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She’s Not Ready for a Relationship

Dear Dr. Frankie,

I could really use some good advice on a situation that has got me completely turned upside down.

I met this girl through a mutual friend who had recently just come out. We hit it off immediately and ended up hooking up (not sex) the first night we met. I called her a couple days later to try to meet up with her (for a real date) and sort of got the brush off twice, so I just let it go. Then, I ran into her at an event a little while later and it was pretty clear that she was still interested in me, so we hooked up again. She blew me off again after that and I was like whatever. Even though she was sending me totally conflicting signals, I knew deep down that I’d never really connected with someone so quickly in my life (and I do not feel that way easily about people, trust me), and I was pretty sure she felt the same way about me. From the beginning and through each subsequent meeting, I learn more and more about how she’s “absolutely terrified” of the whole gay thing, and is pretty religious, so I am sure that plays a huge part in her feelings about all of it.

A few months later we saw each other at a party and spend the entire night talking, flirting, and making out. Dinner turned to breakfast and we had just an absolutely incredible time together. One the one hand, she said that she’s never felt this way about anyone before and it scares the s— out of her, that I completely floored her in every way, and that whenever she’d be talking to other girls, I was always in the back of her head. However, she also said that she isn’t ready for a relationship, and having just come out, she wanted to pretty much hook up with girls, no strings attached. She asked if we could, “hang out and hook up,” which I assume meant friends with benefits, and I told her I wasn’t interested in doing that, because I liked her too much to think that she’d be dating someone else at the same time. Anyway, she said she thought that when she came out that she would just be hooking up with girls, and that it would just be easy, again no strings. And when it came to me she said, “I wasn’t supposed to meet you yet,” as in, I really like you, but I am just not ready right now.

So, the logical side of me is like, if she really liked you as much as she says she did, she would do whatever it took to be with you and would never want to take a chance of ever letting you go. On the other hand, I can’t imagine someone saying all those things to someone else and not really meaning it. Is she just scared that she’s actually having real feelings for someone who could potentially change her life in a way that she doesn’t know if she’s ready for?I am doing my own thing and dating other girls, etc. I am not waiting around for her, but she is very much in the back of my mind. Like her, I’ve also never felt this way about anyone before, so it’s been pretty hard to let this one go. Despite her being incredibly confusing, she’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and she said the same thing to me. So, I pretty much can’t get her out of my head. At least until I figure out how I should be feeling about it. Right now, I am just totally confused. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Dear Conflicted,

You’re doing the right thing by moving on and seeing other people. Waiting around for something that might never manifest does not sound like a good strategy in this instance. Don’t over think this. She is telling you that although she is attracted to you and has never had such intense feelings for anyone before, her behavior simply doesn’t indicate she is interested in a relationship at this time. She has found in you a good person with whom she shares intense physical chemistry, and is there for her when she’s interested in having a hot weekend. I would never pretend to know what her thought process is, but all signs point away from her wanting to be with you in a real relationship.

On a side note, I have met many people who are enamored with the thrill of the chase. There could be many reasons for this, such as the challenge of the hunt, one’s own fear of intimacy, or perhaps not believing one is capable or deserving of a real relationship. This girl has you on the ropes for her and resurfaces just frequently enough to keep her in your head. Try and imagine if she were actually available to you in a girlfriend sort of way if you would be so intrigued. When people connect on a physically intimate level, all kinds of brain chemistry kicks into high gear and actually changes the way you feel about that person and how you see them. In short, at this point in your interactions with this girl, believe her when she tells you she is not looking for anything substantial. You are captivated by a fantasy of what you think a relationship with this incredible person could be like. Keep seeing other people, have fun, and if and when she is ready for more she knows where to find you.

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