Need advice from the Y side on a problem!

Okay, I’m hopelessly confused about this guy who I met a couple months ago. I’ve been smitten for a while but I’ve been playing it cool.

  • For a month, he visited my office every day. (He works in/near my building).
  • Then, I asked him to a comedy show that’s in November and he told me he’d have to check his schedule.
  • Then he got sick, so I plied him with tea on his visits. He really appreciated my solicitude.
  • Today, he told me he can’t go to the comedy show due to his brother’s birthday. So, I recouped by saying he can pick a movie. I’m always up for a movie. Then he said that he didn’t think the movies he likes are the movies I’d like. We chatted for a bit and then I had to get back to work.

What the hell? My co-workers and subordinates all have been telling me for weeks that he obviously has a thing for me. Saying no to a comedy show is okay yet disappointing in my book. But his response to the movie possibility has given me the feeling that I need to back off and he doesn’t have a thing for me. Any advice? He’s a great guy and gives me butterflies in my stomach.

Bizarre. I’d say he’s either not interested or incredibly nervous. I’d try asking him if he wanted to go out with Tom and Mary and Steve and Joy and you. If he said no to that, he’s definitely not interested.

This guy’s cruel-to-be-kind opinion: I’m afraid the signs aren’t good. Maybe he’s drawn to you but is involved with someone else. Or maybe he’s just a friendly guy. Either way, to turn down two suggestions really doesn’t sound promising. I’m really sorry to say that.

Why not try an incremental step? Something outside of the office environs. Spur of the moment lunch, cup of coffee after work. If he declines, without making a definite plan to reschedule, it doesn’t look good. Sorry to had to the general unfavorable agreement.

Sorry, but I really don’t think he’s interested. If he was keen he’d have jumped at the chance. jjim might be right, he may be attracted to you but already involved, or some other reason, but either way it doesn’t sound promising. You could try backing right off and seeing if he responds to that - some guys like to be the one to do the running, but if I were you I’d forget about him and start looking for someone who’ll realise what a once-in -a-lifetime awesome opportunity he’s being offered.

Thanks for all your feedback! Glad it’s not just me missing a huge glaring sign. A couple details I forgot to mention:

  • the day when I asked him to the comedy show, he asked me to lunch and when I said yes I think he panicked and suggested going with one of my co-workers. It was a pretty nice lunch though I didn’t talk that much because my co-worker is a motormouth.
  • After he hedged on the whole movie scenario, he said he’ll definitely look me up when “Return of the King” opens.

He is a very friendly guy who’s really busy and dynamic. I tend to be quiet but when I feel comfortable, I come out of my shell. Maybe I just intrigued him initially and now he realizes that I’m not that great. I dunno… I think I’m going to dial down my interactions with him.

Hey - no negative thinking! This is the Straight Dope Message Board – I’ll have to ask for a cite that you’re “not that great.”

Sorry but I’m gonna have to agree…he’s may be interested but is probably involved with someone if he’s as great as you seem to indicate. He didn’t ask you to the birthday, so he’s going with someone else. Do you know for sure that he’s not married?

I would just cool it. He knows the score and will make the next move or not.

and ditto what the prince said :slight_smile:

I am not a guy.

Your mistakes were asking him out and accepting a lunch date. The tea thing was a mistake too.

I don’t care what guys tell you, they do not want to be wooed. At least not in the way women want to be wooed. And they DEFINITELY don’t want to be babied.

Don’t think I’m judging, I once sent a guy roses CRINGE

Don’t call him, and next time he comes for a visit cut the chat short. And no more accepting lunch dates for the same day! It’s making you look too available.

I think he likes you, seriously. Just let him pursue you.

Yes, everytime a hot woman asks me to do something I think to myself, “Gosh, I would have but I would have rather done the “pursuing””.

Asking someone to lunch and :snicker: roses is light years apart.

I sure hope that this isn’t the way guys see things. I don’t think that AmericanMaid made any mistakes at all. She felt an attraction to a person she thinks is great and acted on it.

I never understood the notion that people have to be deceitful or play games to be successful in the dating game. Making oneself look “too available?” If accepting a last-minute lunch date says that, then I must’ve seemed pathetically desperate to all the men I’ve ever dated. If I was free and so inclined, I’d say yes (last minute or not) to just about anything.

Personally, if I like someone, I ask the person out. If he says yes, cool. If not, then I at least tried. Never was one to buy into “the Rules.” Never waited days to call guys or played hard to get. Basically, I was honest and open about what I wanted.

If guys really do want that sort of thing, then I’m gonna die a lonely woman. I just don’t have the time or energy to behave in a way that goes against my nature just to maximize my dating potential.

YMMV, of course. And guys, what do you think? Should women pursue or be pursued?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

SnoopyFan doesn’t speak on behalf of me, nor the vast majority of my male friends.

I’d prefer a woman to be up front and say. Damned your hot let’s go do it. That’d work for me. :smiley:

I see a couple possibilities. One, he really likes you a lot but refuses to move forward for fear of screwing up the pleasantly casual relationship you currently have (which, he figures, having seen too many John Cusak movies, may one day lead to a drunken after-work hook-up which will then blossom into love), which may not be much but at least allows him to see you every couple days.

Two, he is just a friendly guy who flirts without meaning anything by it and now is at sixes and sevens trying to figure out a way to let you down without embarassing you.

Third, he’s attracted to you but for whatever reason (including possibly a girlfriend) he intellectually feels your romance would never work out. As long as you don’t go on a date, he can convince himself that you’re just pals and, like situation #1, he can keep hanging out with you. If you do go out on a date, it’s no longer casual banter between coworkers, and whatever (currently only incipient) rationales he may have for not getting involved with you crystallize.

If you’re willing to risk a bit of heartbreak (in a way I never was when I was single), here’s what you do. Next time you’re about to see him, be looking over movie times. Have a specific film in mind and tell him you’ve been thinking about seeing it this or next weekend and would he like to join you? (I recommend Pirates of Caribbean or School of Rock – both fun and unchallenging, but much better than most films which fit that description. Although with Pirates you run a big risk of him having seen it already.) If he says he’s seen it or he’s got plans but seems conflicted over the missed opportunity, suggest something else, but have it be a specific thing on a specific date. (But again, it should be something you were “planning” to do anyway – maybe a museum.) If he refuses the film without making the excuse, or if he rejects the back-up offer, then he’s in either situation #2 or #3 and it’s never going to happen for you. Maybe someday he’ll actually ask you out directly, and maybe you can still keep chatting as you do, but you should resign yourself that there’s no real chance of a romance developing.

If he is willing to go to the movie or the back-up with you, kiss him on the first date (if you’re still interested at that point, of course). His acceptance of the date means he was in situation #1. That means he’s squirrely. If you kiss him, it’s a very clear signal that you’re interested, which may be what he needs. Trust me, I know about squirrely men – throw whatever signals you want; if it’s not physical we can always find some other explanation. (Actual thoughts that went through my head during my single days: “Maybe she just likes the way the denim stretches over my knee.” “Maybe she just really enjoys tickling people.” “Maybe she likes telling guys she doesn’t know all that well that she’s not wearing a bra.” “Gee, I guess that joke was really funny.” “Maybe she just really likes the new underwear she bought and thinks I’d appreciate the design.”) See, it’s not that I wanted any of these to be true, just that since the possibility existed, there was some chance I’d be rejected if I tried anything, and it’s better to be alone than to be alone and laughed at.


Bah! What rubbish. When I’m interested, I didn’t pussy-foot around. I stated the case plain and up-front. Yes, I got some turn-downs, but I wasn’t a child when I was dating.

I’m now married over 11 years, we’re both quite happy, have three sons, and will likely stay together. All that shilly-shallying leads to unnecessary pain.

Oh, you’re preachin’ to the choir, Dogface – if I could go back in time 15 years and tell myself that I would. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of guys out there who are overly fearful of rejection. AmericanMaid just has to decide whether she likes the guy enough to spend the effort drawing him out of his shell.


I went to an afterwork social tonight. He (Bat Manuel) was there and I said hi but didn’t seek out his company. I ended up getting into this fascinating conversation with this other guy about WWII. I was getting worked up, gesturing all over the place, smiling and nodding as all get out (not an act, it was one of the BEST conversations I’ve had in a while!) After about an hour, Bat Manuel has to leave. He pauses by me, puts his hand on my back, smiles down at me and tells me that he’ll see me tomorrow. Hmm… Stay tuned for the further sagas of AmericanMaid!



Get several coworkers to do happy hour on Thursday or Friday after work, and make sure he’s one of them. If he’s interested, he’ll ditch a friend in a coma to meet you at the bar.