Can I just give her a letter that I like her within just a few weeks?
March 4, 2011 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Okay, I have known this girl for almost a month now and the moment I first saw her, I decided that she's the one for the rest of my life (from a guy who never really thought of marriage). It's physical attraction at first but she thinks I am kind of a creep as I once tried to say that she's the only girl that I felt talking this way. She just left off saying she will look into other stuff while her colleague interrupted. Right now, I feel much more of committing with her all along and not looking for a relationship as she mentioned that she's just out of a long term relationship. I may find another girl who might like me in turn but I am of the opinion that I can give her my best. Right now, I am thinking of writing a letter what profession I am in, talking about her to my parents, my job/salary, plans etc and ask for friendship first as she doesn't seem interested at all. Is it a good way to wait for another couple of months and give it or is it rightnow or not at all? Ohh...she also doesn't talk to me now much whenever I try go towards her. It's hard.... Any other suggestions?

Also, I got a card for her birthday and also planned on giving a gift card worth some $100 but didn't give any as one of the friends from my sister told that it might be inappropriate and told to move on as she doesn't seem interested.

I am not good looking, off a different race but couldn't back off myself b/c of these reasons. Also, she's a gym instructor and I was a client. We did have a few touches here and there which might have led her to think I was a creep or some guy looking to screw her which is not correct. And also, when I was trying to convey stuff to her, she kind of hit with her leg from below the desk while one of her manager's were hearing too. Just can't ask her out nor can I hold it for myself. Ever since, she's been to the gym only for a a day or two till date and it's been 3-4 days already. She's there on her birthday and I showed up to her and said happy birthday and a light sorry for what I said earlier. She doesn't seem to be interested guys....Help!!!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (67 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
She doesn't seem to be interested guys....Help!!!

That's your answer. Move on; you'll meet someone who feels the same way about you that you feel about her.
posted by amro at 12:41 PM on March 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


She doesn't seem to be interested

Then that's what you have to accept. Sorry. If she changes her mind, she'll let you know.
posted by hermitosis at 12:41 PM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ohh...she also doesn't talk to me now much whenever I try go towards her.

You are freaking her out.

Do not do any of the things you're thinking of doing -- letter, gift card -- if she has any interest in you, she'll start talking to you.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2011 [49 favorites]


It is really inappropriate and highly creepy to tell someone they're the love of your life when YOU DON'T KNOW THEM. It's possible that maybe if you came on way, way, less strong in a couple months she might respond, but honestly, if you told her that it might be completely unsalvageable. Please move on. If in a few months of dating other people you are still interested, you can SLOWLY try something again. Writing her a letter or giving her $100 or anything like that will push her away, not bring her closer.
posted by brainmouse at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Good God, don't do any of the things you're planning on. This is seriously creepy and will only drive her (and all of her friends and colleagues and everybody else) away.

If you're really interested in her, get to know her as a person. The way to do this is to just ask her out on a date and leave it up to her as to whether she wants to or not. And -- this is extremely important -- if she says no, Leave. Her. Alone. I'm assuming from your post that you're a foreigner living in an English-speaking country. What you are proposing is not how we do things in these countries.
posted by kdar at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2011 [21 favorites]


You're in serious, serious danger of being a creep. Let it go.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:45 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can you tell us more about where you live? It sounds like there are some cultural variances that might be in play here.

From a Western dating perspective, it definitely sounds like the woman you are pursuing is clearly not interested in you, and therefore I would recommend that you stop expressing your feelings toward her and forcing interaction with her immediately.

Further, if you are a customer at the business where she works, your unrequited attention could complicate your commercial relationship. The gym might ask to you only visit when she will not be there, for example. If you keep pursuing her with unwanted attention, they might cancel your membership altogether. It is their obligation to protect their employee.
posted by pineapple at 12:46 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Back off. If I were her, I would be scared of you.
posted by something something at 12:47 PM on March 4, 2011 [41 favorites]


She's not interested yet you keep pressing, you have an instructor-client relationship, and you want to give her large monetary gifts? This is coated in creepy. If you care about her in any way, let her go, because you are making her deeply uneasy with your advances, and that's not what people who care about other people do.

As a rule, "The One" is always someone who likes you back.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:47 PM on March 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


When you get feelings that strong about someone you haven't actually spent any time with, there's usually projection coming from inside yourself - you are projecting the image of this perfect soulmate on someone who for all you actually know may be nothing like these things.
Just try to analyze your feelings, think of the things that you think are perfect about her and figure out where IN YOU you need these things. And try to see where you are assuming things about her personality and feelings that again, may be coming from you and your needs and not from her at all.
And please try to remember that she's a person entirely on her own, who may or may not be anything like what you think she is, and you have to give her enough respect on a human level to accept her opinions on this. It takes two to make a relationship, not just one person who thinks they can feel enough for two.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:47 PM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Logged in to say exactly what pineapple asks -- I think cultural differences are going to affect your answers. You should share where you live.
posted by Houstonian at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2011


OP, creepy is something you do, not something you are. The way you have acted with this women is unmistakably creepy.

But you can change that! Read the answers here, and take a good hard look in the mirror. Think about the way to act the next time you meet a woman you like. I say next time, because this one is done for; she's not worth even thinking about.

Next time, you'll be coy and laid back when you first meet a girl, and you'll take her reactions into account when you decide how to behave around her. You'll ask her for coffee before deciding you want to marry her. You'll wait until you're in a relationship before buying expensive gifts. And because you'll be acted like a calm, cool, normal guy, she'll like you plenty. Good luck!
posted by auto-correct at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


The reason she thinks that you are kind of a creep is that your actions are those of someone who is kind of a creep. You're way out of social norms on this one; too far, IMHO, for there to be anything salvageable here. Reset yourself, perform some self-evaluation of how to relate to women (romantically and otherwise)--certainly outside help/therapy is ok here--and come at the dating scene when you're ready.
posted by stevis23 at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


your plan/ideas likely are going to come across as creepy (even if you aren't - i don't want to judge your writing/culture). when someone isn't interested in you and continues to be open to you, you back off and can be friendly to them when appropriate. when someone isn't interested in you, and tries to get distance from you, you back off even more. like really far away. and move on with your own independent life.
posted by anya32 at 12:50 PM on March 4, 2011


Back off. Leave her alone. You made it clear you were interested, she made it clear she was not. Back off. Leave her alone.

You wanted her to know you were interested, leave it at that. At best you can leave her alone and back off, while simultaneously making yourself look fit. Work on yourself and leave her alone. Focus on your goals, busy yourself with your own personal goals that involve your own situation, and leave her alone.
posted by cashman at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have had several men interested in me when I have clearly expressed my disinterest. They behaved the way you are. I began to HATE them as they refused to accept that I did not want a relationship with them. I would actively avoid them and in some cases be scared to be alone with them because I knew they did not respect my boundaries. Please, leave her alone. You are probably experiencing limerence. Seek therapy if you need to regarding your inability to get over her and respect her boundaries.
posted by Logic Sheep at 12:57 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


It sounds like you did your best to woo her, and that's great! But she doesn't seem interested, so now you should move on, for certain.

Also, I got a card for her birthday and also planned on giving a gift card worth some $100 but didn't give any as one of the friends from my sister told that it might be inappropriate and told to move on as she doesn't seem interested.

This friend of your sister sounds perceptive; I think you should continue to chat with her when you have questions about other potential romances.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:57 PM on March 4, 2011 [36 favorites]


Dude, if you don't stop this, she is probably going to go to the police and you will be in a whole lot of embarrassment.

Stop it stop it stop it all. Real life is not a movie and it's definitely not a romantic comedy.

Stop going to that gym, just stop it all. And go see a therapist before you get yourself into really hot water. No means no.
posted by anniecat at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


for almost a month now and the moment I first saw her, I decided that she's the one for the rest of my life (from a guy who never really thought of marriage)

Well that's not really a decision that you get to make. People can't stay together for their whole lives unless both of them want to be together. You can't just decide "I want that one!" and expect to be able to somehow convince them to make it happen. If you end up getting into a serious relationship at some point it's okay to think about the long term future, but for now don't get caught up in thinking someone is "the one" and just date people who are actually interested in you.

I am thinking of writing a letter what profession I am in, talking about her to my parents, my job/salary, plans etc and ask for friendship first as she doesn't seem interested at all.

This will come across at the very least as strange. People do not send each other letters about how great they are and how much they want to be friends. Also at this point if she already thinks you are creepy you should just leave her alone.

Also, I got a card for her birthday and also planned on giving a gift card worth some $100 but didn't give any as one of the friends from my sister told that it might be inappropriate and told to move on as she doesn't seem interested.

Your friend is correct, it would have been inappropriate. And buying someone you don't have any relationship with an expensive gift is going to weird them out rather than impress them.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The reason she thinks you are a creep is NOT that she thinks you are just after sex. So, don't worry about proving to her, with gifts, cards, and letters, that you are after more than sex, because that's not what's bothering her.

The reason she think you are a creep is that:

YOU ARE IGNORING WHAT SHE WANTS.
YOU KEEP DOING THINKS YOU KNOW SHE DOESN'T LIKE, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU WANT TO
YOU ARE STEAMROLLING OVER HER DESIRES (to be left alone) WITH YOUR OWN DESIRES (to try to woo her).
YOU DO THINGS THAT UPSET HER AND MAKE HER UNCOMFORTABLE AND KNOWING IT BOTHERS HER ISN'T ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU STOP.

Why would anyone want to be with a guy who totally ignores her feelings in favor of his own? Why would anyone want to be with a guy who does things that make her uncomfortable, and doesn't care? Why would anyone want to be with a guy who keeps doing things that bother her, after he already knows they bother her?

That's what you need to stop.

Respect her wishes. Leave her alone. You'll never get anyone to like you by completely ignoring, diregarding, and trampling on their wishes.
posted by Ashley801 at 1:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [80 favorites]


Right now, I am thinking of writing a letter what profession I am in, talking about her to my parents, my job/salary, plans etc and ask for friendship first as she doesn't seem interested at all. Is it a good way to wait for another couple of months and give it or is it rightnow or not at all? Ohh...she also doesn't talk to me now much whenever I try go towards her. It's hard.... Any other suggestions?

This very clearly means she really, really doesn't like you and does not want to deal with you at all. It's not because she's wrong about you, it's because she doesn't like you and doesn't want to have anything to do with you.

You will not be able to win her over with gifts or anything. Don't do anything more. It's creepy and inappropriate, and you should most definitely not attempt to win her over. Leave her alone, even if your intentions seem to you to be honorable. They are not. She wants to be left alone and she doesn't like you.
posted by anniecat at 1:10 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


She's not afraid that you are the type of guy who is interested in her just for sex. I get the feeling that is the type of "creepy" you are referring to in your question and you are wrong.

She's scared of you because you've behaved inappropriately towards her, you've come on way way too strong. People who do that are usually emotionally unstable. She's avoiding you now because she's trying to avoid the scary emotional instability you've displayed. Can you take a minute and try to process what I am conveying to you? Thanks.

I'll try and say this next part kindly...

You sound like you don't have a great deal of romantic experience and your perceptions of others and of your own emotions aren't well formed or fully matured. I can see how meeting someone you find unbelievably attractive could totally overwhelm you given your lack of relevant life experience. That life experience is important! It would help you put your current emotions into perspective.

I'm thinking you could try to be more self-aware concerning your lack of experience in the romance department and conduct yourself with a little more care. Specifically, this means respecting people's boundaries whether stated or implied.

Talking to a counselor about these types of issues might help you process your emotions better and will help you in the future.

Please work through your infatuation with this woman in a responsible matter. Don't include her in the process as this is none of her concern. Talk to friends or a counselor.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 1:14 PM on March 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


Any other suggestions?

Speaking as a guy, you're creeping me out with your persistence here. Drop it, let it go, she's not interested. You need to move on and stop bothering her, ok? I know it sucks, you have all these feelings and everything, but the point is this: SHE DOES NOT HAVE THEM FOR YOU. That's the simple truth and you need to accept it, now, back off and leave her alone. What you're doing is inching it's way up to harassment and that's not cool.

This doesn't make you a bad person, but just realize and respect her and any other woman's wishes if they aren't interested and move along. All this energy your expending is being wasted her. Find someone who'll be interested in you and you'll be much happier.

Good luck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:15 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am not good looking,

Well, she apparently is, since you were so physically attracted to her when you first saw her that you decided you wanted to marry her. If I were you I'd assume she just doesn't find you attractive. Sorry, but there it is.

And whether or not that's true, you know she isn't interested, for whatever reason. You said so yourself. That settles it. There is no further question.

One more thing, though: I don't know how many people realize that in some jurisdictions, repeated unwanted communication with someone and/or following someone is a crime. Even if there's no touching involved, just the unwanted communication or interaction or following is against the rules of society and possibly the law. I have no idea what the law is for you since I have no idea where in the world you are, and I also have no legal expertise in this area. But you need to realize that you are at risk for breaking some very serious rules. You could try googling words "harassment" and "crime," though again I do not know whether this will apply to your situation. This is not legal advice, but it is something to think about.

Do not continue any of what you are doing toward this woman. She is not a part of your life. Sorry. You have to move on, right now.
posted by John Cohen at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2011


I just want to say something else to you shmikkl-- If anything I said sounded harsh, remember that I want you to be successful in dating/love and find the right girl for you. I am sure you can find that girl, if you practice your social skills. I think it would be a really, really good idea for you to talk to a therapist about these two issues -- practicing social skills around dating and romance, AND the issue of how to deal with it when you have a strong attraction that isn't reciprocated. And how to stop it from turning into an obsession.
posted by Ashley801 at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


have known this girl for almost a month now and the moment I first saw her, I decided that she's the one for the rest of my life

Bullshit.

Here's a little secret: There is no such thing as "the one". There are no soul-mates. There is no "the person I was meant to be with". Hollywood has been lying to you and you just lapped it up. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: There are lots of people out there for you. Assuming you are relatively nice, not too crazy, tolerable looking, etc., there are plenty of people out there with whom you can have a satisfying long-term relationship full of long walks on the beach, a house, kids (or not), and massive amounts of hot monkey-sex/discussions about Proust.

The trick is getting yourself out there so that you can find one of these people at a time when they are available and looking and being relatively normal when you finally do run into them. Then you get into a relationship, work at it for decades, and live a happy life.

This person, however, is not one of those people.

This woman is not interested in you. Maybe she could have been if you'd played things a little differently, but that doesn't matter any more. She's not interested and there is nothing that you can do to change that. There is plenty you can do to get yourself firmly on her "Psycho Stalker" list, however. The best way to stay off that list is to stop and back off. For good.

It doesn't mean that your life is over. It's not just that there is someone else out there for you, it's that there have always been multiple people out there for you. Find one of them and take it a little more slowly next time (like, actually getting to know someone before you decide it's true love).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you've read AskMe in the past, you should know that a consensus - especially on relationship questions - is almost never reached.

Please listen to the internets here and move on. She's shown you she's not interested, if you care about her as much as you claim, you need to respect that and leave her alone from here on out.
posted by sonika at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


and the moment I first saw her, I decided that she's the one for the rest of my life

That's not how this works. You'll know if you're lifelong compatible material not via a whimsical hunch, but through months of dating. She won't even date you. You simply do not know how compatible you guys are. Frankly, it sounds like you're incredibly and obviously incompatible.

Once you accept a grown-ups view of the world, this stuff gets much easier. You have to accept that you won't know who is compatible with you unless you spend a lot of time together and go through at least one crisis together. You have to accept that regardless of what you're feeling, the other person has no obligation to feel the same way and that emotions are notoriously fickle and unreliable. You have to accept that you're not the catch you think you are in your mind and conversely you're not the big loser you think you are in your mind. Lastly, you need to accept that almost everything about dating is completely subjective and its almost impossible to change someone's mind. She doesn't like you. No biggie, someone else will. Move on.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


The posting tells me that English is not the asker's native language, and he perhaps is not familiar with the way men and women interact here.

Much of the above is harsh, but it is right on point. This one has developed a consensus, hasn't it?
posted by yclipse at 1:27 PM on March 4, 2011


shmikkl, have you ever been bothered by a person for any reason? A fleeting encounter in the street or work or school?

Well, to the girl you're interested in, you're probably coming off as that person who irritated or bothered you, yet on a more unlikablely intense level. Put yourself in her shoes. Would you want to be have to continually deal with someone you weren't interested, particularly when you've made your intentions plain and have shown no interest?

Treat others as you'd want them to treat you. Respect their boundaries.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:32 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can you tell us more about where you live? It sounds like there are some cultural variances that might be in play here.
posted by pineapple at 3:46 PM
on March 4

Logged in to say exactly what pineapple asks -- I think cultural differences are going to affect your answers.
posted by Houstonian at 3:48 PM
on March 4


A woman minimizing or refusing to interact with a man is pretty much the cross-cultural signal for "I am absolutely NOT interested in you as a potential boyfriend or spouse."

In the West, the tradition is that once the woman makes that decision known, the man in question gives up, and starts looking elsewhere for a potential mate. If he does not, and instead continues trying to gain her attention, he will be known as a creep, and he just may find himself reported to law enforcement.

She's not interested. It doesn't matter how much you think you're in love with her. She does not feel the same way about you, and that ends any potential relationship you might have had.

You need to move on.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:43 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hmm...appreciate all your responses and try to take things in perspective. Rather strangely, I don't seem to feel much pain in it anyway. You are all more matured.

Like a few of you who are concerned has mentioned here that I came off too strongly telling her she's the love of my life, no...I just asked her if she has been in any relationship till date and was told she just got out of a long term one.

And as few more guys pointed out...I lack some social skills and was just trying to find out if there's anything sensible in what I am doing/trying to do. Anyway, with these many responses all pointing towards pulling off, I will take it and move on.

I won't be able to give you individual responses as this might again be something else...so will just end it here.

Have a wonderful week-end you all!
posted by shmikkil at 1:54 PM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Your relationship, to wit, with this woman:
- Trainer/client
- Not familiar (known only a month)
- Not friendly (she's not inviting you out, talking with you, etc)

Your behavior:
- Inappropriate physical contact, whether you meant to or not
- Showing up at places you'll know she'll be in hopes of seeing her
- Planning on giving her an exorbitant gift
- Planning on writing a long, overwrought love letter

Her behavior:
- Rejecting your interest
- Avoiding places where you think she'll show up (the gym)
- Ignores your attempts to interact with her


In conclusion, you know nothing about this woman. She wants nothing to do with you. Yet you are still pursuing her, and in inappropriately intimate ways (love letters, big gifts, etc). Yes, you are acting creepy. Stop this. Move on. You have no chance with her any more.
posted by schroedinger at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just can't... hold it for myself.

Oh, I bet you can. Learn, and/or seek professional help. Do not fall into the trap of imagining that you need to harass this woman because you are so helplessly swept away by your feelings. You have no such need, and your wants are not her problem.
posted by sculpin at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2011


Here's a little secret: There is no such thing as "the one". There are no soul-mates. There is no "the person I was meant to be with". Hollywood has been lying to you

There's another lie that Hollywood has been telling you, and that's if you want it bad enough to try hard enough, well, good for you, you can have it! No, sorry, not true either. In some (limited) circumstances, working harder will pay off. But trying more will not help here.
posted by b33j at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


You are romanticizing this to the point of obsession. She is NOT INTERESTED. Move on.

Now, you are probably thinking, "But what if she IS the one for me?" Honestly, I don't think there is just one person for anyone. But say you do, and she is The One, and it is Destined. Then look at it this way: if she wants nothing to do with you, and she is the right One, then now must not be the right Time. That makes sense, right?

So what do you do? You go on with your life. You try to be the best person you can be. If she is really the One, then you can trust that she will come to you when she is ready, right? Because it is Meant to Be. But until then, you need to let her go. Because SHE does not feel that YOU are the one.

Please, please let this go. You are in danger of making a fool of yourself, or worse, scaring this woman badly and maybe facing criminal charges if you go on stalking her. That is NOT what you want!
posted by misha at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2011


This is why you are creepy:

Right now, I am thinking of writing a letter what profession I am in, talking about her to my parents, my job/salary, plans etc and ask for friendship first as she doesn't seem interested at all.

And not knowing when no means no.

Sorry. It's time to move on.
posted by stormpooper at 2:37 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right now, I am thinking of writing a letter what profession I am in, talking about her to my parents, my job/salary, plans etc and ask for friendship first as she doesn't seem interested at all.

Because women only care about how much money you make or whether you're good breeding stock.

She's not interested. She couldn't possibly make it more clear. Your entire question seems to come from inexperience with women. Fix that by going out on a lot of dates. Go ask fifty people out.

Cross this trainer off your list. She's permanently not an option.
posted by phoebus at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would add that if you want this woman to feel comfortable again, you need to quit your gym and not go back. If I were this woman I would have raised my concern with my boss, and made my co-workers aware of your behaviour. As a general rule in the future, you do not make romantic advances to women who you are paying to be with you - whether trainers, waitresses, hairdressesers, whatever - because it makes it hard for them to reject you and walk away. You also need to slow things way, way down after you've expressed an interest. This is not a culture where a woman's family makes the decisions about who she marries (thank god) and trying to impress them with your CV (or contacting them at all on your own) is totally inappropriate. People have been hard on you in this thread because you are making this woman uncomfortable. I think you deserve some credit for caring and saying that you will back off - just make sure you do it completely.
posted by Dasein at 3:06 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The way you writes indicates that you are likely not from the U.S. Are you living in a foreign country? You mention your social skills need help, is this partially due to language issues?

If so, I'd take a slightly different tack. I would write her a BRIEF professional note. Don't try to see her in person. Leave it with one of her co-workers, don't seal the note, tell the co-worker that you're just writing to apologize and that they can take a look at the note (because otherwise, the woman will likely not even read it), and write something like,

Dear So-And-So:

A good friend told me that my behavior towards you last month was inappropriate and might have made you uncomfortable. I wanted to write to apologize for my behavior. I am from [Insert what country you're from] and am still learning about how to relate to people in [Insert the country you're living in]. I come from a very different culture, but was never my intention to make you uncomfortable. Though I admire you a great deal, I won't attempt to speak to you or have any other contact with you in the future, unless you initiate it.

Sincerely,

shmikkil

Then do the following: Don't ever contact her again. Don't ask if she got the note. Don't ask if she read it. Don't wave at her at the gym. Completely ignore it. Maybe she will decide to come over and talk to you again, maybe she might be interested in more. But no matter what, you must not contact her, she must take the next step which will likely be not talking to you again.
posted by arnicae at 3:14 PM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Whether or not one person likes another is largely the result of built-in, deep seated, instinctual reaction. There is virtually no possibility that you will change that reaction by presenting further information about yourself or further expressions of heart-felt interest. Attempting to do so will only further annoy her and confirm the negative opinion that she already has. Move on; it's not the end of the world even if it seems that way at the moment.
posted by Kevin S at 4:08 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Based on your English, your inclination to mention your profession and parents, and your intention to "ask for friendship", I think maybe you're from a South Asian background. I'm guessing, of course, and you'll get better answers if you're clearer about your own cultural background, the woman's cultural background, and the country you're currently in.

As others have mentioned, your behaviour is completely innappropriate in a western dating context. If you escalate the situation, you could be banned from your gym or have legal action taken against you. Speaking as a western woman, I don't mind a man approaches me, but if I say I'm not interested, I expect him to back off immediately. Romantic relationships can only happen with the enthusiastic consent of both parties. The woman's answer is no. There is nothing you can do to turn it into a yes -- except, perhaps, to wait and hope (privately and from a distance).

There are members of this community who can give you culturally appropriate advice about dating in a South Asian context. But my guess is that no matter where you are, this situation is not going to work out in your favour. There are cultures where shyness and minimal contact can sometimes mean maybe, possibly, ask-my-parents-and-we'll-see. But a definite no is always a definite no, and regardless of which culture you're operating in, you are being deeply disrespectful to this woman by continuing to press the issue.
posted by embrangled at 4:27 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Guys...I am from S Asia like one of the guys understood and it doesn't take much of a work to how things work over there. Yes, communication at a level on par with people over here is an issue for me considering the place I came from but still over time, it will get better.

I also mentioned earlier that I did tell a sorry for her after a week it happened. I basically used to ask some personal questions like where she stays, birthday, her plans, what she does outside from work etc and finally on that day asked her if she had any siblings, is she in any relationship and really...that's it. Didn't even have the intention to ask her for a lunch or something...I was too insecure after seeing so many cute guys around me with all the muscles and seemingly much better. Besides, as far as I know...it's easy for people over here in US to get into another relationship at some point of time once they are single and I was just trying to use this timing so that it's not too late. I ended up with a mess for myself which I find hard to get out of.
posted by shmikkil at 5:14 PM on March 4, 2011


Thank you one and all for your insightful comments and you are all really helping me a lot.
posted by shmikkil at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I ended up with a mess for myself which I find hard to get out of.

They call this the land of opportunity for a reason. Just be cool, be kind, and be yourself.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:34 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


SIRC's guide to flirting may be useful. Or... maybe a banjo?
posted by stratastar at 5:56 PM on March 4, 2011


She's not into you, and as they say, it takes two to tango. Move on. Go find someone who likes you! The right lady is out there somewhere.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:58 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I ended up with a mess for myself which I find hard to get out of.

In this case: change gyms. Don't do the same thing again with the next lady. Particularly be wary of touching women in any way that you wouldn't touch a man that you had just met (this can not only make people offended but get you in a fight or legal troubles).

As a piece of broader advice: why not look for some people, ideally college students (if you're in that age group) from your home country or S. Asia more broadly? See if they have get-togethers or outings that you can participate in? This way you may be able to meet people with whom you have a similar background or share a native language who can help you more adroitly navigate American society.

Don't give up. But do stop touching/pursuing women in ways they do not want. Good luck!
posted by arnicae at 5:59 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey...just a clarification. I never had any intentions of touching or anything like that. It was all accidental and just happened and afraid that she might be thinking that I am trying for some favors which is unfortunate.
posted by shmikkil at 6:32 PM on March 4, 2011


And ending up in a mess myself means...besides hurting her, I couldn't really concentrate on my work everyday enough and started looking for some daily horoscopes etc most of the time. :-)
posted by shmikkil at 6:36 PM on March 4, 2011


Besides, as far as I know...it's easy for people over here in US to get into another relationship at some point of time once they are single and I was just trying to use this timing so that it's not too late.

I don't mean to engage in stereotyping, but I wonder if you're stuck in a misunderstanding that is not uncommon among young men who are new to the West. You know, of course, that western women have a lot of freedom about who they date. (These days, many South Asian women do too). If I want to be in a relationship with a man, I don't need to worry very much about what my parents or his parents or the general community will think. People who care about me will probably respect my decision. In this sense, I am "free" to date whoever I like.

But I think maybe you've confused that freedom with a general "looseness" about romantic relationships. Western women are no less selective about who they date. In fact, we're probably more selective, because there's less societal pressure for us to move quickly towards marriage. We say "no" to a lot of men, and we expect them to accept rejection graciously. We take our relationships no less seriously, so it's possible the woman you like is still upset over the end of her previous relationship and wants to be alone for a while. And because love marriage is the norm, we have very high expectations about communication and respect. If a man can't respect my personal boundaries in a casual conversation, I won't even consider him as a romantic partner.

I don't mean to discourage you. You are in a land of opportunity and there's every possibility that you will eventually find love. But if you're very new to the US and a lot of what you know about western women comes from films or television, you need to step back and educate yourself before you try again. Make some male and female friends first (not by "asking for friendship", but by gradually building up mutual respect and understanding over a series of casual conversations). Then maybe your friends will introduce you to other friends, and maybe through those friends you'll meet your future wife. Good luck!
posted by embrangled at 7:19 PM on March 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


For a bit of help in viewing the situation, imagine meeting a man you know almost nothing about, and thinking to yourself, WOW, this guy is going to be my very best friend for the rest of my life! That would be weird and silly, right? Maybe, if you get to know him, he might turn into a close friend, but you can't know that in the beginning.

Romance is the same. All you know in the beginning is that you like the way someone looks, and you like the very little you know about them. The rules of logic and reality don't change just because you are romantically/sexually attracted to them: You still can't know right away if this is someone you could have a relationship with.

And, again, if you thought some guy was cool and you wanted to hang out with him more, and he said he wasn't interested — you wouldn't write him letters and send gifts to change his mind, right? You wouldn't persist in believing that he is your best friend?

So, the deal is that you can't unilaterally decide what sort of relationship you will have with someone; their participation and interest is required. You can't "shop" for friends or girlfriends just by metaphorically "picking them off the shelf." You attempt to make friends and express your interest while paying close attention to the signals that they are sending back, and respecting their choices. It's important to understand that someone who treats you in a friendly way is not necessarily encouraging a closer relationship. There's a difference between Acquaintance-Friendly (this is someone I see in my job, at the store, in my neighborhood, in my class, so I have a casual, low-level, pleasant but non-personal connection to them) and Interested-Friendly (this is someone I have met and know a little about, and I would like to get to know them better, and maybe be friends or date them). Once you learn to mostly tell the difference between those two, things will be easier!
posted by taz at 11:20 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, embrangled. I didn't mean to say 'looseness'. If I relate to my culture...most of the women who got divorced normally would never again go for a marriage or get into any sort of relationship (it's changing though but I think mine is still a male dominant society).
posted by shmikkil at 8:16 AM on March 5, 2011


Arnicae, I am already in higher 20's and trying to search for someone to get settled. With the people/friends around here in my circle, it's hard to break the boundaries and try it differently. Besides being well educated and having the right head on their shoulders, I see everyone lacks something or the other and though they are content, I don't want to have the same patterns in my life. This is where I am kind of getting caught up trying to bring a balance between having a better life and something boring/very routine.
posted by shmikkil at 8:24 AM on March 5, 2011


First go on some dates, try not to think about "getting settled" when you first meet someone. As taz said, think of it like starting a friendship.

People get married (and re-married) at all points in their lives in the US. My grandfather got married a second time after his first wife died. He and his new wife were in their 60s - people meet and fall in love at all ages. I understand that you might see people your age who are in stable relationships or getting married, but try to look for counter-examples - people who are happily single, or people who are older and still happy and dating. Yesterday, I learned that a co-worker of mine, who is probably in his 50s, has a girlfriend. For whatever reason, I assumed he was married and settled down.

In short, don't stress out about how old you are and what other people are doing. Have fun, meet new people, and go from there.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 AM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm assuming from your post that you're a foreigner living in an English-speaking country. What you are proposing is not how we do things in these countries.

This does not work in ANY country.

How many guy friends do you know who met "fell in love" with a woman they didn't even know and then wondered why the woman was so indifferent or "rude" while you are ready to die for them? The reason is- they are NOT interested in you! SO LEAVE THEM ALONE ALREADY!


Guys...I am from S Asia like one of the guys understood and it doesn't take much of a work to how things work over there

That's what you think. I bet if you asked the women they may tell you they can't figure out why they heck can the guy not understand that a NO MEANS NO.
posted by xm at 8:50 AM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Arnicae, I am already in higher 20's and trying to search for someone to get settled. With the people/friends around here in my circle, it's hard to break the boundaries and try it differently

Don't worry, you aren't too old. Nothing like the present to learn new skills! I still think it is an excellant idea to meet some folks originally from your country of origin who can help you practice how to interact with American women (or women living in America). Depending on where you live, there may be a graduate school with people from your country enrolled, or even a program explicitly for new immigrants to socialize with each other.

I know you're impatient to get over the meeting/chatting part already, and you sound like a nice guy. But, you push boundaries (physical, social, even safety) which is not the way to win over a potential wife from a foreign country. Try to curb your impatience so you can learn some new skills, or possibly try to date women from your home country who may be able to better understand your cultural background.
posted by arnicae at 8:51 AM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


xm, human behavior is universal in all countries? And it matches Western norms? That's, um, quite the assumption.

More to the point, it doesn't matter how people behave/date/marry/etc. in all other countries; it only matters how people behave here, where the OP now is.

There's a lot of good, relevant advice upthread. Other guys aren't "better" than you because they have more muscles. But you need to get out there dating until you find the right woman. More confidence -- which is quite obviously lacking -- would probably help, and in that regard, fake it till you make it.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:42 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where did the poster say that he lives in the West or in America?
posted by Houstonian at 1:31 PM on March 5, 2011


He's from South Asia and is now living in the United States. See here.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:37 PM on March 5, 2011


J. Wilson: Um, yes, even in South Asia, no means no. Every human being has the right to bodily integrity. There is no culture on earth where women want to be harrassed or touched against their will. There are certainly cultures where it's common for men to do so, but that doesn't mean the women are okay with it. Wanting to be treated with respect isn't a Western thing, it's a human thing.
posted by embrangled at 1:46 PM on March 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Excuse me, xm...never was she inappropriately touched. She was behind me sometimes and it was her who actually held my legs while I was doing some stretches. Never did she behave as if she wanted to make me think that way nor I did anything to her intentionally. What I was trying to say was that probably b/c of this she might be thinking of me badly and that's one thing I am concerned she misunderstood me.

I know there are several ways to satisfy some needs but please don't assume yourself as if I am just trying to harass her. It's a BIG word. I never had/have the intention like that. I respect her but it's just that I kind of got obsessed over her and felt like I could be the guy for her....having been a person who's gone through enough of destructive emotions all my life, it's pretty much hard for me to experience this kind of thing in my life at this point of time. Yeah, time to get to know more rather than suffer later in life when we might not actually have enough choices. I just couldn't come to terms with all this and probably never will.

Over in India, if a guy likes a girl and if she's either hesitant or not so interested...yes, we will go over to her parents, talk about it and try to get connected. I believe it's no different or bad than dating for months/years in the name of getting to know together and doing things. For god's sake, I said I was not expecting some favors from her. All I wanted is that she misunderstood me and am never that type of a guy who she thinks and feel like she's missing someone who can take care of her really great. Feel bad man!
posted by shmikkil at 5:07 PM on March 5, 2011


feel like she's missing someone who can take care of her really great

This is probably another way you'll need to re-calibrate your ideas about relationships. What makes you think she *wants* someone to "take care of" her?
posted by galadriel at 6:34 PM on March 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


[folks, please keep this in line and do not derail it with stuff that should go to email. thank you]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:51 PM on March 5, 2011


This is fascinating.

Over in India, if a guy likes a girl and if she's either hesitant or not so interested...yes, we will go over to her parents, talk about it and try to get connected. I believe it's no different or bad than dating for months/years

I can tell you how that reads to this Western woman: as profoundly disrespectful to the woman in question. Through my own cultural filters, it looks like since she's not choosing to accommodate his wishes, the guy is trying to get her parents to use their authority over her to get him what he wants. It reads to me as a nasty form of social arm-twisting with a side order of patriarchal entitlement, and I cannot begin to tell you the degree to which it would backfire here. I mean, he wouldn't just not get the girl -- he'd risk being shunned and despised by everybody who heard about it.
posted by sculpin at 9:22 PM on March 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


but please don't assume yourself as if I am just trying to harass her. It's a BIG word. I never had/have the intention like that.

You've mentioned this a few times, shmikkil, and I think there's a point worth clarifying here. I think everyone here knows and believes you weren't just trying to sneak in a few gropes. However, harassment and generally creepy behavior aren't necessarily physical or sexual in nature, and more importantly, they're not defined by intention. They're defined by behavior, and whether that behavior invades someone's personal space or privacy, makes them uncomfortable, and/or ignores their wishes to stop or leave.

If I encounter someone at my job who keeps staring at me, or repeatedly tries to talk to me when I'm doing something else or I just don't feel like talking, I don't know whether that person wants to steal my kidneys or just play a few games of Scrabble. I have no way of knowing that person's intentions. All I know is that this is someone who doesn't respect my personal boundaries and who doesn't care what I'm doing or feeling as long as he's close to me.

And actions speak louder than words: you can tell her that you want to just be friends, or you can send her five-page letters about your pure intentions and what a decent guy you are, but the very act of approaching her or sending her letters says I don't care that you're not interested, no matter what words are actually coming out of your mouth.

An added dimension of creepiness is that you don't really know anything about her and you've already arrived at the conclusion that she's the love of your life. This isn't a prerequisite for being creepy, but it's a common thing in a lot of creepy encounters. You're assuming a level of emotional intimacy that she doesn't share and hasn't volunteered.

This is a pitfall for a lot of guys (and girls). They don't have creepy intentions, so they would never consider themselves creepy. But when they find someone they can't get over, and their obsession overrides their consideration for that person's feelings and security, their persistence comes across as creepy and harassing. They don't realize they're being creepy.

You can still be a good person, and a great future partner (to someone else, not the current recipient of your obsession). The key is to recognize when your attention is unwelcome, back off accordingly, and in the future act with the appropriate respect. As auto-correct said upthread, creepy is something you do, not something you are. Which means it's something you can learn and choose not to do.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:42 AM on March 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sculpin, talking to her parents do mean that the guy is interested in going the distance and not some random guy who approached their daughter for something not right. Maybe, if you did grew up in a place where society is not all that ready to being approached or talked to the opposite gender, you might just be thinking in a different way than you are now. But I agree with you on being disrespectful to the woman in some way which I was regretful.

Metroid Baby, if you read some of the above comments, you will have an idea on why I had to mention about the physical contact time and again. When you repeated the same, the way you put sounded a little more offensive. You seem to think from the girl's perspective but what about the damn guy who asked you for an answer in the 1st place?? Also, your comment on being a good person doesn't necessarily depend on how they deal with a few people in their lives entirely. That's a different topic.

Though I didn't like what you both said above, I appreciate you for taking the time and giving your comments.

And also to keep you posted on what's happening, she seem to have left the workplace ever since her birthday (I did wish her and said a sorry) and never saw her again. A straight NO on my face would have been much easier to take. And I still like her (not for the fact as it's some limerence as one pointed out earlier). Off the topic, think Psychology has evolved so much since Freudian era to an extent where everything which is a little different from the current norms has some damn name associated to it. It will be very interesting to imagine how people will label our current generation in a few hundred years though. Anyone has a name?

By the way, most of your comments have been very helpful and understanding. But some have been just churned out to the point of making me believe you being apathetic and biased in the name of just being objective & I enjoyed it to an extent where it made me post this comment again.

Thanks!
posted by shmikkil at 1:01 PM on March 16, 2011


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