How can I get a guy to like me -- again?
May 1, 2007 2:31 PM   Subscribe

What can I say or do to get a guy to want me again? (Or, can movie cliches be useful in the real world?)

The abridged backstory: A few months ago, I (a guy, 21 years old), met a guy (same age) for a date, and I completely enjoyed every second being with him. A few dates later I kissed him, and the next night he kissed me, but soon thereafter he told me he was confused and didn't know what he wanted. We fell out of contact.

Then, a couple weeks ago, he sent me an email that said he missed me and that he wanted to get together soon. So we did, a few times since then, and we had a really great time apparently as friends, but once again I'm completely crazy about him.

It's stressful and frightening and I'm sure it's the first time I've felt this way about anybody: for a while, the only way I could think to describe how I felt when I wasn't with him was as a sense of dull melancholy, until I realized that that's what it must feel like to miss someone.

My first American instinct is to lay bare all my emotions in a verbose and cinematic monologue, to tell him I'm crazy about him, that I can't stop thinking about him, that I miss him when I'm not with him, that I want to defend and comfort him, that I've never felt like this before.

What might I say to persuade him to once again want to date me? Of course there's no 100% guarantee of anything, and all people are different, but is any of that movie stuff something you'd want to hear? Has a similar (or different) approach ever worked for you? I would really appreciate your advice.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested

I'm just sayin'...
posted by dersins at 2:50 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

You can't make people do what you want them to do. You cannot make him feel or do anything because he is an autonomous human being with a will of his own. Keep in mind that anything you do that does not take that into account may offend him.

Once upon a time, I thought "Say Anything" was the bees' knees, but now that I'm a grownup I'd call the cops on Lloyd's creepy stalker ass. There are grand gestures one can make, but I don't think any of them are actually grander than respect, even given to people who don't deserve it because they don't appreciate how awesome you are.

I think, though, that that is a lesson one only learns through one's mistakes. This sort of frantic feeling, especially after very little actual meaningful contact with someone, usually means you're about to take a big ride through Crazy Town, which is a vacation you'll never want to see the photos from again when it's over.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:06 PM on May 1, 2007 [9 favorites]

My first American instinct is to lay bare all my emotions in a verbose and cinematic monologue, to tell him I'm crazy about him, that I can't stop thinking about him, that I miss him when I'm not with him, that I want to defend and comfort him, that I've never felt like this before.

I once tried this with a girl I'd been (unrequitedly) in love with for two years. Her response was "Oh."

Followed shortly by "I'm a lesbian."

YMMV (hopefully)
posted by unSane at 3:19 PM on May 1, 2007

Unless he's explicitly told you that he doesn't want to date you, why are you exluding this possiblility and are convinced that you will have to convince him that he wants you?

What even happened to being honest? You two enjoyed each other's company briefly, and he was confused. Well perhaps he's thought through his confusion and that was the intention of getting back in touch with you.

Just tell him that you're into him and see what happens. I would leave the "defend and comfort" bit out though.
posted by Asherah at 3:22 PM on May 1, 2007

I agree with Lyn Never re: Say Anything gestures. (I apparently saw it too late in life, because I never really got why he was supposed to be so appealing in that movie.)

My advice is to tell him, honestly, that you like him a lot and you want to date him. He might like you too and also want to date you and just wasn't sure how you felt, in which case, you're in business. OR he might just not want to date you (for whatever crazy reason he has). In which case, you probably shouldn't be friends with him for awhile. It doesn't mean you can never see him again or whatever, but you obviously have really strong feelings for him and you need some space to get over that.

Short answer: you can't really make someone want to date you if they don't want to. But someone is not likely to date you if you don't take the initiative and make it clear that you want to date THEM. (For some reason "If you like someone, talk to them!" was like a big shock realization for me when I was ~21.) I hope things work out for you!
posted by SoftRain at 3:30 PM on May 1, 2007

ask him out. maybe he's interpreting your shyness as rejection. you have to be a little forward here (not stalkerish, just proactive).

if you are rebuffed, then it's time to lick your wounds and move on. if he accepts, then you're in business.

and i wouldn't try to be just friends with this guy. when you are dealing with a crush of this magnitude, it just becomes unbearable.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:31 PM on May 1, 2007

What might I say to persuade him to once again want to date me?

All you have to say is, "Do you want to go out on a date?" :-)

You guys dated and had a few kisses. He got "confused" and backed off. He got back in touch, and then you got together a few times and had a great time "as friends." Now you're crazy about him.

Don't scare him off. The ball's in his court to get closer now, not yours. Tell him you like him, even ask him "on a date" again, and not just "as friends." But please don't bring up all the emotions until you can get a better sense of whether he is open to it.
posted by Robert Angelo at 3:31 PM on May 1, 2007

You may know you're gay, anonymous, but the object of your affections may still be trying to figure this out about himself, partly through experimentation, and unless you have solid evidence beyond what you've posted here, you might want to take his comments about "confusion" in the broadest sense, and steer clear of romantic involvements until he sorts things out in his own head. Nothing you can say or do is going to help him work out such an identity dilemma, particularly on a schedule satisfactory to you.

Give him space and time to sort out his confusion. If he wants a romantic relationship with you, he shouldn't, for your sake and his own, be ambivalent.
posted by paulsc at 3:49 PM on May 1, 2007

I’d recommend against the “Bare your Heart” thing from my personal experience. I was guy #2 in your situation a few years ago and when guy #1 (a dear friend) and I started to get close becoming possibly but not explicitly “more than friends” he laid the movies style monologue on me, and I froze up (not having a movie style response) and we’ve really never talked since, this was 4 years ago. Had he asked me out on a date, or kissed me, or put on some Barry White things might have gone better. Because while he had clearly been thinking about this moment for a few weeks (or more) I hadn’t been, so I totally flubbed it, he got embarrassed and awkwardness doomed us. My point is I was into guy #1 a lot, but I wasn’t ready to hear the “I’m completely crazy about you” speech because there is just no good response to it, I think I said “oh. Thank You(!?)”. So I’d say kiss the bastard, take him to the movies…etc.

Imho, DO romantic things, rather than SAY romantic things.

on preview: what paulsc said also.
posted by French Fry at 4:01 PM on May 1, 2007

You don't have to hide anything, but make it clear that you like him, but you are looking elsewhere as well... Oh yeah, and look elsewhere as well. Not focusing on him totally is probably best for both of you, and is probably the only way you'll have a chance with him.

Men, particularly gay men, are usually attracted to guys who may just move on, or who just may be hit on and taken by someone else. You want him to feel some pressure, but not pressure from you.

I can see his side. If you don't know what you want, it's easy to be scared away from a great guy who's too into you. It could get messy. But he's stringing you on-- not in a bad abusive way, but in a way where he feels in control. Just don't let him have too much control over you.

This makes me feel whistful about a particularly nice friend who broke my heart (over and over again), and I hope I'm not pontificating. This could become a friendship, or a romance, but only if you're not becoming frustrated, resentful or sad. Oh, and if he's together enough to date another man.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:43 PM on May 1, 2007

Blow him off for a bit, find an excuse to contact him, then blow him off, rinse, lather, repeat.

Works wonders.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

What some of the latter posters says: I know it's really stupid, but you have to play a little hard to get. It's actually been scientifically proven that guys who seem desperate get less dates (from an article in the New York Times, where the scientists called it "unselective romantic desire").

That said, the boy you're dating may be a Pinocchio (as in not yet a real boy). I've actually been counseling some of my close friends in how to deal with Pinocchios recently. It seems to be more common with gay men, when they still haven't figured themselves out quite yet, and often leads them to be total assholes to people who are interested in them.

The upshot of all this: calm down. Take it slow. Be prepared for him to be a jerk, just in case.
posted by awesomebrad at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2007

Is he comfortable and confident being out? Maybe he's having other and bigger issues.
posted by philomathoholic at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2007

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