Just not that into me?
May 26, 2009 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I met a man online about a year and a half ago...we have communicated via phone for all this time though some times more frequent than others. I am a 30 something and he is a 40 something. It took us a looooooong time to met (which I finally did this past weekend) for a variety of reasons. I was nervous, we both are shy, I was not sure if he would like me physically, etc., etc. In fact, there were two trips that were previously cancelled. This weekend, finally, I went. I stayed at a hotel, and he was a good host. I was there for 3 days. We did all kinds of touristy things in his town and he treated me like a lady, yet, there was no physical contact. Actually, 2 hugs, that was it. When I arrived, and when I left. No attempted hand holding, no subtle touches, no kiss...it took so long to meet and we are not exactly close in proximity so another meeting may not be anytime soon. I have to say, I expected that he might...so I gotta wonder, does this mean that he was "just not that into me?" I am not sure how to proceed. Hope you can help me figure this out?
posted by mdn31 to Human Relations (31 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Were you physically into him?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

He was not all I had expected, but I already like him, soooooo it did not matter. I was nervous tho so maybe he was picking up on that.
posted by mdn31 at 9:26 AM on May 26, 2009

Yeah, um, why didn't you make contact with him?

I'd chalk it up to shyness2.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Something a friend once told me: you might simply be overthinking things (something women are especially guilty of).

Communication is number one in long distance relationships. Bring up your concern to him. None of us can answer your question for you - only he can.
posted by royalsong at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2009

The fact that you both are shy is good. Guys in general, and shy guys especially, usually wait for some sort of signal from women before plowing forward. You obviously have some sort of connection. Be more agressive with the flirting, flirting comments and the like. Did you initiate touching him or flirt with him?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:30 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

You're a shy gal; he's a shy guy. It's hard to make that work, as somebody has to make the first move. The onus is traditionally on him, so I'd say he blew it and probably feels terrible about it.
posted by richg at 9:31 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

If I met someone (in real life) for the first time, I'd act exactly like he did.
posted by ddaavviidd at 9:31 AM on May 26, 2009 [5 favorites]

Speaking as a shy guy myself I second what the others have said - some men just don't like to initiate physical intimacy when meeting someone face to face the first time.

I would consider his behavior odd or deflecting only if it was markedly different from his demeanor in your other communications (not meaning to pry, but if he made remarks like "I love the sound of your voice / the color of your eyes" and then did not follow up on them when meeting in person I would consider it a change).
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:57 AM on May 26, 2009

I say, don't assume he's "just not that into you." I probably wouldn't be too physical either on a first meeting, no matter how attractive the other person is. I just consider it being a gentleman.
posted by The Deej at 9:59 AM on May 26, 2009

I agree with all the rest and just wanted to add--and I'm so sorry to be the one to put the thought into your head but I think it's a definite possibility--he might be married. And felt guilty about taking it a step further than the internet.

But I hope I'm wrong!
posted by misha at 10:03 AM on May 26, 2009

This is a tough one to try and figure out.

Gut call, from reading what you wrote, is that maybe he really is kind of gentlemanly and didn't want to begin a physical relationship when you were first meeting, would be together a short time, and you live far from each other. Oh hey, the Deej already said that. Well then, I agree on that.

Maybe he was shy and nervous and thought you weren't into him, maybe he's awkward - really, there's a large constellation of options here. I wouldn't jump to not that into you.
posted by KAS at 10:12 AM on May 26, 2009

I agree that a first meeting is often awkward and given that both of you are shy, physical stuff may be a leap BUT you were together for three days and got nothing? If it were just one day, I'd shrug my shoulders and think nothing of it but after three days, I'm a little more skeptical of chalking it up to shyness only. I'd say a lot of it depends on what your interaction has been since you were there. Has he contacted you since the weekend? Has he seemed interested in seeing you again/continuing the "relationship"? Has he mentioned anything about how great it was to finally see you? Have things just fallen back into your old pattern or does the interaction seem to have advanced in any way? Did he say anything about being sorry you had to leave? Has there been any discussion at all of meeting again? The answers to those questions will bring some clarity to the situation.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:12 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been in a somewhat similar situation so my speculations might have some grounding in experience - I'd say that he was most likely totally unsure of whether you'd find it appropriate. If you talk to him again it probably won't take you long to ascertain this; if he wasn't into you, he'll be standoffish, probably not impolite but certainly not warm. If he was into you, he'll either be warm and friendly or - if he's especially shy - tentative and embarrassed.

I'll hope for the latter on your behalf, and if it is so I suggest enthusiastic and vocal appreciation of his company to start off with. Give him some time to see if he asks for another date of his own accord, but definitely pre-empt him if he doesn't jump on the opportunity. Sometimes we men can be too obtuse or self-deprecating to see something that's right in front of us.
posted by fearnothing at 10:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

It took my now-husband over two months of face to face dating (seeing each other 2-3 times a week) to hold hands. We were both in our 20s at the time and had met online and are both really shy. I'd say keep at it.
posted by chiefthe at 10:27 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nobody here can know, and you can't really know unless you ask. You can make an assumption, and move ahead based on that, but you'll never be acting on the truth or fact.

The question is, are you willing to risk the rejection to ask and find out for sure? There is no wrong answer to that question. If the earth didn't move, but you do like him a lot, and it would be really painful for you to find out he wasn't interested, maybe you can just let it be. If that is the route you do take, just decide to do it. If nothing happens, don't beat yourself up. No action is a decision, after all. If you really would like to see something happen with this guy, take the risk. Ask. And tell him that you're open to more.

Take the time to really think through the scenarios. How will you feel if he says he does really like you, but is shy? How will you feel if he tells you he just wants to be friends? Think about how you'll react to either of those scenarios, make a decision on how you want to proceed, and then act on it. Take your time and be kind to yourself. However you decide to approach it, trust that you really thought it through and you'll be fine.

If you sit around and passively wait for him to come to you, there's a good chance it won't ever happen. Take some time to think about what you'd really like to see happen, and then go from there! If you don't want to take the risk, that's totally fair. If you go for it and he rejects you, don't take it personally. At the very least, taking the time to think through an action to take will make you stop fretting so much over things you can never know. That's never a fun place to be.
posted by pazazygeek at 10:37 AM on May 26, 2009

I was going to respond to this by speaking from the viewpoint of my own shyness, but then I reread the part about how you are geographically distant from this man, it took a year and a half to meet up, and another meeting soon is not in the works because of that distance.

Given that particular set of circumstances, I think even someone shy – unless they were debilitatingly, cripplingly so – would have initiated some physical contact, even if it was something as simple as holding your hand and seeing how you responded to that. At least, I would've, if the person was visiting from far away – that element adds a certain motivational urgency to the situation.

I think the situation is too ambiguous for the judgment calls of strangers to have any accuracy. Assuming that he's not so shy that he can't handle the question, I'd actually take a deep breath and broach the matter with him, couching it in understanding phrasing and making it clear that he didn't blow anything (unless you feel he did indeed blow it).
posted by WCityMike at 10:51 AM on May 26, 2009

You said that two previous trips were canceled. Did you cancel them, with a plausible excuse but really because you were nervous? If so, maybe he didn't make any move because he didn't know how strongly you felt about him, and didn't want to be foolishly-in-loooove to be rejected by a future cancellation.

One way to find out: Let him save face by telling him something like this, "Hey, I had a great time with you! I only wished I'd had the courage to kiss you when I left!" He then has an opening to say the same, and to share with you a giggle about how shy you two are (and to make a mental note that he's got the green light to kiss you next time).
posted by Houstonian at 11:54 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

There is no way we can know what he is thinking and feeling.

Just ask him.
posted by idiomatika at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's the problem with being shy. I'm fairly shy, and if I'm dating someone who's also shy, it's this cycle of self-doubt and "well, maybe they're just being nice/want to be friends" on both ends, and then we've both convinced ourselves that the other person is not into us. And it sucks because nothing ever happens when it could have.

If he is into you, one of you guys is gonna have to get over this fear of speaking up thing, so why can't it be you? And if he's not into you, at least you know and can move forward with the friendship without this weight of "does he or doesn't he?" over your head. If you haven't talked to him, call him up and thank him for the fun weekend, and ask him if he had a good time too, and let the conversation go from there. If you guys have been talking on the phone for 1.5 years, you two are obviously capable of having a decent conversation, so getting the conversation ball rolling shouldn't be too hard.

But it sounds like you'll never know unless you bring it up.

Believe me, I know it seems impossible - I'm trying to get over this type of thing, and my current attitude is "what's the absolute worst that'll happen?" Once the words come out of your mouth, they're out there and guess what? The world won't end, you'll still be alive, and at the very least, you're paying this guy a huge compliment...who doesn't like hearing "yeah, I totally have a thing for you"?
posted by AlisonM at 12:10 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

some dudes are shy, some dudes are just not that into you. the only way to know is to ask!
posted by lia at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2009

I wouldn't sweat it if he's shy. I dated my girlfriend (of seven years now) for months before we even kissed. And, yeah, she initiated it, even though she's shy as well. Dating is rough for shy men because there's an expectation of them making the first move, whether it's necessarily welcome or not, and just suck up rejection if that's what happens. Not everyone is so good with that, nor reading "signals." Or they see the signal then second-guess themselves. A lot of that is sort of a game people play when they don't know each other at all, but since you are already communicating, I would just bring it up. I know, easier said than done, but the payoff is you solve the problem either way.
posted by cj_ at 1:02 PM on May 26, 2009

I was in a somewhat similar situation many years ago. I met D through the "pen pal circle," which was the most popular way of keeping in touch/finding people with a similar interest in the days before the Internet. We were both fans of a particular band, and he saw my name on a trading list (videos, bootlegs, etc) and we started corresponding. He seemed very similar to me in temperament and sense of humor from his letters, and when we finally met in person (I lived near Detroit, he lived in Milwaukee), we laughed and talked for hours about all sorts of things, not only band-related topics. After that we started talking on the phone maybe one a week as well as writing back and forth. I felt myself falling for him, but he never got too close or personal; that is, we knew about each others parents and siblings and jobs and hobbies, but the conversation never got "romantic" or even close to it. We went to England together (for a combined Fan Club Convention and vacation) and shared hotel rooms the entire time, but always separate beds and no physical contact other than a hug "hello" and "goodbye" at the airport.

After almost two years of this sort of interaction, he happened to mention most casually that he had a girlfriend. (As in, I asked him "Did you park your car at the airport in Milwaukee?" and he replied "No, the girlfriend is picking me up." And yes, he said *the* girlfriend, which didn't strike me as odd until later, because at that moment it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears.) I can't explain why I never came right out and asked him the pertinent questions that I probably should have. I'd known him for three years and had shared hotel rooms with him platonically along the way before I finally asked him his girlfriend's name and how long they'd been dating (I wanted to see how serious they were; even though we weren't physical, we did share hotel rooms at his request, so I wondered....). He was very reluctant to talk about her, and when he did, it was never in glowing terms.

In the meantime, some of my friends met him during his visits to Detroit, and everyone in the band's fan club considered us a "couple" as we were always together at conventions and functions. But a few of these friends/acquaintances cautiously suggested to me that perhaps D was gay. I stayed at his condo once for a weekend at his invitation (don't know where "the" girlfriend was, and again, for whatever reason, I just didn't ask. Normally my tongue/curiosity is never held so carefully in check...maybe I felt like the whole "relationship," such as it was, would implode if I asked the wrong question) and I noted that he did not have any photographs of her on display in his condo, and there was only one toothbrush in the bathroom. (Yes, I snooped when he went out to walk his dog.) Anyway, he eventually married the girlfriend, and he invited me to the wedding. And after he was married, he still wanted to share a room with me at conventions. (I refused.) But he did continue to occasionally visit me (alone, and still always platonically) and he still never really talked about his wife unless it was to poke fun at her or mention how much money her family had. Sorry for the mini-novel, but I justed wanted to say that I undertand your hesitancy in discussing feelings with this man, and there might be a slight possibility that he's not into women in "that" way and he doesn't really want to acknowledge that fact. Yet.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:28 PM on May 26, 2009

Hey, now's your chance to find out if your online relationship has the potential to be a "real" relationship -- communicate with him about what happened! I personally think it was him being respectful of the fact that you were both meeting for the first time, and didn't want to blow the friendship you'd developed by coming on to you without clear signals from you that it was cool. Erring on the side of being a gentleman and all that.

but yeah, he might not have been interested. might as well find out.
posted by davejay at 1:37 PM on May 26, 2009

Hope you can help me figure this out?

ASK HIM. You had three days together, did you want something to happen or not? If so, what did you do or say to signal that you want physical interaction? Seriously, what do you want from him?
And are you confused because you wanted something physical to happen and it didn't or are you offended that he didn't make a pass at you, even if you weren't into him?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on May 26, 2009

I've been in the same situation twice. The first guy, when we finally met there was no immediate chemistry. however i did actually move to his area just before i met him (not as a stalker, i met him though a dating site knowing that several months later i would be moving to that area!). because we had got on well, we met up again, and so it just grew from there.

The second time, I travelled quite a distance to meet someone I had been emailing for many months, with a view to seeing whether the chemistry we had online would develop. We got on fantastically, but again there wasn't an immediate spark. This time, because of the distance, I don't think he felt like there much point in starting a romantic relationship. However, I do think, if we didn't live so far apart, that something might have happened as we got to know each other better.

What I'm getting that is that when you build up a long-distance relationship with someone you haven't yet met, the pressure on you both to get on/fancy each other/fall totally in love is immense, and unless you actually feel like you've been hit by a bolt of lightning in the first 5 minutes, it can be rather an anticlimax. Which isn't to say, he didn't really like you, just that maybe the immediate feelings he had were not as intense as you might have hoped.
If you say that you think it's unlikely you can meet up again soon, then I think your best bet is just to ask him. It's hard, I know from experience, but it certainly beats wondering and worrying about it.
posted by kumonoi at 3:30 PM on May 26, 2009

The first date I had with this guy I had gotten to know online, we sat in a booth seat in a dark comedy club for two+ hours and... didn't touch. At all. Not one finger. I agonized over it, why didn't he at least reach over and hold my hand? A pat on the back? An awkward hug as we left each other's company? A few weeks after the date, after I had gone back to my city and there were no plans for me to be in his city, I bought it up and he laughed so hard. He had been sitting inches away from me wanting to touch me, hold my hand, touch my shoulder, but agonized over why I wasn't reaching over to touch him.

It's the funniest story we have of our early dating. But I never would have known if I hadn't mentioned it.
posted by rhapsodie at 3:36 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

...and you didn't make the first move because...? Your answer to that question might be the same as his.
posted by 2oh1 at 4:39 PM on May 26, 2009

Ask him.
posted by TurkishGolds at 5:51 PM on May 26, 2009

As a terminally shy guy, let me tell you, you have a good start with being online, Maybe not your guy, but many of us shy guys are more adept typing than talking. bring it up when you chat. It may be way easier on him to write what he's feeling then speak of it in person. Sometimes we're really worth the effort. Of course, I'd never say that out loud...
posted by Redhush at 6:39 PM on May 26, 2009

I would judge based on how much communication there is now, post-meeting. Same or increased contact? He's probably into you. Decreased contact? Probably less into you.
posted by trevyn at 8:48 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding trevyn's comment--what has it been like since you both returned to your normal daily lives? That should give you some inkling of what's going on. If you arecommunicating with the same or increased frequency, that's your signal that he is still interested. If he's evasive now or is suddenly Soo Busy, that's your cue to keep looking.
posted by mynameismandab at 11:10 PM on May 26, 2009

« Older Baker Looking for Kitchen   |   Trolling, trolling, trolling, RawHide! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.