How to tell a guy that if he wants to be just friends (with no pressure of dating), that's okay with me?

There's a guy who seems to have quite a crush on me. I've recently noticed it and begun to have strong feelings for him as well. But I get sort of mixed signals from him - if he's alone he's very open toward me, but if a lot of his friends or his parents are around, he gets very shy and reserved. We've never had much chance to have a real conversation due to simply always being in a large group setting (25+ people)

I'm 21 and he's a few years younger than me and has never had a girlfriend. I feel like he's probably confused about his feelings and isn't sure what to do, but he also has no way of knowing if I already have a boyfriend (I don't) and probably doesn't know exactly the age difference, just knows that I'm older than him and more mature. It wouldn't surprise me if he thinks I wouldn't be interested in someone like him for that reason alone - he'd be wrong if he thinks that.

But anyway, he's at the stage where he doesn't seem quite confident enough with his feelings to act on them, even though it's pretty clear there are definitely some feelings there. (I'm not the only one who has picked up on it.) But I am not really interested in having a *boyfriend* - I would be 100% okay with just hanging out with him as FRIENDS and see where it goes from there. The last time I saw him, I gave him a way to contact me - I guess that was probably a fairly direct "Hey I'm interested in you" move, but it's all I had a chance to do.

Is there any way I can let him know that if he wants to just hang out as FRIENDS for now, that's totally fine? I don't want him to feel like his only options are ask me out or do nothing. I don't care about dating - I just want to get to know him.

How do I do that without seeming like I'm flirting with him or anything? I don't want to just SAY that because he hasn't actually TOLD me that he likes me and he might be uncomfortable if I imply it, even if it is true.
I mean that it doesn't have to START with "dating" - that it could start as just casual and see how well we actually get along without feeling like it has to be so romantic right off the bat.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Wow. This is complicated.

    Um, well, as someone who can relate to him---never having a girlfriend and therefore unsure what to do and more importantly, not being confident enough to act on my feelings----I'd say to ask him to hang out, I guess.

    It's harmless enough, I think.

    Like, it could be in passing when you see him next. Just a casual letting-him-know-you're-down-to-get-to-know-each-other thing.

    This sounds like it could just blossom to me. It's cute, romantic, and just desirable. Probably because I'm a little emotional right now, but good luck. To both of you.

    • Complicated... yes.

      Plus I only get to see him like once every couple of weeks, generally. It kind of feels like there's a lot of... romantic tension? Like we both know it but it's such a big jump. I don't know how to hang out with him without it *feeling* like a date, even if it's not. Unless I could get him to hang out with my brother (they know each other fairly well) and then just sort of be there a little bit.

      The few times we've interacted it has been very... the 1st time was lots of eye contact from across the room
      2nd time was more quick eye contact and a smile
      3rd time he ignored me as his friends were all around
      4th time he came up and nervously said hi
      5th time he sat in front of me during a meeting and turned enough that it was pretty obvious he was watching me out of the corner of his eye - not just once or twice but for several minutes over the course of the 15 or 20 minute meeting.

      I wouldn't know what to say that would not come across as me asking him out...

    • Show All
    • That saddens me.

      You guys still talk?

    • I was bummed at first but now it's just turned into irritated disappointment.

      I literally see him once or twice a month this time of year. Haven't seen him (or talked to him) since mid December.

      I may see him tomorrow, however, because I have to go somewhere with my brother where this guy also usually is. I've done it before and it's not weird for me to be there. But I'm not sure if I should even go - it would give him a chance to explain himself in person, if he so desires, but it might also just make him uncomfortable. Although at the moment I don't really care if I make him uncomfortable. lol

      For all I know he may have a very legitimate reason for ignoring me - his parents are on there and maybe they monitor him. Maybe he doesn't want anyone asking who I am and why he's friends with a girl. (He's only been on there a few weeks and probably doesn't have many friends yet) But I think all I can really do is assume it's disinterest unless he tells me otherwise.

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What Guys Said 1

  • Complicated indeed. Believe it or not, the problem isn't you. It's him. Whatever he's going through, it isn't in your control. You made it very clear to this man that you are interested in him. Don't make anymore attempts to pursue him. When he is ready he is ready. At the same time, I wouldn't wait around , you could be dating other people.

    • Great answer, thank you. :) I have done nothing more and don't plan to. I figure I'll try to make eye contact once when I see him in person and maybe say hi if I happen to walk by him. That way if he wants to continue it into a conversation, the door is open, but if not, I'm simply just being friendly.

What Girls Said 1

  • If you suspect he might have romantic feelings for you, the chances of this being a successful platonic relationship is already shot.

    I just recently made a platonic friend, and thankfully he really doesn't seem to be into me, and likes someone else romantically.

    • Yes, I'm pretty darn sure that he does. But I think he's afraid to ask me out since we don't know each other very well and he probably incorrectly assumes I wouldn't be interested.

    • And I mean more at the beginning, that it doesn't have to START with dating and we could just hang out and see how we get along. I don't wnat him to feel like it's either ask me on a date or nothing at all.

    • Honestly, it doesn't seem like you know what you want.

      With guys you're better off being more direct, even if it feels awkward. Tell him you're not in rush to date, but you would like to get to know him better because he seems really nice. Say that you're open to dating in the future.

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