I have a bit of a problem that I can’t shake out of my head. I really like this girl I met online. I don’t have a lot of experience with online dating and 95% of it is being ghosted or no replies at all. So I was really surprised when she actually responded and talked to me. We haven’t met yet or spoken in a phone call. Just texting each other. The thing is, I really like her and I want to get to know her a bit more. It’s hard to text because she’s so busy, so I try to send a “Hi!” or “How’d your day go?” here and there so I don’t bother her. But I feel like she’s not interested in me. I feel really dumb and stupid but at the same time I tell myself, “Just keep trying. She’s just really busy, so don’t take it personally and don’t be sad.” But I can’t shake the feeling she doesn’t seem interested. Should I just let this go or keep trying?
Sincerely, A Troubled Lesbian
Dating is super subjective, but when your gut is trying to tell you something I usually err on the side of listening. Your gut is grumbling that this girl is not into you that way…. so you can either keep texting her (which sounds like it’s making you feel bad about yourself) or move on in search of other women who want to get to know you.
Before you walk away, though, I would take the chance of actually asking her to hang out. You can text her, so it’s not much more of an escalation than “How’d your day go?” (OK OK it is, especially if you’ve never dated anyone). This way you will find out for sure if your gut is right—and you might get the pleasant surprise of meeting in person. Especially if you have low self-esteem around dating and tend to talk yourself out of things (in which case your gut is giving its usual line and you’re falling into the trap of believing it).
One of my top rules for online dating is that you need to get it offline ASAP. This doesn’t mean that as soon as you both swipe right, you hop in bed together unless you’re both into that sort of thing, in which case have fun! It means none of this texting back and forth for days/weeks/hours because who has time for that?
Texting forever only gives you the chance to build stories in your head about the relationship—elaborate fantasies that reflect nothing about the actual situation. You’re building a romance with a stranger instead of finding out if you two click in person.
You’re in dating purgatory, Troubled, and if you had taken the chance to say, “Wanna meet for coffee this weekend?” and met her in person, you would have actual, analyzable data on whether you like her, she likes you, there is chemistry, or it’s a friend connection only.
She might not be all that interested in chatting with you about her day (that’s what roommates and dogs and friends are for), but she may be very interested in attending that poetry slam with you, in kissing you, in going home with you.
Or, you know, not.
The best thing about meeting quick with online dating is that you do it before either of you has invested much time and energy into the interaction. If it’s a match, that’s great and you can see where it goes, but if it’s not, you maybe traded five messages and spent an hour at a coffee shop you already like.
Going forward, do not let a woman draw you into a lengthy back and forth text relationship.
With this woman, I can’t save you the hurt. But I can tell you that you’re already hurt, and the only way to know for sure if she is interested is to be brave and ask her out. Dating is a lot of failure until you find the person that works for the current version of yourself, so take the Samuel Beckett quote to heart: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Do you need Lindsey’s advice? Write to the editor at [email protected] with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line.