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Apr. 24th, 2003 | 03:33 pm

So in my continuing attempts to figure out what's going on with the coworker I'm interested in, I did what any good lesbian would do--I told my therapist.

She gave me some interesting advice. First off she reminded me that if one is afraid of imagining that there's a chance of things working out one can be blind to actually noticing if someone is showing interest. (I'm a bit skittish since after breaking up with two of my previous girlfriends, I'd wasted some time imaging that things might work out again).

Also she pointed out that the times I told my coworker that I thought she was attractive she didn't try to discourage me, instead she said "Thank you." (So it's safe to say that she's not terribly bothered by the idea of another woman finding her attractive.)

Also the april fools joke she told my other coworkder was most interesting.

So I think I'm entering that uncertain place where it's increadibly hard to tell whats going on. (Is she just being friendly, is she interested and responding and I'm just being overly cautious, is she uncertain about experimenting and only occasionally providing signals?)

So my next plan is to try to invite her to some of the things going on in my life, like going out to a movie, or perhaps one of the role playing groups. Not to mention that this weekend I'm going to try cleaning my apartment up some, and maybe invite her over for dinner next week.

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Comments {16}

her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 04:48 pm (UTC)
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That sounds like a good plan! A little bit of physical flirtation can work, too, and you can do that very gradually to see if she reciprocates or backs off.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
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So that's the second time someone's mentione physical flirtation. Historically I've been scared to enter someones personal space without plenty of verbal negotiation ahead of time.

So since that seems kind of limiting, what do people actually do when they try to gradually add some physical flirting? (In a way that allows for non-verbal negotiation of how appropriate it is)?

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 05:01 pm (UTC)
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It's hard to write in generalities, because I think such things are often situation-specific (and besides, it sounds either too silly or too technical when described). But as a very gradual example, if you're watching a movie together, and something in the movie happens that reminds you of her (like if a song that you know she likes comes on), you can touch her arm and mention "hey, isn't this your favorite song"? Thus it's a _little_ innocuous, in the sense that you're not just randomly touching her, but you also get to touch her, *plus* she gets a chance to react favorably or not (by touching you back, staying still and smiling, just staying still, staying still and looking pensive, withdrawing, whatever).

Then, if you get positive responses, you can move to more flirty touching, like by touching her shoulder, touching her hair, hugging her, kissing her, etc. It's all very context-dependent, like I said, and what you do should be in proportion to the signals that you're receiving from her.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 11:19 pm (UTC)
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Okay. That makes sense... and thinking back I've actually managed to do that successfully (with someone else).

Though I do think the first casual touch might still be a bit scary, and I think I won't try it anywhere near work.

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Apr. 25th, 2003 07:24 am (UTC)
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Though I do think the first casual touch might still be a bit scary, and I think I won't try it anywhere near work.

Yeah, in general I think it's best to separate flirting from work anyway, unless it's just flirting for flirting's sake rather than out of any specific romantic interest.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 05:30 pm (UTC)
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Yep, what saltbox said. :^) Think playful rather than flirtatious per se, at first: A nudge, a poke, a squeeze, and see what she does. If she looks unhappy or pulls away or whatever, you know she doesn't want her personal space invaded, you've only done it once in an inoccuous way (so she probably won't hold it against you forever), and you can fall back to Plan B. If she nudges, squeezes, or pokes you back, that's a good sign. (grin) Repeat until something more flirtatious seems appropriate, like a hand on a shoulder, or on a hand, or some such. The common theme is that want something that can be gradual if it's not well-received, but can be reciprocated, or can linger, if it is. If you're sitting on the couch watching a movie, leaning up against her so your shoulders touch (or shifting your leg so your kneeds touch, or whatever) is much less aggressive than putting your arm around her, for example. As long as she can gently and casually disengage, you should be pretty safe.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 05:57 pm (UTC)
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One other thought: On the verbal compliments front, there's a lot of different ways to say someone's attractive. "Wow, you're really hot" is a lot different than "wow, I really like your hair". I think your idea about mentioning distraction is actually a good one -- maybe not quite as overtly romantic as your original phrasing, but if you can slip it in casually some time, it might convey a stronger sense of interest than "attractive".

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Actually I had trouble containing myself and used the distracting line yesterday. Today we spoke briefly though rather casually, and no mention of yesterday was made. Though she was rather wrapped up in what she was doing.

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Melody

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from: melodymuse
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 06:36 pm (UTC)
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I think the affectionate physical flirtation is a good idea too. I did this when I liked Mark and wasn't sure if he liked me in a romantic way. It took a bit of courage but it payed off. One person always has to break through to the next level or it will never happen. I am a bit shy but Mark is even more so, so I took charge.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 24th, 2003 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Watching the lesbian community, the observation "one person has to break through or nothing will happen" is so, so true.

I didn't talk with her much today, though I did email her and ask if she'd like to go see a movie with a friend, and received no response.

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Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: Apr. 25th, 2003 07:46 am (UTC)
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This is probably just a myth, but I've heard that the way female sheep express their sexuality is to hold very, very still. This is why there are no lesbian sheep. :^)

Lesbian sheep syndrome is a problem for shy humans of all orientations, of course. Even non-shy humans: I've been reluctant to make the first move with someone shy, for fear that I'd come across as too aggressive, but I wasn't at all confident that she would ever initiate anything if I just sat around and waited. Patience and very gentle persistence worked out ok there (although the relationship didn't last, but for other reasons).

Jeez, I'm turning your journal into my personal dating advice column. Feel free to tell me to pipe down at any point...

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 25th, 2003 09:30 am (UTC)
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Well, I can really use the advice. I've had a lot of trouble with dating.

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secretslip

Uh oh

from: secretslip
date: May. 31st, 2003 02:33 pm (UTC)
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I'm now blushing a dark shade of crimson...

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Diane Trout

Re: Uh oh

from: alienghic
date: May. 31st, 2003 07:51 pm (UTC)
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because of that april fools joke? <raises eyebrow>

You can certainly see why that might've been considered a "mixed signal". ;)

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secretslip

Re: Uh oh

from: secretslip
date: May. 31st, 2003 08:34 pm (UTC)
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I suppose a lack of discretion on my part is to blame. I'm not sure how much I knew at that point. Hmm Of course, Brandon is being a talkatutto.

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Diane Trout

Re: Uh oh

from: alienghic
date: May. 31st, 2003 09:12 pm (UTC)
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Chuckle... brandon did say "I'm not sure if I should tell you this..."

And one of my theories was that you had to be at least aware enough that I thought you were attractive to help come up with the idea. I suspect that being straight you haven't thought that much about same-gendered relationships and so my comments perhaps helped make you a little more aware that such things happen. (Or something like that)

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