• Making Friends

Should you trust your instincts or give new friends a chance?

Published: April 12, 2016 | By | 8 Replies Continue Reading
If your instincts signal a problem should you immediately back off from a friendship?



Painful dilemma. I have not dated in over eight years and spent the time examining me and who I was and having moved to a new area on the opposite end of the east coast. The environment is so different in a good way.

I started to notice a woman I was attracted to and finally made an attempt to leave a message through Facebook. Well the message never got answered but occasionally she would be friendly with me but not in a consistent way. This led me to believe she wasn’t really interested in me.

Last week after hearing me speak she approached me and offered her phone number, which I promptly took and called her. I was honest with her about getting the impression she was not really interested in me. Everything she said indicated she was.

We enjoyed each other’s company and hit it off. We click on a number of levels and have many things in common. The problem for me is that she seemed aloof once again which brought up feelings similar to those when she did not answer messages.

My question is around being true to the senses. On the one hand, we had a great time together but on the other hand before we actually got together and now, it really feels like she’s not really into me. I know she was present emotionally, spiritually and physically when we spent time together but there has been way more time of not connecting which leads me to believe she is on a totally different frequency. I was very upfront and honest about everything and I believe she was too. Very sad right now… 🙁


Hi Fred,

I’m so sorry that this was such a disappointing experience.

Sometimes a new friendship holds so much promise that we overlook or dismiss subtle signs that there may be problems down the road. In your case, you did sense that this woman was inconsistent and changeable in her interest and moods.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving new friends (and yourself) the chance even if your instincts tell you otherwise. But sensing something is out of kilter is a warning sign to proceed more slowly, be more guarded with your emotions, or to modify your expectations of the relationship.

Some first impressions may turn out to be inaccurate or a new friend may initially act in ways that are out of character, possibly due to being nervous, anxious or guarded.

Also, when we meet people, we also don’t know what else is going on in their lives that can affect their friendships. It sounds like this new friend had some positive qualities although those were coupled with disturbing ones.

After a long dating hiatus, you should pat yourself on the back for taking a risk and giving this friendship a try, and for recognizing it wasn’t what you hoped for. I hope your heart remains open to friendships that are ultimately more satisfying.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Comments (8)

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  1. Bizzy says:

    It could be that she wants you to step up to the plate and show your interest. Since she seems to have fun in your presence, I think this is probably it. I am like that. I want to date a confident man who can step up and ask me out and not be second guessing all the time. Too many men seem wishy washy about their interest, and that can be a turn off to women. Plus a time waster for women. Be clear that you like her and step up. You will know if she is not interested by her actions. But that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Go plan a date and call her now!

  2. Judge Judy says:

    I think the way to go about dating is to join a dating site and ask plenty of women- not just one- to meet for a quick coffee.

    Don’t get emotionally invested until you have reason to. From what I hear from those in the dating scene, it is very common for someone to seem interested then never want to meet in person, do the hot and cold thing, or just disappear early on for no apparent reason. If you get attached too soon, it will be a rocky ride for you.

    Better to try to meet sooner rather than later and don’t consider any of them any more than a possibility until you actually date for a while and become exclusive. Good luck.

  3. Beth Anne says:

    Fred, since you used the word “dated” in the opening of your letter to Irene, I am assuming you’re looking for a romantic relationship, not just a platonic friendship, with this woman. I think that needs to be clarified in your mind as well as in the forum here. It could be that the woman/friend you’re unsure of isn’t sure — yet — if she wants to start slowly with a friendship first, then ease into more of a dating relationship? Maybe she sees you as a potential good friend — and isn’t looking for a lover.

    I think it was Amy who suggested that both of you might be moving at a different pace, and I think that’s a good point to consider. In my view, slower is always better when it comes to getting to know anyone, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship. It takes time for people to get to know one another, and a couple of dates aren’t nearly enough time.

    That said, I do think it’s important to follow your gut reaction and intuition — especially if you are hoping this would be heading toward a romantic relationship. This woman might want to proceed with caution, for any number of reasons, and it would be to your benefit to hold off for a while and see if she makes the next move. Let her make the next move. And keep busy with other friends and work in the meantime. Good luck!

  4. Lisa says:

    I don’t think one meeting is fair to base judgments about someone. Especially if a lot of your time together was good as you said. We as human beings will not like every single thing about a friend, significant other, parent and so on. With that said wait and see if she reaches out to you.If she does, give it more time, you may be pleasantly surprised. If not move on. Also, it seems you are the type of person who feels more quickly than others. Nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with others taking their time to figure feelings out. You seem like a genuinely nice person and don’t let this affect your searching for the right person. You now what they say, it happens when you least expect it. There is someone out there for everyone, be patient it will happen for you I know it. Best to you.

  5. Shelly says:

    I believe strongly in intuition, gut instinct, and listening to the inner voice. What we don’t know at first we find out later on what the answer is when it comes to new relationships. It is nice to give someone a chance to see what the story is but it can come out with the same conclusion. Keep your options open to new beginnings who want the same connections as yourself. Good luck

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Your inner voice had already warned you that something was not “right” when you contacted her on Facebook.

    I would keep my distance and not have any expectations. She could be moody, or have other (mental) problems that have nothing to do with you. But if she is like this now, when you are just starting to get to know her, I would not have much hope of a future.

    Sorry, I wish I could say otherwise. But, please please do not give up, and keep dating!

  7. Amy F says:

    Perhaps she’s the type of person who takes a while to know and trust people. You seem like the type of person who opens up quickly if you feel comfortable. Others are slower, and that has nothing to do with you. As for not responding to FB messages, if you weren’t already FB friends, messages go into an “other” folder that not everyone knows about. I only found out about the folder 2 years ago and had years of messages, most were spam, but one or two from people I really wanted to connect to, once I knew the messages were there.
    I’d be careful about pushing her to show her interest in you too quickly, because that could cause someone more tentative about trusting to feel quicker. I would be put off if on a first date/encounter a potential new friend or lover got “vibes” that I wasn’t interested, despite my words otherwise. This would scream: needy to me, high maintenance and potential for drama. If I continued the friendship, I’d want to go even slower in terms of opening up. I don’t want to be saddled with someone else’s baggage or unclear boundaries, especially in a new friendship.

  8. Arlene says:

    I know such a woman and it perplexed and saddened me. I eventually got to meet other women who knew her in another capacity, and they claimed she was off and on with them too. One day she knows you and the next day not. Its her nature, don’t take it personally move on.

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