Getting The Cold Shoulder For No Apparent Reason
September 20, 2007 1:29 PM   Subscribe

This girl is messing with my head, need assistance from women.

Perhaps this question is unanswerable, but I feel compelled to post regardless.

Recently I've been kind of seeing this girl I work with. It all started when we began flirting over iChat messages at work and home. One night she was working late and invited me out for drinks with another co-worker in tow. To make a long story shorter, we ended up making out at the end of the night. This has happened maybe 4 times since then, each time has involved drinking and making out in secluded public areas (she would never go home with me or invite me to her place). When we're not together we text back and forth constantly, mostly when we're out on the weekend with our respective group of friends. We've both talked about having reservations regarding dating within work (though it's quite common at our job due to long hours), we've also talked about not really wanting to be in a monogamous relationship (we both recently ended long-term relationships). So that's the back story leading up to...

Her birthday was last Saturday (she never actually invited me out for it). So Saturday night comes around and she starts texting me over and over trying to get me to come to the bar she was at. I would have gone, but I had an obligation to attend to and was not able to make it. I promised her that if I couldn't make it out to the bar that I would take her to a show she had been wanting to see. So I text her the day before the show and she says she can't commit to anything and to just wait until tomorrow evening to deal with it. So after work the next day I ask her if we're going and she says yeah. To paraphrase; we go to the show and have a great time, laughing and talking. I walk her to the train after the show and we make out (as we usually do), she says she had a great time and then she leaves. Fast foreword to the weekend, I'm hanging out at a friend's place and I've been texting her back and forth all day. She ends up inviting me over to her place, which is a big deal to me considering she has never invited me over before this- even when we were blocks away. I go over there and we drink wine, listen to music, talk, play games, kiss, roll around on the floor and laugh. Eventually she tells me it's time for me to go (which I knew ahead of time would happen, since she had plans early the next day). I leave.

I hear no word from her Sunday, I come into work on Monday and she's not logged into iChat (which is really out of character for her). I try and talk to her and all I get is monosyllabic responses, same thing Tuesday and Wednesday. Finally I text her after work and ask her if I've done something to make her mad. She texts back that she has a lot of other things going on and hasn't been feeling so hot, also that it has nothing to do with me.

In summery... WTF??? I'm posting this because I'm hoping that somewhere out in the ether there is a girl that can explain to me what the fuck is going on. I mean we've been flirting constantly for over three months and in the past week she's decided to actually a) go out with me one on one b) Invite me to her place. But now she's shutting me out with no explanation- directly after having an amazing time together. My mind is fucking melting in confusion and my gut feels twisted and raw. She's not being straight with me, what gives?
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb to Human Relations (41 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Give her some space.
posted by sulaine at 1:37 PM on September 20, 2007

Girls are crazy, ignore her move on and you will be much better off, trust me.
posted by BobbyDigital at 1:38 PM on September 20, 2007

Advice from a guy: perhaps the chemistry didn't boil over as she had hoped. Also, perhaps she was stringing you along. Cut the string.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 1:39 PM on September 20, 2007

I am no woman, but you've stated your side. There will be plenty of conjecture about why she's acting this way. But, if you can't figure it out, a bunch of random internet people will only be guessing.

The BEST thing to do is act like everything's fine, even if it's bothering the hell out of you. Act like it's no big deal. If she comes around and starts texting you again, everybody's happy. If she doesn't come around, at least you save face.
posted by milarepa at 1:39 PM on September 20, 2007

What if she is being straight with you? What if life descended on her and she has a bad case of diarrhea and a sinus infection and flirting mildly with you just makes her head spin? This isn't even a relationship, just (so far) a brief summer/fall fun romance, so she's under no obligation to share more than she has. You need to ask yourself why you care so much (do you really not want a monogamous relationship) and let the answer determine what you do next.
posted by dness2 at 1:40 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is one of those questions where you're never going to get a satisfactory answer, no matter what. Not from her, not from us. It didn't work out. Drop it. Nothing good can come from pressing the issue.
posted by electroboy at 1:44 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Back off.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 1:45 PM on September 20, 2007

First, your freaking out isn't going to help matters.

Be cool, wait around for a bit, and if she doesn't come after you let it all slide away and go back to just being acquaintances.'ve already gone to her asking what's up, so now the ball is in her court. Let it lay there for a while. If she doesn't pick it up, she's not going to play, and you need to be prepared for that.
posted by aramaic at 1:46 PM on September 20, 2007

Maybe she has a lot of other things going on and hasn't been feeling so hot, and it has nothing to do with you.
posted by gaspode at 1:49 PM on September 20, 2007

If she were a guy and you were a girl, my best guess would be that she (er, he) hooked up with someone else and feels weird talking to you now. But this is relatively pointless conjecture. There could be much more mundane reasons for this, and unless she wants to make them your business, they're not. If she says it has nothing to do with you, take that at face value. If she needs space, back off. The best thing you can do right now is nothing.

On preview, as usual, everyone else has nailed it.
posted by coined at 1:55 PM on September 20, 2007

Reading between the lines, it seems like her interest in you peaked when she'd been drinking and wanted to fool around a bit. I'm just guessing here, but maybe it was safer for her to fool around (strings free) with someone from work, because she has a rule about not dating people she works with. Then you started liking her more than she liked you, so she's backing off now.

This is all pure conjecture, obviously. If it were me, I'd just act happy to see her and not needy. Don't ask her out for now, back off a bit and see if she moves forward into the space you leave.
posted by astruc at 1:56 PM on September 20, 2007

For some reason when I finished reading this, I was reminded of a few days ago when a guy I know said that everything you need to know about girls you can learn from watching The Hills (hint: he is single). Just because I have the same parts in my pants doesn't mean I have the same things in my head as your ladyfriend. It's possible that there are things going on with her that don't involve you, but it is also possible that she is a psycho game player like those silly girls on MTV. Maybe she didn't feel sparks with you at her house, or maybe she felt too many sparks and is afraid of getting hurt. She could think you don't like her as much as she likes you; she could think you like her too much and are smothering her. Anyone who reads what you wrote and claims they can see into her heart is kidding herself (or himself).

The only thing I am sure of is that you should tread carefully since this is an office romance. Don't make herself or yourself a spectacle by doing anything that will make your working lives more difficult or uncomfortable. Continue to be friendly, but based on what she said I think you should wait for her to make the next move.
posted by gatorae at 1:57 PM on September 20, 2007 [3 favorites]

It sounds like there are things going on with her. Regardless of her motivations or reasons behind her current behavior though, what's really important is what's important to you.

In this type of lop-sided relationship the power is always going to be in her court because she is setting all the terms. Do you want to maintain a sort-of relationship with someone who wants to keep you at a distance and can't make you a priority? If yes, pushing this won't accomplish anything except having her hold you off even more for not respecting her boundaries. If no, then I recommend focusing your energy somewhere else.
posted by Kimberly at 1:59 PM on September 20, 2007

she's not messing with you, not really. actually, she's just behaving like some guys i've run across in my past: she enjoyed the flirtation, did the deed, and split. which isn't to say that it's right--it's just a little surprising because there's a bit of a role reversal going on.

my guess is that she's over you, that the sex wasn't that great, that she found someone she likes more.... to be honest, there's no answer that will make you feel better.

now is the time to chalk it up to experience, be cordial but cool to her at work, and move on.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:03 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've had guys pull this on me, it's really not a gender-specific thing. For whatever reason, it seems quite likely that she's bailing. It's weak that she can't tell you straight out and is instead leaving you to anxiously wonder wtf is happening, but some people are lame like that and there's nothing you can do. It's gonna drive you nuts for a while, but try not to dwell. And really, if she is the type to pull a selfish move like, be happy you didn't end up dating her for real.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:04 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

She's just not that into you dude...

But, no I mean this seriously, she's basically using you. The whole only calling you up last minute when she's drunk, she texts/chats with you when she's bored and lonely, she purposely keeping you at an arms length (her friends, her place, doing the hot/cold thing etc). She basically likes to feel wanted, desired, etc etc and you provide that.

Either take this for what it is, an occasional drunken hookup with someone you can't depend on at all. Or dial it back to being purely platonic, no late night texts, no making out obviously, limit contact outside of work, etc.

I mean this girl enjoys toying with you, which is never acceptable even in no strings attached sort of situation, so I suggest you DTMFA.
posted by whoaali at 2:06 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding that perhaps she has a lot going on right now and isn't feeling so hot and it has nothing to do with you.

Maybe her dog died or she has a UTI or her aunt was just diagnosed with cancer or she had a huge fight with her best friend or her ex-boyfriend called to mess with her head or her boss told her that if she spends her whole day on iChat she's not going to have a job much longer.

It's been a few days. Chill out. Be nice, give her space, let her know that you're there if she wants to grab lunch or whatever.
posted by desuetude at 2:11 PM on September 20, 2007

Yeah, she's not into you. That totally sounds like something I (a girl) would have done in my lamer moments. She's trying to give you the brush-off but isn't very good at it - just like I was at one point. Forget about all that other stuff you guys did in the past: that was then; this is now. People change, they figure out what they want, they make mistakes, they move on. She was interested in you at one point, but isn't any longer. Sorry.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:13 PM on September 20, 2007

She had issues that made her unsure about whether she wanted to get serious with you. You passed up all your opportunities to push the issue, letting her call all the shots. And now, she has either become involved with someone else, or resolved whatever issue she had with you, but not in your favor, or (probably) both.

Here's the key thing. It's too late. Remember all those times when she made out with you in public, and then wouldn't take you home, and you didn't go out on a limb and tell her you actually really liked her, but that you needed things to either get more serious, or end, because you were too much of a fucking wuss? (Oh, sorry, I mean because neither of you wanted anything serious?) Well, that was when you had a chance to change the course of events.

Now, she's blown you off, and you should take it like a man.

The fact that you think only women have the answer here is telling. Women are not much like men, but they are also not tsunamis that you just let happen to you. You have to actually stand up for your own interests once in a while.

On the plus side, dating someone you work with is stupid, so you come out ahead anyway.
posted by bingo at 2:14 PM on September 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Umm for someone so damn wordy who seems to be a verb, could you elaborate on what the hell 'rolling around' means? Sorry to be blunt but did you fuck or what? As they say, often sex changes everything. Though it's probably true that regardless, you won't get a great answer here unless there's an internet clairvoyant in the audience.
posted by drpynchon at 2:14 PM on September 20, 2007

I think you should ask her what's up. None of us can tell you if she's interested or has cold feet or what. Women are not a monolith, we all have different viewpoints, histories and ideas.
posted by loiseau at 2:24 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

guys do this to me constantly. she's just not that into you.
posted by timory at 2:31 PM on September 20, 2007

I'm a girl. This is exactly the type of experience I've had over and over, for months if not years, that has caused me to lower my expectations of people to zero. People act on impulse. They do things that they regret later. They confuse others.

Your relationship began as a no-strings, little fun makeout thing, and that's probably as far as it's destined to go. She probably realized she went too far and now she's cutting you off. Or at least cutting you back. I've done it, and it's been done to me. Girls are crazy. Boys are crazy.
posted by iguanapolitico at 2:33 PM on September 20, 2007 [4 favorites]

This is your future self, faxing you from the future. No really, I am forty-something, and I have lived in this time stream.

Just act nice but otherwise ignore her. If you dump her now, you will like yourself a lot more ten years from now. If you decide right now to stay away from people that do crazy, flakey sh*t, you will have built an important filter into your life that will serve you for years to come.

Also, if you weren't making out with her would you really care that much?
posted by mecran01 at 2:48 PM on September 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

This is just how some girls are.

Ignore her a few days and she'll come right back.

If that's the kind of rollercoaster life you'd like, go for it.

Myself, I'd run for the door.

This takes immense willpower, as it will make them want you more.

Isn't this FUN???
posted by milinar at 2:48 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

The thing is, you're getting here a whole lot of insight into what it means when other people act the way this girl is acting. No one else in this thread has interacted with the girl you're dealing with (most likely), and you haven't given us a lot of information about her personality. So... There can be a lot of hypothesizing and strong reactions in response to your question, but no one has enough to work on to tell you what she's really doing.

Don't get the responses here stuck in your mind, assuming that any of them have to be correct, and act off of what the bunch of us guess her motives are. Again, we don't know her. You really shouldn't expect that the lot of us strangers on the internet can tell you what she thinks.

As others have said, you need to go talk to her. Don't assume she's playing mind games, don't assume she's sending messages with her every little action, but also don't obsess about her.
posted by Ms. Saint at 2:49 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

In summery... WTF???

She's using you.

My mind is fucking melting in confusion and my gut feels twisted and raw.

She's using you, while you have developed feelings for her.

She's not being straight with me, what gives?

She gave you the cold shoulder, repeatedly, after using you for good times. That's pretty straight.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:50 PM on September 20, 2007

There's no way to know what's happening with her. It could be that her ex-SO called her or she really isn't feeling well or her boss is not pleased with her, and on and on.

So since we don't know what's going on with her, let's talk strategy. The best thing you can do is start dating someone else ASAP. This will keep you busy but it also has the potential to drive her a little crazy. Sometimes a guy becomes more desirable when the woman realizes that he's moved on. Also cut back on the texting. Way back, like 90% to 100%. There's no need for you to be available to her every little message.
posted by Soda-Da at 2:56 PM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the replies. I never expected so much input. I really just wanted to see what some other people had to say about the whole thing, cause I can't really talk to people here about it. Anyway, thanks for all the thoughts. I know what I have to do now, and that's what I needed. Thanks everyone.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 3:11 PM on September 20, 2007

It looks like you've figured it out, but here's the right answer*:

1. Take some time to get your gut untwisted.
2. Talk to her face to face or on the phone (no txtng, no iming) and ask her what's up. Say you're interested in this becoming something more. Ask her if she is, too. Be ready for her to say "thanks but no thanks."

Added bonus: developed communication skills is a turn-on.

* I just make this shit up as I go along. YMMV.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:53 PM on September 20, 2007

Look, we really can't and don't know her. So do what feels right to you. Ask her out. On a date. Dinner & a movie, tickets to a show or concert. If she wants to go out with you, she will, and if not, move on.
posted by theora55 at 3:56 PM on September 20, 2007

Frow what you said I don't see any head messing going on really. She's having fun with you & doesn't want to get too serious with you. Either accept that or spend some time learning the nuts & bolts of how to ratchet up attraction / sexual tension. For the next time -- it will be difficult to do that with her now.

I disagree that she's using you. How is she using you? You told each other you weren't looking for a serious relationship. What is she using you for exactly? Kisses? Wow. That's so nasty of her.
posted by lastobelus at 4:05 PM on September 20, 2007

I agree with everyone else that you should just give her space, but I do have sort of another take on what could be going through her head. If you want to take her at her word that she doesn't want a relationship, maybe she is feeling like she's too into you and wants to take a step back and take some space, rather than jumping into something more involved than what she thinks she needs. Her texting you when she's drunk could be her defenses breaking down and doing what she really wants (talking to you) while she's trying to keep her distance while sober or at work and not invite you over so she doesn't end up with another boyfriend when she thinks she's not ready.
posted by booknerd at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2007

I did something like this with a guy once. I had an allergic reaction to something and developed a really nasty rash and couldn't deal with him seeing/being in contact with it.

A friend does stuff like this with guys pretty often. She's flighty and easily confused about what she wants and what she's feeling, and sometimes needs some extra time to process.

This woman could be like either of us, or it could be something else completely. Do you like her enough to wait and find out? Then give her a chance.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:29 PM on September 20, 2007

I'd ask her out. Something specific, not, "Wanna go out some time?" because she might just say anything to end the conversation if that's how she feels, but you won't know for sure. Pick a place to go and a day and say, "Hey, do you want to [do whatever] on [whatever date]?"

If she says yes - go on the date and see how she is. Maybe she's got something going on in her life that has nothing to do with you and she's being stand-offish with everyone. Did you think of that?

If she says no - leave it at that and leave her alone.

Now, if everything works out fine and then she starts doing this again, I'd strongly suspect she's stringing you along. At this point, I don't think there's any way to know, but you like her, so you're automatically suspicious that it means there's something wrong between the two of you.

I once went out for a lunch date with a guy. It went well. He was likable enough. Then he wanted to take me to a concert, and I was all for it until I came down with pink eye and couldn't even open my eyes. So, no concert. Really bad timing, but what could I do? Thing is, the guy was so insecure that he never believed I wasn't making excuses to get out of going out with him. After being treated like some kind of lying hussy, I definitely wouldn't go out with him again after that. So don't do the same thing to this girl.
posted by katillathehun at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2007

You say she just ended a long-term relationship? She's using you for validation after that loss. You, my friend, are a rebound. Time to chalk it up as such and move on down the road.
posted by hollisimo at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2007

You lack the power to read minds. You cannot make her do what you want.

When unsure of what a woman is thinking, the only thing to do is to act cool.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:30 PM on September 20, 2007

This girl is messing with my head

Nope. You are messing with your own head. At worst, she is just taking advantage of that. At best she has no idea what you are going through.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:31 PM on September 20, 2007

Sounds like she gave you an audition for the boyfriend role and you didn't make it. There could be a variety of reasons, many of them having absolutely nothing to do with you.
posted by pluckysparrow at 8:28 PM on September 20, 2007

Are you really sure she doesn't have a boyfriend? Just sayin', because a lot of that behaviour is consistent with somebody who's just out for a bit of an ego-boost on the side - avoiding commitment to outings, calling you from bars, not letting you see her place except at very short notice - these kinds of things fit in with the modus operandi of planning around the boyfriend, but fitting you into whatever gaps in the schedule appear. Wild speculation, but it's a possibility.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:28 PM on September 20, 2007

I could've written this post, as I've been in almost the exact situation *ahem* more than once *ahem*. It seems like you're out. You were the boyfriend candidate for a while, but didn't make the cut. First things first: don't contact her from this point. Let her come to you. This will be difficult, perhaps, but absolutely necessary for your sanity, and as a definitive test of her interest or lack of interest.

She strung you along with the make-out sessions, and you were hoping for a consummation of the relationship, I'm sure. But it seems like she put an end to it before it got to that point.

Don't take it personal. I know that sounds dumb, but her reasoning could have nothing to do with you. That's the tough part, not knowing why she's given you the boot.

There are other fish. Find another and forget this one. Unless, like I said, she contacts you. But play that really cool if it does happen
posted by zardoz at 1:23 AM on September 21, 2007

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