A reader sent in a question last week for today's "Dear Jamy." I actually struggled a bit with my answer, so if you have anything to add, please leave your advice in the comments.
I've been casual friends with a guy for almost a year now. He asked me out to dinner a few months ago--and we went out and had a great time. I was under the (wrong) impression that he had a girlfriend so when he followed up and asked me for another date, I declined. Our friendship continued--and he eventually asked me out again, more recently. By that time, I knew he didn't have a girlfriend (he told me himself) so I accepted and was excited about our second date. In the past 3 weeks we've been out twice (we were both out of town for the holidays)--and I am definitely interested in "dating" him. Here's the catch.. When we were just friends, I only spoke or emailed with him once a week or less. And this hasn't changed since we've been on the dates! He only initiates a phone call or email about once a week. If I call him, he always answers and acts thrilled to hear from me...but I feel like if I don't make the effort to call I'll rarely hear from him! I'm frustrated because I feel like he's made some effort to ask me out and express his interest, but not enough effort to really make me feel like he wants a relationship with me. I like him, and he claims he likes me too, but I also don't want to waste my time with someone who might not be all that interested. Should I cut my losses now and stay friends with him or keep things "as is" and see if they progress further? Thanks for your help!
KC in Boston
My first thought is that because you turned him down once, long ago, he's worried about initiating things with you. Or maybe he doesn't know if he wants a relationship with you.
Are you sure he's not interested? What does your gut tell you? If you are sure, then call him if you want to see him, but shelve the romantic hopes.
One problem I see that you are focused on figuring out how he feels. Before you go further, I'd ask you to think about how you feel. How interested are you in pursuing something romantic?
If you decide you do want something (or at least want the chance to see if you want something), you have a few options. You could talk to him and ask what is going on. This is probably what I would do, though it's probably not the best choice. I hate living in suspense and I'd be going crazy right about now, so I might mention to him that it doesn't seem that he's initiating plans with me. If he doesn't call after that conversation you have your answer. He is not interested in romance.
Another option, for those with more patience than I, is to call him when you want to see him and pay attention to how much he reciprocates. If it's not much, stop taking the initiative and see what happens. It may take longer, but his actions will tell you all you need to know. The trick with this is option is to show him that you are, indeed, interested. I'd do some flirting the next time you go out. Touch him on the arm or the leg, laugh a lot, make eye contact, compliment him. Shine the bright light of your affection on him. This way, if he is sitting around wondering if you actually like him, he can remind himself of your behavior and be sure that you do. You need to do this without seeming desperate or clingy, but I'm sure you can. Unless you give him something to go by, he won't know what to do. Make sure you're giving him a clear signal. A green light, if you will. Then back way off and let him come to you.
There is one other option, though. Do nothing. Don't worry about it. If you have a good time with this guy, it's not a waste. Enjoy yourself. If you are torturing yourself thinking about it, then talk to him already.
You know, I may not be cut out for this advice game, but at least I cover all the bases.
Whatever happens, let us know.
Grateful for: questions!