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How to contact my Insta crush?

I have a crush on a girl I follow on Instagram — but I live 70km away. Should I message her?

Whoah, says our elder. Send a harmless message, but work on meeting people nearer home, too.

Dear EWC

I am going through a first world problem, not knowing if it is appropriate to write to a girl I don’t know personally on Instagram. In this particular case, I have a big crush on a girl that I follow on Instagram. She is very beautiful and, for what I can see, she is my kind of girl: sporty, loves the outdoors and she seems after my own heart (I hope that the last expression is correct, I mean that she has the same tastes as me). Now I come to the ‘problem’. She lives 70km (43.5 miles) from me, little more than an hour by car. She is also a biathlete, so she is very busy with training and competitions. I have a car and there are public transports (busses), so travels would not be a big problem. I would drive over there for her without any problem. I just don’t know how she would react to a message from a guy she doesn’t know and who lives that far. She seems really kind, but this is a strange situation, so who knows. I feel that I need to overcome my fear of relationships. I am 23 years old (she’s 19 years old) and I have never had a stable relationship, just a two-month fling five years ago. I had many delusions, but this time I want to be finally happy.

Nick replies

You made my day when you wrote, “she seems after my own heart”! Not only did you use it perfectly but you revealed how much of a gentleman you really are. The right young lady will be very lucky to have you as her bf, believe me. You wrote with such charm, one might say, old world charm, and the right woman will melt into your arms because of this.

I can’t tell, however, if this 19-year-old is the right woman. The reason is two-fold. First, you only have a crush on her after following her on Instagram. Second, she has never had an opportunity to respond one way or the other because you’ve never actually contacted her or heard back from her.

A crush is fueled by imagination. It’s similar to a child playing with Barbie and Ken dolls. Children can create a Barbie and Ken world in their imaginations because they don’t have any real facts about Barbie and Ken. So they create them.

Having a crush does the same thing. Your imagination fills in all the details because you don’t have any reality to tell you otherwise. So you imagine she’s perfect for you. You picture the two of you doing these sports together. You’ve even concocted a strategy for getting over to her house to visit with her. The reality might be completely different. She might have a horrible personality. She might have views which are the exact opposite of yours. She might have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. She might not feel the same attraction for you which you do for her. She might have strict religious views. You just don’t know and you just can’t know from what you’ve learned about her on Instagram.

The problem is that a crush can fire you up to the point where you aren’t thinking clearly. Your emotions and feelings and hormones cloud your good judgment and you end up doing something you later regret.

So here’s what I would do:

I recommend you actually send her a harmless message through Instagram. You can say something like, “Hope you are ok with my following you on Instagram but it’s hard to find a young woman like you who is as into sports and the outdoors as much as I am.”

Then see if and how she responds. If she sends no response, you will know this is going nowhere. If she sends a weak response, like, “Thank you. Enjoy the outdoors yourself”, you will know she’s polite but not interested. If she sends something more friendly, you then have an appropriate opening to have more conversations with her.

I would not, under any circumstances, drive or ride over to her place and simply knock on her door. I would not even bring up your desire to do so until you hear back from her. Otherwise, she will think of you as kinda creepy and a bit of a stalker, which you aren’t but that’s how you may come across.

Meanwhile, I think you have to get over your shyness. Instead of feeling bad or insecure that you only have had one previous relationship, lasting two months and it was five years ago, you want to be thinking, “Damn. I’ve already been in a relationship and I’m more than ready for another one.”

I recommend you get out there and socialize. Go out with some friends. Meet some girls. You don’t have to make any of them your gf but you can initiate some casual relationships, dating here and there, nothing too serious until the right girl comes along.

My sister was 26, even had bought her own home by then and pretty much figured that love was going to pass her by. She had never had a serious bf, even for two months, as you have had. When she moved into her new house, in a new neighborhood, she decided to join a singles group in order to meet new friends. The singles group was volunteering at a charity marathon and she signed up to help out. While she was there she met a young man who was just your age. He was volunteering through his college club. Long story short, they met over their interest in volunteering. The following year they married and this December they will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary. All this happened because they found each other while doing something else.

I suggest you try doing the same. Instead of secluding yourself with social media and obsessing over her on Instagram, shut that down and take up a hobby, volunteer somewhere, hang out with friends, put yourself out there where you can meet others with your same interests. If you like the outdoors, join an outdoors group, for instance.

I worked with a new HR director who moved to the city to take the job. He was a bit lonely but I found out he liked bike riding. So I suggested he join a group which gathered two nights a week on the art museum steps (think Rocky) and then rode through different city parks. Long story short, he did join, made new friends and through his new friends eventually met his husband. They now travel the world for bike races on their vacations.

So go very slowly with this crush. Send her a harmless post to see how and if she responds. Meanwhile, circulate and meet some new people. Keep reminding yourself that you have nothing to feel shy or awkward about, that any girl who can have you as her bf is a lucky girl indeed and that you want to keep your crush feelings in check.

Letter #: 442022
Category: Dating/Relationship

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