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Long story ahead, you've been warned. Could really use sound advice here.

Some background first, I'm terrible at reading social cues, to the point when I was younger medicos told my parents I might be borderline Aspergers.

I met a woman four weeks ago at a First Friday event. We got to talking and I took her out on the town later that night as an impromptu date. Really hit it off. Second date, she came a few minutes late, worked out (she had invited me to join her), then left with little said but we organized a 3rd date the following week.

We texted and called back and forth all week, sometimes several times a day. Lots of laughter and smiles every time we're around one another and over text. It's been years since I went on a date and haven't had any relationships or SO's ever, so naturally trying hard. I don't feel nervous around her, which is rare for me with the opposite sex. Not sure what we are yet.

Anyway flash forward to Sunday, 3rd date, I'm there early waiting for her. Event starts, she's still not there, okay I think, maybe running late. Eventually event is half over and I'm feeling rock bottom low. Duck out early, send a quick text to ask where she is, find out she's been in the hospital since morning. Naturally I'm concerned, so I send a handful of texts asking if there's anything I can do or bring to help her make the day less crappy. I hear nothing for 36 hours, then that her surgery went okay and she's at home recovering. Try to reschedule, this time for a movie night (low stress), we plan and I get everything ready. Food, popcorn, movies, candy, the works. Texting back and forth, being vulnerable with each other, I learn more. Long term health issues, a bad divorce in the past (he was an abusive twit), struggling to get work with the health stuff. Without prompting, I try to help- work is slow for me at the moment but steady, so I try to help her search and be supportive.

3rd date, try #2, no show. Get worried, turns out she's back in the hospital, more pain than was expected so they do tests, and within a day she's in the ICU.

Now I've only known her 4 weeks and been on 2 dates. We planned for me to visit this week at the hospital before the ICU happened. I'm not sure what we are yet. Haven't gotten intimate or even kissed yet (something I'd hoped for the third date- some cuddling/spooning and touch, she's big on hugs). I feel sympathy for her, but not sure if that's just the feeling you get when anyone is unwell or love. I don't have any close friends, beyond coworkers (and ex-coworkers) I don't get out much but I'm working on it. I feel light when I'm around her, normally I lean closer to sadness and apathy. I think I love her, told her so.

Should I visit her? Should I wait for her to recover and leave ICU to her family alone? We've both been clear about how we feel for each other so far, and she's insecure right now (rightfully so), but I don't want to impose and everything seems to be moving fast. I fear one or both of us might get hurt as we learn more about one another and don't want to hurt her. We're still in the early days and don't know much about one another.

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    Not to sound insensitive, but have you confirmed that she has been in the ICU or hospital or are these things she told you? Because, just taken from what you've told me, it sounds like she might be dodging you. – Joe-You-Know Oct 22 at 17:42
  • @Joe-You-Know Not on the ICU part, but the first time she went to the hospital she sent me a photo from her bed there. I did ask if she still wants me to visit tonight but haven't received a reply yet. I said it would be okay if the answer is no. Her family was visiting her yesterday evening (why she said to try Tuesday instead), so I assume they are still there. She already met my brother- the impromptu date I had plans with him before we met there so he tagged along the first part then gave us space. – EngineerInLove Oct 22 at 17:51
  • @EngineerInLove, okay, that makes things a little clearer. – Joe-You-Know Oct 22 at 17:52
  • Sorry part of that last should have been directed at Kate. I'm just freaking out a bit and not sure what to do. I want to be supportive, but worry about getting too close too fast. Before this I've been on maybe 3 dates in 10+ years. – EngineerInLove Oct 22 at 17:53
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    Well, this isn't really an interpersonal skill. You don't ask how to check with her if visiting is ok, or what to say and do if her family act like you're intruding, or how to explain to her or them why you want to visit. It's more "what to do" which is off topic here. Personally, I would show up. Showing up is almost always right, all the more so if you can go away gracefully if it's not right. – Kate Gregory Oct 22 at 17:57
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Given that the lady you are interested in apparently has been seriously ill, surgery, struggling with work due to health issues etc, you probably need to back off. I know because I went through a similar situation... met a woman, we dated a few times, she was dealing with some serious family issues, so we broke it off for a while. I maintained "light contact" meaning an email every couple of weeks to see how she was doing.

Yeah, this was very difficult. But we got back together after a few months and a few years down the road we are very happily married. Sometimes the time is just not good. Doesn't mean it won't eventually work out, but pushing things can just add stress to an already stressful situation.

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    I like this idea. You hit it right on the head, the timing just isn't good and I don't want to add stress. I mean well but am somewhat clueless when it comes to this stuff. She offered me an out after missed date #2, said she'd lost friends, etc over the health troubles and it was alright if I wanted to drop off but she's still interested (her words, not mine, but paraphrased). My initial response was that if you care about someone you try to be there for them. I really don't want to add stress. You're right, I need to back off. Will let her know that I care but want to give her some space. – EngineerInLove Oct 22 at 18:33
  • Though sometimes the exact opposite is what it needs. In my opinion, that is not on you to decide. She must decide and tell you what she wants. Tell her what you think, but don't let it be a final decision just yet – XtremeBaumer Oct 23 at 7:05
  • @XtremeBaumer That's what my answer says. Keep in light contact, give her room, let her decide. – DaveG Oct 23 at 12:12

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