I Went Out With A Dreamboat and It Went Well - Now What?!
December 17, 2013 11:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm really inexperienced with these things, so forgive me! I went on a first date with a wonderful dude- he's one of those mind-blowingly amazing dudes, too cool for school, super amazingly successful, a fantastic artist, puts every inch of his abilities to full use, makes the best of himself and all his abilities..He's a dreamboat in everyway. I've known him from online for a few years. And we'd run into each other once in a while and say hi. He asked me out about a year ago, canceled on me the morning of our date and then didn't contact me again. Then a few weeks ago he asked me out and we weren't able to make a time to hang out (actually, I suggested Monday and he got back to me Monday evening saying he's too busy.) Then we decided to hang out yesterday. The date went very well!

He's a really nice guy, too. In the beginning, me being a very intense/passionate lady, I think I was a bit...well, intense. And he said so--he said "it's a little intense, you should chill out for a second" and then I apologized and I did.

The date (which he didn't even call a date! But I really hope it was, and he mentioned my being very pretty and things during asking to hang out, and if I have a boyfriend/whatnot so I presumed it was meant to be) proceeded really well! For three hours we debated about all kinds of things very important to me(without arguing, just debating and learning) and we learned so much about each other. He was a gentleman and said a few times that I'm a great person, that he's having fun and that he'd like to hang out again. That I'm very intelligent. He said it was great how much he learned from me in a few hours and that the exchange taught him a lot about me and some of the subject matter we discussed. He also touched my knee a few times and my shoulder as well. (lol)

All's well that ends well, right? Well, now I'm worried. This is a dude who's dated super-model-esque and badass girls, who's amazingly cool and successful, who's physically amazingly hot and could get any girl..but he also seems really compatible with me. I loved the way we connected and its rare. He said he'd like to hang out again and that he likes my talkative personality, and he said a few times that I seem like a wonderful person.

How many days do I wait for him to text me again to 'hang out'? (btw, he has not phrased our hanging out as a date, but he did pay for my drinks and offered to pay for a cab home which is sweet). Should I text him again? I want to, but I'd like to be asked out properly...and I don't know if in the ACTUAL WORLD asking a dude out is a very effective, feminine way of doing things in the romantic world.

When a guy is this cool, how likely is it that he means what he says? He seemed very earnest when we spoke and I didn't feel a millilitre of ingenuity--but as an astoundingly successful, sexy dude who could get any girl, he probably knows what to say, right? Ugh.

How can I deal with my putting him on a pedestal? How can I stop thinking about how great he is and how much I'd like him to text me again?

I'm so inexperienced, you know?
What do I do now?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
He canceled on you twice, told you to "chill out," and didn't make it clear whether you were on a date or not? This dude doesn't sound so golden to me; he sounds like a totally manipulative player. I wouldn't expect much from him, but sure, ask him out. A guy who doesn't think it's feminine for a woman to ask out a man would be a waste of space, if you ask me (or my boyfriend, who I asked out five years ago).
posted by pineappleheart at 11:21 PM on December 17, 2013 [47 favorites]

Best answer: Let me say this, because part of the issue may be your inexperience. I encourage you to date more. See more. Also, tell your brain to, "SLOW DOWN". "STOP" even. You don't really know him, do you? It sounds like you have gotten caught up in the idea of him. But, by all means don't stop being passionate about people, just try to harness that passion a little .
posted by learninguntilidie at 11:27 PM on December 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I think it's pretty normal to overthink this stuff when your heart's going pitter-pat, and as long as it continues to be exciting rather than painful, go for it--the possibility of something neat is at hand and you're full of hope. It's a much better prospect than a lottery ticket. Daydream away.

It's not realistic, but it sounds like you know that. I don't know if he's that into you or that he's really all you've made him out to be, but if so, you do need to let reality be what it is and not have too many idealized images of masculinity, femininity, and 'proper' romance get in the way of appreciating the charm of things simply being good. And I'm not so sure you're OK on that front.

But if you're feeling overwhelmed, that's the biggest issue at this point. Step away from the computer. Exercise to tire yourself out. Do whatever makes you feel drowsy. And tomorrow throw yourself into work, more exercise, socialization with friends, and so on.

I think I wouldn't text him anytime soon, since he suggested that you chill out a bit--it's an impression I wouldn't want to reinforce. But frankly, I'm middle-aged and not sure of the protocols for texting. What I do know is that being so emotionally charged up eventually turns awful and may have a negative impact both in the moment and later when things go to hell because you've built everything up too much.

Daydreaming is fine, but as things actually unfold, you want to enjoy the good in what's unexpected and not be shattered by the bad, so move on to the exercise and socialization with friends and whatnot soon and leave yourself flexible in how you handle what really happens.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:58 PM on December 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

You can't control your feelings or anything about him; all you can control is your behavior. So it's OK to have a big crush, and there isn't anything magical you can do to affect him. If you want to see him again it is perfectly OK to send a text asking him out (I might wait a day before sending it). Don't send a flurry of texts. It's also OK to wait and see what he does, though he's not a mind-reader and trying to will a potential date into calling and inviting you out "properly" can be a recipe for disappointment.

I also second the above commenter who finds the two times he cancelled on you to be, well, not a red flag, but maybe an orange one. It's possible your dreamboat is a flake. For you I hope not.

Have fun!
posted by feets at 11:59 PM on December 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: 1) This guy does not sound amazing; he sounds like a flake who has bailed on you several times for no good reason and absolutely atrocious follow up that would be shitty in a friend let alone a romantic prospect. That is a deal-breaker for me as - to me - it connotes someone who does not respect others' time or feelings.

That being said,

2) Should I text him again? I want to, but I'd like to be asked out properly.

I really don't recommend texting as a good medium. Even emailing is less likely to be misinterpreted in my opinion. What's best is calling and just talking to someone person to person. Texts are fraught. Are you texting because it's easier and less daunting? Screw your courage to the sticking post!

If you want to go out with him again, you should wait a few days (given the intensity comment), and then call him, and say, "Cassius, I had a really nice time the other night. There's a [show/gallery opening/movie/concert/competitive bridge tournament] on [next friday/several days time], and I'd love to go with you, are you free?"

Don't wait for him to "properly" ask you out, whatever that means. What if he is waiting for you? Dude's not a mind reader, and if you want something in a relationship, you should ask for it. I can't help thinking this "I want to be asked out properly" thing is your insecurity about this guy at play: you're still afraid he doesn't want to date you/will blow you off, so you require a crystal clear commitment from this guy.

Wanting that - particularly given his shitty past flakiness on two occasions - is total understandable but don't leave it up to him. Take action and get it for yourself. You are good enough to deserve - and ask - for it.

Best of luck!
posted by smoke at 12:11 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

He asked me out about a year ago, canceled on me the morning of our date and then didn't contact me again. Then a few weeks ago he asked me out and we weren't able to make a time to hang out (actually, I suggested Monday and he got back to me Monday evening saying he's too busy.)

he mentioned my being very pretty and things during asking to hang out, and if I have a boyfriend/whatnot so I presumed it was meant to be

The flakiness, and the way he was able to charm you without offering even a tiny iota of commitment (even to the point of not saying that it's a date), and asking you while you were already out with him whether you have a boyfriend (why would you be out with him on even a maybe-date if you had a boyfriend?) -- those all sound like player to me.

I have gone through nearly that same chain of events before, probably at around your age (20-ish?) and also with a guy who was so gorgeous I couldn't believe it. Next stage was, that same guy was trying to booty call me. Beware if this guy is texting you later in the evening and/or wants to get together that same night. Whatever you do, don't sleep with him until he *at least* is asking you out on regular dates and there's no question that you guys are people who date rather than people who hang out/hook up. In general, I think you can pretty much do whatever you feel like -- but that's my advice specifically in terms of dating someone like this, who might be a player.

He sounds very, very slick, and if my experience in my own life and with my friends is anything to go by, you can get yourself wrapped around his finger before you even know it. If he is a player, and you do start sleeping with him, very soon you can find yourself into a booty call rotation and feeling totally heartsick. Some of my friends got roped into that kind of setup when we were all in our very early twenties, and nothing terrible happened or anything, but it was completely not worth the angst, and because these guys are masters at keeping women on a string, it all carried on for way, way too long.

When a guy is this cool, how likely is it that he means what he says? He seemed very earnest when we spoke and I didn't feel a millilitre of ingenuity--but as an astoundingly successful, sexy dude who could get any girl, he probably knows what to say, right? Ugh.

There is no need for you to be so down on yourself. You don't need to be suspicious because he's good looking. Good looking people need love, too! And don't worry about him not finding you attractive, nobody pity-flirts and pity-dates anybody. He's flirting and taking you out because he finds you attractive. Finding you attractive doesn't necessarily mean that hewants to have the same relationship with you that you want to have with him, though. So be careful.

Like I said, he sounds very slippery. He was able to get a pass from you about the flakiness, and was able to get you to tell him you're available without actually asking you on a date, and was able to get you waiting on pins and needles for a call -- that's game. Which makes me think he's a player. You do need to be suspicious because of that.

Should I text him again? I want to, but I'd like to be asked out properly

I wouldn't text him again. *Possibly,* if you just can't contain yourself, you might text that you had a great time the other night, or something even more innocuous/jokey and that isn't asking him out. Don't ask him out -- not because you're the woman and he's the man, I personally think that's bullshit, but because he's a flake and last time you tried to date him he didn't call you for a year. Give him a chance to show that he's less flaky this time around by letting him take the reigns and pursue you at least for a little while.

How can I deal with my putting him on a pedestal? How can I stop thinking about how great he is and how much I'd like him to text me again?

If I knew the secret to that, I'd bottle it and sell it and become a very rich woman. As far as I know, you're just going to have to white knuckle yourself through this part of the crush. It sucks, it's crazy-making -- just try not to mention him more than once an evening to any of your friends, and you'll come out the other side OK.

*for what it's worth, I'm female and in my late 20s.
posted by rue72 at 1:09 AM on December 18, 2013 [31 favorites]

The part where you say he makes the most put of his life does sound amazing. I understand being impressed and smitten by someone who seems to know exactly what they want and has the willpower to get there.

In the end, though, what matters is how he treats you. Not his words, not his looks, not even how fun he is. And this cancelling business is not a good sign. Already you're in a dynamic where he has all the power and you're in a tizzy how to get a date with him that he may or may not cancel in a half assed way.

1) You're not as important to him as he is to you. Otherwise he'd be in a tizzy about you.

2) You're selling yourself short. You are awesome, too. He's not a ten and you a six (or whatever). You're giving him all the power by ranking him so high above you.

When a guy is this cool, how likely is it that he means what he says?
You find out by paying attention to his actions, not his words. He's not exactly making you feel like a priority right now, is he? Besides, he may well find you intelligent and fun and would like to hang out again, as he says, but that doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme.

Take a step back, see yourself as a cool person worthy of cool dudes and wait and see how it develops. (Also, avoid booty calls should you get one.)
posted by Omnomnom at 1:23 AM on December 18, 2013 [19 favorites]

I don't say this to spoil your fun, but he sounds really annoying to me. You should bear in mind that he probably is not cooler than you. He may have the ability to appear that way through his strategic approach of not showing up.

If I were you I would do one of two things:
1) Not contact him again but instead wait for him to contact you;
2) Wait three days and follow smoke's script for asking him out.

In the first approach, you wait for him to be interested enough to initiate; in the second approach, you initiate every other time, hitting the ball back into his court. Either pattern puts the onus on him to display enough interest to keep dating you. If he doesn't do this, he is not good enough for you.

Also he damn well better date you and not use you as a booty call. You're most likely cooler than him,[1] don't let him fool you into thinking otherwise.

[1] YES. REALLY. That doesn't even have to be a compliment; guys like him are honestly not that cool.
posted by tel3path at 3:27 AM on December 18, 2013 [11 favorites]

Success and creativity and artistic ability and drive are all really great qualities, just not necessarily the qualities that make a great partner.

Like Omnomnom said, it sounds like this dude has you thinking that he's a little bit out of your league. That's crap!

Don't play into this game. If you want to see him again, text him, call him, get in touch however. My personal philosophy is that if a guy finds it unappealing or unfeminine or whatever for a woman to show interest, it's better to find that out sooner than later. Who wants to be with someone who thinks that way?
posted by loveatfirstsite at 4:30 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lot of negative replies here. Just roll with it, you're good, don't turn down other dating opportunities and trust your instinct. You'll be fine.
posted by OuttaHere at 4:40 AM on December 18, 2013

This is a difficult AskMe to "read". He could be totally genuine in all the ways you have mentioned. Or it could be that you've been caught up in his positive torrent of making you feel good, as players do in a negative way and he's juggling several prospective bed partners all the time. Or it could be any shade of in-between. Can't really tell from this without making a bundle of assumptions.

The one thing that does concern me, when someone is being swept along, and possibly not in total control, is what happens on the next meet-up - and there will almost be another one - when it moves beyond:

"He also touched my knee a few times and my shoulder as well."

Because it will move beyond that. Two related things:

1) If you suddenly feel a bit uncomfortable about something, stop. Even if louder voices in your head are telling you "Oh this is so good and if we stop he may lose interest and I'll never see dreamy man again".

2) Precautions. If he's that dreamy, it sounds likely he'll have a history of partners. Nothing wrong with that. Except you aren't, I take it, clued up on his sexual history. So, take the full precautions if he scores a six (England) / he gets to fourth base (USA). Oh, and if he does say "Y'know, I'm not into condoms as they lessen the experience" - BIG RED FLAG about someone you don't know the intimate history of and is new.

Enjoy, and see where it goes, but be safe, and keep at least one hand steering the rudder of your boat as you get carried along.
posted by Wordshore at 4:53 AM on December 18, 2013

I think you're too good for him, and too good to him.
posted by Houstonian at 5:19 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

He's just not that into you and you can do better. But, if you really want to land a hot player, you have to do the opposite of what you are doing. You see, very attractive people get pretty much the same response from everyone. It gets boring fast. Ignore him. Stop thinking about him. Date other hot guys. Keep things casual, yet friendly. Do not give him any indication that you want to have sex with him. Do not name your future babies. It may take a year or two before he finally can't take it anymore and checks in on you. In that time, you will have developed new interests and you may not be interested in him any more which will make him want you even more. And then you will know what it feels like when he is into you.
posted by myselfasme at 5:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

How many days do I wait for him to text me again to 'hang out'? (btw, he has not phrased our hanging out as a date, but he did pay for my drinks and offered to pay for a cab home which is sweet).

Well, would you wait a year like last time? He's flaky and unavailable for a long stretch of time.

Should I text him again? I want to, but I'd like to be asked out properly...and I don't know if in the ACTUAL WORLD asking a dude out is a very effective, feminine way of doing things in the romantic world.

Those who hesistate are lost. If you want something, you gotta go get it by asking. If he balks, it won't be because it's unfeminine or anything, it's that he's not into you romantically.

You're passionate. He's...not so much. At least that's what I'm picking up here. He likes you, but not so much romantically.
posted by inturnaround at 5:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I get being all bajiggity about a dude. We've all been there. You only know 'surface dude" and surface dude is giving out all kinds of red flags.

Guys who are genuinely interested in getting to know you, aren't complimenting you all the damn time. They're asking you questions, and learning about you.

Guys who are genuinely interested in getting to know you aren't ambivalent about if things are dates or not.

Guys who are genuinely interested in getting to know you will tell you about themselves.

You had one chemistry-filled date. That's it. So he turns you on, big whoop.

Rather than hanging around on tenterhooks, trying to read his mind, how about you lay some honesty on him? "Dude, I had a great time the other night. Let's grab some of that awesome Phở I was telling you about and see a movie."

If he's game, great, it's a date and you're dating. If he hems, haws, bails at the last minute or is otherwise not all "Yay! Rhythm-Queen called!" You need to move on.

What this sounds like to me is that Dude is interested in having you in his 'stable." He wants you to be into him enough to be there at the last minute if he wants company and perhaps, somewhere down the line, to have sex with him without him having to invest a lot of time and emotion into you.

If you don't care, and want that kind of relationship, I won't judge you, but for fuck's sake, don't settle for this if it's not what you want.

That whole, "Let's hang out" bullshit is for the birds. It's a non-committal way of testing the waters and it absolutely sucks! I admire the person who will put himself out there a bit, who's willing to look foolish because he's THAT into me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:37 AM on December 18, 2013 [25 favorites]

Best answer: Focus on yourself. How do you feel? How do the things he says and the things he does make you feel? How are you? Try not to think about him too much - what he's doing, whether he'll call, whether he is too cool for you - and think about yourself.

Now is a great time to pick up a new hobby or two. Just do you and see where it goes.

So, focus on the present moment, at all times. If you find yourself thinking about him a whole lot, I recommend blocking off a time ("for the next five minutes") or place ("while I am walking to the bus") to think about him. It's fun to think about crushes! It's also not much fun to get one's hopes up. So try to moderate it.

Your question to me is very full of excitement over the possibility of being with this man (who you really really like - which is great! but can cover up or obsfucate red flags or problems or incompatibilities) and it can be easy to get lost in that excitement.

Go slow. Don't dwell. Don't get too excited. Just see where it goes and pay attention to yourself and how you feel - at all times, not just when you are with him.
posted by k8lin at 5:39 AM on December 18, 2013

Best answer: Right now you sound like you're a little frenetic over this person, and I know that when I'm in that state it's hard to make decisions that are best for me. You sound kind of panicky over the prospects of him NOT wanting to hang out with you again, so I would imagine you're vulnerable to doing whatever it takes to make sure he does. Sometimes that includes doing or making yourself into something that isn't really in your best interests.

I don't think you can necessarily will or logic away these feelings, so instead I would urge you to pay close attention to how they are causing you to act. Don't focus on texting/not texting him just yet - first, sit down with a nice tea or coffee and have a little chit-chat with yourself. Remind yourself that YOU deserve to be your top priority, at all times. Tell yourself that you are a strong, confident human being who knows what she wants and doesn't have time for people who waste her time. Promise yourself that you won't let ANYBODY treat you less than awesomely, in both big and small ways - sure, everyone flakes once in a while but if this guy makes a habit of ditching you at the last minute, that is not respectful to or healthy for you.

In short, spend some time, right now, doing whatever you need to do to really feel your own worth, and then let that inform your actions. THEN if you want to contact him, contact him - please don't fall victim to some bs line about that being unfeminine (pineappleheart puts it SO flipping well: A guy who doesn't think it's feminine for a woman to ask out a man would be a waste of space). However, if you decide you would prefer to see if he contacts you, do so - but ASK him if it's a date if he is vague again. Remember that getting this guy is NOT your be-all, end-all - if it works out and is healthy for you, great; if not, you are a strong, cool individual who will find the right person anyway.

If he truly is a good person to date, I promise you he will find your confidence FAR more sexy than your fawning.
posted by DingoMutt at 5:42 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

There's a quality of idealization to your description of him. He sounds like the kind of person who takes charge of things which can make the other person feel somewhat powerless. That can then be "interpreted" as being swept off one's feet.

How will he react if you take some initiative? Ask him out to someplace you'd like to go. If he can't deal with not being in charge, he'll turn you down or try to change it in some way. Then you'll know what almost everyone in this thread is worried about.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:49 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

How can I deal with my putting him on a pedestal?

You simply stop putting him on a pedestal by realizing that it's detrimental to both your dignity and this situation. If you keep worshipping this guy you'll make a fool of yourself if you haven't already. He knows how incredibly enthusiastic you are about him because you vocalized it, and that caused him to 'jokingly' tell you to "chill out." It wasn't a joke and it was pretty crass of him in my opinion. You should probably quit acting like he's the cat's meow and see him for who he really is. At this point he has a lot to prove as a potential romantic partner for you since he's blown you off more than once already and treated you like an afterthought. A woman who knows her value and worth wouldn't tolerate that sort of behavior. You need to act like he has a lot to prove and quit acting like an underling. Men never respect underlings who worship them. They want partners who know their own value and worth and who demand to be treated and courted properly.

How can I stop thinking about how great he is and how much I'd like him to text me again?

You can't because you're infatuated with him. But what you can do is buy a few books on elevating your self-esteem, and start seeing yourself as the real catch here instead of the other way around. Until you mature emotionally a bit and start to value yourself more, I think you may be destined for heartache. Time to focus on YOU and falling in love with YOU (not egotistical love, but unconditionally self-supportive love. I'm awesome and deserve the best love).
posted by OneHermit at 5:53 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

one of those mind-blowingly amazing dudes, too cool for school, super amazingly successful, a fantastic artist, puts every inch of his abilities to full use, makes the best of himself and all his abilities..He's a dreamboat in everyway...He's a really nice guy, too...He seemed very earnest when we spoke and I didn't feel a millilitre of ingenuity--but as an astoundingly successful, sexy dude who could get any girl, he probably knows what to say, right?

In my experience it is almost impossible to cultivate a healthy relationship of any kind (romantic or platonic) with someone you've idealized to this extent. Obviously many new relationships feature a sense that the other person is wonderful and amazing, but it is simply unrealistic and unhealthy to put someone else on this kind of pedestal. Unless you can step back and see him as a person rather than a collection of enviable traits, you aren't going to get anywhere with him.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:54 AM on December 18, 2013

* and even then, no guarantees. Frankly he doesn't seem terribly interested.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:55 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd like to be asked out properly.

Wait for him to contact you, and when he says let's hang out sometime, say "I'd like to be asked out properly."
posted by headnsouth at 7:00 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

I wouldn't get in touch with him. This has nothing to do with male/female dynamics. He blew you off a couple of times and asked you to back off. I would not invite rejection, which is obviously a real possibility, judging from his past behavior. Pull your cards in, go out with some other people, and see him if he asks, if you want, but keep your expectations low until he has shown you some impressive behavior. Come on. Nurse a little pride, please.
posted by amodelcitizen at 7:14 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yeah my spidey sense is tingling: PLAYER! It is for this reason that I've said I'd rather date an awesome divorced guy in his late 30s than a supreme catch never-been-married guy in his 40s. Dudes like that just want to collect adorers, not partners. His skill is manipulating women into thinking they've had a real connection. Like Obscure Reference said, you'll see his true colours when you start asserting independence.

If you really want to 'win' this guy, you need to play it confident. Don't put him on a pedestal. Toy with him a little. Make him work for it, make him call you. If he says lets hang out, then you purr back "oh I don't know, I like to be asked all proper like....." and watch him squirm, etc. Otherwise, you're too busy for him.

BUT. If you 'win' him, you will always be stuck in having to 'win' and 're-win' him over and over again, and it WILL get tiresome.

And he WILL ditch you for the next best thing. Men who date models don't fall to earth that often unless the woman is SUPREMELY confident (or has superior status).

Honestly I'd go looking for a plainly handsome flawed bug-a-boo to cuddle up with. Yummy!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:36 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Occupy yourself by pouring energy into doing the things you like to do. Write or draw or paint or watch movies or dance or whatever. If this guy is bad news, you'll figure it out soon enough. If he's good news with bad timing, don't torpedo it by overthinking.

If you want to see him again, you should text him and say that. There's no universal standard of how long to wait, but I'd say give it a day, maybe two. Give an exciting new thing a little room to breathe and grow.

If you want to be asked out, tell him that. Done right, it could be adorable.

I'm seeing a lot of reading into his actions, both on your part and on the part of answerers here. Which is fine - we all bring our own experiences into situations. They color our perspective. And I have no idea what the dude's about. Maybe he's a player. Maybe stuff was going on in his life. Maybe the two of you had good chemistry in the past but the timing never fell into place (this has happened to me, and neither person involved was a player - it just kind of didn't happen). I don't know and neither does anyone else here.

With that said: If he does not start to act significantly less flaky soon, walk away. If he abruptly cancels on you again, walk away. It will be hard to tear yourself away, but trust me: you will be saving yourself a lot of trouble.

If you're into him, let it ride, but take care of yourself and keep your eyes open. Don't be a sucker.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:17 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Two things: First of all I don't think he's a player necessarily. I do think that maybe you have two different ideas about what's going on, and he's been sending signals that maybe he's not as into this whole thing as you are, or at the very least he's being more cautious about it.

Second - I've dated this guy, and it caused me nothing but angst because I couldn't imagine why this gorgeous perfect guy wanted me when he could have anyone he wanted. My own insecurity undermined the relationship before it ever had a chance to bloom.

So I guess my advice is: keep your expectations realistic. Don't read into his behavior anything he isn't expressly offering, and be prepared to take it at his speed. But know that if anything is going to work you need to fist be able to see yourself as amazing and cultivate an attitude that He is lucky to have someone as amazing as You. That last bit will probably be the hardest.
posted by lilnublet at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hey, how about some positive energy towards the OP instead of "he's a slick player who's more heartache and he sounds soooo bad and you just don't seeee it....!!"

OP: Sounds like you found a great guy, and he genuinely seems to appreciate you. The easiest thing you can do is slow pedal any advances he makes. If he asks you out tonight, make it tomorrow night instead. As an example.
posted by Kruger5 at 8:46 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lots of good advice here but some of it is contradictory so I wanted to toss in a kind of Grand Theory of early dating that might help organize it for you.

When you ask a question like this, you're going to get a bunch of advice all lumped together that is actually targeted towards three separate issues:

1. How to figure out if he's worth your time (if you should like him).

2. How to figure out if he likes you.

3. How to make him like you more.

The advice "send him a text! ask him out!" is targeted towards questions 1 and 2. If he's a stand-up guy with no weird gender issues (1) and he already likes you (2) sending him a text is going to move this relationship along and you'll start getting to know each other right quick. The flipside is, of course, that if he is a jerk, or even if he's kind of ambivalent about you, openly pursuing him could drive him off. People who give the 'send a text' advice know that - and they basically think good riddance. It's an easy way to sort through a bunch of middling prospects and saving your time for the people with the most promise. At the same time, it ignores question 3, because it's premised on the assumption that the only guys worth dating have already made up their minds about you. That might be true, in some circumstances, but I personally think this advice is most useful for people who are meeting a ton of guys (online dating) and are in the market for a very serious relationship.

The advice "He's just not that into you," is, in theory, targeted entirely towards question 2. If he was really super into you, you'd probably know it, so you might as well move on. It's the flipside of the first piece of advice, just phrased in this depressingly passive way. It ignores question 1 entirely and throws up its hands in the face of question 3. I hate this advice, because it treats guys' desires as static, which they manifestly aren't. Except...there is a kind of covert attempt at addressing issue 3, because by "moving on" immediately, you'll will, by default, end up playing it cool. And that leads into the third kind of advice...

"Don't text him, don't make it obvious you like him, date other guys and play your cards close to your chest." This advice is pure question 3. It's advocating a little bit of game playing. And let's be real: for guys on the fence, game-playing works. Here is the theory behind all flirtation advice, ever, from The Rules to The Game: make the other person spend more time wondering if you like them than if they like you. That's it. Super easy. You can make this guy like you if you want. You should go on every single date with that as your baseline assumption, and you will be astonished how often it works. The only problem is that is basically assumes the answer to question 1 (that he's worth dating) because this will take a while and you could spend a ton of time reeling in a guy who is a total waste of space.

I think the answer for someone in your situation, and it's not an easy balance to strike, is this: set fire to question 2 entirely. Burn it to the ground. Waste not a single second analyzing anything he does or wondering about how he feels. Instead, assume you are in the midst of a process in which you are absolutely, 100% in control. And the goal of this process is twofold: making him like you as much as possible (3) while you figure out whether or not you like him (1). Go on every date for the rest of your life under the assumption: I can make him like me if I want to.

And then you pump the brakes. You stop making it obvious you are absolutely head-over-heels for him, because you're not. You hardly even know this dude yet, and what you do know is that he's kind of a flake. Do everything you can to puncture this Oh My God I'm Not Worthy He is Such a Dreamboat thing you've got going on. Treat it as a game. Test him a little. Make him jump through some hoops. Call him on his bullshit (in a friendly way) and make it clear to him, but more importantly, to yourself, that you're the one assessing him. Dial it back, not because you're afraid your feelings will drive him off but because he hasn't earned your full attention yet. That's the kind of amazing thing: if you do it right, 1 and 3 aren't in opposition at all. If you can learn to reign in this first rush of a crush, and stop obsessing about what he feels about you right this second, his interest in you will continue to grow as you figure out whether you want to spend your time with him.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2013 [16 favorites]

I'm really sorry to say this, but I'm going to Nth player and Nth I've dated this guy before.

The timeline is what makes me say this, and your limited knowledge of this guys history. A year is about the right time for another flame to flame out. And the Achilles heel for a player is often that they can't be alone. So if something they are interested in flames out, they pretty much right away turn to someone they're pretty sure will give them that positive ego feedback they're craving.

And St. Peepsburg nailed it: 30's divorcee (or widow-just sayin) is preferable to a 40's never married. The latter is a big red flag for an all-voracious ego.

I'd let they guy go. Work on building your confidence and practice of self love from here- the suggestions above along that vein are all excellent. And have faith that something that will be great over a much longer period of time will come along.
posted by susiswimmer at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2013

Reading your question, I immediately thought "this guy is bad news" and my heart immediately felt the pain from the heartbreak that I went through several years ago when I was in a very similar situation with a guy who seems very similar to this guy. It still hurts me to think about it, and to think about how stupid I was and how I ignored all the warning signs (such as the cancelling/not responding) and instead I looked into all the "good" signs - the compliments. Turns out he just knew how to compliment someone enough to keep them around as long as it was convenient, and sure, he found me interesting, but he was not into me enough to actually date me.

All the advice about not putting him on a pedestal, keeping busy, etc, is spot on. I know it's nearly impossible to have the willpower to avoid this situation, so just give it a shot. Send him a text in a day. If he doesn't respond, then it's over, and you will know his conversation was all bullshit, and please please have the self respect not to try again. If he responds and actually follows through and you guys do end up seeing each other, then I highly recommend Rue72's advice about actually dating first.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2013

Yeah, I think you're getting charmed.

Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.

> This is a dude who's dated super-model-esque and badass girls, who's amazingly cool and successful, who's physically amazingly hot and could get any girl.

How long do these relationships last with these other girls? If you "get" him, don't expect yours to last longer. Maybe that sounds OK right now, but I'd think hard about it. Good luck.
posted by mattu at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2013

I've dated flaky artists too and let me say, even in their flakiness they still let me know that they're into me, no questions asked. Yes they forget EVERYTHING being absent minded and all but they can lead a relationship along.

Looking up to your partner... that smacks of "young" ideas of "men" vs "women." Admire their good traits, sure, but not in a submissive "you lead me" way.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:16 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

And a person doesn't need to be a Big Time Player to have intimacy (i.e. attachment) issues.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:17 AM on December 18, 2013

Best answer: I'm going to give you some very old-fashioned advice.

See other boys/men. Stay busy. Be slightly unavailable when he calls (not in a fake way, just be genuinely busy and don't juggle for him). Keep that going for as long as it takes for you to really get to know him and believe him to be worth your time, and then channel authentic energy into him as you are doing in your post. He needs to prove himself, and vice versa, for you to be so invested.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Wow the responses here are harsh! I'm a busy artist, and I think my friends and family would describe my achievements and drive in a similar way, and guess what - I cancel on everyone all the time for all kinds of reasons (because otherwise I wouldn't be an accomplished artist, I'd be another wannabe!). I don't think that alone is a giant red flag for being a 'player'. If he's a freelancer and working a lot of projects his schedule is probably very unpredictable. I often to have to drop everything and work long hours when I'd much rather be getting a drink with a cute girl, it is what it is. Possibly that's his situation as well? I know the mefi party line is to run, but not everyone has a 9 to 5 that makes getting together easy.

Not defending this guy in particular, but even when I make platonic friends I feel like whether or not someone is understanding about (re)scheduling hang outs is a major indicator of whether it's going to work out or not.

With that said, best relationship I've ever had is with a girl who told me to go fuck myself and hung up on me when I had to cancel plans because of work for the third night in a row.
posted by bradbane at 2:12 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I may be off the wall here, but you sound like you're about a half a second from being taken advantage of here. Nothing necessarily to do with him, but you're head over heels about this guy based on not much.

Unless you're looking for a fling, I think you should consciously and purposefully slow the dating, your projections, obsessing over his every word and action, etc. down. If he's interested, he'll want to get in touch, if he's not, he won't.

I could be 100% off base, but If you keep doing what you're doing, there is a distinct possibility you're going to know this guy for about another week.
posted by cnc at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

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