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Parallax - Advice

April 9, 2001

Flex and Sex

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!A few weeks ago, I was approached by a girl who works out at the same gym as I do. On prior occasions we made eye contact and frequently smiled at each other. That day, after a brief smile, she came up, introduced herself and started talking about herself and what she did for a living. Here's the problem. At first, I thought she might be interested in me, but when I talked to her a couple weeks later, she mentioned she had a boyfriend. Now, I'm totally confused. I don't understand why she made the initial approach if she's already in a relationship. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Confused,

There are two possibilities. The first? She sees you, smiles, checks you out and thinks she likes you. She is single and interested in meeting you, so she sidles over and introduces herself. Unfortunately for you, the intro is an epiphany, and (for whatever reason) she decides she just doesn't like you. Don't try to figure it out - it could be anything. It could be what you were wearing or the way you said, 'Hi.' It could be that you just weren't witty enough. Thus, your 'in kind' flirtations were snuffed. She introduced the boyfriend and she was saved.

The second possibility is that she is an incurable flirt. She will always look around, with or 'sans' boyfriend. She is what is called a rover. Even when she marries she will always give little side-glances. In this situation, you are the side-glance and hence should be flattered. The boyfriend is the one who will need to continuously wonder and worry about his girlfriend's roaming eye. Either way, this nascent romance is over. It's really not complex. Girls are fickle - end of story. Either explanation rules you out.

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His view:

Dear Confused,

This is simple. Pay attention. Of course she likes you. The fact that she's in a relationship doesn't preclude her from meeting new men and even flirting with them a little. At a minimum, she's widening her social circle and keeping her options open. At best, she's getting ready to dump her boyfriend and is doing some advance work to find a replacement.

What do you do? Play it cool. It's a game, so be patient.

You don't want to play? Then don't, but you'll miss out.

Who knows? This woman could become a good friend. Maybe she has cute friends to introduce you to - maybe you could marry one of them. Perhaps you'll get to know her, stay nonchalant, and then (when she announces she's single again) you'll be in pole position. Or maybe you'll get to know her and decide you don't like her very much. Too bad, but at least you'll know.

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