Should I or shouldn't I...follow up?
September 25, 2016 2:29 AM   Subscribe

I wrote to this guy with the intent to hang out, but he hasn't responded and I'm not sure what's going on. Snowflakes underneath.

So, I went to school with this guy. I added him on FB earlier this summer. He added me back. I looked at his pictures, saw that he had gotten attractive, and a monster crush started.

He lives in Philly, I'm in NYC. I happened to be in Philly for a weekend in August, and so when I got the dates settled I wrote to him and told him I'd be coming there, and would he like to hang out? After a couple of hours he wrote back with this:

"I hope all is well. Unfortunately, I travel extensively for work.. I will be in Boston and then Chicago during that time period. I'm technically based out of New York, but the next time I'll be there will not be until September or early October. Maybe we can grab a coffee then. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy your time in Philly!"

He is a consultant, so I thought this sounded earnest-- I've met a few people in his line of work and I know a ton of work and travel is involved. But I've been known to misread messages and have also been burnt in the past by people who say they want to hang when they're really just being nice. So I could be totally wrong. But you have to understand, when I read this I was pretty much over the moon.

Earlier this week, I decided to follow up, given that it was late September and I hadn't heard from him. So I sent him a message asking him if he knew when he was going to be in NYC. A few hours later, I hadn't heard from him, but figured it might be a good idea to give him my number so he can text if he's not too active on FB, so I did that. A couple hours after that, I went on FB and saw that he had read the messages, but he did not reply. I panicked and sent him another message apologizing for annoying him. (He read that one a few days later.)

(I'm seeing a therapist re: the anxiety, and it normally does not get the best of me this way.)

What complicates this is that I found his IG recently-- it's private and not connected to his FB account, so I was going to wait to bring it up in person and get it that way. But a friend told me that I can maybe try adding him in a couple of weeks, after all this has hopefully blown over.

I still have not heard from him via FB or text, though to be fair, it has only been a few days and he doesn't appear to have been on all that much.

So I'm wondering if he 1) meant to to even hang out at all, 2) if he's annoyed/mad by my messaging him, and 3) what I should do next. I know I'm overthinking this, but I need at least some voice of sanity. Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So I'm wondering if he 1) meant to to even hang out at all, 2) if he's annoyed/mad by my messaging him, and 3) what I should do next.

Only he knows the answers to 1 and 2. I know waiting is hard, but I think you need to wait and do nothing (3). You've given him your number, and it's up to him to make the next move. You've already messaged him 3 times in a few hours. The ball is in his court now. You've made it clear to him that you want a reply.
posted by Linnee at 2:59 AM on September 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

To me this seems clear as a bell: he was perhaps polite at first, but isn't really interested in contact.

...a few hours wouldn't have been enough for someone with an active work life. Days, well, that's another thing. reason to assume anyone is annoyed. He's just not interested, is all.

...answering your question 3: let it go.
posted by Namlit at 3:02 AM on September 25, 2016 [33 favorites]

So you don't really make it clear if you've been conversing with him outside of the initial invitation. I can't tell you how many old classmates and friends I've run into, we do the whole, "hey, we should hang out sometime," "definitely!" exchange, but it never happens. Sure, we have very warm feelings and memories towards each other but we're not actually friends so hanging out isn't a priority. And we even live in the same city.

I think that may be what's happening here, again, assuming you haven't been chatting with him otherwise.

To answer your specific questions (although this is only speculation):

1) I'm sure he was sincere but maybe more in a social niceties way. Which is to say he probably was ok with grabbing a coffee but not as committed to the idea as you are.

2) Probably, it's kinda rough to decide you want to hang out with someone but leave the planning up to them. Maybe next time you could invite people to some open-ended event with low stakes, like a festival or wine tasting or something.

3) Let it go and temper your expectations.
posted by girlmightlive at 3:07 AM on September 25, 2016

Crushes can be really wonderful. I spent the better part of sophomore year in high school imagining my future with Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols and everything we would do together and how happy we were going to be. The key was I needed to somehow meet Sid Vicious and have him completely blow up his life so I could get in there. Obviously in hindsight it was ridiculous, but at that time the fantasy was a massive stress reliever. I created this perfect world where everything would be wonderful and I used it whenever I needed to sidestep my actual difficult teen life.

None of it was real. I respectfully suggest that you have veered into this type of non-realistic thinking. You've reached out to an old acquaintance on FB, suggested getting together, and he said no. No matter how politely he said this, he did say no.

You followed up and didn't get a reply; that speaks volumes.

Where does that leave you? Accept this is a non-starter and move on. No investigating his social media life, no scrutinizing his FB page for intel. When you're checking up their social media to gauge how busy they may be so you can make excuses for them, you've crossed into unhealthy mental territory.

You gotta let this go and possibly learn some good CBT practices to redirect you from unrealistic/obsessive thinking.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:22 AM on September 25, 2016 [35 favorites]

Sorry, but this guy is 100% not interested. Just move on.
posted by ryanbryan at 4:28 AM on September 25, 2016 [7 favorites]

1) To me the first message definitely reads as him just being nice, with no serious intention to hang out with you in a few months.
2) It doesn't matter if he was annoyed.
3) Don't add him on Instagram.
posted by frantumaglia at 4:34 AM on September 25, 2016 [23 favorites]

It's pretty clear even from the first message he's not interested but your follow-ups make it abundantly clear. You've opened the door and if he wanted to walk through it at this point he would have.
posted by Aranquis at 4:37 AM on September 25, 2016 [7 favorites]

If it were me, I'd just get on with my life and get myself back in the game.
His reply to your first inquiry just didn't ring true eg: I think he's full of soup
posted by james33 at 4:43 AM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah no. doesn't seem this guy is interested - wouldn't pursue further (and/or add him on IG).
posted by speakeasy at 4:44 AM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

This guy is not interested, just polite. Do not add him on Instagram.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 4:54 AM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

He's not interested, sorry. Don't add him on Instagram.
posted by amro at 6:27 AM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

I can relate to this question and often am confused by similar scenarios. Also deal with anxiety.

Looking at this from the outside, it's pretty clear that you don't need to follow up. Don't take his lack of interest personally- there are so many possible reasons for it and most probably don't have to do with you. However, it's pretty clear that for whatever reason he is not currently interested in seeing you and there is nothing you can do about it at this time; sending more messages is not going to help.

Are you interested in anyone else? Meeting people? Online dating? Some of these things can serve to take you focus away from him.

Good luck!
posted by bearette at 7:19 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think even if there were possibilities, there aren't now - that he maybe thought it sounded fun to grab a quick meaningless coffee, but not a coffee that you seemed to want so much for a reason he did not understand. Do not pursue.
posted by corb at 7:59 AM on September 25, 2016 [9 favorites]

one thing you might have found encouraging -- reasonably! -- is that you thought he lived in Philadelphia, you're in New York, and he told you he's NY-based without your asking - he wouldn't have volunteered that if he really wanted to blow you off or if he wanted to make sure he never ran into you.

but definitely do not do anything else at all unless it's ONE response to something he says or writes to you. Even if he were interested, plenty of people would take a week to get back to you and if he actually wanted to meet up, he'd probably wait until he had an actual plan and travel dates set to propose something, which he may not yet. if he were me he would write back an excruciatingly detailed paragraph explaining that yes I would like to get coffee but the tickets haven't been purchased yet, but when they are I have to work out my work schedule, so we might be able to meet up either the first or the last day we're in town, can we keep In touch and I'll text you as soon as I know and which of these hypothetical times and places would work hypothetically and and and -

-- no. flakes do not do this, uninterested people do not do this, but nice normal busy people also do not do this, so do not worry that you are not getting it from him. his tone suggests to me that he is happy to casually meet up but has no other motives than a very general "staying in touch" and if he can tell you have a crush on him, he may just never contact you again. which doesn't mean you did anything awful or even that he wouldn't want to be casual friends, it's just what happens when people want to avoid awkwardness. doesn't mean he's freaked out or annoyed but he will be if you send another message or text. and don't add him on other social media platforms unless he adds you first. that is not a general social rule, that is just for this guy.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:51 AM on September 25, 2016

Oh man, I know how this feels, but I think you should try to move on mentally before your drive yourself bonkers and give him so much control of your thoughts and emotions. You have a crush on him so his every action or inaction means A LOT more to you than it does to him.

To me it sounds like he's not particularly interested. From the outside that's pretty clear but I know how hard it is to see when you dig someone.

The only possibly-annoying thing you did was apologize for being annoying when he didn't respond. It presumes how he's feeling and could be seen as manipulative/trying to make him feel bad or elicit a response. Plus it's just too many messages in a row without a response. For your own comfort and pride, I'd avoid this behavior in the future.

Who cares though, let him be annoyed (if he even is) as you move on and date someone who's enthusiastic about you.
posted by kapers at 8:55 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also NO, do not add him on IG! Not even in a couple of weeks; that's bad advice from your friend. He has your name and FB and number and, what, 3 messages in a row-- if he wanted to be in contact, he knows how.

It sounds like you don't know him well but developed a crush based on attractive photos? That's a pretty shallow connection so beware of projecting onto him what you want him to be just because he's physically attractive.

There are much more compelling traits in guys-- such as genuine connection with and interest in YOU.
posted by kapers at 9:03 AM on September 25, 2016 [15 favorites]

It's important to point out that this is much more obvious from the outside than from the inside. I know you know that, this very scenario has happened to SO MANY people. So, so many. It's your friends' duty (including metafilter) to pop that balloon early and observe for signs of 'yeah, but...'

It's ok, just no more.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

Assuming you didn't know this guy all that well to begin with, I'd suggest exploring this a little bit more in therapy. Why are you getting so caught up in someone you barely know?

I don't mean to make you feel badly, and I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to my personal space, so take this as coming from a big time introvert, but if I were this guy I would find this amount of interest and contact a warning flag. Not like a big, scary red flag, but more like, I would read you as a bit pushy and immature. I would avoid you though, just the same. Your continued attempts (ie trying to connect on my private instagram account) would push you into red flag territory for certain.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

FYI, people read messages on Facebook all the time and take DAYS or WEEKS to respond to them. So don't ever freak out after a few hours like you did with this guy. My take on it is that his first message was a general, polite, "yeah, maybe we can get a cup of coffee, person I barely remember..." You following up and sending your phone number wasn't weird. That's how you figure out if his offer of coffee was genuine or just a social nicety. But THEN you need to sit on your hands and let the ball be in his court. Your follow up apology message probably DID weird him out. It went from "this is an old acquaintance who it might be ok to hang out with to... uh, I don't know what's going on here, but this means something big to this girl for some reason and uh, what the heck?!"
posted by MsMolly at 12:29 PM on September 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

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