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Ask Jean Your Own Question

Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 plus years of experience in the field.
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Hi Doctor, Ive been interested in expanding a friendship

Resolved Question:

Hi Doctor,

I've been interested in expanding a friendship with a guy friend. We have been in touch for about a year, and he attends the same school I do. Over the months we have tried to know each other better, but our relationship has somewhat stayed in limbo, since neither of us has requested to become exclusive. I would really appreciate some advice :)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

20pluscounts :

Hello, I'm available to assist you. Welcome!

20pluscounts :

"neither one of us has requested to become exclusive", are you apprehensive to take that move yourself?

Customer:

Hi Doctor

Customer:

Great, thank you for taking the time :)

Customer:

I appreciate it

20pluscounts :

You both are likely waiting for the other to say something, right? Hello, thanks for joining me. It's difficult when you are unsure of where he's at in this.

Customer:

I think so, somewhat apprehensive

Customer:

Exactly

20pluscounts :

Are there things that lead you to be thinking positively?

Customer:

At the beginning of the school year, in September, he expressed the fact that he does like me as more than a friend, but that he wanted to get to know me better

Customer:

But after that, nothing progressed. I thought we had a chance for it to happen, but it just didn't work out, and I feel guilty in that I may have been the reason

20pluscounts :

It's apparent that you are both enjoying time together. He's interested, wanting to spend time with you. I see, get to know you better, has been a few months now, right. What do you mean, didn't work out?

Customer:

Well actually we started getting to know one another since last April

Customer:

when he had asked me to the school prom/homecoming

Customer:

But the thing is, he wasn't planning to ask me personally, he only resorted to asking me because one of my friends whom he first asked didnt agree to him

Customer:

So she referred him to asking me

Customer:

Does that make sense? After prom, I guess his interest in me peaked

20pluscounts :

Have the two of you talked at all about being "serious" in the relationship? Are you seeing each other regularly? He would not have asked you if he didn't want to. How was the prom?

Customer:

We have somewhat. But, a lot of the time, I felt uncomfortable and somewhat anxious talking with him about it

Customer:

Nowadays, no, we don't see each other regularly, only during school I guess, but I feel like his interest has weakened, since he doesn't text me much anymore

Customer:

And the prom was alright, we did have a pretty okay time. But I remember he spoke with our mutual friend and told her how he didn't really know what to say to me. As in when he was trying to make conversation, he felt as though it wasn't really working, and I felt as though he thought I wasnt very receptive

20pluscounts :

It is anxiety producing isn't it- especially if you really like him, and want it to work. You may have to take the initiative and ask him out, see if that interest is there. Find out either way, vs. guessing. We come up with so many scenarios in our head- but don't know until we ask- especially if he's stepped back a bit. You may be anxious to talk to him, but put on a strong and brave face, he won't know you are feeling anxious inside.

Customer:

Right, no I understand, its just that, I did take the initiative in asking him to a nightfall dance at my school

Customer:

in November

Customer:

and he said no

Customer:

Well, actually, he didn't give me a straight answer

Customer:

until I pushed for a real answer

20pluscounts :

It hurts when someone says no- I'm sorry. His loss!! Be upbeat when you talk to him, vs. shy and apprehensive, maybe have to practice what you'd like to say.

Customer:

Right

Customer:

and doctor, I've noticed that the times when I'm most upbeat or relaxed, he's more receptive in talking to me

Customer:

He makes more of an effort, and sees that I'm worth talking to :)

Customer:

But since its almost the end of the year, I'm not sure what to do at this point

20pluscounts :

Maybe consider a group or couples date, not so uncomfortable. Yes, upbeat will lessen his discomfort, maybe too. It sounds corny but think ahead of time what you'd like to talk about-

20pluscounts :

Do you worry he will say no again?

Customer:

Yes especially if he hasn't seen any progress in our communication

20pluscounts :

What is the worst he can do? He could say no, does not mean you are any less of a catch. Sometimes we just don't gel with people. It may be worth a try- find out one way or the other- if a no go, can move on to other possibilities.

Customer:

And also doctor, he notices that I'm very quiet, and that I don't mingle with many friends much during school. I think he has made a perception of me in that I'm always swamped with schoolwork, and all.

20pluscounts :

Do you have opportunities to see him out of school in social situations?

Customer:

Yes, but its hard to take advantage of them, because I'm not sure what gatherings he goes to, or what exactly his plans are until last minute

20pluscounts :

Not everyone is super outgoing- it comes more natural for some people. You may have to put yourself out there more- "look" more outgoing-

Customer:

Most of my friends dont plan very ahead of time

Customer:

Right, and I'm trying to practice that, but its really hard for me

Customer:

And also, I dont want to sound desperate in asking him what his plans are, I'm scared as to what he might assume

Customer:

Does that make sense?

20pluscounts :

Yes, it's a skill some have to practice. Think of people you know who are more outgoing, what do they do, body language etc. Yes, natural to feel scared- most people say that's the reason they are not so forward in relationships, especially early on.

Customer:

Exactly, and I feel he saw there was no progress in our communication, which is why he just gave up after awhile

Customer:

as in no progress in me opening up with him

Customer:

And I'm not sure whether I just don't gel with him, or whether I'm not open enough

20pluscounts :

Standing tall, chin up, smile, all those types of things convey confidence- eye contact too.That's why you may now have to take more initiative, scary, but maybe necessary to get more information. Start by appearing more confident, look him in the eye, greet him warmly etc.

Customer:

Alright, and you think that will go a long way?

Customer:

Hopefully :)

20pluscounts :

I think it's worth a try- and as you gather more info. see what response you get, you can proceed from there. Yes- hope, be positive and optimistic- and convey that to him

Customer:

Recently, I've been able to make eye contact with him

Customer:

So I guess I've made progress over time

20pluscounts :

Upbeat, even if it's just a greeting, "hello", with the eye contact.

20pluscounts :

A nice greeting with the eye contact feels great from anyone-

20pluscounts :

Progress not perfection right!! Takes time and practice- "act" more confident- practice it.

20pluscounts :

Thank you for your post tonight- let me know if I can assist you again. Best wishes- be brave, you can do it!!

Customer:

Thank you doctor

Customer:

:)

Customer:

Thanks for your help

20pluscounts :

You are so welcome!!

Customer:

And one more thing

Customer:

Sorry I forgot to mention

Customer:

One time during our serious conversations, he conveyed the fact that it is physical attraction, and that he's thought about kissing

Customer:

Kind of a cheesy thing to say to a girl, but I feel as though he didn't feel the chemistry

Customer:

What do you think is on his mind about me?

20pluscounts :

That's a good start- use your "good looks" to charm him :)

Customer:

Or the possibilities maybe?

20pluscounts :

Most relationships start off with a physical attraction- we see faces, the outward appearance first, and can build on that- he now needs to get to know more of you- your insides.

Customer:

I know :) What do you think he is looking for?

Customer:

in particular?

Customer:

How deep I mean?

20pluscounts :

Maybe find out what he likes to do- take a risk, step out of your comfort zone. Of course you have to be cautious about the person wanting something shallow right- but again, you will not know unless you put yourself out there- take some initiative- be brave

20pluscounts :

Keeping the interaction light and upbeat can create more comfort for both of you.

20pluscounts :

Venturing into relationships takes risks- a combination of being friendly, but not clingy and desperate right!

Customer:

Right :)

20pluscounts :

I say give it a try- start with the warm greeting when you see him, see how he responds to that.

Customer:

Its interesting because we do greet each other, but its just, sometimes I feel like my efforts are just futile

Customer:

or their either not actual efforts

Customer:

its weird

20pluscounts :

You may have to be a bit more assertive with him. Maybe up the effort a little. Is there anything else I can assist you with? If you'd be so kind to rate my answer okay or higher so I can get credit- much appreciated!!

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 plus years of experience in the field.
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