How do I read signals from someone who doesn't seem to have any?
January 18, 2012 2:16 PM Subscribe
I'm involved in a new relationship with a guy that I like. He's what I would describe as very self-contained. Quiet, comes off as pretty shy, and requires a bit of effort to get to know. Things have recently started to get physical, but I'm finding myself frustrated because I have no idea how to read this guy's signals and moving things forward is up to me. What does complete silence mean?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We'd been flirting for quite awhile before things got to this point, and have been getting to know each other for several months. Things are still in the light making out stage, and I'm starting to get cold feet about having sex with this guy because I don't think I can handle the lack of reaction to anything I do.
I have talked to him on several occasions, enough to tactfully establish that this is how he usually is and (unless he's lying for some reason) not a sign that he's not attracted to me. He's made it clear to me that he has problems making the first move with someone and feels more comfortable with someone else taking the lead. He seems more willing to take initiative as his comfort level increases, which has been pretty consistent through all our interactions as long as I've known him.
The problem is that my instinct is to read his behavior as a neon sign flashing "Not Interested", and I don't feel comfortable progressing things beyond this point without knowing this is something we both want - and the physical signals and outside conversations are telling me two completely different things. Does he like kissing me? I don't know. Ears nibbled? No clue. Would taking his shirt off be moving too quickly, or am I frustrating him by not using my mind reading powers to determine that we should have been naked half an hour ago? Couldn't tell you. He tells me yes when we're just talking, but when the actual act is going on there's nothing to indicate any particular enjoyment of anything that I do, except that he allows it to continue. He's still really, really quiet, and as much as I've tried to look for other physical signals to follow, I'm not finding any. Breathing doesn't seem to change, pressure stays pretty constant, hands don't grab or press. No sighs, moans, groans, and absolutely no speaking. I've got nothing. Normally, I'd just ask a lot of questions, but I don't want him to feel badgered instead of sexy.
So, are there any other things I can use as a bit of a road-map for intimacy? Should I stop giving him the benefit of the doubt and just back off before I get too emotionally involved? Is there a tactful way to get him to alter his behavior enough that I don't feel like I'm trying to put together a fairly complex thing with instructions written in a non-Western alphabet and no pictures?
If it's important, we're both in our late twenties, and not virgins or escapees from a religious cult. I really like him, we get along well otherwise and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he says he is attracted to me and interested. I'm very communicative, so he should have no doubt that I'm interested, attracted, and that he has a green light whenever he's ready.