Dear Courting Panda,
Thank you for writing to me with such a heartfelt story. There are many other male mammals wondering the very same thing. Take heart when I say studies show that courting the female panda may be the most difficult of all species. In fact, trying to get Pandas to court is always under study. It also sounds like your counterpart is giving you mixed signals and there is no sure way to tell if she is playing hard to get. Remember, I am no expert at animal relationships but I would suggest continuing to court her the old fashioned way. Woo her. She kept the flower. Place one there regularly and try not to watch her. Get know what kind of bamboo she prefers. Place a few near her favorite tree and see if she accepts them. You can always resort to lines of poetry or finding out things she likes. Sit near her and go about your business as usual. Say “hello” to her even if it makes you uncomfortable, but give no hint to her that you were the one leaving the love notes or flowers. Always be the polite gentleman. Let her get used to your presence every day. Try this for a few days and work your way up to introducing yourself. She may be shy. Continue wooing her but don’t say that it’s you. Sit at enough distance from her and take your leave before her at the same time every day. Never stalk her – that will definitely scare her off. Have patience. Try to have small talk after your introductions and listen. Wait for her replies. Try this for a while and then be gone one day or two. Have one of the squirrels see if she looks for you. Then, return as before but this time hand her the same flower left for her the very first day. See how she reacts. If she snubs you or doesn’t return then forget her. She will only ever be your lunch buddy. There are other pandas in the forest. Write back to me and let me know how things went even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped. I’m sure the other pandas in the forest are waiting to hear how things went. You may want to enclose an email for the other pandas if you are turned down. I’m sure they will want to meet to the panda that went to all this trouble for one lunch date.