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#554: The Mirror of Confusion

Dear Captain Awkward,

I happen to really like a guy who is the most confusing man I’ve ever met. I met Matt( fake name don’t worry) through my best friend. She is the type of person who finds loads of guys attractive and usually likes me to meet them so she can a) get my point of view and b) test them. More than once she has fallen for a guy who when they meet me kind of forget about her. She happens to be a very quiet and somewhat shy person and I’m a very flirty and friendly person. When I met Matt, Lauren( my wonderful best friend and also a fake name) and I both thought maybe he was flirting with me. I ran into him few more times over the course of a year and when I saw him at my college( where he also studies), I thought it would be the perfect time to snoop for her even if he did give me butterflies. We became friends and I over time forgot I was helping my best friend and not having a good time with a really amazing person. He’s a philosophy major who I have a lot in common with and we became friends. Lauren gradually realized she really wasn’t interested in him and thought more and more that Matt and I were a great match. Matt and I both had 3 hours on campus before two separate evening classes that started at the same time, and we started spending that 3 hours talking to each other twice a week for about 2 months. We confided in each other and had a lot of really amazing conversations, and I start to fall for him.

My friends start pushing me to go to the store where he works( which we loved already) and we would talk a little while he was working. The semester ends and we exchange phone number. We texted a little( usually I initiated it) and eventually after going to the store where he works to buy a gift over the three week Christmas break in between semesters and getting pissed at Matt, I deleted the number. Now( 3 months later), I will see him on campus quite often and he will either approach me and start a conversation where he tries to find out where I’m hanging out, am I in a relationship with that guy he saw me talking to, and why don’t I come see him at the store anymore or he will completely blow me off. Like I will say “Hi Matt” and he will walk the opposite direction. He will say he’s dating someone but then show up at places where I have told him I spend time and will befriend people who I’m friends with. Is this guy who I truly have fallen for into me and completely running scared or is he not interested at all? If he isn’t, how can I move on from this guy I never dated? Thanks for reading this.

Sincerely,
Really Freaking Confuuuused

Dear Confused:

I’m not sure this will help, but Matt is probably equally confused. You were acting like you liked him, and then you deleted his number and stopped contacting him, and he can’t tell what the heck is going on with your feelings about him. Are you friends? Are you people who were flirting but it never quite happened? Is the door still open? WHAT.

There is one thing that would cut immediately cut through the confusion, and good news! It’s entirely within your power! That thing is you actually telling him that you actually like him That Way. Stop trying to read the dude like tea leaves or the entrails of a goat and say the words. If he likes you back, he’ll let you know. If it isn’t like that, he’ll also let you know. If he’s too wishy-washy or too invested in the Battle of Who Could Care Less to even have the conversation, that’s good information, too.

If you don’t want to speak up, then drop it entirely. Write it off as something that was never meant to be, and stop paying attention to what the dude does.

Ok, this is just a P.S., because your best friend Lauren didn’t write to me, but this dynamic you have where you strategize about romance together and where she introduces the guys she likes to you and then they “forget all about her” is kind of messed up. It’s not all on you that it’s weird, but being naturally outgoing & flirting with your friend’s crushes just because you can are not the same thing. Next time she raises a prospect, try saying “My opinion isn’t really important, just go for it and have fun!” and also try NOT flirting with them when you do meet them. The cycle where she brings you new dudes the way my cat brings me catnip mouse toys is going to get ugly one of these days, and while you can’t control people’s preferences or desires there is some stuff here that you can control. One possible problem is that Lauren is telling you that she likes the guys, and the two of you are working out who “gets” to date him between the two of you, but no one is actually telling the dudes what is up. Maybe both of you can support each other in being a little more forthright with people you like. 

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48 comments
  1. Sarah said:

    Oh boy, the Captain is on point with this. But I really wanted to second her point about the dynamic between you and your friend when she brings guys she’s interested in around and introduces them to you.

    LW, I’m a flirty person, and I get that when you interact with the world that way it’s really hard to realize that other people take you seriously. So you’re flirting because that’s what you do, that’s how your world works, but then these guys your friend is interested in meet you and think you’re serious when you flirt with them and they forget about your friend because you’re the one showing “interest” (in quotes because it’s not necessarily interest, but it feels like it to them) in a way they understand. The thing is? You need to learn to cut that out. Not just for your friendship, though that should be reason enough to learn to control this. But there will be all sorts of situations in life where you need to be in control of how you interact with people and by not being totally aware of the impression you’re sending and by excusing it with “I’m just naturally flirty” you’re going to send messages you are blissfully unaware of – at least until they bite you in the butt.

    I have a “Lauren” who is much quieter and much more reserved than I am. She knows that I am a flirty person and that, unless otherwise warned, in social situations I will flirt. So when she introduces me to a guy or is going to bring one around, she lets me know if she’s interested in him. That’s my cue to be Team Talk Her Up. It’s also my cue to be more reserved than usual, to pull myself back and make sure I’m not doing anything that can be misconstrued. Because our friendship is way more important than flirting with a dude I just met (and it’s not like there aren’t billions of men I haven’t met yet! I don’t need to flirt with the guy she brought to the party), and I think you’d feel the same way about Lauren.

    Anyways! Tell Mike you like him, ask him to come over and hang out, generally Use Your Words. And, heck, pull out the big guns, flirting-wise. This is what they’re for!

    • Xenophile said:

      Thank you for saying this! I think flirty people sometimes forget that flirty is a character trait, but flirting is an action. You can control your actions. If you flirt with your friend’s love interest or your friend’s partner, someone could get hurt. Don’t try to say, “Oh, but I’m just a flirty person! You’re just too sensitive!” Find someone else to flirt with!

      • Michelle said:

        I second (3rd?) that–a millennium ago, when I was in HS, I was the “Lauren” and mt BFF was the “LW.” Whenever I liked a guy she would flirt him up, and shocking to no one, they would end up liking her. She never dated them, because she was a good friend. Finally, senior year, she started flirting with a boy I will call Jerry, because that was his name and it was in 1984, so who cares? After Jerry walked off after one of these “Oh, you’re still here?” (you=me), I flat asked her what the hell she was doing. Long conversation later, the upshot was she felt like she had to flirt for me because I couldn’t/wouldn’t and she always thought it would help me, because flirting worked for her. I told her to stop, it made me feel invisible and bad and it was a matter of time before she ended up dating the boy I liked, and I didn’t need her to “win” a boy for me–he either liked me, bad at flirting and all, or he did not.

        It was a hard conversation for an insecure 17 year old to have with her confident, beautiful BFF, but it was worth it. We learned more about each other, defined boundaries and the next opportunity we had to test it, she held her flirtation in check, and the boy talked to me for hours. And 30 years and many crushes later, she and I are still friends, and I could not tell you the last (or even first) name of 90% of the boys that could have come between us.

        • Mary said:

          There is an awful lot of pressure when you’re a teenager and in your early twenties to deny that you’re flirting or that anyone is ever attracted to you, so I totally get where it comes from. But yeah, there is a point of growing up where you have to be honest with yourself and admit it’s a chosen behaviour – even if it’s an easy, natural one for you – and restrain yourself to situations where it’s appropriate.

        • Mary said:

          I can completely understand where it comes from, because there’s a lot of pressure in your late teens and early twenties to deny that you’re ever flirting deliberately or that you’re aware of anyone ever fancying you. But yeah, I think it’s part of growing up to admit that flirting is something you do, and to notice when you’re doing it and save it from appropriate situations.

          Flirting is a lot of fun and not something you should be ashamed of or in denial about, but it’s good to make sure you’re doing it in the right settings with the right people.

        • Mary said:

          Oops, sorry for double post! My browser crashed in the middle of posting, so I assumed that it hadn’t gone through rather than stuck in spam filter.

    • Jaz said:

      I just realised I might be doing something like this. My version of friendly is often confused with flirty. From now on I’ll make an effort not to flirt with the wrong people!

      • Xenophile said:

        Thank you thank you thank you! If I can just continue my responsible flirting PSA a bit longer (sorry, I know how condescending and pedantic I’m being right now…) can we all learn to flirt with appropriate people at appropriate times? “Stop hitting on my boyfriend” is one problem, but there’s also “Stop monopolizing the conversation!” Flirting can displace actual conversation and make it impossible for other people to join in. This might just be me and the social circle I just left, but I’m so tired of the following two scenarios:

        – In a small group (say, 3-5 people) we’re all having a single conversation. Two people start flirting and everyone else sits there uncomfortably trying to draw the conversation back.
        – In a large group, there are multiple conversations going on. Flirty Person is sitting quietly and then suddenly hits on someone else really loudly, usually with explicit jokes or questions. All conversations grind to a halt and it turns into the Flirty Person Show. The rest of us are just audience members.

        /derail

        • As a total non-flirter (who hates people flirting with me; it’s more “you don’t mean it, I’m not interested, knock it off”) I appreciate seeing these PSAs about doing it responsibly. I would loathe seeing someone trying to flirt with my beloved. Not because I don’t trust him, but because it would read to me like someone making a play for him, and hello, he’s married, GO AWAY.

          tl:dr flirting creeps me out.

          • therufs said:

            Hey, FWIW, there exist married people for whom it is not a violation of relationship boundaries to reciprocate flirting or even pursue outside relationships. It’s kind of erasurey for you to act like everyone’s default assumption must be that every married person is off the market.

        • World Wearied Traveller said:

          I’m going to chime into the responsible flirting discussion. I am someone who started dating at 30, about two years ago. Before that I took myself out of the “game” entirely and didn’t flirt with anyone ever. I am really social and extroverted, but when it came to dating and romantic relationships I always assumed no one would ever want to date me, and I also didn’t want to date, so 1. didn’t notice if someone was flirting with me and 2. never flirted. It’s taken me some work and effort to try to tackle my dating anxieties and the first place I started was flirting. At first I actively had to force myself to flirt (if I was interested) and now, even though it comes more naturally, I only do it when I’m actually interested in someone. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to read signals better that someone is into me before I work up the nerve to use my words…and have met two women, who appear to mostly be into men (I’m a lesbian), who flirt with me like crazy…and I flirt back. I assumed at first that both of them were just flirts in general and not interested in me, but the first one actually seemed like she might want to kiss me, and the second one just confused the hell out of me because the flirting was pretty full on, and I would be interested if I thought she actually was, but she has a boyfriend and I think she’s straight. When I talk to mutual friends of ours about it all I get is “oh she flirts with everyone”. And I guess what’s hard about that for me is that I don’t, and in an effort to start noticing when people are interested in me, I find flirty types who flirt with everyone are both good and back for my confidence. Good because whoo! hot girl flirting with me. Bad because damn! she’s not actually interested (or is she?) and I’m just another person in the path to flirt with. Anyway, I know this totally strays from the LW’s question, but I just wanted to say I too would appreciate more responsible flirting, but I guess in my situation I’ll also need to learn to use my words more to actually figure out if it’s interest or just friendly flirting.

          • espritdecorps said:

            I’m a woman who has had long-term relationships with multiple genders. I’m also a flirt,

            Flirting is an extended complement for me. It is a way of saying “I think you are an amazing, valuable, and attractive person.”

            It’s a way to let a friend get the attention of potential partners in a fun way and show off their sexy, witty, sweet selves. I’m saying, “Look at this awesome woman! You ladies at the bar know you want some of this!”

            It’s also really fun, and a way to get my needs met from my friend group. Some people like to complain about things, some people like to be the group’s social co-coordinator, I like to flirt and be dramatic in entertaining ways.

            So now to the meat. How do you tell if a flirt is attracted to you?

            If it were me, after I’d gotten the party going, I’d find a way engage with you one-on-one away from the group.
            I’d talk you in an intimate and direct way, rather than putting on a show. I’d listen more, and ask questions that drew you out.
            I’d smile less, and laugh more softly, so that when I did you’d feel it as genuine and real.
            I’d stop being casual about touching you, physical contact would be gentler and more tentative. I’d be asking permission with my touch rather than making you part of a performance.
            The same energy that had previously filled the room, would now be focused more and more on you. I’d be paying attention to your response to that, if you seemed uncomfortable, I’d pull back and we’d rejoin the party.
            If you were engaged and happy, I’d sit a little closer, my touches would become more intimate, and if that got a positive response, I’d either move in for a kiss, ask you out, or both.

            I can’t speak for all flirts on this, but that is how I would show my attraction.

          • World Wearied Traveller said:

            espritdecorps – that’s super helpful, thank you!

  2. I think it comes down to one of you making a move. And by that I mean, a bold, obvious, ‘I like you, I’m getting mixed signals here, so how is it?’ move from one of you.

    You say that he asks if you’re dating this guy or that guy (this question, from my experience, only comes up when somebody wants to know if you’re single) and turns up at places you frequent. I know people who would consider this ‘letting you know they’re interested’. If nothing happens afterwards, it’s a bit of a blow, the other person gets ignored until they get over it and the cycle starts again.

    It’s been over a year. If you want this guy – and actually want him because you think he’s awesome and you’d be awesome together, not because of the history – tell him. Good luck!

  3. I’m very glad you addressed the friend dynamic, because that is definitely not okay for all parties involved. And I definitely agree that saying things straight and to the point is always the best option. This seemed like a weird dance and I wasn’t even sure why the writer was pissed at “Matt” in the first place.

    Nice read, as always. :)

  4. Mercutia said:

    I’m just wondering what happened that LW got pissed and deleted his number.

    • Jake said:

      Me too. I feel like it might be relevant to the question of whether they should pursue this relationship.

      Regardless though, LWs have limited space and the Captain’s advice holds either way.

    • al fair said:

      I -think- it was because he wasn’t communicative enough? that did seem really abrupt and weird.

      a lot of people aren’t that into conversational texting. it can seem like a conversation that can never really end.

      • I’m TERRIBLE at it. I’m much better in group chat settings like Twitter where I can wander in and out and there’s a lot less pressure to keep a conversation going. I also find texting requires a lot more of an attention shift – pick up phone, read message, reply to message on stupid tiny phone screen keyboard – whereas Twitter is very easy for me to monitor with half an eye and quickly type something. So you definitely have to look at a person’s overall pattern of communication, rather than in a specific format.

      • ThatHat said:

        You…

        Oh geeze, you’ve finally put into words exactly why I have so much trouble keeping up with (or even working up the energy/nerve to respond to) emails and messages…

        • I solve this problem by using texts and tiny emails to arrange a time to actually call/skype and chitchat with my friends. I hate stupid text convos, but actually hearing someone’s voice is really awesome.

    • Same here. The letter goes straight from seeing and texting him (mostly at LW’s initiative) to being pissed off and deleting his number. Why?

    • I can’t help thinking that if someone told me “I deleted your number but I like you,” my response would be (possibly a slightly more polite version of) “no, you don’t.”

    • I noticed that, too. The letter starts off saying his behaviour was confusing, but never tells us what was confusing about it, or why the writer deleted his number.

    • Mary said:

      Unless it was “got pissed” in the British usage not the US usage, and LW means she (I think?) got drunk and deleted it accidentally or something!

      • Mary said:

        Oh no, that doesn’t work she got pissed AT him!

  5. PBnoJ said:

    I don’t think it’s this boy’s behaviour that is confusing – it’s the LW’s!! If you like this boy, say so and try dating! If not, don’t!! He’s confusing you because he’s reacting to your hot-cold behaviour!

    And try to stop flirting with your friend’s love interests, yeah? Or at least know why you’re doing that!

  6. MrsMorley said:

    Dear LW:
    As a number of people have mentioned, Lauren and you will have a better friendship in the long run if you’re not flirting with her boyfriends.

    I’s like to address your ambivalence towards Matt. You got angry at him for a reason. You have to think about whether the reason is an impediment to a relationship.

    In my world, for example, bigotry, smelling bad, mismatched senses of humor, not thinking I’m awesome, are among the reasons someone can’t be my friend or lover (there are other reasons too, but those popped into mind).

    Your list is probably quite different. If whatever caused you to wipe Matt’s info is on that list, then even his other cute characteristics may not be enough to make him good boyfriend material for you.

    Be happy

  7. I tend to be in agreement with the other people here in that the odd friendship dynamic is more pressing than the actual “Does he like me?” question.

    Personal story time:
    My best friend since grade 4 was beautiful, friendly, funny, tough, and brave. It took me years to realize that I was keeping my own relationship standards low because I thought that:

    a) Anyone too good for myself would be better suited to her, since she was obviously better than me.

    b) Anyone who met her would immediately like her more so I should keep my love interests away from my friend.

    This kept me in a strange sort of fear/worship headspace. It also meant dating people that I knew she wouldn’t be interested in so they wouldn’t have the chance to ‘upgrade’ away from me.

    Now this story doesn’t really have a happy ending. On top of the other wonderful things she was, my friend was also selfish. I was afraid of her zeroing in on my romantic interests because I saw her do so to at least four other people, all of whom she called ‘friends’ but backbit and mocked to me in private. Of course, she said that I was her only ‘real’ friend and the others were just sport. For a long time I let myself believe that we could be happy friends forever so long as I never had anything that she wanted.

    I was in my mid 20’s when I realized I hated seeing her, hated her stories, hated the way she spoke about others, and hated the way she took joy in trophy hunting other people’s partners. Maybe she was being honest to me when she said that I was her only real friend and that she would never ever go after someone I was with. Didn’t matter. I came to the conclusion that she was a shitty person and stopped communicating with her. Cold. Someone I was friends with for over a decade.

    She is the reason I can’t stand the saying “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

    So, LW, take a careful look at your dynamic and your behavior. You may not be as ruthless as my old friend, but you may be crossing some lines. It may be only a matter of time before before she becomes wary of you instead of welcoming.

    • I wish I could “like” this comment, Sketched Lilly. I’ve had friends a bit like that, but not as toxic as yours. The whole business of trying to break up someone’s relationship, the trophy hunting (good term for it), even if it’s “only” flirting, is a stone-cold dealbreaker for me. Doesn’t matter who they’re doing it to, either.

    • The heart may want what it wants, but the brain can tell the heart when it’s okay to act on those wants and when it’s not.

      • Sarah said:

        Yep. The heart wants what it wants, but it, like the id, must be kept in check.

        • JenniferP said:

          Or, as my grandma would say “The heart wants what it wants, but make sure it’s not that thing in your pants talking.”

          • Angel said:

            That is priceless ! Your grandma sounds great. I’m still laughing.

  8. Dante said:

    I kind of got the impression (from the “b) test them” part) that this dynamic of the LW and Lauren is a collaboration. Lauren brings a guy home to the LW, who flirts, and if the guy “forgets” about Lauren in the face of LW’s flirting then he’s failed the test and is not good boyfriend material for Lauren.

    If this understanding is correct, then then I get the reason why this is something LW and Lauren do (to find out if the dude is going to be a steady boyfriend and not someone who flits off with the next flirt, which is important info). However, it’s kind of unfair to the dudes to be putting them through secret tests, and also more than a little self-destructive. I had a friend once who put me through secret friendship tests about twice a year, and it eventually was the dealbreaker in our friendship. She was insecure about the strength of our friendship, and felt the urge to test it, which is frankly infuriating when you’re on the test-ee side of the equation. Eventually it was one test too many, and her insecurity became self-fulfilling when the friendship disintegrated.

    Lauren wasn’t the one who wrote in, but I would ask the LW: think about your part in this. You’re enabling and assisting Lauren’s insecurities. In the end, this is not actually a favor to her.

    Regarding Matt, I have nothing, really, to enlarge upon the “use your words” advice. It’s hard to say, “I am into you, and I’d like to know if you are into me,” especially if you are female-identified. It’s an important skill, though. Training women to never say their feelings, especially to a man, is one of the ways our culture disempowers women. A woman who cannot speak up for her feelings is a woman who is always off-balance, kept in a state of guessing instead of certainty. It puts her at the mercy of the (probably more male-identified) people who are more empowered to do the speaking. Think about the meme that women should not ask men out on dates, but that it is the man’s responsibility to take this action. This meme strips from women the power to choose a date, relegating to her only the ability to say yes/no to men who choose to approach her. It’s like going to a buffet but not being allowed to walk up to it, and having to wait for someone to bring you two or three dishes. You can say yes or no to each dish, but there are dozens more dishes on the buffet that are being denied to you.

    Walk up to the buffet, LW! Say your feelings to Matt. Maybe he will say he’s not that into you, and he might do it in a cruel way, but you win nevertheless. The guessing will be ended, and you will have exercised an important power.

    • boutet said:

      I like the buffet thing :)

    • Ugh yes! It makes so little sense because there’s always going to be a certain subsection of guys who find approaching women difficult enough that they’ll only do it if they’re already substantially invested in the possibility. Women being “allowed” to do the approaching as well means they have a much higher chance of SOMEONE approaching SOMEBODY and also, I think, would probably lower the stakes in the first place because arbitrary social rules like that one are repressive and awful and having a “I like you do you like me?” conversation before someone has sat there obsessing and psyching themselves up for ages is generally a good thing. Also, how many people have had an awesome relationship come out of being asked out by someone that they were not opposed to, but hadn’t considered enough to make the approach themselves, and decided to give it a go?

    • espritdecorps said:

      “Training women to never say their feelings, especially to a man, is one of the ways our culture disempowers women”

      While this is very true, women not asking men out has a great deal to do with rape culture and safety concerns as well. The perception of an aggressive woman as a hyper-sexual one has been around for a long time.

      The same kind of thinking that blames a woman for being drunk when she was raped, is more than happy to blame her for ‘leading him on’ by being the pursuer.

      I am a tall, large, physically strong woman. The confidence of knowing that it is difficult to overpower me lead me to take more risks when I was young, and get more dates. But it would be disingenuous of me to expect all women to act with the same assurance.
      And even so, I was assaulted by an acquaintance who used alcohol and drugs to disable me.

      The best way for men to encourage women to assert themselves romantically/sexually is to stop tolerating the known creepers in their groups, and give predatory behavior real social consequences.

      People are more open when they know they are safe.

    • Bwmn said:

      Definitely have to second “use your words”. In addition to is disempowering women – it also creates this bizarre second world where social rules aren’t as they function in school or work.

      I know loads of men who have female bosses and colleagues who delegate, make decisions, collaborate and are assertive. And sometimes make more money than the guys. However, when it comes to dating, men all of a sudden need to decide and initiate (and by some folk’s views – pay for) everything? The scenario basically requires taking the brain that you use in school/work and dramatically change it for dating. Which often is why, I think, a number of women revert to social tricks or flirting tests. Instead of asking for what we want we flirt and drop hints in hopes that eventually it will come up to us.

      I don’t think that this necessarily has to resort to some kind of clinical-human resources view of dating – hopefully both parties in a relationship aim to do “nice things” for the other. Which can still involve things like holding open a door or buying flowers (for either the guy or girl….). But the door being held open isn’t done because the woman can’t.

    • Yotey said:

      I remember in high school I read this book called ‘he’s not that into you..’ and it came down really hard on women asking out men. It implied that if men liked you enough, they would go out of their way to ask you and asking them was just offering yourself up as a consolation prize. So I did not ask out the guy I liked at the time, making the asking of the date into some sort of test. He never did exactly ask me out, though there were vague overtures. It turns out he did like me but was very shy and my own mixed signals confused him. Cheers for my teen courtship style of bringing them cookies one day and the next day sitting far away to see if they’d ‘chase’ me.

      Years later, we actually reconnected and are slowly getting involved (squishfeelings!) and I don’t remember who asked the other person first, because when it is mutual it doesn’t really matter.

      Always waiting for that person to ask you out first just ends in reading bizarre smoke signal guides from Cosmo. There is bound to be miscommunication and possibly missed opportunities.

      I think the tl:dr message of the book was good, ie don’t stay with or stay invested in people who don’t actively participate in the relationship and don’t act like they like you. But who asked who out first is not an indicator of that.

  9. Katamari said:

    To the LW, I would simply quote the wise words of great philosophers The Backstreet Boys: “Quit playing games with [his] heeeeeart….” I mean, if I (and the Captain, and several of the other commenters) are utterly confused as to why you suddenly and casually deleted the number of this guy you apparently “truly have fallen for”, no surprises that the boy is too. That’s not how you treat someone you care about. Solution: stop game-playing, decide whether you want to date him and have an honest conversation about it. Alternative: keep confusing him until he gives up the chase in favour of less tiring and brain-boggling pursuits.

  10. duck-billed placelot said:

    LW! Yay for working out a potentially very sticky situation with your friend Lauren before making any moves! Now: time for the moves. Also, that sticky situation might be a great reason/excuse when you pull out your Moves for Matt: “Yeah, I felt a connection really early, but I was worried my friend kind of liked you? I didn’t want to cross that line. But she and I have talked, and she’s cool, I’m cool, so the question is: are you cool? Want to get coffee/alcohol/passes to the amusement park with me?”

  11. I think a lot of people get tangled up in thinking there will always be body language indicating whether or not someone has feelings for them.

    As the captain said, the best way to find out if someone likes you is to talk to them about. Stop waiting for the other person to make the first move. Life is too short for beating around the bush.

  12. dancerdc said:

    Wow, does this situation sound familiar. I am not passive, generally or romantically, and sometimes this situation is the result. that is, I meet someone I like, I find ways to connect with them, or maybe our schedules seem to align even though I’m making the effort for it to happen. The other person seems to be on board, except they’re passively riding the attention I’m giving. Ignoring all the issues of “men will initiate if they sense a possibility”, though I find that to be a general truth, anyone who likes you as someone to hang with will make the effort to connect even if you don’t shop where he works. I admit, the short description of Matt does not endear me, hot and cold, sometimes has a gf, sometimes doesn’t. Getting over him is maybe seeing that he will always be
    Schrödinger’s cat. There is no box you can open and peer inside to see that his love for you is alive or dead, and he is not going to start doing the things that friends, never mind men in love, do to be less confusing about it. Throwing even more attention at him will not change this, IMO.

  13. dancerdc said:

    As someone who is outgoing and not passive in friendship/ relationship issues, I have been in this position. For me, reading the clues for definitive statements about Other Person’s Feelings led to frustration because the other person wasn’t having Feelings, they were enjoying a serendipitous friendship without realizing that I was jumping through hoops to make time and coordinate schedules. The guy who doesn’t text you first even after 3 months, or walks away without saying hello, or tells you he has a gf – you can believe the messages you hear in that. Sure it could change tomorrow, but I don’t think laying your heart (or other body parts) at his feet is going to make that happen. What concerns me about CA’s advice is that it doesn’t sound like you want to jump his bones so much as want to be A Couple,with all the trimmings. I just don’t think there’s a good way to suggest coupledom to a guy who periodically acts like he doesn’t know you. If you’re okay with a friends with benefits situation, then by all means tell the guy you are hot for him.

  14. therufs said:

    “My opinion isn’t really important, just go for it and have fun!” might come off as a little disingenuous if said to a friend who is used to seeking your approval. Maybe something more along the lines of “I’m happy to support you in whatever relationship you decide you want to pursue”? (Only a little less wooden-sounding.)

    • therufs said:

      But in general USE YOUR WORDS is a good thing to do.

  15. photondancer said:

    “too invested in the Battle of Who Could Care Less”

    Oh, I do like this line.

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