All that you can do is attempt to explain to her what happened. Thus far, it seems as though you’ve tried to communicate your feelings via an app and/or text. The problem with this type of communication is that it is impersonal. In addition, it is a lower quality interaction style when compared to face-to-face interaction. Low-quality interactions can decrease the quality of relationships. Text messages can leave individuals feeling devalued, shortchanged, or may inadvertently give them the impression that you don’t care enough to speak to them in person. Text-like communication does not allow you to see an individual’s facial expressions or reactions, or hear the intonations in their speech. Missing those important elements of communication can lead to confusion about what you are trying to say and what you mean.
If you’re serious about having a relationship with this person, and you want to attempt to repair it, then meeting with her in person is the best solution. I understand that you are “greatly troubled by the prospect of meeting her in person”, but it may be what is necessary in order for you to repair the relationship. Avoidance might only make it worse. You should not rely on text messages to communicate important information. Text messages can be confusing and muddled. If you want to avoid making the problem worse, the best solution is to meet with her in-person. It may not be easy, but it would be the right thing to do.
Give that a try and hopefully it will help. If that is not an option for you, then consider writing her a letter in which you attempt to explain your feelings in great depth. A letter is not a replacement for in-person communication; however, it is better than texting via an app or a cell phone.
If you have tried writing her a letter and/or meeting with her in-person, and she still does not understand your position, then you’ve likely done all that you can. Perhaps she is an unreasonable person or perhaps she simply thinks you have crossed a line that, in her mind, violates her personal values. If so, you will have to respect her wishes and potentially stop communicating with her. Sometimes, we don’t connect with someone for a variety of potential reasons, none of which may have anything to do with us personally. Not everyone is compatible with one another.
I would highly recommend counseling in this situation. The therapist can analyze the situation to determine what role, if any, you played in what happened. Therapy is also good for practicing one’s communication skills. It’s also a good place to discuss issues about sexuality and body image. With the right attitude towards therapy (open mindedness), and a good therapist, these issues can likely be rectified. Good luck with your efforts, and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle