This guy and I have been sort of talking for a while now. We talk and text like we’re together. But every time I propose that we date, he says no. When I see him, he is affectionate, even though we’ve agreed to be just friends. He has even said that he feels for me like I’m his girlfriend. Why will he flirt with me so much but won’t date me?! I don’t get it!! WHAT should I do?!?! Help PLEASE!
When I first read the words “But every time I propose…” I admit I got a bit worried. Boy, was I relieved to read the rest of that sentence: “…that we date, he says no.” Phew. Thankfully, your problem is way less dire than that of a serial engager.
All kidding aside, though, the fact that he is directly turning down offers to take things to the next level is surely a red flag. He’s made it clear that there is either something holding him back from dating you, or anyone in general. This is not to say that you have no chance of someday becoming his boo — but at the very least, your method of approaching the situation must change.
You did nothing wrong by being up front with him – but before initiating a mature, open conversation, I’d have first recommended you try to allow things to develop naturally. Let your contact with him simmer down for a week, and then ask for one-on-one plans without using the words “date.” The ability to freely communicate your emotions is crucial to any successful relationship, but actions often speak way louder than words in those delicate moments before a romance takes off. And words can occasionally make situations too awkward and cerebral for spontaneous passion to ignite. (Sounds like I should write the newest installment of Fifty Shades of Grey….) Sometimes a well-timed kiss (yes, girls can make the first move, too) is all you need to know where you stand.
If you feel that it’s already too late to play coy, you might have to mentally give up on an amorous relationship. Or, if you’re both unable to keep things platonic, it’d be best to take some space from him altogether. Either route will allow you to focus your frustrated energy elsewhere: best case scenario, he’ll notice how well you’re doing without his flirtatious attention, and longingly come to realize his true feelings for you; worst case, you end up finding someone better. A little bit of “chase” can be fun, but when the game starts to feel like waterboarding, it’s time to cut ties. It won’t be easy, but you’ll ultimately be glad you did!
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.