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I routinely have a monthly lunch with a group of people. Also, I share a WhatsApp group with the same people (that we use to organize the lunchs, but also to talk about professional novelties, comment on news...).

Now, in the last couple of years a new person has been part of the group and I have lately become fond of her. While I think that I still do not know her well enough to make too much of a fuss about it, I think it is worth to know her better to see if this could lead to something more.

We do have met a couple of times outside the group to do some promenades and talk and everything went well as far as I can tell1. Since she is rather busy lately (she has moved to a new home and is setting it up) and I do have quite free time, usually I offered to meet again whenever she felt like it, as my availability was far higher. Also, during the weekends she usually moves away from the city to her family's home.

What I did do was to propose her activities, without specifying a date (e.g. "Would you like to see film 1 that I did see announced"). Also, when she talked me about her works at her new home I offered whatever help she wanted.

Well, as I realized that my proposals were not being accepted, I stopped sending them to avoid being too "pushy", as I thought I already had made clear my disposition. Either she was not interested in meeting me (and that would be the end of all the issue) or she was busy/tired.

Now, we are set to meet again at the next month's lunch and my question is how to convey the idea that, if I am no longer proposing events, that is not because I am no longer interested in meeting her but because I feared being impolite if she was not interested.

My idea of how this would go is that I should not bring the issue into the conversation2 and only answer if asked.

The issue is that the explanation that I can think of is plainly "Since you did not ask to meet me I thought you were not interested". But I fear it could be interpreted as if I were vindicative about the fact that we stopped meeting and/or that I considered that she had an obligation to call me, both of which are not very smart things to say.

So the question is: how to communicate the above message while minimizing the risk of giving the impression that I mean that she had some obligation to setup a new meeting.

PS: It is in Western Europe, in case the local culture is relevant.


1I am not the smartest person when it comes to communicate with people, though, but still I am fairly sure that I did not do any gaffe.

2Unless there is an answer here that explains how to do it elegantly, but I am almost sure that being the one to bring the issue is a BAD idea.

  • Is there any reason to suspect that she could be worried about you losing interest on her? – user324 Aug 2 at 8:48
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I've been in much a similar situation with a friend - they're busy with their own activities/other engagements, I've given suggestions on future things to do together, and they're received positively, but not set in stone since on their end they're just not available.

In much the same way, I've also been worried about continuing to ask them since I don't want to come off as pestering, and my solution to when these awkward situations come up is just to be as lighthearted as possible! I think it's reasonable to express your worry here, and can simply bring it up in your next meeting with a quick, just-by-the-way,

"Don't mean to badger you with requests, I understand you're busy, just give me a shout when you're more available for what we've planned!"

This comes across with the intention I think you're looking for.

"Since you did not ask to meet me I thought you were not interested"

As you pointed out yourself, this comes across a little too much like you're giving them a hard time for not being free to meet.

Asking it off the cuff, in a more casual way lets the ball fall in their court so to speak, and if they don't follow up on requests then you can assume they're likely not interested. You see each other once a month anyway so that gives them opportunity to mention if they're free in the future easily, and without you needing to ask.

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I'm from Western Europe too and I had some similar experiences. Here's what I can say:

Don't specify too much your availability. It seems you offered too much of your time and insisted that you are available anytime she wants (without condition and restriction) and that's often not very well perceived.

Here is an article from Psychology Today that says, about people too available:

They are always agreeable to dropping their life and rushing over to their date or mate. They make time, dote, acquiesce, and try to be as convenient and easy as possible.

Their hope is that this behavior will lead to gratitude and respect. By making themselves available to a partner and removing inconveniences, they hope to make love easier. Instead, however, they come off as needy, get taken for granted, and become overlooked. All of the available behavior actually makes them seem lower-value as mates.

Another article, from The Independent called Does Being Too Available Hurt a Relationship?.

These articles are about love relationships, but advices can apply in any other form of relations pre-romantic, friendship, business... In my personal experience, by being too available to someone and offer time and services without being requested, I:

  1. Lowered my self esteem.

  2. Made the other person uncomfortable because they didn't know the reason of this unrequested offers, and they wondered if they would have to give something back.

I know it's probably too late know, but you need to understand that now the ball is in her court.

You showed enough interest and made enough proposals to her and she doesn't suspect a lack of interest from you.

Don't assume the fact that she could be worried about a potential lack of interest from you and that you would need to reassure her about that.

I'm pretty sure that if she was interested, she would find a way to clear a couple of hours on her schedule to meet you. Most people are busy everyday but when they are romantically interested in a person, they find a way.

  • Hi @Sqaq! I feel that your post is contributing to the discussion, but challenges the intention of the questioner, thus is less of an answer. – ankii Aug 2 at 19:54
  • @ankiiiiiii "you can't" or "don't do it" can be an answer to "how to?". – user324 Aug 2 at 20:06

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