Did He Play Me Or Did I Play Myself? [Ask A Dude]

Well Dude here’s the deal:

I’ve been friends with this guy since freshman year of college. We hang out a lot; play video games and table top RPGs together. We’re also in the same major so many of our classes are together. In the three years I’ve known him we’ve gotten fairly close and I’ve begun to fall for him. He seems to enjoy snuggling against me, tickling me, etc. Also he has the habit of being over-protective of me. I took this to mean that he was attracted to me, too. So after talking to a few of my girlfriends that know this guy and have seen the way he acts around me, I gathered the courage to ask him out. He turned me down saying that he thought of me as more of a sister. Did I miss something here? Granted I’ve never been in any sort of a relationship before so I really don’t know how the whole courtship thing works. Any sort of insight you could give me would be appreciated.

-Geek in Glasses

Dear Geek in Glasses,

Insight I’ve never been accused of, just a Dude’s opinion. I don’t regard much as gospel and I am willing to being proven wrong. That disclaimer – for legal and karmic purposes – aside, IMO, you probably weren’t played, you just didn’t know how to play.

It’s perfectly plausible to mistake the bff vibe for the bf vibe, especially if you’re inexperienced. A lot guys, and GIRLS, have friends that they feel it’s cool to be affectionate and vulnerable with, but keep it platonic. Why? I think there’s at least a little bit of a placebo effect in work. I mean let’s face it, some of the best parts of being in a relationship are the cuddling, the all night talks, feeling secure that you can be vulnerable and to get that from another person. We’ve all had friends that we get that kind of no risk “relationship-like” support from. Is it a bit of using? Eh, probably? It isn’t necessarily a malicious thing where you’re trying to lead someone on – I mean sometimes some people can be that freaking narcissistic, but I’m trying to be optimistic. It’s just something we crave and need. And for him it felt like there was no risk but you’ve proven that such platonic practices can indeed do more harm than good.

There’s no such thing as no risk. Cutting to the proverbial dinosaurs on the spaceship, next time you have to be weary of the boundaries. You fell into this position because you just didn’t realize what was happening. When you start to fall, you have to act and you have to make it clear what you want. The longer you let things go in that mixed signals direction, the worse off you’re going to be. If a guy is getting that cozy with you, you have a new standard by which to judge, “Is he interested or just acting interested?”

There’s no reason to deny embracing and indulging an affectionate friendship, but now you’ve figured out what some of the pitfalls are. If a guy gives you that kind of physical attention but doesn’t actually make a move, it means he’s just not that into you. Next time you won’t let it go this far, you’ll nip him in the buds before it goes too far. And that’s the lesson learned.

“I’m not a Pond.”

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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