How Do I Do Damage Control With This Guy? [Ask A Dude]

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Hi Dude,

For three years, I’ve been friends with a really amazing guy. He’s easy to talk to, a great listener and offers great advice. He’s spontaneous, enthusiastic, loyal, caring, patient and perceptive, not to mention very smart… For a couple years, I got the feeling that he liked me, but I never really felt that way about him– he was just a friend. But we started talking more, got closer, and twice I spent the night cuddling (and just cuddling) with him. At that point I started to like him. Over the next several months, we were still great friends and flirted a bit, and we cuddled all night a bunch of times. There was significant sexual tension between us, though we never really messed around. And then he told me I was in the friend zone.

He’d still keep cuddling with me, and he valued our friendship, but he didn’t really think of me in that way because I’m “an open book.” Ok, yes, I’ve told him a lot. During the time when I didn’t feel so strongly about him, I started to ask him for advice (life, guys…). I guess it continued out of habit even when I did like him. And I’d give him advice too. At this point, we both know a lot about each other’s personal and sex lives. One thing about me is that when I like a guy, I just want to be around him and I yearn to talk to him, even if it’s just about stupid trivial things. Unfortunately, this always lands me in the friend zone. I am scared I’ve blown my chances with him in terms of being in a romantic relationship.

I’m still optimistic that at some point in the not-so-immediate future, we could be together. He’s definitely physically attracted to me and he likes my personality. We have fun together. But I need to do some damage control, and I’m not sure where to start. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks!

Sincerely,

A. Friend

Dear A. Friend,

“An open book?” An open book? An open book? I’ve never heard that one before. I mean, never. Personally, to this Dude (qualifying a bit here) that sounds like a cop out on his part. You don’t NOT get together with someone who you’ve invested all that cuddling time into because, after knowing them for several years, you think they’re “an open book.” Sounds like either he’s scared of taking it to the next level with you or he’s just keeping you on the hook. And either way, you’re the one getting hurt in this situation, not him. So my advice? This isn’t about you crafting damage control, this about you taking control.

If there’s some serious sexual tension at work but he won’t pull the trigger then you’ve only got 2 paths to explore: 1. He’s not into you. 2. He’s too scared to change the, um, parameters, of your relationship. If we’re dealing with scenario numero first, then you’ve got to distance yourself from him. Pump the brakes. Take a step back, cut back on the calling, cut back on ALL cuddling, and you don’t give him anymore than you have until he’s willing to reciprocate. If he makes an offering, then you can consider it. Right now, you’ve put yourself too far out there for a guy who hasn’t put himself far enough out there to justify just HOW FAR OUT THERE you are. Yes, it’s a run on sentence, like your circumstances. Now, if it’s scenario 2, then you need to proceed along the same lines as if it were scenario 1 except I suggest a serious conversation with him where you call him out on his lack of emotional testicles.

No one’s scared of ruining the friendship if they’re head over heels or believe they could be. That’s just BS. Major BS. Common BS. We’ve all heard it and/or used that excuse. It’s not real. It’s used to soften the blow. Don’t be hooked. Don’t be his safety blanket friend. If you’re in the Friend Zone then you stay in that zone and that zone is a “no touchy” one. Stop cuddling. Stop going too far out there. Stop the constant calling. Stop putting in what you’re not getting out.

He’s set the boundaries. You need to go the extra mile and tighten those boundaries. Stick to them. Hard! And then you’ll see if you’re dealing with scenario 1 or 2 and from there you’ll have a better handle on the situation. Notice I’m talking about how YOU will have the handle on the situation, acting from a place of strength and control rather than feeling like you’re trapped reacting to what he does/doesn’t want.

Fight the power,

The Dude

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall? We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]

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