I had been 'courting' this girl off-and-on for three years. She works at a restaurant I deliver for--she's an employee; I'm an independent contractor. I then began eating there frequently when she was there--she always showed interest, making it more obvious as time went on--touching me, calling me her love, asking about my life, etc. I'm a novelist, and she bought a hard copy of my book--says she's going to read it and then her sister is.
The last few months (until this week), she had no car, so I would drive her from this restaurant to her second job. It's a natural route for me throughout the day, so I wasn't going 'out of my way' for her (at least it didn't look like it). The last couple of Fridays, her shift at the second place didn't start for an extra hour, so she asked me if I wanted to hang out for that time. We had two mini pseudo-dates (lunch & iced coffee--back-to-back Fridays).
Conversation went well--we discussed our short-term and long-term plans, she wanted to go door-knocking with me to help me flip houses (she's the outgoing charismatic one), and she wanted to use the book I wrote for a college book report. She also insisted on paying for lunch/coffee in exchange for me driving her (I took her up on the coffee the second time, but not the lunch the first time).
We did have a plan for Knott's Berry Farm a couple of weeks ago, but it fell through, because she said she wanted to 'take it easy' that Saturday evening (which actually meant going clubbing with her friends, as her Snapchat proved), so I ended up selling the tickets.
When we hung out this last Friday afternoon, though, she did show interest again. My birthday is this Saturday (the 6th). She had gotten me a Christmas gift that's still at her house, and I said we'd have to make that a birthday gift instead. She insisted on doing both, so I said (half-teasing) that the birthday one could be taking me somewhere. She asked what day it fell on, and seemed excited when I said Saturday (the one day she's free). I playfully said, "it's fate," and she agreed. During that time together, she would have me feel her hair, ask me how her lipstick looked, laugh hard at a few not-that-funny things I said, etc.
I agreed to pick her up at midnight (from her second job) that night and drive her back to where her car was parked. She unexpectedly brought a co-worker, asking if he could get a ride too. Her plan was then to take him on a ride to pick up her sister from the airport, then take everyone home. She invited me to come along, but I declined, as there seemed to be no point...I didn't want to appear too eager, and I would have preferred spending time with her one-on-one (didn't actually say this last part).
When she said goodbye that night (before she got in her car with the co-worker), she leaned in and hugged me, then got out of my car, then got back in and hugged again (as if soliciting a kiss). I now see she may have been fishing for one, but the other guy (a stranger to me) was standing a few feet away. Also, she told me with certainty that she wanted to hang out 'tomorrow' (now 2 days ago), and that she would hit me up after work (and if not then, Sunday for sure). She said she'd be getting off at work early afternoon and would call and see what I was doing; I planned my delivery route around this.
When Saturday actually came, she never contacted me after work. I sent a casual conversational text in the early evening, and she said she had fallen asleep. I told her I got off at 10, and that I could swing by if she were still up for going out for boba (and if not, it was fine since I could keep delivery driving). She finally responded, saying she would "let me know," but never did--only to stay up all night clubbing once again. Her texts throughout this time were briefer and 'cooler' than normal.
She never contacted me again after this (which I expected--it's common for her to be gung-ho about a plan, then cease all contact until she sees me in person days or weeks later). I'm now in a catch-22: I know she's not going to contact me again, and if I keep doing the pursuing too aggressively, she could easily become turned off (if she's not already). I have been the only one initiating any contact lately, even when she says she will. So I definitely won't be spending my birthday with her.
What I could/should have done differently: I should probably have acted more confident/spontaneous in our first pseudo-date lunch--I was a little tense and caught-off-guard, because I was only expecting a short car ride at that moment. Perhaps I should have also let her pay for lunch, instead of letting my ego get the better of me--this could have helped her see me as a 'provider' type she can use for favors. Finally, I could possibly have found a way to be more assertive and direct in asking her somewhere (like Knotts) early on. Since we've been discussing doing such things for months (but never actually done them), she may have stopped taking the idea seriously.
Plan of Action: "Fold my hand." Consider this a 'dropped pearl' and remove all hopes and attachments. I can't be needy and keep doing the pursuing several weeks in a row, so I won't be eating there anymore. I'll see if she contacts me first (which she likely won't), and I have deleted her number from my phone to avoid temptation. If I end up seeing her through work (picking up a delivery), I'll be nonchalant and act as if I only know her professionally and gauge her reaction.
Any thoughts? Am I being too pessimistic, or does it sound like she's jerking me around?
Note: Even if I were in a committed relationship, I'd have no problem with the girl going to clubs with friends on the weekend while I stayed at home with my books and computer. We'd both be doing the thing we'd rather do at that time, and I value independence and security--it's good to have other pursuits and be able to 'do our own thing' without being controlled or oppressed. That being said: I prefer consistency; since she said she definitely wanted to hang out on Saturday, it seems she was blowing me off by abandoning the idea.