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How to proceed after a failed dating attempt

 
 
Bodean
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 07:13 am
My friend passed away a little over a year ago. His old fiance has started coming around to group events lately. She's said she is lonely and might be ready to move on. We've been talking over the past several weeks and we both like each other but has gotten very scared and has said she needs to take a few steps back and 'take herself off the market'. It didn't go far at all. Some hugs, some flirting. And wants to go really really slow now and be good friends for now. I completely understand and agree that friends first would be best.

She tried to get with a few guys in our friend circle right after his death to deal with the hurt but they all knew the score and said no. We are a very friendly and flirty group of friends. She hangs on and cuddles with guys that she knows are safe. Guys that nothing would happen with. And seems to get it in her head that she is into a guy that has moved on from her. I believe she desperately wants to move on but when she found herself attracted to me she got scared that it wasn't just some guy nothing romantic would happen with.

She wanted to try to get her feet wet but the water was still too cold. I'm just glad that it didn't get to a point where it ruined something in the future. But I just don't know how to proceed now. Group meetings for now and slowly move on from there? I just don't want her to break off all contact with me. It's hard because now I have all these feelings for her. Butterflies and my heart skips a beat when I see her, and now here I sit and don't want to push the topic with her. She feels bad that I'm attached now and she can't move on.

Details: She is 27 and they were involved for four years. He was 44, so quite a bit older and seemed to like having somebody to control. He passed away 13 months ago. She is a bit on the immature side which may have something to do with not understanding her feelings.
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 08:15 am
@Bodean,
firstly, I'm not in a relationship and haven't been for a long time, so take this with a grain of salt...

I think you have to take the want out of it, and just let things happen.

your desire to see it go the way you want it is getting in the way of the natural flow of things.

she is going to have ups and downs.

your job, as I see it, is to be yourself, be her friend, and if in the end things are meant to be, she will decide that you are what she wants.

be available, but not in her face.

good luck.

and welcome to a2k.
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sullyfish6
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:17 am
Yes; I agree.

In your 'flirty' group, she knows she is safe and knows you are there for her as a friend.

But if you want more, step back and let her come to you, if she wants. Assure her that you are her friend and will be there for her for support at this time. Remember: She is still grieving, unsure and seems giddy about having the freedom to have another relationship with a man. She may be frightened about his, too. You will want to let her know that you are there for her now, but are interested in something more in the future - WHEN she is ready. Again, I think it is important that she does the approaching to you. Otherwise, be prepared to be the eternal 'friend.'

In the meantime, please don't 'wait' for this to happen. Date others and just observe from the background. She may exhibit a lot of behavior that seems bizzare that could hurt you, if you are waiting.

BTW - did she go to grief support or get counseling? Sometimes delayed grief can come out in really strange ways.
Bodean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 02:27 pm
@sullyfish6,
No as far as I know she didn't go to any counseling, we are a very large group and there was always somebody there to support her. But after all of that over the past year I'm wondering if she enjoys all of the attention. I'm really fighting the urge to 'make' her admit whatever it was that she felt for me because she is still throwing me a line of bs about it. I am usually a VERY patient person but this for some reason is so hard. But I know it'll be best.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 08:12 pm
@Bodean,
How on earth would you "make" her tell you anything at all. If you really want to frighten her, to control her - try that one.
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sullyfish6
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 08:46 pm
Do you think she's giving you mixed messages? Push and Pull?

You can tell her you are confused and want to know what her intentions were (are) with you.

But be prepared that she might not even know what she is thinking. She sounds skitterish right now.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 09:17 pm
@sullyfish6,
sullyfish6 wrote:
Do you think she's giving you mixed messages? Push and Pull?

You can tell her you are confused and want to know what her intentions were (are) with you.

But be prepared that she might not even know what she is thinking.
Point of information, if I may?
HOW can a person be thinking something and not know it ?
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 08:52 pm
error in self perception
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oolongteasup
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 09:03 pm
@Bodean,
ffs invite her out to dinner

lets make it a 4some

i want rockhead
0 Replies
 
Bodean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 10:48 pm
It's not a matter of not knowing what she's thinking. It's a matter of knowing she is getting these feelings again and it's not for the guy that died.

She thinks we are on the same page now. I opened my book and told her everything that was going on in my head. What I was thinking, how she made me feel, but all I got in return was 'I think you're an awesome guy and I like you' but spills everything she's thinking and feeling to her friends. I was simply considering a little push to get her to tell me these things herself instead of a Jr High messages through a friend thing. We are already down the road on the friend thing and to go back to trying to get her to open up seems counterproductive now so I'm just going to blow off the things I'd like to know, for now.

We had a group outing tonight. Went and saw Hot tub time machine with her best friend (guy) who was once in my position but she now thinks of him more as a brother (which is my fear for me) but it was nice. I backed off and she leaned towards me and we just sat there shoulders touching and she seemed comfortable with that for now. She'd turn to tell me something or ask me something, faces like 2 inches apart, and glance down at my lips then back up to my eyes. Drove me nuts. But I played the friend thing, answered her then turned back to the movie. It was a small step tonight.

I appreciate everybody's input.
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Bodean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 08:13 am
Okay so I don't know what the deal is. This whole time she's been giving me the impression that we were getting to be better friends to see if it blooms into something more. This morning she tells me that there are a lot of people that are hoping that we get together and she just tells them that as far as she's concerned she would rather have the dull pain of being alone than getting attached to somebody again and having them ripped from her world. And I'm just sitting there like... WTF? I really really like her but I hate games. I don't know if she just can't deal with the loss or if she just wants to live with a memory forever. I can't compete with a memory. I tried being patient, I tried laying off and giving her some room to breath and then she lays this on me.

I just don't know if I can be around her when she makes me feel the way I do and knowing that even though she feels somewhat the same she won't act on it because someday I might die....
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 08:36 am
@Bodean,
Bodean, the death of a loved one can traumatize a person, and your friend
seems to be emotionally all over and probably is in need of counseling.
On one hand she needs the closeness of a relationship and on the other hand
she fears it the most which clearly indicates that she's in no position to have
a new relationship. At the same time, she should not lead you on to think that
there is hope for the two of you. Most likely you're the rebound guy, if at all.
0 Replies
 
Bodean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 03:43 am
I appreciate everybody's input and this will be my final comment. She went to see a grief counselor and for some reason even though the counselor told her what all of her friends were telling her, it made more sense coming from somebody with a degree. She called me after 4 days of me not talking to her and asked me to come over for a 'date night'. She said she was tired of being afraid and thinking too much about every choice that had to be made. We had a great night, we kissed, and we're moving on slowly.

She is doing very well and we have not specified or determined what our relationship is. Only that there is no line saying we are or aren't a couple but more of a dotted line that she can hop back over if she wishes anytime she gets scared, reflect on the situation and step back over when she is comfortable again. We have had very long talks about many things and opened up to each other about what we are feeling on certain things. We are taking it slow and things look to be getting better every day. I hope that in some way these events will help others to achieve the same happiness.

There are rules you must abide by. Most importantly take it slow, there is no rush. I know it feels that way but imagine them as a little stray kitten that you found. It may run under your couch and stay there. Dragging it out will only scare it but if you give it time to look around and become comfortable with it's surroundings it will come out on it's own, maybe be a little skittish at first, but will be better off. Next, let them set the pace of the relationship and be ready for them pushing you away then bringing you close again. Patience, don't be frustrated by this. Spend time with them, as much as they will allow without smothering them and be ready for flip flops. One day they may say they are lonely and the next say that they would rather be alone forever. This is just confusion talking. And if they didn't feel something for you then they wouldn't be confused. This is a good thing. You are stirring emotions in them that they are not sure how to process yet.

You have all the time in the world. I know you're thinking you found this wonderful person and want to snatch them up before someone else does but it won't work like that, they are scared of any relationship right now. Be prepared for any attempt you make to show them that you care to be met with complete FEAR. Be prepared for them to feel as though they are cheating on their lost love by feeling anything for you. Consciously they know that they are gone but subconsciously they aren't. Have an interaction with your interest then step back and let them reflect on the events and whatever feelings they may have, then meet again after a couple days. It may even be necessary to got for a week or so to drive up feelings of longing for you. They can't miss you if you are always in their face.

Slow slow slow.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 06:33 am
One Day at a Time - a great way to proceed for this relationship. No pressure.

I agree with developing a 'longing' for you. Make her miss you. Make memories with you (do fun things, etc.) Do intimate things, like cook together, walks, do a project, etc.

Give her lots of room.

PS. Time to wean the both of you away from the 'group' thing, too. Slowly.
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