Lord knows it wouldn't be the first time
March 29, 2010 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Was I being a jerk/untoward with this girl?

It's not a huge gigantic worry, but I felt odd afterward, so thought it was worth checking if I've been a bit of a prick. (I'm youngish and not entirely secure.)

I met a girl in class. We click. Similar personality types/senses of humor/what have you. She also happens to be cute, so our joshing about turned into flirting. So last night, when she was complaining about being bored during an all-nighter, I asked if I could come over and keep her amused.

I went over; we joshed/flirted about. We talked about people playing games with each other. We talked about possibly looking for apartments together. But half an hour in, another guy from her building came over. This guy and I have similar personalities, so we quickly bond and go about joshing/flirting with this girl in unison.

The guy leaves after a while, and I joke to the girl about how for somebody who didn't like games she was quick to bask over two guys squabbling over her. She said a few noncommittal things: Nothing like "I'm not interested", more like "Yeah... I noticed that". She also said "I don't know if I can promise anything" once. Asked if her choosing anything would end us being friends. I said of course not, I'd much rather her friend than pressure her or make her feel awkward. Her roommate comes in and we all chat; during the talk she rests her feet on my chair. After a while I impulsively tickle her. She snorts a bit but doesn't move her feet off. After a while I just rest my hand on her foot and massage it a bit.Roommate leaves. We don't say anything for a while. Then I ask her if she likes it, she says yeah, and I sit up and kiss her. We kiss for a little while.

After a little while, I ask her if I should stop and leave. (It's very late in the morning.) She's uncertain. So I stop holding her and ask again. She says, "I think for now you should stop." Then she insists on seeing me out, but we don't hug goodbye at the end.

Maybe this is overthinking things, but I feel worried about my own actions. Was I taking advantage of her by rubbing her foot even after she didn't sound totally certain about the flirting? Was the last bit a hint that I'd done something improper and should have stopped sooner? I'm not entirely suave and I'm young enough that I'm still wrong about everything, so I'm worried that I might've been an asshat. Or am I overreacting and being a Relationship Dork?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Was I taking advantage of her by rubbing her foot ... Or am I overreacting and being a Relationship Dork?

The latter, I think.
posted by jon1270 at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You are overthinking this plate of beans. You did great: you took it slow, you checked in with her, and you stopped when she said to. Best of all, you laid (see what I did there?) a great foundation for hanging out with her again.
posted by Forktine at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [18 favorites]


my goodness honey you did just fine, that's how it works
posted by changeling at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Relationship Dork. Stop looking for doors to let yourself out of. She likes you. Stop overthinking it and looking to her for approval and have fun!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2010


You're totally overthinking things. Shut up and enjoy her company while you're still able.

I ask her if I should stop and leave ... She's uncertain. So I stop holding her and ask again.

Shut up shut up shut up shut up stop talking please in the name of all men everywhere shut up.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2010 [26 favorites]


Sounds like you broke down a lot of barriers in one night. Give the girl a breather so she can collect her thoughts and decide she really likes you, will ya? It's not like you proposed.
posted by hermitosis at 5:25 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude. You're completely fine. Stop worrying. Call her tomorrow or Wednesday and ask her to go do something (concert, dinner, etc.). FWIW, waiting (especially when being told to wait) is NEVER a bad move: best case, she thinks about you for 48 hours and when you walk to her place to meet her you never even make it to the event you're going to ask her to. You can do this.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:29 PM on March 29, 2010


Call her tomorrow or Wednesday and ask her to go do something (concert, dinner, etc.).

Make sure you use the word "date."
posted by hermitosis at 5:39 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm young enough that I'm still wrong about everything, so I'm worried that I might've been an asshat.

Really, seriously well done for coming to this conclusion. Also, it remains a valuable conclusion/starting point for the foreseeable future ;) Most people don't seem to think like that. You may be young but you sound mature for your age to me. Good on you.

Another vote for that plate of beans.
posted by blue funk at 5:41 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The most important thing she said was "for now." She doesn't want you to stop forever, she just wanted you to stop then (because it was too late, because she wanted to go out first, or for some other reason we can't possibly imagine). hermitosis is right: ask her out on what's clearly a date, see where it goes.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:43 PM on March 29, 2010


I thought this would end with a DID SHE LIKE ME like 99% of other internet relationship queries. Instead you were a good dude, kind to her and you TOTALLY MADE OUT. To invoke another nerdism: "This was a triumph. I am making a note here: Complete success".

Now if you like her, follow up on it.
posted by GilloD at 5:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Most people who worry about being an asshat usually don't make it a common thing to actually be an asshat. I think you're cool.

You touched her, you kissed her. She appeared to be into it, but clearly has mixed feelings. You checked with her, didn't pressure her to do anything and stopped when she told you to. I think you're fine.

Ask her out, see where it goes, take your time and have fun. Good luck.
posted by inturnaround at 6:08 PM on March 29, 2010


I think this kind of thing happens a lot to the people who are the last ones who should be worrying about it. I'm going to spend the rest of this answer projecting everything about my youth onto you.

You desperately don't ever want to be the 'bad guy' that you've heard spoken of. Here on Metafilter, from your friends, or sisters, you've heard about these sleazebags who sleep around and treat women like shit and are manipulative and exploitative. That's not you.

So, when you do interact with women you're interested in, you're being so hyper-sensitive about not coming off as an arsehole that you either disregard any signs of interest they give you (because you're not the kind of dick who thinks there merest sign of attention is sexual interest) or constantly second-guess yourself (was that a bastard thing to do? Was that sleazy? Oh no!). This is far better than being the kind of guy who doesn't think about it at all, but (as you've found) it's not exactly a barrel of laughs, and leads to all kinds of insecurities.

Hopefully all the responses so far have helped you realise that you're doing nothing wrong. What you can start doing better is being a little less hung up on what you're doing. "I think for now you should stop" is worlds away from meaning "I don't like what you're doing".

I don't think I need to add this, but: this isn't encouraging you to proceed to flirt/make out with a girl when she says she doesn't want to. It's encouraging you to let her make that decision, instead of presuming her disinterest from the start.
posted by twirlypen at 6:26 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don’t think you did anything wrong. But it’s important to understand why you think you might’ve done something wrong. Is it because she didn’t hug you? She’s allowed not to hug you, you know. While knowing nothing about her, I’m going to assume that she may have mixed feelings and project the following. Yes, it can be frustrating to deal with someone who’s having mixed feelings. If it gets too frustrating for you and you’re being clear about what you want and she’s still unclear about what she wants, you can always just walk away and find someone who’s a little more clear about what they want. If you’re constantly worried about her feelings, feeling bad about your actions, despite trying to have clear communication, maybe you shouldn’t be with her. Yes, I know, I’m totally getting ahead of myself as you’ve only had one hangout session, but you said in your headline, “it wouldn’t be the first time” so I’m wondering if this is a pattern. But also, don’t be afraid to be a little more confident than you are right now.
posted by foxjacket at 6:36 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


From her side... Even now, but especially when I was younger, if I guy were to say "Do you want me to stop?" I'd feel like a huge dirty wanton slut for saying "No." So I'd hem and haw and say maybe and stuff like that, and if a situation were new, like yours is, I'd err on the side of "Yeah I guess you should go," adding "for now" or something else to leave the door wide open.

Obviously you are in no position to read her mind, and it's just life that we don't know what the other person is thinking in these situations. But I feel like you're the type of guy who's never going to push too hard, so you should be pretty confident that if a girl is not saying "Ew no, get the fuck off of me, why are you touching my feet?" you can continue to move slowly forward.

Constantly asking if she's "okay" and "likes it" and so on puts her in a weird position and also kind get pretty annoying. She was in no position to 100% articulate her feelings or validate yours when you tried to get her to come down cleanly on one side of the fence in you v. this other guy v. your future together. She could be in love with you, but how is she going to come out and say it in such an uncertain situation? You hadn't even kissed yet! She's trying to play it cool, and not be a forward hussy.

And, if she had not wanted you to massage her feet, she a) would not have been telling you how "bored and lonely" she was, b) would not have invited you over, c) would not have put her feet on your chair, d) would have moved them or gotten up the second you put your hands on them, e) would have made pleading eyes at the roommate to stay and chat or make some excuse for you to leave so that the two of you wouldn't get left alone together, etc etc etc. Get it? Just leave ample non-verbal opportunity for her to gracefully and easily leave or stop the proceedings, and you'll be good to go.
posted by thebazilist at 6:43 PM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


>>I ask her if I should stop and leave ... She's uncertain. So I stop holding her and ask again.

>Shut up shut up shut up shut up stop talking please in the name of all men everywhere shut up.


I totally disagree. For all that I think the Antioch-style "ask before doing anything" is kind of stupid, I think it's totally awesome for a dude (or a woman -- this is a human thing, not a guy thing) to back off if the other person's consent isn't loud, proud, and visible at 100 yards.

As a guy who has overthunk many a plate of beans, trust me on this one: You are more of a man, not less, if you listen to the other person and give them the space and time to consent totally. Yes, that will mean that you will probably sleep with slightly fewer people than the "bro" who gets them drunk and thinks that "no" means "try harder," or even just the smooth mover who knows how to finesse a complicated situation. But honestly, over the long run, that's ok. It's way better to have slightly less sex, but of a much higher quality, than it is to fuck anything that you can convince to open his/her legs, consent and sobriety be damned.

I think you did everything right, and if it leads to more sex that's great, and if it means that you got to make out with the cutie just this once, that's awesome, too. Don't be afraid to "make a move" (like you did by kissing her), be it asking her out or kissing her again; but equally, don't be afraid to allow her the space to figure out her sexuality on her own terms.
posted by Forktine at 6:53 PM on March 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


Nothing to worry about here... you got the signals and acted appropriately. Don't sweat it at all.

Agreeing with the folks above who are saying to ask her out - make sure you use the word date.

Best of luck!
posted by Weaslegirl at 6:57 PM on March 29, 2010


I think you're okay. I think that your next step should definitely be asking her out for a date. Lots of people in college fall into the whole "let's just sit around one another's dorm all day" thing, which leaves the question about "What This Is" (i.e. friendship v. relationship v. friends that flirt, etc) sitting next to you guys on the dorm room floor. Putting the next hangout firmly in the "date" context will probably shed a little more light on the subject for you, and then you can decide where to go from there.
posted by mornie_alantie at 6:58 PM on March 29, 2010


Totally fine, respectful. All good. Now ask her out on a real date and see what she says.
posted by whoaali at 7:51 PM on March 29, 2010


Constantly asking if she's "okay" and "likes it" and so on puts her in a weird position and also kind get pretty annoying.

Asking about the same thing over and over again would get annoying, but to never ask if something's okay, especially if you're getting weird vibes from them, is going way too far in the other direction. From what you've written, you're walking the line well. When you sensed hesitation you asked about it. When she said she liked it, you continued. When she said she wanted to stop, she left.

It's better to leave a shy girl disappointed than a fearful girl feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or guilty. If someone is not willing to verbalize their enthusiasm when asked, maybe it's better for them to wait, anyway.

Keep your approach and trust your instincts - they're good ones.
posted by shaun uh at 8:08 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


shaun uh: "It's better to leave a shy girl disappointed than a fearful girl feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or guilty. If someone is not willing to verbalize their enthusiasm when asked, maybe it's better for them to wait, anyway. "

Hear hear.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:28 PM on March 29, 2010


Yes, hear hear.

Also, my suggestion would be that you throw your self-respect into the equation. It's great not to pressure the girl who doesn't yet really know how to say "no." But another great reason for you to have stopped at the weird vibes was your self-respect: why would you want to make out with someone who isn't 100 percent into it? You wouldn't! You don't! In fact, some of the mixed signals earlier in the evening have shades of that problem, too, but not so clearly that I think you needed to have acted differently.

In short:
1) You should assume she knows her own mind, so if she's kissing you with abandon back, probably no need to check in.
(I say this just in case the "should I stop?" was some "this is too good to be true" thing.)
2) But I'd expect clear signals from her and take mixed signals as a "no," the way it sounds like you did.

That's why calling it a date is a great idea. It says, "I know what I want, and I want someone who wants it too, and I don't want to waste time on a bunch of gray area. Let's do this! What do you say?"
posted by salvia at 9:35 PM on March 29, 2010


You did good although maybe not so much with the "I joke to the girl about how for somebody who didn't like games she was quick to bask over two guys squabbling over her."

It has a weird judgmental feel to it, she was just responding to flirting, not playing games. It's not some sort of manipulation on her part that two guys were paying attention to her.

I get this kind of sideways comment a lot from guys who are jealous of other guys' attention towards me. It can come off as a bit bitter. Now you know. Next time just say "wow, you're popular, I know why!" or something like that instead of implying that she is a liar (saying she doesn't like games when she does) or a game-player.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:45 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh my gosh, I am a college-age girl and if I had been in her situation I'd be gushing to my friends about how awesome and thoughtful you are. Have a little more confidence, ask her on a date.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:57 PM on March 29, 2010


I think you did great.
posted by Nattie at 10:27 PM on March 29, 2010


Hehe, I like reading happy things like that. Go you, OP! I think you may have spoilt it for yourself a little by asking. If I were the girl, your question would have immediately triggered a string of guilty "yeah I guess it IS late and I SHOULD stop for today" thoughts while before I would have been basking in foot bliss. On the other hand, you made clear what a resectful and thoughtful person you are, which might be her type of guy. Her final words were encouraging: a clear and resounding "maybe"!
posted by Omnomnom at 11:18 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm not entirely suave

You're suave enough that you made out with her and then left gracefully without having embarrassed yourself. That's pretty suave. Run with it.

When it comes to "suave" or "sex appeal" or whatever, my motto is this: "act as if." There are the things you can only do so much about - your looks, how you dress, your personality type, your sense of humor, etc.. You can make minor adjustments here and there but at the end of the day you are who you are. The one thing that is totally under your control is your attitude - how you approach the situation. Not your pride, but your confidence.

You need to act as if you are that suave dude. This doesn't mean sitting around trying to manufacture "suave" thoughts or ideas, this means you go out there with this girl or other girls or both together, and you act like that picture of a suave guy that you have in your head. You say the things you think he'd say. You carry yourself the way you see him carrying yourself. Just act that way. Pretty soon you'll find that acting that way means you actually *are* that way. You're confident - you take the lead, you make the funny observation, you flirt with ease, you ask the polite question, you leave with grace.

To be clear: this doesn't mean you are putting on a false persona. This would be a bad thing, and as such I'd recommend you don't have a particular person in mind when you picture that suave guy, but rather keep him a generic ideal in your head. You don't want to be someone you're not, you just want to grow personally into the confident, suave you that you've proved that you can be, already. And here's the kicker: while you do need to "act as if" - you also need to get very quickly to the point where you can do this without actually thinking about it, so that it is real. Like it was last night with this girl.

If you're the type that's concerned enough about coming off jerkish that you would post a question to the internet on it, you probably don't have much to worry about in regards to coming off that way. Just roll with what you've got, and throw some confidence in to boot. Girls can smell it, and they like it. Your goal is not to manipulate that, but to become a confident type of guy that girls can enjoy being around.

From personal experience, and years of knowledge gained post-fact, I've always been rather amazed at the quantity and quality of the girls in my life who were attracted to me or might have been, without my most cursory inklings of such, at the time. I can't go back and be a different me at those times with that knowledge, but it sure helps me be a different me now. Not a cocky jerk (I hope), but comfortable in my own skin and not worried about how I'm being perceived by others.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, you're doing just fine. You're the mack!!!! You just need to stop worrying so much about if your doing it right. Just take your time, and play it cool. And stop asking so many questions. Your smart and perceptive enough to know when you may be moving into the no-fly zone. Trust your instincts.

I would actually steer away from the word 'date' as you might put some expectations / stigma on it. Call her / See her in class and tell her you want to take her out and show her a good time. Do something fun / random. Give her a few nice brief kisses during the 'date'. Be a gentleman but don't fawn over her. Show her you can take the lead. Conjure up all the heroic dudes you know about and be them. Watch Ryan Gosling in the beginning of The Notebook. That dude got skillz. Don't be a dick. Don't be a pick-up artist. Don't be over confident but don't second guess yourself. Just be awesome.
posted by jasondigitized at 5:50 AM on March 30, 2010


Yeah, I kept waiting for you to propose a threesome or something.

Nothing to see here.
posted by cmoj at 6:04 AM on March 30, 2010


You had fun. She had fun.
You did not take advantage of a situation. You didn't even over think the situation, until it was over.
Everything is fine.
Ask her out and have a good time.
posted by Drasher at 6:36 AM on March 30, 2010


If it never goes anywhere from this point again, please be sure and remember that it is unquestionably because although the two of you were kissing "for a while," you suddenly stopped and asked if you should leave. No matter what else happens or is said, it is because of this.
posted by rahnefan at 10:19 AM on March 30, 2010


The guy leaves after a while, and I joke to the girl about how for somebody who didn't like games she was quick to bask over two guys squabbling over her

I'm with internet fraud detective squad in thinking that this comment sounds a little iffy and judgemental. Other than that you did fine.

It's better to leave a shy girl disappointed than a fearful girl feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or guilty. If someone is not willing to verbalize their enthusiasm when asked, maybe it's better for them to wait, anyway.

Agreed.
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 11:00 AM on March 30, 2010


Listen, my child: No matter what anyone ever tells you, know that what a woman most wants from a man is to be desired. Wishy-washy and hesitant men are a turn off. They want to know that you know exactly what you'd like to do with them if/when you get the chance. If a woman responds positively to your touch, touch her more. If she responds positively to your kiss, kiss her more. Your job is to keep touching her and kissing her in more places and in progressively less clothing until you are having sex. It may take weeks or months until she doesn't ask you to stop at some point but you should always let her be the one to say when enough is enough and should always make it clear, without saying it, that you're irresistibly attracted to her.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 9:34 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


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