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Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Can I Tell If Someone’s Flirting With Me?

Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Can I Tell If Someone's Flirting With Me?

Hello Dr Nerdlove!

I’m an older-than-I-want-to-say lady. There’s a man at my job who is identical age. We’ve been flirting for in all probability a few yr now. I all the time took it as ‘play’ flirting, though he would sometimes mention that I hadn’t given him my quantity, his weekend might have been better (wink, wink), and so forth. I was reluctant because I wasn’t positive I was into him. Plus, I nervous that we’d find yourself hating each other if we tried to connect on a special degree (hey, it occurs typically).

A few month and a half ago, my feelings started to vary. He has been really affectionate; all the time coming in for hugs and giving me candy pecks on the face and neck. I thought he was actually candy and attentive. So I determined to provide him my number. However, it was after I advised him why I had been reluctant (didn’t need us to hate one another), and mentioning that I’m not likely a telephone individual.

Nicely, he didn’t call me. I chalked it up to in all probability having scared him off, and didn’t take it personally. I privately teased him a bit about being scared off, and issues have been principally the same. (For the report, to my information, there’s perhaps only one other one that knows about he and I). About two weeks later, he approached me and stated he would call me. I was excited; I was off that weekend and hoped we might perhaps spend just a little time starting to get to know each other higher.

Properly, he didn’t call me. I was somewhat pissed. I felt like he was making an attempt to make a idiot of me; simply eager to see how far I would take it. While I didn’t cease communication, I was distant. It was evident I wasn’t pleased. However he remained the same. He continued to succeed in out to me. Ultimately I let it go and things went back to the best way they’d all the time been.

In reality, things appeared to get even higher. I should point out that I had by no means asked/confronted him about not calling me. I didn’t need issues to be awkward at work for either of us, and I didn’t need it to look like I was operating behind him.

So the flirting seemed to accentuate, and I lastly felt snug enough to ask him why he never referred to as. He stated he’d misplaced my number. He then proceeded to provide me his quantity. He appeared honest and I was thrilled. Again, it was my weekend off and I had the identical hopes as before.

That was Friday. I referred to as him Saturday afternoon. I instantly sensed a shift. Whereas I don’t assume he was bodily with somebody based mostly on some issues he stated, it was immediately evident that he wasn’t thrilled to listen to from me. We talked about 15 minutes, he ended the conversation, and he didn’t indicate any curiosity in continuing telephone contact. I was harm and embarrassed. I decided that I was executed. I don’t know if he has somebody, simply isn’t desirous about me, or a bit of both. Both approach, it’s clear he’s not . It sucks, but that’s life.

The issue is he continues with the same degree of flirting. Initially I didn’t assume I had a problem with this, but I find myself turning into increasingly depressed (this isn’t the one purpose for this, nevertheless it’s within the prime three). I have tried distancing myself from him, which isn’t too troublesome at my job, but he seeks me out. He undoubtedly notices that I am distant and goes out of his approach to reach out. I consider my concern is that twice I have given him the good thing about the doubt, continued to play along, and both occasions been dissatisfied, rejected, and harm. I’m reluctant to play along once more. I really feel just like the joke is on me however I’m not in on it. He dangles a carrot in entrance of me and when I reach for it, he snatches it away.

I truthfully don’t know what is up with him. I’m afraid to ask for worry of seeming determined and of getting my feelings harm. And admittedly, it doesn’t matter. He’s clearly not into me. My question is: what do you assume is occurring with him, and the way should I navigate this minefield at work? I don’t need things to be awkward and uncomfortable. But I also don’t need my heartstrings tugged and trampled day by day.

Perhaps Sure Perhaps No

There’s a aphorism that was coined by Robert Heinlein: Hanlon’s Razor. Based on Hanlon’s Razor, you must never attribute to malice that which is satisfactorily explained by stupidity. I don’t assume your work flirt buddy is making an attempt to string you along or is deliberately enjoying together with your emotions. I assume what’s much more doubtless is that he has no concept that you simply’re as invested on this as you truly are.

Something that a lot of people typically don’t understand is that some individuals are simply flirty. Just as some individuals take pleasure in making dangerous puns and others relate all the things to sports activities, some individuals default to flirty conduct. It’s just a facet of their character, something they do as a result of hey, it’s fun to flirt. The problem is that not everyone flirts for sport. Some individuals don’t recognize being flirted with and some don’t recognize individuals who flirt without intent. This misalignment may end up in irritation and harm feelings, particularly if the flirter doesn’t acknowledge when someone else is taking it significantly.

(Though, pecks on the cheek and neck are simply… properly, hope he has higher social calibration than he appears, because otherwise that’s a “yikes” from me, bro.)

Now that having been stated, it’s additionally attainable that there’s misalignment in different areas cropping up. The first is that you simply handed him your quantity and then advised him that you simply’re not likely a telephone individual. While I can’t converse on your coworker, to me, that would appear like some combined alerts. From the best way you phrased it here, I assume he may be forgiven for listening to “here’s my number, never use it.”

It’s also potential that he’s not snug speaking on the telephone. While it’s more widespread in millenials and younger generations, a variety of people hate talking on the telephone with the heat of a thousand suns. For them, texting is the best way they prefer to communicate; somebody calling on the telephone feels awkward and makes them anxious. So you may need had better luck sending him a flirty textual content.

You may also have taken the initiative sooner than you probably did and made the primary transfer yourself as an alternative of ready by the telephone for him to name. While you might have had the same results – an uncomfortable and awkward conversation that went nowhere – at the very least you’d’ve realized that this isn’t what you need or want.

Regardless, this collection of near-misses, miscommunications or just plain incompatibility has lead to some extent the place you’re actively confused and upset. That’s why the thing it is best to do is what you need to’ve achieved some time in the past: use your words with this man. While I understand your fear about appearing determined, I assume you’re properly within your rights to say “Dude, what the fuck?” Making an attempt to get some readability isn’t desperate, it’s step one in establishing some much-needed boundaries. If he’s a flirts-for-fun man and also you’re not a flirts-for-fun sort of woman, then the most effective thing you are able to do is say “I appreciate the flirting but if you don’t mean it, I don’t want it.”  If he does imply it and he’s having his personal debate of “wait, is she interested or not”, then now he’ll know the place you stand. Then the 2 of you possibly can attempt to hash out whether you need to give issues another shot while everyone’s on the identical web page.

Pulling him aside and having a much-needed convo about just what’s happening, how it’s making you are feeling and the way you would like to interact any longer will do you a world of excellent. It might not get you any meaningful answers, however at the very least you’ll have cleared up any lingering confusion.

Good luck.


Hi Doc,

I’ve been in the scene for a bit over a yr now after taking a whole quarter+ of my life off of courting. I’m 26 and coming round to the concept I’m not a nasty wanting man and that I have a sure allure. Anyway, there’s a woman. She’s somewhat younger and a lot more skilled. The issue: I stay in Kentucky and she or he solely lives here half time. After a tremendous few dates, she left city for her different part time house on the west coast. She’s been there every week and a half now and gained’t be again for 3 extra weeks, and then she’ll be here for about four weeks, then off to the beaches once more.

I informed her I appreciated her and she or he stated she appreciated me too. It’s informal because she doesn’t stay here and doesn’t know if she’ll even reside in the US in six months. I knew that getting into. But what I can’t take is the shortage of communication. She doesn’t ever text me first and when I textual content her she replies like six hours later at greatest and it’s often just a few phrases. I don’t even know if I ought to be texting her in any respect and that drives me nuts too. She stated she would let me know when she’s again on the town and ready to hang around, and that makes me marvel if I should even ask her out when she’s back. If she doesn’t ask me out I know I should – I’m not going to ghost myself – however I guess my question is, how can I make certain she’s still with out placing her off? Last time I stated I thought she was superior over text she gave me a “haha” and the memory haunts me. 

Relatedly, is it wholesome to persuade yourself that nothing is incorrect and also you’re simply being anxious? I haven’t been in a position to try this but I’ve been making an attempt. I’ve failed as a result of I assume too logically and I know that I cant ensure that nothing is mistaken even if I know that at one level she appreciated me.

From,

Dumb Fool?

Alright, there’re a couple of issues right here DI, and the first is that you simply’re significantly overinvested. Now I get it: you haven’t had a lot courting experience and also you’ve hit it off with this superior lady who thinks you’re a fair bit of alright too. It’s totally comprehensible that you simply’re slightly twitterpated and all caught up within the thrill and novelty of it all. But the fact is that you simply’re giving this relationship much more significance and significance than it really deserves. You understand, intellectually, that this can be a relationship with an uncertain future at greatest and that you simply’re going to see one another sporadically, if at all.

These are all indicators that this isn’t the connection to be putting as many emotional investments in. However that’s what you’re doing, which is strictly why you’re in the emotional state you’re in.

Proper now, you’re putting far too much thought into the which means of every little thing, especially for what’s finally a reasonably casual relationship, notably a long-distance casual relationship. I strongly suspect that as a lot as you see this as casual, that is extra informal for her than it is for you. You’ve invested more than she has and you’re expecting extra in return than I assume she has to supply. And I assume you could know this at some degree; that’s a part of why you’re so caught up with reading the tea-leaves and making an attempt to divine which means from silence and the size of her replies. The battle between what you’re hoping for and what you’re feeling is triggering your nervousness.

A part of why we all get so hung up on the “OH GOD WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN” is due to the anomaly of the state of affairs. You need one outcome however you are feeling like the other is occurring and the strain between the two – that sense of uncertainty – is extremely uncomfortable. You don’t need to be proper, however you’re afraid you’re and also you’re looking for proof you’re mistaken.  That’s why little things like an innocuous response to your textual content is retaining you up at night time: you’re making an attempt to make this match between your hopes and fears.

Sadly, the reply to this is to break down this specific courting quantum waveform and settle for that she’s not into you the best way that you simply’re into her. Yeah, I understand this is the reverse of what you’re hoping for. But right here’s the thing: it will truly ease your nervousness. Having a solution, interval, will settle you down. Yes, even when it’s not the reply you’re hoping for. The knowledge will feel far better to you than continuously being on edge, making an attempt to figure out where that is going and what you’re doing mistaken.

Now this doesn’t imply that she doesn’t such as you or gained’t need to see you when she’s in town. It simply signifies that she’s not on the lookout for something that’s going to continue past when the two of you’re in bodily proximity to at least one one other.  If she’s in town, she’ll need to see you, but texting and staying in regular touch doesn’t seem to be what she’s on the lookout for. If you need this to have a chance of working, then you should modify your expectations accordingly.

I assume it might help to think about this as akin to a summer time romance: superb and thrilling but momentary… but all of the sweeter for its brevity. Don’t take it as an indication that you simply’re undesirable or undesirable, but as proof that there are people who dig you and what you need to supply. Take the joys, the experience and the arrogance you achieve from this brief time period relationship and let that assist energy and encourage you as you look for one thing closer what you need in the long term… and probably nearer to house.

Good luck.

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