Mixed Messages from Flirty Girl

Q: I recently met a girl through a training course at work, and now the group of us have moved to our destination city for the next five months. She and I get along amazingly well. When we chat, she touches me, and I touch her a lot too in a flirty way. After a couple of weeks of this I couldn't take it any longer and had to let her know I had feelings for her. She said she doesn't want to get together because if something goes wrong she is going to lose one of the best friends she has in this city. She also said let's take it slow and see where things go.

I just want to drop her and go find someone else who feels the same way back. When I see her talking to other guys I get all jealous. I am finding it really hard to just be friendly around her, and I stopped talking to her for two days. She got annoyed and asked if I would talk to her again. Now I don't know what to do! I still see her on weekends when we go out. She is talking about going away together next weekend. The problem is I can't just switch off these feelings! --Dave, 29

Dr. Susan: Of course you can't switch off your feelings! This girl is either insensitive or ignorant of how other people, i.e., guys who are attracted to her, feel. Either way, it may be a trial for you to get through the next several months. However, she may be right, in a certain sense. If it's at all possible for you, see if you can "take it slow" and get to know her better. And give her a chance to get to know YOU better. After all, a couple weeks isn't very long. If, in another few weeks, nothing has changed, and worse, if she continues to act like a flirt around you and also other guys, you should probably just stop being friendly.

Going away together could be her way of letting you know she is ready to take the next step, or it could end up being miserably uncomfortable for you. Get a clearer idea of her feelings before isolating yourself with her for any length of time. Try not to be angry with her if all she's really doing is protecting herself emotionally.

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