Dealing With Emotional Hookup Aftermath
January 28, 2014 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Hooked up with someone. Caught feelings. Didn't go how I wanted. Don’t know how to deal with aftermath.

This past weekend I (female 29) met a friend of my friends named Jane (female 23) who lives in another state. I had heard of her already, seen pictures of her on social media, knew she was pretty darn cute, and had a very minor crush from a distance on her. I was excited to finally meet her, and definitely had the intention of at least flirting with her.

The night proceeds and our little group goes out to a bar. More alcohol happens, we separate from the group for a bit and I’m flirting with her. Eventually our friends start looking for us, but neither of us seems in a rush to find them so I figure she doesn’t hate that she’s with me and she’s not trying to get out of the situation. We crash at our friends house, I share the mattress pad on the floor with her. We’re talking in the dark for a while, and I go in for the kiss. Our other friend was passed out on the couch next to us and Jane expressed that she didn’t like that, so I stopped the action and was about to go to sleep. Then she re-initiated with me. This happened a couple times, where she would push me away laughing, but then re-initiate. It wasn’t too hectic, clothes stayed on but it was more than just making out. Then afterwords we’re talking again and I feel like she finally opens up and I’m talking to the real her. It’s at that point I suddenly realize that I definitely like her. Whoops.

The next morning it’s not overly awkward, but we both act like nothing happened. Unexperienced in what to do, I figure that I’d take a step back and be friendly but not come on too strongly...see how she acts. We all hung out all day (in a group situation unfortunately, as this was a big pow-wow with Jane coming for a visit.) Throughout the day I try to talk to her here and there, and she does talk to me a little but seems rather distant. Later that night the group goes out again with about 20 more additional friends. I make some tentative tries to connect with Jane but she seems to be blowing me off. Later on I see her kissing both members of a couple, whom she’s known for years. I don’t know what their history is. Upset, I make my exit. Run into her briefly the next day as I'm leaving and she's returning from who knows where. She barely makes eye contact and practically runs past me, I say good morning and that I'm leaving and she just says it was nice to meet me, and I feel like crap.

Anyway…now I’m left with these distraught emotions. I suppose I caught feelings in a major way, and I’m helpless about it now. I don’t have her number. In a small way of reaching out to her I added her on Instagram (she has a private account) and she let me follow her but did not follow me in return. This particularly hurts as it seems that she doesn’t want anything to do with me.

I absolutely hate that I have no contact with her now, no communication. Part of me wants to get her number and reach out, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not. I could wait to see her again, but that could be a month, months, or never. She lives 1000 miles away, which is both a blessing and hell. I feel bad I didn't get to in some way communicate that it meant more than just a one night thing to me.

I’m also struggling with feelings of insecurity over whether or not she was even into me at all or was just going with the flow, even though there were multiple points we could have stopped and she restarted it.

I now know I can’t do these hookup things. I bond too quickly. Lesson learned. I feel like I totally went about this the wrong way, and it’s really upsetting me. This is the first time I've literally ever initiated with someone (I've always been the one being kissed) and I feel high and dry, and left with a lot of heavy feelings.

Is time the only thing that’s gonna get me through this? Is reaching out going to make things worse? Do I need to just leave it be and chalk it up to a life lesson?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From what you've said, reaching out to her will only result in you getting to feel worse about yourself - more uncertain, more ARGH! etc. You already are at the point where you're upset about the way she said goodbye and that she didn't follow you back on Instagram! And it might make you look a little creepy, since she's been maybe pulling back.

Let it go. Go exercise, go read, go out with friends. Go do other things. Do not Internet stalk her. Don't torture yourself.
posted by rtha at 5:25 PM on January 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

She sounds like a player. If she had feelings towards you (besides you being convenient to cuddle with) she wouldn't have be fooling around with the other couple.

There's nothing wrong with her being a player, but she just doesn't seem that into you.

Let her go.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:30 PM on January 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

You're reading an incredible amount into small acts. But you're not just taking it as information, you're taking it as judgement of your value. Her actions have nothing to do with you or your value - she's doing what she's doing and she would be doing it whether you were there or not.

The real question is: Do you really like her this much? Does she meet all of your requirements for someone you want to invest time in getting to know? Is she compelling to you as a friend, lover, or possible partner?

Re-focus on you, you are the source of your pleasure, you are in charge of your life - you are the one who lives with it. It makes no difference if she was "even into [you] at all or was just going with the flow." What matters is how you feel about it and the information that she gave you, which was very little.

If you want to reach out - go for it, but when you do tell her exactly how you feel and ask her for what you want. Do you know what you want? Ask her. Say: I want to get to know you better, I want to see you again, I want to know how you felt about what happened between us, etc.

And if she says no - then you have your answer - so you move on. If she doesn't like those questions, then she's not right for you anyway - so you move on.

Your uncertainty about what to do sounds like it's based in the idea that you need to figure out the right way to approach her. But that's manipulation. That is trying to find the way to approach her to get the answer that you want. If you want the truth and you want to ask her something, just ask her without trying to finesse it - without pretending and planning and plotting. If she doesn't like that, like who you really are - then you move on.
posted by jardinier at 5:42 PM on January 28, 2014 [12 favorites]

As much as it's a total cliche? Yes - time and distraction are your best bets here I think. The circumstances are unfortunate - the fact that you had time to crush on her before you met her, then having your attraction reciprocated, then rejected like that are really tough but should really just underline for you that you two are really not compatible at the moment. This doesn't mean that she wasn't in to it at the time - from everything you said, she was just as in to it in the moment as you were. She's just ultimately looking for something different.

I think you should focus on the fact you initiated things, for the first time! Just because it didn't work out this time, shouldn't diminish the fact you had the courage to go for it (as it were). So you fell a little hard, don't let that make you feel bad about yourself. It happens, and it doesn't mean you should reevaluate everything.
posted by unbearablylight at 5:48 PM on January 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Please unfollow her on Instagram this minute.

This person is not your friend, nor should you want her to be. She wasn't very nice to you after the first night, so that wasn't very attractive of her.

Train yourself to only find nice people attractive from here on out, OK?

YOU are a great, awesome person. I don't know why you feel the need to read into things that aren't there, but that's what meditation and therapy are for.

Hon. You didn't meet the "real" anybody. It was two drunk hot people fooling around that first night. Blame it on the drinks, move on!

It was the alcohol. Next time have fun but don't take it too seriously.

They all turn out not to be "The One," until the one that is.

Totally normal. You're OK. Carry on.
posted by jbenben at 5:51 PM on January 28, 2014 [18 favorites]

You were really brave to initiate, and you should be proud of yourself.

Going no contact and doing intense physical workouts that require a lot of focus will help. And yeah, time. I've been there many times. It sucks, it keeps sucking until it sucks less, and you just keep living with the suckage until it fades.
posted by bunderful at 8:01 PM on January 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is time the only thing that’s gonna get me through this? Is reaching out going to make things worse? Do I need to just leave it be and chalk it up to a life lesson?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Listen. I know you've gotten yourself totally emotionally invested here - it happens to all of us sometimes. But really, you don't know this person at all. As a result, it's super easy to imagine that she's great, and that you're missing out by not being with her.

But actually, she's not great. Because she's kinda a jerk about blowing people off after one night stands (which is basically what you had). That is, in fact, one of the few things you know about her for sure. So my advice to you is just to live your life. You'll forget about her soon, I promise.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:52 AM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

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