The Shipboard Romance Relationship

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
So there is this girl, she was in my class last year and during the second part of the year, when we were in the same project group, I started liking her from a far. As time passed I found her getting more interested in me and she would always smile when talking to me. By the end of the semester just before the holiday I had her chatting to me daily, something she told me she never used to do. She would block out other people and just talk to me. By this time i was getting very curious, I could hardly believe she was taking interest in me, it seemed unreal. Anyway one day we were talking summer vacations and I told her I was going on a boat trip with a good friend. She seemed very interested in the holiday so I asked her if she would like to come, there was plenty enough room. She reacted positive and within a day she decided she would come (I was flabbergasted and overjoyed...).

So the semester finished it was summer holiday and we had our vacation planned in August. We went out to for a couple day trips in the mean time, but after that there was much less contact right before our holiday trip. (She lives in another town, 60 miles apart from me (i have no car)) She would work a lot and do her usual summerthings.

She's very shy when it comes to relationships and very unexperienced (as am I). But I did know that she had a crush on another guy, and that they'd being doing stuff together for about 3 years. But never did they actually do anything serious, not even a kiss. I personally didn't think much of their relationship, in three years time nothing happened, that's bogus...But it did make me wonder why all of a sudden she was taking an interest in me as well as that other dude. She didn't seem the spend a lot of time with him during the summertime either and hardly ever mentioned him (only once).

So I decided I might have a chance with her and that this holiday trip would make things more clear (whether she was really interested or not). So the three of us went on holiday, first few days we were having tons of fun and I was getting to know her better. She was always smiling at me and we'd be making eye contact all day long. So one night (we slept in the same compartment on different beds) I asked if she'd want her shoulders massaged, cause she was always complaining about pain there. So to my surprise she said yes and she laid down on the bed. I went about massaging her neck and shoulders, but all the time she had a shirt on.

During the massage I would ask her things just to get her relaxed and she did. Slowly I started massaging her beneath her t-shirt and I started by her back (low) and slowly worked my way up every time moving her t-shirt upwards. Now i wasn't just making the usual massaging motions but also touching with the tips of my fingers across her back and the sides, where she would instantaniously react. Obviously she was enjoying it very much cause she started breething deeply but she was otherwise silent. I was massaging her now for maybe an hour and i got the point where I was even touching her breasts. Here I am with this girl, shy as hell and she is actually letting me do this! So then I decided i was probably moving too fast and stopped - we both said goodnight and went to sleep.

The next two days, she was friendly, but more distant at times. I wanted to massage her again and was going to get some massage oil, but then after two days she said she didn't want to anymore. I tried to persuade, saying it was just good fun and not sinful in any way. To no avail. Another day passed and we started making tons of eye contact again. I was very curious to know I would ever have a chance with her so I decided I would simply ask her flat out during a game of cards just before going to bed.

I got us in a discussion about relationships and so on, and I suggested we would play cards for a kiss - If I would win I could kiss her. But she said no, I tried to persuade but no it stayed. I asked her why not. She said she had a crush on somebody else. I asked her if I had any chance with her and she said no. I was strangely not all too disappointed, at least there weren't any doubts anymore. I still liked her so much. I had trouble sleeping and noticed she had her sleeping bag half open. I had a couple of beers that night and to my own surprise I couldn't help wanting to touch her. Things furthered and before I knew it I had her slip off and was touching her in places no man had gone before... I knew for a fact she was extremely aroused... But at some point she started turning around, I drew back and while going back to my bed she was sort of smiling and she told me I had learned enough for tonight. I grinned back and we went back to sleep. Couldn't believe what happened, what I actually had done, and what she said afterward.

The next morning I was chatting happily away with my friend and she was all silent and sitting some place else staring at her puzzle book. I didn't know what to think at this point. She clearly didn't either. She seemed alright the rest of the day but she refused to sleep in the same place that night. So she slept some place else that night and I knew why. The next evening all seemed good again and we were having a tv night. I had asked earlier why she slept in the other room but she said it was convenient at the time - no special reason. She decided to sleep on the usual spot and we were talking just before bed time. I tried to make her talk - and she finally told me she was nervous about the whole situation. I had a good talk and told her I would back off and convinced her she should say anything straight up, and say whats on her mind. She told me she enjoyed the 'events' but she didn't want anymore of these this holiday. I respected that of course - in the back of my head i did wonder why she said 'this holiday' and not 'don't want this ever again'.... The last days were fun as well but she clearly was more distant toward me.

Anyway the holiday was over and unfortunately we hardly had any contact. We were now studying at different schools (100 miles apart) and she was extremely busy to add up to that (a grueling 7-5 work experience program had her tired to the point of exhaustion). I hardly had contact with her and I was very disappointed. I was worried she didnt like me anymore - even as an ordinary friend, so after a long period of no contact ( a month or so) I sent an email asking her why she never bothered to talk to me anymore. She emailed back within a day saying she was extremely sorry but she was so busy, she really still liked me - as much as she did before, she told. I remained sceptical and was still disappointed. Another month later she started sending me messages via mobile phone again. She used to send these all the time right before she went to sleep. And now she was doing it again. She wanted to plan a reunion to watch the photos we took during the summer and one week ago we finally met up again and had a terrific day. She still laughs at all my jokes - she has the most beautiful smile....

During that day I was curious to know if she had many progress with this guy she said she had a crush on. During the holiday she said she was going to get closer to him after the holiday but it turns out the guy didn't fancy her anyhow. So she told me this, hardly with any tone of disappointment in her voice and asked if i was having any luck with the girls. I said no... So now i'm wondering, do I still have a chance. And if I don't have a chance at a relationship might she want to do anything sexual (just for fun/exploration). She's sends me messages every night now, asking how my day was, what I'm going to do in the weekend, how my game went and so on and that when we'll meet up again. Last night I sent her a message saying I wanted to do something out of the ordinary in the weekend and if she had any ideas... It's one day later now and I'm waiting for some sort of reply...

I'm hesistant to ask her anything direct. I was able to confront her during our holiday, but now with 100 miles in between us, her tendency to evade all those sort of questions is very great. Keeping in mind she is very uncomfortable with intimate relationships in comparison to other girls her age. I want to keep her as a friend, like to try out a real relationship with her and am also interested in a purely exploring-type-of-relationship if you know what I mean (massage and further...). I'm scared I could blow any kind of relationship if I force the issue but the uncertainty is killing me as well. What to do, what to think, how to act, or how not to act. Advice
It's REALLY common for people to get into situations just like yours when they're out in a strange location, like a shipboard romance. They are in a new place, things are different and exciting, they start doing things they wouldn't normally do. They figure it's OK because after all, they're not "at home" with people watching them. It's like a fantasy escape.

So she was enjoying her fantasy but also had it in mind that this wasn't a serious thing, and once she got back to her real world she went back to her normal way of life.

If you want to start seeing her, you need to keep in mind how separate those two things are. It sounds like her crush is out of the picture. So build up the connection between you two, find ways to get out to see her. Yes you have no car but if she is working, you can be working too - take a train or bus, or rent a car! There are many ways for people to get to see each other. Make the effort and show her you're willing to travel even just as friends. The more you become a part of her NORMAL life, the more likely she is to spend time with you and treat you that way.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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