Dear Blunt BFF,
There is this girl at work and we flirt a lot. Even during the lockdown, she sends me flirty emails and private text messages. This has been happening for a month off a year, and I’ve grown to like her more than I can admit.
I worked up the courage to ask her out. A casual date, picnic in the park, and I made sure to say it was a ‘date’ and not some friend catch up. She accepted the date, we met up, and it was fun. As the date ended, I leaned in to kiss her. She pulled away from me.
She said, so nonchalantly, “I’m in a relationship.” She hugged me and then walked away.
We haven’t spoken since and I don’t know what to think, do or act around her the next time we’re in the same room.
What do I do?
Tom, dating disaster victim
Dating disaster is far from an exaggeration, I’m afraid to tell you. Your experience is the quintessential nightmare that turns off hopeful singles from ever finding the one. Or anyone, let alone that magic person. Getting rejected before there is anything to get rejected from. It’s a rough one.
I would love to say that her ‘I’m in a relationship’ line is just that, a line. But there are subtext possibilities, which may help you move on. If you don’t already despise the dating game.
It’s unlikely she said this the same way someone says it to you in a bar. When you sit next to someone on their own and introduce yourself. And they respond by stating they’re in a relationship. Which means, ‘sod off, I’m not interested.’
Your situation, between you and her, is different from the stranger in the bar scenario. Why? Because you and she have a history.
With relationship-history comes subtext. Her relationship status, or feelings towards you, aren’t cut and dry in her eyes.
It Has To Look Like She Is Doing The Right Thing
If she doesn’t tell you she’s in a relationship, she thinks it’s unfair to her other half. She knows her partner would want her to shut down advances from people like you. They would want her to declare that she is with someone else.
If she said it out loud, then she can clear her conscience about flirting with you.
Alas, this response only makes her feel better, and not you. Or her partner.
When you’re a cheater, like I was once, you’re always hunting for ways to ease your conscience. Something to say that makes ‘everyone’ feel better about what you’re doing.
I used this once when I wanted to see if the guy would still hook up with me despite my other half. I was hunting for the opportunity to cheat, which I realise is now wrong. But I would use this as a test of the guy’s persistence. If he could withstand that declaration, I could feel better about my affair.
She Doesn’t Like You
Flirty people are often calling upon this clarification to undo their misleading behaviour. At some point, they realised they’ve given off the wrong signal, and they’re backtracking. Despite all the opportunities to clarify the status of their relationship, they don’t.
Whether or not she is single isn’t up for debate. It’s regardless if this is her line to reject men.
I’ve fallen victim to this line. The guy used it to tell me he wasn’t interested. I wish he had said what he meant. Instead, I felt humiliated, looking like I had misread the signals. Like I didn’t know how to flirt.
The Date Was Bad, As Were You
It would be nice, no, decent, if she could grow up and tell you she’s changed her mind and does not like you. Or that the date was a disaster, and it’s a firm ‘no’ to moving forward with you.
Instead, she lies to you, and that makes her feel better about rejecting you. Yet, it wouldn’t be the first time, or last, that a person lied to get out of a bad date.
You can’t excuse the fact she might be lying. I’m sure you’ve used lied to a girl, even a white lie, to make the pain more bearable.
I’m not suggesting you snoop around for the truth. The truth won’t appease you, as much as you believe it will. The truth may create more anger and confusion, which you don’t need right now. Ignorant bliss is always bliss.
Subtext Or No, It’s Time To Run
Though she may not be convinced of her relationship, you should be.
Whatever her relationship status, she isn’t with you. And from her fob off, it’s likely she doesn’t want to be, either.
If she’s ‘cheating’, it’s because of the desire of the unknown. In my experience, she wants you, but she’s with someone else. She likes the idea of the two of you together, possibly because of her own hang-ups in her relationship.
Flirting sustains her. But flirting doesn’t get you anywhere.
If it did, and she cheated to be with you, the relationship would face far more complications than this debate.
Forget she exists.
This girl ‘in a relationship’ is your worst nightmare. She won’t be your forever girl, no matter how hard you try. Turn off your flirt when you’re around her. Friend-zone her. She’s already friend-zoned you, so make it official in your mind too.
If she is single, and the date was a nightmare by her standards, why would you want her, anyway? My recommendation doesn’t change; to the friend-zone, she goes.
You got this!
Your Blunt BFF
If you’re going through, more than likely I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt!
I’m Ellen McRae, your Blunt BFF, offering relationship lessons from my own chaotic experiences with love and friendship.
I’m a writer by trade and passionate storyteller by nature. My want is for a better opportunity for writers, especially fictional, in an increasingly technology dominant world. I write about figuring about love and relationships through fictional-reality.
The anecdotes might not always be true, but the lessons learned sure are!