Dear Friend or Foe,
The first semester of law school, I met a classmate (“Samantha”) and was immediately attracted. During a group lunch, I caught her eyeing me. I worked up the courage to ask her out, and she said yes! I also found out that she’d volunteered for the law school's “charity date” auction. We hung out before the date in a group, and one of my friends (“Matt”) told me she was all into me. So I was ecstatic. The first date was excellent, too. I made her laugh a lot. But the second date was only so-so. After seeking the advice of several friends, I asked permission to “bid on her” during the date auction. She didn’t seem to like that suggestion.
The next day, she texted to say she couldn’t date anyone in law school—it wasn’t anything I did but rather the timing—and that she just wanted to “be friends.” We barely talked at the date auction, where she was “purchased” by a guy she can't stand who’s a legit stalker. Then on Super Bowl Sunday she invited just me to a party. I went, and we had a blast. On the way home, she asked me if I could hook up with a random woman. I said no, I needed to know a person. Also, I didn't tell her this, but I’m very inexperienced—not for lack of trying.
That night, I slept at her house. I didn’t make a move because I didn’t want to push too far. But I believe she changed her mind about me, and I was ecstatic again. I even called a friend to grab her favorite wine on his way up to the championship parade (believing it would knock her socks off). The next Monday, I invited her to a party, and she touched my arm a lot. A female friend even asked her if she and I were dating. But when I offered to walk her to her car, she said that Matt would. He asked her what was going on between us, and she said she had no feelings for me! Huh? Now I feel confused and mortified.
Really Just Friends?
I suppose there’s always the possibility that your friend Matt can’t be trusted, is mad for Samantha himself, and blatantly lied to you about what Samantha actually said that night. (Maybe she actually reported that she wants to bear your child?) Either way, I have to say that asking to “bid” on a woman you’re trying to date isn’t a great move. Though I doubt that lone misstep accounts for your intended paramour’s skittishness about dating you. My suspicion is that, just as Samantha has stated, she’d rather keep things casual while she hits the books. So, if you’re not willing to give up on her, prepare to be kept at arm’s length.
Which is all to say—it’s admirable (I guess) that you don’t want to hook up with a random chick merely for experience. But if you’re looking to fill that deficit in your life, Samantha probably won’t be the person. Also, while I have no doubt she flirted with you at one or more of the described occasions, I’m sorry to inform that touching someone’s arm doesn’t always signify a deep-seeded attraction. It can also be read as a simple gesture of thanks or a preface to the question “Do you know where the restroom is?”
My advice is to use the age-old trick of “playing hard to get.” In short, blow Samantha off for a while. If she’s even remotely interested, she’ll a) notice; and b) be that much more interested. Oh, and if you ever feel compelled to knock the socks off an advice columnist, I’m very keen on the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough County, New Zealand. (Really crisp.)
Friend or Foe