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'I think I messed up my chances with a girl I like. How do I apologize?' MAJOR UPDATE

'I think I messed up my chances with a girl I like. How do I apologize?' MAJOR UPDATE

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We've all messed up with a crush, it's one of those growing pains of young life.

In a popular post on the Relationships subreddit, a young man asked if there was any way he could fix things with his crush. He wrote:

"I (M18) think I messed up my chances with a girl I like (F18). How do I apologize?"

Everyone in this situtation is a high school senior for context. I tried posting this is another sub but it wouldn't let me so hopefully this works. I go to a "career-readiness" high school. This basically means that they offer career-focused programs that give student's a head start and college credits.

They offer things like a nursing program, culinary program, business program, and film program (and others). You basically pick a program (you can change it if you end up not liking it) and you take this program for 1 or 2 years (they have different requirements). There is a girl "Faith" who I really like.

I've had a bit of a crush on her for a while and while we do hang out some times and talk (we have two classes together and mutual friends so she eats lunch with us sometimes) we are not super close. I've been trying to get to know her more because I want to ask her to prom. Her best friend "Simon" is a friend of mine as we are on the soccer team together.

Faith is in the film program which I knew. The film teacher is my homeroom teacher so I am in that class after lunch (homeroom period) and Faith sometimes comes in and works in one of the back rooms (there is a sound-proof recording room, another small office-like room, and a "green room"/sound room towards the back of the class).

On Monday, my friends and I were sitting in the green room where there are a few tables with chairs. One of the tables had this box on it that had been painted/colored on. It had a few random scribbles on it, and some pieces of trash were stuck to the bottom inside part of the box (it was like a box on it's side with no lid/top, and a missing side on the top if that makes sense).

It just looked like people had been drawing on it/messing with it. While I was with my friends, I started picking at the box. I peeled away some of the bits of trash/wadded up paper that had been stuck to it, and I was just drawing some more random symbols on it (plus some inappropriate ones because I thought it was funny--- immature, I know).

Anyway, I saw Faith come in as usual, and she went up to one of the other back rooms and came down with some equipment that she set down on another table. I was waiting for her to organize all her stuff so I could say a quick hello. She left again, and came back and then she screamed "what the f#$k are you doing?!" from behind me which scared me so I turned to see what was going on.

She was crying and she looked really upset. I asked her what was wrong and she shoved me aside and started to pick up the trash from the box as she kept crying. After a few seconds of us asking her what was going on she yelled again and said "You ruined it!" The film teacher came in to see what was going on and made us step out of the room while he tried to calm Faith down.

After a few minutes he went to his phone to make a call and Faith kept crying in the room. Simon (who is my homeroom) ended up going into the room to talk to her and I could hear her telling him that "it was ruined" and "he drew all over it and ripped it up". Simon came out and asked me what my problem was and told me that I had ruined Faith's set.

At this point, I was confused and a school security guard came in and my teacher said I was being escorted to the office for destroying another student's property. I got in trouble and got detention for two weeks. After school I got to talk to Simon who told me that the "box" I had been messing with was actually a set that Faith had designed for a stop motion animation film that she was working on.

Apparently, she had won the state film festival last year, and was trying to win nationals this year so that she could get a full ride scholarship the school of her choice (which was the grand prize). He said she had been working on the set for months and that it had been moved down to the green room because it was easier to set up the equipment down there since it was bigger than the office.

I offered to help fix it but he said there was no point since she would have to remake the whole set and restart her film since she had already filmed a portion of it and the set would not match up. He said she was really mad because judging by the amount of time it had taken to create the set and film what she currently had, there was no way she would be able to finish it in time for the deadline.

She had been sent home because she was sobbing over the fact that she missed her chance at the scholarship. I feel really bad, but I also don't know anything about film or stop motion so I'm not sure if she's just being a bit dramatic because she is so upset (which would be understansable).

I want to make things right between us but she is really mad at me and has been avoiding me and even asked our math teacher to let her sit at the back of the class so she didn't have to be near me. I'm thinking of offering to stay afterschool with her everyday and help her with the set but I don't know how to do that if she won't talk to me.

How can I get her to hear me out or at least allow me to apologize?

TL;DR: I accidentally ruined a girl's project. She's really angry with me and I'm not sure how to fix this.

The internet jumped in with advice.

DFahnz wrote:

"Apparently, she had won the state film festival last year, and was trying to win nationals this year so that she could get a full ride scholarship the school of her choice (which was the grand prize)." Do not accuse her of being dramatic when her future is on the line.

OP responded:

I don't mean to brush her off as dramatic, you're right I f#$ked up. I just meant maybe she's too upset right now and perhaps there is a way she can still complete the film if I offer to help her. Poor choice of words.

scrawledfilefish wrote:

Do you know anything about making sets for stop motion films? Cuz if you don't and she's just gonna have to teach you everything, then that's not help, that's just being a burden.

lets_talk_aboutsplet wrote:

Info: why didn’t you apologize in the moment when she saw what you did, or explain why you did it?

OP responded:

I couldn't because I was confused as to why she was crying and it was very chaotic. She was sobbing and shaking and it was just a lot happening at once and then I was sent to the office after so I didn't get to see her.

Odd-Astronaut-92 wrote:

Honestly, you can't fix this. She wants nothing to do with you and you may have seriously affected her future. If you truly care about her then respect her wishes and leave her alone, and take this as a lesson for the future to leave stuff alone if it doesn't belong to you.

OP when asked if he really cares and if he finds it acceptable he destroyed another person's property:

I do care. I just didn't know what it was. It literally just looked like a box that had been used for something at one point but was just messed up and stuff. I was told after that it was a set that was meant to look like an abandoned alleyway which makes sense in hindsight as the pieces of trash that were "stuck" to it were placed on purpose but it literally just looked like random stuff that no one was using.

A week later, OP posted an update post.

I am 18M and my friend Faith is F18. I have liked her for a while and I had been planning on asking her to prom all year. She has been a bit angry with me for a bit due to a misunderstanding and I have apologized to her by asking a mutual friend to tell her my apology since she didn't want to talk to me at the moment and I respected that.

Because it had been a while I decided that it wouldn't hurt to ask her to prom, and all of the girls in our friend group had been asked except for her. She usually doesn't sit with us at lunch anymore because she was mad at me, so I didn't join the group so that she would show up.

Once I got confirmation that she was there I walked in with some friends and did my promposal which had a lot of signs and a song that I played on a speaker while I approched her with some flowers and candy.

It was in the cafeteria which garnered a lot of attention, and as I was asking her to prom and telling her again how sorry I was and how I wanted to make it up to get by giving her a fun night at prom. Everyone was looking and some people started recording. Faith didn't look at me at all while I was talking to her which was kind of awkward, and she just looked down at her lap.

A few of her friends tried to stop me but I ignored them. One of them ended up shoving me really hard and I almost fell and then she and Faith and a few other girls got up and left. It was really awkward and people were staring so I left after them and found them behind the building while Faith was throwing up and shaking. I tried to ask her what was going on but her friends told me to leave.

I kept trying to talk to Faith but she wouldn't answer me and she eventually screamed in a way that was scary and concerning and one of her friends said I was making her panic attack worse, so at that point I left to give her a second to cool off, and I went and reported it to one of the councelours.

I kind of expected her to say something to me in class later but she wasn't there and one of her close friends told me that she went into the office and begged them to let her change her classes around even though it was so close to the end of the year because she didn't want to see me.

I haven't tried to approach her again, I'm going to give her some time to settle down a bit and then apologize for making a scene. I do wish she would at least give me an explination as to what happened or an answer to my promposal since a lot of the students posted the whole thing on social media and people are either making fun of me or mad at me.

They've even been talking to Faith and I guess she told them something else because people are also coming at me for ruining her life. I feel bad that I made her freak out but was I actually the AH for just asking her to prom?

EDIT: Since a lot of people are asking, the misunderstanding was that I accidentally ruined a project of hers. I genuinely thought it was trash or something that was getting thrown out and didn't think that it might look that way on purpose (which was stupid of me).

The internet did not hold back.

citronaughty wrote:

INFO: have you seen her have this kind of reaction before?

OP responded:

No, but we also are not super close. We have a lot of mutual friends which is why we usually all sat together during lunch but other than that i talked to her in a few classes we had together and mostly about schoolwork.

Particular-Try5584 wrote:

YTA. 100% YTA.

She’s so angry at you she’s avoiding you…to the point of not having lunch with her friends.

And so you trick her into feeling safe with her friends so you can do a massive public songs, flowers and back up crew ”proposal” style asking to prom. That’s a 100% AH move. In fact it’s many 100% AH moves in one short act. Putting pressure on her when you know she already doesn’t want to talk to you at all.

Using a public proposal to put pressure on her. Tricking her into thinking she could at last have lunch with her friends without you being there. Ignoring her friends obvious requests/demands that you stop. Pursuing her afterwards when she’s made it abundantly clear that she does not want any part of this and has left your little scene.

500% the AH.

And all of this is before I get into the fact that you state she’s teheonly one not yet asked. Are you trying to save her from...no date? Or thinking she’s low enough on a social totem pole that she might fold and agree to come with you out of desperation?

Why was her being last in a group even relevant to this? You didn’t just ask her to prom. You publicly humiliated her by creating a huge drama, and forced her into a scene in a play when she has made it clear to you she doesn’t want to be in the play. Stay away from her. Or expect a restraining order.

OP responded:

I didn't want to put pressure on her. I thought that it would help to get her mind off of things if we could hang out at prom and stuff. I had heard her friends talking about it and she never said she didn't want to go to prom with me, she was just upset and didn't talk to me for a while so I wanted to take her to prom and a nice dinner and further apologize.

Particular-Try5584 responded:

You are going to get slaughtered in here today mate…it’s not going to be pretty. Don’t take it personally…just realise from this that there’s obviously a lot for you to learn. Public proposals are a sign of weakness. It’s a sign you aren’t confident enough in yourself and need the pressure of others to get the ‘yes’.

The worst part is…they are usually a fail in the long run because a person who is forced publicly to say yes still wants to say no, and finds other ways to do it later. Grow and develop your own confidence so you don’t need a public proposal. I know they are supposed to be romantic and memorable but that’s only when the two people REALLY like each other already, or in movies/fIction.

You have indicated she’s pissed at you (to the point of staying away from her friends every lunchtime!). There’s not going to be any easy path back from whatever this is. It’s not a small tiff, and it sounds like she really doesn’t want to forgive any time soon. Pushing into her space and demanding to be heard for your apology actually will backfire.

An apology isn’t for YOU it’s for her. An apology is a gift that cannot carry demands or expectations, otherwise it’s a barter/trade for something in return, and not a genuine apology. One day if you can get your hands on it maybe read Aaron Lazare’s “On Apology” a book he’s written about how to apologise well, and what makes an apology acceptable to others.

Taking over her personal space, whether this be in the school cafeteria, or sitting in her line of sight in class, or following her to talk to her here and there.. isn’t ok. She’s actively avoiding you, and it sounds like you are crossing into something that can feel like stalker territory. I know there are books and movies that are all about how if you keep showing up eventually the girl will fall for you, they are rubbish.

If you keep showing up eventually the girl will be scared of you and take out a restraining order. Give her her space back, be polite when you do run into her naturally, but do not manufacture ways to encounter her, and do not place yourself in her line of sight or across her path.

For her to have asked to move classes, away from kids she's probably enjoyed being with all year, says that she feels this is a really significant issue. I totally understand if you haven't done this on purpose, but even just being aware of it for a few weeks is probably a better way to improve your friendship than the constant popping up.

You don't have to walk all the way around the school in the other direction just to avoid her, you only need to avoid doing anything extra to be in her space. Good luck. Maybe make a time to talk to the counsellor again, it sounds like you have a lot of things going on and this might help.

OP responded:

Thank you for this. I don't want to be seen as a stalker or a guy who can't take a 'no', I guess I was just upset because everyone kept acting like I ruined her project on purpose when that is honestly not the case. People keep saying I have boundary issues and I know me asking her to prom might seem like that but I was just being stupid and I wasn't thinking.

I thought that she would realize that I genuinely didn't mean to hurt you but you're right, and i was hoping that stuff would work out like in a movie. I think I'm going to talk to my parents about it. I know they'll be upset that I asked her to prom after all that but I think that they can also give me more of a wakeup call and I won't feel as attacked as I did by Reddit and my teachers.

Well, this certainly escalated.

Sources: Reddit
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