I'll echo AAL
. I wouldn't totally give up on her, but AAL
is right that you probably want to chill a bit over the next couple of days. See, when people start retreating a bit from a person, sometimes our tendency is to ratchet it up even more, which seems to be your plan.
Unfortunately, that makes them swim further away. A friend once used a fishing analogy. I don't really fish, but I understand his point. His feeling is that you have to "set the hook", then "let the drag out". In other words, you don't pull hard on the string, you let the fish swim wherever it wants. Otherwise, if you try immediately to yank on the line really hard, the fish will "spit the hook". At the moment, if the hook is even a bit set, you've got to let the drag out all the way. Especially because you obviously have the problem of her "friends" trying to pry the hook loose with both hands. Respectfully, these are immature teenage girls, and you have to recognize that their feelings change from moment to moment, which is actually to your benefit. But I'd lay off the telling her you like her. She's already figured that out. Let it be unsaid, because the only reason for saying it is to try to prompt her to say it back, which at this point she won't. You have to let her come to the decision that she likes you on her own, and say it on her own. Don't tell her anything about your feelings. It will be counterproductive.
We've all been in the position where we pushed too hard too fast and they spit the hook. It isn't the end of the world, or of the relationship. The "creepy, stalker" thing is just a way for little girls to create drama, and no big explanation is going to help you recover from that. (That's because there's NO WAY that these girls will understand the fun of watching a flight on which someone you care about is riding. You and I both know that it can be fun -- but NO cheerleader in the world will EVER get it. It involves technology. It involves monitoring. The more you explain how cool it is, the more they will say "stalker". Because they need drama.) So...YOU'VE got to be cool, and don't really explain it in full. First of all, if she confronts you with it, blow it off: "Pfft. I just looked to see if your flight was on time, just like I'm sure your parents did." "But, FLAirport, why would you care?" "Well, you know I know a lot about aviation, and I was curious if Airtran was doing its job." (See, then it's about the airline -- bewildering to her but okay -- rather than about her -- incomprehensible to her.) If she doesn't raise the subject, there's no reason for you to say anything about it. Stick to the "How was your trip?" plan that we discussed earlier. If she doesn't call you immediately, don't call her. If she's your friend, which I assume means that she talks to you, then that means that she likes talking to you, even though her friends don't get you. And if she likes talking to you, in a day or two or three or four or five, she will. And you need to wait for that to be HER
decision. Or you will blow it.
The great irony about teenage relationships (and a lot of adult relationships) is that the more one side pushes, the more the other side retreats. The game is always about making it be *their* idea to take a step, whereupon you offer just a whiff of acceptance. A brief example: In high school, I really liked this girl, who was a friend. She liked me, but dated somebody else. Then we went off to different colleges. She asked me to come up for a friendly visit. I went, expecting nothing but vaguely hopeful. I spent the weekend being a tad aloof, but certainly very solicitous. When we did group things with her new roommates, I made her look good to her roommates by telling them wonderful stories about how great she had been in high school. And I spent a lot of time listening to her privately telling me about all of her concerns about this and that. She, of course, was used to me making her feel good about herself; I'm sure that it was that she was craving a comforting presence that motivated her to call me for a visit. Her roommates, by the way, were brilliant and gorgeous -- something that I really didn't pay attention to because I was focused on her. Because I delivered pretty much what she expected, my trip really did nothing to advance anything with her. But we had fun. What I didn't really notice all weekend was that one of her roommates was showing all sorts of signs of interest in me, something that I also missed because I was focusing on my friend. On the last night, the roommate just literally threw herself at me, with a passion and depth that I had not theretofore experienced upon knowing someone so briefly. Why? Because by building up and supporting my friend, and making her look good to others, I looked to her roommates to be a REALLY GREAT GUY. They thought that she was NUTS for never having dated me, and one of them wasn't going to let me just disappear after the weekend. There were some logistical problems (like a four hour trip) to the resulting relationship, but it was one that I still look back fondly upon. The moral here is that if you are a good guy, and act like it without trying too hard, somebody is going to notice. And if it isn't this girl, there may well be somebody better right in the same corral.
Oh, yeah. Her friends are not your friends. Don't share anything remotely private, like how you really feel about her, with them, just interact primarily with her. The information that they give you is a day or week old, which means that it's probably totally wrong. And whatever you tell them will get back to her, probably in a form far far away from what you said. And remember something that politicians know: never answer directly or responsively a question that you don't like, and don't repeat the loaded parts of the question. To wit, "I heard that you were electronically monitoring her and she's ready to get a restraining order." "Oh, that's silly. Everything's fine." (Rather than, "I did not monitor her electronically. I just used the Flyecomm computerized flight tracking system to watch her particular flight, its altitude direction, speed. I do it all the time. And I haven't heard ANYTHING about a restraing order. Really.") See, it's better to just in a few works shut the whole thing down without really discussing it. They're not entitled, really, to ask. So don't give them any kind of response that doesn't make you look good, and above all this fray.
Okay, enough Dr. Phil. After a long time of interacting with people, I can say for sure that there's always another relationship right around the corner, and the ones I have had have ALWAYS been better than the last one. It's called learning. And growing. And it keeps going until you become very, very old.
All the best,