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How do I turn my best friend into something more?
February 22, 2008 12:14 PM   Subscribe

How do I turn my current best friend into something more?

I'm a college student - 20 years old, a female, majoring in neuroscience. The person in question is male, and my age, and also majoring in neuroscience. We are both utter, utter nerds. He is my closest friend among my group of friends, all of whom are science and/or philosophy majors, and having known him for a reasonable length of time (4 months), I am sure I'm not insane. (Neither he nor I have any problems such as major mental illness or drug abuse; the only drug we partake of is booze and we only drink in a social context, and I do have a bit of anxiety, but it's under treatment) .

He and I are both extremely intelligent, have long histories of nerdiness, share core beliefs (we're both atheists), outlooks, goals (we both are getting our PhDs and are studying very similar things), and activities, and are both reasonably socially adept, although I am somewhat more asocial than he is.

What are some situations I could get my friend and fellow neuroscience nerd into to communicate the fact that I want more than a friendship with him ?
posted by kldickson to Human Relations (50 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
To help clue him in that you're interested: Hold his eye contact a beat longer than you would with anyone else. Smile at him more. If it feels normal, initiate casual contact (e.g. put your hand on his arm as you laugh at something he said).
If you feel like making a move: Invite him out for something (coffee? movie?) just the two of you, since it sounds like you mostly hang out in groups.
If you really feel like making a move: Ask him if he ever feels anything more with you. Or, if you're feeling really brave, smooch him.
posted by vytae at 12:23 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go out with him on a date? Don't over think things. Be direct. Worse case he'll be all, "oh god no," and so you move on with life. In this case, if you are good friends, things might be awkward for a little bit, and then will settle back to normal. On the flip side, he might be all, "fuck yeah lets do this thing" and your life will be chocolates and roses.
posted by chunking express at 12:25 PM on February 22, 2008


You say you both drink regularly? Well that simplifies things. Next time you and him are getting drunk with friends, initiate some physical contacts. Start very discreet, touch his arm while you talk, bump into him jokingly, etc etc. Maybe a hug here or there. Then just wait. If he is into you, he should (unless extremely shy?) reciprocate with similar physical contact. If you feel that there is a good vibe, escalate the physical contact. As long as he keeps reciprocating, theres a good chance you could kiss him by the end of the night.
posted by ShootTheMoon at 12:28 PM on February 22, 2008


I say go for it. The longer you wait, the further into "Friendsville" you get, the harder it might be to go romantic. I agree with vytae's advice---start asking him to do things with you one-on-one and see how it goes. A couple good "dates" and let him know how you feel. Men generally aren't very good at reading women, so you will most likely have to tell him how you feel. Don't assume he'll figure it out. Then again, if he's 20 and not wanting to get it on with you already, he either a) needs a little encouragement or b) already considers you a "friend." Good luck! One last thought: maybe look for a nerdy joke/card/comic that hints you're interested in him. (nerds rock)
posted by hulahulagirl at 12:28 PM on February 22, 2008


Don't ask him a Relationship Question. Do touch him casually. I he seems to like it, then when alone, grab him and snog him one good.
posted by cmiller at 12:29 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


With most people, I think vytae's initial advice would be spot-on. Cool and subtle. However, you've gone to great lengths to impress upon us the nerdiness here, so I'm guessing the gent is going to need a more direct approach.

I think you should just tell him, "Hey, so I think we should be dating." Do it while sober. Look him directly in the eye. See what happens. Be prepared to end the conversation with either a resigned shrug or MAJOR FRENCHING.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:30 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I think my orbitofrontal cortex wants you." Or you could go this route.

Alternately, get into a discussion about something scientific or controversial and then prove that you're right. One of the sexiest things I ever saw was a woman who got into a prolonged discussion about the structure of hydrogen peroxide with her equally nerdy partner. She was right, he was wrong. He was wrapped around her little finger after that.
posted by cashman at 12:30 PM on February 22, 2008


Also, I'd say if you are reluctant to put the moves on him b/c it might wreck the friendship, let him know that. "Hey, I know we have a great time hanging out together and I'm so turned on by your sexy brain that I'd like to see if maybe it can be more than that --but if you don't feel that way, forget it and we'll just be friends." But that's assuming you're the type of people to have a conversation vs. approaching it in a more stealthy manner.
posted by hulahulagirl at 12:31 PM on February 22, 2008


Invite him over for a movie. Sit on the couch. Share some popcorn. Share the blanket. Cuddle up a little bit. Keep him late with your cute charm. Ask him if he wants to crash at your place. Cuddle some more. Share some kisses. Voila, a new boyfriend.
posted by milarepa at 12:31 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


You're way overthinking this. The next time you're together, look up (or down, I won't assume he's taller,) at him through your lashes, and ask, winsomely, "Do you want to go out sometime, like, on a date?" Feel free to add a "Just the two of us," if he seems confused. He will either say yes or no, and you can go from there.
posted by headspace at 12:32 PM on February 22, 2008


I would just like to caution against the common Metafilter response (ShootTheMoon) of "get him drunk then touch him/her until he/she makes out with you." All this determines is whether this person wants to make out with you while drunk. Milarepa knows what's up.
posted by 1 at 12:37 PM on February 22, 2008


You say you both drink regularly? Well that simplifies things.

Christ, no. The last thing you want is that awful awkward morning after.


The next time you're together, look up (or down, I won't assume he's taller,) at him through your lashes, and ask, winsomely, "Do you want to go out sometime, like, on a date?"

Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:42 PM on February 22, 2008


milarepa has the right idea, though I had a friend who had to invite the boy over for dates like this for a food 4 months or so before he got the idea. I still think your best bet is to be direct. Getting drunk and making out may work, but as 1 points out, it may not.
posted by chunking express at 12:44 PM on February 22, 2008


How do I turn my best friend into something more?

Have sex with him.

No, wait. You said "more."

Seriously, contra to most of the above... consider what losing a best friend is worth. It's a lot easier to find a lover than a friend in this world.

And lest everyone jump down my throat on that one... please review your own lives and count before doing so. I suspect at least some will see what I mean.
posted by rokusan at 12:45 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well to be fair, kldickson never really specified her end goal. She is 20... Maybe she is just looking for a friend with benefits situation. In that case, I think would I suggested is perfectly valid way of accomplishing that. A real long termy relationship? Maybe not, but that wasn't really what I was under the assumption that she wanted.
posted by ShootTheMoon at 12:47 PM on February 22, 2008


I'm not entirely sure what the protocol is on tacking comments on my own question, but looking at some of the answers on here, I think I need to clarify a couple of things (the answers are great so far, really!)

ShootTheMoon: We don't drink regularly - maybe once every month on average. More often, we go out to eat with a group. In addition, neither of us get drunk.

I should mention that I've actually been blunt before about it (yes, I told him before), and he turned me down - twice - although that was a few months ago, he was attracted to another girl, and I didn't know him as well as I do now, and he is behaving CONSIDERABLY different than he did back then toward me - much, much friendlier, much more familiar, and has been making some overtures which he clearly does not make toward his other friends, although they are very small ones - and he seems to be more willing to talk about Big Things with me - and he's doing some things which are unequivocally things that people would do in the direction of those they were attracted to, although then again, he's also done some things which indicate that he either is not interested or he is attracted but nervous as hell. For an explanation of the latter, I should note that his last girlfriend was unknown by virtually everyone else he is friends with, had little in common with him to my knowledge, and according to one of my other friends, he is below average in the social skills department (in the 'awkward' sense of the word - which is not a problem, since I'm kind of awkward too - it comes with the intelligence territory, a lot of the time) - either he's all 'holy shit, she's awesome, I've never met someone like this before, oh shit I better not screw this up' or he's all 'oh fuck, no, what do I do?' I am inclined to think it's the former, because he's not actively avoiding me to my knowledge. And yes, I have used a nerdy neuroscience pickup line on him. He didn't realize what I was doing until I told him what was going on, which makes me think he could be a little dense in the area of social things.

Also, I have a tendency to sit and observe discussions before I jump in, and I like to listen to his arguments and look up what he's saying before I counter it just to make sure my counterargument is good, if I have a counterargument. I am a seeker of truth.
posted by kldickson at 12:49 PM on February 22, 2008


I'm with shootthemoon. Don't sex him (with your nerdiness, I'm sure that isn't even part of the equation), but yeah...have a few drinks. Get FRIENDLIER with him. Maybe give him one of those side hugs, while yr drinking and he tells you a funny joke. GRADUALLY get more touchy till you feel comfy enough to give him a kiss (lips or cheek, he'll be equally **WHOA**).

But mostly, Damn girl. First off, you're a nerdy girl. In ANY nerdy type gathering you know you're more coveted than an open 802.11g network. SO regardless of where you rate in comparison to all girls, you should be feeling like Jessica Alba whenever you're around nerds. If you don't feel comfortable enough to go for the dude you like...what does that say about the rest of the girls who AREN'T as coveted as you are.

Drinking helps with inhibitions...but if you don't feel comfortable doing it in your nerdy status...that bodes horribly for girls EVERYWHERE.

Do it for women everywhere...do it for yourself...just do it.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:52 PM on February 22, 2008


Invite him into your room for a study session.

Lock the door.

Take off your top.



if he's as big of a nerd as you claim he is, there's a pretty good chance he's doing the whole "friend -> boyfriend" thing so you probably could give him a note that says "i like you. do you like me?" and that would work. or just ask him out. you're over thinking this.
posted by Stynxno at 12:52 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


If you invite a guy over to make out while drunk, then he knows you like to make out with him while drunk.
If you invite a guy over to make out while sober, he knows you like to make out with him while sober.
If you ask a guy out on a date, then he knows you want to date him.

If you want a boyfriend, don't assume that it's totally obvious that you want to date him if all you're doing is making out with him. I've known lots of people who've had to have the conversation that goes "Oh, really? You wanted a relationship? I thought we were cool with just having sex every so often."
posted by 23skidoo at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you just make a move (esp while drunk) there may be misunderstanding about the intentions / meaning behind it, i.e., he may think it was random/ one-time, or friends-w-benefitsy. You need to either ask him out, or if you think he would find that uncomfortable, make it clear that you want him to ask you out / suggest it in a mutual kind of way ("I feel like we should get dinner some time..") If he isn't initially into it, you have to decide how much you want to to press the point - do you drop it as soon as he says, oh I don't really think of you that way, or do you ask him to give you a chance to change his thinking?
posted by mdn at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2008


Everyone above seems to recommend escalating physical friendliness around him. This is all well and good if you can make it work, but it's hard when he's your friend. You tend to build up habits in how you act around this guy, and since you don't know if the feelings are mutual it can be extremely intimidating to try something like that.

The thing to do is tell her, in person. It doesn't matter what kind of a crutch you use- if beer or a dozen roses or a clown suit make it seem easier to you, go for it. If they don't, just go for it. Use your own personal style, and if you don't have any, then just proceed without it.

This was the best response I've ever received on Metafilter. I'll never know if I had the guts, because my now-girlfriend spilled her's first (swoon).

You can read tea leaves for a few years (!), putting yourself (or both of you!) through a great deal of unnecessary stress and awkwardness. The sooner you breach the subject, by whatever means, the sooner you can move on. It could go a lot of ways - being together, just staying friends, a period of awkwardness, a rift - but I think all of them are superior to the state you'll sink ever further in to as you wait. You're already friends - he isn't going to cut you out of his life forever because you feel for him. Don't let things get more weird then they have to.

If he feels the same way, it will work out no matter how you tell one another (provided you don't take the "get drunk" route, which I'd encourage you to avoid at all costs).

In conclusion, it doesn't matter how, you should just go for it.
posted by phrontist at 1:01 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and what 23skidoo said. Talking is good, life is not French cinema, don't try to be suave and communicate implicitly.
posted by phrontist at 1:04 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely sure what the protocol is on tacking comments on my own question, but looking at some of the answers on here, I think I need to clarify a couple of things (the answers are great so far, really!)

You can totally clarify things - it often helps. In fact, a solution where a clarifying post by the original poster will somehow stand out to repliers is being worked on.
posted by cashman at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2008


I married a guy who has no idea when people are hitting on him. He's very intelligent and friendly but social awareness = zero. If your friend is like my husband, I think a conversation would be ideal. "Do you want to try dating?"

With people like my husband you just cannot use the flilrtatious or implied social mating rituals. If he notices them, he's just bewildered, and goes and thinks about something he does understand. Also, with people like my husband, if you ask him if he wants to date, and he says no, there's no awkwardness later (I have no idea how that works).

So, yeah, talk.
posted by b33j at 1:08 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Hey, I'm reviewing raw data and some old notes. I see I made a note that us dating was ruled out. That's got to be an error. Are you sure we shouldn't give that dating thing a go?"
posted by cairnish at 1:16 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Seconding b33j.

Also - if he's nervous, you can maybe make him less nervous by being the one who's comfortable, in control, not nervous. Take care of his feelings during this conversation. If he's nervous, think about what his fears likely are: hurting your feelings, losing your friendship, doing something stupid that will make you (or your friends) dislike him, or at least alienated from him.

If you can convince him that these things are not likely to happen (if he's geeky enough, you won't convince him that there's a zero probability of offending you, but you can at least logically show him that you're not going to freak on him regardless), then you may be able to make him comfortable enough to communicate openly with you.

This may not be easy -- you've got a lot on the line, maybe. But if you focus on taking care of him for a little bit, then you might be able to stop thinking about your own awkwardness.
posted by amtho at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2008


Although it's really hard for me to imagine this now at my age (55 and counting) but in college there were women who were interested in me but to whom I was not the least bit attracted. Good friends sometimes. One of them for some reason I was completely oblivious to, a very close friend, who I only found out years later from the woman I was living with at the time, was madly in love with me (incidents like stomping on my then girlfriend's foot at a school dance and telling my girlfriend to stay away from her "fella" or some such behavior). Naturally, my then girlfriend did not tell me this at the time. In retrospect, I would have liked to have known. She was considered attractive by any objective standard but wasn't really my type (she reminded me of my sisters), but I think I might have overcome these objections if I had realized how she felt. I'm sure she thought she was being extremely overt about it. On the other hand, there was at least one occasion when a girl got drunk and professed her affection for me, and I really wasn't interested at all. I went to a college that had just gone co-ed and the female/male ratio was about 5-1. I have since learned from fellow alumna that the competition for men (among women) at my school was extremely intense, but I really wasn't aware of it at the time. Youth is wasted on the young!
posted by thomas144 at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2008


amtho, how do I make him less nervous while not looking like a doormat?
posted by kldickson at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2008


Er, let me clarify. How do I make him less nervous without removing the impetus to reciprocate?
posted by kldickson at 1:36 PM on February 22, 2008


Run away? Seriously, my current boyfriend did this by telling me he liked me and then running off to do a load of laundry. It was cute. And I learned he cares about clean clothes.
posted by spec80 at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2008


although that was a few months ago, he was attracted to another girl, and I didn't know him as well as I do now, and he is behaving CONSIDERABLY different than he did back then toward me - much, much friendlier, much more familiar, and has been making some overtures which he clearly does not make toward his other friends, although they are very small ones -

So you've tried before and been turned down. Either he's interested in you now, or he's over the awkwardness of having turned you down but wanting to remain friends.

The only way you're going to unravel this is to cowgirl up and ask. As a neuroscientist, you should know that mind-reading is bunk.

I like carnish's particular suggested solution, but overall phrontist and the others in that camp have it. One time when he's being more familiar, and you two are just sitting around, ask him, "hey, I want to ask you something. Would you like to go [INSERT FAVORITE NERDY ACTIVITY HERE] with me? On a date? Or should we just stay friends?"

So maybe it's awkward or geeky - so what? Just SAY SOMETHING. Maybe you'll get shot down again, at which point, you have to quietly lay that hope to rest and move on.

But maybe he'll say yes.
posted by canine epigram at 2:08 PM on February 22, 2008


Get into a friendly argument and bet on the results of an experiment. If he wins he buys you dinner, if you win you buy him dinner. Win-win situation, repeat if necessary.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:08 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Said casually but directly: "John, I've been meaning to ask you something. In the past, I've asked you out, and you've turned me down. But recently I've been feeling as if I've been getting signals you might be interested. If you're not, that's fine. If you are, I'd love to go to the Neuroscience Bar down the street [or fill in appropriate activity]."
posted by WCityMike at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're picking up signals from him, now, just reciprocate yourself.

DO IT!
posted by Mr. Gunn at 2:31 PM on February 22, 2008


If you really feel like making a move: Ask him if he ever feels anything more with you. Or, if you're feeling really brave, smooch him.
^
This, unless he has some kind of crazy neurosis and doesn't like affection. Here is what I envision to be a nerd fantasy (I was a skinny nerd in high school) for this guy:

-Cute nerd girl makes conversation, jokes, both are all smiles :]
-Girl leans over and kisses guy. :D
-Guy looks over in bewilderment :O!
-Girl smiles back cutely :3
-Guy is smitten, 1st Round KO. <3>
I know it'd work on me. It did, at one point.
posted by crunch buttsteak at 3:08 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a male member of the species, we are not subtle creatures. This is doubly true for geeks, at least when it comes to human relationships.

Unless you are (in your mind) screamingly bloody obvious, he'll probably never know that you're interested.

Anything you think of as 'subtle' is going to be imperceptible to him. I've been on the receiving end of such attentions and it just doesn't work well; at worst it's confusing and might put him off from making his own move, because he can't figure you out.

Be obvious – blunt if you have to. The worst he can say is that he's not interested, and trust me that's better than regretting the fact that you didn't ask or weren't obvious enough, for the rest of your life.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:40 PM on February 22, 2008


I'm beginning to get the idea that he's just very, very dense when it comes to social matters.

I'll tell you what just happened now: I asked him if I could go over some things from the physics test. He said he has a test on Monday. Makes sense. I asked him if he had an hour tomorrow. He asked me what the point was. I told him I didn't do so well on the test.

How do I get through without completely dropping a bomb on his head?
posted by kldickson at 4:10 PM on February 22, 2008


However you approach him, I think it is important that you refer to the earlier conversations, in which he told "turned you down - twice" and explain why you are asking again instead of respecting his earlier statements. Otherwise there is the risk he sees a pattern developing, in which you keep hitting on him even though he has said no. You need to assure him that you won't keep trying; he needs to feel that you respect his choices and his boundaries. If this is the third time you come on to him, it really should be the last. Frankly, I would say that three times is too many. It's not fun or flattering or inconsequential to be hit on over and over again after you have said no.
posted by conrad53 at 4:12 PM on February 22, 2008


Said casually but directly: "John, I've been meaning to ask you something. In the past, I've asked you out, and you've turned me down. But recently I've been feeling as if I've been getting signals you might be interested. If you're not, that's fine. If you are, I'd love to go to the Neuroscience Bar down the street [or fill in appropriate activity]."

Best advice here. This is absolutely the right way to say it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:30 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


WC said it better than I did. Conrad53 also has it - you're going to have to reference the past.

Stop making up excuses to talk to him. I get the feeling you're afraid to risk being direct again, because it will hurt if he's still not interested but at least you will know.

Unfortunately, in the above example, it sounds like he might be trying to avoid you. Again, you will never know unless you ask him directly.

It hurts to be rejected, but I think it hurts more to pine away for months and months and never really know.

You're a scientist. Go get the data.
posted by canine epigram at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2008


You've known this cat for four months. You've got basically nothing to lose. Ask the fucker out, get it done with. 'How do I ask someone out?' You ask someone out. It often goes: 'Hey, wanna get a cup of coffee?' Or: 'Wanna rent sex movies together?'
He and I...are both reasonably socially adept...
Longer-term advice: reconsider this bit of self-evaluation.
posted by waxbanks at 7:19 PM on February 22, 2008


I think the best thing you can do is decide that you will trust yourself to know how to get the interest flowing and when to know what the right thing to do is. This is about attitude, not scripted moves.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:23 PM on February 22, 2008


I'm beginning to get the idea that he's just very, very dense when it comes to social matters.

I'll tell you what just happened now: I asked him if I could go over some things from the physics test. He said he has a test on Monday. Makes sense. I asked him if he had an hour tomorrow. He asked me what the point was. I told him I didn't do so well on the test.

How do I get through without completely dropping a bomb on his head?


Is he supposed to be dense because he doesn't understand that you in earnest need help because on a test?

Or is it because he doesn't know that "Please do me a favor and help me study on a Saturday" is code for "I like you and am trying to finagle a way to be alone with you"?

You have to be more direct. This isn't a question of someone fitting into the clueless guy stereotype, it's a question of you being unnecessarily unclear. If he keeps not picking up on whatever hints you feel you're dropping, then it's up to you to change your communication style so that he gets it.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:28 PM on February 22, 2008


I'm beginning to get the idea that he's just very, very dense when it comes to social matters.

I'll tell you what just happened now: I asked him if I could go over some things from the physics test....


how is that dense?? After reading your follow up, it comes across like you're the dense one here. He's turned you down twice and thinks you're a friend. When you ask for help on a physics test, he thinks you want help on a physics test. That is a perfectly normal thing to think. Communication has to be external - if he were sending you mind signals underneath his saying he's busy, would you know? Don't be silly about this. It sounds to me like he's perfectly aware that you're into him, and if he wanted to start something, he would (as you've already made it clear where you stand). However, if you really want to convince him to give you a chance on the romantic level, you can be more direct, or you can hang around and keep dropping hints, but you really should be prepared for the possibility that he's not thinking that way at this point (though to fuel your flame, i had a friend whose best friend had a crush on her for years, and she kept turning him down, until finally she gave him a shot, and now, years later, they're happily married - so you never know...)
posted by mdn at 9:52 PM on February 22, 2008


I think, right now, the best option may just be to observe him a little longer. I don't know about whether that's going to screw anything up, but clearly, direct may not be the best thing to do for a little while.

I suspect part of the problem may be that he's seen me go through a lot of changes and my way of behaving toward him may have changed, to some extent, from what it was initially - when I first knew I liked him, I also was not entirely sure of my sexual identity - was I asexual, pansexual, or bisexual? At that point I thought I was asexual, so I kind of enumerated it as 'I am attracted to you, but am not the kind of person who gets any jollies in 'that' way' (not verbatim - I said it in a milder way). Now, I've figured out I'm pansexual. Also, I had tried to figure out my gender identity for a while - I used to think I was trans, when really, I wasn't, and I figured out I don't use gender to define myself. There were major changes in the way I dressed and acted in this one month or so, and I wonder how much it's affected his views of me.

I've also become much more laid back in my pursuit of him - he did tell me, at one point, that I seemed incredibly anxious. I realized he was right, and I calmed down a bit.

I will not deny being rather socially dense myself. For a while, actually, my parents thought I had Asperger's; after evaluation by a psychologist who specializes in psychometrics and the gifted, I just have more tendencies to focus on things that are less involved with the people side of life and in fact have noticed some very strong asocial tendencies in myself. (I have been thinking about, after I get my PhD, doing neuroscience research in Antarctica on the effects of polar SAD, Antarctic T3 syndrome, and disruption of the circadian clock on cognitive functions in the brain for a few years with the shortest possible amount of time in 'civilization', if that gives you any indication of how strong my asocial tendencies are.)

However, I am incredibly loath to give up on this person because of the simple matter of the fact that he and I have so many fundamental goals, interests , and beliefs and an astronomical amount of enthusiasm for what we do in common.
posted by kldickson at 8:14 AM on February 23, 2008


You know how comms protocols work on computers, right? Deeply analytical folks can tend to work the same way, I think, waiting for clear and unmistakable communication before wanting to commit.

Send some ACK-ACK or ACK-NAK signals. Make it clear, then proceed. If he's deeply geeky he may also be afraid of asking you for the same thing. Potentialities like that only work out if you ask.

On the many occasions when I was in the same boat as he I missed lots of cues and opportunities because I simply couldn't envision myself being attractive or even available in that sort of way. As I got older I started to date strong women who knew what they wanted and who would often take the initiative, which was a blessing. As I get older even still, I'm finally making progress toward risking asking for what I want, but the going's slow. Sometimes folks just don't seem to be wired that way, no matter how hard they try. But I keep trying.

Do be ready to be turned down, though. Sometimes people simply aren't interested or aren't capable. Sometimes you want something you can't have. Do be ready to survive it if that's what happens, and move on. You can still be friends even if you aren't lovers. It's okay. Sometimes that sort of thing ends up working out for the best. So yes, care, yes, demand, yes, want, but no, don't be crushed if it doesn't work out precisely as you want. Sometimes that's okay.
posted by kalessin at 8:18 AM on February 23, 2008


um, i didnt read any post replies yet, so this has probably already been said.
only two things make a relationship great - honesty and communication.
you say you are both intelligent - dont complicate it. stick to those two things,
and if it is right it will work out
posted by edtut at 7:46 PM on February 23, 2008


How do I get through without completely dropping a bomb on his head?

Drop the bomb.
posted by junesix at 11:12 AM on February 25, 2008


In my experience having interests/attitudes/opinions/first record you ever bought in common doesn't guarantee compatibility, unfortunately. For some people it's crucial; for some it helps; for others it's not important or is outweighed by other factors.

Having said that, I agree with conrad53 - give it another go, be explicit, make it clear that you've understood his response in the past and see what he says.

I hope it works out for you.
posted by highrise at 1:21 AM on March 13, 2008


Whenever I see threads like this, or witness women talking about guys in such a deep, analytical manner, I always think of tech support situations where hours are spent discussing the myriad potential problems with an unresponsive system because no one bothered to check if it was plugged in.

Speaking as socially inept, aspiring nerd guy, I'll let you in on a secret: guys don't know what the hell is going on. Watch guys spending time with each other; There is virtually 0 non-verbal communication. We're either hitting each other, blowing each other up in a video game, calling each other names, or collectively staring at something. All the hair flips and flirty glances you think are blaring klaxons are either completely unnoticed, because when you aren't talking to him, he's either trying not to stare at you, or his mind has switched back to problem-solving mode and he's thinking about syncing his mailserv to his phone or unlocking Xbox achievements.

This goes double if he's a nerd.

Have you ever noticed a common theme in SciFi, with a sexy female character being a super-advanced alien or robot or something who possess super strength or analytical ability, while simultaneously is completely confused by human emotion and looks sidelong at everyday interactions and cocks their head like a baffled puppy when someone tries to shake their hand? (i.e. Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager, Cameron from Sara Connor Chronicles, countless Animes, etc.) This is because this is the ideal fantasy for them; Not just because they're physically attractive or part machine or easily malleable or anything like that, it's because it's a female counterpart to their self-image of someone who is skilled at problem solving and efficiency, but never learned the secret to human interaction. in their mind, it's someone just like them.

I imagine that if you are as socially inept as you say, coming out and telling him what's up is a bit like jumping out of a plane, but hoping really hard that he picks up on what you're driving at usually has the opposite effect you want it to.

I was best friends with a girl for years, and sometime after highschool we hung out constantly. She would always talk about how lonely she was and how much she wanted a boyfriend. I felt dejected, because I was sitting right there, as the later years would reveal, that was her way of hinting that she meant me. Cest La Vie.

Girl brains and Guy brains are so radically different it's a wonder any of us ever get together at all.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:12 AM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


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