or she gets comfortable enough with you to want lots of contact. Good luck - nothing about your post suggests to me that this situation is unsalvageable.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I would probably do exactly what the woman did. Of course I am a texting hater, but I'd feel the same about getting an overload of emails and phone calls from someone I knew only a little. It just feels like a big avalanche coming down on you and it gets super irritating. Neediness is a big turnoff.

Just dial it back a bit; ya just met her. It sounds that she's into you also so just enjoy getting to know her, but a little more slllllooowwwwlllllyyyyy.
posted by medeine at 2:31 PM on October 5, 2010


As an independent busy girl, I say: SLOW WAYYYYY DOWN. Seriously. I'd run screaming into the night with that much pressure, let alone that quickly.

She's letting you know loud and clear to chill, but is still willing to proceed. Good luck to you.
posted by cyndigo at 2:41 PM on October 5, 2010


I would recommend NOT texting her right now. Let HER text YOU and let her set the pace.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:28 PM on October 5, 2010


From the OP:
She emailed just now and said the conversation last night made her feel better, and actually made her want to email me.

She vented a bit, and said she's looking forward to seeing me this weekend. She has plans Friday night and all day and night Saturday, but is free the rest of the time (holiday weekend).

A little bit of small talk, and then talk to you soon.

After a I thought about it a while, I replied and said good to hear from her too, and glad we had the talk.

Commented on a couple things she said, and told her I was available Sunday and Monday, and let me know when she wants to hang out and what she wants to do.

Made some more small talk, and then wished her good night.

Anyways, no more over analyzing, and no more meta conversations with her about these things.

I'll definitely see how things go and if they are what I'm comfortable with. If not, then I agree it's best to go our separate ways.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:33 PM on October 5, 2010


The whole texting aspect is interesting. My partner is a big texter, but if I'm at work, and 'in the zone' with something else entirely, breaking my concentration to reply is an inconvenient imposition because you lose momentum and have to switch mental gears twice, losing time you've grabbed from an already busy schedule.

Texting etiquette is a thorny issue, and different people have different ideas about what's acceptable - usually depending on what their habits are with their circle of friends. For me, just because I carry a phone does not mean you have an automatic right to my time (ask, sure, but sometimes the answer is no, or not now), whereas initially my partner took it as rude that I didn't always reply. I can see how the girl in question would have stressed a little - not wanting to be rude and not knowing what your expectations were, but also not wanting to be obliged when she'd already stated she was busy = stress. Fair enough.

But generally, she explained, you listened, now follow through and all should be good.
posted by Sparx at 4:54 PM on October 5, 2010


The whole texting aspect is interesting. My partner is a big texter, but if I'm at work, and 'in the zone' with something else entirely, breaking my concentration to reply is an inconvenient imposition because you lose momentum and have to switch mental gears twice, losing time you've grabbed from an already busy schedule.

I totally agree. I really don't like getting texts from anybody during the work day because I'm usually working. Seriously, don't over analyze this. Don't text her unless you really need to know something or wait until the end of the day. Even having to make the mental decision NOT to reply takes away from my concentration.

On the other hand, some people like my former office mate sit around and text all day long. Your new girl just isn't one of those people evidently.
posted by tamitang at 7:08 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hope things are working out...sounds like they are? But if it's not working out, relax.

You didn't do anything wrong. Stop overanalyzing everything. It sounds a little bit like you self-sabotage. Trust me, I know all about this.

She doesn't have to reply to you in your texts. I think that's a lame excuse on her part. I'm a little OCD so I like to reply to texts as much as I can...but you know what? When I'm busy, I'll ignore it until later in the day when I have time (unless the nature of the text is urgent or time sensitive)...but that's the beauty of the text; it's there for your convenience.

It's just the beginning, so I urge you both to take it easy. You've both decided to be exclusive! That is awesome, people are obviously reluctant to get to that stage unless it's a mutual affection and attraction.

I'm a little concerned that you might be moving too fast, and you aren't ready for this. You're coming on a little strong to this girl but you're asking about what to do with those other two girls that you were emailing before her. Did you meet them? If not, then you are not dating them. Even if you have met them, one first meeting date does not constitute dating.

Again, you're not at fault...just don't overthink...she likes you. But don't go into manic mode with the communication...just think of it this way, don't text her if she's busy unless you have something important to express. Otherwise, it can certainly wait until later in the day when she's not as busy.

Good luck!
posted by skybluesky at 1:41 AM on November 29, 2010


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