Ask A Dude: Mixed Signals Or Missed Signals?
Dear El Dude,
I’m quite the cynic when it comes to love, almost as a defense mechanism to avoid getting hurt. A few weeks ago I meet this boy out at a bar. He was cute, funny, and talked and danced with me the entire time. We exchanged numbers, hung out at my friend’s house, and ended up going back to his house for the night. I spent the night but all we did was make out. Throughout the next weeks, we texted a decent amount. He always made it seem like he wanted to hang out, but then when it came down to it, he always seemed to have some legit excuse as to why he couldn’t. For example, he had a hospital visit, which I know for a fact was true.
In my head, I kept thinking “he’s just not that into you,” but every time I talked with him, it was a different story. We stopped talking for a while, until I recently drunk texted him. He texted back, we talked for quite a while, with him mentioning he missed me, apologizing for being out of the picture, and saying he really wanted to see me. Now I’m just confused, because I feel like if he wasn’t into me, he wouldn’t have texted back and he wouldn’t have cared. I just don’t get it; is he into me or not? Please help.
– The Cynic
This is what we men like to call “jumping the gun.” Many people have intense defense mechanisms to protect themselves from getting hurt (it’s completely natural), but in this case… you have had a premature misfire. You’re trying to protect yourself from a relationship that hasn’t even happened yet. You’re right- it’s impossible to tell what is going on with this guy. On one hand, he seems charming, fun and quite possibly into you, and on the other? Like he’s laying down the line for a fantastic future booty call (or in this case, convenient make-out sessions).
Try to stop yourself from psychoanalyzing the situation, and wait until there is actually enough of a relationship to analyze. Keep in mind that you want to let things naturally unfold. If this guy really starts to initiate more conversations, seems like he wants to make up for (canceled) time, and actually shows up once in awhile… than see where it takes you.
Yet, in the interest of protecting your already fragile opinion of relationships and love, make sure to enter this situation with care. Leave a certain amount of the ball in his court (but wait until you’re actually in the court to access how he feels about you). Men are not subtle creatures (nor are we often very tactful in the world of love), so you’ll know pretty fast if he is actually into you, or just into the convenience factor. Keep an eye out and be smart… but be prepared to completely drop that wall if he proves himself worthy.
— The Dude
[Got a question for Mr. Dude? (And, no, that doesn't include asking him out; homeboy is taken!) Ask it: email@example.com. He won't sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. He'll be 100% real dude, 100% of the time. So bring it on, ladies.]