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“Does He Want To Be More Than Just Friends?” [Ask A Dude]

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Dear Dude,

For the past month or so I’ve been hanging out with a guy friend of mine almost religiously. I see him practically everyday and when we don’t see each other, we send messages about arbitrary things that would be related to one another. At times, he’ll leave me a message during one of his late nights about something silly that happened so I can read about it when I wake up and reply later. Back in his previous university he was popular with girls but abstained from hanging out with them or associating himself with them too much as he realized it gave them the wrong impression when he wasn’t interested. He did this for about a year and a half. Why? Because he had still been pining over his ex-girlfriend. He’s told me that it’s been a long time since he’s been interested in a girl and that he hopes to meet someone that would change his mind, so naturally I assumed that was a sign I had been friendzoned.

However, sometimes things between us don’t really fit into the category of ‘just friends’ and I kind of get confused by him. I live about an hour commute from the downtown area so I generally end up crashing or hanging out at his place. We spend a lot of time together since I’m pretty much the only one he hangs out with one-on-one. When we’re together privately though, we often cuddle and he holds me close like a boyfriend would when we’re simply lying around watching videos/movies or when we’re going to sleep. When he wakes up, he lies around holding me and softly touching me (nothing explicit although he’s moved from touching my hands and arms to my bare stomach). A few times, when I’ve had to leave he’d hold onto me and then ask me not to go. Right about now, I’m completely confused because these are all from the actions of a guy who knows how misleading it can be to even just text a girl a little more than usual or at all. I can’t help but wonder if he might have an interest me or I’ve been friendzoned so hard that I’m not even seen as remotely attractive. Maybe you can help me out?

Sincerely,

Confused (possibly) friendzoned girl

Dear Confused (possibly) friendzoned girl,

Have you been friendzoned so hard that you can’t see the sex from the cuddling? Or, is he actually interested in you. Now, keep in mind that my skills of deduction can only be used on what you give me. Even though I have a Sherlock coat (or at least the Buffalo Exchange equivalent) I do not have the bird nose nor the years of studying tobacco to be quite as astute as he is. Although having a Watson would be really cool! Anyway, that’s my roundabout way of saying that take my advice with a little caution: HE’S GOT A MAJOR HARD ON FOR YOU!

NOBODY, and The Dude means NOBODY, cuddles and fondles your stomach unless he really wants to sleep with you. Sorry, there are some signals you can misread but that ain’t one of them. I’ve done that before. And you know who I’ve been in that situation with? Women I really wanted to have sex with. And if they didn’t object to the stomach touching then things progressed accordingly. What it does sound like though is that you’re dealing with a guy who thought he’d friendzoned you but is scared about taking you out of said zone and hoping you’d be willing to go into “different” kind of zone. And not the end zone, either. The question is, do you lead him or do you push him?

Some guys can be a little on the fragile side when they’ve been out of the dating scene for so long. Especially when he’s kept himself out of the scene because he’s been licking his wounds over his ex. So he comes right up to the line but doesn’t cross it because he’s scared to. He’s scared to screw up a friendship. He’s scared to be rejected. He’s scared something goes wrong and he’ll end up rejecting you. That things could end happily ever after. That maybe you’ll both agree to give it the old college try and then both agree to go back to being friends…only to find that’s not possible. Plenty of alternate futures to explore and none of them are certain. What he hasn’t counted on, despite maybe knowing better, is that he’s still be moving things in a certain direction and you’ve been happy to go along with them. But he’s not going to see it all the way through. He’s just going to keep teasing the possibility unless you decide otherwise. You’re at a fork in the road and there are three ways to go.

First, you can see what happens if the next time you two get all cuddily-wuddly that you respond in kind to the, “soft touching” as you’ve called it. You touch him. You move his hand to where you want to be touched. It’s a safe, sensual, and organic approach. He starts but then you take the lead and see how he responds.

Second way things can go would be if you make a slightly bolder move. The next time he comes up to the line but doesn’t cross it, you be a bit more aggressive. Pounce on him. That’ll send a definitive message and put him to an ultimatum: “Get it up or shut up!” You could verbally push him though and just say, “So what are we doing here?” and get your answer that way. The first way’s way more fun, IMHO.

The third way to go when you see a fork in the road is to turn around. You can decide to keep him in the friendzone and decide this isn’t worth the hassle or the risk. That would mean establishing some boundaries though. No touching would one of them.

Personally, I like the first path. Certainly sexier and less confrontational. But that’s just according to me. These are your options. Yes, he’d love to take things further with you but he’s too damned scared of something to go all the way. Either you nudge him, push him, or push him away. The choice, as it always is, is yours.

Sexy and you know it,

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.]

COLLEGECANDY Writer
I'm a dude. I know dudes. And I'll share what I know with you. Just ask!