I recently met the wonderful girl online and I really like her. So far we went on 4 lunch dates, spend almost every evening chatting (she runs a business and works 7 days a week - gets out late at night). She invited me to her shop on the third date and we hung out and she told me that since she's been used as a door mat so many times (she just lost a so-called friend) and is shy on purpose. I'm progressively doing the romance thing - gradually flirting, teasing and went from giving her a hug to a quick kiss on her lips when we part. That sort of thing - I'm following her lead. I know she wants to get to know me better (that I'm not and have not intention of taking advantage of her) but at the same time my greatest fear is being labeled "just a friend" as time goes on.
My question is this: Even though she shows the classic signs that she likes me, how long should I keep this up?
The last thing I want is to be strung along and used as a sounding board where the best thing she'll do for me is offer me a front row seat at her wedding some day!
Take a risk, make the move. Let her know you are interested by a deep and passionate kiss. If she pulls away then you can apologize and say , "I am just really attracted to you". This way she knows your intention, and you will not be stuck in the friend zone.
Just tell her that you are not like the other men she has been out with, that you are in this for a serious relationship. You should be able to understand that having children brings with it a certain amount of caution on her part. At that age her kids don't want to be meeting a new dad every second week, so unless she asks you stay clear of the kids. Be bold, tell her you care for her and that you think you could have a great future together and that you are prepared to take your time. What you want from her is a commitment to know that she is taking you as seriously.
It may be that she just needs some time alone after coming out of several relationships that haven't worked. Give her some space, let her know how you feel and back off a bit. If she calls you, she's interested enough, remember both people have to be ready to commit not just one.
Make sure you tell her about Lisa. That will make sure your relationship is built on honesty. Very important.
Sharing the doormat story as early as a third date strikes me as somehow inconsistent, or "off". Maybe she used the doormat story as away of letting you know she wants to take it slowly (maybe because you're "from the Internet", and she's being cautious); otherwise, there's at least she's giving off vibes that she's not too cautious at all (shy, if you will) about sharing something that a lot of people would be kind of reserved about sharing too soon. I don't know the person, but I think there's a sign there could be some inconsistency in that (that is, if she isn't using the doormat story just as a way of making sure you know she wants to take things slowly). Even with that, though, if her leaning was to come up with the doormat thing, rather than come up with something else - it kind of makes a person wonder if she might like to come across to new people as a victim. Just a thought.
Either way, I'd think another few weeks of seeing her ought to give you a better reading. What would be worse than the "invitation-to-the-wedding thing" would be your ending up married to a chronic victim "and proud of it". I don't know... I don't know her, and I may not know what I'm talking about. All I know is that healthy, whole, people often tend to hide having been turned into doormats, because they're embarrassed to be too free to share that they were incapable of being better able to keep that kind of thing from happening. Doormat once - maybe. Doormat for too many people - not something people who don't see themselves as victims like to share. I'm not AT ALL suggesting this of her, but - just a thought - people who are "proud" to be victims are often manipulators who are far from victims. Then again, the person who wants a "good" lie of an excuse to make it clear she wants to take things slowly might just use the doormat thing as a way trying to get someone new to understand that she had "legitimate" reason for not being in a hurry. (If that's the case, she may just not be sure enough of herself to just say, "I want to take things slowly, and I think you can certainly understand that, and probably want the same thing. End of story.") And thus ends my completely unqualified assessment/guesses about someone I've never met. )
Thank you for your input. I'm thinking along the same lines as you described and I for one have more respect for a woman who takes things slow at first. I had many relationships where everything went wham bam within a couple dates and of course they didn't last long. I just chalked them up as "flings" and moved one. This is the first time that I ran into someone who's really taking it slow and it's something that I'm not used to, but respectable. She does have two kids (4 & 6) and I do understand that she wants someone who she trusts. That's something else, I do not have any kids and it's kinda of new territory (dating a woman with kids so young) since in my past relationships - the kidds were teenagers and were doing their own thing.
Having two young kids would do it (make someone very cautious about moving too quickly). "Points" for her "in my book". Four and six are cute ages, though. Chances are, a little more time and your own instincts will give you the best reading on the whole picture. Good luck, though. It would be nice for you if she's nice and if it can work out.
In other words, friendship is not worth having if you can't have romance.
I think if someone is willing to be friends, that's not being strung along.
So, you wouldn't settle for friendship?
Basically, one reads people. There is no formula. If one cannot read when the appropriate moment is (if there is one), then, I guess, no one can tel you. The only way people know when to move forward is when the other person lets them know in a subtle manner that it's okay to move forward...
Personally, it's always disappointed me that so many men, once they realize that one isn't romantically interested, don't want to pursue a friendship.
Sometimes, people just need friends!
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