Am I into her or do I just want a relationship?

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Hi Meredith,

First off, big fan of Love Letters. I found the column back in September and have read each letter since, every day before I start work.

I'll do my best to describe my thoughts in a way that makes sense. I've always known that I am someone who would like to be in a serious/long-term relationship. I have dated women before, longest relationship has been about 4 months. So, here's my question: I sometimes find myself thinking about dating or what it would be like to be with women that I know (friends, colleagues, etc.). However, I don't really know if it's A, that I'm actually into them and want to ask them on a date, or B, I'm just projecting the thought/desire of wanting to have a long-term partner onto them. As an example, there's a co-worker in my department who I find very cute. She's insightful, well-spoken, and I always enjoy our conversations during lunch. Sometimes after we have lunch/talk, I think about being with her, but then don't really think about being with her after the thought leaves my head. Any advice on how to tell if it's me just projecting, or if it's that I'm actually into them? Any insight would be much appreciated. :)

P.S. - Are there ever any Love Letters fan meetups/socials? I think that could be a fun event!


There are Love Letters meetups. We've had plenty over the years, but that stopped during 2020, of course. I do think that, at the very least, I'll host something online in early fall. But I promise, when it makes sense to gather, we will.

As for crushes vs. projections, it sounds like you have an actual crush on this colleague. Basically, it's clear you want to know more. It's difficult to know whether you're really, really into someone until you see them in a new context, spend quality time with them, maybe even kiss them (if they are into being kissed). If it's appropriate (doesn’t violate rules of your workplace, etc.), it sounds like it’s worth asking to see her outside of the job. Even if it's in a group.

As you investigate, try not to think about the long-term-ness of it all. Right now, you're answering simple questions. Is there attraction? Does she make you feel good about yourself and vice versa? If your desire for a long-term relationship fuels this next step, that's OK, but you can't answer questions about someone's partner potential on a first date. In the case of this co-worker, you'd have to take it step-by-step because you're still figuring out who she is.

It starts with a simple request for more time. If she – or any of these possible crushes – accepts that request, enjoy and see where it goes. If you decide you're not into them after an outing, that's OK too.

In most of these cases, you can't answer your questions without pursuing the experience. Get to it.

– Meredith

Readers? What's the next step when you might have feelings for someone? Any letters from the archive you want to recommend to this LW during this binge-read of the column?