I made a new friend. What do I make of her actions?

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Aspie1
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26 May 2021, 1:12 pm

I made a new friend in January this year. I didn't think much of it; I kind of took it for granted, to be honest. What made her special was her politics: a hard-right conservative, like me. (By contrast, the friend I met in 2016 is liberal.) I first met her in person at a picnic with my political group, where I ranted strongly against Democrats, and she liked it. She also thinks it's bad-ass that I work in a government job. (Previously, we often chatted online during the summer and fall of 2020.) We bonded almost instantly. Just two weeks after the first meeting, we went to an indoor Go-Kart track, a fairly pricey activity that took up more than half the day (counting the early dinner we went to afterwards, followed by walking around a mall). Later, we volunteered at an animal shelter together, and she wants to go back there. Now, we're making plans to drive to the next state to a nice beach, in the same town where I drove to get a haircut last year, and crash at a hotel there overnight (in separate double beds, presumably), since we don't wan't to call it a day so quickly, and would want to hit up a local bar or at least see a movie.

As a person, she's feisty and spunky. (As opposed to the new friend I met in 2016, who's warm and sweet.) But when it comes to decisions and making plans, she usually defers to me in most cases, which I know is a good sign. We banter frequently, a skill I'd find difficult even 5 years ago, let alone 10 years.

Since the first meeting, she's been initiating many texts to me, from friendly "good morning" texts, to pragmatic arrangements for the next hangout. When we hang out, I noticed she gives me full bear hugs, and presses into me during side-by-side pictures. Other than that, our interactions don't really feel romantic. She doesn't grab my hand, nor does she cuddle with me. (The other friend used to do that, but she has a boyfriend now. Plus, she was 22 when I met her, while my new friend is 37.) At the same time, she doesn't talk about other men she meets, and I fully swore off dating back in 2015.

This makes me wonder: do any of her actions indicate romantic interest? If they do, she's being very subtle about it, which gives her plausible deniability of me not getting the hints. If the interest in there, I'll probably end up turning her down, since I'm not interested in relationships, period (or "full stop").



DW_a_mom
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27 May 2021, 7:21 pm

Since you are not interested in relationships, period, I would enjoy the friendship as is and work to keep it that way. It is usually easier to hold the status quo than it is to turn a platonic relationship romantic.

Two hotel rooms would make it more obvious, if you can afford that.

As will the occasional casual reference to having sworn off dating.

You don't need to know how to read her actions if she has no trouble reading yours.

Just ... unless she is also committed to not having relationships, you can expect that she will eventually move on. As much as some women want platonic male friendships that stay that way, it gets trickier for them when they meet the guy they want to marry. The insecurities of the guy they want to marry, if such insecurities exist, will win out over the desire to continue in a platonic friendship with a different man.


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Aspie1
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28 May 2021, 5:08 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
Two hotel rooms would make it more obvious, if you can afford that.
Two rooms? Nah! With the Covid scamdemic finally ending and people traveling again, hotel prices are gonna be through the roof. My job pays very well, but still, why waste money? Besides, we're both vaccinated. ;) I'd rather save the money, and spend it on beer.

DW_a_mom wrote:
Just ... unless she is also committed to not having relationships, you can expect that she will eventually move on. As much as some women want platonic male friendships that stay that way, it gets trickier for them when they meet the guy they want to marry. The insecurities of the guy they want to marry, if such insecurities exist, will win out over the desire to continue in a platonic friendship with a different man.
Yeah, I get that. It's what happened with the friend I met 5 years ago. We became literally best friends within months. And now that she has a boyfriend, I don't get to see her anymore. The same happened with guys I knew since high school.

So I'm trying to do a good job of controlling my emotions and not getting too attached. What mitigates things is the context of how and where I met her. The woman from 2016 came into my life during a dark time, when my friends got serious with new girlfriends and pretty much phased me out. I felt really grateful for having met her, since she had given me the same fun, exciting friendship I just lost. This new woman I met through a right-wing group on social media. Me and her chatted online for several weeks, although we first met in person at a "Back the Blue" rally, where we sung "America the Beautiful" to the police officers protecting us. She liked how I sang it: "you looked really passionate", she said.

So it's a whole different meeting context. While I'm still glad me and her met, we were brought together by politics, not the timing of her coming into my life. So I feel like I'm less likely to get overly attached this time.



DW_a_mom
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28 May 2021, 10:21 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
Two hotel rooms would make it more obvious, if you can afford that.
Two rooms? Nah! With the Covid scamdemic finally ending and people traveling again, hotel prices are gonna be through the roof. My job pays very well, but still, why waste money? Besides, we're both vaccinated. ;) I'd rather save the money, and spend it on beer.

DW_a_mom wrote:
Just ... unless she is also committed to not having relationships, you can expect that she will eventually move on. As much as some women want platonic male friendships that stay that way, it gets trickier for them when they meet the guy they want to marry. The insecurities of the guy they want to marry, if such insecurities exist, will win out over the desire to continue in a platonic friendship with a different man.
Yeah, I get that. It's what happened with the friend I met 5 years ago. We became literally best friends within months. And now that she has a boyfriend, I don't get to see her anymore. The same happened with guys I knew since high school.

So I'm trying to do a good job of controlling my emotions and not getting too attached. What mitigates things is the context of how and where I met her. The woman from 2016 came into my life during a dark time, when my friends got serious with new girlfriends and pretty much phased me out. I felt really grateful for having met her, since she had given me the same fun, exciting friendship I just lost. This new woman I met through a right-wing group on social media. Me and her chatted online for several weeks, although we first met in person at a "Back the Blue" rally, where we sung "America the Beautiful" to the police officers protecting us. She liked how I sang it: "you looked really passionate", she said.

So it's a whole different meeting context. While I'm still glad me and her met, we were brought together by politics, not the timing of her coming into my life. So I feel like I'm less likely to get overly attached this time.


Just a side thought ... is it really that bad if you change your mind about wanting a romantic relationship? I'm not giving advice on it or looking at her level of potential interest because it was pretty clear where your head was at. But ... Well, if you want to talk on a different potential angle, say the word.


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Aspie1
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29 May 2021, 9:12 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
Just a side thought ... is it really that bad if you change your mind about wanting a romantic relationship? I'm not giving advice on it or looking at her level of potential interest because it was pretty clear where your head was at. But ... Well, if you want to talk on a different potential angle, say the word.
You kind of have a point. A relationship with matching political beliefs is a good thing. Otherwise, I'll be in the doghouse for weeks after the 2024 election. ;) And yet... I know of too many horror stories. From losing 50% of assets, the house, the dog, and the coin collection in a divorce, to men aging by 30 years the minute a U-Haul truck pulls up in his driveway. So no! No relationships for me. They all lead to moving in together, and you know how I feel about that! :wink: The passionate karaoke-style singing of "America the Beautiful" I did at the pro-police rally, I can't imagine myself doing that as a married or even a relationship'ed man, any more than I could do it when I still lived with my parents.

On a side note, the woman from 2016 is a liberal. Which was irrelevant when we met, but is a big deal now. (That being said, she didn't practice much social distancing with me after May 2020 until she found a boyfriend.) So even if I were to be with her, the divergent beliefs about the Covid scamdemic would have broken us up eventually, I just know it.