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A while ago, someone told me a rumour that stated that "either I wanted a relationship with a girl or she wanted a relationship with me".

That girl and I were friends, I was not against a relationship but she did not know this and she might have been interested in me. We were part of group studying abroad, both of us had the same nationality.

This rumour was disclosed by an individual from this group who interacted pretty often with her group of friends.

She also showed various signs of attraction: she complimented my smile, she liked hanging out with me, her body language seemed very "open" (for a lack of better word) and she told her friends that she was looking for a relationship but she hadn't had any luck.

I would like to know how I can know the truth about this rumour. Should I ask for more details about the rumour from the guy or confront the girl directly? I can only communicate with them via online messaging.

I wrote this question because I would also like to know how to react adequately to future rumours.

By the way, I'm not interested in your opinion on the rumour itself, I'm interested in the handling of the rumour.

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    Do I understand the rumor correctly as that you want a relationship with that girl or vice versa? Or is it meant that some other guy want a relationship? – XtremeBaumer Mar 15 '18 at 14:32
  • Indeed, this guy heard about the girl and I wanting to be together, but he doesn't know from who this wish comes from. Personally, I'm not the kind of guy who talks about my romantic desire. However, since we were kind of close with that girl, there might have been some interpretations. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 14:37
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    Do you want to know if the rumour is true because you actually do like the girl? – Twyxz Mar 15 '18 at 14:45
  • By curiosity, to boost my self-confidence and because I also like the girl. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 14:49
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+50

The best way to see if a rumor (or anything for that matter) is true is to test it. You have a couple of options here.

A) If you're feeling brazen ask out right. Call the girl up, and after the initial pleasantries tell her directly that you heard a rumor that she likes you and ask if the rumor is true. Depending on her personality this may or may not work so well. Some people are not comfortable with that level of openness right up front. They need time to gain your trust. which is why I prefer option B.

B) You say your interested in her so I assume you would like to explore starting a relationship with her, Then you could start calling her just to chit chat, or chat online, or text. After a few days invite her to a party or to go get coffee. If that goes well you can start inviting her on bigger dates or to just come over and hang out.

If she keeps saying yes than the rumor is true.

  • The thing is, she is at the other side of the country so dating is complicated – Hawker65 Mar 23 '18 at 8:12
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    @Hawker65, if she is so far away that you can't date her, or run into her when hanging out with friends, then what does it matter if the rumor is true or not? – Dan Anderson Mar 23 '18 at 15:03
  • I want to know If I can read dating intentions correctly on a girl. Also, it boots my self-confidence. – Hawker65 Mar 25 '18 at 22:28
  • @Hawker65 Fair enough, I can empathize with that. Look at it this way. There were a whole bunch of people who believed that rumor. That means that they thought it was normal that she would want to date you. So huge vote of confidence on that account. If you want to know if you can read dating intentions correctly, I would ignore hearsay and focus instead on her actual behavior and words that you observer. Hearsay may or may not be true. And by the time you figure it out their opinions might have changed. Nothing beats personal interaction with some one. – Dan Anderson Mar 26 '18 at 16:00
  • Indeed. The thing is, I thought she was attracted to me (at least that is what I "read" in her) and the rumour only reinforced that feeling. – Hawker65 Mar 27 '18 at 8:36
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You ask two things. How to know how truthful the rumour is and how to handle it.

As for handling, I would say leave it be. If you like the girl, ask her out or try to get closer to her. If not, remain a friend. Regardless of wether or not the rumor is true.

If you want to know if it is true or not, you will have to ask the girl. You can ask the guy but it sounds like he got this information from other people, which means the information is possibly altered. (I am sure you played the whisper a sentence in each other's ear and pass it on game in class as a kid, it always comes out entirely different on the end). Which means you can not be sure of it.

But if you ask the girl it also depends on how she is as a person. Some people will tell you the truth about it, others will deny it and even others could feel hurt by it. Asking her this might be a too direct conversation for your bond with her.

My personal opinion is to let the rumor be a rumor and decide for yourself if you want to make a move on her or not, regardless of the rumor.

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    The thing is, I can't really make a move anymore since we came back in our respective hometowns. She is at the other side of the country now. Since we were simple friends, I don't know how she would react if I would talk to her about this rumour. However, I think she wasn't against a relationship thanks to various hints (she told some of her friends that she was looking for a relationship but she hadn't had any luck). – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 14:41
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    May I ask what your country is? I live in Belgium and the other side of the country is not a big issue for me. Also, why do you want to know the truth if you won't act upon it anyway? if I may ask. – Robin Mar 15 '18 at 14:43
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    France. I'm around the Spanish border and she is around the German border. I want to know the truth by curiosity and to boost my self-confidence. If she was closer, I would act but it's currently too impractical to date if she is that far away. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 14:49
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    What I would do then is ask her something along the lines of 'Hey, should we get in a situation where we are close to each other again, we should totally go on a date, deal?'. Like, if you are having a fun chat, you could drop that in. Her reaction will tell you enough to know if she is open to it or not I think. – Robin Mar 15 '18 at 14:51
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    We were not that close but I can still try to be closer to her. Anyway, glad to see someone willing to discuss about this and not close the question. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 14:57
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When you hear a rumour that is exclusively about yourself, you should instantly know whether it is true or not. Additionally, if it is true you should recall whether or not you told anyone this truth.

So you have three kinds of rumour about yourself:

  1. False, so somebody made it up;
  2. True, and you told somebody, so the source may be you;
  3. True, but you told nobody, so it is somebody's unproven guesswork.

The rumour you have heard is either you like this girl romantically, or the girl likes you romantically.

In your replies to comments you say that you do like the girl, but you have not discussed your romantic desires with anyone. So there is no basis for any rumour that you like her.

The reason I go to all this trouble to distill the rumour is because you cannot assume that the rumour was about the girl liking you. It could just as easily be somebody's assumption that you liked her!

In order to know the truth about this rumour as you ask, you can either start at one of two ends - go straight to the girl and ask her (with whatever consequences that may have), or start with the guy who told you the rumour.

The problem with starting with the guy that told you is that you will potentially have to work back through quite a few people, asking each one "who told you?" until you reach the source. This will rely on every person in that chain telling you the truth. It will also potentially upset some people, as they may well feel like they are being interrogated. Most importantly, assuming everybody cooperates, you are only ever going to get as close to the truth as whatever the last person says. You may find out at the end of the chain that the rumour was you liked her, which you knew from the start was baseless. But if the rumour was that she liked you, without going to the girl and asking her the truth you are only ever really learning the truth about the rumour, not the truth itself.

I would therefore suggest you just ask the girl. That is not to say that she will automatically tell you the truth! If she ever did express an interest in you to someone else but never to you, you can't be certain that she will admit it to you.

Both methods will get you somewhere, but are equally flawed.

Obviously, we aren't meant to hear rumours about ourselves. Sometimes it is best not to know. Just because our friends talk about us doesn't mean they aren't good friends. In fact, I wouldn't want to know everything that people said about me behind my back. That way madness lies.

My advice is that you separate the truth from the rumour. Don't seek "the truth about this rumour" - forget the rumour, and if you must know the truth, go and ask the girl directly.

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    Let's just say that if he tells me who told him this, there is a pretty big chance that it is one of her friends, which would "confirm" my theory about the rumour. As you said, for the truth itself, I will ask the girl directly. – Hawker65 Mar 20 '18 at 13:48
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As you should already know the truth about the part about you wanting the relationship, there is only the other part left. How I see it, you have 2 options to find out about the other part.

  1. Track down the one who spread the rumor in the first place OR

  2. Ask the girl directly

If you choose the second path, then something along these lines might be good:

Hey, a friend of us recently told me a rumor which states, that you might have been interested in a relationship with me. I had the feeling that it could be very true, but I still wanted to know for sure for future meetings ;)

The first approach is much more subtle as the girl will mostly not find out (unless she spread the rumor herself in hope it would get to you in time for you to react on it while you are still at the same place). Yet it is more effort than the first approach.


For future rumors it always depends on whether you want to know the truth about it or not. If its a rumor that is not including you, then its always safe to ask the persons it is addressed to. In the cases where the rumor is about you, you should go the subtle way and find out who spread it and why.

I hope that I addressed your question(s) properly

  • I have a list of "suspects" concerning to persons who might have spawned the rumour, and I suspect she might have told some friends of hers that she was interested in me. There is a big chance that she might have been interested, but I might have waited too long to act now. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 15:00
  • I think I will both ask the guy who told me the rumour and the girl herself, then compare the versions they tell me. – Hawker65 Mar 15 '18 at 15:02
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Being open to a relationship and wanting a relationship are 2 different things. With that said if you're only open to it I would say don't act on the rumor just let things progress as they may. If you're interested in an relationship then I would talk to her about it and not the friend. I've been in a similar situation where someone told me a friend liked me and when I talked to my friend she said it wasn't true. We had a honest conversation about how we felt and moved on from it.

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As other answers have addressed (quite well!) how to potentially bring this up with the girl, I thought I'd complement them with the thought of talking more with the person who told you the rumour in the first place...

I'd say you're not wrong to want or even expect more details. Depending on how close friends you are with the informant(!) you could adjust for familiarity but I'd personally be interested in finding out:

  • What exactly they initially heard
  • Where/who they heard it from
  • Where they think the rumour came from originally

"Hey, you mentioned there was a rumour going around about me and [girl] being interested in each other, was there anything more being said about me you can tell me?"

-

"Was there someone specific you heard this from?"

-

"One more thing, what do you think started up this rumour? Do people think we'd be good together?"


My entirely subjective view on this: I'm reading you as fairly young and/or potentially inexperienced with dating - it's fairly common (worldwide!) for young people to set up their friends with potential relationships, going so far as subtly or not-so-subtly nudging perceived candidates together with hints and rumours and "I think x likes you, you know..."

My perception is they intend to set you up and are getting a bit of fun or a childish thrill out of playing cupid. What matters most of all of course is whether you want to enter a relationship with this girl.

Be honest - to yourself and others! If you have doubts or reservations, for example due to distance, voice them. If you're interested, say so. Being coy due to shyness is understandable but having some courage to state your feelings honestly will benefit yourself and your future relationships.

Steel yourself for some teasing! People of all ages enjoy poking some fun at the "Clueless lovebirds" trope. Don't let it throw you off being honest! Don't be pressured into a relationship you have no interest in and don't let it put you off asking out someone you like.

  • The guy who told me a rumour is a classmate. We get along but I would not say we are friends. He is a nice guy but tends to be a bit childish. When he told me the rumour, he was teasing me like a lot of children would do "Oh, he wants to be with this girl." (I don't know if you know what I mean). We are in our early 20s by the way. – Hawker65 Mar 20 '18 at 13:00
  • I got the impression from your commentary that you're possibly interested in her with some reservations. If you're not interested in her at all you can simply quell the rumours with "Haha, she's nice/pretty/cute but I'm not interested in a relationship with her"; otherwise if you value his opinion you could ask something along the lines of "Do you think I should say something to her?". Odds are (in my opinion) he'll be relaying information back so be aware of this... :) – Tay W Mar 20 '18 at 13:08
  • I'm interested in trying a relationship, but I doubt this would be a long term one. I would like to be with her, but I don't see her as the mother of my future children for now. I would like to know her better to see if there are some good traits of her personality I missed. – Hawker65 Mar 20 '18 at 13:14
  • This is going beyond the scope of the question but since we're in comments... What you're describing just now covers the first stage in a healthy romantic relationship: identifying if you actually get along in a romantic context. Some might call it 'dating' but there's no real need to go on a date right away. My full advice would be to contact her, say you've heard rumours about potential feelings between you both, indicate you are in fact romantically interested in her and asking whether she holds the same interest in return. – Tay W Mar 20 '18 at 13:21
  • As well as this, regardless of the outcome the rumours can be put to rest: either with a "I asked her but she said she wasn't interested" or "Yes, we're talking about possibly dating now" – Tay W Mar 20 '18 at 13:23
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Each of the things you've mentioned are solid "smoke signals".

My own opinion is to not ask this person for any more information, unless you want the "alarm" to go off the other way. That is, he is likely aware of your awareness that his circle of friends involve this girl, and yours do not. If you ask him anything about this, he will definitely tell them (which is a good thing if you're interested).

I suspect he told you this "rumour" because one of her friends told her to be subtle about it to you. So if you ask him anything, eventually it will make its way back to her.

Asking for any form of elaboration should put you in a solid position if you want to take it further (imo, ofc).

I wouldn't be surprised if you're understating the frequency of her compliments (not your fault), and she was kind of annoyed, and this is how it's playing out (you're very lucky, to be honest).

Good luck.

  • I was thinking of asking this guys about the rumour but trying to make it look like I'm looking for the name(s) of the bastard(s) that throw rumours in my back. That way, he would not think it's about the girl. – Hawker65 Mar 23 '18 at 8:14
  • i discourage this course of action, as it may be interpreted incorrectly by the guy-- i.e., the fact you're not asking more about her and you're asking about the origin of the rumour, may send the wrong message. if you're interested, there is no harm in being slightly vulnerable by following up just so that this person circulates a general idea that you're interested. mb something like "what do you think?", "i thought she had a bf" (i am not privy to your culture's norms, so this may not be applicable); something he can answer, but also shows you're curious if she does want a relationship – gagan Mar 23 '18 at 16:10
  • She did not have a boyfriend at the time. I would not want to tell him this because I do not want this rumour to keep spreading. I think I will be direct and ask the girl herself if you think asking the guy is not a good idea. – Hawker65 Mar 26 '18 at 8:09
  • that's reasonable. if you don't want to ask him, then maybe your alternative isn't so bad. i don't know if asking her point-blank is the best way, but definitely you can start chatting with her and see if she pays you compliments similar to what you shared above. if the conversations seem to go the same way as what you recall in-person, i would say that is a good sign. how to make it "progress" from there, however, is another story; i would hope it all takes care of itself organically. if you do decide to handle the matter directly, just remember (if you're interested in her): slow and steady! – gagan Mar 26 '18 at 17:23
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A rumour is a rumour. It's like a fire, it can start because of many things... As the French say: Il n'y a pas de fumée sans feu (there's no smoke without fire / where there's smoke there's fire).

So, the 1st thing I would look for is "fire". Maybe her heart is burning with love for you :)

I would investigate in a way that shows her my concerns, whilst at the same time, I learn more about her feelings. But, in no way I would try and get some information about the who-and-why spread the rumour, because it's not worth it IMO, and may result in an unexpected kind of "Streisand effect" backfiring. I would rather go for something like this:

Hi Alice,

I just heard something weird... It came into my ears that "either I wanted a relationship with you or you wanted a relationship with me."

Please be assured that I never told that to anyone! It is not me who carries out leaks, I can guarantee you that. Trust me.

I hope that you are not worrying or upset because of this. I don't care who started this, but I don't mind, and just wanted to let you know.

Then, I would follow with the nicest things:

You are someone I find very [ all nice things you want to tell her ].

  • This way, you kill the rumour right away, at least between the two of you.
  • You don't blame anybody for the rumour.
  • You let her know what you think about it (it's not a big deal for you, but you care about her and hope she's not been hurt).
  • You let her know with your own words what you think and feel about her.
  • You leave the door open for her to tell you (what she feels, or, from your comment "I think the rumour originated from her, directly or indirectly", if she really started this, or not...) without pressuring her and asking for any answer.

It seems like a good option to deflect all this rumour and, being straight, clear and honest, hopefully get the best out of it.


From your comments: France. I'm around the Spanish border and she is around the German border. I want to know the truth by curiosity and to boost my self-confidence. If she was closer, I would act...

That's roughly 1000km. But not far enough to hide the truth I guess :) You can still use texts/mail/letter to learn more.

  • I actually think the rumour originated from her, directly or indirectly. She tended to talk about personal stuff like relationship with some of her friend who have a very loose tongue so... She might have spoken to her friends about it and these friends talked to other people and it eventually came to my ears. – Hawker65 Mar 20 '18 at 12:12
  • @Hawker65 : I edited my answer to clarify after your comment. It doesn't change the whole meaning, though... – OldPadawan Mar 20 '18 at 12:18
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The best path is to pretend in every way that you never heard the rumor. It doesn't help you and it doesn't help her.

If you ask around, the person who passed the rumor to you will have new rumors to pass around to others. People may even report rumors back to her, and she will end up tomorrow exactly where you are today.

If you ask her, she'll be desperately trying to figure out what you feel. If you're not clear, that's frustrating for her... definitely not what somebody who cares for her would do.

What's much more important is your own feeling. If you express your interest to her, but the rumor had been false, you still might win her anyway.

If you express your interest to her, and the rumor was true, that still doesn't guarantee anything. Perhaps she changed her mind. Perhaps someone else came before you did.

If you are interested in her, and you want to pursue the relationship, start talking to her! You will be vulnerable when you do this. Do you think she's basically a kind person who wouldn't make fun of you if the answer is "No"?

You can't find out the truth without either being vulnerable about your feelings or making her vulnerable about her feelings.

If you are worried that it will wreck your platonic friendship to approach her, ask... but keep it a secret. That way, if she says "No" there won't be any plump new rumors for the others to spread around.

  • I also like Dan Anderson's approach in a different answer... don't even ask! Just be interested in her and start doing things with her. Then if the rumor is true, great--- you'll find out soon enough. And if not, then what's the harm? – elliot svensson Mar 22 '18 at 20:10

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