[Adv] Meeting Girl I Like For Lunch

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Post by Guest on Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:08 am

So, I'll keep this short because I'm in desperate need of sleep. But, I need to talk about this and get some kind of advice.

Long story short, a girl I actually sort of like (closest I've had to an honest crush) wants to meet to catch up after an entire year in Europe over 2014. We're meeting on Monday at a place I suggested.

Some things to consider:
- I almost immediately had a 'thing' for her
- She worked at my local bar (which I frequent so often I'm a part of the furniture)
- I initially thought her spending her breaks with me / coming straight over to say hi when I arrived was just being nice
- One night (through circumstances I will explain if asked about) I had a huge gab session which my Dad witnessed. He bluntly told me that she was interested (he has no real reason to lie, but the fact I'm oblivious gives me doubts)
- While she was in Europe, she insisted we keep contact over Facebook, which we did.
- Now that she's back, she almost immediately asked if we could catch up

My head is a real mess right now already with my mum's health issues (Er, see the Rants thread). But this is just weird.

I don't get invited out by people for even platonic reasons much. I still sort of have feelings for her - while she was in Aus at the end of 2013 and when my Dad said she's clearly into me, I was absolutely gobsmacked so I repressed the feelings like crazy and tried to go platonic. I also think she asked me out to see Frozen upon it's release but I didn't get it at the time... Anyway, in my honest opinion, if I was in her shoes I wouldn't be asking myself out to catch up after a trip given how little we actually know each other.

We're not strangers, but I met her at her work place. We shared some lunch breaks together and after shift chill out sessions. I do find her awesome, smart and funny and all that cool stuff but I just can't see her being interested in me.

It's leaving me confused about this lunch on Monday, not because she could be into me but because I've muddled my own head up. When I think she could be, I assume I'm a daydreaming idiot, who could love me? But when I think it's purely platonic and she considers me her friend (which would be A-Okay awesomeness in my book), I get this annoying feeling that it could be more.

I want the latter to go away. I don't want to delude myself into thinking she's into me in that way when she's not. But that's not going to just happen.

So I seek your advice, nerdloungers. I'm flustered, there's mixed 'evidence' and my own jerkbrain isn't helping. What can I do to at least calm down about meeting her on Monday? If you have anything above that, I'd love to hear it. But I need to survive Monday regardless.

I can explain more on anything if people want, but right now, I just need some basic stuff.

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Post by Mel on Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:58 am

I don't know if this will work for you, but for me the best antidote to anxiety is having a plan and being prepared. Which is difficult in unstructured social situations, but still doable to some extent.

I'd start by asking yourself what you want, regardless of how likely or not your jerkbrain says that is to happen. If she is into you as more than a friend, would you want to pursue a relationship with her? You say you "sort of" still have feelings for her--it's okay if you decide those feelings aren't strong enough for you to want to risk rejection. It's also okay if you feel you're not in a head space where you're ready to pursue a relationship with anyone because of your concerns about your mom. And of course it's okay if the answer is, yes!

If you don't think you'd want to pursue anything right now, that makes things pretty simple. You're going to go hang out with a friend, and assume that's what she's looking for too. You're going to assume any "signs" are neutral rather than looking for hidden indications of greater interest. If she wants to make a move and make it clear she's looking for more, then you can reevaluate your position if you want. But that's up to her, not you. It's not anyone's job to read another person's mind and respond to what they want without their asking. Your plan of action based on the knowledge you have is to keep things platonic and not make a move yourself, which you already know how to do since that's how you've been with her before.

If you think you would want to pursue something, I think you're totally safe in trying. From what you've said about her, even if she's only interested in being friends, it seems unlikely she'd be offended or some such if you keep it low key. So you come up with a plan for asking her out. I think given that you're having difficulty parsing signals and second-guessing yourself, you're probably best off asking directly. My advice would be to think of an activity you'd both enjoy, that you could do in the reasonably near future, and that is fairly casual. Decide that after X amount of time (based on how long you think the get together is likely to be and how long you think it'd take you to get settled into just the friendly conversation--a half hour? an hour?), as long as you're still feeling into her, when you get an opening to bring up a new topic, you'll ask her out on a date to do that thing. Figure out how you want to word it--maybe something like, "It's great seeing you again, and I'd really like to see more of you now that you're back in town. Would you be up for going to Movie/Event/?? on Y or Z day with me, as a date?" (Others may have better suggested scripts for you.)

If she says yes, yay!, it's all good. If she says she isn't into you that way, have a response ready to help since you may feel embarrassed/upset/etc. (which is totally natural)--"No worries, I just had to check" or something similar, and then change the subject to some other topic.

The most important thing is not to let it be more than that. You're not trying to figure out if you're going to spend your life with this girl or even become boyfriend and girlfriend or any of that. You're just going to check and see if she has an interest in going on one date with you and seeing how that goes. It's not about deluding yourself or being an idiot or reading things wrong. Asking isn't a statement that you're sure she's into you, it's letting her know that you have a little interest and giving her a chance to express her feelings. As much as you can, set aside all the background noise about signs that she may like you that way or not, things other people have said about the matter, how plausible you think it is for her to like you. None of that matters. She's shown she wants to spend time with you on at least one level. You're interested in it being more. You don't need any other criteria for it to be okay and reasonable to ask her out. That's actually you being respectful of her by giving her a chance to say for herself what she wants, rather than you assuming for her what she could or couldn't want.

Hope that helps at least a little, and good luck!
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Post by reboot on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:08 am

Mel's advice is great. My only addition is to have 2-3 topics to change the subject to in mind ahead of time because trying to come up with something when you are anxious and disappointed can be hard. You want more than one in case you guys already cover a couple earlier in the conversation.

Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting to ask her out but deferring because you are in a bad spot right now. If she is going to stay local, you can always ask her out later and just spend Monday reconnecting.
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Post by LadyIkaros on Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:39 pm

The answers you've already got are good.
This girl clearly likes you one way or another, so try to remember that if you're getting anxious: Wether you express a romantic interest or not, this isn't a person who'll think that you're a stupid creep (or whatever your jerk brain tries to tell you).
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Post by StrangePanda on Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:54 pm

I don't know if I'm qualified to give you an advice Laughing
But if this was happening to me I would most likely do this: first, decide if you can be able to do the dating thing if you're preoccupied with other issues, if you're feeling overwhelmed with what's happening in your life right now. If the girl tells you during the lunch that she likes you and you're not in the place to do dating, I think the best thing is to respond to her by telling you're currently dealing with some personal stuff in your life and you think it's not fair to her if you engage in dating her right now because your head is occupied with oher things. I personally wouldn't be offended if a guy I like tells me this. (You're not obligated to talk about what's going on if you don't want to)

If you do decide you want to possibly date her, go for lunch and see if the chemistry is still here. Maybe she changed, maybe you changed. A year can change a lot.
If you still like her, at the end of lunch you can maybe ask her to do some low-key thing with you. I don't know about you but if a person rejects me I would like to have a possibility to retreate as quickly as I can without being awkward. Like you can still chat with her a little bit but you know that you two already ate and chated for a while so it would be okay to retreate.

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Post by Caffeinated on Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:14 pm

MapWater wrote:So, I'll keep this short because I'm in desperate need of sleep. But, I need to talk about this and get some kind of advice.

Long story short, a girl I actually sort of like (closest I've had to an honest crush) wants to meet to catch up after an entire year in Europe over 2014. We're meeting on Monday at a place I suggested.

Some things to consider:
- I almost immediately had a 'thing' for her
- She worked at my local bar (which I frequent so often I'm a part of the furniture)
- I initially thought her spending her breaks with me / coming straight over to say hi when I arrived was just being nice
- One night (through circumstances I will explain if asked about) I had a huge gab session which my Dad witnessed. He bluntly told me that she was interested (he has no real reason to lie, but the fact I'm oblivious gives me doubts)
- While she was in Europe, she insisted we keep contact over Facebook, which we did.
- Now that she's back, she almost immediately asked if we could catch up

From what you described here, it sounds like either she thinks you're a really neat person and wants to be close friends, or she thinks you're a really neat person and wants to be romantic with you. My inclination is to agree with your Dad.

If you feel like you'd like to try dating her but you just don't know if that's really what she's thinking, you could bring it up. Like, you could mention what your Dad said after he saw the two of you together, and ask if Dad was right or if he was just reading into the situation. If she says Dad was just reading into the situation and she's only interested in friendship, you can laugh and say that's exactly what you told him. But if she says Dad was right, then you can say you're interested in her that way too, and go from there. It's a low key, low pressure way of introducing the topic.
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Post by Mel on Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:43 pm

Caffeinated wrote:If you feel like you'd like to try dating her but you just don't know if that's really what she's thinking, you could bring it up. Like, you could mention what your Dad said after he saw the two of you together, and ask if Dad was right or if he was just reading into the situation. If she says Dad was just reading into the situation and she's only interested in friendship, you can laugh and say that's exactly what you told him. But if she says Dad was right, then you can say you're interested in her that way too, and go from there. It's a low key, low pressure way of introducing the topic.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I'd recommend this approach. It puts the pressure on her to admit her interest before she knows whether MW returns it, which, depending on her own anxieties, could lead to her pretending she isn't even if she is. (Because, after all, it's just as possible that MW might bring it up in order to say, "Because if you are interested that way, I want to make sure I don't lead you on, so you should know I'm not" as "Because I am too!") My feeling is, if you want to move a relationship forward, you should own that and just ask rather than tiptoeing around the subject or trying to maneuver the other person into taking the risk, which is so much more likely to lead to misunderstandings.
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Post by Caffeinated on Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:00 pm

Mel wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:If you feel like you'd like to try dating her but you just don't know if that's really what she's thinking, you could bring it up. Like, you could mention what your Dad said after he saw the two of you together, and ask if Dad was right or if he was just reading into the situation. If she says Dad was just reading into the situation and she's only interested in friendship, you can laugh and say that's exactly what you told him. But if she says Dad was right, then you can say you're interested in her that way too, and go from there. It's a low key, low pressure way of introducing the topic.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I'd recommend this approach. It puts the pressure on her to admit her interest before she knows whether MW returns it, which, depending on her own anxieties, could lead to her pretending she isn't even if she is. (Because, after all, it's just as possible that MW might bring it up in order to say, "Because if you are interested that way, I want to make sure I don't lead you on, so you should know I'm not" as "Because I am too!") My feeling is, if you want to move a relationship forward, you should own that and just ask rather than tiptoeing around the subject or trying to maneuver the other person into taking the risk, which is so much more likely to lead to misunderstandings.

I see where you're coming from, and in most cases I would agree. In this case, though, I feel like she's already been so obvious about her interest that clarifying it and having it really out there could be a relief more than a burden. It would at least say that MW had noticed some of what was going on, or noticed her in some way.
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Post by Mel on Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:15 pm

Caffeinated wrote:I see where you're coming from, and in most cases I would agree. In this case, though, I feel like she's already been so obvious about her interest that clarifying it and having it really out there could be a relief more than a burden. It would at least say that MW had noticed some of what was going on, or noticed her in some way.

I think that would make more sense if her behavior was recent. She's been away for a year, and the only obvious signs of interest since then are just talking on Facebook and inviting him to get together to catch up. All the rest of it happened more than a year ago, including the conversation with MW's dad. It might sound a little odd even to just bring up, "Hey, this is what my dad said that time you were over more than a year ago [that for some reason I still am thinking about]." If it was more like, "My dad said this thing after he saw us hanging out together last week," I might feel more on board with it. But this is of course just my opinion! Smile
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Post by Caffeinated on Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:30 am

Mel wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:I see where you're coming from, and in most cases I would agree. In this case, though, I feel like she's already been so obvious about her interest that clarifying it and having it really out there could be a relief more than a burden. It would at least say that MW had noticed some of what was going on, or noticed her in some way.

I think that would make more sense if her behavior was recent. She's been away for a year, and the only obvious signs of interest since then are just talking on Facebook and inviting him to get together to catch up. All the rest of it happened more than a year ago, including the conversation with MW's dad. It might sound a little odd even to just bring up, "Hey, this is what my dad said that time you were over more than a year ago [that for some reason I still am thinking about]." If it was more like, "My dad said this thing after he saw us hanging out together last week," I might feel more on board with it.  But this is of course just my opinion!  Smile

Ah, good point. I wasn't really thinking about the time factor. I mean, even with the time factor, it's probably something I would do (if the overall tone of the day felt similar to how it had before), but maybe that's just me. In dating, I've always tended to approach things with an attitude of why not just put my foot in my mouth and try to make something happen and play cleanup if it goes wrong.
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Post by Mel on Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:18 am

Caffeinated wrote:
Ah, good point. I wasn't really thinking about the time factor. I mean, even with the time factor, it's probably something I would do (if the overall tone of the day felt similar to how it had before), but maybe that's just me. In dating, I've always tended to approach things with an attitude of why not just put my foot in my mouth and try to make something happen and play cleanup if it goes wrong.

I agree it's good to just go for it, I just figure directly asking out is a clearer way to try to make something happen. Smile I am speaking partly from a place of having felt I was all but throwing myself at guys without them seeming to notice, and I know having them essentially say, "Hey, seems like you've been throwing yourself at me," would have made me feel put on the spot and embarrassed, whereas I'd have been overjoyed if they asked me out. It'd have been nice to have my effort acknowledged, but I'm pretty sure I'd have prefered it as an after a few dates, "so I realize I was being kind of oblivious before, sorry about that," thing to laugh about, once I knew things were going in a good direction. But that may be just me!
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Post by Guest on Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:00 am

First, thank you all for the advice. It's given me lots to think about! And, I'm much more comfortable about this now that I've gotten some more opinions.

Mel wrote:I don't know if this will work for you, but for me the best antidote to anxiety is having a plan and being prepared. Which is difficult in unstructured social situations, but still doable to some extent.

I'd start by asking yourself what you want, regardless of how likely or not your jerkbrain says that is to happen. If she is into you as more than a friend, would you want to pursue a relationship with her? You say you "sort of" still have feelings for her--it's okay if you decide those feelings aren't strong enough for you to want to risk rejection. It's also okay if you feel you're not in a head space where you're ready to pursue a relationship with anyone because of your concerns about your mom. And of course it's okay if the answer is, yes!

I suppose the fact I'm unsure of what I actually want is part of why I'm nervous. I flip-flop too much on wanting to pursue more than friendship, which leads me to often default to thinking it's not a good idea if I'm that indecisive about it. But there's also the fact I'm just a plain old indecisive person, so I'll never really be 'this is exactly what I want' about this sort of thing, I think.

Ultimately, if she is, in fact, interested in more than friendship then I would be willing to try it out. Dating a bit would be good for me.

When it comes to my mum, well, she insists that I don't let what's happening to her get in the way of my life too much. I saw her today and she's doing far better than she was the day before, so a lot of my concerns there are diminished. So, I'm trying to get on with things without too much worry.

Mel wrote:If you don't think you'd want to pursue anything right now, that makes things pretty simple. You're going to go hang out with a friend, and assume that's what she's looking for too. You're going to assume any "signs" are neutral rather than looking for hidden indications of greater interest. If she wants to make a move and make it clear she's looking for more, then you can reevaluate your position if you want. But that's up to her, not you. It's not anyone's job to read another person's mind and respond to what they want without their asking. Your plan of action based on the knowledge you have is to keep things platonic and not make a move yourself, which you already know how to do since that's how you've been with her before.

If you think you would want to pursue something, I think you're totally safe in trying. From what you've said about her, even if she's only interested in being friends, it seems unlikely she'd be offended or some such if you keep it low key. So you come up with a plan for asking her out. I think given that you're having difficulty parsing signals and second-guessing yourself, you're probably best off asking directly. My advice would be to think of an activity you'd both enjoy, that you could do in the reasonably near future, and that is fairly casual. Decide that after X amount of time (based on how long you think the get together is likely to be and how long you think it'd take you to get settled into just the friendly conversation--a half hour? an hour?), as long as you're still feeling into her, when you get an opening to bring up a new topic, you'll ask her out on a date to do that thing. Figure out how you want to word it--maybe something like, "It's great seeing you again, and I'd really like to see more of you now that you're back in town. Would you be up for going to Movie/Event/?? on Y or Z day with me, as a date?" (Others may have better suggested scripts for you.)

If she says yes, yay!, it's all good. If she says she isn't into you that way, have a response ready to help since you may feel embarrassed/upset/etc. (which is totally natural)--"No worries, I just had to check" or something similar, and then change the subject to some other topic.

The most important thing is not to let it be more than that. You're not trying to figure out if you're going to spend your life with this girl or even become boyfriend and girlfriend or any of that. You're just going to check and see if she has an interest in going on one date with you and seeing how that goes. It's not about deluding yourself or being an idiot or reading things wrong. Asking isn't a statement that you're sure she's into you, it's letting her know that you have a little interest and giving her a chance to express her feelings. As much as you can, set aside all the background noise about signs that she may like you that way or not, things other people have said about the matter, how plausible you think it is for her to like you. None of that matters. She's shown she wants to spend time with you on at least one level. You're interested in it being more. You don't need any other criteria for it to be okay and reasonable to ask her out. That's actually you being respectful of her by giving her a chance to say for herself what she wants, rather than you assuming for her what she could or couldn't want.

Hope that helps at least a little, and good luck!

I didn't expect anything quite this comprehensive. Laughing

Like I already said, thank you, this is great.

I think if she made her intentions clear she wanted more, then I could be a bit more sure about what I wanted I guess. But I doubt she arranged a lunch with me just to do that. I do have a few things I know we could do together if that does arise, so that's all good. Hopefully I won't blank on during the lunch on them, but I won't think too hard about that possibility.

reboot wrote:Mel's advice is great. My only addition is to have 2-3 topics to change the subject to in mind ahead of time because trying to come up with something when you are anxious and disappointed can be hard. You want more than one in case you guys already cover a couple earlier in the conversation.

Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting to ask her out but deferring because you are in a bad spot right now. If she is going to stay local, you can always ask her out later and just spend Monday reconnecting.
I think topics should be okay. Since it's a catch up and we didn't do full on storytelling to each other over Facebook while she was away, we'll both have our stories to share at least. Outside that, I have some things in mind that could be fun to talk about anyway that I can use if the need arises.

LadyIkaros wrote:The answers you've already got are good.
This girl clearly likes you one way or another, so try to remember that if you're getting anxious: Wether you express a romantic interest or not, this isn't a person who'll think that you're a stupid creep (or whatever your jerk brain tries to tell you).
This I've got over quite quickly with this girl - even when I would sit by my lonesome at the bar and just enjoy a drink, she would approach with no other reason but to say hello and catch up a bit if we hadn't seen each other for a bit. So, I at least know that she doesn't consider me a creeper. Far from it, which is a hilariously satisfying and unintended compliment in my mind. Laughing

StrangePanda wrote:I don't know if I'm qualified to give you an advice Laughing
But if this was happening to me I would most likely do this: first, decide if you can be able to do the dating thing if you're preoccupied with other issues, if you're feeling overwhelmed with what's happening in your life right now. If the girl tells you during the lunch that she likes you and you're not in the place to do dating, I think the best thing is to respond to her by telling you're currently dealing with some personal stuff in your life and you think it's not fair to her if you engage in dating her right now because your head is occupied with oher things. I personally wouldn't be offended if a guy I like tells me this. (You're not obligated to talk about what's going on if you don't want to)

If you do decide you want to possibly date her, go for lunch and see if the chemistry is still here. Maybe she changed, maybe you changed. A year can change a lot.
If you still like her, at the end of lunch you can maybe ask her to do some low-key thing with you. I don't know about you but if a person rejects me I would like to have a possibility to retreate as quickly as I can without being awkward. Like you can still chat with her a little bit but you know that you two already ate and chated for a while so it would be okay to retreate.
I'm down to get anyone's opinion here, no experience necessary. Razz

But you do bring up something I did think about - there may not be quite that chemistry any more. I would wager it is from how we talk on Facebook, but we'll see how that is in person.

Caffeinated wrote:
Mel wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:I see where you're coming from, and in most cases I would agree. In this case, though, I feel like she's already been so obvious about her interest that clarifying it and having it really out there could be a relief more than a burden. It would at least say that MW had noticed some of what was going on, or noticed her in some way.

I think that would make more sense if her behavior was recent. She's been away for a year, and the only obvious signs of interest since then are just talking on Facebook and inviting him to get together to catch up. All the rest of it happened more than a year ago, including the conversation with MW's dad. It might sound a little odd even to just bring up, "Hey, this is what my dad said that time you were over more than a year ago [that for some reason I still am thinking about]." If it was more like, "My dad said this thing after he saw us hanging out together last week," I might feel more on board with it.  But this is of course just my opinion!  Smile

Ah, good point. I wasn't really thinking about the time factor. I mean, even with the time factor, it's probably something I would do (if the overall tone of the day felt similar to how it had before), but maybe that's just me. In dating, I've always tended to approach things with an attitude of why not just put my foot in my mouth and try to make something happen and play cleanup if it goes wrong.
I think I'd find it embarrassing to bring up the topic using what my Dad said in any case, despite the time barrier. It's a little 'my dad thinks I'm cool' to me. But that's a negative spin on it and I know it. As it stands, even with the fact it's a good in to the topic, I'll avoid it thanks to the time gap.

But this does remind me of a funny little thing I remember about that Frozen invitation I mentioned. I was again with my Dad at the bar and she was at the end of her shift and jokingly lamenting having to go see Frozen with her family. She then said "Well, if you want to go see a Disney movie, you know who to go to", but she said it like a joke to do with the fact we're both over twenty and still like Disney movies. So, I thought it was just a joke. She left, then my Dad left and I sat there like a dumbass mulling over whether it was a real invitiation or not. I eventually messaged her on FB about it (after like twenty minutes of um'ing and ah'ing) and she was already on the way to the cinema and it was too late, but, she said we would raincheck it. I always hesitated bringing it up again for some stupid reason, as if she may not remember and it would be awkward. But, it would interesting to bring that up at lunch like "You know, we still need to go see a movie at some point". It works perfectly for a platonic outing at the very least, which would be good to have.

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Post by Caffeinated on Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:27 pm

MapWater wrote:
But this does remind me of a funny little thing I remember about that Frozen invitation I mentioned. I was again with my Dad at the bar and she was at the end of her shift and jokingly lamenting having to go see Frozen with her family. She then said "Well, if you want to go see a Disney movie, you know who to go to", but she said it like a joke to do with the fact we're both over twenty and still like Disney movies. So, I thought it was just a joke. She left, then my Dad left and I sat there like a dumbass mulling over whether it was a real invitiation or not. I eventually messaged her on FB about it (after like twenty minutes of um'ing and ah'ing) and she was already on the way to the cinema and it was too late, but, she said we would raincheck it. I always hesitated bringing it up again for some stupid reason, as if she may not remember and it would be awkward. But, it would interesting to bring that up at lunch like "You know, we still need to go see a movie at some point". It works perfectly for a platonic outing at the very least, which would be good to have.

I like it.
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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:12 am

Okay, catch up done! With a few surprises, but pretty good ones. Ones that assuage my fear of not knowing things.

Anyway, she asked me before the lunch if she could bring a mutual friend along too. That immediately hit the 'Ah, this is totally just a catch up' button in my head, which actually made me calm down a bit. The mutual friend also wanted to thank me for some stuff I did for him which I won't get into here, so it was actually pretty good to see him too.

So, obviously any romantic sparks flying wasn't exactly going to happen from the off. Laughing But that's okay - we had a lot of fun and she wants to do more together since she no longer works at that bar. We'd see each other at least once a week when she did, that won't happen now without making specific plans. It'll be good for me to get out a bit to different places and do different things.

Essentially, platonic it is for now. I'll see if I end feeling like going for anything or whatever. I'm honestly pretty happy to have essentially had the confirmation I need to know I have a new friend at least. That's a good result.

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Post by gaboz on Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:36 am

Wink excellent keep up the good work.

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