Says she likes me but doesnt want to hurt me.
February 19, 2011 5:13 PM   Subscribe

We dated, broke it off. Met again yesterday, she says she likes me but is scared of hurting me. Case of paralysis of analysis.

Its a colleague from workplace, we do NOT work at the same department. We know each other for about two years now, we dated for short time about a year ago, nothing really happenned. I wasnt able to judge if she wanted to take it further so I didnt make any stronger moves. At the end, she told me that she didnt feel with me the way she should have, so we called it off. I realized that I was too strung up with her, and so to maintain my peace, I cut her off completely except some rare quick hi's in the campus.

I know she is the over thinking types (so am I!), a bit too much thinking. And to make it worse, she has been burnt before in her earlier relationships.

6 months down, she invited me to her birthday party to which i went where her best friend tells me that I should have kissed her and pushed her a bit more. She even subtly tried to push me to go for it again. But, to avoid getting caught in chaos, I just ignored this and let it pass.

Yesterday, 4 months after her birthday, we met at a party. We kept away at the beginning, but got talking about the regular mundane stuff, nothing personal. Since we were pub hopping, she followed me to the next two clubs. Our friends saw us getting along and left us to ourselves! We danced for almost 3 hours and I thought we were just being friends! But before me even realizing what was going in her head, she says : "I wont be taking you home tonight". Well, honestly that was not even on my mind! So I just pushed her a bit to talk her mind out but she did not come up with anything new except that she was worried that if it doesnt work out between us she will end up hurting me. She told me that she really had a great time with me last night. She once again told me that she thinks too much and that this was all due to that. Fair enough! We talked some more. I kissed her. A minute later, she turned around and left.

I called her this evening, but she didn't pick up and didn't even return my call.

So I have three options now:

1. I just cut her off again and swear not to ever get in 50 metres of her to avoid this situation again!
2. I call up her best friend (who is also a friend of mine) and try to figure out whats going on in her mind. I am assuming of course that the best friend will go tell her about my call.
3. I call her up again and tell her I want to see her. But that will just make me look needy and might not take it to the next step.

I know what I want : I want her to not worry about it not working out and just give it a try.

Any comments?
posted by gunners to Human Relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd go with option 1. To me, "I think too much" sounds a lot like "You're a perfectly nice guy but I'm not that interested in you and trying to let you down gently."
posted by troublesome at 5:18 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Any time anyone ever told me they were afraid of hurting me it was code for:

"I'm not that into you. You're tolerable enough, but I'm never going to like you the same way you obviously like me. That doesn't mean I won't lead you on if it's convenient; especially if you never make a big deal about it and I can pretend like I don't know what I'm doing. I'm telling you this ahead of time so that I won't feel like an asshole about it if you do end up getting hurt."
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:21 PM on February 19, 2011 [37 favorites]

Doesn't matter if she's letting you down easily with a white lie or is truly held back by some interior fear. Either way she said no to really going out with you. Move on.
posted by Babblesort at 5:27 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

When someone says they're afraid of hurting you, it means they're preparing the ground for when they WILL hurt you, and are trying to make themselves feel better about it. This is passive-aggressive behavior at its worst. GTFO.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:36 PM on February 19, 2011 [10 favorites]

The young rope-rider has it. The whole "I like you but I don't want to hurt you" line is totally code for "I'm just not that into you." Sorry, just move on. Seems like way too much drama for the start of a relationship anyway.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:40 PM on February 19, 2011

I think you're being a bit passive and waiting for her to make the first move, maybe because you're trying to be respectful, which is good. But this makes her feel like its 100% her decision, so if it doesn't work out and you get hurt, it's 100% her fault. So somehow you have to let her know that if it doesn't work out, it will be partly your fault because it was also your decision. But not in a pressuring way. My advice is to tell her how special/amazing/etc. you think she is, and even though you know she's not sure and understand completely if she says no, you feel like you have to at least ask to see her because if you didn't, you would regret it for the rest of your life.
posted by AlsoMike at 5:49 PM on February 19, 2011

Nthing the young rope-rider. She's saying "I enjoy flirting with you, but I'll bail if things get serious. I know you want something serious with me, so this is not going to end well."

Either you're already too emotionally invested in her or she's manipulative - my guess is a little of both - but this is a dead end. You are not going to successfully convince her that you're cool with the just-for-now no-pressure dating. Because if you were, you would have already moved on.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:50 PM on February 19, 2011

You are not going to successfully convince her that you're cool with the just-for-now no-pressure dating. Because if you were, you would have already moved on.

Repeated for truth.

"So I just pushed her a bit to talk her mind out.." This is one of the reasons she's withdrawing. I don't believe that "afraid of hurting you" necessarily equals "not that into you", but in this case it amounts to the same. What "afraid of hurting you" means is that you are sending her a message that you want something serious, and "pushing her a bit" is one of the ways that you're giving her that message. Calling her the very next day wouldn't have alleviated her fears, either.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:00 PM on February 19, 2011

I think she likes you, but her behavior is a red flag in that she will be difficult to deal with if you guys end up having a relationship. She either wants you to pursue her and is testing you or she's a drama queen.
posted by anniecat at 6:11 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, her speech also smacks of there being some guy in the picture that she's really in love with and entangled with, who might be leading her on, and she's kind of waiting for him to come back or realize he's in love with her. That's when she would dump you.
posted by anniecat at 6:13 PM on February 19, 2011

nthing rope-rider. move on.
posted by zeek321 at 6:51 PM on February 19, 2011

tl;dr. she says she likes me but is scared of hurting me = not that into you. Next.
posted by motsque at 6:54 PM on February 19, 2011

She's just not that into you. And has declined to explain her reasons with any specificity. And she probably hasn't completely articulated them to her well-intentioned friend either, since the friend would not purposely have been complicit in sending mixed signals.

Maybe the lady-friend doesn't like your politics, maybe you use too much tongue, maybe she is secretly in love with Raymond, or maybe she can't handle a relationship with anyone. Who the fuck knows. Even if she knows her reasons, she's not going to tell them to you.

Why is the best friend promoting you like this? Is it because she knows the lady friend isn't seeing you clearly for what you are--a good possible mate? Maybe you should aim your arrows at women who appreciate you. Like, for example, the lady-friend's best friend.
posted by L'oeuvre Child at 8:05 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Thanks guys! Really appreciate your answers, Young Rope Riders' and L'oeuvre Child kind of compile all the responses together! Lets see what happens.
posted by gunners at 1:23 AM on February 20, 2011

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