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Real Live College Guy Dale: I Can’t Tell If He’s Interested

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We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

I recently met a guy at a friend's house. We talked for a while, and the next day he started a conversation with me on Facebook. After talking for a few days, he disappeared. Last week, I saw him again and he seemed like he was trying to get my attention. The day after, he asked me to hang out at his place, so I did. We drank a little bit of wine and watched a few movies. After a few hours, he asked me if it would be a problem if I stayed the night because it was getting late, and I agreed. 

He hugged me all night long and only kissed me on the head. He didn't try anything else. The next day, he agreed to come to a friend's house, but there he was quite distanced. The next morning (today), he sent me a message as soon as he got up. I don't know what to think or do. Is he interested or not? What do you think? I really like this guy, but I don't know how to approach him and I don't want to get hurt again. – Not Sure at Northwestern

Northwestern,

I think it’s definitely safe to say that he’s interested, and, in all honesty, I think he was just trying to respect your boundaries and not pressure you into anything. And given the current climate of rape culture in college communities — issues of consent and the like — I think the fact that he’s not pushing you into having sex right off the bat is an admirable thing. When you’re interested in someone, it isn’t always the easiest thing to back off.

As for why he disappeared for a few days, it’s reasonable to imagine that he might have been busy. Just because I like a girl doesn’t mean I need to talk to her every single day to prove so. You two talked for a few days and then took a few days off — that’s normal. Even better, he made the effort to get your attention and asked you to hang out! That’s practically proof that he’s interested.

All that said, I’m not sure what you mean by “quite distanced.” He may have had other things on his mind, or he may have even regretted not making more of a move with you that night, perhaps for the sole reason of wondering if you wanted him to do more. It’s a tricky mindset, but there have been plenty of occasions when I’ve talked to a girl and left before things fully … developed … and the next morning, I kicked myself for not doing anything.

On the upside, he’s still talking to you. I’m sure he’s interested in you, and if you’re interested in him, maybe you need to consider making a few steps yourself. He asked you to stay over, and now I think the ball is in your court. Shoot him a text to see if he wants to grab lunch or hang out again, and if you feel like things are progressing — or if you want them to progress — go for it.

If you really want him to make all the moves (and he’s just not doing so), start dropping hints. Tell him when you’re available or ask him what he’s doing today without actually asking him out. That can snowball into him seeing if your schedule is clear enough for a get-together.

Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Approach him. Take your shot, or you may end up missing out on a great thing entirely.

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