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I'm interested in a girl in my circle of friends. We know each other as friends, but I decided to try a bit harder to see how far I can go.

The first thing I did was talked with her the whole night at a party.

The next day she asked me whether I would help her with maths. Of course, I said yes, and asked how we should proceed. She said that I should drive to her house when I turn 18 (which I did 2 weeks ago). I took this as a big hint - although one of my friends warned me that maybe she isn't meaning it that way.

I didn't think much of it, but when I did something with my friends (cruising with my car and going out to eat) she always said something like: "You went there without ME". For me that's a hint, so the next logical thing would be to ask her out, so I did.

I asked her whether she wants to go to a burger restaurant with me, she said yes. So far so good. The thing is the day when we wanted to go out, she said that she has a bad headache and asked me whether we could tomorrow. If she doesn't want to go out, she could simply say that to me. I repeatedly asked her whether she was ok with my plans and she said it's all good and I'm not putting pressure on her.

The real problem started the next day (the backup day). I texted her saying that I would pick her up in about 3h (so I would be sure that she has time for me) - right off she responded: "I can't go out :(".

I didn't message her since that moment (we are sending pictures on Snapchat, but that doesn't mean anything). I don't know what I did wrong, so I wanted to talk with her about that whole situation (which I didn't do yet).

I just don't understand why she keeps complaining that I went somewhere without her and when I propose something she firstly accepts but then stands me up in the last minute. I don't want to start a conflict, I want to solve it.

How can I talk to her about this while avoiding to start a conflict?

Edit: I know that she has hard time at the moment, because her father died some months ago. She tried to call some time ago to talk about that, but I was sleeping and so missed her call.

  • Hi @alexanders916, welcome to IPS! I have a couple of questions to help me get the context I need to possibly answer your question. First, did you ever find out why she couldn't go out on the backup day? Second, do you live in a country where driving privileges are attached to the age of 18? – Rainbacon Apr 2 at 19:22
  • No, I didn't ask her yet why she didn't go at the backup day. I'm afraid she will just make something up. And yes, in my country you are allowed to drive alone only with an age of 18. – alexanders916 Apr 2 at 19:27
  • Ok, that's probably why she told you to come drive over after you turned 18 then. So that is probably not particularly relevant information for answering the question. – Rainbacon Apr 2 at 19:30
  • The problem is that the maths exam was like 3 days after my birthday, so there is no chance that she wanted me there for the maths exam (she studys 1-2 weeks for any exam). That's why I thought it was a necessary information. – alexanders916 Apr 2 at 19:34
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Having lost my father when I was a little bit older than her, I remember what I went through at that time: up's and down's, and swinging moods. Sometimes you're ok, sometimes not, sometimes you need someone to talk to, sometimes you want to be left alone. And all this can happen and change within minutes or seconds. I'm pretty sure this is what she's actually facing.

What I believe you should do right now is: forget about the "girlfriend", and think about the friend. If you really care about here, offer her what she needs right now: support. Help her. Be strong for the both of you, don't judge, support her "attitude problems" if they arise, talk, but, more than that, be there for her and listen.

It may take time. Any relationship has its up's and down's. Seems like you start with the "not so nice and enjoyable" part, but that's life... :/

It will be a good way to find out, also, if you're willing to make the extra effort/step for her, and are ready to go any further. But don't push her to anything, by adding another problem to her life. For the moment, just be a friend, she'll understand and let you know how much she appreciate you being around.

Why do I recommend doing that? Because, at that time, I was sad, lost, with no emotions or too much emotions, trying to navigate through everyday life, with no real goal for a while. The last thing I wanted was a relationship or another burden.

If you care for her, don't put more weight on her heart, rather be the one that helps carrying the burden.

  • I have got to add, that I also think that she underestimates the struggle she's facing. But like you said, she has very swinging moods and I don't want to put even more pressure on here. – alexanders916 Apr 2 at 21:30
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I'd like to start by looking at some of these 'hints' you noticed to this point.

The first thing I did was talk with her throughout the whole night at a party.

This is a pretty good sign. You're holding a conversation, finding things to discuss, and establishing a connection.

The next day she asked me whether I would help her with maths.

What worries me is this part. This could be evidence that she sees you (at present) more as a friend to study with than a potential romantic partner. Meaning, she considers what you do for her more than what she can do for you. You may want to analyze this thought aside your main situation.

"You went there without ME". For me that's a hint . . .

I'm one of the guilty ones who will say something along the lines of this. Generally, I use it as a form of expressing my desire to also go out and have fun or as light flirting. To me, it really doesn't mean much, and I know some of my friends who also think the same thing. If I wanted to say I wanted to go do something with you, it would more direct and along the lines of:

That looks really fun! We should do something like that sometime.


Now let's look at the situation at present. She stood you up, twice. You want to know why, but I think it's best you not ask about it if your goal is to minimize conflict.

This is because once you ask her "hey, why did you stand me down?" you put her in a position where she has to defend her reasoning... and I don't think that's a good idea especially since she's going through troubling times. If she wants you to know why, I'm sure she'll let you know (she even tried calling before, right?).

If she wants to pursue you in the future, I'm sure she'll try arranging or asking about another time. She already knows you're interested and I think it's best to let this one wait out. I'm sure you want someone who's just as interested in you as you are of them! :)

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Both OldPadawan and Anilla have very good answers. I'd like to stress that if you want to know more about why she stood you up, rather than addressing that directly, ask how she was doing the other day, how she is, and so forth, doing your best to very sincerely ask about her and care about her honest answer.

I'm basically suggesting you attempt to behave as a supportive person. There's a big difference between just asking how someone is doing and being a member of their support network. It takes caring about the person and trying honestly to help them with what they need help with, but usually only to the degree they allow. It's usually not helpful to do something that they don't think is helpful.

If mental impairments are part of their condition, which could include major grief for a lost loved one, this can get tricky, because what's important is the degree they allow/want your help when they're in their more sane moments. That said, erring on the side of caution is generally the recommended approach there, especially while you still don't know them well.

Note you're not a member of her support network until such time as she decides you are. Your only choice in the matter is whether you can try to be supportive as much as possible, as much as feasible, half ass it, or not try. My personal recommendation is the second one on the list, as your health and well-being is also important to pay attention to.

If you're around as a member of her support network first and any romantic interests are without any pressure, she may start suggesting alternate plans instead of cancelling. It certainly won't guarantee anything on the romantic front. I did the support network member thing for half a dozen people I could've seen myself dating before one of them decided she wanted to be married to me. This was not the only type of interaction I had with women; it's just the one that worked.

But in 47 years, I've not found a better way to get to know somebody. And if she's comfortable telling you why she's not up to seeing people right now when she needs to be alone and comfortable telling you something came up that she feels is more urgent, such as an old friend visiting, then you don't need to worry about her getting involved with somebody else, because she'll tell you.

Don't get me wrong, it's always unpleasant when someone you're romantically interested in decides they don't want to date you anymore or would prefer to also date someone else. But it's much better knowing about where you stand, relationship-wise, than going through months or years of doubt.

Just to be explicit, I'm suggesting this because it sounds like this is the sort of person the person you seem to be interested in seems to need to me right now. Different people are different, and it's important to interact with them as the people they are as well as you can reasonably do, rather than interacting with them as if they are the person you want them to be or expect them to be. Pulling that off is one of life's biggest challenges. I think I've managed it with a couple of people.

It's probably also worth mentioning that even if you do your best to be supportive and she appreciates it and decides you're a wonderful person she wants to spend time with, she may not include you in her trusted support people right now. I've known some people who don't want to depend on a potential romantic partner until they're ready for that romance. There are also times when people want to limit the people they lean on to those they feel they can understand, and when the issue is grief, that sometimes means just close friends & family of the departed.

Don't be discouraged if that happens; it doesn't mean she'll never trust you. It just means she's not ready for you to help her right then.

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