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Yes, I'm aware of the existence of 'he's just not that into you,' but I'd like it confirmed by the source.
October 25, 2009 10:35 PM   Subscribe

How do you phrase "are you into me?" in a non-terrifying way?

I'm about to have a, give-or-take, fifth date in a few days. The guy and I have a lovely, cuddly, sweet time when we're together, and then I don't hear from him for a week. We met about a month ago. We've made out, but that's about it (at my insistence, I'm trying to take it slow with anyone, these days). We met on a dating site, so I'm sure we've both been seeing other people, but I'm kind of interested in seeing if maybe we can give it a shot, because he's lots of fun.

It's been very, very casual, which was somewhat my fault, because the first time we met up, I called him last minute to say I was around and we should get a drink, then when he called to set something up, I was busy for a week. Now he's been busy, I've been busy, I've been out of town, he's been sick - in short, I will have not seen him in over two weeks when we meet up.

So, ok. I've decided I would want to see if he's interested. If he says no, I will not be devastated (beyond the anticipated ego-blow), but:

1. (less crucial) is there even a point in doing this, or is the answer 'no' if I have to ask? (I say this is less crucial because I intend to bring it up either way, so I guess I'm just looking to see how much I should prepare myself for unpleasantness)

2. what is the least-scary-least-desperate way to ask, hey, so do you think we could try dating?

I also ask because I'd really like to be having sex right now, but I'm disinclined to do it outside of exclusive dating, for health and mental-health reasons.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would just show up and see how it goes, without any intention of asking "are you into me?" It's the sort of phrase that the more of a question that question becomes, the less you'll feel good about the answer. My point being, wait to 'ask' that when you're pretty sure you know what the answer will be. And by then, it totally won't matter how you phrase it (and he might beat you to it anyway).
posted by iamkimiam at 10:52 PM on October 25, 2009


For me, it would depend on whether you are really OK with things going on as they have been. If the infrequent contact isn't working for you, then you should make it clear that you'd like to either cool things off and just be friends or get a bit more serious.

I might say something like, hey, I have really enjoyed spending time with you. What do you think about making this more of a thing?
posted by prefpara at 10:59 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


2. what is the least-scary-least-desperate way to ask, hey, so do you think we could try dating?

The least-scary-least-desperate way to ask is to not ask. Not desperate is just happy to meet up with him when the opportunity arises, and leave the ball in his court on when this will get more serious. Desperate needs-needs-neeeeeeds to know.

Just make the (rather tough) mental decision to wait him out, and have fun in the meantime.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:03 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm of the opinion that women can make the first move just as well as guys can - they're usually afraid that us guys don't appreciate that sort of thing. Some of us do - and if that's the kind of guy you're into (someone that will appreciate your making the first move), then cool. If that's the kind of guy you're looking for :)

The point of dating is to have fun, and eventually get serious if you want it. Have fun and go from there.
posted by chrisinseoul at 11:34 PM on October 25, 2009


If you want to know, just ask. "Hey, I really dig you. What do you think about confining our dating to each other and see how it goes?" Anything else just reeks of game playing and I might be in the minority here, but that shit is lame.
posted by youcancallmeal at 11:59 PM on October 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


At the risk of sounding clueless, why is it desperate to ask:

"Hey, I really like you. Do you want to try dating?"

If a woman said that to me, I think I'd find it really attractive. In fact, I used almost those exact words when I asked out my current girlfriend. When a guy asks this question, the answer is always to "man up" and ask her out. Why is this so different?
posted by anonymuk at 12:04 AM on October 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


OP: Sorry if that sounded curt, but I was taken aback by the first couple responses. I didn't mean to imply it was easy. We have so many questions about this because asking people out on dates is usually a tricky business. Good luck and have fun!
posted by anonymuk at 12:19 AM on October 26, 2009


It is ok to be straightforward with a guy. Really. We tend not to mind. It makes it easier for us.
posted by twblalock at 1:16 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I disagree with this:

Not desperate is just happy to meet up with him when the opportunity arises, and leave the ball in his court on when this will get more serious.

I would say that settling for a situation that isn't (and might not ever be) what you want, and not even *mentioning* what you want is the act of a desperate person.

Onto the OP's questions.

1. Yes, it's necessary. Different people behave differently. Everything you've mentioned falls within the range of "normal," to me.

2. I agree with everyone else. There's nothing scary or stalkerish about just straightforwardly asking him about his general feelings and whether he wants to date exclusively, under the circumstances you've described.

I would say someone who finds it scary and desperate to be asked that question after 5 dates is not a good match for someone who likes monogamy to begin more quickly in a relationship, anyway.
posted by Ashley801 at 3:07 AM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think others have kind of hinted at it but I just wanted to point out that it is critical that you lay YOUR feelings on the line first. I think this helps make it little less scary.
posted by like_neon at 3:43 AM on October 26, 2009


Pish Posh to the first few answers - the vast majority are dating with a view to eventual seriousness with someone (maybe not you, but you know).

Have a nice night out, enjoy yourselves, towards the end just say "Hey, every time we hang out I have a really great time. You seem like a really nice guy and if you're interested, I'd be happy to knock it up a notch and start some more serious dating."

Say it at the end cause if the answers a no, everyone wants a quick out.

It is totally reasonable to expect some clarification after five dates (older people do this all the time, and I wish to hell I had done it when I was younger, woulda saved a lot of time and unecessary angst).
posted by smoke at 3:52 AM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I also ask because I'd really like to be having sex right now, but I'm disinclined to do it outside of exclusive dating, for health and mental-health reasons.

You should just explain it that way. He'll be to busy thinking about sex to get scared.
posted by delmoi at 4:26 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I also ask because I'd really like to be having sex right now, but I'm disinclined to do it outside of exclusive dating, for health and mental-health reasons.

You should just explain it that way. He'll be to busy thinking about sex to get scared.


Yes. That is the only thing that makes your question really comprehensible to me, and I would bet that the guy will understand it as well. Just be sure he understands that you mean it when you say you want to be exclusive, and if you get a sense that he's just saying yes for the sex, I would back away slowly with your palms held outward.
posted by nosila at 5:37 AM on October 26, 2009


One ellipitical way of asking it is "Would you like to have dinner with my folks while they're in town?"
posted by MuffinMan at 6:09 AM on October 26, 2009


Just come out with it in the most straightforward way you can. If you're having a hard time phrasing it, say "Look, I can't figure out how to phrase this, but...." and then just say it, and if you're worried about him misunderstanding you, say "and what I'm not trying to say is..." and then say that too. And if you're worried about coming on too strong, say "I hope I'm not coming on too strong here but...". Spell it out like he's emotionally retarded, even if he's the most sensitive, perceptive guy you've ever met.

Don't be elliptical. Don't be discreet. Don't be casual or offhand about it. These are bad things. Just say the damn thing you want to say so that he can think about that, rather than wasting time trying to decode your impenetrable she-language.

Just
Say
The
Damn
Thing.

Please.
posted by SebastianKnight at 7:18 AM on October 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Things to say:

"I'd like to see more of you."

"I'd really like to be having sex right now, but I'm disinclined to do it outside of exclusive dating, for health and mental-health reasons."

"How do you feel about how things have been going so far?"



Things not to say:

"Would you like to have dinner with my folks while they're in town?"

Anything mentioning the word "serious".
posted by hermitosis at 7:24 AM on October 26, 2009


Just ask. Schedule another date (hopefully the timing finally works out) and towards the end of it as you're laughing and having a good time, just ask, doesn't matter how you say it. If he likes you and wants to date you he won't even think of your wording or the fact that you asked, he'll just be happy to know that you like him. If not, then you'll get a "well, I like you and I'd like to keep seeing you but I'm not in a place where I can be in a relationship, I hope you can understand" blah blah. Then it's up to you to decide if you're OK with seeing him casually or not.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:24 AM on October 26, 2009


Yeah, we have a good time together, but typically, a guy who's really looking to date a girl doesn't disappear for over a week. I guess the consensus is: tell him I like hanging out with him, ask in a straight-forward way if he's interested in actually dating me (as opposed to going on occasional dates with me).

Is there consensus on whether or not to mention that I'd love to be sleeping with him but won't do it casually?

Also, I'm glad someone else pointed out that not saying anything and just hanging out with him whenever he calls is the more desperate move. I couldn't agree more.
posted by namesarehard at 10:41 AM on October 26, 2009


but typically, a guy who's really looking to date a girl doesn't disappear for over a week.

I think too many people read too much into this kind of thing. He could be avoiding you out of fear you will reject him. You cannot read his mind. Books like the Rules try to tell you that you can suss out how a guy feels about you based on how often he is calling or the like. Simply not true. Humans lack mind-reading ability.

So, what to do? I say go out with him and make a move. See where that goes. But if it gets too far, let him know that's too far until some level of exclusiveness is worked out.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:34 AM on October 26, 2009


namesarehard: "Is there consensus on whether or not to mention that I'd love to be sleeping with him but won't do it casually?"

I don't think you need to mention it. Assuming you're both in a US-ish culture, it's the default assumption for most relationships. It's also probably better communicated with actions rather than words ;)
posted by anonymuk at 1:19 PM on October 26, 2009


One guy to say that if he's enthused, the verbiage will be irrelevant (assuming it isn't relating that you see him as the father of his children, y'all getting married in three months, etc.).

The want-to-have-sex question? Hmmmmmmmm... . Take that one as it comes? Make some physical moves if he doesn't? Seems like if you relate your thoughts, he's enthused, that element should develop on its own. If not, again, if the guy wants to go down that road, is shy, he almost certainly won't have a problem with you taking action.
posted by ambient2 at 3:32 PM on October 26, 2009


I must admit I don't think five is a lot of dates, not enough to become *serious*. I might consider clarifying my own position further saying "I feel bad that I've been unavailable when you've tried to get together. Please realize it is absolutely not because I don't want to spend time with you." Then leave it alone. Ball in his court.
posted by Breav at 4:55 AM on October 27, 2009


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