OK to E-mail Semi-Stranger?
Q: About four months ago I was on vacation and my mom met a girl who was about my age. My mom told me the girl she met was really nice, and when I saw her I wanted to approach her and start speaking to her, but I was too shy. During the rest of the trip I kept running into the girl and she would always look at me like she wanted me to say something. My mom later found out that she lived close to where I lived back home and even found out her name and where she worked. My mom kept talking to her but did not want to invade my privacy and just let me talk to her myself if I wanted to. Here is my question: would it be strange or wrong if I were to e-mail the girl because I know where she works because she told my mother? Or do I just let it go? -- James, 22
Dr. Susan: I can't think of anything strange, wrong, or upsetting about getting a short friendly e-mail from the son of a woman you gave your name and place of business to. The girl can always ignore the e-mail or give you a polite brush-off if she's not interested, or she can show some interest and the two of you can take it from there. Since four months have gone by, she may be dating someone else by now, so be prepared for whatever response (or non-response) you get. The only thing you could do wrong would be to pursue her if she indicates she's not interested. And meanwhile, get to work on that shyness! You have nothing to lose by reaching out a bit. If a girl says no, you're no worse off than if you hadn't made the effort in the first place. By putting yourself on the line and making overtures to girls, you at least open up a world of possibilities.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.