Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reader Questions

C. asks re Friends Without Benefits:

"I was wondering: what would you say to the 'likee' [being liked by someone when you don't return that attraction] in this situation? If someone is the object of someone else's obvious but unannounced affection? If they didn't want to lose the friend, but didn't want them to get the wrong idea, either?"

The likee is often in a tricky spot because there is only so much they can do, especially if the liker hasn't actually said anything but is just hinting around.

It can raise a lot of feelings for the Likee: annoyance, awkwardness, often even guilt--am I taking advantage of this person's feelings?

It sucks because you feel like you're having to be responsible for someone else's feelings and second-guess how you express yourself in front of them for fear of leading them on.

Is it better to ignore it? Call it out? Abandon the friendship? Am I taking advantage of this person? Am I supposed to not flirt with people I'm attracted to around him/her so as not to hurt my friend's feelings? Should I not be friendly to this person? Am I leading them on?

There is a great post on what it feels like to be the like-ee here.

I think the two most important things for the Likee to remember is.

1 - You are not responsible for another person's feelings
2 - You ARE responsible for doing what you need to take care of yourself.

If you are okay with the friendship tinged with awkwardness then fine. If you are NOT okay with it, then you have some decisions to make.

But don't do anything for THEM. Do what works for you and trust the other person to take care of themselves.

It's not always easy. In fact, it might NEVER be easy. But I don't see any other way.

M. (I'm really going to have to come up with better pseudonyms) Asks:

"I guess i have a dating question and I need a guys opinion. I did just read all of your post and I think I know the answer kind of. I know that if he Like Likes me he will call and I haven't given him the chance, but with today's hook up culture and living in NYC and being burned any advice is good advice.

I'll give you the brief back story of this current romantic entanglement. I meet a guy last Friday night when I went out with friends. He is a friend of a friend and we talked all night. We exchanged numbers and I did end up going back to his place. We just kissed and went to bed, though. The next day we woke up and went to see Sherk before he left for the long weekend. Then I guess I jumped the gun and texted him Monday and called him Tuesday to invite him to trivia with friends Wednesday. He came to trivia and bought me a drink and we sat and talked but there was a group there. Two of the girls are my best-friends who were there last Friday. He is going away for the weekend and I will see him next week at trivia, but I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to be just his friend. I'm just afraid of scaring him off. I don't trust myself (I'm going to try and start those exercises you suggest).

Should I just come out and say I think you know I like you and I was just wondering what is going on here? I think I answered my own question, but would love to hear your thoughts."

Hmm. It's normal to find this situation confusing because it isn't an easy one to figure out. There are actually a few possibilities as to what could be going on in his head and we could drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out which one it is.

The good news is, we don't have to figure it out. That's his problem, not ours.

Since you know you will probably see him on Tuesday, how would you feel about taking a Wait and See What Happens strategy for the weekend? If he calls you over the weekend, that's a good sign.

If he DOESN'T call, maybe on Tuesday you could mention to him something like, "I really enjoy talking to you and I'd love it if you called me later this week." It gives him something specific he can do to show you he likes you.

I'm not sure about "I think you know I like you and I was just wondering what is going on here?" That question feels confrontational to me. Asking that will tell you more about how a guy feels about being confronted than his feelings for you. Some guys get awkward. Some guys get defensive. Some guys lie. Some guys respond calmly and honestly. Which is handy to know, but might not be the right foot to start a discussion on.

Let me know how things go.

What do you think, readers?

-May All Beings Be Called Back

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