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Parallax - Advice

September 15, 2003

Match in heaven?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I met this girl online at and we went out a few times (I forget how many). I liked her and I knew she was playing hard-to-get. That was okay because I'm not the best looking guy (I know it) but I treated her well. Then I got tired of her wishy-washy attitude. I mean, there's a lot of other girls—maybe not as cute as her—but at least they didn't send me non-committal emails. So I stopped emailing and calling her. Like magic, boom, she was all over me. She called and she emailed. She even showed up one afternoon at my office (I have no idea how because I work on the 45th floor of this super-secure building) but she came in to my cube and said she needed to know what was going on with us. How crazy is this behavior? We kissed twice—that was it. I still like her, but now that I've seen this crazy side I'm less keen on her. However, she is cute and I'm tempted. Should I pursue her? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Matchless,

She's not at all crazy. She was trying to assess whether or not your dating value was equivalent to or better than her dating value (you must at least be on par). Your eager-beaver behavior gave her a whiff of desperation and limited desirability on your part. Which, in turn, led to you receiving non-committal emails and less than dying-to-be-with-you behavior. You have, however, during the course of your alacrity, shown her your hand, which is that you dig her significantly.

Thus, your backing-off has caused her confusion. She is wondering if, perhaps, your value is higher than she suspected and if she may have neglected a worthwhile suitor too soon. She is now trying to recreate her previous situation—where you were desperate for her and she was still deciding.

Now that you have her attention, why not give the normal dynamic a try, even if early encounters have been botched?

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His view:

Dear Matchless,

The answer, without a doubt, is no. No, do not—I repeat—do not pursue her. You made the right decision in cutting her loose. Only ugly things will result from a retraction on your part.

Now, my dim-witted colleague will likely not see through the slick tricky game that this girl is playing. She will cast doubt into your mind and heart, and ask you to give the girl a second chance. 'Everyone deserves one,' she might even say, as she's a sucker for underdogs.

But this woman is no underdog. This woman's pride is hurt and she's out to fix that. The odds that she's suddenly decided that you are the sweetest, nicest guy on earth (why, oh why, did she treat you so badly?) are almost as low as the odds of you meeting her mother tomorrow and marrying her. More likely, your indifference has made her doubt her initial assessment of you, and she just wants to make sure she made the right decision.

Unless you're looking for a good opportunity to feel like a moron, don't give her that second chance.

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