What Do You Do When She's Into You, But Says She's 'Not Ready' For A Relationship? - BY Bryce Warnes
Here's the thing: You can't wait for the other person to bring up a difficult subject. The fact that they're silent on a matter — such as a late-night post-coital decision to strike up a monogamous relationship despite barely knowing each other — isn't a sign that everything is A-OK.
If, in the pursuit of True Love, you find yourself floundering over questions such as "Are we actually dating?" it's an indication that you need to step up to the plate and ask some difficult questions.
These questions aren't difficult because they're especially complex, but because young, romantically entangled people tend to exist as thin, alluring shells of confidence wrapped around mushy, insecure innards. You have to crack the shell, and that's tough.
You had the morning after and one week following during which you could have raised the issue. It's possible she really didn't want to get into a relationship, and it took a week before she built up the chutzpah to tell you.
It's also possible that there was potential for a relationship to develop, but the situation was sticky. Like she asked, "Am I your girlfriend now?" and realized in the sober light of morning that she'd just skipped a couple steps forward on the path to getting to know you.
If the two of you had sat down and talked about it, maybe you could have navigated a way forward: Started seeing each other on a more casual basis before attaching a label, or else arranged some one-on-one dates away from the distraction of mutual friends and the let's-see-how-much-alcohol-we-can-consume party mentality.
But you kept quiet. Which is a clear indication to any potential partner who already has their doubts that you're not really healthy relationship material.
Now you're obsessing over it because you realize on some level that you missed the opportunity to rescue the situation, or at least prepare a softer landing for the failure of your one-week relationship. And there's not much you can do about it.
For future reference, here's four steps to talking about a difficult subject:
- Ask. "So, what do you think of the fact that we are now suddenly boyfriend and girlfriend?" or "How do you feel about what happened last night?" Keep the question neutral, and keep your ears open. This is your chance to learn how the other person actually feels. Don't screw it up by interrupting or making a judgey face.
- Acknowledge. When they're all talked out, give some indication that you were paying attention. Explain back, in your own words, what they said to you, allowing them to correct you. "So, you're kind of freaking out because you're not sure you feel this morning the way you did last night."
- Advocate. Explain, as best you can, how you feel. Highlight points you agree on, while also sharing your own position. "Yeah, I feel like we jumped into this. But I also really like you and it would suck if this made things super awkward between us."
- Problem Solve. Put your heads together and figure out a way to go forward that works for both of you.
One step at a time, Flash.