Why Was He Gripping The Table?

So I'm usually pretty good with body language, but this one threw me off a bit...

A couple weeks ago, a guy in my college class sent me an email and started hitting on me (I didn't give it to him, it's available on our virtual classroom). We started talking after a while, and went on our first date last night.

We went to a restaurant, and the entire time, I think we were both watching each other. I'm majoring in psychology, he's minoring. It was really strange, because I'm not used to someone analyzing me the way I analyze other people...

He is very forthright, so he just opened up to me about his past relationships. He told me he'd been cheated on several times, what had happened, and sat with his hands hidden under the table the whole time, with his head slightly tilted back, resembling an aloof, dominant position.

He sat like this when he talked, but when I spoke, he picked his head up and payed attention. He was actually a pretty good listener.

Our food came, and we finished up our conversation.

The only time I saw his hands (besides eating) was at the end of the meal. The focus of the conversation was me: we were talking about something really personal to me, and I told him I was nervous. I told him about how I wasn't really close to anyone and that nobody seemed to take the same amount of interest in me as I commit to them. I'm not used to talking about myself. I didn't look directly at his face much (I saw he was paying attention), but I focused on his hands. They were on the table, and he was gripping the side of the table with his right hand.

At the end of the night, he walked me to my car and initiated a hug.

Why do you think he was gripping the table? His face was very intense when he was listening to me? He said he had a good time. I just don't... See this a lot. What do you think he was thinking?


Most Helpful Guy

  • I would say he was nervous, gripping the table and avoiding physical contact, keeping he hands hidden.

    Sounds like he has major trust issues. I would guess he liked you, depending on the hug, if it was a real hug I would assume the best and know that you will have to take it slow with this one, if he is worth the work it will take to get over his trust issues.

    • I was really hoping to take it slow... He's really very sweet... I just didn't know at first if I scared him too much with my vulnerability...

    • Show All
    • Do not take abuse period.

      However, do not assume that because the last guy was that this one will be too.

    • Yeah... That's what I'm on the fence about... The last guy was molested as a child, so there is a major possibility for difference.

      I guess he scares me because I've been hurt before... and I don't trust as much in general anymore.

      Thanks for your opinion. I really appreciate it.

What Guys Said 1

  • He has a past with trouble, and you have a past with trouble, both of you are dealing with the pressure and trying to be calm about it, he maybe understood that, and being nervous gripped the table.
    Is battling his insecurities and trying to know the real you, like you are doing with him. Is not uncommon to not be able to control every automatic response of the body like searching for something firm to grasp to feel a little more relaxed.

    • Yeah, definitely... It's nice to know we were feeing the same thing.

What Girls Said 1

  • I think he was feeling either nervous or uncomfortable or both. Maybe he didn't know what to do or how to respond to the things you were telling him.

    • That doesn't explain why he was making eye contact or showing vulnerability though... I've dated guys I make nervous, and they don't act like that... They're much more dismissive. It hurts.

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