Guy: You see a girl and you think, Hey, she looks cute. You approach her to introduce yourself and proceed to drop some of what you believe to be suave charm. She laughs and seems friendly, so you gather up your courage and ask her to “hang out” with you sometime. She agrees, and you two make plans. In your mind, you just scored a date. Good for you, man!
Girl: A random guy comes up to you and chats you up. He’s new and says he wants to meet new people. You’re usually receptive and friendly to even strangers, so you respond politely. The conversation goes well and toward the end he asks you to “hang out”. You never say no to a new friend, so you say yes. In your mind, this is a potential new friend. How nice 🙂
Before the next meeting
Girl: You’re supposed to meet your new friend at 6 but you’re so focused on other things that you push back the meeting to 6:30, then 7, before finally settling on 8. You put on your normal outer-wear and hop on the bus. It’s not a date and you don’t even find the guy attractive, so you don’t even care that the guy sees you in your sweaty self and matted hair, or that you smell like the onion and garlic bread you had for lunch. You also make plans right after a quick meeting with him.
Guy: You prepped yourself up moderately well. You want to make a good “first date” impression but not show that you tried too hard. You’re clean, neat, and comfortable. You look yourself in the mirror, and think to yourself that you look good.
Actual “Hang Out” (AKA: The date)
Guy: You’re charming. You make jokes. You’re considerate. You hang onto her every word and listen to them as if they’re the most important words ever uttered because girls like being listened to and you know that. You’re scared of asking her directly if she’s seeing anyone right now, so you indirectly ask what she’s looking for in a guy. She says “friends”, but you hear “maybe more~.^” and get your hopes up. After a game of basketball you decide to grab a bite to eat, and you insist on paying despite her protests because she’s a poor student and you’re already making money. She concedes, but offers to pay you back. You happily accept as you just got yourself a chance to see her again. Before she dashes off to god knows where, you pull her in for an embrace. She’s a little reluctant, but that’s just girls being ladylike and shy!
Girl: You have a great time. He seems attentive and sensitive. For some reason he asks you what are you looking for in terms of relationship right now. You get a little confused, and state that you only want friends (as you already have someone) and nothing more. You’re wary that he might retreat after finding out that you just want to be friends, but he seems understanding of your situation and eager to see you again, so you relax and let down your guard. Maybe he can be just a friend. He is sympathetic to your student status, so offers to pay for the meal. You feel badly because you’re not a smoocher, so you offer to make him something in return. He seems ecstatic, so much so that he pulls you in for a bear hug. You politely receives it. Oops, you’re late for work/actual date, so you end the night by running off on a guy with a goofy smile on his face waving you goodbye.
Over the next few days/weeks
Girl: He texts you frequently and enthusiastically. You respond politely, matching his friendly tone. You ask him for guy advice and tell him all about the jerks who got ugly when you declined their advances or wimps who disappeared after you told them you want to be friends. He’s sympathetic and offers considerate advice. From time to time he gets a little flirty but you believe he just thinks you’re a cute little girl/little sister so you laugh it off and respond as you would with any other friend. Guys will be guys. Besides, you and your girlfriends (and some guy friends with girlfriends) send way more flirty texts to each other and no one ever seems to have the wrong idea~
“Can I ask for some guy advice?”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. You’re being very considerate and nice and it’s his fault for not taking rejections well. Just forget about that dxxxxxbag, okay?”
“Okay, I suppose. Thanks!”
“Of course 🙂 Anytime! Let me know any time you want to talk or anything!”
Guy: You follow her words carefully and litter your texts with cute emojis and happy faces, because girls like that. She asks you for advice on guys and you listen to all of her horror stories, which you take as a good sign because you’re obviously not like them at all. No, you promise her that you’re different and that you can be just a friend. You’re careful not to be too forward, but could not help and drop some little hints:
“Aww, that is so sweet of you to volunteer in the community. You’re really sweet. That makes you even more adorabubble.”
“Haha, I’m just doing what I think is right but thanks!” she replies. “Lol, I’m really not that cute. I’m very frumpy in my school mode – you’ve seen it!”
“I dunno. You’re cute to me.”
“Oh, thanks for being a nice friend :)”
You ignore the “friend” and focus on the smiley emoticon. Good sign. She’s into you!
“Hang Out” (AKA: The date) #X
Guy: So you’ve been dating this girl for over a month now but have yet to do more than a polite hug and slight touching of her back/hands/shoulder/waist, all of which she seems slightly evasive but you dismiss them all as female wiles. Come on, this is your X date now, you’ve got to make a move! So, when you are about to say goodbye, you lean in to kiss her. She seems shocked and retracts her head immediately so you only barely brushed her lips. Oh, no! She does not seem pleased.
“Um, what are you doing?”
“Err, you have a really cute hair clip and I just want to take a look at it.”
“Um, really? Or… were you trying to kiss me?”
“No, I really do this with all my friends. You had a fly on your hair, and I was trying to swat it away!”
“Okay, but just to be clear, I just want to be friends, okay?”
“Yeah, I’m cool with that. I can be a friend.”
“Pinky swear? We can still hang out?”
“Yeah, yeah, cool, let’s do that.”
She smiles in relief and goes home looking happy.
Girl: You’re really enjoying hanging out with your new friend. He seems different from other guys. Although there is a slight sense that he finds you attractive, you made it clear that you just want to be friends and has told him a little about your boyfriend, but he’s still hanging around, so that’s a good sign, right? He also doesn’t mind that you’re crazy busy and is always patient and willing to make time to see you whenever you have a little time. However, recently, he’s acting weird and keeps touching you and feeling you up and down. You move away and keep a safe distance, and he backs off, so you dismiss it as maybe he’s just being friendly… until tonight when he shoves his face in front of you and scares you. Not again! Your heart drops. You make him promise to remain friends, but you have a feeling he’s going to change now. You smile and wish him a good night, praying that tomorrow he will remain the same.
After that night
Guy: You’re a little depressed and decides to take your mind off of her by going online or out to look for a new distraction. A few days later, you see a text from her saying hi and asking about wanting to get your advice on her new project. You dismiss it and ignore her. That’s her business, why is she asking you for? Do your own work, girl! Then, you remember that you’re a good guy and start to feel bad for ignoring her, but you delay it until you don’t have any other excuse and send her back a curt reply: “What do you want?”
Girl: You don’t hear from him the next day, which is unusual, but you figure he’s busy so go about your day. A week passes, and you want to get his opinion on the work you’ve been doing that he said before he was interested in helping out on, so you send him a text: “Hey, happy hump day! Can I get your thought on X?” He never responds, or, if he does, it is now very late and curt.
Before the last “hang out” / After the “hang out”
Text, Guy version
Content: “Hey, you, what you up to? 🙂 Hope you’re having a great day!! ^__^” vs. [silence]
Speed of reply: Immediately or within a few minutes vs. no reply or after days
Frequency: Several daily vs. none or 1 at most
Text, Girl version
Content: No difference
Speed of reply: No difference
Frequency: No difference
Girl: Why is he not responding…? I thought we were going to brainstorm ideas together…
You’re feeling sad and hurt now that he acts differently. You’ve tried to reach out to him, but he’s distant now or ignores you altogether. You get upset that he’s treating you differently and is confused.
Guy: Why is she texting me? Man, that chick’s got problems…
You feel you’re a nice guy, so you try to respond politely, but you’re really busy now so you wish she would just leave you alone. You’re a nice guy, but you’re also a busy professional and don’t have time to talk to this girl who is off limits. You get annoyed and angry with her for bringing up the fact that you promised her to help her with her volunteer work – who does she thinks she is for trying to make you feel bad?! You don’t have time for that now. You need to work out, focus on your work, hang out with your bros, and, most importantly, find a new girl to date!
For the girl: Well, face the fact that guys will always want to date you no matter how clearly you say you just want him as a friend – they will always entertain this possibility in the back of their head. If they really stick around after the rejection, then it means that they’re a keeper and a true friend 🙂 Cut the guy some slack as they really do need to do all this work just to get a girl. Hey, at least be glad that you have options and that you’re in a position to choose!
For the guy: Honestly, no means no. It does not mean “yes?”, “maybe…”, or “come hither, boy~.^” She sees you as a friend and has told you so multiple times, repeatedly, in various ways, both explicitly and implicitly. She’s not over-reacting when you’re the one who approached her in the first place with an ulterior intention after she made her stance clear. She’s upset for a good reason and if you never wanted her as a friend leave her alone in the first place. Be a man and owe up to the fact that you played “the game” despite saying that you’re not one to do so.