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Q. I had a crush on a man at my college. We never talked, but we would see each other in the library, stare at each other a lot, and smile. Neither of us even initiated a conversation. As graduation approached, I found his e-mail and sent him a message, asking if he wanted to hang out. He very sweetly replied that even though he was in a relationship, he was open to meeting new people. In a very abrupt manner (that I’m more aware of now), I apologized for bothering him and left it at that.
Nine months later, he added me on LinkedIn. I found this to be weird, given our awkward interaction. Our fields are extremely different, so I can’t help him professionally at all.
I accepted his request, but again, we haven’t communicated. Is there any possibility that his reaching out means something? My friends don’t think so.
A. This letter inspired me to spend some quality time on my LinkedIn account. It’s a real mess in there. Requests had come in from college friends, random co-workers, and a woman who’s a traffic reporter in San Diego (she seems lovely). The system is clearly set up for quantity.
My guess is that if your crush wanted to reach out, he would have sent a message after you accepted the connection. But I don’t know for sure. If you find yourself thinking about this a lot, you can send a quick note, something that says you hope he’s doing well and that you’d love to get together. Keep it simple.
I chatted about this with a friend who works in social media. Her thought was that if this guy is connected to thousands of others, his request doesn’t mean much. She also said that if he wanted to make this personal, he would have found you elsewhere (Facebook, etc.). But she’s guessing as much as I am. Send the note — and let us know what happens.
LinkedIn populates suggested contacts for you based on your email inbox, and most college students freak out post-graduation and add everyone suggested. ELLLEEM
Why, oh why, do men and women not know how to hit on each other anymore? Or even speak to each other? NOMORESCREENNAMES
Young people have always struggled with these things. It’s just a different medium. JUST-ANOTHER-BOSTONIAN
I think Meredith may be right here — that if your crush wanted to reach out, he would have sent a message after you accepted the LI connection. He probably wants to keep things purely professional. CHOCGIRL
Does he have a Facebook? That would give more personal clues. LEGALLYLIZ2017
Your friends are right. PEREAGAIN
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.