Dear Dr. Romance:

I have a problem with this girl I like who's four years younger, we've been friends for a year. She recently broke up with her boyfriend. One week after they broke up, I went out with her. We had some drinks, and started making out.  I asked her how long she had wanted to make out with me and she said a while as our friendship was quite flirty. Then we ended up having sex, but it wasn't great because it was in the back of a car.

Since then its been similar to our friendship before, catching up for coffee and that, but ending with making out. A week after our date, we were having coffee and I asked if she wanted to go out with me. She said no, said she was still messed up from the breakup and wasn't ready.  She's also very critical about herself; asking "Why would you want to go out with me, I'm ugly."

I see her as beautiful and amazing and tell her that. But she said no, so I said let's be friends, and I'm ready for a relationship when she is.  A few days later, we saw a movie together and held hands the whole time and cuddled. After that, she stood me up for a party.  So many mixed signals.  My female friends she's playing a game, and I need to be more relaxed and go with the flow.  I don't like this game, because she can't find time for me. 

What advise can you give me?

Dear Reader:

I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think you're chasing a relationship that doesn't exist.  This young woman has a lot to deal with, and bugging her about a relationship is not a good strategy.  

You need to concentrate on being friends if you want any contact with her, and not let her draw you into her sexual acting out.  She's being kind to you when she tells you she's not ready for a relationship.   Listen to her, it's the truth.  She is playing games in a way, because she's confused and upset, and she's not acting rationally.  If you want to be her friend, stop thinking about her as a potential girlfriend, and just be supportive of her while she figures out what she wants to do.  

Read my article, "Letting GoTakes Love".   It will help you understand how to give her the space she needs. She's very young, and you're not much older, so there's plenty of time.  

Be patient.   If she does want to be close to you, she'll let you know.  In the meantime, focus on other people, other friends, and leave this girl alone for awhile.  She needs time to get over her last relationship, and to sort herself out.  If you care about her, you'll let her find her way.   Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today can help you find a relationship that's real.


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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.