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Rejected by a woman whom I thought liked me – did I misread the situation?

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice Rejected by a woman whom I thought liked me – did I misread the situation?

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  • #874839 Reply
    avatarAnkit
    Guest

    Long story cut short, I met a woman over the summer vacation last year, brief interaction of 2-3 hours, we became friends, connected after we got back to our home countries, have been speaking on and off via texts and calls. Met again when I travelled to her country for a business trip, went out a couple of times, which I thought was as date-y as you could get – flowers and greeting cards, picked up the bills, romantic vibes. Even as we’re far apart, I’ve done a few things which I felt made it clear that I liked her, such as sending flowers and birthday present to her, scheduling video calls and checking in on her. We’ve been texting almost daily for months. She’s always been receptive of these advances and never “friendzoned” me. However, as we’re far away, the total number of hours we’ve actually seen each other in real life is unfortunately less than 20 hours. And that wasn’t going to change as we couldn’t move nearer to each other in the foreseeable future.

    Since a month ago, she’s gone distant and reduced communication, which was surprising because everything else was going well just before. Last week, I told her how I felt and she turned me down, saying she sees our relationship as purely friendship.

    Months ago, I thought there was a chance she would start becoming distant after I showed stronger signs of affection towards her – flowers, gifts, romantic cards, compliments on how she’s special to me… But everything was still going great and we kept on talking and becoming closer. I’ve been wondering if she really didn’t pick up the signs at all, or whether there’s a chance she was somewhat interested in me, but just lost it somewhere along the way.

    I’m not harboring hopes at all, but just wanted some personal closure. The moments we had was special to me, I wouldn’t do it differently even if I could, but some closures would be comforting. Please let me know what you think could be the reason.

    #874849 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    You say you started out as friends, and then you started making romantic gestures, though you didn’t tell her how you felt. Ok, so what’s she supposed to do? Say to you, “So, I sense that you like me as more than just friends. However, I only like you as a friend?” That puts a lot of onus on her to come out and honestly state her feelings, even though you didn’t.

    I think she liked talking to you, enjoyed the friendship, thought maybe there was potential there for it to be more, but realized there wasn’t, and didn’t want to hurt your feelings by saying it. Or wasn’t sure what YOUR feelings were until you told her, at which point she distanced herself. When you asked, she was honest with you.

    I think you wanted her to immediately pick up on your romantic gestures and take control of the situation based on that. At the end of the day, I think she spent the first 6 months of a distance relationship exploring its potential but ultimately decided not enough was there and it was a friendship rather than a romance. She didn’t do anything wrong. Next time, you might want to be more vocal and honest about your feelings sooner, but you didn’t really do anything wrong either.

    #874850 Reply
    avatarAnkit
    Guest

    Thanks for the thoughts! One clarification – she actually started distancing herself before I told her how I felt, which was unlike her. Which was quite surprising to me because everything seemed to go well just before that.

    #874854 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    The reasons I can think that she distanced herself:

    She realized she just did not feel it, even though she gave it 6 months or whatever, and she didn’t want to hurt your feelings by outright telling you

    Or

    She met someone else, but this seems less likely.

    #874856 Reply
    avatarEssie
    Participant

    You yourself said that this wasn’t going anywhere, as you couldn’t live near each other in the foreseeable future. I can see why she wouldn’t want to commit to anything romantic under those circumstances.

    This was essentially an online relationship, and while they can feel really intense, they’re ultimately unsatisfying. She may have felt a spark on the beginning, but the distance made it impossible to sustain. Or maybe she has become interested in someone local. Texts and chats just can’t compete with real world interaction.

    I’m sorry. You may not have been wrong about her initial interest, but the distance meant it just wasn’t going to work.

    #874857 Reply
    avatarAnkit
    Guest

    Thanks for the feedback all. I guess I was rather naive and overly optimistic that as long as I tried, there will always be a way. Knowing her, I’ve to agree that she’s the kind that will need real-life interaction, rather than texts and phone calls. I was initially hoping that I could try to keep in touch online, visit her 2-3 times a year and find out an end game on how we can end up in the same place. But there’s unfortunately no certainty in all these as both of us are busy building our respective careers and have other commitments.

    #874859 Reply
    avatarron
    Guest

    20 hours of in-person time isn’t nearly enough time together to support an LDR with no end date for the separation. She may have found somebody else in her own country or the reality of the impossibility of this situation finally sunk in. She is avoiding a situation which can only result in more hurt to both of you the longer it continued. You both need to find someone you can date in-person on a regular basis. You became infatuated with an impossible situation. She may have checked herself if she felt herself drifting in that dangerous direction.

    #874861 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I’m not surprised this ended this way at all. You started as friends, and then it progressed to you making romantic gestures. It sounds very wish-washy.

    Like, flowers are not expressly romantic. I bring flowers to my MIL and send them to my grandmother. Cards and chocolate, nice dinners, etc all those things are not solely romantic gestures. I like chocolate. I like eating at nice restaurants. Unless you’re being direct with your intentions, it can be very easy to pass those things off as friend gestures or if the person is inexperienced with romance- they can just not get it. You know what’s hard not to understand? Honest and direct conversation. It’s interesting to me that you never expressed that type of interest from the get-go. Why not? You could have made it clear from the beginning, but that would have been a risk that she was not interested. I wonder if that’s part of the reason you were not clear.

    As you said, there is a lot of physical distance involved which wouldn’t have changed in the near future. Even if she did like you that way (she doesn’t) the distance is enough to make anyone want to end things. People want to be able to spend face to face time with the person they love. Long distance is really hard and it is even harder when you’re trying to start a relationship from the ground up. You don’t have a strong foundation when you try to start a romantic relationship long distance. When you have a strong relationship and then it becomes long distance, it can still be really hard to maintain. Even in the best of circumstances distance can ruin a relationship.

    Closure is a myth. She either never had that interest in you, or it faded over time. Maybe she really enjoyed having the attention, but wasn’t interested and felt guilty for wasting your time. It doesn’t really matter what IT was, what matters is now you know and it’s time to move on. Don’t waste anymore time wondering about it.

    #874862 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    I bring flowers and chocolates all the time to my aunt. So do her other visitors.

    That said, if a guy was sending me flowers and chocolates, I’d pick up on it as “romantic” intentions on his part. I can’t speak for this lady, but to me, flowers and chocolates are kind of this generic idea of romance. There needs to be a special, real connection there… flowers on their own don’t really do anything. I like that my husband gets me nice flowers on special occasions and regularly picks up Trader Joe’s flowers, and it IS a gesture of love. It’s just, there would have to be a lot more to it than dates and candy and flowers for me to want to commit to anything. For this lady, there wasn’t enough to overcome the distance issue.

    #874863 Reply
    avatarAnkit
    Guest

    Thanks for the perspectives! I didn’t make my intention clear from the beginning because I wanted to maintain the “friendship” that we had. From the beginning, I knew I was getting into an unlikely situation and as you said, it would be extremely difficult to start a relationship from the group up. I liked her so much so I was planning to wait for a day on which we could end up in the same place and I would then take my shot.

    However, the last few weeks as she’s gone distant, I didn’t want to lose any connection to her so I decided to bite the bullet.

    Far from an ideal situation, I know…

    #874865 Reply
    avatarAnkit
    Guest

    And I guess deep down inside I’ve always known she’s highly unlikely to want to pursue a long-distance dating, so I was either looking to wait for her till the time is right or somehow change her mind. At least I tried!

    #874869 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I agree with you Kate, if a man was sending me flowers and chocolates and Hallmark romance cards, I’d take the gesture that way. But if maybe you’re inexperienced and a guy is doing that, but verbally only being a “friend” it might be hard to determine what his true intent was. She could have been confused and chose to accept the attention and gifts just because it feels good.

    When I was young I had a guy who showered me with this kind of attention and gifts, (not cards, but flowers, nice dinners, a birthday gift) and when I’d confront him and ask- he’d deny he had feelings and claim he just wanted to be friends and what’s wrong with showing a friend platonic love? Obvious to me in retrospect, but I was like 20 and broke and liked hanging out with him so I bought the line even though I had a feeling it was bs.

    Ankit, you wrote that she never friendzoned you, but you friendzoned her from the beginning, then tried to relationship her and are surprised it didn’t work out.

    I have to tell you, this exact thing happens a lot to women.

    It’s not a good move. I personally don’t want to maintain more than a casual friendship with someone who chose to present a false version of their intent and what they wanted from me from the beginning. You know what’s sexy? Not being confusing. Not pretending to just want a friendship when that’s not what you want. It saves so much time to discreetly, low key state your intentions from the beginning. “I like you and want to date you.” “I think you’re really attractive and would like to take you out.” It’s really not that hard to make a move and cut through the bs without being crude. You would have maybe not had the “friendship” you had, but you also wouldn’t have entertained this one sided fantasy for months.

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