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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Does he genuinely really like me or only want company?

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So I met this guy a month ago through mutual friends. We’re both in different colleges (I’m a freshman and he’s an exchange student) but since we’ve met, we’ve been hanging out a lot with our friends as a group (average of 3-5x a week). We’ve gone out alone once but that’s cause everyone bailed on us. However when do hang out in a group we pretty much stick to each other all the time.


Our “relationship” is weird cause we’re not even casually dating (let alone official) nor are we “just friends” or even friends with benefits. We are really really close though. We’ve kissed, cuddled, made out, held hands in public (and in front of our friends), etc. but never had sex. Everyone thinks we're together even though we're not. I’ve spent a few nights with him when we didn’t even do anything (we didn’t even kiss) but talked and cuddled until one of us fell asleep. Our conversations are really deep and we talk about everything. We text pretty regularly when we don’t see each other. However we were at a house party once and someone asked us if we were together and he was so quick and sure to say "no" (while having his arm around me).


I didn’t know he saw me as more than a friend until he held my hand one night. He has never flirted with me verbally or said anything sweet, he just shows affection through his actions - even now he has never said anything remotely 'sweet' or 'romantic'. The thing is, he's leaving at the end of the year and move back to his home state (which is on the other side of the country). He has mentioned a few times that he really misses home.


He broke up with his long-term girlfriend right before he left to my college (he still remains best friends with her. I know this not because he told me because he didn't mention anything about his ex, but through Facebook and his roommate/best friend who is also my good friend) but we didn't meet each other until almost halfway through the semester. I’m afraid I might just be a rebound (although he’s not using me for sex, he could be using me for company). I know we don’t have a future together (which sucks cause I’ve never liked anyone as much as I like him) but I just need your opinion.


At least if I know he genuinely likes me I’ll make the most of the time we do have together and if he doesn’t then I could put an end to this before I get too emotionally attached to him without him even feeling the same way.


When we first met, he promised to go to a concert with me before Christmas but has since seemed to have "forgotten" about it. Now he wants to go on a month-long holiday with his best friend before going back to his home state (instead of spending more time with me) and had a choice to prolong his exchange but declined. I've only brought up the concert once before he mentioned his holiday plans but haven't brought it up since. Recently he said he might be going on holiday before the date of the concert (without mentioning the actual concert), which is a red flag to me since he obviously doesn't seem to care (he knows it's my favorite band). He has also never asked me out on a date. Although some of the signs he’s showing might suggest he’s genuinely into me, a couple of them prove otherwise, hence why I’m so confused right now.


It’s even more complicated because guys have been asking me out on dates and I haven’t gone on any partly because this guy and I are pretty exclusive – he’s not seeing anyone else nor does he like anyone else (his roommate/best friend verified that. Just to be clear I’m good friends with his roommate too) – plus, I’m not really that into them as much as I'm into this guy. I figured I have a short time with him and want to make the most out of the time we have together, yet the guys that have been asking me out on dates are not on exchange and if he doesn’t feel the same way about me (even temporarily) I feel like I’m pushing away 'potentials.'


1. Does he genuinely really like me or is he just seeking temporary company (not necessarily MY company) because he doesn't have his girlfriend by his side and is homesick? He obviously has SOME level of interest but I'm afraid I like him way more than he likes me (although I do keep it cool).


2. Assuming he does like me, why do you think he wants to go on a one-month long holiday abroad with his best friend instead of spending more time with me in this state? He also declined to prolong his exchange but he says it's due to his financial constraints (which I can understand) PLUS he's planning to go on holiday before the concert we were supposed to go to without mentioning the concert. Surely he couldn't have forgotten it?


3. Why hasn't he asked me to go out with him alone? We do end up alone most of the time after hanging out with our friends but it never starts off that way. Like I said, it has only happened once. If the gender roles were reversed I'd definitely be asking him out alone (casually) at least once a week.


4. What do you feel about the fact that he broke up with his ex of 2 years only 3 months ago and then jumping straight into this "thing" with me?


Your help will be much appreciated!

Hello. I think that while he may like you, he is being logical about the possibility of a relationship due to his temporary status. I think that he enjoys your company and you friendship, possibly a bit more than friends, but he isn't interested in anything serious for the same reasons you observed. He likes not being tied down, he likes the cuddling and the occasional making out and assumes you are fine with the same.
What I would suggest, is having a talk with him where you are 100% honest with him about how you feel and about the status of your relationship. If you are up front about your feelings and tell him you are pushing off 'potentials' for him, he will probably tell you he doesn't care if you date other people because he knows you can't have a future together. That would be my opinion on his response.
You should stop guessing and just ask him. You may not like his answer or even having the conversation, but you will have AN answer and know where you both stand.
Dr. Paige and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your wonderful insight, Dr. Paige :) However I do not plan to have a conversation with him concerning this as I'm perfectly happy with the way things are (minus the fact that he doesn't want to take me out alone and spend more time with me before he goes back home) and don't want anything serious out of it either.


But I just want to determine his interest level - is he only slightly interested or is he really into me? Only reason why I'm asking is because I really do like him a lot and want to know if he's worth spending my 2 months with and if he's worth pushing away other guys for.

I don't think he is really into you honestly. I think he enjoys your company and he likes you as a friend. 2 months isn't that long of a period of time to be with him if that's what you want to do. You already know he is leaving in that time, so why not do whatever makes you happy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Wow, just as a friend? :( So him showing affection and intimacy towards me doesn't mean anything to him but a friendly gesture? Or is that his way of just filling the void and he's just using me as a replacement for his ex?

That is my opinion, yes. If he does feel anything more for you, I think that he would not allow himself to endulge those feelings because he knows he is leaving as well. I'm sure he has compassion for you and loves being with you, but if he wanted something more, men are generally not ones to hold back.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You're right. I think I'll just go along with it and if I start really falling for him I'll be sure to back off and put an end to this. Thank you so much for your help :)

No problem. It's 2 months, so have fun and enjoy what you can !
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hey Dr Paige, So I just found out from his roommate/best friend that he really does like me and is just shy. I don't see him as shy at all but my friends have been giving me signs that he is shy around me which seem to be pretty obvious now.


First of all, he's really talkative and loud when he's with other girls. Not to say that he's not talkative with me but he's really chill and never does anything outlandish when he's with me, but I notice that he's more loud when talking to other people. Secondly, he always seems to need alcohol before making any move on me - be it holding my hand, unexpectedly kissing me, etc. but when he's cold sober he seems really distant (not sure if this is a sign of disinterest or not). He still talks a lot but is not flirtatious in any way. Even when he's drunk he's not sexual or flirty but he seems to be more confident in being more intimate and affectionate with me.


What I do want to know is why hasn't he asked me out yet? Obviously I'm not expecting a relationship but I'd like to spend more time with him alone - just the two of us. Nothing serious, just really casual. Also, he makes a lot of effort to see me sometimes but other times he doesn't. It's like he's either all or nothing. You'd think he'd make it up for the times that he doesn't see me to take me out alone, but nope. Then again we do go out as a group quite a lot although because we just had a mid-semester break last week and we haven't seen each other in a whole week. We stopped texting a few days ago too. He is so strange and I can't seem to read him at all! What do you think - is he really into me as his roommate/best friend says he is? If he is, why is he hot and cold?


I don't want to ask him out because obviously he'll say yes and I'll feel like he'll only say it because otherwise it'll be awkward when we do meet up again.

Hello. I think he isn't making any type of move because he knows that there is a 2 month time limit on your relationship as you know. He is probably hot and cold because he isn't certain of what to do.
So at this point, what do you want to do? You know this is a temporary thing no matter how each of you feel, so do you want to pursue it?
I might do something like casually mention to him something's too bad that you are leaving in a few months, we might make a good couple...or something like that to see his reaction.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr Paige,


Even though I would be sad when he leaves, I would be sad if this didn't happen and if we ended things now anyway so I figured why not be happy even just for a little while?


I have never felt this way or felt as physically & emotionally attracted to a guy before. He is everything I want in a guy and I know that if he didn't have to leave he could potentially be my first love.

I'm just overthinking this because I really want to make the most out of the 2 months left that we have together because I've never felt this way towards any guy before. We just click so incredibly well and I've never been more attracted to any guy before I met him.


Obviously I'm not expecting a relationship but I'd like to spend more time with him alone - just the two of us. Nothing serious, just really casual. He just makes me so happy. Also, he makes a lot of effort to see me sometimes but other times he doesn't. It's like he's either all or nothing. You'd think he'd make it up for the times that he doesn't see me to take me out alone, but nope. Then again we do go out as a group quite a lot although because we just had a mid-semester break last week and we haven't seen each other in 2 whole weeks.


However I don't wanna ask him out purely because I know for a fact that he'll say yes, otherwise it'll be super awkward between us the next time we see each other because we literally share the same circle of friends. I feel like he'll say yes out of obligation. I also don't wanna ask him out because I feel like there's a reason he still hasn't (and probably won't ever) ask me out and that's because he needs space for himself, his work and his time apart from me - plus maybe he's just into the occasional making out/cuddling session and doesn't want to hang out with me on a regular basis.

I just want to hang out with him one-on-one more often (at least once a week) because we don't really engage in PDA when we're with our friends and don't get to talk as much. We have gone out once and that's because both the friends he invited couldn't come along (weird cus he didn't invite everyone else in the group) and we had an amazing night together - totally different from when we're in a group.


We'll definitely be seeing each other again on Friday for a house party and I'm not quite sure how to "behave." Do I act really excited to see him, do I act totally casual and nonchalant, should I text him beforehand... What should I do? The fact that we're neither just friends nor dating/in a relationship makes it so hard for me to determine how to act because I don't know how much he's into me let alone what I am/mean to him.


I think you should do whatever makes you happy. You should try to just be comfortable around him when you are together. Because you are on a sort of time limit with moving things along, you might want to consider this and act accordingly. If you are really excited to see him, act that way. You don't want to have any regrets when he leaves. What do you ave to lose if you act more forward with him at this point? I think you should be a little more aggressive with your actions if you feel comfortable doing so. IF he shoots you down, then you know where you stand. It's better to know that then to not act and always wonder.