Should I make the first move?
January 12, 2009 8:40 AM   Subscribe

What's a girl to do?

Let me preface this by apologizing for being, well, you know, girly.

So, I've gone out ("hung out") with this lovely guy 3 times. I always insist on splitting the bill because it seems like the civil and appropriate thing to do, however, as a result, I'm a bit unsure as to whether or not we're dating. Though I have sent him text messages/e-mails/etc first, he has always been the one to suggest spending time together. His body language often mirrors mine, and he's always smiling and joking and, I think, rather flirtatious. We have really good personal chemistry and have stayed up into the wee hours talking. I very seldom remember feeling this comfortable around someone I barely know. He seems very concerned that I get home safely, asks me to text him to let him know I'm ok, waits for me to get in the door before driving off--it's all very sweet and charming. But we haven't really touched beyond hugging at the beginning and end of our outings, friendly nudges, etc. When he does touch me, I find it very hard to read I get the distinct sense he's trying not to invade my personal space--which could, of, course, be out of respect. But it could also just be that he sees me exclusively as a friend. So, I'm unsure if he's just an incredibly sweet guy who likes spending time with me platonically, or if he's interested and just hesitant to make a first move. Any thoughts on this? Should I go in to kiss him next time, or just give it time?
posted by faeuboulanger to Human Relations (43 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, he'll be delighted.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:45 AM on January 12, 2009

He's shy but interested. Go to kiss him, you have nothing to lose but your chains.
posted by orthogonality at 8:45 AM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Three dates already, and you haven't kissed him? He's likely figured you're not interested.

Kiss him already. Maybe even, as you get *into* the car.
posted by notsnot at 8:51 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Never mind what's he's doing, what are you doing? Are you flirting with him? Touching him? Making plans with him? Are you holding that hug, just a second or two longer, telling him he smells nice?

No? Then it's not surprising you're in the dark.


1. Ask him.

2. Kiss him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:59 AM on January 12, 2009 [21 favorites]

Do not insist on splitting the bill next time, particularly if he offers to pay it. Yes, it's old fashioned. But if you keep insisting on being treated like a friend instead of a date, he'll keep treating you like a friend instead of a date.

Also, kiss him.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 9:07 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Kiss him. He will most likely be delighted. I really like the recommendation of kissing him when you get IN the car (as notsnot had said) - not when you are getting out and going home. Most likely he will be accepting of the kiss, which will make the date that much more special knowing that the feelings have been confirmed for the both of you.

Also, let the man pay for once so he can feel like he is doing something nice for you. I can say, as a guy, it does get old after a while - paying for everything. However, on the first date - a man is more than likely happy to pay for a nice evening out.
posted by Brettus at 9:12 AM on January 12, 2009

Please kiss him.
posted by [@I][:+:][@I] at 9:14 AM on January 12, 2009

Congratulations on your first ever post or comment on MetaFilter faeuboulanger. It took you 22 months since signing up, but it takes guts to go for it. Don't wait 22 months with your new guy. Go for it with excitement and dignity, and don't look back.
posted by netbros at 9:16 AM on January 12, 2009 [15 favorites]

You haven't mentioned age or experience level here, but if he (and you as well) is relatively light on either, chances are he's filled with self-doubt/fear of rejection or embarrassment. Essentially, he might be hesitant to overstep his bounds, so help him out here. I know that as a young man I was afraid to make a girl feel uncomfortable or to put myself out there only to be politely (or not so politely) rebuffed.

I was this young fellow once upon a time, and I was acutely aware of every single touch/nudge/whatever. It was painful. Kiss the fool, and put him out of his misery (and into happiness)!
posted by dnesan at 9:20 AM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Yes, kiss him. Really, what have you got to lose?
posted by ob at 9:25 AM on January 12, 2009

Not sure what to tell you...but do update us when the next part of the story happens!!!
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 9:32 AM on January 12, 2009

I agree, kiss him. However, I once found myself in your exact situation and when I went in for it (on probably the third date, too) I discovered that I was, in fact, seen as just a friend. But I'm still glad I went for it.
posted by meerkatty at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

for god's sake, just kiss him. it's not like he'll never talk to you again.

also, if you're not sure if you're dating you're not.
posted by shmegegge at 9:49 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Imagine me doing the hand-fluttering, shifting-from-one-foot-to-the-other, omg-omg thing that high school girls do, because I'm totally excited for you guys. I think he liiiiikes yoooou!

Do it! If you're uncomfortable just moving in for the kiss, ask him first. If he likes you that way, he'll be delighted. If he doesn't, he sounds like the kind of person who'd be gracious about it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:51 AM on January 12, 2009

This comic has your answer.

Do something to make it obvious you're interested. Ask him, kiss him, put your arm round his waist as you're walking... do something. If he's a shy guy who's interested in you, it'll all be great; If he just wants to be your friend, you'll boost his ego a bit and go back to just being friends. If you find yourself nervous to do it, just remember: because guys are normally expected to make the first move, this is what we have to go through every time!
posted by metaBugs at 9:54 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

But it could also just be that he sees me exclusively as a friend.

Nope. He probably already has those. He spends time with you. Clearly interested. As others have stated, he is probably a bit shy about moving in for the smooch.
I vote for Kiss him. I think once you get that first kiss out of the way you will be officially dating.
Good luck!
posted by a3matrix at 9:57 AM on January 12, 2009

yeah kiss him! if it works out then you will have an awesome first kiss memory. worth it!
posted by smalls at 10:00 AM on January 12, 2009

I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that you kiss him.
posted by LordSludge at 10:05 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

And if kissing seems like too big a leap, do something easier like holding his hand or linking your arm with his while you are walking along (crossing a street is an easy moment to grab hold, and if it seems comfortable you can just keep holding it as you walk along, or if not let go when you get to the other side of the street). But one way or another, make that first physical contact and see where it takes you.

Oh, and if you want to be even-stevens on the money front, why not suggest that he pays this time if he'll let you pay next time. That sends a pretty clear "I expect to see you again, buddy" message, while still allowing you to keep things balanced and modern.
posted by Forktine at 10:15 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This has been incredibly helpful and reassuring (and generally mirrored what I've suspected [hoped? {both?}])! Thanks everyone!
posted by faeuboulanger at 10:17 AM on January 12, 2009

Now every one is waiting for the result of the first kiss----best of luck. Kiss him!
posted by dsaelf at 10:30 AM on January 12, 2009

If you are who I think you are... please do it. I will absolutely reciprocate.
posted by uhom at 11:01 AM on January 12, 2009 [26 favorites]

I really like this idea of the hello kiss. It could just be a quick peck on the cheek when you get in the car, which says, "I'm so glad to see you, you special person, you!" No saliva has been swapped, so you can play it off as casual, and there's no afterawkwardness. But if he was at all wondering what you thought, whether you were interested in him in that way (because he might be having the same thoughts as you), now you've opened the door. If he is interested, he now knows he has a green light for the after-date kiss.

Speaking for the friends-firsters out there, however, some people just like to go more slowly and get to know someone a bit before kissing. So there's no need to panic if it hasn't happened already or takes a bit longer.
posted by Askr at 11:33 AM on January 12, 2009

Reading about how nice he seems made me smile. Kiss him! Or, drink with him. That usually helps me figure these things out =)
posted by KateHasQuestions at 12:23 PM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

He sounds really nice. He might wait months because he's shy. Kiss him!
posted by i_love_squirrels at 12:27 PM on January 12, 2009

Kiss him. Then post an update here.
posted by piratebowling at 12:46 PM on January 12, 2009

Kiss. Him.
posted by LairBob at 1:28 PM on January 12, 2009

I should start this by saying I'm a male, but I think this advice works for either gender...

I said it here but in situations like that, what have you got to loose? You go to hold hands, or kiss, and if he's not interested in you that way you are where you are now, except you know where you stand. Its a win win situation, you win twice!
posted by Admira at 1:43 PM on January 12, 2009

In similar situations, I've started with taking his arm when walking. There's very little mistaking that, and he sounds like a gentleman, so it will probably make him feel great either way. A classy move, in my mind, and it puts you in the perfect position for a classic movie first kiss when you stop at a traffic light.
posted by nosila at 2:25 PM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Why don't you kiss him instead of talking him to death?"
posted by luckypozzo at 3:49 PM on January 12, 2009

There is no such thing as an incredibly sweet straight guy who acts the way you describe with a woman out of a desire to keep things platonic. So he's either shy, as some say above (in which case he will fall in love with you, if he hasn't already, for making the first move, just so you know), or someone who enjoys the leisurely chase (don't knock it, gentlemen; it used to be an art, as in the further back you pull the slingshot, the harder Goliath is going to fall), or a game player (but you say he's sweet, and he seems to have too much invested to be a player based on your account), or you're sending mixed signals you may not be aware of (of fear or disinterest perhaps, and we all do, so that's not meant to sound tough).

An alternate possibility is that he was raised in a romantically conservative culture and is true to those values. But presumably you know his background well enough to judge that.

Naturally, I join those rooting for a happy ending, duly reported to the rabble here. As far as strategy, what do you think those "wee hours" are there for? But you can definitely miss the moment if you hesitate at the door.

This is a very sweet thread, btw. Who knew there were so many incurable romantics here?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:31 PM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by crossoverman at 5:52 PM on January 12, 2009

I agree with luckypozzo (and I appreciate the movie quote there...). Kiss him! :-)
posted by I_love_the_rain at 6:34 PM on January 12, 2009

He might simply be inexperienced and unsure of himself, maybe nervous too. But it sure sounds like he likes you. So, yeah, time for you to help get the ball rolling. All good suggestions above, especially your arm in his, holding hands, and see how that goes. If the signs are good, THEN try the kiss. And be prepared to have a nice guy fall for you. :-)
posted by exphysicist345 at 7:18 PM on January 12, 2009

Just wanna let you know: I'm in the same situation as you, except I don't see or talk to my guy very often. So thanks for bringing up this issue. You're helping a lot of people like you who are hesitating to make the first move.
posted by curagea at 9:29 PM on January 12, 2009

Did you kiss him yet?
posted by Drasher at 9:12 AM on January 13, 2009

Just chiming in on the "kiss him already you fool!" theme. Also, and I say this as a woman who loathed being thought of as the "dinner whore" type, yes, let him pay! Agree with the poster who suggested alternate tabs or whatever. In the case of my Darling Man, he likes to do the spendy-romantic thing from time to time, so I let him. He's then more than happy to let me pick up the tab on Blackjack's Pizza and a night on the couch. Equitable? Not so much, but it makes him happy. And what makes him happy makes me happy :)

Oh, and if I had never made the first move on my DM, he'd still be looking at his shoes... with the occasional sidelong glance to see if I was still there. Word: those sweet, shy boys can often surprise you with their tremendous capacity for romance and... er *ahem* ...yea that too.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:29 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Kiss. And provide closure for us when you did? Otherwise it'd be like missing the end of a romantic comedy.
posted by NekulturnY at 2:26 AM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: (Still a work in progress...However, outlook is sunny. More to come later.)
posted by faeuboulanger at 8:06 AM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, it took long enough, but you all were right: I should've just kissed him...oh, around date two. But at any rate, we finally kissed. And everything is, well, lovely. Thanks again for all the help and reassurance! It was a great comfort, and quite a bit more accurate than I imagined. <3
posted by faeuboulanger at 8:33 PM on February 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

WAHOO! Congrats on the relationship goodness!
posted by fantine at 1:10 AM on February 9, 2009

Oh yay! I've been checking this thread regularly to see what happened. Excellent news!
posted by meerkatty at 3:46 PM on February 9, 2009

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