Utter fail all the time?
February 13, 2009 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Have I transformed an insanely great and clear-cut early relationship into a friendship?

Oh boy, relationship filter.

So, last semester I met a girl at a party briefly, and we both went back to our friends raving about how cool each other was. So, we saw each other a few times early this semester, and everything went great. At that point, I was just hitting the end of a rough, annoying non-relationship with a girl (literally not a relationship, but just the constant possibility of one culminated in her simply lying)

And so, after a party, I woke up to see that she had asked me out to eat something sometime Awesome, pure win. We schedule a date, and I hear from some mutual friends that she seems to consider it a big enough deal to tell some of them about it, and one simply asks "so you're kind of into him?" And she says yeah!

Cool. Date. Then a few more, mostly really lots of talking, great conversations and great times. Some of the time with mutual friends there too, sometimes without Good times, maybe 3 hours of just chatting in front of a lake or whatnot. She took the initiative about the first and really many of the other times we hung out, although I arranged a few too.

So, I try to be more gutsy (long history of just being nervous and these things slipping past). After a show we went to, asked what she was up to, and she was really positive about doing something afterwards. So, movie, her apartment. Great movie, great time. Her roommate comes back, we talk to her for a bit, it's great, everything's great. During movie - holding hands, cuddling, arm around, etc. Roommate goes to bed, movie ends, lights still off. So... earlier we had a funny conversation about how her roommate's gaydar is absolutely terrible and that sometimes they just end up with that... so I try to be funny, and say "Ha, well on to an earlier topic, I'm totally not gay, and I think you're awesome." Yeah, I know, I'm an expert wordsmith when I'm nervous.

To which she responds "Yeah, well, I think it's awesome hanging out with you. I mean, is that cool with you?"

And I respond, sure, yeah, definitely, anything's fine with me.

Hmm. Up to this point, we had been hanging out, talking, close, good times, absolutely no signal otherwise. My spider sense sucks, sure, but I feel like given the signals I was getting 95% of guys would have guessed something other than friends. Especially when it's been totally endorsed and advised by friends who have talked to her about this.

So, possibilities:

Somehow I'm a master at achieving the friend-zone, and here I've done it somehow by being awesome to hang out with.
What I said conveyed that I wasn't interested, or was too interested, or some other option.
She wants to just hang out, because it's the best, with me.
She wants to hang out and then hook up, because that would be the best ever.

I'm not terribly broken up because (unlike previousgirl), she seems to be 100% honest, and I hugely appreciate that. And, I haven't gone all in here, she's the only girl I'm currently interested in, but we've only known each other well for a few weeks, I haven't been yearning for months, etc. I do, however, have few relationships under my belt for my advanced age (early 20s) and apparently have transformed at least one previous mutual crush into a friendship that she "wouldn't want to turn into a silly short term relationship."

So what should I do? This hit me as very much a surprise, and I feel like the best thing is to keep going at it, although that so directly conflicts with what's been said.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Kiss her.
posted by cosmic osmo at 3:36 PM on February 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Show some initiative and interest. So far, she's taken the lead. She probably thinks you are only interested in being friends, since you let her ask you out, she takes you to her place, etc.

Maybe it's old-fashioned, but there was a time when men asked women out. Took them places. Initiated the first kiss. That stuff. Try it!
posted by Houstonian at 3:45 PM on February 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Nope don't bother, it's too late. Kissing should be done on a first date, or barring that a second. If on the third date there is no kissing, that is it. She was probably trying to tell you that she's bored with your shyness. Sorry! Next time kiss the girl as soon as possible.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:46 PM on February 13, 2009


second it

Kiss her
posted by boyinmiami at 3:53 PM on February 13, 2009


Good heavens, Potomac, it's never too late for kissing!
posted by Casuistry at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Houstonian has it. You'd be surprised how far confidence and initiative will take you. You and her obviously have some chemistry. Kiss her. Years from now, do you want to look back on this situation and regret NOT making a move?
posted by gnutron at 3:56 PM on February 13, 2009


Power up with some Courage Wolf.

Bite off more than you can chew. Then chew it.
posted by mullingitover at 3:57 PM on February 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ok, I see what Potomac is saying, but...still. Cuddling and holding hands? Do pals really do that? Maybe I'm missing something, but I think it sounds to me like maybe she's not entirely sure of your intentions, and so isn't "going all in" herself. If you make an overture (like say, KISSING her) you might find out more.
posted by Richat at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2009


Wait, what? I think everything is good unless you know something I don't (like perhaps her tone of voice).

To which she responds "Yeah, well, I think it's awesome hanging out with you. I mean, is that cool with you?"

Isn't she asking "is it okay for me to like you as much as I do?" She didn't hear your statement as "I want to make out now." She heard it as "I feel attraction and enjoyment of you in a non-platonic, romantic way" and responded, "I too quite enjoy the time that we have spent together and hope to continue spending significant amounts of time together assuming that this idea is also pleasing to you." Hint: you can be "hanging out" and "making out" at the same time.
posted by salvia at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2009


She's done her part, now you really need to make a move. Involve a little bit of alcohol to grease the social wheels if necessary, but do so lightly.
posted by spiderskull at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2009


Maybe she's a little shy too and she just wasn't able to come right out and say "Cool, let's hook up."

It sounds to me like she likes you. Keep going for it.
posted by bluebird at 4:00 PM on February 13, 2009


You like her. She likes you. Ask her on a proper date, and plant a good one on her at the end of it. Three or four hanging-out sessions is not too long to wait and get to know each other given the enthusiasm you guys have shown for one another, and the snuggling while movie-watching, etc. If I were her, I'd likely still be hoping that you'd ask me out and make romantic interest known. But do it soon. And if and when it all works out, it'll be a cute story about how you were such a gentleman.

Oh, and it's Valentine's day tomorrow. Use it! Send her a 'secret admirer' note that she'll know is from you due to the inclusion of some cute in-joke you've already established during your hang-out sessions. Or something else light-hearted and pressure-free. While going too ga-ga over it would be weird at this point, ignoring Valentine's Day altogether will most definitely put you in the friend zone.
posted by amelioration at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


great use of the tags, BTW
posted by gnutron at 4:03 PM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


There's only one was to know if she wants to be kissed.

You've already made your position pretty clear, so you've nothing much to lose. Worst-case scenario involves a kiss with a pretty girl, then a slightly akward conversation followed by resuming a fun friendship. Best-case scenario involves awesomeness followed by more awesomeness. So man up and try it!
posted by metaBugs at 4:07 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


it's never too late for kissing!

Would that it were true, I have a very long list of women I ignored or prevaricated about until they wandered away in my wasteful youth to whose lips I would enjoy prancing up to out of the blue today and planting a smooch upon.

Anyway, to amend my statement, please do try to kiss her right away, and don't let my grumpiness slow you down. I just highly suspect that she was in fact giving you a signal that she is done giving you opportunities to move forward. Guys (especially young guys) are dense. If they get the impression a girl is trying to tell them something subtle, she's probably been punching him in the face with it for an hour.

Everyone seems to be missing that they have gone on LOTS OF DATES. These are people in college to whom a month is like 10 years. They went to a show, they went to the lake, they cuddled on a couch, they watched some movies they talked talked talked. The whole time she's slowly losing interest as he spends longer and longer (weeks I'm guessing) to show some initiative. At first she was interested, but his lack of confidence turned her off, now she is probably not. By all means, do not be discouraged. Lesson learned--women like kisses.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:11 PM on February 13, 2009


You know that feeling of absolute terror you get when you're wondering if you should kiss her or not, that knife-edge feeling of having your entire heart hinge on how she reacts to what you're going to do next, the dizzying intensity of simply not knowing, and trying anyway?

That's one of the best things in the whole world.

If she wasn't worth it, you wouldn't be scared.

Be scared. Smile. Kiss her.
posted by MrVisible at 4:12 PM on February 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Kissing should be done on a first date, or barring that a second. If on the third date there is no kissing, that is it. She was probably trying to tell you that she's bored with your shyness. Sorry! Next time kiss the girl as soon as possible.

It may not be too late for this one, but he is right. Keep this in mind for the future.
posted by ludwig_van at 4:14 PM on February 13, 2009


Nope don't bother, it's too late. Kissing should be done on a first date, or barring that a second. If on the third date there is no kissing, that is it. She was probably trying to tell you that she's bored with your shyness. Sorry! Next time kiss the girl as soon as possible.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:46 PM on February 13 [+] [!]

Yikes! I am a 28 year-old woman. I've had my fair share of relationships with the opposite sex. I'm very happily married now, so I like to think I did OK with the whole "developing feelings for someone else" thing. The majority of the time, even if I really liked a guy, I didn't kiss him the first time we had a "date." (Or whatever you'd like to call spending time alone with someone you might be interested in. ) In fact, unless there are some unusual circumstances, I think it's pretty awkward and aggressive. Maybe a peck or something. I don't consider myself conservative, old-fashioned, or even remotely religious. Perhaps it just takes me longer to get comfortable being intimately physical with a stranger, but I've talked to a bunch of other women my age about first-date behavior, and they pretty much agree. Hand-holding, cuddling, touching each other more than absolutely necessary = all good signs. If there was ever any weird doubt about "is this a romantic possibility?" my preferred method of answering it is to talk about it - not mawing off my date's face. Or, ask her out on what is clearly a "date" date. My reading of her response is consistent with salvia's. In other words, I think she's saying she does like you. Listen, I know everyone is different, but I've seen quite a lot of "KISS HER DUDE!" responses to these types of questions on Askme (so I don't mean to call you out in particular, Potomac), and I thought I might provide an informed counterpoint. I'm sure this works for some people, but I don't think it's a uniform piece of advice to give.
posted by theantikitty at 4:15 PM on February 13, 2009


Listen up junior, you haven't blown anything. Yet. "Yeah, well, I think it's awesome hanging out with you. I mean, is that cool with you?" is her being unsure of what's going on here because you've been playing drag ass. Would you want to just lay your feelings out to someone who's been putting in maybe 10% of the effort so far?

This is the crucial juncture, and you need to go for it right now. She's testing the water and your response is going to dictate how this ends. Don't be cute, don't beat around the bush. Obviously she doesn't mind that you're kind of awkward so don't worry about it. Grab that spirited young woman and make her your own.

And maybe let a mod know what happens.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:18 PM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think that when she said that, she was looking for you to ask her out, or at least express some sort of interest in being her boyfriend. It's probably not too late to call her up.

In fact, you might use the tactic my husband used: "You know how everyone just assumes we're boyfriend and girlfriend? Uh... do you wanna be my girlfriend?" Not very slick, but endearing.
posted by Nattie at 4:24 PM on February 13, 2009


To which she responds "Yeah, well, I think it's awesome hanging out with you. I mean, is that cool with you?"

This is when you should have kissed her.

Now go over there right now and kiss her. Right now. Now!

You have nothing to lose. NOW!
posted by The World Famous at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I keep trying to write a good response to this, but it boils down to: yes, she likes you.

Phone her up, and it goes something like this:

'Hey Jess, it's Matt.'

'Oh hi Matt, it's great to speak to you.'

'Jess, you know the other night I said I thought you were awesome and you replied that you think it's awesome hanging out with me?'

'Yeah...'

'Yeah, well I meant to say I think you're really awesome, and wish it was more than just hanging out.'

'Me too.'

'Shall I come over?'

'You need to ask?'
posted by Sova at 4:44 PM on February 13, 2009


the antikitty pretty much said exactly what I was going to say, down to the being a 28 year old woman bit.

Don't try and kiss her out of the blue. If there's a natural moment and you both feel it, then try going for it, but don't plot to just plant one on her; it's aggressive and awkward.

Or if you must, kiss her hand.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:55 PM on February 13, 2009


So... earlier we had a funny conversation about how her roommate's gaydar is absolutely terrible and that sometimes they just end up with that

This was her way of saying she's really into you and she hoped you weren't gay. At least that's been my experience. (FWIW, when a girl said something similar to me, I did kiss her. And that worked out just fine.)

As noted above, you have the world's greatest in with tomorrow being Valentines (Personally, I hate Valentine's but what an opportunity for you). Get her something romantic (it's not the cost, it's the thought that counts.). Give it to her and ask her to be your valentine.

I think, at that point, a kiss would be appropriate.

Good luck.
posted by cjets at 5:11 PM on February 13, 2009


even if I really liked a guy, I didn't kiss him the first time we had a "date." (Or whatever you'd like to call spending time alone with someone you might be interested in. ) In fact, unless there are some unusual circumstances, I think it's pretty awkward and aggressive.

Ditto. I typed this out and then deleted it. In early college some women have barely had boyfriends. Let's move beyond dumb rules that assume every person on earth goes at the same pace. Do what feels right.
posted by salvia at 5:23 PM on February 13, 2009


okay... cm and antikitty both have some of this right.. and completely right for some.... however... there really is SOMETHING about that kiss that comes out of the blue...

you guys know each other now, so 'aggression' likely is not going to be an issue here (unless you are all hands too but I'm not getting that vibe here)....

I'm with Roman and the dudes above... KISS her! the time is NOW!
posted by Weaslegirl at 5:26 PM on February 13, 2009


Make her something, made gifts are always better. Be prepared to land on your feet if things go south, though, okay?
posted by big open mouth at 5:27 PM on February 13, 2009


I had the same reaction as salvia. I didn't see any indication that your chances were blown or that you had been relegated to the friend zone. You do definitely need to clarify things, if only for your sake. I agree that tomorrow is PERFECT for this. Ask her out, bring flowers, all the traditional stuff (if she's that kind of girl, and if she's not, I dunno, a punk rock mixtape? but flowers are generally safe). RED ROSES - any other type can be misinterpreted. You do not get red roses from a male just-friend.

call her NOW in case she hasn't made other plans yet for tomorrow night (I don't mean with another guy - maybe the roommate or somesuch). I mean RIGHT NOW. GO!
posted by desjardins at 5:32 PM on February 13, 2009


She's worried you're not that into her.
posted by marble at 9:05 PM on February 13, 2009


Proper date! Proper date! Proper date! And kissing, but most importantly an unambiguous statement to her that you are interested in her romantically and want to take her out on a date, and is she free on Tuesday? Because if you just randomly kiss her she may assume you're mostly interested in being friends, but also sort of maybe interested in hooking up. If you want an actual relationship, ask her out on a date and go from there.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:10 PM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


You haven't blown it. Lots of hanging out does not preclude a romantic relationship, though I agree that now is the time to be more forward and either talk to her or go for the kiss if it feels right.

Data point: I 'hung out' a lot with this great guy over the summer. I was totally oblivious to the implication that these were dates - and I'm post-college and these were very date-y outings. I was just clueless in this case. Long story short, we're now dating. So go for it! Early cluelessness/confusion/miscommunication does not necessarily spell doom.
posted by foodmapper at 9:13 PM on February 13, 2009


Wow... yeah, what MrVisible said.

It's an awfully difficult thing to do, but yeah... learn to live a little. And not just live, but love life. Do that. MrVisible has hit it square on the head.
posted by Shiva88 at 11:39 PM on February 13, 2009


Yes, it may not be too late to kiss her, but it's probably about goddamn time you kiss her.
posted by juliplease at 7:06 AM on February 14, 2009


Anonymous, please update one of the mods. I must know what happens!
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:37 AM on February 14, 2009


I have no clue. Neither do you. You'll have to decide to go for it without knowing.

Such is the fate of man.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:03 PM on February 14, 2009


kiss her!
posted by austere at 9:17 AM on February 15, 2009


What do you expect her to say to you to indicate that she wants more? "Hey Anonymous, it's been great hanging out and I'd like you to put your penis in my vagina now, thanks!"

I completely disagree with Potomac: you guys are in college, this kind of hanging out is the norm, she probably is aware that you're shy/awkward, and she's still agreeing to hang out with you. I'd never "lose interest" in a guy just because he was being slow. Like the other women above, I'd be (and have been) really turned off if a guy went in for a full kiss on a first date, or even the first few dates, especially when I was young and inexperienced in college.

However, I'd start to think that a guy didn't like me if we only hung out "by accident:" sort of winding up seeing each other places, sort of winding up at my room, or worse, having to plan/initiate all of these things myself. You should ask her out in advance for something that is obviously a date: dinner in a restaurant (even a cheap chain), a movie in a theater (or theater-like setting, not necessarily off-campus), you know the type of stuff.

And next time you're in a setting where a first kiss would be appropriate (ie, not across the table in a restaurant), try holding her hands, and looking in her eyes. If she sits there and looks back, she is waiting for you to kiss her.

If she tries to squirm out of the obvious-date or the staring competition, she might feel awkward being more than friends. But remember, if she's sitting there holding hands, cuddling, going on moonlit walks with you, she is probably interested. If she only wanted to be friends, she wouldn't do these things because she wouldn't want you thinking that there was any romantic possibility.
posted by thebazilist at 10:09 AM on February 15, 2009


Anonymous, I'm on pins and needles here!
posted by Roman Graves at 3:59 PM on February 15, 2009


Response from anonymous:
Well, I'm an insanely lucky guy - I just barely mentioned this event to her and she clarified that she was psyched that I was really interested in her because she's really interested in me. Life is great, and although I'm out of town for a few days, the future is bright.

In retrospect, I guess I was suspecting that anything less than being jumped on was a failure, and I wildly read into words when actions were so straightforward any fool could've gotten it. Hindsight is 20/20, lesson: don't overthink, go for it, stay positive.
posted by mathowie at 10:39 PM on February 15, 2009


And icy hearts everywhere are warmed! Congratulations, sir.
posted by Roman Graves at 11:03 PM on February 15, 2009


lesson: don't overthink, go for it, stay positive.

this should be in 40 pt typeface above the AskMe question box whenever the "human relations" category is chosen.
posted by desjardins at 9:55 AM on February 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I GIVE IT SIX MONTHES LUL

jk, well done anonymous. I'm glad I was wrong, and that you learned that lesson without the pain of rejection to burn it on: Your brain can be your enemy, especially when you have the Fever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:40 PM on February 17, 2009


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