Making Things Complicated
July 12, 2011 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to explain my feelings to this girl without being ridiculous and screwing everything up?

I am a grad student on a summer research trip. A month ago I met a woman who works on essentially the same sliver of a narrow subfield that I do, who is also smart, beautiful, charming, and has the most endearing smile of anyone I've ever met. We've been spending practically every day together since we met, usually just the two of us, sharing our deepest secrets and confidences but also just having fun finishing each other's sentences. I'm mostly an introvert and people exhaust me very easily, but the more time I spend with her the more time I want to spend with her. I already value her friendship very deeply, but I'd like to ask her if she's interested in trying to take it further. Inevitably, there are a lot of potentially fatal complications.

When I first met her, she was in a seven-year relationship with a long-distance boyfriend whom she was planning to marry next year, and I decided that I would let my little crush wither away and hopefully just develop a nice friendship. This isn't a nice-guy friendzone kind of thing: I really do want to have her as a genuine friend whatever happens. But last weekend, while we were spending the weekend together at a cabin (with my father and his wife), we were sitting up late talking and she told me that her relationship was collapsing, although things were still up in the air. We talked about it endlessly over the next two days, and it became clear that she had been expecting this for a long time, but she was afraid she'd be too old and she'd be alone forever. I, almost totally seriously, suggested that if neither of us were partnered in seven years, we would get married. She responded well, we even shook on it.

Now she and her fiance are definitively broken up, and I can't get over the idea that this is my one chance. We'll be in the same city, probably seeing each other daily, for another month or so, after which I'm going home and she's staying for a while. I'm considering telling her how I feel on the last day we have together. I know the dramatic monologue route is usually a horrible idea, but I can't think of any better way to do it.

The first complication is that I feel like I'd either be taking advantage of her somehow or not giving her time and space to recover from her previous relationship. It does seem pretty tacky to make a move so soon.

This is connected to the second complication, which is that we live far enough away from one another (though in the same country) that I'm pretty sure that if we part ways without me explaining how I feel we'll never be more than friends. This also means any relationship would have to be long-distance, which is fine with me, and probably with her--she's said repeatedly that one of the main reasons her relationship fell apart is that she wanted more distance and space to travel and live abroad than her boyfriend was willing to put up with. (There's also a possibility she could move in with me if it came to that.)

The third complication is the age difference. I'm in my mid-twenties, she's almost ten years older. It doesn't really bother me, and we're similar enough in our outlooks on things that it feels like we've converged midway, but it's obvious that there are lots of things involved in that that could make us incompatible.

The fourth complication is that if this was serious and long-term, it would be impossible for us both to get jobs in our field in the same city. I'd be more than willing to consider quitting the academy, since I've never been all that attached to it, but it's definitely a potential problem.

What should I do, hivemind? Is the dramatic monologue really as bad of an idea as I've always thought it was? How do I ask something like this without losing a friend? Are these complications really enough to doom the whole thing? Can it at least be worth a try? How can I at least be a good and respectful friend while dealing with these feelings?
posted by derrinyet to Human Relations (46 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Go for it. Anything that comes of it is a lot better than always wondering what could've been.
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:24 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're over thinking. You already know that you want to go for it, so go for it.
Hell, it sounds like you've already talked to her about everything but this, so maybe it's time to talk to her about it.

She's a mature adult, and can say no on her own if she's concerned; and from what you've said, she's not likely to do that.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:29 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Don't wait until your last day with her.
posted by Majorita at 3:31 PM on July 12, 2011 [9 favorites]

If you're going to confess your feelings, don't wait until the last day- do it now! Don't just blurt and dash, be brave enough to let this happen when you can't run away. Stop worrying about what will happen in the future with your jobs and your living situations and just enjoy what's going on right now.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:32 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't wait until your last day with her.

This. Just do it.

You didn't say how long ago she broke up with her bf, though.
posted by empath at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

there is nothing wrong with just laying it out there. There is always a level of risk- you just need to decide if it's worth that risk.
posted by Blisterlips at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2011

Go for it, but don't wait until the last day you have together. If something is going to come out of this, it might be easier for you two to have a month of figuring out what that thing is versus an immediate departure right after your revelation. Even if it doesn't work out the way that you are hoping, you would still have a month to figure out how your friendship will change with the new info (and to make sure that things are not left awkward in a way that they might be if you didn't leave that time for both of you to process this information together).
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2011

I would argue against a monologue, and for telling her in the next week. Keep it short -- you like her, the potential complications are workable, let's give it a go.
posted by freshwater at 3:34 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

What I see is a dude who just put four carts before the horse. You don't need a rehearsed monologue either. She knows everything you're going to say. Just ask and deal with the rest when it comes, together. Whether you start dating or not.
posted by griphus at 3:34 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Speaking as someone who is prone to the dramatic monologue, for the love of God do not do the dramatic monologue. This potential relationship is fraught enough without adding additional drama and pressure.

If it would release your internal dramatic monologue pressure, write out the monologue you'd like to give, put it away, and break it out on your six-month or one-year anniversary. Say "Hey, this is how I was thinking of asking you out for the first time. It's pretty funny, but it also shows you how strongly I felt about you even then." At that point, it'll be sweet. At this point, it'll be weird.

Summary advice: sure, tell her how you feel, but be low-pressure and calm about it. Acknowledge her possible feelings (and one of your concerns) by saying words to the effect of: "I apologize if this is too soon, but I'd never forgive myself if this time passed without me asking you out. Want to get dinner or coffee?"

Make it clear that it's totally cool if she's not ready for that, and that after this time in the same location is over, you still want to be in her life and close to her -- as a friend or as a romantic partner -- but make equally clear that you'd like to explore this if she's interested.

Cliff's Notes on your complications: sure, those are concerns, but you can't live your life in fear. Let's take them in reverse order.

Don't worry about #4 at all, or worry about it after you're happy together and both successful in your field.

Don't worry about #3 either. The difference between 25 and 35 isn't really that great, especially between like-minded people.

Worry a little bit about #2, but not very much. If you're both good with long distance, awesome. But let's not get ahead of ourselves: first you have to establish that she's interested in you. Once you get to that point, you can hash out the details of when and how you're together. Plus, you want to maximize your tim in the same place.

Now, the fact that she's just out of a seven-year relationship which had an engagement, that's a real worry. Most people need time to heal and get their heads right after the end of such a significant partnership. That's just real, and it has to be acknowledged.

But on balance, given the choice between getting yourself hurt (which, don't kid yourself, has a significant chance of happening) or never knowing what would have happened -- well, all relationships can end in pain. You want to pursue this because you feel like it's worth the risk.

I say ask her out, be respectful of her feelings whatever they are, and recognize that she may need more time than life is affording you right now. If she says yes, great. If she says "maybe, but not right now," you've got to accept that, too.

Let me Nth those saying "do it now if you're going to do it." You want to make the most of that potential month.

Finally, follow these three major rules and you should be fine: do not do the dramatic monologue, forego the dramatic monologue, and under no circumstances think of doing the dramatic monologue.

Best of luck! I hope it works out.
posted by jeffmshaw at 3:35 PM on July 12, 2011 [12 favorites]

wait, she broke up with her 7 year relationship this week?

Too soon, too soon. I don't know how this is going to work out for you, if you do it today or wait until the day before she leaves.
posted by empath at 3:35 PM on July 12, 2011

You didn't say how long ago she broke up with her bf, though.

They literally broke up two days ago. This is one of the things that makes me leery of just jumping in now.
posted by derrinyet at 3:35 PM on July 12, 2011

When you tell her your feelings, be open to hers as well. I think relationships run into trouble when dramatic confessions are all "I WANT I THINK I FEEL" without seeing if these hopes/dreams/plans mesh well with the beloved's. Also, try not to freak out if her response isn't what you're hoping for. But I agree, don't wait! But think it through a wee bit first.
posted by ShadePlant at 3:36 PM on July 12, 2011

They literally broke up two days ago. This is one of the things that makes me leery of just jumping in now.

Yeah, but it's not like waiting a month is really all that "appropriate" given that her relationship was 7 years long, either.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:38 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

And yet she has known for a while that her relationship was not working out. Go for it, in a casual, low-pressure way. She may want to be single for a while. Let her know you are very interested, but it's okay if she thinks it is too soon for her to date. But flirt with her a little to make your interest clear.
posted by Knowyournuts at 3:47 PM on July 12, 2011 [6 favorites]

Take a deep breath, try not to overthink it, and just go for it. If you like her and you're both mature adults, then you should be able to work things out without a lot of anguished hemming and hawing over the past and the future.

Unless she just broke up with the guy really recently, I don't see a problem with just telling her that you're interested. You're single. She's single. Unless you all have to hang out with her ex, there is no issue here. If she's not ready, then she'll tell you, but she won't know anything unless you open your mouth.

Long distance is only a complication if you guys make it one, but she should get to have some input on that instead of you making the decision for her.

The age difference is not a complication. No, really, this isn't something worth stressing over.

And you're really, really over projecting into the future for your fourth complication. You haven't even told her you like her yet, so don't start freaking out over what happens if you guys get serious.

Just calm down, tell her you think she's wonderful, and see if she'd like to spend some time with you. That's all that you need to do at this point, and don't wait until the last day to make a big dramatic speech. That's just cowardly at worst and juvenile at best, and suppose things work out? Then you'd be cheating yourself out of whatever time you'd get to spend with her in person.

On preview: Yikes, two days ago? After a 7-year relationship? That's cutting it pretty close. In that case, I'd go for the "my door is always open for you" approach rather than professing undying love. You're probably going to need a light touch in your approach, but that shouldn't stop you.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Why not just spend time with her and get to know her, or go ahead and ask her on a date. Really the rest is just beanplating. You don't need to explain your feelings, except maybe 'you know, we get along really well'. If it works out between you you'll find a way to stay together.
posted by everyday_naturalist at 3:52 PM on July 12, 2011

Go after what you want. Be prepared for her to not be the safest of bets, however. Your best interests are paramount her. There's a chance for a string-along here.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:06 PM on July 12, 2011

Man, I hate to be a downer, but I wouldn't try to get romantically involved with her for a few months. She's been with someone else for seven years and she needs some breathing time. Be her friend. She needs a good friend - not someone who brings his own desires and needs to the table.

I've gone a few times on the merry-go-round where I broke up with one guy and another guy would pounce and want a relationship. It was a very bad position to be put in, and I didn't get to have time to absorb the lessons of the last relationship so I ended up making dumb mistakes. I ended up kind of resenting those guys for being unable to back off and give me some recovery time. Sure, after a breakup it's nice to get attention and she may even go after you, but they call it a rebound for a reason.

Everybody's saying go for it, but if you really care you'll also consider her best interests, and that might mean a break.
posted by griselda at 4:07 PM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

tagging on to what griselda said, why not express your deep appreciation of her as a friend, tell her you're there for her if she wants someone to talk to, and generally be really available this month, without giving her The Big Speech and/or trying to take her to bed? Odds are really good she'll get the message that you're interested in her, without putting the pressure on her, plus it can't hurt to see what goes on for a longer period of time once the relationship is in her rear view mirror. People change once they get out of long-term relationships. If there's mutual interest, the two of you will find a way to make it work after a month has gone by and one of you has (geographically) moved on.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:14 PM on July 12, 2011

"I'd really like to ask you out on a date, but I'm worried that it's too soon after your breakup, and I don't want to screw up this friendship."

See what she says to that, and go from there. If she was 'expecting the breakup for a long time', she may well be ready to embark on something new. And an advantage of this approach is, if she doesn't want to be more than friends, she can gracefully say "no, I'm not ready for a new relationship" and your friendship is not compromised.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:36 PM on July 12, 2011 [18 favorites]

You should lay it out there and let her know that you're also willing to wait and/or take it slow. I say this because a) she's known the old relationship was breaking up for awhile, b) you two have been Acting like two people in love this Whole Time, c) when she said things like fearing she'd be alone forever and agreed that y'all should get together in 7 years if you haven't found someone else? She sounds an awful lot like she was making hints that she Likes You. Yes, like that.

So be respectful and give her space and tell her you don't want to screw up the friendship... but let her know you're feeling like more than a friend.
posted by ldthomps at 4:50 PM on July 12, 2011

They literally broke up two days ago. This is one of the things that makes me leery of just jumping in now.

Once upon a time I had a crush on a girl. She had a boyfriend, so I backed off. I heard they broke up, so I got her to come over. I told her I liked her, and was interested. She told me that she was seeing someone. I was surprised, and mentioned I had heard she had broken up. She said no, someone new. She was open to the new guy because her older relationship had been on the rocks for so long, and it just took him to finish it.

See also.

Go for it now, but be cool about it.
posted by procrastination at 4:59 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

You know, usually when people talk about 'complications', I have to work to be optimistic, and I'm always optimistic about love by nature (uh, disclaimer?). Secondly, I'm the sort of person who (like you) genuinely values friendship and is naturally a little sick of people who think that to have a worthwhile relationship, you have to make it romantic. Even though I'm a diehard romantic! But. Well, none of your complications are really that bad. At all. I mean, they're to be expected-- if it was totally smooth, then you'd worry, y'know? Maybe that's just me.

The only real problem is that you'd have trouble finding your typical two-body-problem solution. But you're not the clingy types. Eh, right. Eh. You have to practice saying that, too. 'Eh'.

It sounds like if there were any more obvious cues Go For It, there would be actual violins and possibly a whole orchestra. This is it! I'm pretty sure this is as Good As It Gets without actually knowing the other person's response is 'good to go' beforehand. You're not going to get any more certain, or any more well-placed for success. If you 'fail', I think there's a very good chance you'd still be friends anyway, and even then, it's not like you'll have to work with her forever and brood in your misery (or what have you-- that doesn't seem likely in any case). Nothing to lose, really! You're golden! Go, go, go!

I'm pretty happy just reading this post; like in rom-coms, here the 'complications' are really delightful and ultimately beneficiary quirks, since everything you've described seems like a good thing or a not-so-bad thing for the two of you in your context. I mean, to actually prefer long-distance relationships-- that's unheard of. I mean, that's the universe cackling gleefully at you two, right there. One more note: go for it without over-analyzing or 'dealing' in too 'adult' of a way. Enjoy it! Don't 'deal' with it. Y'know? I want to discourage you to compress it, dilute it, reason it away-- that'll make it more of a draining/negative/difficult force in your life, something to 'deal with' rather than something to enjoy. As of now, you're on top and rising-- so give it all you've got! Rise as high as the two of you can go! Give it your best shot!

In its own time, in its own rhythm, love will solidify, get more serious and sedate and confined by real life boundaries, mundane concerns, etc etc. As of now-- it doesn't seem like you need to hurry along that process. I think people put too much of a premium on being 'adult', especially rational, generally careful types. But you can probably count on your rationality as 'in the bag', and thus simply let your hearts lead you. You can't be a rational adult and really be in love. And if you don't want to really be in love, what's the point? Remain friends or be in love. Do either-- do both!-- with all your strength.

I mean, I can tell you right now she probably isn't going to always remain this amazingly wonderful person who is seemingly perfect. You'll discover flaws, things about her that bother you (eventually). No relationship is easy, right? But you'll be far enough away that maybe you can keep the mystique going longer (without the drudgery of living close together, seeing the other person eating ice-cream while clipping their toenails in the evening). But why look forward to this? Look forward to love. Look forward to being strong enough to deal with obstacles, rather than focusing on their existence, since they always exist, don't they? Do youwant to? Can you? It seems to me you want to. That's all that matters.

One last thing: age is such a red herring, seriously, haha. Ok, maybe I say this as an early-30s girl who still relates most to 20-something people....
posted by reenka at 5:02 PM on July 12, 2011

If it's 2 days, wait a little bit. Umm, time this by her attitude-- if she seems sad/stressed/numb (or what have you), wait more. If she seems ok, a week or two wait is enough. YMMV. You don't need to like, wait months or what have you.
posted by reenka at 5:12 PM on July 12, 2011

I'm going to totally go against the grain here and tell you, please, please, please, don't do it. This is all I had to read before I thought it was a bad idea "same sliver of a narrow subfield". I mean, yes, if it works out, you'll have the two body problem (not something to be dismissed easily as my friends and I are finding out to our detriment). That is the BEST case scenario. Okay or one of your could drop out of the field to happily do something else. That's truly the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario is you date and it doesn't work out. Professionally, this could range from slight awkwardness at conferences, through some fierce gossip, through dropping out of your field because you are so uncomfortable working with this woman in a professional situation. That sounds like an exaggeration but I know of two people who have either changed fields or dropped out entirely because of harassment that occurred after dating. I'm not saying she (or you) would, but then my friends didn't think that either.

Plus the 'just got out of a 7 year relationship' but that's not so bad when you're in your early 30s.
posted by hydrobatidae at 5:13 PM on July 12, 2011

These obstacles aren't obstacles, they're things to be worked out. It's too bad she only just broke up with the guy, but it's better than hitting on her just before she broke up with him, amirite?

Just make sure you tell her that whatever happens, you value your friendship and don't want to ruin it, and if she doesn't feel the same way about you you can totally take that on the chin. (Provided you really mean it, of course. If you're going to need a bit of time to get over any possible rejection, then maybe leaving it to the end of the trip is best so you can cool off.)
posted by tel3path at 5:28 PM on July 12, 2011

Tell her how you feel in a sentence short enough for a tweet. Not so you can do it on twitter, but keep it incredibly short and then listen to what she has to say.

You see, she's a real live person, with her own thoughts and feelings and no matter how much advice you get from strangers on the internet, you'll never know what she's thinking or feeling without asking her. You also won't get very far imagining every possibly way the conversation could go and coming up with rationale and counter arguments.

Only she would know if she's been checked out of that relationship for ages. Only she would know if she wanted time to sort things out without a relationship.

As adults, we don't really owe it to people to observe intricate relationship rules. The only ones I think you need are simple. Be honest. Listen. Let adults make their own decisions.
posted by advicepig at 5:33 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

You obviously want to do this, so yeah, go ahead and do it.

As for how you do it, don't go making a big dramatic speech, and don't wait until your last day there! You're around another month - wait, maybe a week, then ask her out on a date or something.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:35 PM on July 12, 2011

You are in danger of getting hurt, a little bit more than you might be aware.

This story may or may not apply, but I've got to tell it:

I once met a wonderful guy just as I was discovering that my long-term relationship was not going to work out. We clicked in every way possible and spent all the time together that we could. Although we were never physically intimate, we were totally crushed out, utterly intoxicated by each other.

I knew that while my feelings for him were genuine, we were in the precarious position of not knowing each other for very long, being swept up in the newness of things, and me possibly being, well, reboundy. It felt too amazing to reign ourselves in, but I did warn him that I was likely to be in a weird state for a while because of the process of ending my serious relationship.

After a couple months (six weeks?), he moved across the country, following plans he'd made before he'd met me. After a couple more months and some pretty painful sorting out of my life, I moved too. I didn't follow him, I'd have gone there whether or not he was in that particular city, but it was certainly a given that we'd try out a relationship when I got there.

It didn't work. I showed up on his doorstep, and the second I saw him my heart sank. I knew that I wasn't in love with him, and that he had been a catalyst for me to end my relationship. I cared for him deeply, but I didn't reciprocate what he felt for me. After a few weeks of discussion, I told him that we weren't going to be together, and he was heartbroken.

He was a beautiful, amazing person. Ten years later, I still feel horrible that I hurt him.

Your friendship with this woman is only a month old. A MONTH. You are crushed out. I'm not saying that what you're feeling isn't real (it's possibly the most real feeling there is), but it is fleeting. Let the dust settle, give her several months to sort out the end of her relationship. If the relationship is going to happen, it'll happen.

And listen, she KNOWS you're interested. Boy does she know.
posted by Specklet at 5:37 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

On preview: a second reading of your question leads me to believe my story is overkill. But I still say let it alone for several months. Keep in contact. Be a good friend.
posted by Specklet at 5:42 PM on July 12, 2011

Every relationship entails the risk of getting hurt. But there's hurt, and then there's hurt, you know?

If you'd come on here and said "I have a crush on a bigamously married woman who casually wrings puppies' necks while she is talking to me. She is a reality TV show producer. Should I hook up with her? I think there are some red flags. p.s. I already hooked up with her," - well in that case, I would be performing the Don't Do It Dance with all my might and main.

You didn't. You came on here and said, "I fancy this woman I've been friends with for a month, and here are some normal life circumstances, and even in the worst-case scenario I have an exit plan, should I at least tell her how I feel?" Um - yeah.
posted by tel3path at 6:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The first complication is that I feel like I'd either be taking advantage of her somehow or not giving her time and space to recover from her previous relationship.

She's a big girl, if she needs time and space or feels taken advantage of, she can let you know. Don't worry about this, here - instead, worry about your self being a rebound and having your heart broken.

I'm closer to your age than your friend's, but I suspect most women older than early 20's would share some of the same misgivings about getting involved with an early 20's guy. I mention these to hopefully steer you in the direction you asked about, the direction of not "being ridiculous and screwing everything up."

1. How much immaturity will I have to deal with here? Am I always going to have to be the teacher/mommy? Would I be able to lean on *him* if I ever needed to? If I were you I would be looking for ways to convey experience, independence, maturity, self-sufficiency, evidence that I can make things happen, stability - that I didn't still need to "find myself" but had already done so. In other words, being a fully-formed adult, as opposed to one that's still cooking.

This is doubly true for relationships. Does this guy know anything about being in a real relationship with another adult? Is he expecting whirlwhinds stars and romance forever and will he get bored and disillusioned once all that fades into everyday life? More importantly, how are his communication skills? Does he have practice with communicating like an adult? Honestly, your melodramatic monologue at the very last minute would, to me, be a sign that you were not great at communicating and were not an adult. That's the sort of thing I did on the last day of summer camp when I was 12 and that's what it would evoke to me, and not in a good way.

2. Am *I* going to get my heart broken by this guy? Your friend might be getting to the age where she wants to have a child, and she wants someone who will be ready to have a child now or soon. If so, and I were her, I would worry -- what if you weren't ready to have a child this year, or the next, or the next, and before I knew it, it was too late for me? I'd also wonder -- are we at compatible stages of life? (Not the same thing at all as compatible ages.) Here, what you said about getting married in 7 years, probably makes her take you a lot less seriously. For one thing, it seems like it was a bit of a joke. But for another, you know she's freaking out NOW about being too old. And you're talking about SEVEN YEARS from now, doing something? Regardless of what she said, she probably thought in her mind, "Yeah okay sure. Right. I'll still be on the market in 7 years, when you're ready." I think you need to convey that you're serious, you're ready, and you're not messing around with fantasies of "what if" some unknown amount of time into the future.

Forget the rest of your complications and don't bring them up, because it's overthinking in a way that can really come off as spending a lot of time in a fantasy world speculating over circumstances that you can't possibly predict, rather than reality, which is not a mature direction to go.

Here's what I would do if I were you. Just be straight with her. Do whatever you have to do to screw up your courage, and then tell her the following (in person or over the phone, NOT by email, Facebook or text):

"I like you. I value your friendship very deeply, but I'm interested in trying to take it further. I'm serious, and ready for something real. Inevitably, there are a lot of potentially fatal complications.

I really feel for you, for the end of your relationship, and I don't want to impose myself on you or any time and space you might need to recover. But I had to let you know how I feel. There's no pressure to respond to any of this right now. If do feel the same way, or are ready in the future, let me know. I want to keep you as a genuine friend whatever happens."
posted by Ashley801 at 9:04 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

two days ago

Wait another 6-8 days or so (like maybe next Saturday), and do it over drinks. Say you'll be willing to wait until she is ready.
posted by salvia at 10:04 PM on July 12, 2011

Have you done it yet? I vote that you do it, just like MalibuStacey says above.
Include your concerns about it being too soon to bring it up. It sounds like you know each other well enough and have enough of a foundation that this one thing ("too soon") won't be a mark against your character.

Do it do it do it.
posted by TangoCharlie at 11:23 PM on July 12, 2011

I went with the malibustacey9999 option, she made a sad startled noise in her throat and shot me down with a "Definitely not now." Probably should have figured, and I don't really think waiting a week would have helped, not that that matters anymore. We seem to be cool, though, so I'll carry on as before and pretend this never happened, unless she brings it up herself, which doesn't seem likely judging by her reaction (and that's fine).

Thanks all for the advice (especially Ashley801, I really needed to hear that from somebody). Not really sure if I should mark this "resolved."
posted by derrinyet at 5:43 AM on July 13, 2011

Well done for trying.

It's good that you seem to still be cool, so yeah, keep calm and carry on.

I think she is lucky to have you in her life!
posted by tel3path at 5:52 AM on July 13, 2011

Good job, derrinyet! At least you tried.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:39 AM on July 13, 2011

Speaking as an extrovert who is dating an introvert, I applaud your nerve for talking to her about this. And I'm also glad to see that you're deciding to just be cool about her rejection, and I think your plan (forgetting it ever happened and continuing to be her friend) is a good and solid one.
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2011

Afterwards we spent the whole day together again drinking beer in a park, I told her all about my planned dramatic monologue and how I had to call in the internet for help, she told me about her floundering attempts to sort through the breakup with her friends back home, we both admitted a mutual inability to filter anything or get sick of each other despite our best efforts, I told her how nice it was to get rid of the pressure and leave the ball in her court, she told me how nice it felt to get asked out and feel smart and desired. If anything we're better friends now than we were before the day started. This is all so far out of my experience that I'm not sure what to make of a relationship like this, but I'm happy with it either way.
posted by derrinyet at 2:08 PM on July 13, 2011 [8 favorites]

That's way cool. You both know where you each stand, and your friendship is intact, if not stronger.

Well done! (I hope she comes panting after you when she's ready...)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:30 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, I don't know if "panting after me" is what I'd call it, but I do know that we spent last night kissing on the embankment and telling each other what a great/terrible/great idea this was going to be. We seem to be serious about it.

Not the conclusion I was anticipating!
posted by derrinyet at 11:14 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by malibustacey9999 at 11:41 PM on July 19, 2011

That is excellent!!

P.S. Do I get best answer?

Wait another 6-8 days or so...

posted by salvia 8 days ago [+]

posted by salvia at 12:55 AM on July 20, 2011

Well done! And extra kudos for taking such a respectful approach. It takes guts to do what you did, and it sounds like it's paying off in a lovely and sweet way.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:24 PM on July 20, 2011

We're lying on the couch reading this thread and she keeps laughing and shaking her head. Looks like Ashley801's advice resonates the most, but she thinks everyone is being very sweet and pretty much on point.

She says: "Thanks, the Internet, from me!"

....ok, sorry about all the epilogues. I'll stop now.
posted by derrinyet at 3:51 AM on July 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

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