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I have no idea if I am this dude's friend, date, or source of intrigue
April 14, 2014 11:28 PM   Subscribe

I met a guy on okc last October. He asked me out several times during November and I cancelled every time. He then deactivated his account for three months. He reappeared mid March this year and we have been hanging out once or twice a week since. To what end I am completely unsure. I guess I could just come out and ask him but I am a complete freak when it comes to my own romantic situations - I have no idea how to read them, I cannot guide myself and I spend a lot of time very, very confused... as well as bordering on panic. Help me figure out what is going on here and what I should do about it. There is a very long story inside, but I swear to you, I have looked on here, as well as googled my issue and all I can find is quizzes on cosmopolitan.com to help me, or advice blogs from chauvinists. Of no assistance.

So. Met a dude on OkCupid in October of last year. We chatted casually and became facebook friends pretty fast. I had just moved to his town from a larger city so we had this in common. Anyway, he asked to meet me a few times and I continued to back out (I guess I felt that perhaps we didn't have *enough* in common - he seemed uber healthy and sporty and I am more your standard angry punk). Then he finally pinned me down to a casual meet up (a walk around the local lake) and I again cancelled on the day of the date. He rescheduled two more times, me cancelling each time, before I told him that rescheduling was not a good idea. He accepted this (apparently he was kind of seeing someone and was only looking to be my friend anyway – relevant) and that was that. He deleted his okc account for 3 months and we didn't contact one another. whatevs.

He reappeared on OKC in mid-March as his romance was over (nothing sinister) and we messaged every day for a week before he was like "Movies. This time. Tomorrow" I said fine and actually went. It was fine, pleasant, we went for a single drink after then he walked me back to my car and we said we should take that lake walk sometime etc etc. I figured he was just being nice and hanging out with me because I knew no one in Ballarat. I didn't feel like it had romantic undertones. He texted me two days later and we organised a hang out for a couple of days after that. Just a bike ride around the town. Then a few days after that he asked me to see a band with him which turned out being sold out so he hung at my house instead and we listened to music and talked crap for a solid 6 hours before going to bed. I went to mine, he went to the spare bed ( I mean there was no flirting or kissing or anything prior to this point so I wasn't expecting any nookie at the end note, know what I'm saying?). Throughout the night we spoke of internet dating and meeting people and stuff... I dunno, I detected a mate vibe so I adjusted my thoughts accordingly and went matey instead of flirty - meaning I belched several times over the remainder of the evening instead of holding that shit in. Five minutes later he knocks on my door, makes some cute joke and in he comes. Fine, it was good. I was comfortable with the situation, we had fun and it was all very nice.

Next morning he has to go to work but asks me to see a band that same night. Tells me he will pick me up at 9:30pm. I am super excited until approximately 8:30pm when I have a brain freak out and coldly cancel on him via text in less than 15 words. I apologise the next day for cancelling at such short notice and tell him we should catch up again that week and he should text me when he is free. He replies that its fine and that he’d like that.

He texts me 2 days later and says "Twin Peaks. Take-away. My house. 7:30pm". Awesome, I'm in. I go, over we don’t greet with a hug or a kiss - standard, but he has already organised the dinner and its sitting there waiting for me. The catch is we have to watch twin peaks in his room because that’s where the tv is, but instead of letting me sit on his bed with him to eat and watch, he makes me sit on this shithouse computer chair. For like 1 hour. While he lounges on a queen-size bed. What the eff? I quickly decide yet again that we are just mates and I, again, have misread his signals. He also comments throughout the show on the attractiveness of women "she's a babe!" etc.

I finally become so uncomfortable on this horrible chair that I ask if we can at least swap for a bit. He agrees. We swap. AM I ON MARS, DUDE? Anyway, after about 30 minutes of that, he finally joins me on the bed, tells me to get under the covers, starts touching my leg, I mean it wasn't sleazy in reality but it was unexpected because just 30 minutes ago we weren't allowed to share the same space apparently... I felt annoyed by the change. It dawns on me that I am a possible FWB to this guy. I wait for the episode to finish and I bail. With haste. It's AWKWARD. He looks like he has no idea what's just happened. I practically fart out of my mouth "soffry, I'm just, I can't do some... friends with benefits thing.. fffhhfhf" He ignores that completely and walks me to my car, says goodbye and I FLEE. I F L E E. I think to myself "well, i am never talking to him again. How awkward that was. How silly of me to think there was something there other than just sex". 3 days pass. It is the weekend. He messages me on Facebook - "come see a band with me tonight in the city". I decline saying I cant be bothered going to the city. That's the end of the conversation. He then texts me the next day saying he didn't end up seeing the band last night but they are playing again 'tonight in a closer city'. "Frick it" I think, "I'll go". So I do. We have lots of fun, just hanging out, no pressure. We get along really well this guy and I and actually do have a whole heap in common. He drops me home but then texts me ten minutes later saying he wants to come over/come in/ etc etc. I just ignore it. I figure I don't have the time for someone who doesn't have the bojangles to just ask to come in when he is ACTUALLY OUTSIDE MY HOUSE. Anyway, end of.

I actually end up texting him about 3 days after that and say we should do some weight lifting together at the gym (this is something we have previously discussed) and he says “my house, Tuesday, 5:30pm”. Awesome, I go and he has taken it all very seriously – designed a program for me etc which I thought was really cool and we had a good time, chatted, laughed, joked throughout the hour that we hung out and exercised. I left and said we should go see a band sometime soon and he told me he wanted me to go see The Lego movie with him. “Okay, great, I’ll text you later in the week”. So on the Friday I text him and ask what he is up to. He replies that he has dinner plans with his family. Then he sends a follow up text suggesting that he come around for a beer and to “see my girlfriend (Suzy)” (he is obsessed with my dog Suzy – understandable) at about 9pm. I tell him he definitely should. I mean, I am thinking we are just friends you know, and I know no one so I really continue thinking its above board type stuff. Anyway, he comes over, we hang out for 4 hours or so, have about 3 beers each, have fun, talk about all sorts of stuff and then I tell him I need to sleep, ask him if he wants to stay (he does) and where would he like to sleep (wherever). I tell him if he goes to bed in the spare room he isn't to come to my door 5 minutes later – if he wants to be in my bed, he gets in my bed now. He finds this funny and comes to bed with me. Awesomeness ensues.

Next morning, all intimate, snuggling, cuddling, chatting softly, laughing, generally just lots of nice tenderness. We have a shower together, I wash him, he washes me, I make him breakfast and then we watch a doco before he has to leave to go play footy. He suggests we catch up again the next week to do more weights, I agree. No hugs or kisses happen upon his exit.
I spend the day feeling GREAT about this. I think it’s nice just to have a man be nice to me without having to worry about anything more than that. Well, let’s see, that balance lasted for about 12 hours and now I am kind of doing my head in. I guess I’m confused about whether we are dating or seeing each other, or friends or what the eff. We have been hanging out about twice a week for a month and have slept together on two of those occasions. It is far too early to have any kind of conversation with him in my opinion, or is it? I AM TERRIFIED OF COMING ACROSS AS NEEDY. Or insecure. Or bossy. Or demanding.

I have never had a FWB type situation before so am unsure how they work, what they look like to be able to tell if this is what this is. I have also never before really dated someone before without knowing from the start where it was going. I guess online dating implies some kind of romantic intention but this guy has actually said he is happy to just meet friends on there and that he has done in the past. I’m confused. Is this a thing or is this nothing? I am ultimately looking for a relationship so don’t really want to waste my time with anything less if this is clearly not leading to something but I have no idea either way.
posted by DeadFlagBlues to Human Relations (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is one persistent guy. He must like you because he kept trying to meet you even after you cancelled on him a zillion times.

Is there some reason why you can't just talk to him? Have you tried? Admittedly, there are some people who are difficult to talk to. They don't want to talk. But it doesn't sound like you have tried yet.

It's not bossy or needy or insecure to say, Hey there friend, we've been hanging out twice a week for a month and had big fun between the sheets a few times. I like you. Wanna be my boyfriend?

If that's what you want, of course. But if it is, why not ask? And, of course, define what that would mean. Nothing needy or weird about that. It's kind of normal, actually.

Of course, he may not know yet what he wants. But it sounds like you know what you want. So it's okay to ask. It's your life, too. You're not just going along for the ride. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:43 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Hello DeadFlagBlues, are you me?

My take: This is a placeholder relationship. Don't stop dating other people. Take the first better offer you get.

Oh God, just MeMail me.
posted by quincunx at 12:08 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]


Okay, you knew this was coming: you're going to have to talk to him about it.

The good news is at this point you know he can take a little weirdness. It doesn't matter if the words don't come out right, he's pretty clearly willing to give you slack in expressing yourself. That's a precious gift and I think you would be missing something important if you didn't take advantage of the chance to talk openly about your feelings.

If you just want to fuck him for a while you can probably skip that step, but if you want a long term relationship you are going to need to constantly communicate what you're feeling and what you want. This is as good a time as any to start.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:12 AM on April 15 [10 favorites]


If you are prone to anxiety over relationships, you should probably stop having no-strings-attached sex.

Why would you think it's too soon to have a discussion about your status if you are, ahem, fucking? Why are you so afraid to have some standards for how you want a guy to treat you ?

It's good that you know you're fearful of coming across as needy .. But the fact is, you *are* needy. You need to accept that reality.

Do you want to be in an ambiguous relationship? No? Then clarify what you want, ask him where you stand and get on with it.
posted by Gray Skies at 12:17 AM on April 15 [13 favorites]


After a certain age, you don't hang out with people of the opposite sex unless you're into them. I think he's into you big time, and is also being a super respectful guy. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship you should talk to him. If not, I would make it clear you expect to be nothing but friends.
posted by xammerboy at 12:42 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


It sounds to me like you're both second-guessing each other, which never ends well. From what you say, he was not sure what you wanted, and know you're not sure what he wants. I think that both of you are worried that the other only wants to be friends and are being, if anything, over-respectful of that boundary just in case.

> I tell him if he goes to bed in the spare room he isn't to come to my door 5 minutes later – if he wants to be in my bed, he gets in my bed now. He finds this funny and comes to bed with me. Awesomeness ensues.

The one time you were direct with each other, it ended well.

> Next morning, all intimate, snuggling, cuddling, chatting softly, laughing, generally just lots of nice tenderness. We have a shower together, I wash him, he washes me, I make him breakfast and then we watch a doco before he has to leave to go play footy.

Maybe I'm wrong, but this definitely sounds more like a couple than friends with or without benefits.
posted by tsh at 1:58 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


So I think things are a little different in Australian culture, (I say this as a Geelongite, beautiful place for a date your lake), more British then American .... more hook up a few times, hang out, slowly progress to"official dating" without actually talking about it, rather then the American "first date", talk about the relationship etc..... so I would say he sounds like he is "into you" and from March sounds like it is progressing as per an average Australian relationship. Having said that, if you want clarification, ask him! About your relationship and how he feels its going and what he wants (maybe after one beer, not a six pack). If he wont talk about it, or gets freaked out, or gets angry, etc. then he isn't the guy for you and yay you have found out now. If he talks about how thinks its going/ what he wants, then you go from there.... As an Official Internet Stranger I think it will be a positive result :-)
posted by Lesium at 2:08 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]


Okay, here's a break down of why I am not optimistic about this:

First red flag: He messaged you when he was kind of seeing someone else. Aggressively.
Second: Right off the bat you feel like you don't have much in common.
Third: He disables his account for three months. He's obviously scoring, and possibly on the rebound afterwards. (Were YOU dating anyone during this time?)
Fourth: He came over to your place on the third date and slept with you. It was more "booty call" than romantic lead-up.
Fifth: The weird chair thing, and the "babes" comments. WTF.
Sixth: He ignores your communication that you don't want FWB.
Seventh: He booty calls you again after he drops you off. You turn him down.
Eighth: After this, you ask him out. He invites you to his place instead of the gym.
Ninth: He invites you to the Lego movie instead of a band, and once again, you end up texting him rather than him texting you. Then he invites himself over for another booty call.

I don't know, I get the sense that he's kind of ignoring/brushing off your suggestions a lot and you end up always going over to each other's place late at night instead of...going out and doing things. You seem happier when you go out and do things, and he seems content with you just coming over. At night. With no lead up.

I might engineer some kind of plan to take him out in public somewhere and romantically kiss him, like, in front of people you both know. To see if he's cool with it. Maybe. I'm kind of evil and a bitch, though.

Did he really not hear you when you said you couldn't do FWB? Or did he just pretend not to? It seems to me like you HAVE been communicating in your way- you were brave enough to speak up about it once. You leave or turn him down when you're not comfortable. You tell him you want him to come to your bed now instead of later. I think all of that actually counts pretty well as YOU being fairly communicative and direct.

Unfortunately, I see almost no evidence of HIM being communicative and direct. It's just as easy for him to ask you if you'll be his girlfriend as for you to ask him. If he's not, it's probably because he's relatively unconcerned.
posted by quincunx at 3:31 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


Wow. Either you're a total catch in other ways or he's a glutton for punishment, because despite being repeatedly given the run-around and treated like shit, he still keeps coming back for more.


To recap:

Anyway, he asked to meet me a few times and I continued to back out (I guess I felt that perhaps we didn't have *enough* in common - he seemed uber healthy and sporty and I am more your standard angry punk). Then he finally pinned me down to a casual meet up (a walk around the local lake) and I again cancelled on the day of the date. He rescheduled two more times, me cancelling each time, before I told him that rescheduling was not a good idea.

The correct response here would have been to share your concerns about not having enough in common.

Next morning he has to go to work but asks me to see a band that same night. Tells me he will pick me up at 9:30pm. I am super excited until approximately 8:30pm when I have a brain freak out and coldly cancel on him via text in less than 15 words. I apologise the next day for cancelling at such short notice and tell him we should catch up again that week and he should text me when he is free. He replies that its fine and that he’d like that.

It sounds like you now realize that this is not an acceptable way to treat someone (unless you have a real reason, like an acute migraine, etc.) so I won't comment further.

AM I ON MARS, DUDE?

Men are not mind-readers. If by "let's swap," you meant "let's sit in bed together," you should have said so.

It is far too early to have any kind of conversation with him in my opinion, or is it? I AM TERRIFIED OF COMING ACROSS AS NEEDY. Or insecure. Or bossy. Or demanding.

Too early?! In my opinion it's too late. You should have had a frank conversation about your needs and wants weeks ago.


You owe each other a talk about where this is going and you probably owe yourself a trip to the therapist to discuss this issue further. My honest advice is to break it off with him and not date again until you're in an emotionally stable place, but that's just me.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 4:50 AM on April 15 [12 favorites]


(And to clarify, he also could step up and initiate the conversation/be more open about his needs and wants. But just because he's falling down on that job doesn't give you permission to do the same.)
posted by schroedingersgirl at 4:52 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I guess my take on this is different than some of the above responses. The mixed signals you are sending this guy are probably just as hard for him to read as his are for you. You agreed and then cancelled (sometimes pretty coldly at the last minute) to meet up with him only to do it many more times again. You said you didn't want the FWB relationship, only to invite him into your bed later without being sure it was in the context you were comfortable with, meaning a non-FWB context (am I interpreting that correctly?). Maybe he assumes you are dating?

You need to sit down with yourself and figure out what you want. A friend? Boyfriend? FWB? Then once you know what you really want have a real discussion with him. Clearly he is as equally poor at communicating as you have been up until this point but I don't think that necessarily means things are doomed. Maybe it'll be a relief for him to have clarity as well. If he avoids being upfront and clear during the discussion, well, then personally I would cut things off. Either way you'll learn something about him and practice your good communication skills, without which no relationship will ever work.
posted by teamnap at 4:56 AM on April 15 [15 favorites]


Thanks for all of your advice, mefites, albeit quite harsh at times. I took your collective advice and have just spoken to him and he is all for stepping things up a notch and taking it further. It was uncomfortable but it paid off. That said, I am definitely going to need to work on being gutsier with communication. Thanks to all of you for hammering that point home.
posted by DeadFlagBlues at 5:01 AM on April 15 [18 favorites]


Instead of asking him what HE thinks, tell him what YOU want.

This will save you YEARS of grief and aggrivation.

"I like you and I want us to be boyfriend and girlfriend," is a very natural and direct thing to say. People DON'T just come right out and say things becasue what if the answer is, "Nah, not really what I'm looking for." So instead of ripping the band-aid off, we fiddle with the edges, and let the damn thing get all nasty and raggedy, and in the end it hurts worse.

So now that you see what being direct can get you, I urge you to do so all the time. It's okay to hammer these things out in a negotiation, but no one should be in the position to have to read minds, pick up on clues or otherwise dance some weird mating ritual when a simple declarative statement will do.

Also, it's entirely possible that after dating for awhile, that one or both of you will decide that this isn't really a good relationship. That's okay, it's part of life. Nothing to be afraid of.

It's also entirely possible that this freak, is YOUR freak, and that's cool too.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:44 AM on April 15 [10 favorites]


Almost none of this question is about what you want, and that is a problem.

The signals you are sending him are at least as mixed as those he is sending you. So in that instance, how do either of you get what you want? Well, one or both of you will have to be honest about what you want, rather than respectful of your inability to read the other person.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:59 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Even as a disinterested third party you have saliently poured your heart out to, it is still pretty difficult for me to read what you want here, and I'm not even this intrepid dude who has a hell of a lot less information to work from, a hell of a lot of red herrings to avoid, and his own hormones to control for. Do you want to date him? See this as a thing that is worthwhile exclusively because it could lead to wanting to date him in the future? Have this be a thing where you figure out if FWB type situations work for you, and if so how?

If you can figure out what you want and clearly communicate it to him, I'm sure the rest will sort itself out.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:11 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


Once you've actually had sex, I think it's time to push your anxieties aside and just talk to the guy about what you do or don't want. But yes, you have to work what it actually is that you want. I kinda suspect this guy is waiting for you to decide (although enjoying the FWB in the meantime).
posted by Diag at 6:37 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I took your collective advice and have just spoken to him and he is all for stepping things up a notch and taking it further.

Good on you! I hope things works out well for the two of you.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:46 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Make sure you continue to take your part of the responsibility for taking romantic risk as this goes forward. He's human and cancelling the way you did is not nice. It starts by acknowledging that the idea that one person in a relationship can't take every risk. And you took one of the risks and it worked out.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:57 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


I think he likes you a lot, and you were a little confusing. He likes you SO MUCH, he recognized some quirkiness on your part, and kept going at it. I think it's all very sweet.
posted by waitangi at 3:18 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Apparently I'm the only one who thought this so far but this guy comes off to me as a total creep. The way he ORDERS instead of invites you on dates, making you sit on an uncomfortable chair, texting you ten minutes after dropping off... It all seems rude and inconsiderate to me so I'm not really seeing what he has to offer to be honest.
posted by Asparagus at 4:59 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


It doesn't sound to me like you are showing up properly in this relationship. The way your first priority seems to be figuring out what you are to him, instead of what he is to you, leads me to suspect you may be susceptible to becoming involved with people that may say they want you to be their friend, or their lover, but what they really need is a source of supply.

This is my story, anyway. I think the way it is supposed to work is that sex affirms a positive bond between two people -- it does not create it.
posted by macinchik at 6:43 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


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