General Dating Questions/Is he interested in me or not?
QUESTION: I met this guy 3 weeks ago through some friends. It was a great evening, everyone had fun. We talked a lot and even though we didn't seat together all the evening, he always found a way to be close to me and chat a bit more. Anyway, I had no expectations, I was just enjoying my time.
We met several times since then, not only me and him but all of us and every single time we chatted and laughed a lot. I invited him for a house party and he came. It was nice to talk to him, like always. After that party a friend told me that this guy likes me.
We all met next day too and he was flirting with me a bit...and I was flirting with him too but that was it. The day after that he contacted me on fb and we were chatting a bit. He even told me there's a party this weekend and asked if I want to come. I replied that I'll see and let him know later. Next day I was the one who contacted him on fb and after some chatting he told me that he's planning to go to the mountains with some of his friends and asked me if I'd like to go too... this trip is in February, so it's still over 3 months left! Why would he invite me for a trip scheduled so far ahead, I mean, we've met less than a month ago!?!
Anyway, because he invited me, I decided to invite him ice skating (with some friends - he was already off line so I just sent a message saying that he can come if he has no plans yet) - he didn't reply. I've just came back from ice skating and NO, he didn't come. He didn't reply either. On the other hand, my friend was there with me and she asked me if he's texting me all the time as well, asking when we're going out again... because he was asking her. Hmm, after that it looks to me like that he likes her more... so why was he flirting with me? Especially that last time she was there too - so he was flirting with me in her presence?!? I totally don't get it!
To sum it up: he's nice, he likes being around me when we go out together with our common friends, he was flirting with me, he invited me to two events but.he doesn't call me, even though he has my number, he's not planning to spend some time together-unless I go to that party this weekend but that's different because our friends will be there and he was planning to go there even if I won't go, oh, I don't know how to explain that but I think that if he really liked me, he would show more interest in me and tried a bit harder hmm, he is a bit shy but I think that this wouldn't stop him if he cared about me.
What do you think? I like him but I'm afraid he doesn't like me in that way. I don't want to start being pushy or anything like this but I really like him and don't know what to think about that?
Can you please share your thoughts with me and give me some advice? Thanks!
ANSWER: Hello Barbara!
So, you like this guy, he invites you to a party and instead of accepting you told him you'd have to see? Seriously Barbara? Do you really think that creates "value" for you in his eyes? (Answer: it absolutely does not.) If you don't know how to work a calendar, how are you ever supposed to work some guy you're interested in?
You keep inviting this guy to hang out with your friends. By now he must think you're trying to set him up with one of them. Are you? You may as well. You're getting nowhere with him.
Here's what you don't get: you want him to read your mind and to see that he should nag the hell out of you to get what he wants. Only when he's "earned it" are you going to finally acquiesce and agree to finally go out with him.
Barbara, I'm just sitting here shaking my head. Where did you get THAT "technique"? Would that work on you or any of your friends? Of course not! You'd instantly believe that he wasn't interested in you and you'd move on. That's exactly what he's doing right now.
ONE invitation requires ONE response. Anything other than that is rude, Rude, RUDE! He shouldn't have to nag and hound and stalk you to get you to give him an answer! That little trick is going to insure you're single the rest of your life. You invited him skating which YOU THINK implies your interest - no, no it doesn't. Not to him or any other guy. It implies you're being evasive and manipulative. These aren't good qualities in any potential date and guys just move on.
Know this about guys: they don't have all those skills you want them to have - especially at your ages. He doesn't want to get shot down any more than you do. With you being evasive and non-direct you're creating greater belief in him that you're going to rip his heart out - not that you're a "catch". Is that really the impression you're going for here?
Let me tell you how successful women date:
First, when they get an invitation, they know their schedules (just like you do). If they don't, they open their phones and check their calendars. (Us guys even know this is a trick by the way.) Then, you give a "yes" or "no" answer. It's really simple. They don't try to make us chase them to the ends of the earth to get a response. There are just too many other cool girls to go meet to put up with that crap!
If the response is a "no", they suggest something else. "I'm sorry but I already have plans that evening. I could meet you next week however. Is that better?"
Second, they are overt about their interests - not covert like you're being. What are you? An international spy or something? They may not slobber all over the guy (or, maybe they will!) but at least he isn't left wondering. To guys, confusion = distance. It doesn't work the other way around and smart girls know this.
Third, if they get an invitation (like to this party where there'll be other friends) they'll drop a few overt hints like, "That sounds like fun! We should also plan something to do just for us". Do you see how this isn't directly asking him out on a date - just you two - but setting him up to do it? He'll definitely pick that up - trust me.
Barbara, this guy definitely liked you at one time. By now I can bet his interest is starting to wane. You're too indirect. Guys simply don't do "indirect". We are clear, specific creatures. There's no better time to learn that then now.
I suggest that; even before you fire off that angry response to me, that you pick up the phone and let him know you're going with him to the party. Then, suggest you get some alone-time with him as well or pull him into a back room at the party or something to let him know you're not just playing games with him.
There will be plenty of time for your angry letter after you resurrect this thing. Don't wait.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Publisher of "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III"
Producer of "BAM! TV"
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
Thank you for your quick response but I think that you got the wrong picture of me. First of all, why are you assuming that I will get angry at you because of what you wrote? I'm not angry, just surprised because I'm being accused of having bad intentions while in fact I was, and still am, really confused about the whole situation and that guy's behaviour. Yes, I do like this guy and if I knew how to react to what is going on I wouldn't need to ask for advice, would I?
Let me answer to what you wrote step by step:
I didn't reply "yes" or "no" not because I wanted to play hard to get or any other game but simply because after having a look at the link he send me I didn't think it's a party I would feel good at. Besides, another friend invited me to her b day party much earlier so even though I really wanted to see him I wasn't sure if I should go to THAT party. Maybe I should have told him why I wasn't sure about joining him but i really didn't know what to answer at that very time.
I invited him ice skating because a) I wanted to see him b) because I thought that if he feels that I'm not interested in going out with him then it's a good way to show him that in fact I do. How is that being manipulative? In a different paragraph that I should say to him something that he knows I'm interested in seeing him again. Well, I did.
I don't want him to "work for it" or to prove anything, I just don't know what to do so that he doesn't feel I'm pushing him into doing anything or controlling him but yes, if he is interested in me, I DO want him to show it so that I know it and not just assume it!
As to that party, it's already too late. Does it mean that there is nothing I can do now to fix it? I'm afraid that if I contact him first again (remember that last time I started chatting with him) he will think I'm stalking him or something. I am NOT playing any games with him and that is NOT my intention. I simply don't know what to do now. I want him to know that I like him (more than that) but I don't want to scare him away (which I think I already did).
With all that knowledge about people, life and relationships, would you have any good piece of advice that would work in this situation? Would be much appreciated.
Hello again Barbara!
No, I know your intentions are good. It's your delivery that's bad and the expectations and beliefs behind them that are worse.
Barbara, EVERY WOMAN (including you) says the exact same thing: "I don't play games". You do. You did. You will again. The first step to recovery is accepting and admitting that you have a problem. You play games.
Every one of your actions here are borne out of an underlying agenda that you're trying to hide. It's that motivation that causes you to game him and other guys you're really interested in. You're being covert because deep-down you believe that this creates value for you in men's eyes. No Barbara, it doesn't. Men don't usually get these games intuitively. All they see are the specific actions - not the underlying motivations behind them. That's actually good for you because if they did, they'd dump you in a hot second.
I'm not going to dissect every single action you've taken but let me give you an example from your own response to me: not answering him about the party he invited you to. Barbara, seriously. How un-fucking-believably rude that is! He invites you to something and you KNEW your friend had a birthday party that day and you "didn't think you'd feel comfortable" at his party. What's the question then? You *STILL* let him sit around and wonder if you were going to go or not. THAT was your agenda all along - to get him to think and wonder about you. That my dear is the "game".
You still haven't answered him like I told you before have you?
Barbara, I know exactly what's going on in your head. I don't read minds, but I don't have to. I've worked with tens of thousands of women that do precisely the same thing you've done here - and many, many other things! They do it for exactly the same reasons you did. They don't understand men and hope that guys will just "get it". They won't. The toughest part is getting women to see that fact. These same women continue to suffer the same ridiculous outcomes because of it. Then, instead of accepting responsibility and getting it fixed - they blame the guys!
Guys aren't innocent in any of this either. They have their own set of dumb problems, but we're not just solving the problem cause by a single event here. We (you and I) are trying to get you to your goals. That's going to take fixing the systemic problem - not a single action.
Now, let me tell you what's going on in HIS head: this guy is angry at you for being such a rude, self-centered, inconsiderate, insecure jackass. He'll never tell you that, but trust me on this: that's exactly how he feels. You haven't gained any "value" or improved your situation with him in the slightest. You've lost value - a lot of it. You've effectively taken yourself out of the "dating/relationship" category and put yourself in the "sex-only" category. You may be ok with that - I don't know. If you are, there's no need to read further.
Ok, as to what to do now:
You've got to turn this around. Now, instead of letting things happen organically, you're going to have to expose your own agenda and take the risks you tried to avoid by doing all of this. You need to take responsibility and realize that you're not the only person here involved. You no longer have the misdirection tool you used here - that's off the table.
You need to take ownership of your actions. This is the time to call him (DO NOT TEXT HIM!) and say "I'm sorry for not getting back with you about the party. I know it was rude." (Yes, you absolutely HAVE to tell him this or your "apology" will be meaningless.) Explain that you have something else going on and can't make it, but you want to make it up to him.
Then, say "Which is better for you, Thursday or Saturday of next week?" (Or whenever you know you're free.) "We can go out together then - just you and I."
You see? This is *exactly* what you didn't want to have to do! The problem now is that if you don't, he's going to continue to see you just as I've already described. He'll brush it off as though it means nothing, but that is NOT what's going on in his head. He'll never admit that you pissed him off but you have. You have to give him something to turn that around.
Barbara, I'm not trying to slam you here. I'm trying to help you to see how your own choices and actions are preventing you from having what you want. This guy was very interested in you. Now he's far less interested than he was.
You're obviously a young woman and that might occasionally work for you now, but trust me, it's not going to continue to work as you get older. It's going to cost you dearly. It's time to get this fixed now and start working on better, more effective tools that will bring you what you really want - and deserve.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Publisher of "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III"
Producer of "BAM! TV"