I live in France, am 23 and I have had a crush on a coworker (21) for about 6 months and told her so around 1 month and a half ago in no uncertain terms. We had been talking regularly, about personal topics such as family, emotions, our convictions and beliefs, projects for the future, fear of the employment market, etc. and went once to grab drinks in the evening.
She rejected me and said she would prefer if we stayed as coworkers. She even let go of the basis of friendship we had going until then, perhaps because she was afraid I would fall again. We didn't talk about personal topics anymore.
I've since met another woman, and the crush is over. I have accepted her choice, I went on with my life. We still meet at work, sometimes make small talk as we cross paths, but the talking about personal topics and the friendship is gone.
Last Thursday, as I was returning from my break outside, I saw her on the verge of crying in the break room. I asked her what was wrong and learned that between her finals and her car breaking down, she has too much on her plate. I proposed to check her car and she accepted after she talked about it to another colleague.
As far as I was concerned, I would drive her back to her house, check her car, and go back to my place. She had been clear that we should only be colleagues and I was moving on myself.
While I was checking on the car, she was handing me tools, listened to what I was explaining her about her car, went to get tissue and water for me and told me I could use her room to wash my hands afterward.
I made some repairs on the plugs, and the car started as usual. She thanked me, I told her she should have it run a bit and drive around to be sure it wasn't a fluke.
I'm pretty sure I didn't word this in such a way that she would feel pressured to take me with her but she did, and we went and drove around for 2 hours, talking, laughing. After that, we ate some fast-food while watching a bit of film at her place, and then I excused myself and went home. All in all, she seemed a lot more friendly during this evening.
The evening went like we were good friends again, like before I admitted my crush to her. We again talked about the more personal topics that we used to talk about before I told her of my crush on her, stuff you don't usually talk about with new friends or coworkers.
Since then, we exchanged small-talk over texting for 3-4 days, which didn't occur since I admitted my crush on her to her, but she has been acting colder starting yesterday and seems to be reverting back from being friendly to being a cold and distant coworker.
I do not know what to think of the situation and the dynamic between us, anymore.
I want to know where she and I stand, and plan on asking her directly after work this weekend, as I'm leaving on vacation afterward. I know I can be a bit blunt and would like to have advice on the following points:
- Getting her to answer truthfully without pressuring her
- Having a clear-cut answer on our relationship: Are we strictly coworkers, or also still (a bit) friends?
- Telling her that I refuse to be used as a friend when she needs me, only to be treated cold and distant as a coworker again afterward.
- Figuring out why she was so different when I repaired her car vs. before that and now.
So, given the above, how do I approach a conversation with her about her behavior towards me, that will get me a truthful answer about whether I was used/just a coworker or not used/a friend?