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7 Questions About Guys You’re Afraid to Ask


Between dealing with their frustratingly cryptic text messages, random acts of chivalry and awkward glances across the room at a frat party, boys can be mysterious, contradictory and even downright confusing. Their behavior often leaves us with questions: “Why did he do that?” “What is he thinking?” “What’s his opinion on cutout dresses — cute or passé?” However, in no perfect world can we ask all of these questions and receive satisfactory answers… until now.

We’ve taken some of your most burning questions and are explaining some of guys’ most unexplainable behaviors!

1. Why don't they just say what's going on instead of leaving me struggling for days to figure it out for myself?

We’re all familiar with the “fade-out” situation: You think that you have a great thing going with a guy, but then that gradual “Cool” text turns into radio silence. You try the dreaded double-text method, and not even that is effective. You thought you had chemistry, but something has gone awry. Didn’t you think you deserved a little more than a lack of a response to signify that he wasn’t interested anymore? Yeah, we did, too!

Patrick Wanis, a human behavior expert and relationship expert, offers us some answers. Wanis says that phasing someone out without causing an actual breakup could potentially be a guy’s strategy for keeping his options open. Either way, Wanis emphasizes that this method indicates a lack of respect for you.

“Sometimes I don't think we know what we want, either,” says Nick*, a junior at Stanford University. “Depending on the guy, there is a time at the beginning where they are trying to figure out, ‘Do I want to be in a relationship, do I want something serious or do I just want to be friends?’” 

Don’t let yourself get trapped in the “He’s hard to get, so he’s perfect” mindset! If he doesn’t respect you enough to be real with you, he’s definitely not worth it.

2. Why are guys scared to fall in love or hesitant to show emotion?

This age-old stereotype can feel especially true in college. Are guys less mature in general, or are there just fewer guys on campus who want committed relationships? Sometimes, it seems like every guy on campus is either committed to the bachelor life or almost married — but where is that dateable middle realm, collegiettes?

Wanis says guys may be hesitant to show emotion due to a fear of rejection. His example of “guy thinking” was, “If I show her how I really feel, will she reject me? It’ll make me vulnerable, and she’ll reject me because I am vulnerable.”

Brett*, a junior at Stanford University, says, “Some guys fear to appear weak or vulnerable and this can cause them to mask their emotions and underlying desires. They might not want to fall in love because they don't want to end up hurt.” He stresses that it’s important to know your guy well before you criticize him for being afraid of falling in love.

While Wanis says that it’s hard to make a generalization about guys’ lack of eagerness for commitment, he said that it’s best to “look at what’s going on in his life.” Does he want freedom? Does he want to play the field, or is he just interested in finishing his studies?

3. How can I tell if he actually likes me or if he thinks I’m a booty call?

How long have you been waiting for that promised dinner date, collegiettes? “If he really likes you, he’s going to be asking you on a date in advance and not waiting until the last minute,” Wanis says. “If he’s waiting until the last minute, you are then not a priority in his life, or he’s doing the BBO (bigger, better offer).”

Other classic signs you’re not just a booty call? He wants to “take you places, show you places, take you outside of the apartment and bedroom,” Wanis says. If he’s “happy to be seen in public with you and contacting you between nine and five—not after hours,” then you’re probably more to him than a booty call. He’ll also want to have more deep, meaningful conversations with you.

In addition, Wanis says a guy who’s interested in more than a hook-up will want to “do things for you or with you, which is his way of demonstrating love and as a way of connecting with you.” He said that men want to do things with you (like going to the movies), whereas women tend to be happy just being with their significant others (for example, just hanging out together at home).

Contrary to what many girls think, Dr. Wanis says, “Men are good at putting things into boxes. This is the girl I call at the last minute, this is the girl I want to date, this is the girl I want to have sex with.” Even if your relationship seems unclear to you, perhaps it’s not unclear to him.

No matter what, collegiettes, communication is always a good solution to figuring out these problems. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions to get the answers you need for yourself.

4. How can I ask him to pay more attention to me without seeming clingy?

Many collegiettes face this problem with their SOs: He tells you he likes you, but you need something more out of the relationship. Whether it’s more communication, a day for just the two of you or a regular phone call if you’re long distance, what you need in the relationship can be hard to ask for when you feel the negative stigma of being the clingy, desperate girl.

“Be clear about what you want in the relationship and need from the relationship,” Wanis says. “Get clear on if he’s actually able to fulfill those needs. Maybe he’s not able or capable. Be specific about what you are not getting and what you want.” Perhaps it’s a date off campus, a movie night in with just the two of you or an afternoon where you can introduce him to your friends—whatever it is, just ask him!

The biggest mistake women tend to make is that “they never request things in measurable, tangible terms,” Wanis says. “It’s okay to ask for what you want. The way you ask it will determine whether you seem desperate or clingy. The way you ask and what you ask will determine that.” If you ask in a clear, calm and specific way, you’re bound for success!

In addition, make sure you understand how he’s feeling. “For instance, make sure that you understand when he is busy and swamped with work or activities,” says Evan*, a junior from Stanford University. “If he is super busy, asking him to spend more time with you and pay more attention to you is something that might just make him even more stressed and turn a perfectly good request into something that he might see as annoying.”

5. What does my body language say about me when I’m talking to a guy?

Whether you’re at a party, at a bar or even in class, there are subtle cues that let a guy know that you’re into him (or not into him). Make sure that you’re giving him the impression that you want to give him with these tips.

Smiling is a seemingly obvious cue that you’re into a guy. Wanis reveals some interesting logic behind the smile-equals-flirting cue: Guys often think, “She’s smiling and she feels good, and that’s because of me.”

Alex*, a student at Stanford says, “Everyone likes to feel valued. I think it can be pretty powerful when a girl is able to express her attention or interest in a visual way through body language.”

The best way to let a guy you’re talking to know that he has your full attention is to turn your body to toward him and therefore demonstrate that you’re engaged in the conversation. “Extended gazes and contacts — smiling and looking at him for a couple of seconds,” Wanis says. “If your body is turned towards me (legs crossed, knee pointed at me) — it’s a mating cue.”

6. What kind of flirty things do girls say that are attractive to guys?

Talking to guys — especially ones who don’t naturally open up or find conversation easy — can be a difficult task. While you may feel like you could talk to your girlfriends for literal days, sometimes guys aren’t as easy conversationalists. We’ve got some great tips for talking to guys like a pro!

“If you want to turn on the guy, find out what turns him on — his interests, his passions, his hobbies,” Wanis says. It’s also great if you’re “really well versed or good at asking questions or good at listening.” If it’s hard to get him to open up, it may be easy to get him talking about something that’s interesting to him, so ask him questions! If he’s a keeper, of course, he’ll also want to hear all about you.

“Look for cues — who is this person?” Wanis says. Even where you meet the person could matter — are you at a frat party, a museum or a café? Paying attention to his body language and being sensitive to the situation can greatly improve a conversation.

7. How important are his friends’ opinions to him?

Be sure to know your guy’s friends — are they supportive or judgmental? Wanis says that a “fear of being judged by male friends” can make some guys hesitant to show emotion or really commit. Boys still “want to be the pack leader, still want to be accepted, and don’t want to be outcast or rejected,” Wanis says.

College guys can be epically confusing. Few, if any, college guys can be the perfect Noah, but with the right advice and knowledge, collegiettes can navigate the stormy seas of college dating with ease.

Did we answer all of your questions, collegiettes? Comment below with your thoughts and questions that you want answered for next time!

*Names have been changed.

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