Flirting Vs. Friendly

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Post by jcorozza on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:18 am

So, this came up on prime a few weeks ago, but here's a situation from my real life that is making me all sorts of confused.

Okay, so I spend a lot of time with a board game meetup (which I also plan a lot of events for). A month or so ago, a new guy game who like a lot of the same hidden role games that I do, and I figured, oh, he's cool, but he didn't show up for the next few weeks. Then I hosted a Labor Day potluck, which he showed up for, and has been coming to the events since. He also RSVPs for all the events I post pretty much immediately, though not for the regular game nights, which I don't schedule. After the potluck, he friended a bunch of us on FB, and every time I post something asking if anyone wants to do X event, he likes my statuses (which is it's own separate and confusing issue), and I don't think he's done this with anyone else.

So those things alone I probably wouldn't think anything of, but we also have a similar sense of humor, get along well, and will occasionally give each other across-the-table looks during games/discussions (which I may be overthinking). So after Sunday's games, I messaged him on FB to ask if he wanted to join a group of us who hike like once a week. He seemed interested, and RSVPed, then realized he had to teach the morning of the next hike, but we had an interesting chat about allergies and teaching experiences, which I eventually ended to sleep (and because at that point I had built up waaaaay too much anxiety).

Anyways, I can't tell if if he's just friendly/wants to make new friends, or if he's being, well, extra friendly to me. A lot of the guys in our game group very blatantly flirt with any new female members, and he doesn't do that. So one of my friends suggest that I ask him if he wants to grab food before the next Sunday games (he had liked a status where I'd asked if anyone wanted to go for Indian buffet), and initially this sounded like a good idea, but now it sounds a bit like tricking him into a date. Like, if he were to ask why no one else came, any answer besides "because I wanted some alone time to see if you'd want to go on a date later" would be a lie. Also, I'm not sure eating at a buffet where I'd be stuffing my face would be the best thing to do for the first one-on-one time I'd be spending with this guy. I could probably pull it off if I were thin, but as the fat woman eating a bunch of Indian food? Probably not great.

What do you guys think? Is it a bad idea? Is there a better way to scope out if this guy has any interest? I actually tried, when we were playing board games, to do the "move my leg so it 'accidentally' touches the other person's to see if they flinch/move away" thing, but we were sitting across from each other where two round tables were joined, so I kept feeling like EVERYONE COULD SEE ME MOVING MY LEGS INTENTIONALLY and I chickened out. And then I thought, hey, maybe I'll just ask him out, but made the mistake of looking through some of his old FB photos, which revealed that his (I assume, as I'm pretty sure he's single now) ex is a petite, attractive Asian woman, and got me all insecure again, because I am pretty much none of those things.

Thoughts? Suggestions? How do I battle the anxiety this is giving me (on top of the cold that I am also battling)?
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Post by reboot on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:40 am

I would ask him if he wanted to do something independent of the planned group events. Make it clear it is just 1:1, as in, "Hey, I have wanted to go to $thing. Do you want to join me on $day and $time?" Worst comes to worst, you end up making better friends with him, and if friendship is the worst outcome....
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Post by jcorozza on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:55 am

Oh, yeah, I have no problem just making a friend out of it, I just don't want to do the whole "you thought this was a group event, and this agreed, but I was tricking you into a one on one thing" - especially since all contact we've had is through me planning group events!
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Post by jcorozza on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:01 am

*thus, not this
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Post by reboot on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:51 am

And as for the anxiety brought on by seeing his ex, unfortunately you cannot know his preferences until you know. I definitely get the anxiety, so all I got is hugs if wanted
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Post by jcorozza on Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:33 pm

Thanks!
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:02 pm

So...to me his behavior sounds kind of like what I'll start off doing if I'm interested in someone, 'cause I too always find it kind of scary doing the plausibly-accidentally-flirty stuff you "chickened out" of, and the blatant flirting that the other dudes in your group are indulging in is pretty much out of the question.

Might there be ways to encourage/enable (or otherwise signal appreciation of) additional flirty behavior on his part? Deliberately sitting next to him, for instance, makes those moments of eye contact less ambiguous than if you just happen to be seated as the person across from him, and presents more of an opportunity for one-on-one chats or light touching. You'd also more easily notice if he was looking across the table less than before (indicating he'd been looking at you) or not. And of course, consistently sitting adjacent to the same person is enough of a not-necessarily-coincidence that it might be a form of flirting on its own.

But yeah, if you wanna just ask him out then I'd say do that.
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Post by Jayce on Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:16 am

I would defintely recommend to not flip through his old facebook photos or statuses. I've done it before with girls I liked and all it ever did was make me feel insecure. It never helps digging up extra info on them cause you're never going to say "oh by the way I stalked your facebook the other day and saw your cool travelling photos", "who were those people next to you, were they your siblings, exes?"


I don't see anything wrong with hanging out with someone you are attracted to. You aren't tricking him into a date cause its not a date. As long as you don't expect him to kiss you, or go bragging, telling stories about how you went on a date with him you're fine. After all a date's a clear agreement between two people with the word date being used. There's also nothing wrong with just asking one friend to hang out. I ask my best friend to coffee all the time, just him and me, it dosen't mean I'm trying to date him, I just want to catch up with him. I think phrasing it as "catching up" is good since you want to meet him again.


I think the buffet is a good idea since he liked that status of yours so at least it signals he might be interested in the activity. Don't think of it as "him watching you stuff your face", just think of it as "we are having dinner".

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Post by jcorozza on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:01 am

Eh, I think you can get some useful info from people's photos, like what their interests are, some personality stuff - like some of the pictures were in costumes, or doing what looked like ziplining, so that tell me some stuff. And if, say, all of the pictures were him with red solo cups, that would be a huge turnoff. I didn't go as far as to read statuses or comments on pictures or anything.

I don't think it makes much sense to ask to catch up with someone I've only known for like a month, though, and since the main context he knows me in is one where I plan things for groups of people, or invite people to join a larger group, if I were to invite him for Indian buffet, I think he would assume it was as a larger group. And the only want to avoid that is to mention it, and since we've hung out one-on-one never, it might seem odd. I might wait a few weeks for it to seem less odd. I'm probably better off trying out some of the mild flirty stuff I wanted to in the first place, or that NT suggested, and then actually asking him out when I have a better read. This is probably why most of the dating I've done has been with guys I meet on online dating sites, where there is less to have to read into!

It's not so much that it's getting food, it's that it's Indian buffet, which means I would probably actually be stuffing my face, or at least trying to get my money's worth.
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Post by jcorozza on Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:12 am

So after another day or so of what I assumed to flirting over facebook (one of my friends noticed and thought so, too), I finally just asked him out. He was nice about it, and said "not at this time". Which...is kind of a weird thing to say. Which of course I pointed out, because I'm blunt and obnoxious. He said that it was weird, but accurate, because he was "going through a weird time in his life". So, for now I'm going to read that as a soft no, I guess. Sigh. I asked if the weird time was because of the raptor attacks, because if I completely change the subject, maybe he'll forget I asked, and I won't have to feel as awkward about it.
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