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I have *the feels* for a boy that I made friends with.
June 8, 2014 6:26 PM   Subscribe

We met as travelers on the Greyhound bus and developed a platonic friendship. I like him so much though. And he may have a girlfriend. Should I just let it go?

I made friends with a boy on the Greyhound bus, and I really like him.
Should I try to continue the friendship, if I have a huge crush on him?


I’m not the type of person who is attracted to a lot of people. Very rarely do I see someone that I am attracted to enough to long for their presence. I guess I’m content being independent, spending time with friends and practicing my hobbies. I’ve been single since December and haven’t really dated anyone since then, besides a few one-time online dates that went nowhere, and a couple tipsy make-out sessions with people I”m friends with.

I also think I have good instincts when it comes to people; I don’t trust easily and I’m not gullible at all, but can become very warm when I find someone that I know I like.

Well about 4 months ago while riding the Greyhound bus back to my home after visiting my friend in another city, a nice boy sat beside me. We started a conversation that lasted for the whole bus ride ( 2.5 hours). And at the end of the bus ride, he asked me to go skating afterwards ( we had discussed how we both like skating). So we went skating for an hour after that.

I was a bit overwhelmed because I’d never spent so much time with a perfect stranger that I had met through serendipity, and enjoyed it so much. We exchanged numbers.

He called me a few days later and we went for dinner. The next weekend he texted me to ask if I wanted to go for a walk, so we did that. Then we later went to the movies. All this was strictly platonic and friendly, but at the same time I developed a really strong fondness for this boy.

I am almost certain, however, that he just wants to be friends. He was living in my city only temporarily for a school co-op placement, and I don’t know if he has any friends here. So maybe he was extra friendly because he wanted to make new friends in the city. He just seems like a genuinely nice person ( who also happens to be extremely cute). And the clincher is, that at one point I think I heard him mention a girlfriend. I was too shy to ask about it, but I’m pretty sure he has one!

In 2 months, I’m moving to the city where he coincidentally also lives because I’m going back to school there. I still want to be friends with him, however, I’m very attracted and fond of him. So my question is: do I try to maintain the friendship? Do I “confess my love” to him, or tell him I have a crush on him? Do I ask about the girlfriend? If I was a less shy person, I probably would have already asked/told him these things. OR, since I think he has a girlfriend, and since I know I’m so attracted to him, should I just avoid contacting him because it will only allow my feelings to grow?

I also want to just mention that this isn’t really something I’m dwelling on a lot, or something that is preventing me from dating other people. But, if I was given the choice between any of the other guys I’ve considered lately, I would choose this guy in a heartbeat. However, I’m willling to let it go.
posted by winterportage to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here is what you should do in the form of a flowchart:

Ask him: is he single?

IF YES:
Ask the damn guy out. The end.

IF NO:
Ask yourself: "Can I stay just friends with him or are my feelings going to make that difficult?"

IF YOU CAN:
Stay friends with him. The end.

IF YOU CAN'T:
Keep your distance until you think you can. The end.

--

You already know that asking him if he has a girlfriend is the best way to get to the bottom of this, and that trying to out-think this and ask us "do you think maybe he likes me" is a really indirect way. Always take the direct route.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:31 PM on June 8 [32 favorites]


"I thought I once heard you mention you had a girlfriend. Would she like to join us doing x?"
posted by taff at 6:38 PM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Two unrelated points.

A) How old are you? Happy, committed relationships end. If you like this guy you'd be crazy not to at least keep mild contact with him so you can connect when/if.

B) No 'walk' in the history of the world has ever been platonic.
posted by ftm at 6:47 PM on June 8 [24 favorites]


He called me a few days later and we went for dinner. The next weekend he texted me to ask if I wanted to go for a walk, so we did that. Then we later went to the movies. All this was strictly platonic and friendly,

Oh, kiddo. No it wasn't.

Look, you can either try for it and maybe it works and maybe it doesn't and maybe it ends well and maybe you get your heart broken, or you can spend the rest of your life not knowing.

If I were you - and I was, once - I'd go for it.
posted by mhoye at 6:49 PM on June 8 [8 favorites]


Yeah, my gut is that these were dates. (But then I have a much more open view of what "dates" are than most people.) Still, though. These things would not have happened if he hadn't been interested. And that's really cool! Don't overthink that!

I don't know if he still is, but I think it's worth a "I am moving back to your city and I would like to see you" and see what happens from there (like, find out if he does have a girlfriend and such).

And you know what? It's not the end of the world to get hurt or rejected. If he has a girlfriend or isn't interested or whatever, that sucks, but you tried. That's awesome. That's better than not trying. If it doesn't work out with him, maybe he has some friends or something. Getting to know people is almost always good.

What do you have to lose here?
posted by darksong at 7:04 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


You already know that asking him if he has a girlfriend is the best way to get to the bottom of this, and that trying to out-think this and ask us "do you think maybe he likes me" is a really indirect way. Always take the direct route.

This comment by EmpressCallipygos is the only answer you need. In your circumstances, asking him about whether he has a girlfriend will make it obvious to him that you have a crush on him. Don't assume he has a girlfriend — you weren't sure what he was saying before, so you need to clarify.

A) How old are you?

The OP is 26 or 27.
posted by John Cohen at 8:28 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


99.99% of the time, when people say "I want to be friends but I really like him" they are lying to themselves, hedging their bets. You don't really want to be friends; I mean seriously, do you want to go to go to the movies and site four inches apart without touching while you are lusting after him? Do you really want to sit there and pretend to be cheerful when he starts dating someone else? Are you going to joyfully throw confetti at his wedding?

No. You don't want to be friends. So stop behaving like someone who wants to be friends. Ask him if he has a girlfriend, and if he doesn't, ask him if he'd like to go on a date.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:44 PM on June 8 [13 favorites]


It's a guy you met on a bus. The stakes are very low. It's not like he's your boss or your ex's best friend or something. Just ask him if he has a girlfriend, and then ask him out. If it doesn't go well, well, honestly, he's a guy you met on a bus. So what?

Don't "confess your love" or tell him you have a crush. Ask him out on a date.

If he has a girlfriend, just let it drop. I mean, still be friends and all, but I wouldn't say anything about your own mental state until you ascertain that detail.

Grownups who are attracted to people who are plausibly available don't "have crushes". You're interested in this guy. Be an adult about it.

I also would probably try to table the whole thing until you actually live in his city.
posted by Sara C. at 9:11 PM on June 8


So you two went to dinner, a movie, skating, and took a walk alone together? Are you sure YOU aren't his girlfriend?

There are unusual people out there who would do that with not a romantic thought in their head, but I'd say with 95% confidence that he's interested in you. Whether or not he is already in a relationship or not, that's something you'll have to ask him.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:06 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


I feel like you need to figure out if he has a girlfriend first. Lots of people are naturally social and flirty, it doesn't mean they want more. If he mentioned a girlfriend, and you ask him out, you may become his peice on the side while assuming he's single. You don't know him well enough to know who he really is.

I feel like once someone mentions a partner, no matter how casual it seems, you have to proceed differently. And plenty of people who cheat reference their partner's in this vague way.
posted by Aranquis at 3:37 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


If he does have a girlfriend, his behaviour is kind of sketchy.
posted by sabina_r at 4:30 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


"Grab a chance and never be sorry for a might-have-been".
posted by lungtaworld at 4:34 AM on June 9


An anecdote:

I met a nice guy in my Aerobics class. He asked me out, and we went on some dates. After date #3 we go to his place and he puts on Roxy Music and he leans in and says, "this isn't going anywhere, I have a girlfriend in New York." I exited, stage left, no sex for anyone.

So. Either this guy is actually dating you, or he subscribes to "Love the one you're with."

You need to find out which guy he is.

Call him up and say, "Max, I'll be heading to Quartzite to attend QU in September. I'd love to keep seeing you when I arrive, are you free to date, or do you have a girlfriend?"

Being direct will save you SO MUCH heartache you don't even know. The reason we're afraid to say what we think and feel is that we're afraid of rejection. I'd much rather be rejected outright, than hem and haw and invest emotions and all of that, and find out that he's with someone else and that I was just fun on the side.

There is no magic spell that says, "Hold in all of your thoughts and emotions, ache with longing for the man, act carefree and casual, and so long as you don't say the mysterious 'thing' he will eventually be yours." We just act like there is.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:18 AM on June 9 [13 favorites]


If he does have a girlfriend, his behaviour is kind of sketchy.

This. If he does have a girlfriend and have has been going out to dinner and movies with a different woman, that is shifty as hell. Yes, people can have opposite sex friends, blah blah, but if an attached person is developing an opposite sex friendship I think any person of quality would make it clear that they are dating and that this is only platonic. Out of respect for their relationship AND out of respect for the new opposite sex friend, that should be made clear. I know I would be pissed if I found out my boyfriend/partner was going skating and having dinner and basically going on dates with another woman without being clear with her that he was in a relationship.


So seriously, just ask him if he has a girlfriend. I would also make sure to do this in person to guage his reaction/response. Being direct is important in things like this. If he does have a girlfriend I'd label him a shifty McGoo and distance yourself.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:24 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


He has a gf and you need to respect that. Find a guy who is available who might be more responsive to you. It is not just about you it is about him and his relationship. Frankly his behavior is weird if he has a gf and so is yours considering you are not respecting the boundaries of his relationship (i.e. if he has a gf/SO)
posted by jbean at 10:51 AM on June 9


Okay, I guess it's SUPER OBVIOUS that I should just ask him.

I do agree that he was being a bit sketchy if he already has a girlfriend.

If I find out that he does, I'll date someone else and then I don't see why I can't be his friend (I'm moving to a city where I don't know a lot of people). I'm not a home-wrecker, guys!

Anyways thanks for your help!

Grownups who are attracted to people who are plausibly available don't "have crushes". Oh come now! Don't be ridiculous! Where I come from, we do!
posted by winterportage at 11:38 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Forget being a "home wrecker"- that's not what I'm concerned about. I'm more concerned that if he's willing to cheat on her, he'll be willing to cheat on you! (I've learned that this almost always applies even when you think you're special and different and have a unique connection and he wasn't into her in the same way. Yeeeeaaah, not so much. It says a lot about someone's character.)
posted by quincunx at 12:13 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I don't think he has cheated on his girlfriend in this scenario. Doesn't cheating include some sort of physical contact.
posted by winterportage at 12:46 PM on June 9


I don't think he has cheated on his girlfriend in this scenario. Doesn't cheating include some sort of physical contact.

Nope. Cheating is when someone is acting available and doing romantic things with someone other than his or her partner.

There are things called emotional affairs where people share intimacies with each other but don't necessarily have sex or even kiss. They can be devastating to a relationship, and to the person the Parnered party is 'romancing.'

I mean, here you are crushing on this guy because you're going on dates and doing couple stuff together. You're not going to feel very good if he does have a girlfriend, are you?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:39 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Cheating is when someone is acting available and doing romantic things with someone other than his or her partner.

I never thought about it that way before. If he hadn't kept calling me and asking me to do romantic things, I probably wouldn't feel this way about him. Food for thought
posted by winterportage at 3:01 PM on June 9


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