Is My Online Classmate In Love With Me, Or Are They Merely Using Proper Netiquette?

I’ve been single for most of my life, and I find that the reason I have such difficulty dating is that I can never figure out if someone is interested in me. At times I’ll believe that someone is flirting with me, but then I begin to wonder if they are simply acting friendly. No more applicable example comes to mind than my online classmate, who is either head over heels in love with me or merely using proper netiquette.

To make any kind of romantic advance, I need every possible assurance that the person I’m interested in has a thing for me as well. Whenever my online classmate replies to my discussion board post with something like, “Good post,” I am immediately one-hundred percent convinced that they are into me. But then the doubt begins to set in, and I ask myself whether they are just adhering to the conventions of Internet etiquette clearly stated in the course syllabus.

Look, I’ve taken a gamble before and shot my shot, and let me tell you, no blade cuts deeper than rejection. One time, I was at a bar, and after downing two Mike’s Hard Lemonades, I built up enough liquid courage to take my chances with the bartender. Long story short, the manager asked me to leave, and I am no longer permitted to visit that particular establishment. Moments like this are why I need to be unequivocally certain that when my online classmate responds to my discussion board post with, “I agree with you. I like how you said that thing you said, nice job,” it is a confession of deep, undying affection and not solely a display of exemplary online communication skills. 

Let’s be clear: I’m no James Bond. I don’t possess irresistible charm, nor do I have washboard abs. What I am is a hopeless romantic who is desperate to know if this virtual person whom I have never seen in my life is indeed my soulmate. 

Any indication that could further clarify whether my online classmate is utterly enamored by me or only exercising the customary code of polite behavior in online discourse would go a long way. Maybe it’s about time I quit pussyfooting around and slide into their Canvas direct messages already.