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How to Make the Right Move/Girl says Not Ready; what to do

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QUESTION: Hi,

I need help in a situation unfamiliar to me. I'm in college and for a while there was a girl who I was and still am really into (she got admitted about a year ago). Up until a couple of weeks back I was in another relationship, and so didn't make any move on her. However, during our frequent encounters it's apparent that she likes me.

We both play volleyball, and one day about 9 days back, only the two of us stayed back for practice. I talked briefly to her about volleyball-related stuff and then suggested that we should go out.
I was rather abrupt in putting that out; from her expression she was clearly freaked out, she said that she wasn't ready for a relationship yet (her words) and then abruptly left.

Prior to that we had frequently chatted on some phone app and the conversations were long and humorous, though not intimate/gf-bf type in any way. On that night she pinged me saying that she'd been rude and stated that she hadn't expected me to say that, and also that she "just wasn't ready to go out with anyone" right then. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, so I told her not to worry about it, and that I found her reaction amusing.

We didn't communicate much for about 3 more days, and after that we've resumed chatting like before. But now I'm not sure what to do. I think it would be helpful to describe her: she's very shy, but not conservative. Also she's extremely self-conscious, so I suspect that she -may- be worried about her batchmates pulling her leg if she goes out, though that easily may not be the case.

I would really appreciate your help in this regard, as to what I should do. I'm willing to take a risk, but not a foolish venture.
Should I wait, or ask her out again? If the latter, is it okay to ask her out in an off-handed way via chat (if so then what would be a good option to say during the chat)?

Thanks and sorry for the long wall of text,

Regards,
Atul

ANSWER: Hi Atul!

Sorry to hear about your situation.  It can be hard to know whether or not to believe what a person tells you.  After all, you don't want to waste your time or energy to get something that someone isn't actually offering.

So let me go ahead and be the upfront translator here.  This girl is, in all likelihood, telling you she is not interested in you.

I apologize if that comes across as harsh, but I prefer you have no misconceptions.  Allow me to explain what probably happened.

She was definitely interested in you.  But the inexplicable suddenness of your offer surprised her and her unconscious took over and decided that, for "some reason", it would be best to reject your offer.  It may be because of what it says to her about you, it may just be the behavior itself, or it may be other external factors beyond your control, or even a combination of these things.  There are many possible reasons for this, but these possibilities can be reached with a bit of introspection.

To understand why she didn't just come out and say it, you have to understand a fundamental difference between men and women.  You see, women tend to be empathizers.  They are much more concerned with the feelings of others than the literal meanings of words.  What she figured - unconsciously, mind you, not deliberately - was that by making a seemingly valid excuse that she could let you off easy, that you might think "Oh, I see!  In that case I will stop pursuing you" without you getting hurt or her being seeing as a terrible person.  On top of this, she is probably hoping to maintain a friendship, perhaps biding her time to see if there is enough good about you to outweigh that sudden behavior.

You have to understand, when it comes to relationships - as opposed to one night stands - women also require a great deal of trust and comfort.  For whatever reason, she doesn't feel enough has built up yet.

What you do is up to you, but I recommend not being too aggressive at this stage.  If it is too difficult, then you may need to detach yourself from this woman, at least for now.  But if friendship is fine, go for it: allow the attraction, trust and comfort to build and try again when the time is right.

Hope that helped, and good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for the great answer! It occurred to me that I should continue talking to her; we frequently communicate via phone messages, and the conversations are fun and entertaining, maybe even flirtatious unless I'm deluding myself.

One thing that I need to clarify at this stage: should I cut back on the amount of conversation that we have, making her wonder what's the deal? Or should I continue with the current trend?

Also, how will I be able to tell when is the right time? I know it may depend on the situation, but are there any general indications that I should look out for?

Thanks again for the help!

ANSWER: Hi Atul!

Thanks for reading with an open mind, and thanks for the excellent follow up question.

This question touches upon an aspect of the whole "game" - or romantic interaction between men and women, if you will - that a lot of men have.

The simple answer to your question is: it doesn't really matter.  It depends.

The more complex answer is that getting hung up on "what" you should do is the wrong angle to look at this problem from.  This is not an analytical pursuit dependent on certain static components.  Women are not immovable puzzle pieces that are meant to fit in a certain pattern and retain that pattern constantly.  They are dynamic and constantly changing, moreso than us men.  By asking "what" to do, you are seeking a steady and reliable set pattern of behavior that you may be expecting to work in all situations.  There isn't one.  For every "strategy" that some guy offers for how to get women, there will be at least one desirable woman out there for which it won't work.

But isn't having a strategy better than not having one?  Maybe, but not necessarily so.  It might permit you a certain degree of success, especially if you are totally clueless.  But eventually you are going to behave in a static and predictable way, and this will not be authentic, so you will remain stuck at a certain point.  So what's the answer?  Instead of asking "what" to do, think about what you want to do or try and ask yourself "why."

So rather than:
"Should I cut back on the conversation?"

Ask instead:
"Do I want to cut back on the conversation?"
"Yes."
"Why?"

Or:
"Do I want to cut back on the conversation?"
"No."
"Why not?"

If your answer is result-oriented - girls say they like it, it will get me laid, she'll think I'm nice - then don't do it.  It is inauthentic and dehumanizing; women are not objects to be acquired, they are people to be interacted with to the benefit of both parties.  The only reason to ever do anything is because either it is authentically you.  You should be doing what you want, what will make you feel good REGARDLESS OF OUTCOME.

As for knowing when the time is right, you will know.  I realize that's kind of a non-answer, so I'll elaborate a bit: any time you get the feeling that it may be the right time, IT IS.  In hindsight, every single time I thought it was the right time to say something or make a move, it was.  The key is to not pay attention to your own internal indicators - I want to kiss her - but rather pay attention to hers - she looks like she wants me to kiss her.

In any case, I hope that helps, and thanks for the excellent questions.  Keep inquiring and keep practicing!  Nobody gets it perfectly every time, but we can improve each time.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Brian,

I've been following your philosophy of not using a specific formula and roughly doing what I want, and it has worked out pretty well. If you remember I'd asked you about my situation where the girl I'd asked out had said that she wasn't ready; I just kept in touch with her and after a month, I again suggested that we should go out to eat (for lunch, as it would be more casual), to which she agreed.

I would again appreciate your advice as to what should/could be done on the first date. Any do's and don'ts that you suggest? How should I go about initiating physical contact, for instance holding her hand? Anything that I should say/do prior to initiating physical contact so that it isn't awkward/uncomfortable for her (I've never actually held her hand, etc. before)?  
And should I tell her explicitly that I like her, she's good-looking and it's fun to hang out with her? (I'm actually wary of doing so because it may come across as too forward)

(I know I can ask this question in the 'What to do on a first date' category, but your answers were so good that I wanted to ask this as a follow-up)

Regards,
Atul

Answer
Hi Atul!

I'm glad that mindset has been helping you.  I can't really claim it as "mine"; other people have thought of it before me and I would say there are scientific reasons for why they work, but in any case, I'm happy to hear the good news.  It goes beyond just getting girls, and lends itself to leading a fulfilling and happy life.

Intriguingly enough though, it seems that although it has worked, it hasn't quite sunk in yet.  I'm afraid the answers to your questions is the same one I provided before: Again, you are asking about WHAT you should do, as opposed to why or how.  What should you say?  Whatever you want.  What should you tell her?  Whatever you want.

What's important is how and why.  How you should go about holding her hand is a better question, but essentially it's entirely dependent on YOU.  Do you want to?  Why?  If it's a mutually beneficial reason, do it.  If not, don't.  That's it.

I will add one caveat: a lot of men take this type of advice as though it were advocating caveman-like behavior; do whatever you want, regardless of whether or not the woman is receptive.  That is not what I am advocating.  This is why it's important to understand your own intentions - asking yourself why - but it's also important to learn to pay empathetic attention to the woman.  It is important to look for cues that she is also interested in what you're about to do or say or, at least, look to make sure there are no cues she really doesn't want you to do anything.  This is the part that will require practice, which is to say will require you to mess up sometimes before you get it.  There is tons of information out there on body language, but eye contact, smiles and any other similar attempt to get your attention or appear attractive to you are generally signs that she is receptive to whatever you want to do.

Also, remember that women tend to be more tentative than men when it comes to these things so, if all else fails, GO SLOWLY.  But this I don't mean wait til later or hesitate, but when you do something, do it smoothly rather than aggressively.

Hope that helps and remember, it's all practice leading up to the next #and hopefully better# thing!

How to Make the Right Move

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Brian

Expertise

I can teach you that there is no "right" move. It's more in HOW you do it, not WHAT you do. If you're interested in pick up lines or tricks, forget it. But if you want to know what the difference is between the men who get rejected and the men who don't, I can answer your questions. I can teach you about body language, attitude and how to respond to any kind of rejection you might face (or are afraid you might face). Approaching is one of the most difficult aspects of communication, so having difficulty in this area is perfectly normal. Let me help you out.

Experience

My life as a single guy, learning how to approach and get dates from women. I was never into one night stands or seduction; I spent a lot of timing just learning how to approach, communicate and set up dates. Read a variety of books on the subject (Double Your Dating, Attraction Isn't a Choice, The Game, etc.) and had a bit of experience myself before settling down. Currently conducting "approach" research to learn more.

Education/Credentials
none in particular in regards to this.

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