how do you feel about an innocent admirer
June 20, 2008 7:17 PM   Subscribe

A question for the guys - how does it feel when you know someone has a crush on you? Creepy? Flattering?

Say a woman who you see in social/work settings obviously has a slight crush on you. But that woman would never make a move because you have a girlfriend, or maybe she's married... whatever. It's an innocent crush. Nothing inappropriate, but you can tell there's a slight attraction to you. She's attractive & nice and all... So - how does that make you feel? Should said woman try to avoid you? Should she just do her best to hide it? Would it bother you? I hope this isn't considered chat filter - I'm just trying to help a friend get a man's opinion on this matter. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (26 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
In that very specific scenario: Flattered.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:18 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Flattering for the period in which her outward behavior makes it obvious, very very slightly awkward for a while afterwards, forgotten a few weeks after the crush ends/she gets better at hiding it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:25 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Flattering for the period in which her outward behavior makes it obvious, very very slightly awkward for a while afterwards, forgotten a few weeks after the crush ends/she gets better at hiding it.

This expresses my experiences exactly. It's flattering right up until someone makes it inappropriately explicit, and then it is really uncomfortable. If things are kept implicit, then it fades from mildly awkward to a hazy memory quite quickly.
posted by Forktine at 7:32 PM on June 20, 2008

Is she hot?

I meant that in all seriousness. Well, mostly anyway. It all depends on how she's going about it.

If I think she's going out of her way to be around me for whatever reason, then I'll mention my girlfriend and see what that does to her behavior. Not in a mean way or anything, just when I can logically work it into the conversation.

She shouldn't have to avoid me because she thinks I'm cute. But if there's a person that either of us is romantically involved with, then I'll make sure to mention them.

Random gifts, stopping by to say hello a lot, anything like that where I think she's trying to hit on me, that's just weird and should be avoided.

I've had this happen before. Well, pretty close anyway. If anything, it's harder on the guy. Especially if he's the one with the other person in the love triangle (for lack of a better way to put it right now).

When it happened to me, I didn't realize that I was kind of leading the girl on. Granted, she didn't know I had a girlfriend, and the fact that I don't mind people seeing me without a shirt on didn't help either. But the point is that she should try to stay away from any action that could make him think that he's leading her on.

Other than that though, I really don't think one way or the other about it.

Now, back to my stupid comment at the start of all this. If she's someone that I would want to hang out with for whatever reason in a strictly friends kind of way then I'll put up with more behavior that starts to cross the line from innocent crush into wanting to be with me. But everyone has their line somewhere.
posted by theichibun at 7:45 PM on June 20, 2008

Be flattered. It's nice to have a little ego boost every once in a while.
posted by Echidna882003 at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2008

I'm not a guy, but this is a situation that you'll find yourself in, with different people, your whole life. It's common, and the best thing to do is to feel flattered. Feeling uncomfortable, or deciding to avoid people when this happens ... it does no good, and it's not fun. Have fun with it.

(Only allow it to become an issue if lines are crossed; if inappropriate advances are made [by either of you], that's something that would need to be dealt with as it comes up. But that's a different scenario than what you're describing.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 8:14 PM on June 20, 2008

Flattering but awkward. In those cases, I take great care to keep everything as polite, formal, and professional as possible.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:15 PM on June 20, 2008

If I'm in a relationship: Flattered, but tough luck.
If she's in a relationship: Creepy, and oh hell no.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:24 PM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

This happens all the time to me. I am usually flattered if I think she is a good person and creeped out if she has issues.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:40 PM on June 20, 2008

If she's in a relationship (and you're not) and you don't find out until after some serious flirting, innuendo, etc. which turns out to not have been anything more than that on her side: frustrating and perhaps even mildly heart-breaking (thanks for that, B, all that time ago).

Otherwise, if I'm taken, assuming she is cool about it, it's always nice to know others find you attractive.
posted by maxwelton at 9:01 PM on June 20, 2008

My experience, which has a curious double quality, being male myself and chasing males, says that not only is it an 'ego' boost to know one is found attractive, it also boosts the libido. A mutual flirt somewhere can really send me home to my partner ;-)
posted by Goofyy at 10:38 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Usually if the girl's attractive/intelligent/funny, then it's very flattering.

If I don't find her attractive at all, or she's in some other way very.... undesirable, then it's creepy.

Sorry if that sounds superficial, but it's true.
posted by Precision at 10:41 PM on June 20, 2008

I think most everybody up there has it about the same. (Sorta) Recently, I found out a very close friend had a crush on me. This was extraordinarily flattering mainly because I had always thought she was out of my league (She's two years older than me, and is one of those "Hot chicks" at college. I'm kind of a nerdy math major).

I was in a relationship at the time, so this girl did a pretty good job of hiding it (though, apparently, most people could tell, I'm just dense sometimes.) But after I left that relationship, this girl became more overt with her feelings. Then oddly enough, she started avoiding me, and all her friends told me it was BECAUSE she had a crush on me. That was kind of weird. I guess it was flattering right up to the point where she started avoiding me. Then I'm not even sure how to take it.
posted by Geppp at 11:07 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

By my own experience, if you are not attractive, men find it creepy.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:33 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

This just happened. I was at a bar and a woman started flirting with me. It was funny and fun. We spoke for about a half-an-hour, then we ended up in small talk. I drank with my friends and she kept looking over at me. Later, she gave me a high-five and said "What am I going to do with you?"

To tell you the truth, it was totally great. It gave me a reason to wake up in the morning and get my life in order. For, I know, if it worked with her, it will work with others. I am not an ugly man, but a wonderful, intelligent, beautiful man.

And, there is lightning outside. This is, to me, a sign of truth.
posted by parmanparman at 11:48 PM on June 20, 2008 [4 favorites]

A "slight attraction"? Most men wouldn't even notice.
posted by Ookseer at 12:51 AM on June 21, 2008

Creepy is as creepy does, you know? Someone who knows I'm married starts bringing me presents, wanting to hang out outside work hours without my wife, that sort of thing, that's fucking creepy.

A bit of flirting with a "I know this won't go anywhere" undertone? Flattering as hell.

And, of course whether or not you're attractive to the person in question will help change the reaction. If an ugly, smelly guy made it clear he found you attractive, would your reaction be the same as if $FAMOUS_HOT_GUY_OF_CHOICE said the same?

(Of course, what constitutes attractive to any given guy is another story entirely...)
posted by rodgerd at 3:01 AM on June 21, 2008

I think it is mostly about how the attraction is expressed for me. Being a Southerner, there is a certain level of "normal" flirtatious banter that is just one of the things that makes life worth living. Anything that seems more like a serious expression of romantic intent is a serious violation of social protocol and would bother me and most likely make future encounters uncomfortable for us both.

There is a lady who works for my largest customer who seems to be attracted to me, but I base this entirely on what seem like subtle signs to me. She laughs at all my funny lines, even the ones that even I know didn't really work and she seems to go out of her way to talk to me. She's never hinted at anything more directly and I find it flattering. If she directly addressed an attraction to me or made it more plain, I would find it awkward and/or creepy. I'm having trouble imagining a situation where a woman could make it very plain that wouldn't create an unpleasant situation for me. I suppose a woman that I had a really good relationship with could confess an attraction to me in a drunken moment or prefaced with a caveat of "of course, nothing could ever happen, BUT..." and I'd be flattered and not troubled by thoughts of how I could make sure she didn't get encouraged by it, but in general direct expressions of attraction from people other than my wife make me uncomfortable.
posted by Lame_username at 3:57 AM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

A "slight attraction"? Most men wouldn't even notice.

True Dat. After experiencing a few instances of what seemed like intense flirting only to turn out as "hold on there tiger, I'm just being nice!" when trying to reciprocate, I think some (a lot?) guys are unable to figure out what constitutes 'slight attraction'. Or I'm just very dense, which is certainly possible.
posted by mattholomew at 5:41 AM on June 21, 2008

Go flip through askmefi and look for one of the two dozen yearly iterations of "how do I make clear to this guy that I dig him"? Most guys can't tell when you're trying, so in all likelihood, he has no idea. You might think he does, but I'd bet against it.
posted by phrontist at 6:55 AM on June 21, 2008

I would be flattered. It's a big ego boost when a nice, attractive woman with no obvious flaws is attracted to me.

On a side note, I have a longtime friend who recently told me she has a thing for me. I've told her flat out that I'm not interested in her romantically. We still talk, but there is some awkwardness for me when I talk to her. In the back of my mind, I'm always wondering whether she'll bring up her crush on me again while we're talking.

So, if you think there's a chance the crush might not be reciprocal, you may want to have your friend continue admiring from afar.
posted by reenum at 7:29 AM on June 21, 2008

I'm a girl, but this seems like a universally applicable answer to me: flattered if the person is attractive and behaves well; worried, annoyed and/or creeped out if the person is unattractive and/or doesn't behave well.
posted by orange swan at 7:45 AM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

I would start out being flattered and go from there.
posted by Silvertree at 9:44 AM on June 21, 2008

I'll add to this, based on my belief that the responses so far are way out of whack, proportionally, from the general population.

I think there's an 80% chance or higher that the guy won't notice at all, and a 10% chance that he may suspect something but learned long ago not to assume that those suspicions would ever be correct.
posted by genghis at 10:20 AM on June 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

i don't think it's any different for men than it is for women: if you think the person who has a crush on you is attractive, you're flattered. if you don't then it makes you at least somewhat uncomfortable.
posted by violetk at 12:22 PM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Should said woman try to avoid you? Should she just do her best to hide it?

No. Yes.

But "hiding it" does not include stealing glances or invading personal space, contrary to what certain women in my past have thought.
posted by kittyprecious at 1:45 PM on June 21, 2008

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