I REALLY like this guy (long distance) and visiting his town soon. Tips?
February 5, 2017 9:45 PM   Subscribe

I met this guy last year through a mutual friend at a conference, and we have been talking here and there..nothing too crazy but it's been a pleasure getting to know him. He's a very down-to-earth guy who I find really sweet and attractive. We also really have a lot in common (our views on life, tastes, etc). I think we have some chemistry, and my friend saw it as well when we saw one another again at an event in person a few months ago.

Unfortunately, he lives out of state so it's been hard to sort of gauge things and get to know one another in a meaningful way. We both aren't really into social media (which I actually like about him), but we do have meaningful conversation over text and once, over the phone. I have enjoys developing this slowly and I'm not in a rush, but I feel like in person maybe I can find out how to gauge things better. I'm not going to his town specifically for him (it's for a work conference), however, I have a couple days free before the conference and I plan on exploring the town, hoping he will be available to hang out with me at least some of the time. He knows I am coming.

Any tips on how I can possibly gauge things in person? Any tips on showing him I like him without scaring him off? I really like this guy and don't want to mess this up..but it's rare that we see one another..

Long distance crushes are so confusing :P
posted by impactsmoothie to Human Relations (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So, I think you already know the answer on how to gauge your potentially romantic situation. Use your gut! I'm sure it's incredibly exciting and nerve wracking thinking of all the scenarios that could play out when you finally are in the same place as your long-distance crush. However, the only thing you can do is to notice how you feel when you're with him, and suss out the vibes between the two of you. The other thing is that if you're with someone compatable, there's nothing you have to force the situation in your favor. You shouldn't worry about scaring him off either, it sounds like you had a mutual attraction. The one thing I am wondering about is do you have plans with him for the days you're there before the conference? You said that he knows you'll be in town, but have you told him that you'd like to spend time together? I'd suggest that so you'll have piece of mind before you go.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 10:27 PM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

You both sound kind and low key. This could so easily go that you visit, you hang out a fair bit, you have a lovely time, you leave in the same situation as where you started just liking him a bit more. He clearly likes and respect you, and the fact that a friend could see the chemistry is a really good sign. It's very unlikely that you're going to scare him off by broaching the topic of maybe wanting something romantic (if he was that easily scared is it worth it anyway?) and it's going to save you (potentially both) a whole lot of tortuous long distance pining.

To gauge things in person if he doesn't explicitly broach anything you can explicitly to do it. Your Style May Vary, but at the right moment after a bit of lovely time hanging out I'd say "if we lived in the same city I'd ask you out" and let the conversation flow from there. If you want to start softer maybe just "it's a shame we live so far apart" and working the conversation in the same direction. Alternatively, you could just actually message him asking on a first date before you arrive: "I know we live in different cities, but I'm looking forward to seeing you a lot more than I look forward to seeing a typical acquaintance. I've enjoyed getting to know you and I was wondering would you like to go on a date when I'm in town?"

One thing is to have thought in yourself what your realistic desires are- if he was on the exact same page what are you hoping for given the constraints of living far apart?

Put yourself out of this long distance crush misery once once for all! Best of luck
posted by hotcoroner at 10:34 PM on February 5, 2017 [11 favorites]

Ask him directly if he wants to hang out, and do it before you get into town. If he's available, set up your first meet up in some low-key situation: coffee in the afternoon, for example, rather than a bar late at night.

The reason I suggest that is because long-distance things can be tricky, especially when you don't know each other very well, because a lot of things can change: someone who was really into you 6 months ago may have lost interest, or started dating someone else, etc. Even if he's still interested in you, in-person chemistry can be really different than texting and writing, and sometimes transitioning from being pen pals to sitting across from each other can be awkward. So meeting up for the first time in the afternoon or early evening will give you a chance to suss things out without having to worry about it suddenly being 1 am and figuring out: do you try and kiss him goodnight? Invite him back to your place? Give him a hug and say goodnight? (And if your coffee date goes amazingly well and you two are just having an amazing time, then you can just keep extending it).

So, really, this is sort of a long way to say: I wouldn't go in to this trip assuming that the chemistry will be exactly the way it was last time you saw him. Take a minute to figure out if you still really like him when you see him again, and then if you do, pay attention to what your gut tells you about how he's reacting to you. If he's enthusiastic about meeting, easy to get in touch with, and flirty when you guys meet up, then those are all good signs.
posted by colfax at 5:09 AM on February 6, 2017 [7 favorites]

It's good that you're going to town for reasons not having to do with him, and that you'll be busy. I think the best approach for you to take, mentally, would be to dial down your expectations and release any attachment you might have to an outcome.

If you find yourselves walking together a lot--whether walking around town or through a museum or a park or whatever--you could casually brush his hand with yours, or let the backs of your hands touch, and gauge his reaction. Body language will tell you a lot about the kinds of feelings he has for you, or potential for feelings.
posted by witchen at 7:12 AM on February 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, really appreciating the advice so far. Super helpful! I'm definitely going to text him today and ask him to hang out directly. Maybe I can be like "Hey what's your schedule like this week? If you have any free time between Wednesday and Friday, I would really love to see you before things get crazy with my work conference. Let me know what you think"?
posted by impactsmoothie at 7:31 AM on February 6, 2017

I'm wondering about the mutual interactions you've had up to this point. Have you both initiated contacting each other? Your level of feelings for a potential relationship appears to be higher than his.

Agree with body language; seeing how much 'activity' he sends your way will help you gauge the relationship.
posted by mountainblue at 7:45 AM on February 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To answer your question mountainblue (which is a great question), we've both initiated contact, especially lately. I think prior to a few months ago I was mostly the only one initiating contact, which I didn't mind, because we didn't text daily and we both took our time replying to one another. He always replies, and in meaningful long responses, which I appreciate. I can't think of any time where he never replied. But lately, we have been texting a lot more, and he has also started initiating conversations when I thought they were over lol, which hopefully is a good sign?

To give more context, I think when we first met he had a lot more going on in his life (me too, I was actually diagnosed with cancer shortly after I met him, and have been fighting that, thankfully in remission now)..but he was still in law school and graduating soon, then after that, taking his bar, and now starting his own firm. But seems like he's gotten things settled with getting a space for the firm (i was one of the first people he told when he first got the keys). And I feel healthier than ever now. So I think hopefully that means in a while, things for him will start to stabilize and perhaps he will start looking for a relationship. If attraction and chemistry between us is good when we see eachother again in person..would love to give it a shot :)
posted by impactsmoothie at 8:02 AM on February 6, 2017

From reading all that you've wrote, I think you're going to be in very good (and perhaps great!) company when you get there! That's awesome. It's telling that we all seem to think so, too. I'm thinking he'll be thrilled to connect while you're in town.

My particular advice to you would be to lead with communicating your emotional state when you're with him. It's something I've learned in this lovely community workshop that I do, called Authentic Relating. And basically it's as simple as this—you notice how you're feeling with your other, then speak it as freely and plainly as you can! For example, when I was with my friend Holly this weekend, I told her I felt appreciative of our connection, and felt compassionate, and cheerful. It was received well. Now, this can even be deepened by being a little vulnerable. Tell him you feel warm, happy, maybe a little nervous, and excited!

You're looking for ways to communicate connectivity, to show that you like him, to gauge interest, and perhaps pique it a little at the same time, too, right? I think that doing that (or getting in-touch with something like it) is going to be good for you. Basically, the way that I look at it, people are totally up for resonating with you when you say you feel, even very simply, in certain ways. And it's not really all that often that we really tell people how we're feeling when we're with them! Essentially, my logic is that people can often identify with it feeling true for them; or them thinking about it gets them in your shoes; or maybe it causes them to echo it psychologically-emotionally. ("...Wow, she feels that way.") Find the simplest way to say what's true.

But it sounds to me like you've got it in the bag already, for the most part, you know? :) Trust your goodwill to do right!
posted by a good beginning at 9:32 AM on February 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Don't guage. Tell him how you feel. "We have so much in common, and I feel a really strong connection to you." Ask him if he feels the same way. He is either interested in a romance or he isn't, he already knows, and i believe the way you are approaching this amounts to a method of self-inflicted torture. Give yourself a break. There's nothing wrong with telling a guy "I'm into you and I'd like to take things further." Yes, it is terrifying, but I urge you to do it for yourself. If you do not ask for what you want, you are unlikely to get it.
posted by Mr. Fig at 11:22 AM on February 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

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