Reading the journals of Kierkegaard in relation to the cancellation of his engagement to Regina Olsen one oscillates between viewing him as a neurotic incapable of grasping ordinary happiness and as a sadist that is determined to drive the girl mad. There are also elements of comedic misconstruction.
Shortly before her engagement to Schlegel she discovered me in a Church. I did not avoid her look. She nodded to me twice. I shook my head. That meant "You must give me up". She nodded again and I nodded in as friendly a manner as possible. That meant "You have retained my love".
He has the grace to admit that he did not know at this time of the forthcoming engagement and even after it had taken place when he again met her in the street was still unaware.
Then, after she had become engaged to Schlegel (1843) she met me in the street and greeted me in as friendly and confiding a way as possible. I did not understand her, for I had not heard about the engagement. I only looked enquiringly at her and shook my head. She certainly thought I knew about the engagement and was asking for my approval.
Her nod is construed by Garff Soren Kierkegaard a Biography as being an attempt to seek approval for her marriage plans and she thereby must have been comforted by his apparent affirmation. If he had been fully apprised of the situation would he have blanked her approach or shook his head; 'non placet'.
His fatuous benevolence may be the result of a poorly attended psychodrama but the lasso of the double bind if you will pardon the bondage metaphor has a kink in it. Give me up and don't give me up because I still love you. She had a narrow escape. In later life when the Schlegel's were happily married he hovered about giving them permission. It's all there in Joakim Garff's book with a decipherment of inked out passages in the Journals. J.G.'s ironies take the form of sprightly exclamations. He is good on the letter within a letter to Schlegel at his office in 1849. It bounced.