Okay, so I am in college and for the last nine months, I’ve had a crush on Dude A, who’s been in my classes and I think is interested in me, but we’ve only done the glances and spoke, like maybe once. Wasn’t sure if he was shy. I actually may start volunteering at the same off-campus cause as him, so was kind of hoping we’d be able to get to know each other.
Well, Friday night, his friend, Dude B (who’s the “CEO” of the org I wanna volunteer at) met up with me and a girlfriend. One second we’re talking about my volunteering at his non-profit and before I know it, he’s asking me for my number. I thought maybe it was a friend thing, but he’s basically asked me to hang. I am supposed to meet him for trivia tonight, with the hope that either I’ll think he’s great to date or breezily transition to a friendship. Naive, I know. I know that I should be zen about things, and have been indoctrinated with the whole “if I guy’s into you, he won’t hesitate” bit, but was wondering if there was any way I could possibly navigate this to maintain my dignity, friendships, and possibly go for Dude A.
I think I know the answer… But you know how delusional a crush can make an otherwise rational lady.
– An Otherwise Rational Lady
Dear Otherwise Rational Lady,
GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH DUDES WHO WILL NOT MAKE A MOVE, AM I RIGHT?
Well, the answer is that nothing is wrong but that probably, more often than not, dudes don’t want to make a move so they don’t. Just like how some people hate mushrooms and won’t eat them even though everybody else is all, man! mushrooms are delicious. They just don’t like mushrooms. Even though they are demonstrably delicious.
Of course, there’s always a chance that a dude secretly just cannot get up the gumption to ask a gal out, and that is what drives Otherwise Rational Ladies crazy, is it not? I blame romantic comedies for this. Either way, you’re kind of screwed: either the dude is incapable of saying what he wants (people of the world navigating the stormy oceans of dating: say what you want, and then if you get it, hooray, and if you don’t get it, you can move on! It’s that simple!) or he doesn’t like you in the tingly pants way.
But because every situation is different, I asked some other Texans–specifically, a couple of happily married Texans–to weigh in on your sitch, and they advise you to get zen about this whole thing. Read on:
First up is Michelle, who sells badass things on Etsy.
I’m all for zen. Or rather, I’m all for saying everybody else should handle relationships zen-ly, while trying to micro-manage my own. So, if you can muster the take-things-as-they-come mentality, cheers. But if you can’t — and that’s what it sounds like — here’s my advice.
When you say these guys are friends, do you mean they are acquaintances, or are they best buddies/roommates/childhood friends? I’m not going to pretend that I’m privy to the Guy Code, but I imagine if you date Dude B seriously — and especially if any naked time goes down — you’ve likely obliterated or at least greatly reduced your chance of a smooth segue into a Dude A relationship. Whether it’s some antiquated notion of conquest or just fear of awkwardness, I bet Dude A will be even more hesitant to ask you out if he sees you canoodling with his best friend.
Hey, and maybe that’ll be just fine — maybe Dude B will be the ambitious, charming, philanthropic heartthrob you’ve been waiting for. It seems that he’s made it clear that he’s into you, so if you’re 100 percent sure you’re not into him, have a fun trivia night but don’t take it any further. Or a more underhanded approach — again, this is assuming that these guys are pretty well acquainted — is to ask Dude B a lot of questions about Dude A while on the date. Maybe he’ll realize y’all aren’t a good match, and offer to introduce you to Dude A. Of course, the most upfront thing to do, though potentially harsh, is to just tell him you’re not into him.
If you’re on the fence about Dude B, though, we’re pretty much back to the zen of dating. You’ve got to just make your choice and roll with the consequences. If you want the shy, potentially-not-even-interested Dude A, then make it clear to Dude B that you’re just friends. Maybe you’ll end up with Dude A, or maybe not. If you want to see what would come of dating Dude B, jump in and see where it goes. Maybe you’ll end up with Dude B, maybe not. When it comes to human relationships, unfortunately, there’s no way to make a master plan. (I’ve tried.) And, when it comes down to it, there’s always Dude C.
And here’s what our own Merritt has to add:
Zen is indeed the ultimate goal, but we’ve all been in the situation where we envision a “perfect outcome” and don’t want to accept anything different. It seems like you’re selling yourself a little short if you don’t explore some alternative endings, because, well, Dude A has had NINE MONTHS. Shy or not, he’s no doubt asked someone out in the past and let’s all hope it didn’t take him an entire school year to do it. At the very least Dude A could have emailed, Facebooked, Tweeted or texted by now. He hasn’t. This could mean he’s in a relationship, is not interested or is so shy if you did go out you’d have to take a hand puppet to have an active conversation over dinner. Fine, probably not the latter, but you get what I mean.
Dude B made the effort to meet up with you and then after one social interaction, asked for your number. Something about you grabbed him. Now, I’m not saying Dude B is a better guy, mate, boyfriend, date, what have you than Dude A, but he’s shown you a certain amount of attention that’s appreciative of your awesomeness. You didn’t mention if you find Dude B attractive (even in the absence of Dude A), so I’m not sure of that. Whether or not you want to reciprocate what seems to be romantic interest, only you know. Or, you’ll find out at trivia, rather.
But I urge you — as I’ve been urged in the past — to ask yourself these things: Why do you really want to wait for Dude A? (Alternative question: What is so amazing about Dude A that you accept his lack of effort/interest?) If you don’t ask boys out (and I’m assuming you don’t or you would have by now), then when does your meter run out on Dude A? Are you less attracted to guys who actually pay direct attention to you and more attracted to guys who are stand-offish or shy? And finally, if it takes someone this long to finally make contact aren’t you worried that it could set a precedent for communication, noticing your needs/feelings, playing games, etc. if you ended up in a relationship?
All that said, I’m not actually rooting for Dude B, because frankly, I don’t know him. I just like his initiative — and his idea for a fun date. And don’t kid yourself, it’s a date.
You didn’t say if the two Dudes are really close, but I agree with Michelle: If they are, you could potentially screw any chance with Dude A if you get freaky with Dude B. But fingers crossed, Dude B will be incredibly cool and you won’t give even one shit about Dude A anymore. Or, Dude B won’t work out, you’ll leave with a mutual understanding of friendship and Dude A will be inspired to ask you out (at which point you can decide if he’s waited too long). Or they could both be total chodes and you’ll have avoided all trauma with one evening of kick-ass trivia. All outcomes are good. If the third option happens, bonus points if you get the digits of the hottest dude on the best trivia team. Kidding.
Whatever happens, good luck, Lady.