Dear Doctor NerdLove.
I understand you hate friend zone questions but bear with me as i think mine is most unique.
Three months ago i made the traumatic move from New York City to Philadelphia, but before switching cities I visited the town of brotherly love about 3 times (you know, to get a lay of the land). The first time I went I noticed a girl on the bus sitting in front of me. She was beautiful but I thought nothing more then she was a hot girl on the bus. The second time I went I saw her again and instantly recognized her as the girl from before. The third time I went I saw her a third time and was immediately smitten with her.
Before school started I went to an orientation and low and behold SHE was there (lets call her Rose from here on out, not her real name of course). I said a few things to her but most came out nervous and uninteresting. This surprised me because I’m usually very good at talking to girls. That night I immediately went on Facebook and found her. I talked her up for the next three days before confessing I liked her and asked if we could go on a few dates when school started. She accepted.
I was traveling quite a bit over the summer so meeting with her was never really an option. Because of this I talked to her on Facebook A LOT (everyday) . We would flirt a little and talk about some very sexual things. Occasionally we would get drunk and talk to each other.
When school started i was regrettably a nervous mess. I could barley talk to her or even make eye contact. This was surprising because as i said before im VERY good at talking to girls. This lasted about two weeks till i began talking to her. It was all very casual for about a week when finally i decided to ask her out, I did and it was a no.
Over the past five weeks since i have gotten to know her much better (we are very good friends) and at this point its fair to say I love her. I think about her everyday and care about her more then she’ll ever know. She is beautiful and because of this many guys try flirting with her. None of them can laugh with her like I can, and none would kill for her likeIi would. So last night at a dance (were me and her both hugging the walls and not dancing much) I confessed how I loved her. I told her that i think about her everyday and how if she said no I would be okay with it. She said no but was very surprised and I definitely got my point across.
And now Doctor Nerd Love I need to know. How can I show this girl im serious, there is a chance were going to be hanging out on Halloween. Should i try something then? I don’t know. I really feel a spiritual and physical love for this person and I need a way to show them.
I don’t hate friend zone questions, it’s just that nine times out of ten, everyone who writes in already knows the answer to the question they’re asking. They just want someone else to tell them that they’re wrong and there is hope.
Now, before I get into the meat of your question, LSF, I want to point out what you did right… and what you did wrong.
By the third time you saw her, you knew that she was a regular on your route; you had no real reason not to talk to her then. I know it can be intimidating approaching a stranger for the first time, but once you learn to muscle through the anxiety, you can start making approaching women you’re attracted to an organic part of your life. As it was, you were still running the risk of never seeing her again, and you’d be kicking yourself for not taking the chance.
So let this be a lesson to all of you: if you see someone you’re attracted to, make a point of approaching them, right then and there. Even if you’re shot down, at least you’ll know you tried.
But getting back to your case, LSF, the fates saw fit to smile upon you and give you a second chance by having her applying to your school. This time you managed to actually talk to her: good work!. And while you may not have impressed her with your gift of gab, but clearly you didn’t creep her out and she accepted your Facebook request.
Now here’s where you screwed up again: you didn’t strike while the iron was hot. Talking for three days before asking her out wouldn’t have been an issue… if you hadn’t been about to go out of town for the summer. You knew you were leaving; this should have been your motivation to ask her out on at least one date before you left.
Now, she did agree to go on a couple of dates with you, true, but she agreed knowing that this would be three months in the future. This would make it easier for a girl to agree to go out, even if she’s not interested in you. After all, It’s easy to humor someone when there’s that much emotional distance; it won’t feel as real or immediate, and there’s always the chance that you’ll forget or otherwise let her out of it.
So once again: she may have been genuinely interested in you or willing to give you a chance and go on a date or two. Or she may have agreed to go on a couple dates thinking that there was the distinct chance that she wouldn’t have to actually go out with you. If you had asked her to go out the next day, say, you would at least have had an answer… or you would’ve gotten a date out of it.
Letting things go until after the summer on the other hand, meant that you were losing emotional momentum that you might have had. Talking over Facebook or e-mail is easier than people would think; there’s a certain level of remove that acts to remove their inhibitions. As a result, you can find yourself talking about things that you wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable talking about face to face. This includes a willingness to go sexual and be flirty, even if there’s no real interest.
The other problem with putting the dates off until school started was that you built them up in your head. It’s no wonder that you were a nervous mess when you got back home. You most likely spent the summer building those dates from a simple social outing to events of monumental importance. I wouldn’t be surprised if you started mentally mapping out every possible way things could go – and most of ’em leading to romance and/or sex. So now you’re back in school and the GRAND MOMENT is upon you! So you essentially psyched yourself out. Once again: this is why you want to make your move as soon as possible.
So as a result, it took you another two weeks before you tried to bring up her going out with you… that’s two more weeks of bleeding away any emotional momentum you may have had. It’s not surprising that when you finally asked her out, she said no. She may never have intended to go out with you in the first place. She may have been interested at first but time and absence cooled her off. You’ll never know now.
So that brings us to today: You told her you loved her, she didn’t return your feelings and you’re firmly stuck in the Friend Zone. There are many ways you could have avoided the problem in the first place, but now you’re looking for your way out and you’re hoping that convincing her of the depths of your sincerity is going to change her mind.
Let me spoil this moment for you: it’s not.
Making a grand gesture makes for great drama in the movies, but in real life it doesn’t work out the way you would hope. The problem isn’t that she thinks you’re not serious about how you feel.
The problem is that she just doesn’t like you back. Not the way you’re wishing she did.
Right now, the best thing you can do is get some distance. Hanging around her right now is obviously hurting you and – contrary to everything pop-culture has taught us – there’s nothing romantic or even terribly sane about subjecting yourself to that sort of pain over and over again. It sucks that she doesn’t return your feelings, but moping about and trying to backdoor your way into a relationship with her isn’t the answer.
The best thing you could do right now is take some time and distance and – and I know this is going to seem counter-intuitive – date other people. I’m a firm believer that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. It’ll help you with your self-confidence and it’ll remind you that there are other girls in the world – ones who might return your feelings.