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Ask Jono: Is This Guy Interested, Or Making Excuses?

Ask Jono: Is This Guy Interested, Or Making Excuses?

By Jon_Skindzier

Hey Jono,

So my first question is how do you pronounce Jono? Is it like "john-o" or "Joe-no"? I literally can't tell which one it is. Anyways, so there's this guy that I met over March break at a course, so we had to spend 6 hours a day with each other for four days. Bonding, and what I thought was serious flirting, occurred, so I gave him my number and decided to let things take it's course, but there was a slight problem. He didn't have a cellphone, and I don't have any sort of caller ID. So I added him on Facebook and we started talking, but he isn't really the same over text communication, and never starts convos. We don't go to the same school, and he just graduated (I'm a year younger). When I talked to him the last time, I mentioned a show I was in, and he said he'd try to make it but was traveling that day. It turned out he couldn't make it, and apologized when I messaged him the next day about his trip.

Should I go on with this and try to go out for coffee? Or should I let it die?

Love, the girl through the orange Portal.

"John-o";  Jon with an O at the end. It rhymes with "mono," the Kissing Disease, a disease for which I have most certainly never been at risk.

Your situation is a tricky one. The devil is in the details, as they say, but boys are also in the details sometimes. For example, if you'd asked a question like "A guy tried to get me to dance with him at Homecoming; does he like me?" my answer would depend on what actually happened. That phrase could either mean that he looked into your eyes and said something really sweet, or that he stood across the room hip-thrusting at you and gesticulating like an erotic mime. So I need some clarifications here before I can tell you what to do.

What did the Serious Flirting involve?
You said you two bonded, and that could have just been regular friendliness, but "serious flirting" isn't something guys generally do if they're not interested. But did this guy compliment your appearance, talk about your interests, and share some kind of casual physical contact with you? Or did he just do something polite that you misconstrued as flirting? Or, worse yet, was it the insincere hornball kind of flirting, wherein the guy is only interested in sexytimes ("Oh wow, you are very pretty, in the boobs area. Shall we go hook up in the broom closet, or should I lose interest in you immediately?").

Now, some people just sort of flirt for fun, and don't mean anything by it. I never did this, but I understand the impulse behind it, because it's nice to establish that other people could like you, and then to...strut off into the sunset, I guess? Like I said, this was never my M.O. But it is something people do, so even if the Serious Flirting definitely was Serious Flirting, it have have been Unserious Flirting, because romance is hopeless and dumb. Whether or not he meant it depends on how he's acted since then.

How does he behave differently over Facebook?
There's a pretty clear difference between someone who isn't very chatty and someone who's simply not interested in talking to you. Is he only responding to things you say, or is he asking about you, and following up on your answers? It's okay for someone to seem occasionally aloof; if I'm trying frantically to finish something, and a dude decides to send me a seven-text-long story about a thing his cat did, I am probably going to ignore him. But anyone who likes you (even just as a friend) shouldn't be constantly aloof. If you could replace this boy with some kind of chat algorithm and still have basically the same conversations, then he's merely putting up with you.

Has he made any effort to contact you?
You said he never starts conversations; I'm not sure if this was hyperbole, but if the guy has never been the one to contact you at all, then things are looking grim. I might be willing to overlook the other stuff—maybe he really was too busy to make it to your show—but if you're interested in someone, it doesn't matter if you don't have a phone. You send her a dang carrier pigeon if you have to. And you do it because you really want to, not out of obligation.

If I had to sum up this guy's level of interest with a single wordless gesture, I would give a thumbs-up, and then go "ptthbth" and change it to a thumbs-down. But nobody cares what I think, and if you earnestly like this guy, then neither should you. If you want to make one last attempt to figure out how he feels, you can do that without asking him on a Literal Serious Date For Real. Just float the suggestion so casually that he's not even sure this is a date, or that you're even asking him, or what is even happening. Message him to find out what he's up to and then casually, super-casually, mention that you might go to some coffee shop to study or whatever (be sure to have your hands nonchalantly in your pockets and be whistling a casual tune). If he's interested, and this whole non-lationship has been a series of misunderstandings, then he should take the opportunity to come see you. If he once again seems not to care, then, at the risk of repeating myself, "ptthbth."

Topics: Life, Advice
Tags: relationships, flirting, dating, advice, guys, ask jono, mixed signals

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