Is he friendly? Interested? Teasing?
October 22, 2009 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Angsty-crush filter: Should I do something like make a move on this guy? If not, how can I get this out of my mind and get back to my own life?

OK, I'll try to keep this short. Please bear with me -- I've scoured similar previous posts but of course nothing with facts close enough.

We're both 26; I'm a girl and he's a guy. We met at a pub through a mutual friend. Since then, we've seen each other frequently at the local, always with friends. We chat online frequently and have been out on our own twice. When we talk, it's about everything and (I think) the conversation indicates a great connection. When we drink, we get funny and talk about TMI-sexcapades and shitty childhoods. The first time we went out, we talked from dinner until the pub closed around us. Last time we went out, we went back to his place and chatted / hung out until 2 in the morning....but no move was made. By either of us.

Does he like me? (I KNOW you can't really answer that here, but it's like I need to ponder out loud.) Perhaps you can answer:
1. How can I test his interest and feel my way? He's said stuff before about thinking women should take more initiative -- I'm not at all opposed to making a clear move as long as I'm not rebuffed with, "I didn't mean YOU!"
2. If you think I should go for it, can you explain how you (a female) made a successful first move?
3. Can you (a male) describe when a girl's first move went really well for you?

And if you think he's not into me (I mean, he could just be really friendly -- he's a compassionate soup kitchen volunteer, swoon), then please tell me how to quit acting like I'm 13 and get back to work!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
He might. He definitely, really might. He also may just be really friendly. Make a move!

And by "move" I mean kiss the boy. It's unambiguous, and if things work well it'll be a cute/good start to things. If it's not well-received, yes, you will feel awful but it'll be over and you'll be in position where you can move on with a clean conscience, knowing you aren't missing something you could have had.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:40 PM on October 22, 2009

Okay, I have been in this situation & NOT made that move & regretted it ever since.

Take a step back & think about it for a second: Was there any physical contact that night? Think about having that sort of physical contact with, say, a brother. Or your boss. If it wasn't work-appropriate, then you definitely have a chance. If you try & he rejects you, then he was just playing games in the first place--or would like to take it slow, which is not bad in itself--& you deserve someone better.

If there wasn't physical contact, try initiating some. Adjust his collar (not his belt. Wait for that). Things will get more comfortable & you'll have a better handle on the situation.

As it is right now, why is your crush uncomfortable? Is it the fear of rejection? As long as you're not feeling limerence, there's no reason why this crush is unhealthy. OpinionFilter, but I think that there is too much 'getting back to work' & not enough 'randy daydreaming.'

posted by opossumnus at 9:45 PM on October 22, 2009

My wife got tired of me being too nice for our first few dates, and made the first move. Our 4th anniversary is in a week. Who cares whether he even knows if he likes you or not? Just make the move.
posted by anildash at 9:58 PM on October 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Just make a move, any move. Kiss him, ask him out to something that's very obviously a date, do whatever it takes. Maybe he's into you as well, and things will be great.

Even if he isn't - so what? You find that out, it hurts, but then you know. You can stop spending time with someone who doesn't return your feelings, and you'll find another great person who does like you sooner.
posted by ripley_ at 10:11 PM on October 22, 2009

As a guy I can tell you that he's not hanging out with you 'til 2am for the hell of it. He likes you but is not seeing a green light. He's even stated that he expects more initiative, so if you wait passively he'll think you aren't interested. So touch him, kiss him, do something to open the door.

Then report back!
posted by Tubes at 10:55 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not at all opposed to making a clear move as long as I'm not rebuffed with, "I didn't mean YOU!"
If you think I should go for it, can you explain how you (a female) made a successful first move?

You'll never know unless you have a go.
Being rebuffed is not failure. Not taking a risk is failure.

snark on>Grrr. Why do (some) women in this day and age expect men to put their emotional selves on the line but aren't willing to do it themselves. Where's the equality?

You don't want to be 'rebuffed'. You want to make a 'successful first move'. Well, there are no guarantees on anything in life, baby. Everything of value takes some risk to achieve. Are you just going to wait for him to take the risks? You may be waiting for ever. He may have 69 rebuffs under his belt and just not be keen on one more. How many do you have? And what is actually at stake here? Your pride. That's all. And it's healthy for pride to take a bounce once in a while. You don't have to tie your pride up with your self-esteem. Separate the two and go for it. Worse case scenario: He says "I didn't mean YOU!" Your reply can be: "Why not? I'm hot, I'm fun, I'm [insert name here] and you don't know what you are missing, nice boy!" Hell, that response might just change his mind.

Grow a backbone and make the move. Regardless of his response you won't regret finding out. You'll only regret it if you never discover whether he was that into you or not. >/snark

In other words, go for it.
Anecdata: The three major loves in my life all came about because they were nice guys too polite to make the move themselves. So eventually I did and made us happy.
posted by Kerasia at 11:02 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]

Kiss him and you will know.

(I strongly predict he will kiss you back.)
posted by LarryC at 11:20 PM on October 22, 2009

My philosophy is that unless you ask him out in a way that is completely psychotic, if the guy likes you (wants to ask you out but haven't got the courage, and/or haven't thought about it but is open to the idea), he would not take you asking him out badly. No matter how you ask him out.

(Again, as long as you're not crazily creepy like following him home for a month or something.)

On the flip side, if he really isn't interested, you can have the most romantic declaration in the world and it's not gonna make any sort of difference. At best you'd get him for a short time due to him being impressed by said declaration, but it's not gonna work out anyway.
posted by Hakaisha at 12:02 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's a method I've told friends about called "Dropping the Bomb."

It requires a small amount of alcohol (for courage) and a group activity with pull-aside-moment potential.

At some point in the evening when he's not doing much, you sidle up and say coyly, "You know, I've been thinking. We're probably going to smooch each other at SOME point, so I figure it might as well be tonight." Then you smile and give him a little I'm-just-saying eyebrow lift, and leave him to rejoin the group. Let him sit on that idea for a bit while he sees you being fun and easygoing with the group.

Later on, KAPOW! I mean, he's been warned.

Hasn't failed me yet.
posted by lauranesson at 12:29 AM on October 23, 2009 [6 favorites]

I totally agree with Tubes. I'm a guy, and I'm super-hesitant to initiate anything. Your gentleman is doing all the things I find myself doing to give girls the green light - stretching out each opportunity he gets to spend time with you, sharing personal 'privileged'-type information, hinting that he'd be just fine with you making the first move (I would only ever say that - and have - around girls I really hoped would take me up on it). When I do things like that, it's because I want the girl I'm interested in to know that I think she's pretty special.

My last relationship started when my soon-to-be girlfriend (who I didn't know too well at the time) kissed me out of the blue. We were watching a movie in her room. It was great. There have also been a few times girls hinted really explicitly that they were interested in me, and that was finally enough for me to feel comfortable initiating something. Really, what I look for - and suspect your gentleman is looking for - is a sign from you that you're as interested as he is. It doesn't need to be as blatant as a kiss, just enough to let him his feelings are requited.

Best of luck!
posted by ForHurricanesHave at 1:25 AM on October 23, 2009

There's always the "geek flirt" option. Here you say "Wow, I'd really like to kiss you right now. Would that be a good thing or would it just end up six kinds of awkward and you would never speak to me again?"

If the guy says anything other than "Yes that would be awkward, I'd rather you didn't" then get on with it!

If neither of you are geeky enough for this, take him dancing. Dance closer and closer. Enjoy yourself and smile at him a lot. If he backs off, you are out of luck. Otherwise, keep going until you are dancing and touching. Then kiss him! Then (if things are still going well!) suggest that you take things somewhere more private.

If he isn't interested, he will back away early on, you will figure it out and both of you can then pretend that nothing happened.
posted by emilyw at 4:00 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just damned well go for it.
posted by jhighmore at 4:31 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's something that worked really well on me*:

We were on our first in-person date (had chatted online and talked on the phone for a couple of weeks) and were finished with dinner. He got up to pay the check and hesitated before walking away from the table, then leaned in and kissed me - quickly, lightly, but a kiss nonetheless. Didn't say a word, just smiled and went to pay the check.

When he came back to the table I was glowing like a lightning bug, so he could be pretty sure it worked.

Sigh ... Nthing go for it.

*Yes, this is a male-moving-on-female anecdote, but I think it would work in reverse.
posted by shiny blue object at 5:38 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

3. Can you (a male) describe when a girl's first move went really well for you?

I was once in a similar situation where I was hanging out with a girl and it was on the edge of friend/romance, and I couldn't really tell which way she was leaning. We would hang out together but she never made a move and sometimes seemed stand-offish by my standards, so I never made a move either. Then one night she finally made a move, or rather, made herself open to a move. We were standing in my driveway after a night out, talking, and she kind of just paused and then said in a quiet voice that she had a really great time with me tonight and then just looked at me expectantly. I knew it was time to kiss at that point. So that was a sly way of making a move without actually making a move. That's if you want to be demure about it. It would've worked with a more direct approach too.

If you're wondering these things, he's probably wondering them too. A kiss from a girl is never unwelcome.
posted by That takes balls. at 7:06 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

As a guy who finds it extremely hard to make the first move, I can say that I have definitely said that women should show initiative as a direct hint that they should show initiative with me. While I'm not him, I think that it's quite likely he was trying to drop a hint.
posted by nobeagle at 7:09 AM on October 23, 2009

Eye contact, touching. Repeat as necessary. Has always worked for me, and when I explained it to a female buddy, she was skeptical. But she decided to try it herself. Several weeks later she called me back and said "it really works!"

Seriously, I think the dating books for women are so focussed on maintaining a one-up position on the male that they end up costing chances with men. They sorta have this cardboard-cutout image of men which they promote which really has very little to do with what we're like. If a guy doesn't chase you around the room, they surmise, then the woman is not interesting to the man. Somenights I'm just not in the mood to chase. That doesn't mean a nice woman who chats me up wouldn't get me interested.

My best friend's wife went up to him and asked for his number.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:58 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

Kiss the boy!
posted by IAmBroom at 7:59 AM on October 23, 2009

He likes you. As a guy, I've become so paranoid about coming off as either too forward, or creepy, or making it seem like 'i only want one thing...' and it almost always takes the girl making the first move.

Kiss him. He wants it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

And by "move" I mean kiss the boy.

Lots of calls here to try and kiss him. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but this would be an UTTER turn off to me even if I were interested, and would rule out a later friendship if I weren't. I can imagine few things more awkward (repulsive, irritating, yucky, ... ) than a woman I have no interest in kissing me.

If you want to kiss, ask. Yeah, it sounds semi-ridiculous, but can come off as charming. It's what I do with girls I'm interested in, and so far has been wildly successful.

It's not clear from your question the circumstances under which you went out. Perhaps a better way to 'make a move' would be to say something like, "I want to take you out on a real date -- dinner and a movie. What do you think?" Labeling it a date -- to me -- clarifies the intentions.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:56 AM on October 23, 2009

I agree you should be more forward. No one here knows your situation better than yourself.

If kissing him is a bit too much, and perhaps it is, simply try and hold his hand. I'm pretty sure that's how one of my friends started dating a guy that wasn't moving fast enough for her liking.
posted by chunking express at 1:04 PM on October 23, 2009

How about inviting him over to watch a movie and then cuddling up with him on the couch and see what happens?
posted by parakeetdog at 1:24 PM on October 23, 2009

My friend had a crush on a new co-worker who she didn't know well/hadn't talked to much before, and was stalking Facebook to see if he had a profile there.

She accidentally put his email address into the "invite" box, instead of the search box, and hit enter.

In that moment, if I were her, I probably would have turned off my computer, hidden under the desk, and avoided him from then on.

Instead, she sent him an email. Something to the effect of, "I know this is going to be a weird email. But I was looking you up on Facebook, and accidentally invited you instead. That's why you have an invite from me. I'm interested in you, would you like to go out sometime?"

Annnnnd, their wedding is in about a week.
posted by Ashley801 at 8:21 PM on October 23, 2009 [10 favorites]

Data points from a man, 34:

Your number 1 indicates to me that he is interested. I think I would be reluctant to say something about women making the first move to a new acquaintance I wasn't interested in. Also the sex talk indicates his mind is going in that direction with you around.

It's possible he's a bit shy about making a move. I know that as a younger man I had difficulty with this. Fear of rejection is powerful in a lot of men and hard to get past, especially when you're young. Do you have the impression that perhaps he's not felt he's got the green light from you?

What I'm getting at is that the more shy he seems, the likelier it is that he's interested and the likelier it is that you might need to take the initiative.

Kissing him, or asking to be kissed, seems the quickest way to figure this out. I think almost all men would at least get an ego charge out of that.
posted by lackutrol at 12:39 PM on October 24, 2009

Oh yeah, and my very first love made the first move. I still think of her fondly.
posted by lackutrol at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2009

Okay first off, where were all you guys (reply posts) when I was a young adult? Hmm??? Just answer me that! ;)

@emilyw: One word... Brilliant!!!

Well this was posted long enough ago, that it would be nice to know what happened. *sigh* I guess we'll never know.

I hope it all went well and just wanted you to know. PM me with details if you so desire to share. I can even post an update for you here without anyone knowing who you are. No pressure of course. :)

Good luck!
posted by magnoliasouth at 12:34 AM on November 1, 2009

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