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.
Really Freaking Confuuuused
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.