May 15, 2012 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Do I ask for something more or just let it flow?

I've been hanging with a good friend of mine for a while now. It's been a year of fooling around and a few months of actually being able to see each other now that we don't work together anymore. He doesn't seem to be in a mental space for a relationship since he's trying to sort things out in his life but I'd like to seriously be with him since we've casually been exclusive. Some friends say, I shouldn't ask. I'd love to ask. How would you go about it?
posted by InterestedInKnowing to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The right person will not balk at you asking. :) I say go for it.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:21 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Let him make that decision for himself, not you or your friends.


Keep us posted and good luck!
posted by inturnaround at 9:24 PM on May 15, 2012

He doesn't seem to be in a mental space for a relationship since he's trying to sort things out in his life

Your answer is in this half of the sentence. I would honor the fact that he's sorting himself out and give him space to do so, instead of pressing for a change in relationship status in spite of it.
posted by Ashen at 9:25 PM on May 15, 2012

What's your plan if the answer is no?

If your plan for that is sound - go for it!

If you are feeling insecure, or like you just can't drag this casual thing out further... bail. Or not, if you are not in pain.

IMHE, If whatever it works for you both, great! If it is only working for him as he "sorts things out in his life," then you should bail.

Life is short, you are AWESOME. Don't wait around on a string.
posted by jbenben at 9:26 PM on May 15, 2012 [9 favorites]

I think this depends a lot on whether you want to ask because he's the guy you'd like to have a relationship with, or because you think it's "time" based on social expectations. If it's what you need, go for it. If you just feel like you should, don't.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:53 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

He's already decided whether he wants to be in a committed relationship with you. Asking him about it won't change his answer.
posted by lamp at 10:10 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

He may also be wondering the same thing. Let him know that you'd like to step things up a notch if he is of a like mind. But what if he says no? Do you know how you'll feel if he just wants things to stay as they are forever? For a bit longer? Maybe he hasn't really thought about it. Let him know that's what you'd but but (if this is true), you're also happy to continue as things are for x amount of time while he sorts himself out. Before you ask, though, think about how you might feel about the answer.
posted by dg at 10:42 PM on May 15, 2012

You should ask for what you want in your relationship.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:39 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree with J. Wilson - and go one step further and say you should ask yourself honestly if you're in the right space right now for a relationship and consider what you may be looking like to him.

If you don't HAVE TO BE WITH SOMEONE OR ELSE, and you're fine on your own, then yeah - be confident and see where this goes.

Just don't get hung up on the answer or the pursuit of one - because if you have the mind-set of "I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S THINKING!" now, that won't leave even if you two get together - it will only transfer over to other aspects of your new relationship with him. You'll always be thinking something's missing.

Let him come to you and enjoy what happens. You're fine either way.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:52 AM on May 16, 2012

I'd like to seriously be exclusive."

Just tell him that. By all means ask him what he wants, so that he gets a chance to speak for himself and you don't rely on assumptions. But don't ask him for what you want, as he's not your parent or boss.
posted by headnsouth at 3:55 AM on May 16, 2012

You should certainly ask, but I would suggest that you are perfectly clear to yourself and to him about exactly what it is you are asking for. By that I mean, do you want to spend more time together, do you want an increased level of physical intimacy, do you want a standing date night, or do you just want to put a label on the state of your current relationship? Make sure that you are both on the same page about just what boyfriend/exclusive/serious means.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:27 AM on May 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

Be a bit romantic. "I'm crazy about you and I'd like to be exclusive. What do you think?" Then listen to him. He'll either jump all over it, or he'll bail." Either way, you'll have your answer.

One way people waste their time in relationships is waiting for the other person to "catch up" to them in the feelings department. If he's really only looking for a fuck-buddy, then it's good you know now, and you can decide accordingly.

If that's okay with you (and really search your soul to see if that's true) then keep things as they are, and continue to date and meet with other people. If it's not okay, then now is the best time to back away and extricate yourself from a situation that won't make you happy.

Ask yourself this question, "If he doesn't want to commit, and I stay in the relationship as it is, how would I feel if he met someone else that he DOES want to commit to." If you can honestly and truly be happy for him in that situation, stay. If the thought of it makes you want to boil his bunny, bounce.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:48 AM on May 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

Well, we spoke the other night and I asked "what do we have going on?" He scoffs at the idea we're fuck buddies, he considers us more but he doesn't want a relationship, right now. He's content with the flow we have. I love our interactions, too, but I let my feelings be known to him. I asked him "Do you want this fool to stop loving you?" in a light hearted way and he said "Why are you calling yourself that? You're not a fool." I expressed my feelings to him. He didn't answer my question but he listened to every word I said. When he's quiet, I know he's actually listening. So, I said "At least I gave it a shot" and we wished each other a goodnight. He's a babe and I know he's going through things. He's expressed it isn't fair for me to wait for him, while he's figuring things out. But when you love someone, you just don't pick up and go. I'm not looking for a relationship with just anybody, you know?
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 10:47 AM on June 2, 2012

if you want a guy to come to you, never address how you feel for him. it scares some men. just go about being yourself and enjoying his company without pressuring a guy to be with you. and he will naturally come to you. and if he doesnt, you will end up meeting another male friend to hang out with, and pushing him aside. this will drive him crazy and he will be begging for you.
posted by ricosuave at 6:13 AM on February 6, 2013

I think ricosuave's advice is the opposite of what you should do. That is exactly the kind of emotional manipulation that is pretty much guaranteed to destroy any chance of a relationship.

What you have done is, I think, exactly right - you now both know where each of you stands with regard to a greater level of commitment in your relationship and are both well-placed to make decisions about how that affects you and where to go from here. Whatever happens from here, there is an opportunity for decisions to be made from a position of mutual trust and respect. Good luck!
posted by dg at 11:12 PM on February 10, 2013

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