Call Me, Maybe? [Ask A Dude]
I’ve been hanging out with this guy for two years now and we’ve been very on-again/off-again. Sometimes it seems like we’re best friends, texting every day and seeing each other weekly; other times we’ve gone for weeks or months without speaking, usually after some sort of crazy fight. While I haven’t liked him consistently the entire time I’ve known him — my interest has completely ebbed and flowed — I’m genuinely interested in pursuing something serious with him currently. It’s the first time since I met him that I’ve honestly felt this way and I’m ready to get serious. I promise!
Here’s where the real problem comes in. He’s kind of a flake when it comes to seeing me lately. He has a crazy job that keeps him busy sometimes on weekends and we do not live conveniently close to one another. I invite him out to do things, but he usually says he isn’t available. Sometimes I find out that he was hanging out near where I live and never called to hang. Those facts alone make me say, “Girl! He is SO not into you!”
What I don’t understand is that he still texts me all the time and it’s super cute and conversational. Literally, I know when he breathes and blinks almost 24/7. He’s not seeing other girls, this I’m pretty sure of, too. He’s basically just this guy who goes to work, hangs out with his bros and texts me on the side looking for attention.
Dude, what gives? He says he’s into me and when we’re together it’s always an amazing time, but doesn’t an interested guy…well…act interested? As in wouldn’t he want to see me from time to time, not just text me about what he’s eating for lunch? I’m afraid I’ve got a crush that’s going nowhere, but I just want to pull a John Cusack and stand outside his window with a boombox. Help!
-Got It Bad
Dear Got It Bad,
Yes, if a guy’s interested, he’ll act interested. Is there sometimes a differing of definitions as to what “acting interested” means? Sure. Is that what’s happening to you? No. No TARDIS translating necessary. He’s probably interested in you. He’s just not THAT into you. Confused? Allow me…
Right now, it sounds like he’s into you but isn’t in a place where he’s looking for something romantic with you. Yes, that’s sorta contradicting, but he’s a person, so that’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities. You’ve got a few things going against you here: Time, timing, and facts.
A lot of times, the best girl friend is not going to end up as THE girlfriend. When you get a bond like the one you two have, you don’t want to jeopardize it after a certain point (not to mention the “will they/won’t they” tension either explodes or fizzles). “Keep the friendship, leave the drama.” That kind of sounds like what’s happened to you two. He’s keeping up the routine, retaining the strength of the friendship according to boundaries you’ve both set, and that’s it. Until one of you makes a change to the dynamic, you’re going to stay stuck in BFF status.
The next thing to look at is the fact he doesn’t have time to be in a relationship. A guy with a job that requires crazy hours has few sane ones to spare. He might not want to get involved with a relationship that requires more effort and commitment than he can currently give.
The final factor is facts. What does he do with those free hours? Hangs out with his guy friends. He texts you. You’re important to him but right now he’s in a bro period of his life. Hanging out with the guys is comfortable and doesn’t require much in the way of investment, necessarily. It’s a safe haven, of sorts. Unfortunately, that means he sees your friendship as something different and not the something he feels compelled to make copious amounts of time for.
Look, this is just one dude’s read of the situation. Are there other possibilities? He could just be clueless and doesn’t see what you’re offering right in front of him. Perhaps he’s actually just a Life Model Decoy. Or a time traveling justice serving robot populated by tiny people, never gets old does that one. But the bottom line is that ball’s in your court. Either make a play or take a seat on the bench.
You want things to change, then change them. Stand outside his place with a boom box. Do it! Let him know what you’re thinking, feeling, wanting, and see what happens. If he’s one of your best friends he’ll have his chance to prove it. Either he’ll want to give it a go or he’ll be upfront about what he doesn’t think, feel, hope and at the very least you get an answer.
Right now you’re the one trapping yourself in this state of anxiety. Knowing is going to be better than not knowing. Trust me, I’m a doctor…of thuganomics!