Taking the Next Step

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Dear Noah,

I have been working with this guy for about 5 months now. During that time I have grown feelings for him and recently confessed them to him. He responded by saying he would like to take me out on a date but didn’t exactly say he liked me back. There’s another problem, he is also my boss and 5 years older than me. We are both adults though, he is 23 and I am 18. Should I pursue this further or just let it go? How do I find out if he likes me without freaking him out? I just don’t know how to go about all this.


–18andcrushing

It’s a good sign that he’s willing to take you out on a date – and I have a lot of respect for your putting yourself out there like that. Many people are scared to confess to liking a crush, and it sounds like you had the self-confidence to do it. Good for you.

Why are people scared to tell their crushes that they like them? Because they’re terrified of being rejected. You probably were too, which is why you’re searching for evidence to the contrary. In your head, you probably had an idea of a “good scenario” outcome where he would confess his feelings for you. The “bad scenario” would be for him to say he wasn’t attracted to you and walk away.

But now you’re stuck in the middle of what you consider “good” or “bad;” he agreed to go on a date but didn’t say he liked you back. And you know what? That’s completely okay. You should consider that a positive response, not a neutral one.

There’s also the possibility that he’s been crushing on you too, despite his lack of honesty about it. Don’t forget—he’s your boss. I don’t know what kind of job you have, but there are a lot of situations where a boss can easily be fired for getting involved with an employee. This may be the source of his hesitancy. He’s weighing the risk of getting fired with his attraction to you.

The signs so far have only been positive, and you should treat it like that. Don’t nervously contemplate how he feels…instead, go on the date with the guy you’ve been crushing on. Go with it, and you may end up being pleasantly surprised with how things turn out.

 

Dear Noah,


I met this guy who is a freshman and thought was attractive (I am an upperclassman) and we casually know each other from before. I met him at a party and thought I should ask him to dance with me so I did and he happily obliged and we danced all night long. Although things were getting pretty steamy and we were into each other and I hoped he would initiate something, he didn’t. Almost a week later I suggested we hangout on a weekend but he said he already “had other plans” but decided to exchange numbers instead so we could “talk”. Haven’t heard from him since then and I haven’t initiated a conversation either. Whats going on? Did I offer too much?

–Confused

This is why I HATE texting. It has forced upon us a horrible game we must play with the people we like. You’re judging his level of interest because he hasn’t texted you. What if he’s doing the same thing? He’s clearly into you—if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have asked for your number.

The game of texting is a game of questions. Who texted first? How long did it take them to respond? Are they continuing the conversation, or just answering my questions? Why do they sound so disinterested?

We try so hard to read meaning into text messaging, but that leads us to make conclusions that are completely invalid. He may be waiting for you to text him first—who was the last one to respond in the conversation?

You can’t let yourself go down the path of creating stories to justify such a small amount of behavior. There’s three pieces of information that you have about this guy. The first is that he danced with you at the party and didn’t hook up. You think this means he might not be interested—that’s the negative outlook. The positive one would be that he liked you too much and didn’t want you to be a random hookup.

Then he was busy when you asked him out, but he asked to exchange numbers. Negative view—he’s making excuses. Positive one—he likes you but he was busy, so he asked for your number.

And now he hasn’t texted you. The negative view is that he’s doesn’t care enough…and the positive one is that he is waiting for you to text first.

You can tell yourself any kind of story you want, but it’s better if you remain positive and give it a good effort. Text him first, ask him when he’s free before inviting him out, and let him make the next move. See if he’s helping to progress the relationship. Remember: if you don’t try, the relationship is guaranteed to fail.

Anonymously ask Noah your own hookup/dating/sex/relationship question below and you might find your answer in next week’s column. 

  

Photo taken from gettingsmart.com

 

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