Is he interested, nth edition.
September 5, 2016 12:10 AM   Subscribe

So there's the proverbial guy. Help me determine his level of interest.

About eight years ago, I attended the wedding of a couple-friend of mine. I don't remember much of it bc at the time I was trying to cope with a depressive episode without having to go back on meds. A few months after, the bride and that whole circle of friends ghosted me—and the only reason I could think of would have to do with my having been not quite myself bc of the depression—and bc of the depression, I just didn't have the bandwidth to care more. But during the wedding, I must have met groom's brother bc we ended up Facebook friends.

Over the years, I'd occasionally like a photo or status but never gave it much thought as I never met him again due to the fact that he a) lives in San Francisco, and I'm in Portland, and b) I was no longer friends with his sister-in-law (altho his brother and I have no beef).

Fast forward to about a couple of months ago when all of a sudden he starts registering on my radar due to increasing Facebook post likes and comments and likes on comments and responses, etc. It turns out that he and I have a lot in common not to mention he's got the kind of character qualities and outdoorsy interests I dig, and—let's face it, I'm not blind—he's cute. Since my break-up with my fiancé six years ago, I haven't really been looking for anything with much effort, if at all. This past year, I've been fighting off another episode of depression (with meds this time) but still dealing with my dysthymia and this guy is really the first guy who's actually broken through the interest-in-the-opposite-sex apathy.

So. I decided to msg him to test the proverbial waters. Just a short "Hey, love your posts and comments, etc." a few exchanges later (a little flirty, lots of smiley and winky face emojis on both ends) he says we should get a drink next time he's in town visiting his siblings. My last msg was to send over my phone number.

Okay, AskMeFites, is he interested? Bc as of this past spring, at least, it looked like he had a girlfriend (they're still FB friends), tho he hasn't said anything like, "Whoa, Nelly, I'm seeing someone." What's your take?
posted by violetk to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would presume he may or may not be worthy based on what his relationship status turns out to be, and keep my expectations low.

Younger me would be excited and assume the best. I'm older now.
posted by jbenben at 12:18 AM on September 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yes, he is interested. But it gives me pause if he is still with a GF. You don't want to date someone who would flirt with others once you are together.

Get the drink with low expectations, but invest more energy in local people in Portland.
posted by pando11 at 1:07 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would proceed cautiously. The fact that he hasn't said, "Woah, I have a girlfriend!" either means that he doesn't have a girlfriend, or he does have a girlfriend and is just being sketchy as fuck with you. And because he lives in another city, and will be an out-of-town visitor in yours, it will be harder to find out which one of those it is. I have also found that there are a fair number of people in the world who like flirting with you over text or email, but who aren't actually interested in dating you.

I wouldn't pin your hopes on this guy. I would take your interest in him though as a sign that maybe you're ready to start dating again, and start putting some effort into dating in your own city.
posted by colfax at 1:44 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Why are you waiting for him to show interest? Have a drink with him when he comes to Portland, decide if you like him, then ask him out if that's what you want.

Before then, any speculation is futile and groundless (then again, we all do it all the time). Even AskMefi cannot read his mind.
posted by Kwadeng at 1:50 AM on September 5, 2016 [13 favorites]

Response by poster: Just a short note about suggestions to find someone on my own city: I've lived here a dozen years and trust me, I've put in the effort—without a whole hell of a lot to show for it. And I know a lot of other awesome single ladies in the same boat!
posted by violetk at 2:06 AM on September 5, 2016

He's definitely not not interested. That's all you can tell at this stage. And you need to ask proverbial guy if he's still seeing soandso.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:30 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

He's at least interested in establishing you as a likely hookup when he's visiting his siblings.

Honestly that kind of occasional pleasant weekend with a long distance (but not ridiculously so, SF is just a hop away) hookup can be a pretty nice way to get yourself back into the swing of things, if that's something you think would work for you. But who knows? He's got family in town and SF is a pretty ridiculous place to actually live these days - maybe he's looking to move closer to family and likes you too? The only one who knows what he's thinking is him. You'll have to ask.

Spend some time thinking about what you're interested in, specifically. Then ask him if he's interested in the same thing.
posted by Mizu at 2:39 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

He sounds clearly interested. As others have said, grab that drink and suss out what his relationship status is. It's unclear how serious this relationship with his apparent girlfriend is/was, & it's not uncommon to remain FB friends with exes. If you determine he has a serious girlfriend but still makes a move, then it's up to you what to do. Personally, I'd suggest dodging that with an "I'm flattered and would be totally into it, if you didn't have a girlfriend."
posted by katemcd at 6:04 AM on September 5, 2016

Nthing he's not not interested. But with the whole, at best, recent girlfriend thing, you need to be the one evaluating him as to his dateabilty. Given your long break in dating, it's easy to get invested and put too much effort into making things happen. Your only goal at this point is to just be generally pleasant company, seeing if things naturally progress and again whether he is worth further interest from you - the thing to do no matter what the answer to your question.
posted by alusru at 7:56 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you are interested in getting to know him irl, be wary of escalating the flirty winky stuff too much. It can tend to take on a life of its own and fizzle out in person.
posted by kapers at 9:19 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

As difficult as it may be, do not overthink this. Be very casual, but be warm and interested when you meet him. Ask him friendly questions about his work, his life, how he spends time. Look good, smell good. Put the ball into his court and see if he calls again. If he doesn't, move on with a "lots of fish in the sea" attitude.
posted by ragtimepiano at 12:47 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Huh, it sure looks like he likes you, in a dating kind of way.
Maybe you should ask him if she's still his girlfriend. And don't wait until you've flirted around a lot and are already at the bar meeting him for drinks, ask him now. There's nothing to hide on your side, it's not a crime to want to know that he's single, or to imply that you're interested in him. (and if he tells you he is, that's not bad news in the "so now I can't date him! (sigh)" kind of way, it's bad news in the "oh, so he's kind of a jerk, because the cool guy I thought he was wouldn't treat his girlfriend or me like that!" kind of way.

"So Jeff, I know I just sent you my phone number, but to be clear, I was assuming that you're not currently dating Sally. If you are, please say so now, because I'd like to know what kind of drinks we're planning."
posted by aimedwander at 6:15 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, it looks promising but I think you need to establish whether he is still with the girlfriend before you go any further. Can you ask the person whose wedding you met at or another mutual friend? I take it he doesn't have a relationship status listed on Facebook?
posted by intensitymultiply at 11:47 AM on September 6, 2016

Just wanted to pipe in to say that someone having a girlfriend is not the same as someone being in a monogamous relationship, but also that someone on the up-and-up would bring up such nonstandard boundaries early on so as to not cause confusion.
posted by softlord at 6:20 PM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

If he were interested in pursuing something with you, he would have continued the conversation.

It sounds like he is passively interested in meeting up if circumstances align but whether that's for the stated drink, a potential hookup or a friendship is unknown. I wouldn't count on a relationship though.

I would make that kind of casual offer to pretty much anyone in my facebook world, male or female, and it might not occur to me to mention my partner to someone I don't know. "We should get a drink if we're ever in the same town" is not exactly inviting you into my life, it's more like saying "we should get lunch" to a former colleague.

As advised above, take this as a sign from your psyche that you're ready to meet someone, and look around in your town. If as you say your town really has no suitable matches for you, then move. But I'd reconsider that - it could well be that people who weren't suitable matches for you when you were getting over your last relationship or going through a depressive episode or otherwise not ready, are more suitable now that you are ready.
posted by headnsouth at 6:29 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

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