Asking out a socially awkward friend
December 11, 2011 4:46 PM Subscribe
You're a smart, awesome guy with serious social anxiety. What's the least awful way a friend could let you know they have feelings for you?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I'm female, 30, he's in his mid-twenties, and we've been friends for a couple of years. We have a lot of common interests and our friendship's been largely based on meeting one-to-one and talking for hours, with some email and stuff in between. At the time I first met him, I was at the end of a relationship with someone else, and so I couldn't quite tell how I felt about the new friend - I wasn't clear enough in my feelings to make a move that might just be a rebound, partly because I was so excited about the friendship and partly because his self-esteem isn't high enough for me to feel ok about being selfish/reckless.
I'm clear now, though: I turned down a possibility with someone recently because all I could think about was how much more interesting, cute, awesome and smart my friend is. I'd rather be kissing him, hanging out with him, than anyone else - it needn't be any more of a big deal than that.
- He's got extreme social anxiety, generally manifested in avoidance. If I make a move and he's not interested, I will probably never hear from him again.
- We live in nearby cities, so I see him with erratic frequency (though this wouldn't be a big issue if we were together, as the distance is short and we both have reasons to be in each city).
- I have an awful lot more experience in relationships that he does, whih I mention only because I know he hasn't done any of these things much - I'm still a total doofus, but I think he's extremely unlikely to make the first move even if he wants to.
- I'd rather stay friends with him than push him away, and I don't think he'll handle it smoothly if he's not interested.
- I'm somewhat socially anxious myself and get really stressed about possibly upsetting people.
We have mutual friends, and I'm considering testing the waters by asking one of them - I'm sure he's been teased about me, but I'm not sure if the response is "shut up" or "hell no, and I wish she'd back off". The only thing is, I'm 30 and that feels totally childish, but also like the only way to get a sense of whether the risk is worthwhile.
Socially anxious MeFites who can identify with my friend: what should I do? Have you had good or bad overtures like this before, and how did they go?