Quite Frankly

Hey Frankie,

I like this guy and we say hi to each other every time we see each other. I’ve decided that I need to just make a move, so I’m going to send a flirtatious email. I’m a little worried about how to act if he just ignores my email? Do I continue saying hi and pretend nothing has ever happened? Do I ignore him?


Erotic Emailer

Dear Emailer,

Quite frankly, I deeply hope it’s not too late to stop you from sending a flirtatious email to someone you hardly know. Please—and I cannot stress this enough— do not send a flirtatious email. For multitudinous reasons, this isn’t a good or appropriate way to make a romantic overture. 1) Email is usually not the place for solely personal correspondence, particularly when you’re in your late teens or early 20s. 2) Just, like, no. I’m sorry, but no.

I get that making a move in person is probably not the most alluring option because you’d have to put yourself out there and risk rejection to your face. But there are plenty of relatively simple ways to test the waters and hint at your interest without pushing things into rejectable territory. Instead of just saying “hi,” for instance, you could ask how he’s doing, how his classes have been or engage in any number of small talk conversations that will convey that you’ve got more than a passing interest in dialogue. Over time, as you have more of these kinds of conversations, your options will expand. You’ll begin to forge a deeper, more personal connection with him and the opportunity to broach the subject of your feelings may arise in person.

Just in case I’m too late to stop you from hitting “send,” I’ll give you some next steps. I would say you should probably acknowledge that sending an email was an odd thing to do, and apologize for engaging in behavior that may have made him uncomfortable. The best course of action is always to come clean as soon as you can, and directly. Find him in person and have the uncomfortable conversation. Explain that you wanted to get to know him more, but you understand now that emailing him flirtatiously was not an appropriate way to forward that end.

Hopefully, he’ll be willing to move forward after that. If, however, your email made him uncomfortable, you have to respect his wishes and keep your distance.

Best wishes,


P.S. I guess it’s also possible that you already sent the erotic email and it went over well. In that case, I suppose just proceed however you see fit.

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