Question: Dear Luise: I recently became single again after a short term relationship ended, and since then, I seem to be getting some attention from a few different guys, which I am not really used to. One of which I have had nice conversations with on a few occasions, usually at parties, and he always casually mentions that we should “hang out” soon, and invites me to various events. When we are talking, I feel that he is sincere and genuine, and feel very comfortable with him. The problem: I am honestly not at all attracted to him. Furthermore, I really don’t think that he is up to my standards in terms of his lifestyle choices, and I think he is probably pretty immature, much like my recent boyfriend. But, I still enjoy getting this attention from him, even though it might just be because I’m lonely. Now the question: Should I turn him down for hanging out if I have no intention of dating him? Should I even assume that he is wanting to date me? If I would genuinely like to become good friends with him (but only friends) am I leading him on to accept his hangout offers? Do you think the only reason I want to become friends with him is because I like the attention? What if that comfortable feeling means something more, and it’s not just a want for attention? Thank you, L.
Answer: Dear L.: Isn’t that quite a lot of mind stuff over making a new friend? You have no crystal ball, so there is no way of knowing where this might go. If you enjoy the guy…why not hang out? If you don’t want to date…then don’t.
If you are the kind of person that jumps too quickly and gets into unsupportive situations, slow down. If your ex-boyfriend was not up to your standards, what was the point?
Please don’t assume anything about what this new guy is thinking. That’s a lost cause. Keep your own thinking clear and if you want to know what he’s thinking, ask him.
We all need to find a balance between moving too quickly and thinking something to death. You usually can’t tell in advance where a new acquaintance might lead. Just keep your eyes open and don’t let yourself fall into a pattern that doesn’t feel right to you. Make friends, enjoy the attention, hang out, date and stay your own person. In all of that, your greatest and most reliable tool is communication. And, if you find yourself with a non-communicator, run for the nearest exit. Blessings, Luise