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POLL RESULTS: Meaningful Glances?: (23 comments)

POLL: Meaningful Glances?

Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: I'm a long time reader, first time asker; I am hoping all those other readers can help me figure out the right way to solve my problem, since they seem very knowledgeable. I'm a university student who's never had a girlfriend, much less a relationship. I have recently started to develop a crush of sorts for a girl who's taking a same class as I do. I came to develop that crush after observing that she seemed to be giving me glances and looks, and that she seemed to be the only one laughing at nearly all of my crummy jokes. Once I had seen her literally turn her head to give me a look, and also seen her give me a big smile when I asked some questions.

All of this wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that that's about all I get from her in terms of positive reactions: I had figured I ought to gather some courage and ask her out to lunch, and I've flat-out asked her once and insinuated it the other time, but both times she refused, saying she had eaten already.

I don't think she dares to approach me, but she has no problems approaching other people and talking to them, including other guys. There's not even a cursory 'hello' or a nod of acknowledgment or anything like that when I enter class or see her somewhere else (although we do talk if we run into each other face-to-face).

I don't understand it, it's confused me to the point of upsetting me, and I have no idea whether I should simply ask her out again more forcefully or if those glances and those smiles were just a big misunderstanding.

POLL: Is she interested or not?
 
24% (368) Yes.
 
75% (1112) No.
1480 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
CasualNotice
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:23 AM (#54504)

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it sounds to me like she's just a friendly person. It's easy to misunderstand the glances and the laughs (your jokes may actually be funny to her). Don't ruin the chance to have a good friend by reading too much into her mannerisms.


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DanialArin
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:31 AM (#54505)

Could be she's as nervous about talking to you as you are about talking to her.

It sounds like you're asking her to join you for something on zero notice. Do try asking her out again, but with a little bit of lead time, or keep the timing open-ended and let her say when and possibly where. "Would you like to go out for coffee some time?" Or just ask her flat out on a standard date, but ask her on Tuesday for Friday evening or Wednesday for Saturday afternoon so she has time to prepare herself, both mentally and cosmetically. "If you're not busy Friday evening, would you like to go to a movie?"

As for the apparent mixed messages, you may want to get that settled first and then steer toward scheduling. But try to do it without putting her too hard on the spot. A casual "You got a minute?" may be your best opener, and then try to keep it fairly light, and mea culpa the confusion to reduce the pressure on her.

If you and she have any mutual associates (like maybe you're in a class with one of her friends), preferably someone who knows her primarily (and preferably female), you might be able to ask them what the deal is, and perhaps if they'd be willing to act as a go-between. It's admittedly a very high-school way of going about it, but sometimes that's the best way to get a straight answer.


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Azerik
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 02:20 AM (#54525)

The passing on lunch says she's not interested.

The laughing and such says maybe.

Unless you are a real "brain" in the class and she's looking for someone to help her with a project or studying (happened to me), then I'd give her some notice and ask her out. If she shoots you down again then move on to someone else, she's not interested.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 03:56 AM (#54552)

Dammit, DanialArin wrote the comment that I was going to write. But I'll add these remarks:

I had figured I ought to gather some courage and ask her out to lunch, and I've flat-out asked her once and insinuated it the other time, but both times she refused, saying she had eaten already.

In other words, you asked her out to lunch after she had eaten lunch. What kept you from asking, "Well, how about tomorrow?"

And by the way, if you're really interested, you shouldn't "insinuate" that you're asking a girl to go out with you. You're making her go out on a limb, forcing her to interpret what you might be getting at ... That's not fair to her, and she won't want to risk being embarrassed in case she is misinterpreting you.

If it turns out that she isn't interested in you in that way, don't let it crush you. She's a nice girl who happens not to be interested, for one reason or another; there are probably several thousand other girls at your university, and a substantial number of them probably would be interested if you approach them in the right way. Also, if you go on a date and then she tells you "let's just be friends," take it gracefully. Don't fixate on her, and don't try to force it. Be her friend ... and who knows, she might know someone who would be a better match for you.

Good luck!

... And let us know how it turns out!


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Jorn
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 04:58 AM (#54559)

DanialArin definitely got it right about asking her out in advance, though I'd suggest specifying a slightly looser time-frame: "Hey, would you like to catch a movie this weekend?" as opposed to "on Friday" simply because you don't know what other things may be going on in her life; what her schedule is like. If you ask her out for Friday night she might say no because she's already scheduled for some other activity at that time. Don't just say "sometime" because you can get a positive response that never gets any further. But "this weekend" is a large enough window that if she's interested she can find time in her schedule. It might be Friday or Saturday night, but it could just as easily be a Saturday or Sunday matinee, or whatever. If she's interested you can discuss your schedules and find something that works for both of you.

If she says she's busy all weekend, unless she immediately follows with a suggestion for plans next week, move on because she's just not into you.


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Sa souvraya niende missain ye; I am lost in my own mind.
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whutaguy
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 06:01 AM (#54564)

The previous posters are right. Put on your big boy pants (and a nice shirt) and ask the woman on a proper date. The kind where you pick her up, feed her and take her to some some sort of entertainment.
A lunch invitation says "I'm interested if you are interested." A date request says "I'm interested."


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, February 12, 2010 - 11:56 AM (#54597)

I don't know how serious you are about all of this. But, you sound emotionally invested, to me. And, it definitely seems as though you've chosen your objet d'amour. So, I'm going to go a bit further down that path. (I am the subtext guy, after all.)

I'm in agree with DanialArin as to how to handle this. But, I'm not sold that she's even all that into you, yet.

-"I don't think she dares to approach me, but she has no problems approaching other people and talking to them, including other guys. There's not even a cursory 'hello' or a nod of acknowledgment or anything like that when I enter class or see her somewhere else (although we do talk if we run into each other face-to-face)."-

So, you don't really have that many conversations together. Are you past the small-talk phase? Do you two know anything about each other beyond what you see or overhear in class? If you've answered no, then you're probably as bad at this as I am, was (oops...TMI).

She might need for you two to actually warm up to each other before you press the issue of a date. Or, she may be involved with someone. A pleasant conversation with a soft, subtle complement or two, while having no mention of a date or romantic intentions, wouldn't hurt your position. Just let her know that you've noticed her without giving off a stalker vibe.

And, don't be afraid to make friends with the people she hangs with. They have influence. And/or, may be cool to hang with, yourself.

-"...it's confused me to the point of upsetting me"-

But, the one universal piece of good advise that you can take from this is, "Don't take it so seriously." If you let this get to you, then it'll show every time you see her. And, a hostile suitor just isn't anyone's cup of tea.


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lwj2
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 06:33 AM (#54856)

Try "I'd like to get to know you a bit better, would you like to go out for supper on [insert day]?".

Note that this eliminates fast food as an option. Pick some place nice, have several in mind in case the response is "Sure, but I can't/don't eat [cuisine]."

And in case you're wondering, you ask, you pay, unless she says she wants to go dutch.


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CasualNotice
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 08:17 AM (#54886)

Look, I'm sure you are all wondeful people but you're walking this poor kid off a cliff. If she was interested, she wouldn't turn down his invitation, she'd agree to it and then just order a coke.

We have a saying where I come from (which I just invented): Once is sweet, twice is annoying, three times is harrassment.


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industriallullaby
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 09:38 AM (#54907)
In Response to CasualNotice (#54504):

As a woman I would like to qualify that... She may be a serial flirter. There are women/girls who can't help but flirt even when it is inappropriate or they aren't interested (one of my closest friends is like this, I've tried to call her on it but she seems genuinely unaware of what she is doing). I'd look to her for an ego boosting flirt, but look elsewhere for a relationship.


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zmortis
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 11:34 AM (#54937)

I voted no and here is my reason why. You are not ready. You have built up a fantasy about who this girl is to you already before you even have an idea who she really is as a person. That alone has doomed you to failure.

Next time you are interested in a girl there are two approaches people generally take: the safe approach, and the risky one. They are as follows.

The safe approach is the same kind of BS game you are doing now. You just sit back and show casual interest mixed with fear of loss. You never have to extend yourself, and she has already won you over without having to deliver anything herself. Some women love guys like this because they can have a harem of self esteem boosting guys around without ever really giving any commitment of themselves. A few batted eyelashes and breezy non-commital remarks and they have dozens of the kind of guys like you wrapped around their finger.

The risky approach is as follows: You tell the girl you'd like to date her on a trial basis. If you like what you see you may get more serious, if you don't then either one of you can opt out with no hard feelings later. If she says no, then you have your answer. You don't have time to waste on her anymore. Just move on to the next girl that catches your eye with no hard feelings. Frankly it just takes the balls to potentially lose what you really don't have anyway - a relationship with this girl.

I hope this helps.


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kamikaze616
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 - 03:35 PM (#54976)

Okay, you need to ask her out straight up, like dinner on a certain night or something like some of these other posters are recommending. No insinuating, and ask for a few nights or with a few options so you're clear. If she likes you, great, if she doesn't, then at least you know and can move on. Rejection doesn't kill you.

Don't be one of those geeks who likes a girl forever and never makes a move.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, February 15, 2010 - 01:14 AM (#54988)

Original Poster, are you out there?

One item of information that would help us give you meaningful advice would be this: Does she go out with other guys, or is she shy and/or inexperienced in dating?

You've had some interactions with her, but they're consistent with two interpretations: (1) a friendly, outgoing girl who isn't particularly interested in you, or (2) a girl who is at least somewhat interested in you but doesn't know how to signal yet.

If she does date other guys, I'd bet on #1. If she's a physical science, engineering, or computer science major, I'd put money on #2 ... What's the class that you share?


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, February 15, 2010 - 08:48 AM (#54994)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#54988):

I disagree this time, Murg.

I don't think that he really needs to know anything more about her than he does now. His mind is already stuck in a logic-loop, as it is. More data is just going to go to waste. He needs to get his head out of the game and start acting.

If he just steps out of this comfort zone and takes the hit; one way or the other, he'll learn more about himself, and what to do with himself in these situations. That's how he'll learn that it isn't about confidence. It's about resilience.


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DanialArin
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, February 15, 2010 - 02:38 PM (#54998)

 Actually, Jes, it may or may not be meaningful to his choice of actions. If she's just friendly and outgoing and was including him in that recipient base, but has stopped since he asked her out, it may be that his advances were unwanted because he came on too strong, and she realized he's taking her seriously when she meant to be playful, so she's now trying to discourage him by cutting him off or pushing him away.

 Again, hopefully not. And either way, he needs to know. But, Murgatroyd, he needs to know by asking her what her intent is, rather than by observation and circumstance. Observation and circumstance may give him indications, but indications aren't answers. After all, it's what he perceived by observation in circumstances that started all this in the first place, and that's probably not going to resolve anything usefully by itself.

 There are a few other frequent posters who I see haven't chimed in yet, whose take on this I for one would be interested in hearing...

 (No, I'm not the original poster. My observation skills aren't this good even now, and they were worse when I was his age. I have been in the position of being left out of blanket-form affectations by a generally friendly, outgoing girl, once she realized that I was interested in her more seriously than for just casual company.)

 Would this be a good time to note also that some people put more into / get more out of a simple, quick, hug than others put into / get out of a half-hour make-out session? And note that the folks who consider 30 minutes of Frenching to be meaningless play have an uncanny ability to detect and identify (and in many cases, avoid or snub) those who put / find major meaning in a quick embrace?


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, February 15, 2010 - 04:13 PM (#55000)
In Response to DanialArin (#54998):

-"...it may be that his advances were unwanted because he came on too strong, and she realized he's taking her seriously when she meant to be playful, so she's now trying to discourage him by cutting him off or pushing him away."-

If this part were true, I'd tell him to drop it altogether. But, the original poster doesn't indicate any changes in her behavior at all. The possibility of your take is exactly why I wasn't sold on her being interested, in the first place.

But, in the absence of that one key point of observation, my advice is designed to cut through the bs and put himself out there. It'll tell him everything he needs to know about her interest, and teach him some skills to boot.

And, that's only because he's gotten so drawn into this drama that's unfolding in his head. None of this would mean anything to him if he didn't already get in into his head that he's into the girl. So now, he's just got to know for sure.

With that, I say that he knows everything he needs to know except her actual, real-life feelings. And, there's only one way to find out what they are - straight-up ask her out.

But, if he's decided that he wants to win her over, regardless of her current feelings, then he needs to slow-play this. Laying groundwork is an essential skill for that.


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Ablerein
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 02:03 AM (#55003)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#54988):

Hi everyone. I'm the original poster of the question. I guess I should first of all say thank you to Mr. Guigar (or Brad or a combination of the two) for reading and making the great accompanying comic.

That said, I guess I should be careful of what I wish(ed) for - 1000 people voting 'she's not interested' is a little disheartening.

Also having said that, I would like to tell people that wrote that 'I'm stuck in a fantasy' or that 'I'm in a logic loop' that (after thanking you all for your frank take on my problem) I'm not in that situation - I am definitely interested in this girl, but I'm not head-over-heels over her - if it doesn't work out with her, I know I should suck it up and move on (to the next girl who gives me looks?) Maybe it was the language that I used that gave you all that impression; it was not meant to be that way.

Having said all that, Mr. 'Murgatroyd', I have no idea if she has gone out with other guys, or if she is shy or not. She definitely doesn't seem to be shy in talking to other people (although she doesn't approach me, as I said). I know a guy who's friends with her on Facebook (it's not called 'stalkerbook' for nothing) and apparently on it, she's listed herself as single.

The class that we share together is a philosophy class - I major in it and so does she. She seems to be the bookish/literature type. In my interactions with her, she's asked questions more than she's expressed opinions. In that sense, I don't think she's an all-out-go-getter type, but she's not terribly shy either.

Also, for all those 'concerned' (as much as you could be over the internet, I guess :) ) I haven't had a chance to see her since I asked her for lunch - that was back at the end of January, and now it's the middle of February. I had heard from a mutual friend of ours that she was sick - so I sent her an email (since we're in the same class, we have access to all of our classmate's school email) saying if she needed any help with anything she could email me back or call me on my cell - but so far nothing - I don't even know if she got the message or checks the school email account.

There was one thing that I didn't bother mention in the original post since it was getting way too long - I had asked her to lunch after we talked for a little while, while there was another girl from our class walking with us. This is probably stupid on my part, but I had asked her out to lunch after asking both of them for a 'group lunch' and then the other girl left. She had said that she already ate, but she also said afterward that the three of us should have a group lunch sometime - I haven't seen her since.

This is getting way too long (again) and kind of bordering on what I ought to share on the net and all, so I'll leave it here. Thanks to all of you again for your frank input. The next time I see her, I'm going to simply ask her out (for a planned date, like one of the posters said). If she says no, I'm going to let the matter drop - I pretty much go by that 'three times is harassment' rule too.


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Ablerein
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 02:15 AM (#55004)
In Response to DanialArin (#54998):

Also, just as a side note, when I did ask her out to lunch, I don't think I was coming off too strong. There were plenty of personal space between us (cause that's important) and my words were along the lines of "Hey, since we have some free time, do you feel like getting lunch?" - I mean, that's not creepy at all, is it?


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 04:57 AM (#55008)

Good for you, Ablerein! Sounds like you're being reasonable about this.

I'd keep it low key. Asking her out on a date might be a good idea, but if she's been ill she might be short on free time while she tries to catch up with her studies. Personally, I'd ask her out to lunch again -- but with more notice -- to avoid making a big deal out of things. Even if she likes you she might say no to a date right now because she truly has more important things to do than go out.

Offering to share your notes with her so she can come up to speed on what she's missed in class was a good move. Too bad you don't know the reason for her non-response to your e-mail; alas, that may be an indication of poor prospects. Keep your eyes open for an opportunity to casually make the offer in person when she reappears in class.

Sounds like you don't have a Facebook page. That seems to be required these days for making connections with people. I wouldn't call it stalking if you set up a Facebook account of your own and invited her to friend you. If she likes you, she can friend you back. Or perhaps some other person of the female persuasion might ask you to be her friend ...

At least you know you have one common interest. Do philosophy majors hang out in groups? Maybe you could get together and talk philosophy [youtube.com] with her some time ... ;^)

That said, I guess I should be careful of what I wish(ed) for - 1000 people voting 'she's not interested' is a little disheartening.

When you get right down to it, there's only one vote that really counts, isn't there?

Again, good luck!


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 09:09 AM (#55010)
In Response to Ablerein (#55003):

Nice to meet you, Ablerein. It's so nice to get feedback from the posters.

Don't forget to read the other signs, like "Friend Zone Ahead".

Best of luck.


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DanialArin
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 12:58 AM (#55017)
In Response to Ablerein (#55004):

Good to hear from an Original Poster. It is all too rare that we get to hear any follow-up.

Hmm... No, you didn't come on too strong, and no, not creepy at all. If anything, it was too casual if you're interested in dating her. Might not even count as asking her out, depending on her perceptions; there's big a difference between "while we're here, you wanna grab something" and "can I interest you in taking time to get to know each other better".

Another possibility (or two) has come to mind. You mentioned originally there was another girl in the conversation the first time you asked. (1) There's a possibility, however remote, that the other girl is interested in you. (2) For whatever reason, the one-on-one invitation was off-putting so close on the heels of the group invite.

I agree with Murgatroyd. If she's not replying to her school e-mail (and it's possible your message landed in her junk mail folder), there's not much you can do until she puts in an appearance again. When she shows again, you can try again to offer academic assistance. If you're in a study group, you might see if you can get her into it too. Sometimes it's a lot easier to get comfortable around someone in a small group than it is one-on-one. If you can spend time in her company that way, that might make things less awkward for her going forward.

The other girl the two of you were walking with, do you still see her in class? Does she have any contact at the moment with the one you're interested in?

Sometimes it's more effective to be a plain old friend first, and try the romantic stuff down the line. And if she's not interested in you at all, maybe she knows someone who is.

Is there an academic club associated with the Philosphy department at your college?


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Ablerein
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 02:02 AM (#55018)
In Response to DanialArin (#55017):

Hello DanialArin,

Yes, in hindsight, I think I should have been more committed to asking her out instead of sounding casual. And also in hindsight it would have been a lot better if it was one-on-one too. :(

I know the other girl (let's call her K) is not interested in me for anything more than friendship (the feeling is mutual) because K already has someone. I do still see K in class, but I am pretty sure that K is not in contact with T (the girl I am interested in) because the day I asked T out was the first time K and T met.

There is also a club, and they regularly hold events, but she hasn't come to any one of those as far as I remember.

When I see her next time in class I will simply make more of an effort to engage her and talk and frankly ask her out. If that fails, well, like the others said, there ought to be more girls out there. Thanks for all your help.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Meaningful Glances? (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 02:28 AM (#55382)

Hi Ablerein --

Any further developments?


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