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Context

A couple of months ago, I (24 M) moved into a new country and a new job. I didn't know anyone over here but I met quite a lot of good people at work. One of those people is a girl (23) who's working in the same room as me (it's a big room, but we're working on subspaces next to each other).

She was actually the one that approached me at the start and we were more or less in the same situation. We had both just moved in (from neighbouring countries), were staying at the same hotel, both going through training, etc... We spent some time together commuting to work, having lunch and the occasional movie. But after shift work started, things have been more distant.

Key points

  1. We are neighbours at the moment, work in the same place, and have enough common interests (to me, it feels like a waste not to try and interact more)
  2. We come up with ideas for activities, but then it is hard realise them
  3. Possibly related to the previous point, we are both in our final stages of training (which involves shift work). Shift work makes it really hard to plan time with people from your team. Luckily, she's on another team but our shifts have been completely out of sync.
  4. Shift work also makes me feel that I have to try even harder to make friends, as it is a lot more work to find suitable times. I'm usually the one that goes along with plans, not the one that makes them. But lately, I've been put in the latter more often than not, which also leaves me somewhat uncomfortable
  5. I am more introverted and prefer to have two or three close friends than to have a lot of more distant "friends". She seems to be more sociable and have a much wider range of friends.
  6. This bit might be too intrapersonal for IPS, but I am a really loyal person that can go on with just having a few really good friends. This seems somewhat against the times (and social media) so sometimes I don't know if I'm just bothering people by trying to become closer to them. She is a really kind person, sometimes enough to make me wonder if she is just being kind/polite towards me (but that might just be my insecurities talking ^^')
  7. We already interact every now and then through friends in the same circle. I'd like to become better friends and to have more interactions with her specifically (on top of the group hangouts we already have).

Question

How can I convey to her that I'd like to become a closer friend without being misinterpreted or damaging our work relation? I'd like to be able to do more stuff with her, like talking more often, playing games, watching movies, etc... All in all, spending more meaningful time together.

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    I'm a bit confused by your 'question' section. Are you looking for a way to convey to her that you'd like to talk more often, play games and watch movies with her? Or are you looking for things similar to talking to her, playing games and watching movies as ways to convey to her that you'd like to be closer friends? (So basically: Are you looking for a more direct approach or a more indirect approach here?)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Dec 15, 2021 at 9:55
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    @Tinkeringbell I can see where you're coming from. I actually had to think a bit about what you asked. I'd say that, as things stand, it I am looking for a more direct approach. I've already been trying the indirect one (e.g., I know she loves chocolate, so for her birthday I made her a chocolate dessert that we'd talk about before, but that she'd never tried before). I think there are plenty of activities that we've discussed and could try, so it's more about realising them. My hope is that by spending more time together, we can grow closer.
    – Jak
    Dec 15, 2021 at 12:22
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    Since you specifically mention “of the opposite sex”, is there a romantic interest from your side or is part of the issue exactly that you do not want her to think there might be?
    – AsheraH
    Dec 15, 2021 at 18:04
  • @AsheraH Umm, if I'm to be completely honest, there might be a tinge of romance. Problem is I don't know for sure... So far, all my friends have been male, so this is all fairly new to me. At this stage, I'd really like to do friends activities more often. If later on that transitions into something else, maybe I'll post another question x) But for now, I'd hate to miss the chance for a good friendship by jumping the gun on something I'm not too sure. TLDR: I'm open to it, but that is not the goal (ultimately, I'd like to be a close friend before moving into something deeper anyway).
    – Jak
    Dec 15, 2021 at 22:54

1 Answer 1

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I recommend trying the following:

  1. Start a daily conversation that lasts longer every day (she will become comfortable based on time - she will like the trying part)
  2. Ask her if she needs any help with any problem she's facing, even if it's talking about solutions (she will be able to count on you to help her, you can also listen if she needs to vent out)
  3. Ask her if she would like to do [Activity] on [Day Off] (for fun and together time - if you can't think of any, ask her for any ideas)
  4. Open up to her about smallish secrets (build trust and friendship strengthens, she will likely open up a bit too, so just listen and respond with questions and appropriate emotions)
  5. Ultimately, don't doubt about anything, if you don't apply action you won't get anywhere - "If you aim for nothing, you will hit nothing"

I am also an introvert.

PS: You two are opposites, so in my opinion yall will do well together (romantically or not)

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    Hi daryl, welcome to IPS. As it stands, your answer doesn't completely fit IPS requirements. Answers should be more than just thoughts or opinions or comments. Even if you have good points here, it lacks backup, and should explain why it would work (based on data or personal experience). Please consider reading How to Answer and our citation expectations. It'll probably help you improve your post and attract UV too.
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 15, 2021 at 14:32
  • Thank you @OldPadawan for the edits, I really appreciate the guidance. Dec 15, 2021 at 14:34

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