Persistent or pathetic?

Dear Dategirl,

I recently found myself attracted to a woman I have known for the past two years. When I asked her out, she told me she had a boyfriend. But she didn’t say it with any sense of conviction: Her eyes didn’t sparkle and she didn’t even mention his name. I really liked her, so a couple of weeks later I told her that if it didn’t work out with him, I hoped she would call me. The next few times I saw her, her attitude toward me was basically the same; she even called a couple of times to ask questions about work (we work and go to school together). Since she didn’t reject me outright, I thought following up was appropriate and I sent her an e-card. This got a reaction out of her—she e-mailed me back saying that she was seeing someone and we could only be friends.

Over the next two months we started spending more time together. The boyfriend’s name never came up and she wasn’t acting like someone who had rejected me. Then I overheard her say that she had broken up with her boyfriend. I decided to surprise her by sending her flowers. She didn’t call to acknowledge them, and the next time I saw her was in class. She was uncomfortable, but she thanked me for them. I asked her out again and she turned me down. When I asked why, she said I knew why. I told her I had overheard her say that she had broken up with her boyfriend. Then she told me that an old boyfriend had come back into her life and she didn’t think she should go out with me because of him.

My question is this: A month later, her behavior toward me still sticks in my craw. I thought the e-card made it plain where I was coming from. Why did she spend so much time with me and seek me out to answer questions? Could she really have thought of me the entire time as just “a friend” after what I had done before? Would you spend so much time with a guy you knew wanted to go out with you when you didn’t feel the same way? Don’t you think this would lead the guy on in some way? My question is, should I ask her about this or should I just let it go? She doesn’t call me or e-mail me with questions like she used to, but this other boyfriend still has yet to be seen or mentioned.

Befuddled in Belltown

You, my friend, are thick. The reason this boyfriend has yet to be seen or mentioned is because he doesn’t exist. Do you need a neon sign? This chick is utterly uninterested in pursuing anything other than a casual friendship with you—and after the borderline-stalker behavior you exhibited, probably not even that. How many times does she have to tell you no? She tried letting you down gently, but you wouldn’t let her. And now you’re annoyed!?

What you want me to say is that this evil conniving woman led you on, you poor little lost lamb, and you have every right to be pissed off. Well, the truth is, she was just being nice. Once she shot you down—twice—she figured it was safe to be pleasant without you jumping to all manner of daft conclusions. Apparently she was wrong. She thought you were her friend, but really, that was all an act. You were only interested in her because you figured that she’d eventually come around to your way of thinking. Fat chance.

You feel that the fact that her eyes don’t “sparkle” is indicative of a lack of love—ha! Take a look around you bub; most people barely tolerate their better half. If “sparkling” was a prerequisite for marriage, that institution would’ve gone the way of the Studebaker. And note that you overheard her telling someone she’d broken up with her boyfriend—she didn’t tell you. Why do you think this is? Yet still you feel free to run with this information—garnered dishonestly—and further put her on the spot. Bad man!

Lord knows, I hate to be cruel, but you are like the leg-humping dog. All harmless and friendly seeming till the unsuspecting human lets her guard down. Then you’re on her calf, pumping away, soiling her best pair of fishnets. Oh, and for future reference—everyone uses the “I’m seeing someone” excuse. It’s far more humane than saying, “I’m sorry, but I do not find you remotely attractive and I wouldn’t fuck you with my worst enemy’s cunt.”

Cruel to be kind: or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle WA 98104.