Q. I met someone on Tinder and we hooked up. While she is pretty casual about it, I feel like there is a deeper connection. Every time I look at her, something inside me melts. I kind of tried to chat with her a few times but she called me clingy and hung up. How do I convince her that there might be more to this than just a one-night stand?
Ans: It’s beautiful that you are feeling a deeper connection in an era of commodified relationships. There are many things this relationship could be besides a one-night stand and only time will be able to tell. Because it is new and feels ‘deep’, you could be experiencing limerence. Limerence is a strong attraction we have for someone that usually silences our logical part of the brain.
The part that is going to understand and evaluate whether your affection is requited – a must in healthy relationships. The part that is going to balance obsessive and intrusive thoughts about the other person – an essential to function in the real world.
The part that is going establish whether you are in an abusive or co-dependent relationship – crucial to protect you from hurt. These and many more considerations are going to help you establish if your feelings are coming from an authentic place of bonding or from unresolved issues you might have.
Before trying to convince her, find out what you are exactly experiencing. Give your feelings time to fully develop and observe them instead of reacting to them. Do you feel calm when you are around this person? Do you manage to communicate clearly or are you afraid to share your emotions with her? Do you feel like giving her affection as much as receiving it? Would you want her to be happy even if it meant she would never be with you? She might be calling you clingy because she is not looking for something deep.
She might be afraid of more intimate connections and you have to respect that. Some people prefer swimming in safe shallow pools, some in deep blue oceans.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach and an Independent People and Culture Specialist focusing on relationships, sexuality, youth and social media in South Asia. Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)