The Hook Up: Dealing with uncertainty and how to get laid on a deadline


English is not my first language, so bear with me. I met this girl on Tinder. We had great conversation, a goodnight kiss, and stuff like that. We found out that we don’t live in the same city, so we thought that this would be a one-night thing, but she stayed for three more days and we had a wonderful time. After that I went to her city twice and she came to mine twice. Everything was going really, really great. She is an extremely busy woman, so I try to be respectful about that and I think I am doing pretty OK. She was texting me every morning, we were saying sweet and nice stuff to each other, so I was feeling pretty good.

I know that she was in a five-year relationship and it ended six months before we met, which drives me crazy a little because I don’t wanna end up as a rebound. She told me that there will always be emotional side of her that I will never see. Also, I told her that if she ever stops feeling the way she feels, I want her to tell me, and she told me that she can’t do that because she hates confrontations. So I live with this fear now.

But she also told me that I’m not just sex for her, that I met all of her friends (true), and this is a big thing for her and she wants to take our time and see what happens. It doesn’t sound like anything bad, I know, but it seems like everything became very casual.

I am going again this week, so I kind of want to tell her that I feel very close to her now and that I like her. The problem is I’m not feeling so OK with the casual thing. How can I bring the fire back, without looking like some in love fool that’s—Craving Attention


Dear Craving, You’re not some love fool. You’re in a new, budding, maybe-heading-toward-serious-but-maybe-not relationship with a gal who lives in another city. Of course you’re confused. Of course you’re angsty. Of course you’re not sure where it’s headed because none of us do in those heady, early days of getting to know someone, and that’s just part of the whole drill, I’m afraid. The anticipation and uncertainty and the highest highs when you get that sweet text from her and the lowest lows when she doesn’t respond right away.

In that vein, yes yes yes, please do tell her how you feel. Tell her that you’re not so into being casual with her and listen to what she says. But also be prepared to hear that, as a “super busy” lady who lives far away from you, “casual” might be all she can offer you at the moment. If that is or eventually becomes a circumstance that hurts you too much (and it sounds like it might) then you might want to end things before your heart really swells and you fall off the deep end.

The kind of ecstasy and deflation that early-relationship intoxication creates is unsustainable. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by getting the “fire back,” but it’s possible you’re moving into a more mellow compatibility, which is what you want. Or, it’s possible also that sustaining that fire is hard to do when you don’t know someone all that well and she lives far away from you. Either way, I encourage you to bring it up in your feelings talk.

Really, though, it sounds like things are headed in the right direction, but that you probably need a little more assurance from her because you’re not near her very often. I would ask for that. Explicitly. Asking for a little validation and reassurance doesn’t make you an attention whore or needy—it makes you totally human, which you are. Probably. Or you’re the smartest, most self-aware chinchilla who’s ever learned to email.       

And don’t worry TOO much about her fear of confrontation. It’s a little alarming that she said that, yes, but very few of us handle confrontation well, even if we THINK we would react a certain way in a certain situation. The best we can do is to talk to each other if or when something feels not right. But don’t start the relationship with the fear or assumption that she will hurt you or that her feelings for you will suddenly diminish. You don’t know what will happen! But those kinds of negative thoughts have a tendency to become self-fulfilling prophecies if left unchecked. This isn’t to say you should blindly ignore every potential red flag, just that you should try to remain neutral (or hell, optimistic) until you have more information.

It’s OK, Craving. You’re doing all right. Keep on giving it your best and keep on loving those who give their love back to you. That’s the best any of us can do, no matter the outcome.