Are we dating or friending?

| 03/21/2011 | Comments (2)

Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I met a guy back in January at a friends birthday party. We hung out for most of the party talking and ended up getting each others contact info a week later. Since then we have hung out 3 times in which I have initiated the invite. Once was for cocktails with 2 of my friends who he knew from the party. The second time was alone having cocktails – each buying a round of drinks. The third time was this weekend with the same friend from the first time out, with her boyfriend who my “date” knew from the party. We went to an all day festival and dinner. All of us paying for ourselves. not sure what to do with this budding relationship

Each time we have gone out the night has ended with a big affectionate hug. I’m in no hurry for a nervous kiss, so this hasn’t bothered me. Until now.

This morning my friend asked if he kissed me yet and I said no. She gave me the impression that it was a bad thing that we haven’t kissed yet. I asked if she thought it was weird and her reply was “all people are different,” which didn’t make me feel any better. I felt pretty good about this weekend. My “date” and I were more touchy feely by linking arms, subtle touches here and there which I felt fine about.

He and I get along great. Both in our early 30’s. All of our friends are in long term relationships or married.Conversation of all sorts flows easily. We’ve shared concerns about relationships and (I think) seem to be on the same page of readiness for a relationship. I can’t help but think of what his intentions are now because of what my friends reaction to him and I not kissing yet….. I’m in no rush, but are we dating or just becoming friends? Did I mess things up somehow? If not, how do you let someone know you are interested in being more than friends without having to lose the romance and “courting” aspect of it all?…or making an ass out of yourself?

Not Sure What’s Going On

Dear Not Sure:
It’s interesting that you describe this guy as your “date” when he is no such thing. You two were doing what teens call “hanging out,” which is not a date. There is nothing coming from him that indicates he has any interest in you of a romantic (dating) nature. Let me tell you why:

  1. You have asked him to go with you places several times, yet he has not shown any interest in reciprocating said invitations. He goes out with you most likely because he has nothing else to do, plus he know the people you’re going out with.
  2. On each of these occasions where you were out together, you both paid your own way. When men are on a date with a woman they are interested in and want to favorably impress with their gentlemanly manner, none would even THINK of asking the woman to pay. Men know the social mores involved with dating and few are so dumb that they would ignore them, and risk losing the positive regard of a woman they want to see again. Men that are into you get insulted if you want pay because they know that means you are sending out a clear signal of disinterest and establishing firm boundaries of distance.
  3. He didn’t shy away from tentative touches… okay. You’re taking that to mean he has romantic interest. I take it to mean (a) he can tell you like him and he wasn’t trying to be a complete jerk in front of your pals; and (b) why be cold and rejecting when being nicey nice and following your lead might mean a chance to get some ass!

I suggest you not call him or invite him to do anything in the future. You’ve done more than enough already to let him know that you enjoy being around him and like to see and talk to him. If he is interested in being around you, talking to you, or seeing you again, he can pick up the phone and make it happen. And if he is too stupid to know you are interested, then you don’t want him anyway because he is dumb.

Don’t ever do all the work to get something going with a man honey.  You want to know how to avoid losing the romance and “courting” aspect of a budding relationship? You doing all the work to make the relationship happen will guarantee exactly that!

When women do too much of the work that men are supposed to do, the man becomes complacent, spoiled and lazy; he’ll never have the impetus to do for you or the relationship. He’ll be used to you doing it all – doing all the asking, all the planning of dates, paying your share and sometimes his, driving and picking him up, and even having sex…  while he does nothing but go along for the ride.

Many women get stuck in this trap and don’t realize until years later how exhausted they are and how lonely and unfulfilling their relationship is.  With a shock they realize that they’re essentially in a relationship all by themselves, and the men just show up for the good stuff. The women feel they can’t rightly demand that the man step up and do more, because they were fine with him doing positively nothing at the outset.

I would like you to avoid placing yourself in that emotional trap, so I suggest that you give this guy space and distance while you date other men. If he steps up and calls you, fine. If he steps up and asks you out, that’s even better. But if he never makes any effort to be around you, see you or talk to you then you have your answer.  Without missing a beat, you can eliminate him from further consideration as a potential boyfriend to avoid wasting your time. Just because he says he is ready for a relationship doesn’t mean he is interested in a relationship with YOU.

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Dating expert and advice columnist since 1993, writing as Ms. HeartBeat. Author of the hilarious street smart dating guide "Sucka Free Love - How to Avoid Dating The Dumb, The Deceitful, The Dastardly, The Dysfunctional & The Deranged."

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Comments (2)

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  1. SilentBro says:

    Why not share these concerns/questions with the man and give him a chance to answer? Communication is a cornerstone to any relationship from friendship on up.

  2. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    So very very very true.

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