Asking Someone Out/Initiating



A student from Utah State wants to know...
I’m concerned about a friend of mine who is infatuated with this woman in our class. He has told her his feelings for her and she said she wants nothing more than a friendship. She’s a genuinely nice person who doesn’t want to lead him on or hurt his feelings. Despite this, he talks about her 24/7, calls her constantly, and stops by to see her. He is starting to make an ass out of himself—it’s embarrassing. As his friend, I feel I should do something, but I don’t want him to get mad at me.
Female, Sophomore


Dr. Caron’s Response: Let me begin by saying that you are not responsible for your friend. It’s not your job to protect him from making an “ass” of himself. He is responsible for his own behavior. I do think there is something to be said for being honest, however. For example, the next time he mentions her, you may want to tell him that you are uncomfortable listening to him talk about someone who’s obviously not interested in him—and leave it at that. It sounds like this is really between him and the woman. You say this woman doesn’t want to hurt his feelings; yet maybe she needs to be more direct with him, even if it means hurting his feelings. It sounds like he didn’t take the gentle “hint” that she’s not interested—since he’s constantly calling her and stopping by to see her. It’s up to her to set limits.


Question from a student attending Nebraska:
I think I'm in love with a guy I met 2 weeks ago.  He lives on the same floor in my dorm.  What should I do?  I know he likes me, too.  Should I ask him out? 
Female, First-Year

Dr. Caron's Response:  I'm wondering what you mean when you say, "in love."  You've only known each other for 14 days.  If you mean you find him interesting, that's nice.  However, I would proceed with caution.  How about starting by developing a strong friendship with him.  Since he lives on your floor, you have ample opportunity to see and talk with him.  My only worry is that you might rush into something you will regret later.  I'd try to take it slow at first and get to know him better before asking him out on a date.   Remember, no matter how your relationship develops, you'll still have to pass him in the hall at 7:00am with your bucket of shampoo and toothpaste in hand.



Question from a student at University of Connecticut: I've been a best friend with this girl for two years. I'm starting to develop stronger feelings for her now and I believe she feels the same way. How do I break the ice and not ruin the friendship if things don't work out?
Male, Sophomore

Dr. Caron's Answer: As with any relationship, a person must often take risks to move forward. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that things will work out. However, it is helpful that you have already established a friendship. But before you talk with her about how you're feeling, I suggest you think about how you'll feel if she says she just wants to continue to be friends. Will you be able to continue the friendship? I would guess that if your friendship is important to both of you, you will be able to work things out.

 


Question from a student at University of Alabama: Almost four years have passed and I haven't been asked out by a female yet! On the other hand, I have asked out a few dozen women and have been turned down by all. I am average height, weight, looks, and intelligence. I have many hobbies and interests. Well, here I am. What's going wrong?!?
Male, Senior

Dr. Caron's Answer: I don't know. Do you have a friend that you feel close enough to? Maybe you could ask him for his opinion. One suggestion is: If you think you would enjoy knowing someone better, you may want to begin with a few minutes of shared conversation or some minor shared time together rather that a real date. If the "vibes" are good you might want to consider something longer, like going for a walk. Before you get around to asking for a date, you should have some basis for shared experiences that allows both you and the other person to determine whether you are likely to enjoy sharing an entire evening together. The best dates are often those that start from a friendship.


Question from a student at Arizona State University: How do you get a shy guy to ask you out if you are shy yourself? Help!
Female, Sophomore

Answer: Try taking mini-steps before you try for great leaps. Maybe you and this young man are not ready for dating in a very serious way. Perhaps, the place to begin is a shared conversation, studying together at the library, or simply taking a walk together. Friendship, which is the basis for most meaningful relationships, is built on shared experiences. Such experiences often occur in routine daily life.


Question from a student at the University of Maine: How do you know when it's time to move from a friendship to questioning whether your friend feels more towards you? Often there are innuendos, but nothing specific has been said or done to indicate a more serious commitment, so it's difficult to take a chance in ruining a good friendship.
Female, Senior

Answer: As with any relationship, a person must often take risks to move forward. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that things will work out. However, it is helpful that you have already established a friendship. But before you talk with him about how you're feeling, I suggest you think about how you'll feel if he says he just wants to continue to be friends. Will you be able to continue the friendship? I would guess that if your friendship is important to both of you, you'll be able to work things out. Good luck!

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