In her former life, Emily “Gynomite” Gordon was a couples and family therapist licensed in 2 1/2 states. In this life, she’s a freelance fighter of your emotional woes with Ask Gynomite. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org- all emails stay confidential. Today, Gynomite takes on rekindled Facebook relationships.
I’ve been trying to start up a romantic relationship with this girl that I’ve met through one of my classes early in college. Somebody that I didn’t fully trust told me she was interested when we first met about two years back, and I didn’t really give it much thought, which might have been a mistake on my part looking back. A really big one. Over the next two semesters following that first class together, I had her in two different classes, so we always had a decent amount of contact. As these classes went on, we got to know more about each other, learning that we like a lot of the same things: comics, reading, old movies, Doctor Who, etc. And there have been points where I did try to start up a relationship, but she started dating someone else before it could lead anywhere, but eventually broke up with and then another girl came along before I could …but that’s not a relevant story. After that, I didn’t really pursue her romantically but we remained good friends.
Moving up to the present day, one of my close friends found out about this girl through a piece of art that she drew in reference to an issue of Batman and had posted on my Facebook wall. And his specific words on the matter were “marry her right the fuck now”. So, naturally, after a great deal of encouragement on my friend’s part, I started texting her, exchanging tweets and Facebook posts and the like. And more often than not, these text conversations would last until 2 or sometimes 3 in the morning. So, naturally, I thought I had a chance. So I ask her to dinner.
Which she said she couldn’t do. But she was open to a reschedule. But didn’t say when. And I don’t know where to go next or when, or if, I bring up the prospect of a date again. And it feels clear to me that she feels comfortable talking with me, but might not feel like it’s worth her time getting into a romantic relationship with me. So, I suppose the whole purpose of this entire ejaculate of information boils down to a rather simple question: should I keep trying for something with this girl or just let things be as they are and move on?
This is a big question that encompasses a lot of things, but at the heart of it, it seems like you realized years later that this girl was worth pursuing, but you’re having trouble pursuing.
I don’t think you’re going to love my answer.
Because yes, I think the well you are dipping into has run dry. That doesn’t mean you have no chance ever in life, but for right now, it might be time to cool it. Regardless of how you felt about her back in college, or how she felt about you, or how much you had in common, the thing that’s sticking in my craw right now is that you decided to rekindle this relationship not based on interactions with her, but based on a friend’s encouragement.
Can you imagine how that looked to this girl? Here she is, minding her own business, posting something on a college friend’s wall, and in response she gets a dude texting her and Tweeting at her and asking her out. Nothing magical was exchanged between the two of you before you decided to rekindle things- the magic came from a friend who saw a cool girl on your Facebook wall and added a shit ton of urgency to the proceedings by commanding you to marry her. Your brain looked back on your history with her and turned it into the best 80s rom-com moment where you realize that she was the one all along. How romantic! Problem is, this is all happening inside you, and that doesn’t mean it’s happening with her.
I have a lot of feelings about stuff like this- how easy it is to romanticize history. I’ve been guilty of it for most of my life. But in adding backstory and swelling smoldering love where it may not exist, we’re only hurting our chances of having an actual relationship with someone. This doesn’t mean that she’s not interested in you, she very well may be, but she may just be a bit bewildered by your sudden interest, and wary.
In short, it seems like you decided that you wanted a relationship with this girl before you started interacting with her again, and people can usually smell that a mile away, and it always smells a bit off. If you want her in your life regardless of the form she takes, then take some time to hang out with her and get to know her again, instead of pining for “the one that got away”. Don’t shoehorn her into that role. If something develops, great, and if not, it’s good to have an old friend back in your life. So in short, take a look at your motives and emotions, compare them to what’s actually happening in the daylight, and see if you can’t adjust some of your expectations.
Good luck. To both of you.