How to get from attraction to sleeping together without dating?
January 18, 2010 9:29 AM Subscribe
I seem to find myself in the same situation all the time - I'm friendly with a girl, and there seems to be a pretty clear sense of mutual attraction. But for whatever reason, I'm not really interested in dating them. Sometimes it's a shared interests thing - maybe there's one thing we have in common but share pretty much nothing else. Or maybe they're just really immature about some things. Or maybe they're someone I work tangentially with that it would be sorta inappropriate for me to date. Anyway, for me it seems like the attracted-to scale and the want-to-date scale are kind of independent. It's great when they line up, but often they don't. So how do I go about telling them that I'm attracted to them but don't really want to date? Or is that just totally unwanted?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's been a while since I was last dating someone, and I really miss the intimacy. I would really love to bring it up with some of these people with whom I have a physical chemistry, but I'm perpetually afraid that they really want a full scale relationship. I'm fine asking people out for dinner or whatever and going from there, but the language of that process is all very dating. What do I do with people I just want to cuddle with and maybe sleep with? I don't want to send the wrong signals and make them think I'm asking them out. My neurosis on this point is exacerbated by a history of having women around me who want to date me but whom I'm not interested in, so by nature I've gotten really sensitive to people in that situation and am trying to head that kind of thing off early. Plus, I know there are people in my past who I would definitely have wanted to date and would have jumped at the chance to sleep with them hoping something else would happen. I don't want to be that asshole who takes advantage of people in that situation. At the same time, I wonder if the people I'm interested in feel the same way - lord knows there are plenty of reasons why someone might not want to date me, either.
For whatever reason, the people I end up being attracted to tend not to be very up-front and kind of naive about relationships. They would pretty much never in a million years make a move, and certainly not propose a friends with benefits kind of thing. So how do I bring this kind of thing up without making it seem like I want to start dating? It seems like just saying "look, I don't really want to date, but I'm super attracted to you" is insulting and mean. But all my non-verbal/non-explicit ways of showing that I want to be with someone come across as dating, so I don't know how to ease into it that way. Is it just that if I'm not close enough with these people to bring it up directly and not worry about hurting their feelings that I shouldn't ask at all?
Any advice? How should I bring this kind of thing up without hurting feelings?