Dear Diana,
I am 24 and have never been in a relationship before. Of late, I've been talking to this girl. She is 21. We hang out in a group. We keep talking on the phone and sending text messages to each other. Last week, I expressed my feelings to her. She says she likes me, but wants to take it slow. She only replies with 'maybe' and 'I don't know' whenever I ask her out and do things together as people do in a relationship. But she does not want to be seen with me in public. She says for now she will only talk to me on the phone throughout the day. Is she taking me for a ride? Should I just move on without her? I can't understand whether she really cares for me or just wants to know my feelings towards her.
— Janak

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre 

Dear Janak,
Your girl is taking it slow as she does not want to rush into something she might regret later. You have barely been together and seem to be in a hurry. In the rush you will not look objectively at the odds of the relationship succeeding. Things done in a hurry could lead to disappointment. Remember breakups take a heavy emotional toll. Right now just go with the flow. If she feels you should not meet her, she has her reasons for doing so. She is probably not comfortable and has expressed her reservations. If you really care for her, you will respect her sentiments. She wants to not rush into anything. Probably she is weighing the pros and cons, so she is taking her time. At the same time, try to get to know her better. She may not be as outgoing as you, so she needs time to open up. There will be many moments to cherish later so don't be in a rush. If you still harbour doubts if she cares for you, ask her and gauge from her reaction. I am sure she cares for you, or she would not bother to keep talking to you several times in a day.