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Message 1310880 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 1:19:59 UTC

The Cafe seems to be a place for sharing fun or personal things.
I rarely do this, but I'd like to discuss something of a personal nature, that I can't quite figure out, and see if anybody in the Cafe might have some insight that can help me make sense of something.

Around March of 2011, I met a young lady who is rather unique. I mean this in terms of her intelligence, as well as how she presents herself and appearance.
At first, we occasionally engaged each other in small talk.
But over a few months, I began to suspect she might want to talk to me more, and might even have a crush on me.

I brought this to the attention of someone that knows the both of us, and during a small mild-mannered social gathering all three of us were at, he observed her in terms of how she might interact with me She didn't actually interact with me, but he said she had her eyes on me almost the entire time I was there; that I was, essentially, being "tracked".

Later, on two occasions, I noticed a ring on her left hand, and I wondered if she might not be single, or might even be married. It seemed she noticed me glancing at her hand, both times, and both times, she moved her hand away or covered it up. The same guy that knows the both of us (he's married) later asked her in a casual conversation if she was single, and it turns out she was/is single.

Nearly every time she would pass by me, she was smiling. This continued for many months.

Fast-forward to this year:

She asked me a question in April or May, and I realized after she could use a more complete answer than I had provided, considering her intelligence, and I decided to e-mail her to follow up on it. I also wanted to see if she would open up and want to discuss other things.

Indeed, we wound up talking about a great many things, mostly by e-mail and also occasionally in person over the early part of the summer.

She went so far as to indicate she considered me a friend (and some other compliments), and I believe thee were further indications of a crush.

The way she began addressing me in the e-mails could almost be considered giving me a pet name.

When I pretended I was being long-winded in some of my responses, she said "I find your emails delightful and not the least bit long-winded. Too many of my
friends seem to think that a brief paragraph, or worse a sentence or
two, is sufficient when they write an email. I prefer these longer
emails." Later, she said, “So your emails are going to take me awhile to reply to just because of their length. In no way think that statement is a complaint - on the contrary, your emails are spoiling me. I now view the ridiculously
short emails I receive from my other correspondents with extreme
dissatisfaction. :)” There was more along similar lines, but I'd rather not cut and paste a lot more, as I have no wish for her privacy to be invaded (and I realize, just in asking people to try to help me figure this out, and including just a few brief lines crosses the line a little bit).

I asked her if she'd like to get together at a coffee shop to catch up on the discussions, and she basically said yes. But, shortly after she stopped e-mailing her and for about 2 months, I did not even see her around.

The person I mentioned above, who's familiar with both of us, also he would no longer run into her at some places around town that he used to see her, like bookstores or a library.

Now that I see her around again, it's not very much. My friend and I both think she's been hiding. Not just from me, but several people she used to talk to or was friends with. She's only said anything to me once since around June or July, a "Hi" when I rounded a corner, but she sounded different: depressed? surprised? scared? I don't know.

I was so busy and tired, all I did was nod and passed her by. I thought, after the effort I made, if she was trying to re-open communications, it was on her and it would take more effort than that.

But, she hasn't spoken to me since then. That was maybe 6-8 weeks ago. I tried to make up for my passing by with only nodding by forwarding an e-mail inviting people to an event I thought she might be interested in. She didn't attend, nor did she reply in e-mail or in person. Nothing to say "Thanks" or "Thanks, but I have to do other things" or "Thanks, but please stop talking to me and stop e-mailing me." Nothing

On the one hand, I feel like she's cut me off, and I should do the same in return.
On the other hand, I have to wonder what happened to her over the summer. Did something bad happen? Or what else could have been going on in her mind that made her want to cut not only me off, but other people she used to associate with, and to act as if she is hiding from people?

I don't know if I've provided enough information, but, if so, anyone have any insights?

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Message 1310885 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 1:52:27 UTC

It is entirely possible that something happened to her. Not certain what. What you can try is asking her if there is anything she would like to talk to you about. Promise that you will just listen, and then do just that. Let her know that you are a friend and she can count on you for whatever she needs.
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Message 1310890 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 2:07:14 UTC
Last modified: 28 Nov 2012, 2:08:30 UTC

JM, thanks. Looking forward to other insights.

To the poster formerly known as Dull, I try ignore you as much as possible. Why? Because, despite your supposed age of around 70, and that you've supposedly lived in two countries, your point of view is so narrow.
I am 44. She's 24.
I've never been married. One major reason is my own parents' divorce when I was about 10 (after it dragged out about 3 or 4 years). The reasons for it were very different than the typical reasons of the mid-70s, and were somewhat tragic, for lack of a better word. I already knew by age 3 ... (3!) ... about how life can throw you lemons and worse.
Beyond that, it's none of your business.
So, if you cannot step out of your shoes for a moment and then provide useful insights, then kindly hold your tongue in this thread and to anything else I post. I'm sure you learned that a young age from your respected elders in Deutschland, richtig?

Rant over. Thanks again, JM.

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Message 1310898 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 3:05:31 UTC
Last modified: 28 Nov 2012, 3:06:51 UTC

Sarge, as the OP of this thread, you have control over the content. Red x is your friend.
A ring my not indicate marriage, but an engagement(?). Also there is quite a bit of age difference, but should not be an issue, if Love is involved.
Don't be pushy. I think right now, the ball is in her court.
Thank you for sharing some very personal insight here, that took alot of courage.
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Message 1310902 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 3:39:06 UTC - in response to Message 1310898.

Sarge, as the OP of this thread, you have control over the content. Red x is your friend.
A ring my not indicate marriage, but an engagement(?). Also there is quite a bit of age difference, but should not be an issue, if Love is involved.
Don't be pushy. I think right now, the ball is in her court.
Thank you for sharing some very personal insight here, that took alot of courage.

I will disagree slightly. He should make certain she know he cares. Then the ball would clearly be in her court. At the moment, she might not even realize that there is a court...
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Message 1310905 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 3:48:13 UTC - in response to Message 1310902.
Last modified: 28 Nov 2012, 3:48:58 UTC

Sarge, as the OP of this thread, you have control over the content. Red x is your friend.
A ring my not indicate marriage, but an engagement(?). Also there is quite a bit of age difference, but should not be an issue, if Love is involved.
Don't be pushy. I think right now, the ball is in her court.
Thank you for sharing some very personal insight here, that took alot of courage.

I will disagree slightly. He should make certain she know he cares. Then the ball would clearly be in her court. At the moment, she might not even realize that there is a court...

OK, responding to both JM and Uli.
(And, thanks in advance, again.)
Regarding the ring, the friend I mentioned asked her about it, perhaps about a year ago. It's not a wedding or engagement ring. She actually told him she wears it to keep lots of guys away. Which makes the fact that twice she seemed to notice me spotting it and trying to hide it interesting.
Regarding "courts": well, that's the way I look at it, that the ball is in her court. In fact, I did my best, without being pushy, to try to let her know a court existed, and it seemed when we started talking more back in the spring/early summer that she'd picked up on this fact and metaphorically picked up the ball, tossing it back and forth. Then she decided to drop the ball, or something bad happened. Perhaps something like having been attacked? This is just a wild guess.
Oh, and yes, I realize that's a big age difference. It took a while for me to find out her age. In this case, directly from her.

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Message 1310932 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 6:26:25 UTC

I have had similar situations.
First, a ring can be a defense and not an actual marker. Where I work the ratio of men to women is over 100 men to each woman. All of the office women in the office are encouraged to wear a ring just to deter potential harassment.
Second, fear of commitment. A great many men and women fear commitment. What you are describing sounds like she enjoys your company but is afraid of you for several potential reasons. She might be afraid of commitment in general, or she might be afraid of getting evolved with you because of the age gap. I have one friend at work who sounds like your friend. She is 20 years younger than me and we have great conversations. I asked her out once and she withdrew. I was able to reestablish a friendship by asking her and a number of her friends out, send the message that I was not interest in a romantic relationship. We are good friends but it's clear there is a line that will not be crossed.
Search your own desires. Are you looking for a friend or a lover. If a friend, then you can rebuild that, just make sure to send the message you are not looking for a lover. If you want a lover, search elsewhere. for whatever reason she is unavailable to you.
While it is possible that a friendship can grow into a romance it sounds like she will run a soon as she feels you are make a move on her.
just my 2 cents worth.

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Message 1311030 - Posted: 28 Nov 2012, 14:02:28 UTC

I think something did happen. What it was is all just conjecture though.

Maybe she was married but was separated, Or still married and was being ignored,or mistreated and needed someone to talk to. And when you asked her for coffee she maybe got scared of what might happen and wasnt ready to enter into anything with another person. Or she got caught.

Like I said with out any more info, We are just guessing.

I had something similar happen to me back in 1990. As I was a recent widower I asked a girl I new out for a date, I never saw or heard from her again. After a few unanswerd phone calls I just took that as a no and moved on.

I hope you do find out what happend. And wish you luck.
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Message 1311226 - Posted: 29 Nov 2012, 2:00:53 UTC

I appreciate the thoughts so far. I am trying to grade and return stuff before the end of the week, because next week is finals week. But, I'll try to keep reading, respond, provide further observations based on what was said or asked.

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Message 1311603 - Posted: 6 Dec 2012, 2:06:36 UTC

I think that you're over-thinking it. Write her and ask her what's going on. If she replies, great. If not, move on.

And next time you meet someone you are interested in, don't drag it out for months or years. Just ask. The worst that can happen is she says no, in which case you are no worse off than you are now.

Just my 2c worth.
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Message 1311609 - Posted: 6 Dec 2012, 2:54:48 UTC - in response to Message 1311603.

I think that you're over-thinking it. Write her and ask her what's going on. If she replies, great. If not, move on.

And next time you meet someone you are interested in, don't drag it out for months or years. Just ask. The worst that can happen is she says no, in which case you are no worse off than you are now.

Just my 2c worth.


Well spoken-totally agreed.
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Message 1311611 - Posted: 6 Dec 2012, 3:16:27 UTC - in response to Message 1311603.
Last modified: 6 Dec 2012, 3:17:03 UTC

I think that you're over-thinking it. Write her and ask her what's going on. If she replies, great. If not, move on.

And next time you meet someone you are interested in, don't drag it out for months or years. Just ask. The worst that can happen is she says no, in which case you are no worse off than you are now.

Just my 2c worth.

I was going to say pretty much the same thing.

Sarge, reach out to her and if you do work up a repartee with her again, don't wait, just ask her out on a date. Then it's a yes or no and you don't need to stress over it.

If she says yes great, if she says no then either you will be casual conservationists or not.

Either way there you won't have to wonder anymore.

Good luck!
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Message 1312863 - Posted: 9 Dec 2012, 2:47:26 UTC - in response to Message 1310932.

I have had similar situations.
First, a ring can be a defense and not an actual marker. Where I work the ratio of men to women is over 100 men to each woman. All of the office women in the office are encouraged to wear a ring just to deter potential harassment.
Second, fear of commitment. A great many men and women fear commitment. What you are describing sounds like she enjoys your company but is afraid of you for several potential reasons. She might be afraid of commitment in general, or she might be afraid of getting evolved with you because of the age gap. I have one friend at work who sounds like your friend. She is 20 years younger than me and we have great conversations. I asked her out once and she withdrew. I was able to reestablish a friendship by asking her and a number of her friends out, send the message that I was not interest in a romantic relationship. We are good friends but it's clear there is a line that will not be crossed.
Search your own desires. Are you looking for a friend or a lover. If a friend, then you can rebuild that, just make sure to send the message you are not looking for a lover. If you want a lover, search elsewhere. for whatever reason she is unavailable to you.
While it is possible that a friendship can grow into a romance it sounds like she will run a soon as she feels you are make a move on her.
just my 2 cents worth.


Interesting responses.
Seems people my age to 10 years younger respond one way, those above (as best as I can tell), another way.
Well, I gave finals this week and am nearly 60%A done grading, with a little under 48 hours left to finish and submit them. So, one response (perhaps lengthy), and then back to working hard the next two days.
Carlos, think of how many people go straight to a romantic relationship without being friends first, and it fails because of no foundation. Obviously, I'd rather be friends first, and I am pretty sure that was attained previously, but is now a question mark.
To a variety of respondents, regarding things seeming to drag out: one, keep in mind how incredibly busy I am much of the time.
Two, besides the age difference, which I did not initially know (I previously thought she could be in her late 20s or early 30s, given the way she often acts and appears) ... another issue is the fact that she is a student majoring in the area I teach. Now, I must emphasize, she *was* NOT, *is* NOT, nor ever will be a student of mine (I even checked this last part). I also checked with an administrator here. Under these conditions, he said, there is no issue in pursuing something.
Further, I did stick my neck out, first with the e-mails and second inviting her to coffee (something I think most people regard as neutral, but a possible starting point).
One reason I brought this up here was to see if people thought that, from what i described, if it sounded like she was acting if she liked me, on whatever level. And, with discretion, more could be shared. To me, it is the sum of things pointing to her having, at least previously, been/being interested in me.
My brain is already fading here. Trying to keep it together to make some salient points before closing this post out.
I believe I mentioned it is not just me she has cut off association with. The friend I mentioned in the first post, I think, gets little interaction from her, he's observed that she no longer talks to classmates she used to talk to. Most importantly, a friend of hers, who took 3 classes from me last year, has also indicated having far less interaction with he (though she doesn't feel she's been blown off). In fact, the woman I am discussing sat in on one of those 3 classes, last spring, to assist her friend. Again, NOT as my student.
I think that's about it, except that in the last 2 weeks she may be coming out of hiding a bit, but I've been in no position to try to follow up with her in some non-pushy way. The end of the semester is stressful for all. I wasn't about add stress for either her or me.

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Message 1338789 - Posted: 16 Feb 2013, 6:09:43 UTC

So, I ran into a friend of hers today.
She was surprised to hear that the aforementioned young lady no longer speaks to me. (The friend doesn't hear from her anymore, either.)

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Message 1338797 - Posted: 16 Feb 2013, 6:46:02 UTC - in response to Message 1338789.

Life happens, and possibilities open and close.

And very often we do not know the "why".
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Message 1339000 - Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 0:17:21 UTC - in response to Message 1311030.

I think something did happen. What it was is all just conjecture though.

Maybe she was married but was separated, Or still married and was being ignored,or mistreated and needed someone to talk to. And when you asked her for coffee she maybe got scared of what might happen and wasnt ready to enter into anything with another person. Or she got caught.

Like I said with out any more info, We are just guessing.

I had something similar happen to me back in 1990. As I was a recent widower I asked a girl I new out for a date, I never saw or heard from her again. After a few unanswerd phone calls I just took that as a no and moved on.

I hope you do find out what happend. And wish you luck.



I didn't knox you were a widower, James. Sorry to hear:( I always wondered how it feels after 10 years. Hope you've gotten over it:)
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Message 1339054 - Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 2:59:58 UTC

Oddly, a portion of this song was left on my voice mail at work after I'd left Thursday.

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Message 1339074 - Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 5:24:30 UTC - in response to Message 1338829.

Me neither. And I am gone for the night. I am simply sick and tired of trying to joust with the mods and guessing what is acceptable and what is not.

You just all have fun with yourselves. My frickin' inbox has like, 30 messages, all littered with some mod toying with posts.
F it.

I don't wish to share anything with you anymore, because nobody here gives a rat's behind anyway.

Have fun with yourselves.

Count me out.

Mark, if you have an issue, please talk to Fred.
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