I asked a friend to go on a date, and she initially agreed. Then a few hours later she texted me back and said she was busy that night, and perhaps they could instead go on a group date with some friends. I feel disappointed. I think the bigger question is, if she's uncomfortable with going out with me, how do I make sure things aren't awkward between us as friends? I still would love to be friends with her. How can I recover after pushing for a new milestone and failing? How can I return things to the norm?
Sincerely, Trying to Avoid Awkwardness.
Hi Trying to Avoid Awkwardness,
Very good questions! If she ends up never wanting to go on a date, I would suggest that the "new norm" you are aiming for is the same as it was last month—to have a friendship with her. For example, treat her kindly, act yourself, and seek to be interested in her as a friend. Not too pushy, not too distant, and regardless how hard it is, be sure that you always smile and greet her and ask how things are going. If it gets too awkward you can always fall back on being kind like a friend. If she does not reciprocate or acts awkward, meet her with kindness and my guess is she will come back around soon. If after a few weeks she does not, then perhaps her friendship is not one that you want to invest too much emotionally energy into. I hope that helps.
Christopher Grace serves as the director of the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships and teaches psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology. He and his wife, Alisa, speak regularly to married couples, churches, singles and college students on the topic of relationships, dating and marriage. Grace earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Colorado State University.