Having given Crystal time to think about what she would do if and when I were to attempt to kiss her on the lips, I was confident that if I did try it, in a suitable setting, I would get reliable information.
So I tried it a couple days after our talk.
Her response: she turned her face away from me. No kiss on the lips, just a peck on the cheek.
I said nothing and repaired to my bedroom to assess my feelings and this new information. Well, it was clear that she has no intention of ever being romantic with me. It's been a year now that we have been going out fairly regularly and she's had an opportunity to see enough of me that if there were some intention to get romantic, it ought to show itself in a kiss. A kiss is not a big deal. This one was especially well managed, the advance notice given, and a few days passed for her to soak in the message I sent her. I was gentle. I was intentional and certain I had positioned myself to be kissed back if there were any return feelings to the extent of "let's be clear to one another that we have all the equipment and it works" and the only reasons that would tend in the other direction must be either discriminative--she want's someone prettier or cockier--or else she doesn't want to turn her equipment on for some reason, be that some archaic notion of chastity or something more deep and dark. I suspected something deep and dark when we went to the Art Institute and one of the only three works she hesitated over was a very lewd and vulgar female portrait, one of those you wonder what it's doing in an art museum, but then that's art. We walked by a lot of art. Nothing, not one comment or pause, except for these three, but still no comment. We raced through the place. I interpreted her response to the lewd picture as a hint that she had some erotic phantasies about lingerie. I certainly have them. And this work was sufficiently lewd that I think anyone would feel it strongly. But it was not a masterful work. It was crude and accentuated the lewd angle. It was unrealistically proportioned. It played on the guts, not the mind. Somewhere in between lay the heart. Crystal's definitely beat faster over it. Mine a little bit too. So because of this incident I tend to believe her equipment really is in good order, but apparently not in any expressible way.
Well, I'm not on comfortable speaking terms with her. I have no idea what I would need to say to her about all this if I were going to attempt to reach her conversationally over what seems to be essentially a physical disconnect. Realizing this, I returned to her to tell her it was over again.
I appeared to her, said, "One measure of how much you like me is whether you are willing to kiss me on the lips. You wouldn't do it, right?"
She said, "right."
I said, "ok, I'm never going to take you out again."
She said, "ok."
I left the room.
This is much more graphic an exchange than the last time when I asked her if she was attracted to me, and I don't think she will have any trouble figuring out why I won't be asking her out any more, and so I can't see her coming to me again asking why. But then I could be mistaken. In any case, if she does, I will be plain about letting her know that if she wants to go out with me she has to let me kiss her on the lips. It might be taken as a crude position. How does a mechanical issue get into a matter of the heart? But I have taken it very much as a matter of the heart. I never built up a mechanical relationship with her, but a deeply emotional one, for me anyway. I have to look at it as it being necessary for me to protect myself. If she has emotional issues she needs to open up with them. I'm not going to psychoanalyze her, at least not in conversation with her. That's a different kind of relationship.
As for sharing intimate details in public like this, it hasn't got that far. We haven't discussed keeping things private because essentially we haven't shared anything private. So while it may be cheeky of me to discuss her deep, dark, side, none of it is a matter of actual intimacy. It's all speculation.
I have to hope that whoever she ends up choosing as a mate, she will be satisfied. I wish it were me, but it's really kind of a logical bind. If she were to love me, then she must know well who I am, and that takes someone special. If she doesn't love me, then she must not know me well, and that must not be a very special person. It's the bind I've been in ever since I decided to first ask her out. At this point, it's simply too extreme a form of patience to continue courting her after she refused to kiss me on the lips. The logical bind ends with that interaction, and with that decision. The only way for her to restore it this time is to leap. I don't think she has that kind of courage in her, or that kind of inspiration. Nice girl, though. As I said, I hope she finds the right person.