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Men are simple creatures, right?
November 25, 2012 11:45 AM   Subscribe

He's just not that into you, yadda yadda yadda... or is he?

I know the rules. Blah blah blah. But I'm not sure they make sense here.

I developed a massive crush on a guy that I see every day, we have classes together and study together (mostly his choice), and occasionally go out for a few beers (usually with others). For the first couple of weeks, I thought it was reciprocal, as all the signs were there - lots of eye contact, always wanting to be near me/contact me, blah blah blah, and then we went out for some drinks with friends, all signs were go that we were going to drunkenly head home together, and then he said, "I'm going home now," hugged me and headed off in the other direction (leaving me to wait for a cab by myself... special). This happened again, after we kissed in a bar (very drunkenly). We are mid-20s adults, in graduate school. Day to day, nothing has really changed -- he's single, I'm single, we're friends, we hang out, we laugh, he tries to be near me, I've caught him checking me out, we went out on a pseudo-date one night, but what the hell is going on? We've been doing this for several months now. My first theory was that he was getting over another girl, second theory was that he's inexperienced, and now I'm trying to figure out whether I should continue to pursue the crush, or find a way to move on while still seeing him every day. Is he scared? Am I stupid?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
He kissed you in a bar? He's single? You like him? He KISSED you?

Seriously, just ask the guy out.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:48 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ask him out. On a date. Using the word "date". Make it very clear what is going on. Right now neither of you have any idea what the other wants -- and this is every bit as much your fault as his. Either make the move or, if you are not willing to do that, move on.
posted by brainmouse at 11:48 AM on November 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is he scared? Am I stupid?

Well we don't know. He seemed to be about to head home, then he said "I'm going home now." Maybe he wanted you to invite him over in response; maybe he got cold feet. We don't know; we don't know this guy and we don't know how to judge your various theories.

So throw the theories out the window and get some data. "Hey, Cute Boy! We've had this maybe-maybe-not thing for a while now, what's up with it? Are you into me? Want to come over tomorrow and have dinner at my place?" We don't know what the hell is going on. But you can find out, if you simply ask him.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:49 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


What do you mean "continue to pursue the crush"? You've done no pursuing, you've just done a lot of making yourself available, aka sitting. Sitting is not pursuing. I don't know if he's scared or you're stupid or something else, but I do know you need to stop signaling each other with semiosis.

"Hey, so about that drunken kiss. Have you ever thought about whether we should, like, date?"

There you go.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:49 AM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


There aren't "rules". Be an adult and ask him out.
posted by asockpuppet at 11:49 AM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh, and I missed this:

"Men are simple creatures, right?"

No, we're not. We're adult homo sapiens and therefore, generally, complex and multi-faceted creatures, just like our female counterparts. Rules? There are no rules. There are, at best, rough and controversial guidelines that only apply to a subset of people anyway, and ought to be discarded disdainfully the moment they fail you, as they have here.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:51 AM on November 25, 2012 [48 favorites]


So much angst could be avoided if you just ask him out on a date. So ask him out. On a date.
posted by Justinian at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2012


Yes, ask him out. If you want to have sex with him, say so. Ideally, do it when you're both at least mostly sober. You're both sure doing a lot of this "drunkenly". A relationship is not something you want to do entirely drunkenly.
posted by fritley at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tomorrowful provides excellent advice!

I do want to say that there is one rule, at least -- though this isn't a rule about men but instead a rule about being an adult. Here's the rule: if you don't think you would be able to handle being in the same program as this Cute Boy should things go south, then do not ask him out. Disengage.

So, think about asking him out. Imagine the scenario. Suppose you ask and he says, "Oh, no, I like you as a friend, and I've enjoyed drunk kisses with you, but I'm not interested in anything more." Will that devastate you? Will that make it impossible for you to handle going to classes and large social events where he'd be present? If so, then don't ask him. Don't drunk kiss him anymore. Be friendly and polite, but turn elsewhere for romantic attachments.

Next, think about asking him out. Imagine the scenario. Suppose he agrees and you two go out, and spend a couple of weeks dating, but then things don't work out. Again: will that devestate you? Will that make it impossible for you to handle going to classes and large social events where he'd be present? If so, then, again, disengage. It's not the relationship you need at this point in your life.

Here's another way to think about this rule: don't pursue a relationship unless you do so in a way that is consistent with you maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle, regardless the outcome.

Provided you follow that rule.... Go ask him out! Seriously! Like, next time you see him! Take charge of shaping your own destiny!
posted by meese at 12:18 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


all signs were go that we were going to drunkenly head home together, and then he said, "I'm going home now," hugged me and headed off in the other direction (leaving me to wait for a cab by myself... special). This happened again, after we kissed in a bar (very drunkenly).
Here's what I'm gonna bet happened: He realized that you were both drunk. If I were in that situation, I would have backed off too, because there big consent issues there.

My advice is the same as everyone else's: Approach him (when you're both sober) and ask him out on a date. If he says yes, then yay! If not, at least you'll know and can move on.
posted by JDHarper at 12:23 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


As someone who has been that man several times before, please, please ask him out.
posted by pockupstep at 12:24 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of when people complain about "mixed signals" is two people who have developed different signal protocols, if you'll excuse me using such terminology on messy human behaviour. ( I vaguely recall a fable about cats and dogs disliking each other because the cat growls when he's happy and the dog purrs when he's angry but can't seem to track it down right now. )

People don't really follow a universal dating and attraction protocol. They build it up through their own experience of what works, but his experiences aren't the same as yours, so if you too narrowly interpret his behaviour using your own protocol, it could cause trouble when they differ, you see?

Maybe he was following the protocol where he goes, "Whelp, guess I'm going home now," and if girl has sufficient crush on him, she goes, "you could come home with me" and you failed to follow the script in his head just as he failed to follow the script in your head. Or perhaps he follows the protocol where going home with a drunk girl is a rather boorish thing to do.

Going on an actual date rather than a pseudo-date could change the script up a little.
posted by RobotHero at 12:27 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


1) He's shy ("inexperienced" you say).
2) Maybe he's decent enough not to push stuff especially when you guys have drunk something.

Only one way to find out. Next time he heads off to let you wait alone for the cab, your line is: "No you stay right here and keep me warm. Like this, here." (It's actually in the script, haven't you read it?)
posted by Namlit at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2012


if you don't think you would be able to handle being in the same program as this Cute Boy should things go south, then do not ask him out.

Quoted for truth. This may also be why he's not asking you out. You should also consider whether you think he would deal with things maturely, or whether he'd start spreading rumors and trying to sabotage you with peers/professors.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2012


I personally would start to put my attentions elsewhere at this point.

You could certainly ask him out using the word "date". I think he will say no, but there is no harm in asking by now. Any answer short of a "yes" with a specific time stamp should be treated as a "no". If you do not get a "yes" the reasons why are irrelevant.

If you go on a date, you must leave it to him to request a second date, or you will establish a pattern of doing most of the running. You can then request the third date yourself, and so on.
posted by tel3path at 1:56 PM on November 25, 2012


If you're comfortable risking rejection and, more importantly, comfortable with the idea of being the person who makes the first formal, vulnerable move to say, "I really like you. Would you go on a date with me this weekend?"--then you should feel free to ask him out and find out if he's interested in dating you or not. I like tel3path's guidelines for doing so.

If, on the other hand, you're not comfortable doing the asking, then you should look elsewhere. There's nothing wrong with wanting a man to ask you out, and there's also nothing wrong with a man who doesn't make that kind of formal first move.

I, personally, don't like the "hang out as friends, see what happens" model of forming relationships--it just doesn't suit me. I got together with my now-husband because he was direct about wanting to date me. My best friend, on the other hand, married someone whom she started out friends with, and then they gradually turned into a couple. We both found happy relationships.

Men are not simple. They are not all the same. You may be looking for a very traditionally "masculine" man (as defined by some particular cultural/social background), and that's fine, but that's a set of general characteristics, habits, and affectations that some men have, not some hardwired trait that all men are born with.
posted by Meg_Murry at 2:10 PM on November 25, 2012


Tell him, "Gosh, I've got a crush on you. Is this going to happen, or not?"

At that point, he'll either say, "sure, how about now" or "no, you're cute and all, but I don't see this going anywhere."

Handle yourself accordingly.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:34 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatever you do, don't judge him too harshly for not taking you home for a drunken hookup, as he had no way of knowing how you felt at that moment and maybe he didn't want to potentially ruin a good thing. I think in that he was right, but it would have been better to put you in a cab first, yeah.
posted by bleep at 3:40 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Talk to him. The worst thing that could happen is that you know where you stand afterwards, right?

(Though in fairness, people have a point about the study side of things. If you don't think you could handle being in the same room regularly with this guy if he turns you down, that's worth considering.)
posted by Someone Else's Story at 4:09 PM on November 25, 2012


He sounds shy, you sound sure. Make sure he understands that you like (like) him.
posted by OmieWise at 6:40 AM on November 26, 2012


One of you needs to quit guessing and start asking. You have no way to make him be the one to do that, so it might as well be you. Quit guessing and start asking.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2012


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