General Dating Questions/Second chance?

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Question
Hello.

I am a graduate student who is 23 years old. A couple of years back (in college), I had briefly pursued a girl who I was very much attracted to and liked. We had met in a class and she was very aggressive towards me (she started talking to me, gave me her number, was very attentive and responsive). We had great chemistry and she seemed to be very interested. Unfortunately, it didn't go anywhere because I didn't know what I was doing. I took too long to make a move and there appeared some other guy in the picture (she mentioned some guy only in passing). She still seemed interested but  I started having second thoughts about whether she liked me or this other guy. If she was serious or if it was my fault for being so indecisive. Anyway, it fizzled out and I stopped talking to her.

Its been two years since that incident. I'm a very different person today than I was back then. I'm much more confident and focused (comparatively at least). I realize all the mistakes I made. I shouldn't have wasted time trying to "figure her out".  She had given me all the hints  and I should've asked her out. Period.
That other guy should have been none of my concern.

A very serendipitous thing happened the other day. Just as I was thinking of contacting her again, I ran into her at my school (she is taking classes there as well). This is our first meeting after 2 years. I didn't notice her but she recognized me right away. We were both kind of dumbfounded. I could tell she was happy and perplexed at the same time. Anyway, we talked for a bit (she did most of the talking) and then I had to go. I feel I have gotten a second chance with her.  But I have no idea where to begin.

I don't know if she still holds all my mistakes against me or if she has any feelings for me still. Also, I'm worried if she's in a relationship. My problem isn't so much whether she's dating someone but if I should bring up such a question at all? Should I delve into the past and try to clear the air about what happened between us...why I acted the way I did?  Or should I just focus on the present.

I also wanted to ask what your opinion would be if she says she  has a boyfriend (which is why I'm a bit apprehensive about asking her).  What can I say or do in that case? Would it be better to back off or still ask her out and give her the option of choosing?

I would appreciate any advice you might have in approaching this situation. THank you very much.

Answer
Hello Mike!

So; while you're more confident and focused now than you were two years ago, not much has really changed for you. You're still indecisive, unable to make a move, worried about things you can't control, etc.

I'm not sure where to begin with you here. First off, you need to get this fact into your head right here, right now: you absolutely, positively MUST keep your "game" in your back pocket at all times, everywhere and in every situation. You just don't know when you're going to need it and incredible opportunities like this just slip through your fingers because of being indecisive and not knowing what to do.

By the way, I'm not singling you out here Mike. I constantly see guys do this! I was in a store just yesterday when I overheard a guy talking to a girl he obviously was attracted to. She finally had to go and he just let her walk away with nothing to show for it. I walked up to him and asked him why he didn't ask the girl for her number. His answer? "Well, I don't know if she has a boyfriend". "Great!" I replied. "Now you'll never know!"

He had what he thought was a "good excuse" too. In reality it was just an excuse and nothing more.

Mike, life is a funny, fickle thing. It throws these weird opportunities at you randomly and if you don't take advantage of them, it seems to have a way of realizing you'll waste them anyway and just stops. Trust me on this: you're never going to have a better chance to learn all these things than you have right now while you're in school. The rest of the world doesn't work that way and all these great opportunities are going to become few and far-between once you leave academia and enter the real world. You may as well know that now and get it fixed as you'll be dealing with it the rest of your life.

Ok, on to your questions:

1) Does she still hold your mistakes against you? Who gives a shit? YOU still hold them against yourself! You're beating yourself up over something that happened two flippin' years ago! You're still punishing yourself by worrying about what someone else thinks - so much so as to even ask me to read her mind!

I don't know if she holds anything against you. What's far more important is this: who in the hell cares?? (Oh, right - you do!) Stop that Mike. You didn't do something "right" before but that doesn't mean you have to continue to pay for it - especially by not doing the right things now. Stop punishing yourself over these mistakes. They weren't your fault other than not having the education you needed. Now, here, two years later, you still don't have that education and THAT is your fault. GET EDUCATED ALREADY!!

2) Does she still have feelings for you? I don't know. I don't care and neither should you! She did have feelings for you at one time, but even that isn't really important. Mike, you can CREATE attraction if you only have interest first, and trust me, you and - and have - interest from her. Otherwise, she wouldn't have approached you again.

3) Is she in a relationship? Who cares??? Mike, is it your job to decide for every woman you meet who is the best person for her to be in a relationship with? Whether she's already in a relationship or not means absolutely NOTHING. You want to give it some importance to protect your little ego. Stop that. It's not your job to decide for someone else that their current boyfriend is the "right one". How in the hell would you ever know??

YOUR JOB is to give her the choice! She obviously decided that before and you "corrected her" by not letting it happen. Stop doing that to yourself.

4) Do you ask her about another relationship? Absolutely not! It's not your business or your problem. Thus, you don't care about it. You decide what YOU want and you make THAT happen instead. Stop living everyone else's lives for them and live your own.

5) Should you "clear the air" about your past? Absolutely not! You made mistakes. Ok. We know. We're going to forgive ourselves for them and STOP reliving them now. You don't have to apologize for not knowing what you should have them. Instead, you need to start living the life you want NOW. Listen Mike: she made mistakes too! She busted her ass to get you to do what she wanted you to do, but let's face it: she could have just said, "Hey, do you want to go out with me sometime?" or "Here's my number. You should call me sometime." She didn't do that, did she? Yes, it's your job, but that's still not an excuse - for either of you.

6) Should you focus on the present. Yes. Yes. Yes. That's all you have to work with. The past is gone and the future isn't here yet.

7) Boyfriends - again? I've already answered this. No, you don't worry about boyfriends. You decide what you want, get your balls back in your pants and make THAT happen instead.

Mike, in all of this, you didn't ask me what you SHOULD be doing. I hope you at least have her digits. If you don't, figure out how to get them from a mutual friend, campus registry or whatever. Find her on Facebook or figure out how to connect with her.

When you do, call her (don't text her - it's just more cowardice and weakness!) or even better, run into her again "accidentally". Then say, "Hey! We should catch up sometime. Let's meet for drinks this weekend. Which day is better for you, Friday or Saturday?"

Stop beating yourself up for mistakes of the past. Stop worrying about what happened then or even in this most recent event. Start going after what you want.

Mike, pull the trigger already.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
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BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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