How to Tell If He Likes You and If You Like Him — Once and For All [Dear DBN]

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He loves me, I love him not, he likes me, I like him too, he seems to like me but I can’t really tell and I’m not sure what to say or if I even like him or – WE GET IT. We’ve all been there.  This week, when to pounce and when to retreat.

“So I work in sales, and today I worked with a really cute and seemingly nice guy. We built great rapport; he told me a lot about himself and his life, and we found common ground on a few things. While we were talking, he would stand really close to me (closer than most strangers do, but not in a weird way,) and it seemed like he was drawing out our conversation. He’s supposed to be coming back soon for sure. Do you have any advice to lead things somewhere?”

Let’s simplify this: you met another human being that you wanted to spend time with, and the only logical way to ensure you spend more time with this person, is to ask them to spend time with you. We all recount the ins-and-outs of how we met and what was said and who did what, but all it comes down to is whether or not you want to see them again.

If you want the job, you apply for it. If you need a lawyer, you call one. If you like a band, you buy the album. And if you want to hang out with someone, you ask them. That’s it. Seriously. You can ask them to go to a concert, you can ask them to join you for a cup of coffee, you can ask them out for a drink, you can ask if they want to go for a walk, for a hike, for a jog, for a bite, for a beer, for a bender, whatever! Do things have the potential to get a little awkward for 35 seconds when that person turns out to be taken or attracted to the opposite sex or has rules against dating coworkers or maybe just has had a really shit year and isn’t ready to start answering questions that have to do with where they’re from or who know they know and in the end them saying no has nothing to do with you at all? Well, yeah. But like I said, the “no” likely has nothing to do with you when the “yes” has everything to do with you.

So ask. That’s the only way anything goes anywhere.

“My best friend of forever recently admitted to me that he has feelings for me. Although sometimes I feel like I could have feelings for him, I know it wouldn’t work out in the long run — he’s just not what I’m looking for in a long-term boyfriend. Right now we’re giving each other space, but it sucks and I miss my friend. Any advice?”

Give him the space. Give him all the space. The problem with feelings and friends is that everything feels like hope, especially in the digital age of vague emotional papercuts. Likes, comments, emoticons, all of it is a bastion of “what does this mean?!” Even if you feel like it’s normal to like a photo of him with his best friends, I can guarantee you to him it feels patronizing, it feels intrusive, it feels whatever mood he happens to be in because the heart is a fickle and senseless organ.  He’ll come back, and the saddest part is, it will not be the same. You will not be able to crash in his bed. You will not be able to fall asleep in his lap. You will not be able to put your arm around him. Not for a long time. Because when friends turns to feelings, everything turns to triggers.

You said it sister, it sucks. Keep the distance and keep your cool, because the only way he’ll come back is if he has a chance to move on.

CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best dating advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

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