How Bad Should I feel about this? *WARNING: LONG TEXT*

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Post by Gman on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:24 pm

So I just came back from my dance festival in Milan, Italy and holy hell was it awesome. All the greatest dancers and performers in the field gathered in one place to give a concentrated 3 day workshop schedule with parties mixed in between at night. Thank god I remembered to bring along my WiFi enabled USB thumb drive so I could backup videos I took of the workshop instructors with my IPhone (so I could practice what they showed back at home).

Even though I never really was in the mindset of having casual sex, I was EXTREMLEY close to becoming intimate with a very special women I met there. I met her at one of the workshops during the first day (for the sake of this story, we'll call her "Kara") and that time we just casually talked and took 2 workshops together. Nothing special happened, until the third day.

By this point, we were pretty friendly with each other and I had started to crush on her. I thought she might be interested back but I wasn't sure. When we went to one of the workshops that day – we saw that it was simply too advanced for both of us – that's when I just asked her pretty blatantly: "Hey, I have an idea. Wanna go up back to my room (*I had my own room too, no roommates or anything*) and practice what we learned so far until the next workshop?" – To which, to my total and utter surprise, Kara said yes.
Now, I think we can all agree that it is reasonable of me to expect by this answer that she was at least partially interested in me…

Anyway, we get to my room – I quickly play some tunes off my phone and we dance closer than ever, the tension was to so powerful and exciting (to me, at least) and we chat and make jokes too. That's when I try to make a move on her but she rejects me and tells me she has a boyfriend (who wasn't there with her at the event). Luckily, I manage to keep my cool and just shrug it off.

Later that evening, that's when things really got confusing for me. She is still very friendly with me. We start to dance almost exclusively with each other during the final party night – with each dance becoming more and more sensual and intimate as time passes on. When we weren't dancing, we sat by the sidelines and playfully flirted with each other like CRAZY. I'm talking poking each other, me wrapping my hand around her neck, stroking her arm gently with my finger, teasing her about all sorts of stuff and more. By this point I have a simply HUGE crush on her. I have never felt more comfortable and friendly with a women like this ever since I broke up with my ex last year (To make things even more compound, we both drank a bit booze. Not enough to seriously cloud judgment, but enough to make each other feel even more comfortable around each other).

That's when I tried to make ANOTHER move on her, after being rejected earlier that day. Sometime when we were sitting down on the sidelines, I simply decided to gently move her face towards mine and kissed her straight out. It took her about a second (and after giving me one gentle kiss back) to back off again and go "I'm sorry, but I can't". Though even with a second rejection – we still remained extremely friendly. Kept dancing until they closed the dance floor at 4am.

(Funny unrelated bit of info – the last song the DJ put for the festival – this was literally the last song played before the floor closed for good - was a completely unrelated super-cheesy 90's song from boyz 2 men called "End Of The Road". Never thought I'd find myself feeling so romantic to such a cheesy song. WOW. Just WOW. A lot of people also pulled out lighters and moved from side to side. It was a rather surreal situation).

Anyway, Problem for me right now is that I feel like kind of an asshole. She rejected me earlier that day and I STILL tried again, like some of those dumb douchebags I always like to lament about and how I am NOT like one of them.

And yet it seems to me that she liked my company regardless of my attempts – I remember telling her, after my failed second attempt, that "I'm just too much fun and she just can't get enough of me" while giving this knowing smile. This made her kind of red but she still gave this beaming smile from ear to ear.
We exchanged Facebook details before leaving and have already managed to text each other a few times too (and even those texts are kind of flirty too).
So what do you guys think – am I a major douchebag or just a regular douchebag?...... Or am I reading this all wrong?
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Post by reboot on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:36 pm

You are only as much of a douchebag as she judges you to be and, given that she continued to stay around you after try 2 and is keeping in touch after, I would say it is safe to bet she does not think you are a douchebag.

Maybe you should not have tried a second time, but you backed off gracefully and she did not seem phased, so no harm, no foul in this case.
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Post by Werel on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:40 pm

I'd say "regular douchebag." Razz This sounds like the kind of thing where you look back and go "DOH! Probably shouldn't have done that," but you don't excoriate yourself or start feeling morally contemptible. It sounds like she was into you, enjoying the flirtation a lot, and doing her very best not to cross the cheating line while still having a fun weekend in Milan. Does everybody in the situation get halo points? Nah! But are either of you Bad Bad Bad for engaging in some cozy flirting, and are you Bad Bad Bad for making a second drunken pass at somebody who was sending you a lot of "WISH I COULD" signals, as it sounds like she was doing? Nah!

Sounds like a really fun time overall, though--so glad it went well and you learned a lot! Smile
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Post by PhoenixMI on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:43 pm

Take it easy on yourself! You made a mistake in the heat of the moment. It doesn't reflect upon your whole being. You were having a good time and, reportedly, so was she. Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend and, in my book, that makes her off limits. It sounds as if she was attracted to you and had it not been for her already established relationship she might have been into it. But, as you've said, she did tell you no and you already know you should have respected that. Kissing her without her express consent is troublesome. If you take any lesson away from this experience it shouldn't be that you're a douche, it's that you should never touch someone intimately without their consent and "no means no".

I just want to add that the world of dance is EXTREMELY intimate and, more often than not, it's a false intimacy. I'm a ballroom dancer and I can dance with someone all night in an a very intimate looking fashion to the point that it would be impossible to believe that nothing was going on between us but it's still the truth. Dancing lends itself to this type of behavior. If you want to be a very good dancer, you have to project the emotions even when they aren't real and it's so easy to be confused by other people acting this way toward you as well. I don't necessarily believe that this is what was going on in your situation but keep it in mind for the future.

I don't think you're a douche. You screwed up, sure, but just learn from this experience and do a better job next time.
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Post by eselle28 on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:48 pm

I can't see it being very helpful to label yourself a douchebag at all, let alone try to figure out the degree. Aside from making guilt spirals worse, labels like that can sometimes make it hard to think about the specifics of behavior and avoid making mistakes again. I don't advocate approaching women again after they've rejected you or pursuing people who've implied they're in monogamous relationships, but I think it mitigates things quite a bit that the woman in question does not seem to be upset with you. Perhaps you might want to think about this as a case where you entered a sexually charged environment, spent a great deal of time around someone who interested you and who you believed was interested in return, had too much to drink, and then behaved in a way that didn't meet your moral standards and that could have, but did not, hurt someone else.

In that context, I'd suggest you instead focus on the future. I think most of us feel more comfortable when we meet our own standards for behavior, and I'd certainly recommend avoiding behaviors that could hurt or creep out someone even if you had a lucky miss the first time. You might want to spend some time thinking about whether there were points during the festival where you might have wanted to deescalate the situation, or at least I've found that when I've been tempted to do things that I felt unhappy about later, there were a couple of points along the way where there was an option to step back and take the intensity down a bit.

You may also want to think a bit about the extent to which you're interested in having a flirty friendship with this woman, since some of the correspondence since may be heading down those lines. It's possible flirting is well within the boundaries of her relationship and that she'd be fine interacting with you that way, but you may want to consider how you'd feel if flirting continued but she never ended her relationship or decided to kiss you. If that still sounds like a great connection, then I'd say congratulations on having made a new friend at the festival. If it sounds like less fun, you may want to manage interactions so that you can relate to her in a way you do feel good about.
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Post by Caffeinated on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:59 pm

Not a douchebag. From your story, I'd say she was crushing on you just like you were crushing on her, but the difference is she was also doing the "I don't want to cheat but I'm crushing so hard oh man how far can I go before it's too much" thing.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:28 pm

Call it a learning experience. In hindsight, your actions were ill-advised, but you read the situation well enough that nobody got hurt.

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Post by Conreezy on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:00 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:Call it a learning experience. In hindsight, your actions were ill-advised, but you read the situation well enough that nobody got hurt.

Yep.  I've been in these shoes, too.  It was a douchey thing to do, but that doesn't brand you a douchebag forever.  (In my case, it's taken years of concentrated effort.) Live and learn.

(Funny unrelated bit of info – the last song the DJ put for the festival – this was literally the last song played before the floor closed for good - was a completely unrelated super-cheesy 90's song from boyz 2 men called "End Of The Road". Never thought I'd find myself feeling so romantic to such a cheesy song. WOW. Just WOW. A lot of people also pulled out lighters and moved from side to side. It was a rather surreal situation).

That is funny because it's about taking back a cheating partner. Razz  (Don't you dare badmouth that song, though--it was my jam in 2nd grade!  While other kids were on the playground imagining they were superheroes, I had a group of friends who imagined we were Boyz II Men.)

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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:45 pm

eselle28 wrote:
You may also want to think a bit about the extent to which you're interested in having a flirty friendship with this woman, since some of the correspondence since may be heading down those lines. It's possible flirting is well within the boundaries of her relationship and that she'd be fine interacting with you that way, but you may want to consider how you'd feel if flirting continued but she never ended her relationship or decided to kiss you. If that still sounds like a great connection, then I'd say congratulations on having made a new friend at the festival. If it sounds like less fun, you may want to manage interactions so that you can relate to her in a way you do feel good about.

I'll be honest I would hate having that sort of flirty friendship, if she wants to be flirty she may, I just will be pretty mellow to her "flirting" I guess. I would tone down the physical aspect (by a lot) & teasing and probably only stick to witty remarks/dry humor to get to stop being flirty with me. That flirty friendship may be fun for some, but I don't think it's for me. If I know that I'll get nothing out of being "flirty" (other than affirmation I guess, maybe?) it'll only frustrate and tear me up on the inside further than I already am now. So, no, I wouldn't want that kind of friendship, I would prefer she cut down on the flirty/physical affection if she weren't that into me. My heart and soul more than likely would die a little bit every time we'd hangout.

BUT, that's enough about meee. Razz

If Gman wants to have that sort of friendship, that's awesome, go for it if you can handle it, man. I don't think you're a douche, though probably wasn't a good idea to go for a kiss a second time. That right there was a mistake, but it doesn't necessarily make you an awful person either (well, depending on who you talk to). I don't think it was a douche move, but rather a mistake. Hell I wouldn't have bothered going for a kiss the first time either; but I think that's what separates you from me, you have greater balls than I. Razz It takes a lot of guts to gun for a kiss that you're not sure will either go well or go terribly.

Uuuh, I think you handled it well. You handled the rejection well, all around I'd say an 8/10, I'm docking points because of that second kiss. Otherwise, you'd gotten 10/10 if you didn't go for it a second time. Razz

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Post by Gman on Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:38 am

Wow, I didn't expect so many responses, thanks alot :-).
Anyway I had some time to think things over and you guys obviously summed it up. I messed up with that second attempt (that shouldn't have happened) but I got seriously lucky because she didn't show any signs of backing off or lowering the intensity of the flirting.

Now that I think about it and I try to see the positive to all of this - I realize that the fact that she was still very friendly with me, even after 2 attempts, probably means that she likes me too on some level - otherwise she would have disengaged a long time ago and toned down the flirting and communication, not continue to dance and flirt. I see it as another proof to the fact that I CAN be attractive and desired, even if nothing happens in the end.

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