"Am I Different Than The Other Girls He Flirts With?" [Ask A Dude]

Dear Dude,
Over the past few weeks I’ve been crushing on my guy friend. It’s our freshman year at college so we just met each other a few months ago, but over the past month I feel like we’ve gotten much closer. He seems pretty flirty and touchy with me, but sometimes I wonder if he is just being friendly. He is a great guy and friendly with everyone. But since he is so friendly, he always seems to be with a group of people and I can hardly ever get him alone. I’m so inexperienced with flirting and being alone with guys, I don’t know how to initiate it.
I know he had a girlfriend in the beginning of the school year and I’m not sure how long ago they broke up, but it must have been within the past two or three months. I know they still communicate but I can’t tell if he still likes[loves?] her. I guess my question would be, how can I tell if he treats me differently than other girls? And how can I be sure if he is over his ex?
Just another girl
Dear Just another girl,
Two questions, yet are they. He’s a friendly guy who’s flirty by default. He’s recently on the outs with his now ex. Does his flirtation and friendliness with you indicate he’s got a special interest and how can you be sure if he’s over his ex before? You don’t know and you can’t know would be the most honest answers I can give you. At least, not until you step up and test the waters.
You want to know whether or not to risk rejection and ask him out. I will almost always say, “yes, you should.” Because that unanswered question is worse than him telling you he values the friendship or just doesn’t think of you “that” way. You’re stuck in, “should I” and keeping yourself closed off from whatever could come next. Whether that is you two moving things forward or you freeing yourself to be able to focus on other guys.
Some people are magnets. They’re charismatic and they’ve got folks from every corner crushing on them. That means they have a lot of options, whether they realize it or not. It’s tough to tell if you’re distinguished from the others. The onlu surefire way, is to get some alone time with him. Nothing wrong with inviting him over to study, to catch a movie, or letting him know you want to try out a new place to eat and thought he’d like to come along. You don’t have to be super formal. You do have to take the initiative though. He doesn’t have the incentive to, so it seems.
As far as his ex goes, that’s another mystery that can’t be solved until you get in there and have a reasonable argument to stake a claim as his partner. Sometimes it takes the next to help fully move on from an ex. Sometimes it takes the fifth next. You won’t know and can’t know until you see what happens from here. All you can do is overanalyze and paralyze yourself with worry.
Your Friendly Neighborhood 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.]

Are We Too Lazy for Real Love? [Diary of the Undateable]
Are We Too Lazy for Real Love? [Diary of the Undateable]
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