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Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I can’t stop thinking about this girl from work. First off, she’s 19, I’m 25, I’ve never heard her mention a boyfriend either. I’m very shy in nature (always have been), and have never had a girlfriend! The girl is also fairly shy, and fairly quiet. She’s worked in the shop i work for about 6 months now, at first we really only said hello and smiled at each other. More recently however I’ve been working alongside her more and we’ve started chatting more about various things and we also have a laugh about some of the more interesting customers that come in! I tend to be the one that goes over to work with her, I guess I just want to spend more time with her, but then she will sometimes come over and help aswell when I am working on something else.

It must be pretty obvious to her that I like her, however I don’t know whether she is just being polite by talking to me or whether she also likes me.

I don’t know whether I should ask her out, and if so, how should I go about it!

It’s also worth mentioning that we’re both looking for new jobs in different areas. I mentioned to her last week about an interview I would be having and she asked me the following week how this went (one of the few things she’s actually asked me, I tend to be the one that asks her stuff!). However today she mentioned to me that she was having an interview for a job on Monday, but said I was the only one that she’d told as didn’t want to seem stupid if she didn’t get it.

This is part of the reason for me posting on here, as if she gets the job she could leave within a couple of weeks, and if I didn’t ask her out I’d probably keep wondering what if, we both seem very alike so got a good feeling it would work but really want to be able to tell if she’s interested or maybe if the age difference would be an issue.

I really didn’t want things to get awkward if I do ask her out and she doesn’t feel the same way as we’d still have to work together!

All advice is appreciated :)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Hey there! First of all, I kinda find your story/problem interesting and I wanted to share my opinion/s about it.

So your problem is how to tell her you like her and what if you'll get a negative feedback? Hmm, I just wanted to say that being sincerely honest is not a problem at all. By what you have mentioned above about how you get along with each other, it seems like you guys liked each other. Maybe she's just waiting for you to say it or what. Maybe she's just being modest and that is really a good thing! Guys should lead the relationship and I say GO FOR IT! There's nothing wrong about telling the truth.
If she's really nice and polite,she would understand if you'll tell her how you feel. Just be yourself. There's a line that says, "hope for the best and expect the worst" so you won't get hurt (though I know it's impossible not to get hurt). And it is never about the age gap. To love has no age. It is a feeling. My grand parents has a 13-year gap (grandma was even the eldest), and they worked out till death :)

In my case, I'm still waiting for him to say it or maybe I was just hoping for something that would never come in the first place (it's been three years now HAHA!)

So just tell her!! GO!! If she doesn't feel the same way, it's fine dearie! Atleast you are still capable of loving :) Hope I helped!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Agree. Plus, you COULD make it sound more casual/easier to digest in the first instance by saying something like, 'Crikey, what a day! I feel like going for a drink afterwards and unwinding - care to join me?', in order to get the chance to see how the land lies in terms of feelings higher than friendship being reciprocal or not and then, if they are, acting on that by telling her what a fun time you've had, has she?, and, if so, would she like to do it again some time?...what about next Friday night?...and so on and so forth (baby steps).

It's clear she definitely likes you on a friendship level, but to me there are hints of more, yes: First there's the uncanny timing in her 'me too!'-ness re finding another job, which equates to 'if you're leaving then so may as well I' (because otherwise, what were the chances!); then there's the fact she made a point of checking up on how the interview went, instead of having 'waited to receive' (which obviously she *would* have done at some inevitable point, given that you confided in her in 'the first half' of the saga) that's basically her copying your own tack.

She's only 19, you see. So you probably know what you're doing a lot more than she would *and* would be less nervous and hesitant (despite it might not feel that way to you), hence, taking your lead/copying you (it's called mirroring).

If the merely on-paper age-gap were an issue then your feet wouldn't be up to the very thing they're in the process of being up to. Clearly she's more mature than 19 yet NOT so mature as to equate to being off-putting-ly more experienced and confident than you.

Go get her, tiger! Let us know how it goes! :-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated!

So she ended up getting this job and will be leaving within a couple of weeks (although still going to be carrying on a night shift just incase it doesn't work out, but i don't work nights so won't see her around). I made sure I wished her luck for the interview and asked her how it went, hopefully this showed her I think about her (hope it was the right move!).

I think though soulmate she's been looking for a job for a while, but maybe you're right, I'd definitely like to think so atleast!

Now I figure I don't really have much to lost so may aswell bite the bullet and ask her out when the times right, however reckon with soulmates suggestion I'd probably end up getting friendzoned, plus she doesn't really drink alcohol (but neither do I so no real issue). I was thinking of asking her to the movies or bowling, I would prefer something a little less formal and 'scary' on a first date atleast. But when it comes to asking her is it best to ask her casually do you fancy going to the movies/bowling or should I say to her 'I really like you and it would be good if we could spend some time together, would it be ok if I took you to x or y and get to know each other better?' atleast saying it like this there would be no doubt it's a date scenario, but I worry it may seem a bit much, or could i just say to her before i ask her, this could be a bit awkward, but, or is that a bit no-no?

I don't really want to ask her to go on a particular day as she probably won't have much idea of her new work schedule, so I figure I'd just get ask for her number and we could wait a few days until she's settled and then we'd atleast have her new job to speak about also.

Thanks for the advice so far and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes :)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Whether you ask her out subtly and casually or not will depend on how the conversation pans out once it happens. Things rarely tend to go according to the prepared script in your head. Plus if you try to adhere to your script you'll be more 'in your head' than in the moment and could miss important signs and cues. Also, I wouldn't prefix with 'this could be awkward but', no - it comes across as negative and non-confident.

Put it this way: at this point in time she's not your girlfriend, so really, you've got nothing to lose by trying, have you? 'He who dares, wins'. At the very least it'll be good practise.

Yes, please do let us know. :-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Today this guy at work was speaking to me and he mentioned this girl to me and could tell I liked her. He said he'd overheard her saying she doesn't have a boyfriend and thought I should ask her out, he said what have I got to lose, which has exactly been my thinking recently.

I reckon as I know she hasn't got a boyfriend, it would be a good idea to ask her something along the lines of 'out of interest, have you got a boyfriend' if the answer is a no straight away, I can then ask her if she'd like to come bowling together, if she gives me the feeling that she's not interested from that, then I could just leave it there, hopefully then atleast if she says she'd like to go out together she'll know it's as a date.

I next work with her on Wednesday, so guess I'll ask her when/if the times right!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Good plan, Batman! Look forward to hearing how it went. ...'Well', I imagine, because it sounds as if you now have a Little Mr Matchmaker in the mix. ;-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Didn't go well at all :(. Asked her if she had a boyfriend she said no, but it was a sort of sympathetic one if you know what I mean as if she could tell what was coming next. Anyway, I asked her anyway if she'd like to go out together sometime, which she also said no to :(. But said that we could go out as friends if I wanted. The whole thing was very awkward and I completely forgot to ask for her number/give her mine when she said about going out as friends thing, as I pretty much walked off when she said no to going out (not from being annoyed just embarrassed really).

Should I go back to her sometime when she's working where I work (as I won't be working the same shifts anymore) and say if she'd like to go to the movies as friends sometime and have a catch up about her new job that would be good and hope that things progress from there, or just completely forget it? As the guy at work pointed out she could just be waiting until she has her education/job sorted out before she starts dating someone.

I'm glad atleast I've asked and won't be kept wondering now though, guess I misread the signs :(

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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"But said that we could go out as friends if I wanted. "

Could be the job, yes, that sounds perfectly logical as well as sensible on her part. Or it could additionally be that she's either been hurt and isn't yet ready to get back into a relationship or is wanting the chance to really get to know you first without any complications and clouding because the last relationship was a huge pain in the backside. Because I'll tell you this for nothing, if a guy doesn't have boyfriend or GENUINE long-lasting friend potential, a woman doesn't bother counter-offering friendship, especially when she doesn't even have to (for the fact that she's 'already halfway through the exit door' at the time). So it may not be the instant, full-on result you were hoping for but neither does it count as a failure.

Yes, pop back during her shift on whatever pretext you can think of....the usual blokie tack, like, I left my jacket here and need it for tomorrow... and then at the last minute do the 'Ooh, before I forget - we need to swap numbers!'. Not movies, though, I wouldn't have thought - bit too intimate... she might think you want the opportunity to sneak your arm around her shoulder. Something daytime-ey to start with, like ten-pin bowling, ice-skating, theme park,...that sort of thing. And if you could suggest you both bringing a friend (which those activities I've mentioned easily warrant), that'll take a lot of pressure and awkwardness out of it too... just for the first 'date'. Thereafter, you're just going to have to accept that this particular nut will take a lot more slow and steady cracking than the norm via consistent wooing (acting like an impressive gentleman and treating her like a lady/celebrity) but yet *not* meanwhile closing your mind to other potential candidates out there as you go until such time as you can spot whether or not she's starting to come round to your way of thinking.

In other words, she might well be making you approach and work on her via the Friends door, as in, first show me you're a diamond and THEN we'll talk turkey!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Thanks for the advice,

got a bit of an update: She was working today (she asked if she was needed in at work as theres a few people off atm), I thought it would be awkward, but wasn't at all, chatted alot etc, guess we were just ignoring what happened last week!

Anyway, at the end of the shift she was speaking to me, and then all of a sudden apologised to me about her attitude last week and we should go out together some time as friends. I said it wasn't a problem (didn't actually notice any 'attitude' tbh, maybe she thought from my reaction she was rude, but really it was because I was so nervous haha) and that would be good, (probably a bit awkward again as really wasn't expecting her to mention it), but it was literally as I was leaving and people were nearby so didn't want to make a big deal about it and start talking about it. The long and short is I forgot to give her my number, but I guess that's the easy bit now anyway.

I was just a bit taken aback by it at the end, I was very glad she'd said something, but at the same time slightly confused as to why. As she's kind of apologised to me, do you think I should do similar but under the pretense that 'sorry I made it a bit awkward for us, but if I hadn't of asked you out I'd of regretted it,' or save this to mention to her at a later date? Then say I'm happy to go out as friends and exchange numbers etc. I'm pretty worried about being friendzoned though lol.

I'm hoping she wants to go out together as friends because of the age gap and to see how things pan out because of that possibly?

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Sorry for the delay.

The need to apologise was just her excuse of a topic re-opener. Obviously her first answer had been a knee-jerk one, which she later regretted.

It's starting to work, look. :-)

Being Friendzoned being anything negative rather than perfectly positive albeit in a gradually-incrementing way, romantically speaking, is a myth that those lacking patience and staying power come out with to excuse themselves for why they didn't have the patience to wait around for longer than 5 minutes (no doubt because their burger, fries and milkshake were suddenly ready ;-)). That's a psych fact which you can hopefully gain confirmation over via Google if it's up-to-date on that score. It just means they want to give you a really thorough, more than normal, test-drive before handing over their deposit, let alone the balance.... usually because in the past they kept doing the opposite 'and NOW look!' (- ended up with a lemon that made them smart and empty heart-wallet). So it's an over-reaction. But not one that tends to prevail ...if you test well and thereby prove you like them, NOT JUST fancy them. (If you just fancy, you can afford to be irresponsible and inconsiderate; not so if you like them enough for a long or life time *plus* fancy them).

The ultimate outcome is either [a] valuable true friend (not least for having a part-time agony aunt) for life or [b] girlfriend.

Yep, she's been betrayed by one or more boyfriends *and* (the latest) shockingly late in the day (that plus the age-gap, possibly). I expect you'll find that out as you go. (Plus, you can't have s*x if you're (cough) just friends still, can you.)

Yes, 'remembering' you haven't yet swapped numbers is an easy 'PS'. As for apologising back, well, that would certainly impress her for how extra gentlemanly (gentle manly) and responsible/protective it is. But since she's a baby-stepper, I'd match her pace, meaning, tell her once you're on the outing.

This was actually a successful expedition if you ask me, just not as instant as 'normal'. Although, with all the 'normal' (adult, long-term) relationships increasingly going down the pan these days (MacMet, 3 MacWeeks later moved in, 2 MacMonths later had baby...never married or married late...), it doesn't take much brains to work out which really is the normal and which the abnormal, does it, despite this strategy of hers lays on the outer edge of Sensible to where it nears over-cautiousness. But like I say, that 'paranoia' is easily and surprisingly speedily dealt with by letting her have both hands on the steering wheel (yours in your lap) up until the point where she potentially agrees to become your girlfriend.

Obviously you don't want to constantly pander to her wishes (hands in your lap) whereby you end up coming across as ineffectual. But luckily there are myriad other ways of being the driver, e.g. being the one to come up with 'date' ideas and venues, being the one who (nicely) INSISTS he pays...that sort of thing. In other words, she can drive but you can exert your manly "authoritah" on what music plays in the CD. For example: picking her up (*non* sexually) one day and twirling her round (say, on her birthday or for a laugh). She presumably couldn't manage that with you. So that's a very pleasing, positive way of saying, I'm still the man ("urrr!") and don't you forget it. In other words, everything you do to let her drive/steer for the first few legs of the journey gets re-coloured as you *being* manly....manly considerate, ensuring she always feel safe whilst ignoring (being stronger than) your ego.

That's the way to play it.

And well done! You're not even a SIXTEENTH as chicken as you thought you were. :-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Hi, as always advice is appreciated, no need to apologise!

Anyway, I haven't asked for the girls number yet, feel really anxious every time I intend to do it (always been an anxious person which I'm trying to resolve, even though i know the anxiety isn't really warranted, and find it extremely annoying when it happens). When we were talking last week I missed a massive cue to arrange something, which i feel a prat for now! We were talking about movies recently and she mentioned Bad Neighbours 2, which we had spoken about before, but has been released now, that her and her brother wanted to see (I know him, but more of an aquaintence so shouldn't be a problem), but while we were talking something interrupted the conversation and I never got a chance to talk about it again to her. I don't think she has seen it yet, she hasn't mentioned so anyway, so do you think it would be worth asking if she has seen it yet, and say I want to go and see it etc, and try and arrange something that way, try and get her to almost ask me if i want to go see it with her? (I know you said a movie wasn't a good idea, but it's a comedy which would hopefully make it easier?)

I've just found it hard to find a time that would be appropriate to swap numbers, and when i do i get very anxious and know that whatever I say will come over very awkward. Another thing is if she's already seen it where can I go from there without sounding too awkward, the thing i really don't know is how to say it without coming across as too desperate/awkward. As i see it I've already asked her on a date and she's declined but as you said she may have regretted this and is happy going out together sometime knowing i see her as more than a friend (she doesn't really seem the sort to lead someone on intentionally).

I realise now atleast one of the main things holding me back is my anxiety which i really need to resolve, as when i keep putting off asking her for her number etc it is making it worse and worse :(

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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You're assuming that anxiety is about shyness. Have you ever considered that it might be the way your particular gut instinct communicates a 'No, don't do it!' to you, whether that means 'ever' or simply 'not yet/wait!' (as in, not yet perfect timing, it's on its way)? Have a thinkipoos about every so-called past miss or fluff-up of yours and what came about either directly or round the houses because of it.

Meanwhile...back at the ranch... No, you didn't 'miss a massive cue', you got interrupted. See? It's like you're *determined* to label yourself socially or romantically inept, automatically, any time any such exchange doesn't go your conscious way. You do still have the brain of a canny animal inside you, 'piggybacked' onto your more recent mind upgrades/growth spurts, you know, same as the rest of humanity (to whatever degree per person) as has it's own ideas, agendas and of which could be perfect timing? Are you sure-sure-sure it doesn't know something you don't (more modern you) and has learned the only way to delay you is to give you anxiety symptoms because everything else it sends you, you ignore or miss?

But let's put that to the test, shall we, and (correct judgement re it being a comedy noted) make your invitation piss-easier. TEXT HER. Oh, I know you don't have her number yet, blah-blah, BUT YOU KNOW HER BROTHER AND HER PRIOR COLLEAGUES AND PRESUMABLY THEY DO OR SOMEONE KNOWS THEIRS. (See, Clouseau? - GOTCHA! But *you* need to put that theory to the test so...)

Don't ask her if she's seen it. She might well have but wish to pretend she hasn't or avoid the question entirely so as not to foil your attempt to ask her to go with you or have to lie. Just ask simply, something like, 'Fancy seeing Bad Neighbours 2 with me one night this week? Popcorn and Coke on me (not literally)?' [last line optional].

But don't make communicating by text a habit once you've got that first date under your belt or you'll subconsciously communicate this: "Buuuck-bu-buck-buck-buuuuck!"...feathers flying everywhere. And the trick to appearing non-intimidating is to use lots of playful humour (doesn't have to be funny, just cute and silly).

If she does say she's seen it, just ask, 'What would you like to see instead? I'm not too fussed, I love most films.'

Just bite the bullet and find out. After all, she can't reject you romantically... because you're only asking her to (at this point) be your new FRIEND. And it doesn't matter ANYWAY if she declines this time. Every interaction you have is going chip...chip...chip...chip - same as it did as produced that Sorry on her part recently. So if it turns out that you have a zillion-and-one, seemingly fruitless interactions until she one morning wakes up and finds herself thinking about you in a distinctly non-friend way - all the better once you DO have that first actual date.

Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey (monkeys are jittery, see). You ever heard that saying? You could just as easily swap it for, 'Preparation is key / Preparation is everything'.... with everything.

It's all good, she's not going anywhere inaccessible, no rush, take your time, watch and listen to your 'feet'.... That's how to have a happy life. (Can't say the same for arrogant people who believe their conscious selves are the boss of all sides of them despite their conscious selves have been around only a tiny fraction of the time.)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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thanks for the reply!

Weirdly enough I woke up this morning read your message, then went back off to sleep (the 2 are in no way related, infact you have a very interesting way of conveying your points!). Next thing I wake up again, and I've got a text from her!!! She'd asked for my number from a friend at work as I was doing a sweepstake and she wanted to do it also. Anyway, we'd been texting about that, then recently I got a message saying she'd been wanting to talk to me to apologise properly and give her reasoning why she said no, as she's been feeling bad about it, and asked if am free tomorrow to go out to the cinema and something to eat so we can have a chat. At the end though she put that we get on well etc and 'so why should I not give it a chance?'

I'm not entirely sure where she stands about it all as initially it seems she just wants to chat about it, but that last bit gets me thinking that maybe (hopefully) she's changed her mind. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear a bit and see how things go though!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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There ya go! :-) Goes to show you: you can *think* the only players involved in your game of chess are you and she, and that making it happen relies solely on you but you forget about FATE'S helping hand or little finger nudge. (Nice one, sweepstake! And you, NA, have obviously been a very good lad lately to have been given this leg-up.)

Oh, the famous apology again. Yes. I mean she did, after all, run over your favourite gran-gran in her 4x4 and then reverse back over the poor dear for good measure, did she not, LOL.

You must be RIGHT CHUFFED.

Wait up! What do you MEAN, not entirely sure? Whaddayawant - 10ft letters carved into the side of your office building? Ya soppy wotsit. She's hit Keen Enough and obviously will continue getting keener from there if you just keep being your total sweetie self. You're obviously very infectious. :-)

Hey - keep keeping me posted! :-)

Hey again - it's tonight, isn't it?!

Cor...better than telly. ;-D

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I was very chuffed indeed! Very nervous also, haha.

Anyway, went out for dinner then bowling afterwards (stopped showing that film, which sucked!). Went fairly well I thought, although there was quite a few times when conversation didn't really flow and kept going back to be about work (but that's one of the things we have in common) so went quiet a bit! I could tell though that something was bothering her (she didn't seem to want to make the decision where we should eat for instance, she left it to me, and before we even had the bill she had her purse ready (she's also alot more independent than I initially thought so didn't want to offend!), so thought it best not to offer to pay for her, as she said we should go half anyway), but wasn't going to make a big deal about it, she just didn't seem her usual self. She also hadn't mentioned why she said no initially which was why I thought she wanted to go out together (couldn't work out still if the outing was as friends or a date, but now you say it it was pretty obvious!). If I'd of known for sure it may have made it a little easier, I don't really know?

When i got home i felt a bit disappointed knowing that it didn't go brilliantly, then she text me. She said she had a good time but only wanted to stay as friends, and the reason she'd said no initially was because she was starting her new job the next day and had that playing on her mind. She also said that, although she knows it shouldn't matter she thought the age gap was a bit big for an 18 year old. I apologised to her that my timing probably wasn't great but if I hadn't asked her out I know I would've regretted it. Also said to her that I appreciated her being honest with me, but it is a shame though and that I also did think it might be an issue for her, but that she is alot more mature than most other 18year olds, and that I still think she's a really nice girl and I'm happy to be friends but if she changes her mind she should let me know!

She's text me a couple of times today, but not about yesterday, as she hadn't replied to my last message where I put about if she changes her mind to let me know, glad she text back eventually though as thought she was ignoring me, haha. I guess we'll just have to stay as friends unless she changes her mind :(

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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"said to her that I appreciated her being honest with me, but it is a shame though and that I also did think it might be an issue for her, but that she is alot more mature than most other 18year olds, and that I still think she's a really nice girl and I'm happy to be friends but if she changes her mind she should let me know!"

That truly excellent speech will be why she texted you a couple of times today. It'll also be why she didn't respond to the bit about letting her know (doesn't want to commit to a Red light any more than a Green one). She's leaving the door open more than not, so doesn't want to actually close it by repeating her original No.

You're obviously a natural so if I were you I'd cease bothering with worrying and whittling. Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey, remember? With that 'let's be friends' type it's ALWAYS one step forward, half a step back, two forward, one back, two forward, two back, and so on and so forth...

I think it's pretty obvious she's worried about the physical side/expectations that would be involved with having a boyfriend so much older than her, that's all (i.e. nervous virgin) (unsurprisingly these days). She just needs time to get to know you better and learn to trust you.

If you want to woo her under her own radar, to where it'll 'collect' into a critical mass as - "magic!" - switches her into thinking of you in those terms seemingly out of nowhere, i.e. catching herself daydreaming about you, then - open doors for her, light her ciggie (if she smokes), offer to hold her handbag for her (under the right circumstances, obviously, LOL), casual little compliments snuck into the conversation occasionally but about her qualities more than looks (but a few of those too, disguised as friendly, inquisitive enquiries, e.g. 'How come your hair's always so shiny?')...that sort of thing.

Leave it two days (no more than that - too obvious otherwise) and then text her like you do with your pals: casual, comfortable, chatty, silly/playful/banter-y (nothing Blue or sexual whatsoever). This will be you 'rollercoaster-ing' her ("eek!/haahhh/eek!/haaahhh"): just as she'll be starting to worry that you've written her off because of her not 'biting' in the way you seemingly wanted - bam!, there you are, proving her wrong and proving you're perfectly pleased at being new friends. Bit like YOU were starting to feel before she texted, eh!

Later on you can ask if she'd lend you her style expertise by going shopping for new clothes with you because you're a bit clueless on that score, to tell the truth. Another good tip (to pull yourself down a few pegs so that she feels less intimidated and 'inferior') is - first problem or bout of indecisiveness you get, ask her for her advice about what to do.

Don't forget though: she could well, for all we know, be a 'bridge' to another girl entirely (romantically) and herself be destined to be your long-term best friend and confidante. She'll have friends and friends of friends, after all. So try to meantime focus on the positives of having a woman friend (they're nigh-on indispensable in lots of ways, you'll no doubt soon find out). So really, you're in a win/win situation whichever way you look at it.

But it all sounds very positive to me so far, that's for sure. :-)

Tip: Next outing: themepark. Real rollercoasters. Ask me why and I'll tell ya.

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Haha, thanks, was just speaking the truth though :).

If only she knew that I'm probably equally worried as her about that side of things and that I'd never make her rush into anything she didn't feel comfortable with.

Interestingly, after work on Sunday she text me and we ended up texting each other most of the night, so will wait until we haven't text each other one day then text her the following day, hopefully that will have the same effect!

Was actually thinking about the shopping thing, I think she goes quite a bit and I'm pretty useless at it and try and rush around doing it as quick as possible lmao. Will have to be careful though I guess how I see her friends and friends of friends etc as she already thinks the age gap is quite alot (could just be, as you say, to get to know me better first and also pretty nervous (moreso than me!)), so don't want her thinking I'm only interested in girls her age!

Thanks for picking up my spirits though! I was pretty upset about it being over before it even began, but you've put a different outlook on it which makes alot of sense!

Also, left this out of the previous bit, but probably quite interesting. When i was asking her where she wanted to eat she said she didn't mind at all and for me to decide. I chose Pizza and when we were chosing what to eat she chose a salad as she said she didn't really like Pizza that much! You can't win sometimes I guess, haha!

I'm intrigued by the themepark thing though, I don't know if it would ever be plausible though (about an hour and a half to the nearest 'decent' themepark, plus I haven't been to one in around 15 years, and hated them, even back then!).

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Well, once you two get to know each other more, you can *tell* her you have your own, 'man-version' worries and hang-ups, can't you (e.g. you're the one has to do the performing, she *could*, if she had a mind to, just lie back and receive); that'd calm her down significantly. And frankly, it's a rare kind of young adult these days that *doesn't*, from what I've been seeing (a lot).

Anyway, here's the truth about it (in a relationship context): before you and the woman are an item, you tend, each of you, to picture *Stranger-to-Stranger* sex, whereas that wouldn't be the case by the time the time was right.

Reminds me of a fave cartoon strip of mine: little boy's stood on the little girl's head, both naked, and he says, 'Okay, we took our clothes off, I got on top of you...How long 'til it starts feeling good?', and she replies, 'I dunno but I've got a headache already'. :-D

Funny how she texts YOU so much, given that she's only 'giving it a chance', isn't it. Methinks the lady doth protesteth too much. Yeah, got her number. She just wants to feel she's in control until come the time she's happy to hand the reins over to you.

You're not, are you? Male and useless at clothes shopping. I say, you *do* surprise me. [Ducks rotten tomatoes]

I hhhhhhhhhATE shopping. ANY type. Whaddaneffingpalaver. Do mine either over the net or spontaneously if we're out and about already and I spot something in a shop window and have got time to stop.

Listen, you're only 25, only 7 years her senior. Different if you were the 18-er. Or you were 35... THEN you'd get suspicious looks!

Here, does it ever worry you that you worry so much? LOL

Here's the secret to a different outlook: you get whatever you put in. If when you put in your hands are full of negativity of whatever variety, that's what you'll get as your result. Do the opposite and you'll get the opposite - THAT SIMPLE, THAT'S THE ONLY SECRET. You also don't ever HAVE to agree with women thinking you're cute or hot or whatever, your own opinion counts for DIDDLY-SQUAT since you're not presumably intending to date and marry yourself. It's all in your chemistry anyway, we just use looks and qualities as our EXCUSE for our lack of knowledge or insight on that score. Your chemistry is what your chemistry is, it gives off a non-smellable whiff...whomsoever's own genes make them LIKE that particular whiff, will find you the nicest, cutest, most sexy thing since sliced break. You're basically a bottle of cologne with its own unique market group. Berbom.

If she didn't really like pizza that much but didn't object when you said pizza then either she isn't that bothered about food full-stop (or not this particular night - because you were the point, not the food) OR she didn't want to be 'difficult' (which would be yet another sign of how much she's into you). If it's the former then all you need worry about is just whether it has a nice ambience and decor and attentive service. Or somewhere with a big range of fancy salads?

Well, the thing about rollercoasters is, in a nutshell, that in a romantic/couples context, the person tends to attribute the resultant over-aroused state and sensations mainly to YOU, i.e. YOU make them feel that alive. They haven't a clue their mind is doing this. But it is.

Still hate them? ;-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Haha, looked up that cartoon strip, I like humour like that also :)

So guess I'll have to try and see if she's willing to lend her fashion advice, might give us some other things to talk about and also make her less nervous hopefully? She seems alot different in her texts to how she was when we went out together! Also, the conversation on text has still been going on but a bit slower recently, will give it a day or 2 as you say before i text her back once it stops, then i can see if that gives the same effect that you said a couple of posts back :)

Yes, it does worry me that I worry so much lol. But guess that's just me. I wouldn't necessarily agree that I'm always negative, quite the opposite I think. I normally always try and look at things positively but probably don't have the patience to see that they pan out ok, I'll have to remember 'slowly slowly catchee monkey ;)'. Also that and I like to try and predict how things will pan out, and if it doesn't really go the way I thought it would it'll catch me off guard having to rethink what to do and I'll make a tit of myself doing/saying something stupid, I know it sounds completely bizarre and believe me, to me it is bizarre too, haha.

That makes alot of sense about rollercoasters though, I like your style :). Although is it a plausable idea and how should i go about suggesting it considering it is atleast 90mins away to the nearest 'decent' one, that and I'd probably be absolutely terrified once I'm there, or should I try and get prescribed some Valium for it, lmao

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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"and also make her less nervous hopefully? "


Different, how?

Why don't you suggest another evening out? Ice-skating's good. [1] the ambience is always uniquely romantic, being a sort-of Winter scene; [2] the floor being White ice, it works like a fashion photographer's reflector - bounces the down-light back up again in all directions whereby your faces and eyes are lit evenly all over as is most flattering; [3] you have to keep touching/grabbing/hugging each other and, after a while, either of you can suggest holding hands or linking arms (cough!) purely for greater stability and less chance of falling over. Same principle as the roller-coaster but a less intensely-short-sharp version (- acute...chronic... same effect, different duration).

No, I wasn't saying you were negative, just that you care a lot about a lot, are obviously a cautious animal. It's not a bad thing, was just saying you needn't if you don't like it, if you were to just ignore your thoughts and pay more attention to your feet as well as other people's feet (actions speak louder than words). I can also relate to having a Plan B, Plan C and so on 'just in case' because, like you say, it's a stitch in time that can save nine.

Cheers for liking my style! Not quite sure HOW you can see I'm sat in a clown suit, Blue curly wig and leather, knee-high stiletto boots, but - whatever - CHEERS! :-)

How you go about it is ask her (ah-hah-haaah!) for her HELP with something..... 'You have a thing about rollercoasters but have always felt you were missing out (and time's running out, fixing-it wise, due to your age) and wish you had someone sympathetic and patient to help you try to overcome it, like a rollercoaster buddy. Does SHE like rollercoasters? Is SHE scared of them or do they not faze her? (See what happens from there.)

It's a non-weasely version of, 'I think I might be gay', plus it's NOT a lie, plus I'm sure you WOULD prefer to like them and benefit from them like most everyone else... True? And you wouldn't hate one if she were sat beside you, would you. Plus, the outing having a decidedly cathartic and therapeutic mission would justify the mileage.

£1,579.81, please. :-) (I take Haribos...Supermix or Strawberries, don't mind which.)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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You wonder why i like your style? You left your webcam on, we can all see it, haha!

I mean different as in more open and probably more jokey. When we went out for instance the conversation didn't really stray from work (although i tried to talk about family etc a bit) it always came back to work, I'd of liked it to have been more about us than the conversations we have at work about customers, haha. I do always worry about whether I'm coming across as being nosey or whether I might offend someone by asking/saying something, which I never want to do(maybe that's why she's different at texting, as we can think more about what we're saying)! So maybe I should just care less when I talk to people, haha! Also she came into work yesterday (just to buy something), I was on tills and serving customers but she didn't really even acknowledge me, let alone say hello! Yet she's been texting me loads recently? I really don't understand women, haha

Oddly enough though she broke her leg yesterday, so suggesting going ice skating, shopping etc is off the cards, for a while atleast! She's been texting again alot today though, but guess that's because she's bored and got nothing to do haha.

I have no issue with the rollercoaster thing in terms of traveling there if what you say is true (which I'm sure it is), it's just how I can justify it to her, haha. Somehow, I don't think "this person told me, that people tend to attribute the resultant over-aroused state and sensations they experience on rollercoasters mainly to YOU" would quite cut it haha. But your suggestion about it being because i feel like I'm missing out might work? I think it's the heights part with rollercoasters that I don't like, never liked heights really, I think that's where the cautious side of me comes out! Oh, and the feeling like you're going to be sick, that isn't fun either. I was actually thinking about going to this go ape place that is about an hour away, a kind of outdoors'y treetop adventure thing to see if that helps with my 'fear', would be pretty fun and slightly different atleast, but doubt it would evoke the same sort of emotions as a rollercoaster! I'd have to wait ofcourse until she is able to though!

I might text her this Friday saying I hope this Friday is better than the past couple she's had (last friday we went on the 'date' and this one she broke her leg), hopefully this will jog her memory of me saying to her that the ball is effectively in her court still, or would this seem too negative with regards to how the date went? It's also her birthday in around a month or 2's time (don't know for sure) but was gonna ask her if being 19 changes anything with us and maybe suggest giving it another go, depending on how things go(she said although it shouldn't matter, the age gap is too much for an 18 year old ;) ), that way atleast we'd have been 'friends' in the meantime so will have gotten to know each other better, or again, should I leave this to develop naturally without forcing the issue?

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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(Ha-haaah, you wish!)

So she's relaxing then? Excellent. You might want to do the same. Little known, very overlooked fact: while you're sat there, worrying about what the other person is thinking of you, they're sat there wondering and worrying exactly the same (especially if you keep the focus on them the whole time). Self-consciousness is therefore utterly futile, a complete waste of time and energy.

Came in just to buy something, eh? Almost as good as 'I left my jacket'. ;-)

Well, ND, after all of this, even just this far, I'd say she's *very* into you. Whether she thinks (repeat, thinks) its just friendship or not at this point - she's definitely very keen. That's half the battle won already, so well done!

Broke her leg?! (How?) I expect she'd appreciate a good friend offering her favours and to run errands, then? And is a captive audience, so to speak, chatting-wise? PS: Switch to phone now, if/whenever you can...and re this and offering to do chores - here's your chance to 'strike while the iron's hot'.

Rollercoasters make you nauseous? Oh, well, in that case, strike it from the list. The Go Ape is a good idea, but obviously it's going to have to wait until she's all healed. So I suggest you just rely on being very useful and 'entertaining' whilst she's completely immobile and you've got her fullest attention to impress the pants off of her (not literally, LOL). Also, I expect dating will be difficult with her leg. So being her rock is all that's open for now. Although - what an opening! :-) Won't say 'lucky break'. Oops, just did, LOL.

No, what you're thinking of saying wouldn't seem negative. But I wouldn't try to rush her with a 'where is this friendship going/when are We going to happen?' talk, it's far too soon. Sorry, I did say this would take a bit of time (but bear in mind: the longer the wait and work, the better the end result when it arrives). Plus her gaining another year on paper is hardly going to address her nervousness, wouldn't you think? However, with her laid up with a broken I say, here's your chance to show her what you're made of and thereby speed things up that way instead. Also, I'd buy her a birthday card and pressie (again, exceptional circumstance, like a broken leg, allows for exceptional acts)...something that both a best male friend or boyfriend would buy, like a sweet gold or silver-plated necklace... something that'll bring you to mind every time she wears or looks at it. ...That and a knitting needle or chopstick so she can scratch under her cast, LOL (- I laugh, but...).

Just keep chatting and being there for her for the time being, and then afterwards you can stand back and survey the progress...judge what and when to do from there. But, yeah, she's obviously into you as a person, that much is *very* clear. :-)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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(ND? Tsk! - meant NA...otherwise, that'd make you 'Nee Dadvice', (say it quick) LOL)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I do hope so, haha, quite often when the text conversation stops she'll be the first one to text something new. I also keep trying to text her first thing in the morning (following on from previous texts) so that hopefully she wakes up and I'm one of the first people she thinks about! Although I do hate it when we've been texting and I don't get a reply for an hour or 2, I wonder what I've done wrong haha.

I think her reason for coming in is genuine haha, she's buying lunch, but again, it'd be nice to think so!

She done it trampolining, it may not be broken, gotta go back to find out, but would be surprised if it wasn't by the sounds of it! I've offered help if she needs it (which she said she should be ok with but it's a very kind offer) and also, as she said she was bored, that if she wants any company or to get out of the house for a bit and do something to let me know (but she is still able to work from home at the moment), again she just said 'aw that's kind, thanks.' Hopefully she gets back to me about either but don't really want to impose myself too much and sort of leave things for her to think about/decide.

I don't know whether I'd actually be sick tbh, however I can guarantee I'd be shit scared lmao! I'll bear that in mind though, I keep asking how she's doing etc and with regards to impressing her I was going to take her something (never really see her wear jewelery) and a card if she wanted me to meet up/go somewhere.

Noted on the trying to rush things though, I'll leave things to run it's course and let her be the one who decides when/if to change directions! She definitely is a very tough one to read what's going on, but guess that makes it more interesting? I still don't think she's the sort to lead someone on intentionally though (it's just going to be awkward for both people, surely?), she knows that I still like her, that's pretty obvious I'd of thought, and because of that I think she's worth trying to figure out!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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"I also keep trying to text her first thing in the morning (following on from previous texts) so that hopefully she wakes up and I'm one of the first people she thinks about! "

Clever! :-) And that's distinctly boyfriendly behaviour as well. Keep that sort of thing up and, come the time being right to move the friendship up a level, due precisely to that consistent and sustained sort of behaviour, it'll feel almost seamless. Consistency yet with a few little "eeks" followed by "haaahs" here and there is the ticket because it makes you predictable thus trustworthy *overall*, yet not not boringly one-dimensional with it. A little bit of harmless drama and frisson does you good; too much and you come across as cruel and abusive. It's a tricky balance to strike at first, but you're looking at roughly 25% of 'full of surprises' and 75% steadiness and stability...certainly during the Chase and Honeymoon periods, anyway. But you can adjust that ratio the more you better get to know her and how she ticks.

It's natural to take breaks in conversation personally in your kind of position....that's what dating's all about: feeling the fear but doing it anyway.

Good decision, also, to plant seeds and retreat. And it matters not, even IF she were 'leading you on' (although I doubt that very much, considering she's doing quite a bit of chasing, rather than sitting back, waiting solely to receive). You can still get increasingly under her skin, regardless of what she originally intends or not, anyway.... "He and I were just friends, really....I didn't even think I fancied him at first...but then suddenly, one day, I kept catching myself daydreaming about him and - the rest is history!". You've heard statements in that kind of vein before, I take it?

Trampolining - LOL! There you go - now you know the type of thing she likes doing (well, once she's fully recovered, anyway).

Definitely post or drop round a card on the day (and little luxury box of choccies?...or hand-picked flowers are always a winner with those with genuine intentions), whether or not she takes you up on your offers in the meantime. They're just buttons that activate a primitive programme if consistently pushed for long enough, Jim, just not as we know it (- ref. "Bones" from Star Trek, Episode I-don't-give-a-***k, LOL).

Tough to read, for you, maybe. It's called, 'Can't see the woods for the trees'...because you're the one stood right in the middle of the forest, i.e. you're too close, whereas I'm up above in the field, looking down. Oh, she's getting attached, alright. And like I said - what a lucky break. LITERALLY, in her case, LOL!

Fate obviously likes you and has put all this in place- not JUST for your benefit (that'd be an egocentricity too far), but definitely yours as a side bonus (or one of them) to its main objective. :-) Whether she's a reward for stellar past behaviour OR a lesson and training gym on-legs for whatever else looms unseen over your horizon that you otherwise wouldn't be capable of handling without the very patience and endurance skills you're right now having to cultivate/improve - no-one can know at this early point. But here's betting it'd be for a vital purpose nonetheless, one you'll in the future look back on with immense appreciation and gratitude. (Here endeth the hard-won, spiritual-philosophical lesson passed on, "ahhh-ahh-aaaaahhh, fif-tyy pence pleeease".)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Apologies thought I'd replied to this, but checking back on it to see if I had a reply it was clear I hadn't, must have been some submission error or something as I definitely remember your message... anyway!

Hopefully though, that was the idea of it atleast.

Yea I agree, I try not to text her all the time though, as she's working and may get fed up with it haha. But she ends up texting me anyway, like I don't think since we went out there has been a day when she hasn't. Who is like that to someone they're not interested in having something more with, I know I probably wouldn't, I can't be the anomaly with that one, surely! Maybe it's just her age (always on the bloody phone, haha!) or whether she's thinking of me alot (hopefully?! I know I catch myself thinking about her numerous times during the day!), it always seems to be little things like about me starting my new job soon, or your last day at work tomorrow etc, that sort of thing, that will develop into more of a conversation. So much so it almost stops me texting her first as I don't want to seem too much, like you said earlier leave it a day or 2 to try and 'rollercoaster her' Interestingly on the new job thing, I got offered the job on the Monday after we'd been out together, and come the Wednesday morning (she'd worked on the Tuesday) there was a card waiting for me at work with congratulations on the new job!

Indeed I have, I hope one day this will be the case. On that front though I hope she'll be the one to say something to me and not dwell on it (she should, I've said I'm still interested afterall!).

I've probably let that ship sail now with regards to a card and gift, half the problem is I don't know exactly where she lives as I picked her up near her house as her drive is a bit of a nightmare she said! I'll try and work on that though as her birthdays soon so I can get something for then!

Anyway, she's been moving about more recently and went to the cinema the other day (I think with family) so might suggest we go there sometime soon if she wanted to see anything else (Central Intelligence looks pretty good to me)! I don't think she's up for going trampolining, for quite some time atleast! (Also forgot to put about the phone thing by the looks of it in the last message, but neither of us have very good signal (sometimes texts don't even get delivered, but show as sent, so ends up thinking one is ignoring the other, haha) so might just end up being very frustrating, text works better for me anyway (more time to think up a decent reply, haha)).

Yea, this is definitely a good lesson for me and given me more confidence for sure, and if I haven't said it before, thanks alot for all your advice, it's been invaluable (certainly more than 50pence!) thus far!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Maybe you dreamed you did? LOL [insert Twilight Zone signature track]

No, you're not an anomaly. But you do take a heck of a lot of convincing though, LOL. Maybe her card should have been the type that contains a live hand which, when you open it, slaps you round the face and says, "SMELL THE COFFEE, YOU WAZZOCK!" (No such card exists, obviously, but - hey, there's clearly a market for it, ROFL!)

Well, anyway, the entire run of actions say either [a] you're literally, genuinely, her new bestest friend in the entire world, in which case you've but a couple of steps still to climb before you get 'promoted' *or* [b] 'my new best friend' is already just a safe cover for the time being, in which case, ONE step (to her confessing). Whichever - certainly her mind will have all this time been safely filing you in its drawer as 'the one who was consistently there for me and made time for me when I was laid up, bored and frustrated as hell and feeling abandoned and very sorry for myself' (- you'd be surprised how a broken leg or anything else that puts you protractedly out of partying action can highlight who your true friends are versus the disappointingly Fair Weathereds.)

My money's on B. (And her not being IN CONTROL or not having time to prepare herself before conceding to the Green Light is the 'nightmare'.)

Do bear in mind FFR, however, that you're currently forging a standard for yourself (same or higher) in terms of what she'll expect if (once) you become her boyfriend. A lot of men make the mistake of thinking, 'Haah, that's me done now I've bagged I can lay back and take it easy!'. Wroooooongggggg! YOU WOO TO CAPTURE AND THEN WOO TO KEEP. Keeping's harder. Just ask 99% of the male population on this site, LOL. (AND female...mustn't be sexist (yawn).) Just a friendly tip-off. But I seriously doubt you'd be that 'rest on your laurels' type, anyway. I think you'd make a lovely boyfriend (which I say with a manly handshake following hurriedly behind, LOL).

Were it me I'd text this: "So, Birthday Girl!... do I leave your card on the pavement in the same spot I picked you up from that time and hope some friendly neighbourhood cat will deposit it onto your front lawn or am I allowed to know your postal address [smiley wink emoticon]?" (Don't mention pressie, let it be a nice surprise.)

You don't have to worry or be in any way apologetic for buying her a card and gift because - she bought you one first, look (ta-daa!), meaning, she hasn't got a leg to stand on (ha-ha) even *if* she wanted to 'stand' (clearly not the case). Don't forget the chopstick.

Suggest Central Intelligence by all means but let her choose the film.

No, she won't be up for (cough!) trampolining until you're her steady, exclusive, committed boyfriend. ;-) But meantime, you can imagine.

Re texting: truth is, for everyone, you don't NEED to think up a 'decent reply'. Once you're properly into someone, they could just sit there and repeatedly say nothing but "Bibbedy-Bobbedy-Boo!" and you, the beau, would just think it cute. Silly and playful (enough to make her smile inside) is the key because it's JUST CLOSE ENOUGH to flirting but without you being 'holdable' to it.

PS: 60p then. :-D

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I know I do, I'm just overly cautious, haha. But from reading through how things have been panning out I guess it is kind of obvious! I hope B also :)

I know I haven't had a girlfriend in the past but always thought/hoped i'd be a good boyfriend, random gifts & surprises like organising weekends away without her knowing etc etc.

That's a good idea of something to text :) thanks for that! On the chopstick thing though, she only wore a removable support so wouldn't be needed, I don't even think she's wearing it anymore, she's been having physio as it's ligament damage! Will need to think of another present though.

I suggested to her going to the cinema today or doing something together, however, she's going on holiday middle of next week and said it's the only chance she'll have to pack, working rest of the time. I thought it was a bit of a lame excuse (does it really take all day!) and seemed like she doesn't want to spend time together (but is happy texting all the time, although this has also slowed up recently), she did say she wanted to be 'good friends' after our date, surely good friends go to the cinema etc?! The other problem with trying to arrange something is she works everyday (she's back to where we work together after holiday but has still continued with her other job as she's been able to). I did also say when she told me she was busy that she should tell me when she's next free and we should do something together, as we haven't seen each other in ages, all she said was 'aw yeah. I'm back at work soon all being well'.

Tbh (and I know this is going to sound like I'm not sure if she likes me or not.... again!), but I feel like I just want to tell her where I stand, as in I really like her, she shouldn't have to worry about me being after one thing and I'd be happy for her to take things at a speed she feels comfortable with, as the last thing I'd want is for her to feel uncomfortable with something like that. We probably are both the sort to keep our emotions bottled up though so as bad as each other! I know it's probably not the best approach, but the excuse not to go out together today pissed me off a bit, I just keep wondering where I stand with her, whether she just said we should be 'good friends' and not actually mean it, or whether she is genuinely busy today (but I still fail to see how it can take all day to pack!). I know I'm only 25 but I really want to find someone to share experiences with and eventually settle down and have a family, not some relationship that is going to fizzle out in a year, and I really do think it would work out with this girl!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Anyone heard from Soulmate recently? Hope he's ok!

Just wanted to thank you for all your advice though mate, really don't think there's any hope of anything now though, even if there was before! She's come back from her holiday, I text her asking how it was and if she had a good time, it wasn't her normal type reponse and instead very brief and didn't seem interested in continuing the conversation, infact she's seemed a bit like that since I asked if she wanted to do something the other day (don't think I was too forward!). At work today she didn't really say much to me but she didn't seem her usual self. I'll probably text her asking if anythings the matter with her, maybe it's soemthing she'll want to talk about if there is, hopefully. Don't think I've done anything wrong though!

But once again thanks for all the advice given over the past few months, it's given me more confidence in how to go about asking women out for sure!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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No, I'm fine, I've just been com-per-LETELY and utterly-butterly up against it lately, with time only to 'walk my daily beat'. Still am. Gimmie 24 more hours? ....

PS: name the film reference! (ha-ha)

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Or less (I should have added)....might find a window tonight, you never know. Sit tight...

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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(...Nope! Sorry. But never mind - I'm here now.)

First thing's first: It's not a case of 'wasn't there before'. She *was* getting into you (and yes, the majority of women *do* need a whole day to pack - at least!)...until she got to her holiday destination and patently obviously met someone out there...a lad presumably either from the UK or with whom a longer-distance-than-that relationship is altogether do-able. And if *that* happened then she can't have been meant for you, not in a romantic or friendship-like sense or more than fleetingly.

So what was she a mere stepping stone *to*? Answer: we don't know yet. One never can...not without a crystal ball. But we do know this whole experience has helped prime you for that 'whatever/whomever' because, as you've said so yourself, it's given you far greater confidence at approaching and asking women out. So I'll say it again, this time with a new meaning: you need to just sit tight and wait for whatever culmination in tangible form walks onto your path and bumps noses with you (or you onto its/hers...whatever it or whomever she will be). Because whatever's currently being brewed is highly likely going to be a distinct improvement on her. Quite simply, Fate must have shoved her onto your path because it had something up its sleeve for you that you just weren't quite ready for handling unless you 'cut your teeth' on her/the situation with her.

Exciting! Watch that space (and keep me posted)! :-) (...and when are you yourself going on holiday, btw?)

Alternatively, she *didn't* hook up with anyone but had time and distance to sit and reflect and lose her bottle. You're an earnest, emotionally mature chap that obviously is ready for the real thing or near-as-damnit. And that can be mightily scary to what is just a (let's face it) GIRL, romantically not yet at your developmental stage or a badly once-bitten thus whom simply isn't ready for something that gargantuan in terms of life-changing and mapping-out.

So with either of those developments being the hypotheses which fit with her stark change in attitude and behaviour since her return, the thing to do is - NOTHING...Withdraw-withdraw-withdraw!...Silence is golden. If she's developed cold feet then there's nothing like switching her fear from the fear of gain/success to the fear of impending loss/failure (because that means loss of control/options again...and we know she hates that). I call it, Stop yer crying or I'll give you something REAL to cry about!

You make like Willow The Wisp and you're in a win/win situation whichever is the actual case in current motion.

If she suddenly texts you again, DO NOT LEAP ON IT. Wait hours or a day or couple of days - whichever your gut instinct dictates (it prevents your finger from hitting Send). Act befittingly like a man who's been 'abandoned' without warning or explanation, i.e. go cooler. Think this: "Yes, what lovely weather we are indeed having....More tea, Vicar?". Warm. BUT FORMAL. She has now been demoted in your mind back to MERE ACQUAINTANCE. And that's because she made it so.

Romantically, this'll produce either a "Phew, I'm off the hook!" (and you never hear from her again, one-on-one text-wise) or a "Sh*t, what have I gone and done, I need to fix this?!". Either way, that much faster you'll find out where you now stand and - more importantly for your peace of mind - WHY.

In the meantime, in case what's due on your path is indeed an upgraded "she", keep yourself well-groomed and -dressed as much as possible at all times. Even if just popping round to the local shops, that kind of thing. If you're about to bump into your next-intended or eventual-wife-to-be then the last thing your new chatting-up confidence needs is the drag-downer of you feeling like you look as if you've just crawled out of bed or gone backwards through a hedge - right? ("Right!").

So don't be glum about this. When things suddenly change 180 degrees like that, it's because a development is cooking. It's the way it always works. Go look at a thread by a boardie named 'Vildar' as a prime example and you'll see (- put Vildar in the Search By Alias box and voila). Oh, and if it is a woman then my money's on the fact she'll be more your age and stage/readiness...hence why you needed that confidence increase.

But now the rest of the prep work...on to to your savviness and knowing how women tick (because I see Ignorance that could later prove to be path obstacles as lessen what otherwise would be a far smoother path to TogetherForeverVille...albeit, understandably for your still quite youthful age/lack of experience):

"I know I haven't had a girlfriend in the past but always thought/hoped i'd be a good boyfriend, random gifts & surprises like organising weekends away without her knowing etc etc."

Things like surprise gifts and whisking-offs - those are bonuses, not cruxes/main monthly salary. A good boyfriend inclusively features the difficult skill of appreciating that right after an upsetting altercation, women are programmed to 'grasp the foe and convert it to friend' whereas men are programmed to 'withdraw to cave, study, formulate a plan of attack or wait for the danger to become approachable and deal-able with'. Just as continuing to discuss when already completely emotionally overwrought and flooded and wanting your cave is painful for a man, so too is it agonising for a woman to be made to have to sit with her anguish and wait for the *man* to be ready to sit at the pow-wow table (as if what she needs gives way to whatever he needs as standard...highly unfair, deemable as chauvenistic). So if, normally, your urge is to go to separate rooms (Time Out) for a good day, but, normally, her urge is to "deal immediately with this and get it sorted" then DO THE MIDDLE GROUND, i.e. compromise. And do it with an explanation, as in, 'Look, I'm already incapable of arguing one minute longer and liable to do or say something that just makes things worse. So please can we just take a breather so that my inner idiot gorilla can calm down and fall back to sleep - say 1 hour and then review the situation/see if it needs another hour on top?'. If the woman can know there's light at the end of the upsetting tunnel then she can handle having to wait longer than she'd ideally like to once-and-for-all sort the bone of contention. And you get your chance to get your breath back. Win/win.

This - the man just flouncing off mid-fight and refusing to engage in any further discussion or conversation - is, since time immemorial, one of women's greatest complaints about men as relationship partners and a basis for their dumping him for real at whatever point (because having ones heaviest needs go consistently, avoidably and wittingly unmet by what is supposed to be ones emotional as well as practical provider chips away at trust each and every time). You've got to get the FUNDAMENTS right before any whisking away or surprising can have any meaning or effect. In other words, you've got to treat them with consideration and respect AND romance them, simultaneously.

So many men spout this nonsense: "Whaddayawant from me - I work my fingers to the bone every day and put food on the table, don't I?!" Answer: "'s about the OTHER main facet of a relationship?!". So *don't* ever 'work your fingers' whereby it leaves you too energy-short to woo as a lover then woo as a husband. Earn a reasonable amount ('comfortable') so as to have the time and inclination to 'whisk away'....both major sides covered = two happy bunnies. If your woman's dissatisfied and unhappy, YOU'RE dissatisfied and unhappy. Because if a man can be happy with a relationship despite his woman is the distinct opposite? That means one thing: he's a bully...a despot...he is Chairman Mao in relationship partner format minus the country to control (just the woman), ergo she's an emotionally abused individual.

Can you see the sense in what I'm saying?

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Hi again, thanks for replying (glad you're ok, hopefully being busy is a good thing!)

I did consider that maybe she met someone else out there, but went with her family so less likely than if she'd gone with friends I reckon/hope. Anyway, haven't text her since I'd asked how her holiday was (although I've since thought maybe she didn't get my message, as we have had problems with texts between us, she even asks within a few hours if I had replied as she hadn't got anything so know it's not just an excuse for not replying) and last saw her at work. Maybe she'll be a bit different at work this week, but she really didn't seem herself last time (maybe just holiday blues), but as you say maybe had second thoughts. If this is the case and she doesn't message me is it worth texting her (not immediately but maybe in a few weeks) just saying I miss seeing her as much as we used to and maybe we should hang out more or even give dating another go if she's open to the suggestion, it was very awkward (for us both I'm sure) but reassure her I'm not wanting to rush into anything and perfectly happy with just being friends if that's what she really wants (although we should actually do friends things together, not just text from time to time!). I don't have a huge group of friends so someone I get on so well with would be a waste of not keeping in touch.

I haven't actually got a holiday planned but do want to go away (one of my friends went away recently and hasn't stopped talking about it which might have something to do with it!), I'm not the sort to go out drinking every week and getting plastered, which seems to be the sorts of holidays my friends want to go away on! I'm actually thinking I might do some sort of charity thing though in a couple of months, will keep me busy atleast, but need to know I can commit the time and train for it!

I hope you're right about the fate thing, that an upgraded version maybe on the cards, haha, atleast this time I might know how to go about the situation. I have considered internet dating just to get some more dating experience and you never know what might happen (but read so many mixed things about this online some saying it's worked out for them, others saying they've been on there for 2 years and nothing came of it!)

I had a look for that Vildar thing, is it the one with 89 posts? Didn't want to read it and not be the one you meant!

Thanks for the advice though, guess I need to be a bit more realistic about what to do/expect in a relationship, but I've got alot to learn! Although your way of dealing with an argument seems to make sense, so I'll remember that one!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I skimmed through your notes to familiarize myself with your situation and it looks to me as though things have gotten a lot more complicated than they have to be. But I know it is because you are trying to be so careful.

To start off, every relationship starts off as a friendship. Your only goal, your only incentive... is to make a friend. Meeting someone with the hopes of wanting a relationship feels kind of strange, because she feels as though you don't know anything about her, and she doesn't know anything about you.

A friend is someone that we share our thoughts and interests with. We all have different lives. When we meet someone knew it is an opportunity to get to know them and the things they like to do. It is an opportunity to try new things together. We are all on a path of DISCOVERY. Having a friend to learn and grow with is wonderful. The focus is not meant to be on one another all the time.. but what you are doing for yourselves, but with one another.

This life is YOUR experience. One after another after another after another. Are you having fun? Are you happy? Are you free?

I sense a great deal of anxiety, work, and confusion when friendship and relationships are meant to offer us HEALING. Peace. Freedom.

This should be a MAGICAL time in your relationship, where you are just enjoying one another's company, without the thoughts of having a relationship, only the thought of enjoying this experience, and each experience. Learning about one another, learning about life.

This should take the pressure off of you... if you are not trying to earn her affections..but are focused on your own experience. Focus your conversations about things that are happening in the world, things that are of interest to you, films, music, art. Find things that are INTERESTING to talk about and do. This is how we GROW TOGETHER. Sharing our insights on different topics.

When she goes home after hanging out with you.. her thoughts will be full of the things you did, the things you talked about, things she learned, things that she wants to know more about. She will be thinking of the experience.

After you have had many experiences together... she might decide that she really likes you... and wants to have all kinds of experiences with you like the platonic ones you have been having... and maybe more intimate ones. Who knows. But the platonic experiences are what make up our lives till the day we die. The sooner you relax and start living your life one experience at a time with a thirst for knowledge, experiences and good times... the sooner you will be LIVING FREE. HAPPILY.

You are young, you will make all kinds of friends in this world, and if you have this kind of attitude and outlook towards life as I have described... people will gravitate towards you. Your confidence will be high because you are engaged in all kinds of interesting things. Confidence is attractive. As a girl, I know that I want someone that is assertive, that wants to take me out... because he has a plan!! He thinks of me, and he thinks of taking me certain places, doing different things, having lots of FUN with me. So, lead the way. There is a whole world out there, and we each have a bigger world that is imagination.

Discover, explore and experience...go have some FUN!!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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I was just thinking...

Yes.. I do want a man that will lead...

But only so that I can see..... that HE is worth MY WAYS of taking lead sometimes...and all that I have to offer him as my KING.

I believe in catering to my man....but he has to be to be someone that will treat me as his Queen.

This doesn't have anything to do with riches... but everything to do with attitude.

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Where were we? Oh yes!...

Yes, I'm fine, cheers, it's just practical stuff. And here's Vildar's thread:

She could have met someone when surrounded by a herd of nuns, I'm afraid. Makes not a jot of difference who you're with or where or when, or how technically inappropriate or inconvenient you'd think the moment strictly were, when it comes to two people that are are destined to meet (so-called impractibilities, incompatibilities and so-called bad timing be damned!).

Don't make excuses for her. If your text hadn't got through, by now she would have prodded *you* (we already know she's no wallflower, textually). Or mentioned something at work or, at the very least, sidled over to create the opportunity with light chit-chat to find out what was up.

But note the question she failed to answer: how was your holiday. She might be trying to keep you just-warm and waiting on the side until such time as she's [a] managed to gauge whether the new liaison is going to be a keeper or not or [b] until such time as she's managed to sort herself out about whether she wants to get into 'all of that' again - in either case, thereby whether she needs to 'dispense' with you or not. But if keeping you warm and patient were her aim, shouldn't she meantime be throwing you just enough crumbs to stave off actual hunger as could/would have you wandering off to find a new food supply lest you end up starving to death?

There are no crumbs being thrown your way. Conclusion: dispensed with but where the bridge back to you (in case she ever needs it) hasn't been burned.

If she's backed off and is giving you the silent brush-off, you have to respect that, frustrating and hugely disappointing though it is. If she'd wanted to explain herself above-table, she'd have opened her mouth and done just that. There was nothing actually stopping her, even Yellow-backs can handle confrontation over just text. So it seems pretty clear she hasn't got the b*lls or the unselfish and caring inclination, nor was ever (genuinely, deeper down) interested in the 'alternative' option of you as just a friend (friends don't just leave you forever hanging), but just wanted the safe cover story in order to keep you at arm's length for a while OR managed to kid herself on either score and, sadly, you in the process.

May BE the date was that bit too awkward and stymied? But if you two had really had a genuine, two-way spark between you - it wouldn't have been. Neither of you would have been capable of shutting up...with (metaphorically speaking) the waiter having been forced to be 'rude' in asking you both nicely to pay up and leave because he wanted to finish his shift and go home.

I think you're not quite clear on what exact product you want from the shop. You have two needs running concurrently. (That's like aiming your arrow for two adjacent bullseyes, shooting at the empty air in between and hoping by some miracle for it to split into two and hit both targets. Well, if it splits into two then what you've achieved is only HALF success with either (likely neither half striking the actual bullseye). And if it doesn't miraculously do your bidding - hitting neither. So you'll either get wishy-washy-half-a*sed or ugger all. Game over.) Specifically, you want a friend that has more in common with you for socialising with *and* you want a girlfriend.

Well, you can't be your usual, efficient, two-for-the-price/BOGOF self in this case or... let's again analogise, just to really drive it home (aim specifically + try more than once, note ;-)) with wanting both shampoo and carpet shampoo but having only enough money for the one. You're going to end up as - either the stains won't come out of your carpet nor will ever be properly clean (despite your hair is) or it *will* be clean but you'll meanwhile be going around doing an uncanny impression of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

What you should be doing is going in fully-decided about spending that money on hair shampoo and then, further down the line, somehow accidentally discovering that it also works miracles on your carpet, whaddastrokealuck! Or vice-versa. So it's either, 'advertise' for a friend that likewise is advertising for a friend and then have it dawn on you both that you're starting to fall for one another (very quickly in, I should vitally add: not enough chemistry = not enough staying power through the difficult, testing phases and times = don't go there), or 'advertise' for a girlfriend, etc., and then realise she's actually also the best friend you ever had (and same for her).

So.... If I were your fairy godmother and offered to grant you one wish, which would it be: best friend or romantic lover/soulmate?

And, with either choice made, if my second granting were, for a few years only or for-life - which would it be?

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Hi, thanks for the replies. Sorry I've taken a while to get back this time!

Luvbird I definitely need to be more as you described for sure. And definitely need to be more assertive, quite often I'll leave it open to see what someone else wants to do and only suggest things. I did the same when we went on our date, I left it up to her what we did, when she said she didn't mind I still wanted it to be her decision, definitely a mistake and should've been more assertive as you said.

That's good then Soulmate, always good to be busy!

I just find it odd how she was texting all the time before the holiday, but just before it after I asked if she wanted to do something over the weekend she seemed to back off, then after the holiday her communication has been literally non-existent! I did as you said though and haven't text her since. Last weekend at work she should've been in but phoned in sick, which I thought was unlike her but maybe because she finds things too awkward, I don't know? She was in work the night before afterall. Also I've heard that she's stopping doing Sunday's which is the day we work together, I don't know if again, it's anything to do with me, I seriously hope not though!

I love your analogies, I guess I am expecting a little too much though! To be honest I'm finding it quite difficult to put her out of my mind, I've been thinking about her alot in the past few months and now that it seems there isn't much hope I can't help but think where I might have gone wrong, or possibly a way to change her mind, but when she isn't really talking much now it's easier said than done!

With your question at the end though, it would have to be Soulmate, and the second answer would be for life. The only thing is Luvbird has said I should try and spend time together first to share experiences and interests. However I asked her already if she's up for spending time together and she said she's too busy, I also offered a few times to keep her company when she was unable to get out, but all i got was an 'aw thanks'!

I do remember her mentioning to me that she's thankful for working where we do as it's helped her with her people skills and confidence skills, so maybe she's still nervous about things in general. Afterall she did say no to us going out on a date initially then a month later change her mind! I'd still happily spend time with her though but worried that she'll make excuses not to do something again!

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Be with you tomorrow, bear with...

Confused what to do (work colleague)

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Could BE she's still nervous....could be with time to reflect and predict, she lost courage. Could be you were *too* appealing and as a result she didn't trust herself not to get completely swept away, out of control, back to Heartbreakville? (It happens, believe you me.) But, whatever it is that got either triggered or compounded during her holiday - it all still equates to, not at this present time ripe for a relationship (certainly not a heavyweight one like you're ready to try). With this the case, you could have been more assertive....less assertive....medium assertive.... positively gymnastic and/or juggler-like as you switched constantly between all three in rapid succession... What bleedin' difference could it have made WHAT net you caught her in if that there apple is still too green to drop from its branch?

You tested it out...pulled it gently to you...tried it from more than one angle... it was stuck fast. All you got was the BRANCH moving towards you, meaning - at some inevitable point - it was going to ping back. Does that fit the picture or what!

Know what that makes them?... if you however-much forcibly pick an unripe apple?

SOUR. SHARP. BITTER. OVER-HARD. DISSATISFYING...with a lasting, bitter taste in your mouth. And sometimes they give you tummy-ache or the runs ;-p.

So if it was that she wasn't ripe for a relationship, rather than some ex having popped out of the woodwork to charm or discombobulate her, then you're better off without. Conversely, if the latter the case, you're STILL better off without...think about it...wooing's hard enough without some other bloke constantly undoing or seriously tarnishing all your hard work behind your back (- right?).

However, let's give her your proposed benefit of the doubt and assume the more innocent former. So - what? Are you suggesting you'd be prepared to wait and give her complete space? ["DAN-DAN-DAAANNNN!!!!"]

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