Help me figure out what is on this guy's mind who has been sending me conflicting signals since last year.
April 1, 2008 8:33 AM   Subscribe

This guy has been sending me confusing signals since last year. He makes plans with me but never follows up on them. I had told him clearly early on that I was interested in him but he never went ahead with me at that time. And now, when I am not interested in him, certainly not as interested in him as I was last year, he is still pursuing me ----or so I think.

There is a guy at my school (X) who has been interested in me since last year. I too was interested in him, initially, but he told me that he was not interested in a serious relationship with me at that time. He said that he had just got out of a long-term relationship and that he needed some time off before he got into another one. However, he said, he was attracted to me and would like a casual relationship with me. ( Well all this came out over a period of time and very gradually-- he was very reluctant to reveal it initially) At that time, I was completely against the idea of a casual relationship—in fact the very idea of a casual relationship was new to me, and, therefore, I told him that while I did like him, I was not interested in having a casual relationship with him.

However, he kept pursuing me in his own way ( by that, I mean, never directly but would just come to talk to me at various times and talk in a way which implied that something is going on) and try to convince me to get into a casual relationship with him. At that time, I was still trying to get over him and I think, at times, I also tried to persuade him to get into a serious relationship. This went on for around a month and later on I decided that I would give this casual relationship a try. I thought that I would go on a date with him and see where things go from there. So on the last day of the Spring semester, I sent him an email asking him if he would like to go for dinner with me. He responded a couple of days later saying that he would very much like to do so, but that he had friends in town for the next couple of weeks and therefore he could not go for dinner until they left.

So I thought that he would contact me in the next 15 days to make dinner plans but he never did. During the entire summer vacation, he did not contact me at all. I figured that he was not interested in me anymore.

When I met him again in Fall semester, I decided to maintain a distance from him but, to my surprise, he would come to talk to me all the time. He would flirt with me and a couple of times he even suggested that he and I would go for a movie, but, again, as before , he never made any concrete plans. ( I asked him why he did not follow up on our dinner plans and he said that he was very busy with work during the vacation) In the meantime, I met another guy ( Y) and decided to date him. I initially hid it from people in school, partly because I was not sure if I was serious enough about Y and partly because I still wanted to come across as available to X. I told Y everything about X. However, when I figured that X would never go ahead with me, I decided to tell everyone at school that I was in a relationship. ( Well, it also began to dawn on me that X and I were incompatible because he was never direct and straightforward with me.) This happened towards the end of Fall semester last year.

After winter break, when I met X again at school this Spring, he told me that he had heard I am dating a guy. And I told him that he had heard right. Yet, he continued to be overtly friendly with me and would offer to give me a ride home in his car.( He and I live in the same neighbourhood.) I would refuse initially but, once, I genuinely needed a ride ( Or so I think, it seems to me that sometimes our true motives are not entirely transparent to us) so I requested him to ride me home. He readily agreed and, on the way, I somehow revealed that I was in a polyamourous relationship with my boyfriend. But at the same time, I also told him in the course of our conversation that I was not interested in him anymore. This was just before Spring break. ( Well Y thinks that telling X about polyamoury was a bad idea because that is going to make him try even more.)

Yesterday again, he offered to give me a ride home. This time he was with his friends( some guys in school whom I know too) and one of his friends also insisted that I go with them. And so I agreed.

My question is: What is exactly on this guy's mind?

I think I am pretty clear about what is on my mind. I enjoy his company ( he is funny, witty, and friendly, not to mention, quite good looking) but lately I have come to see some flaws in him.( Doesn't have any future plans, is superficial at times, disorganized, and is basically just not serious about life.) I think I would like to hang out with him but I do not think I am interested in him---certainly not as interested in him as I was last year.
posted by Ria to Human Relations (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
His signals aren't mixed; he's broadcasting a clear "I want to get laid with minimal effort and am unwilling to invest anything more than it takes to get into your pants--maybe not even that much."

Do yourself a favor and don't get involved with this guy. Stick to Y.
posted by nasreddin at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


My question is: What is exactly on this guy's mind?

Why do you care? You're "not interested". Of course, we all (we being him, you, your boyfriend, and us) know you really are interested, because why else would you have told him that you're in a polyamourous relationship and bothered to ask us all this question. So, what are you really asking? Is this guy ready to change his ways and be the guy you want him to be? There is no evidence that would suggest that. Proceed with caution.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:43 AM on April 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


2nd'ing nasreddin. If anything, knowing about Y would give X a "you snooze, you lose" message.
posted by rhizome at 8:46 AM on April 1, 2008


Oh, I missed the polyamorous angle. Still, he's a flake.
posted by rhizome at 8:47 AM on April 1, 2008


@ Pink Superhero
Although I do not rule out the possiblity that I told him about polyamoury because I wanted to convey to him that I am still available, but I think there could be other reasons too. Perhaps what I wanted to convey to him was that I lost interest in him because he wouldn't take a stand about me. My finding another guy had nothing to do with it.
posted by Ria at 8:49 AM on April 1, 2008


It feeds his ego to know that you're interested, so he checks in from time to time to see if he's still "got it". He's not into you, only the boost to his ego that you provide.
posted by iconomy at 8:51 AM on April 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


@nasreddin

If that was his intention, why did not he go for dinner with me? And how does his continuing to flirt with me and offer me rides home help him sleep with me?
posted by Ria at 8:54 AM on April 1, 2008


What's on his mind is that he thinks it would be amusing to sleep with you, without regard for your feelings or your relationship (poly or not). He does this because (as iconomy says) it feeds his ego.

I lost interest in him because he wouldn't take a stand about me.

He can't take a stand about something he doesn't appear to care about.

Sorry to be harsh, but nothing you've described indicates he's anything but a flake who plays head games, whether merely out of insecurity (best case) or out-and-out malice (worst case). People tell you who they are by their behavior. This guy has already told you time and time again who he is -- you can go out of your mind trying to read between the lines, but really, it's pretty much all there for you.
posted by scody at 8:55 AM on April 1, 2008


My question is: What is exactly on this guy's mind?

Um, not nearly as much as is on yours? My guess at his version of this question:

So, there's this girl [more inside]

I got out of a serious relationship last year and met this new girl. I wasn't up for a relationship but I totally wanted to sleep with her, but she was all 'I don't do casual' and then she changed her mind and said 'yea let's do a casual relationship' but clearly didn't get what that meant, because she invited me out for dinner (I mean, casual!= dinner, amirite?). So I blew her off, but then this year I still think she's hot and I'd still like to sleep with her, and it's not like she won't talk to me or anything, and she specifically TOLD me that she's in an open relationship, so she must still be kind of interested, but she STILL hasn't said she'll sleep with me.
BUT, I always offer her a ride home, and she always says no, but recently she said yes.
My question is: do you think she's going to offer to sleep with me now?
posted by jacalata at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


From your post I gather that X is a player. Don't waste your time with him. If X was sincerely interested he would have found the time to go to a movie or dinner. It sounds as if you are very much interested in X and want to keep the opportunity open to date him, which is kind of pathetic (I've been there), because from the sounds of your post he is not that interested in you. X is not beating down your door or making any sincere attempts to get to know you or spend time with you. Try to forget him. Save your sanity and dignity.

And how does his continuing to flirt with me and offer me rides home help him sleep with me?

Well, you may intend to not be in a casual relationship with him, but he doesn't know this. He continues to flirt and attempt to be alone with you in the chance that you will cave and sleep with him. It has probably worked with other women.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2008


Well, you may intend to not be in a casual relationship with him, but he doesn't know this

Correction. He does know this because you have told him. What I'm trying to say, he will still continue to try if it is convenient for him.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:01 AM on April 1, 2008


@ LoriFLA

When I asked him out to dinner, wasn't it obvious that I was fully aware what it might lead to? And doesn't that indicate that I am willing to give the casual relationship a try?
posted by Ria at 9:03 AM on April 1, 2008


you obviously get off on the attention you get from him. that's why you continue to talk to him, told him about being polyamourous, and why you accepted rides from him. he obviously gets off on the attention you give him as well, which is why he keeps stringing you along—because you allow him to and you react to it. even though you deny you are still interested, you are—otherwise you would neither bother with him nor come on here to ask people about what his motivations are. you are both playing immature games and it's annoying.
posted by violetk at 9:06 AM on April 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


My question is: What is exactly on this guy's mind?

I think you answered your question here:

Well, it also began to dawn on me that X and I were incompatible because he was never direct and straightforward with me
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:06 AM on April 1, 2008


@ jacalata

It was fairly clear between us what "dinner" meant. He had asked me out on dinner dates earlier but I had refused saying that I knew what it might lead to. So I think he knew what I meant.
posted by Ria at 9:06 AM on April 1, 2008


Ria, it is generally considered best in AskMeta to ask your question and then leave everyone to answer the question. You should not fight back with every person who took the time to answer your question.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:07 AM on April 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


When I asked him out to dinner, wasn't it obvious that I was fully aware what it might lead to? And doesn't that indicate that I am willing to give the casual relationship a try?

No, because mental telepathy has not yet been perfected.

Simply tell him, "yeah, maybe I am interested in something casual."

But I'd listen to everybody upthread, unless, of course, you really are still interested, despite saying otherwise.

Why does it matter what's on his mind? You're not interested... right?
posted by canine epigram at 9:09 AM on April 1, 2008


I don't know. The fact that he didn't accept your invitation is a sign that he doesn't place that much importance on you. You have expressed your interest in being in a more serious relationship in the past. You have declined to be in a casual relationship in the past. Now, you have changed your tune. You're willing to say and pretend that it's casual. All the while hoping that it will progress into a more serious relationship Well, he probably senses this. He's on to you. He knows that you're not a casual kind of person and this raises red flags. He's not interested in a relationship with you that involves dinner or other outings because he's not into you the way you are into him. He probably wanted to sleep with you in the car or come up to your place after the ride home. Who knows? Maybe he'd like to have a hookup or two, or maybe a long series of booty calls, but from the sound of your post he is not interested in anything further. You cannot read his mind or change it. I hope you're not alienating Y with all this X nonsense if you truly like Y. It's not fair to Y or to yourself to be wrapped up in a person that is not interested in you.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:23 AM on April 1, 2008


It was fairly clear between us what "dinner" meant. He had asked me out on dinner dates earlier but I had refused saying that I knew what it might lead to. So I think he knew what I meant.

Wow, wait, so what's the question? Why hasn't he taken you up on the offer to casually sleep together yet? If so, maybe you should just invite him more explicitly. Unless you're serious when you say you're no longer interested.

And what about this --
Well Y thinks that telling X about polyamoury was a bad idea because that is going to make him try even more.

Yeah, and wasn't that the point? But the thing about polyamory, from what I've read, is that both parties are up for it. Would Y have a problem if you hooked up with X?

The whole thing sounds like a world of drama. violetk has it.
posted by salvia at 9:40 AM on April 1, 2008


I hope you're not alienating Y with all this X nonsense if you truly like Y. It's not fair to Y or to yourself to be wrapped up in a person that is not interested in you.

I hope that didn't sound harsh.

Stick to people that like and care for you and will invest time in you. They're the ones that deserve your attention.

If you really want to cut to the chase, don't invite X to "dinner". Invite him to meet you in your bedroom at 8:00 carrying a condom. That is what he wants. Do you want this? Do you think this "dinner" date will influence him to date you on a more serious level? I would seriously think not. Like TPS says, proceed with caution.

Good luck, Ria.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:45 AM on April 1, 2008


Oh dear, I could have written this Askme when I was in college. In fact, it's so close to home that it's makinng me a bit anxious, remembering all the angst and sorrow that similar situations (one in particular) created back when I was much younger.

And if 40 year old me could give advice to 20 year old me, it would be - stop it. No car rides home, no discussions about Y, no asking him out for dinner and if he asks you, you have plans (or make plans) with Y. Be pleasant, be polite, but shut the door completely. He'll push harder, you'll have to work harder to resist, but eventually he'll start being more of a pest than a temptation.

Give him 5 years. 10 years. Hell, even 20 years. And he'll be back. And by then you'll have realized that you deserve much better. Or maybe he'll have realized that he should have kept his word and followed through with proposed dates.

I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but if someone had said this to me 20 years ago, I would have avoided a hell of a lot of heartbreak.

Good luck and best wishes!
posted by suki at 10:05 AM on April 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


If he was worth your time, he wouldn't have acted as he has. Iconomy has it - he's ego-boosting, maybe hoping for some easy sex. Don't let him mess you about. I've seen friends fall for this kind of thing and it's a damn shame.
posted by tiny crocodile at 10:23 AM on April 1, 2008


He may not have taken you up on your offer of dinner/casual relationship because he was involved in another casual relationship at the time. He had other things going on. I'd stay away.
posted by onlyconnect at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2008


These "does he, doesn't he" type of dilemmas are usually nothing but a love of drama masquerading as romance. I love drama, lots of people do, but it's dangerous to interpret it as anything else. If you continue to foster this little soap opera, you will get burned - I can guarantee it, and you will lose a lot of opportunities to find guys that are really, truly into you. Do yourself a favor and get some distance between you and him - it's not going to go anywhere but painville.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:02 PM on April 1, 2008


Although I do not rule out the possiblity that I told him about polyamoury because I wanted to convey to him that I am still available, but I think there could be other reasons too. Perhaps what I wanted to convey to him was that I lost interest in him because he wouldn't take a stand about me. My finding another guy had nothing to do with it.

Here's your problem: "Perhaps what I wanted to convey…"

Decide what you want to communicate, then communicate it. Seriously. It will make EVERYONE'S LIVES SO MUCH SIMPLER.
posted by klangklangston at 5:19 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for going through my rather lengthy post and responding to me. This really helps put things into perspective.
posted by Ria at 4:17 AM on April 2, 2008


« Older Recommend a postal scale?   |   Have you used Chicago Apartment Finder? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.