(Zach Trenholm/Salon)

My text blew up in my face

We met, we danced, we kissed, we texted. Then I said the wrong thing and now: Radio silence!


Cary Tennis
May 24, 2013 4:00AM (UTC)

Dear Cary,

To try and make a long story short, I met a girl 10 months ago during my last day studying abroad in London.  She is a Brazilian who lives in Argentina and we maintained communication for the last nine months in any way we could (via Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, email).  Initially our intentions had been to meet in New York City in March of this year when we first started communicating (through a series of events NYC in March didn't happen but instead we were supposed to meet in July of this year).  The conversations we had were amazing; I've never felt such a strong connection with a person even though we had only seen each other in person once.  We had so many things in common and it seemed that we never ran out of things to talk about.  The conversations we had never felt as though we were just friends (it's worth mentioning that the night we met we danced and kissed the night away). However, the communication we had didn't go without its rough patches due to the fact that we never talked to each other in a "just friends" manner. I am incredibly attracted to her both physically and mentally and the feelings were reciprocated by her at one point.

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About a month and a half ago I finally had a conversation with her asking her what she ultimately wanted out of all of this (what would happen after we met in New York City).  She told me that of course she would want to be in a relationship with me at some point, and she would want things to be "official" if we lived in the same country as each other.  After that conversation, the nature of our conversations completely changed, we talked about what things would be like between us if we actually were together and what we would do if we were together.  She became extremely attached to me as well.  She couldn't go a day without texting me and she would often say things like, "Oh, I wish you were here right now" and "I want you here right now."  This slowly started making me feel more and more guilty; it was like I was causing her some type of emotional strain and it was like she wanted some type of reassurance that one day we would in fact be together (reassurance that I couldn't give her even though I had discussed moving there to teach English after our second meeting in NYC).  I finally told her about my guilty feelings because of the things she was saying and she completely flipped; it was like she became a completely different person.  She said it wasn't the first time someone had told her that's how those words have made them feel (I'm assuming she was talking about her ex-bf of long distance from the past) and it made her extremely angry that that's how it made me feel.  She told me she was going to start being more distant with me and we wouldn't talk as frequently.

Two days after that, it aggravated me that she was so mad at me over something I couldn't control (she even said it herself).  I briefly blocked her on the texting app we use because I didn't want to risk communicating with her when I was in an aggravated state.  The next day she messaged me saying that she had attempted to text me but they didn't go through.  I came clean and told her what I did because I was pissed off; I felt it was the right thing to do, to be open and honest.  After I told her this she completely lost it.  She said I was acting like a child and she was "sick of all this bulls***." She said we were acting like a "20-year-old married couple when we had only seen each other once" and she was "done."  I responded by saying that I had to respect her choice if this is how she wanted things to end between us and I would always be there for her if she needed anything. She never responded to that and we haven't talked since this happened two weeks ago.

But now I'm not sure what to do!  Am I in the wrong here?  In the past, we've gone a week or so without communicating because something bad has happened between us, but I've always been the one to reopen the communication and things would go back to normal.  But should I even attempt to reopen communication between us this time?  It would feel like I'm missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime if I don't.

Sincerely,

International Love

Dear International Love,

Yeah, I'd have to agree with her. Blocking her texts was kinda dumb. I suggest you apologize. Tell her you were feeling crazy and apologize.

You did a dumb thing. It's not that it was wrong to feel the way you felt. But it was a bad move to tell her that and then to block her texts. Here's the thing we sometimes misunderstand. It is OK to feel things and we do not always have control over that. But we do have control over what we communicate to others, especially at a distance. We have to take extra care when communicating via text because there are no face cues. So we can make dumb mistakes like the ones you made.

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What was going on there was romance. She was romancing you and she was enjoying it and it was building up to something.

What you probably felt was anticipation and nervousness. That is normal. That's part of the excitement. There was nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing had happened yet. It was just foreplay.

But you can recover from this mistake and learn from it. Play it from the heart. Radiate confidence and eagerness to see her. The right note to play now is a sad D-flat of abject apology, the contrite contralto of burning love, the sad, piercing, about-to-die note, the bittersweet crazed-with-love passion note.

Do that. Tell her you're crazy about her and you made a stupid, guy-type mistake and ask her to forgive you. Tell her you miss her and you want her back in your life. Send her a clever gift. Maybe flowers but maybe something more clever and original.

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Then when she she gets to New York have a real relationship.

In person.


Cary Tennis

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