In a Sea of Messages, This One’s Mixed

Hello Doctor,

I need your advice on a little dilemma of mine. There is this guy that I've known for quite some time now. It started off with just getting together for drinks and then a couple times for dinner, but it's been over a year and I don't know where we stand; whether he just wants to be friends or something more.

Around our second or third time getting together last year, he brought up the topic of relationships. He mentioned that he has been in a 10 year on-again, off-again relationship with this girl. I asked about his status at that time. He replied that they're just friends now, but, that she says he's the one for her. Somehow, I got the impression that it was his nice way of telling me that he's not interested in anything more than just friends with me (that was just my assumption), but we continued to get together on a few more occasions, but nothing ever happened.

I decided on my own that we were just going to remain friends (I didn't want to keep my hopes up for anything more). However, every time I saw him; be it at a group outing or just the two of us, I still felt that bit of attraction towards him. I never said anything and just acted like a casual friend because I couldn't stand the thought of rejection. It wasn't until a few months ago when we were hanging out together like all the other times and having a fabulous evening. He completely took me by surprise towards the end of the night and kissed me. He said that he waited all night to do that. After that, we both left without saying anything more. An entire weekend went by and no word from him. The following week, I received an e-mail from him asking me about my weekend and some mentions about the kiss. He asked me what I thought of it and if he was too forward with me. I responded by saying that I didn't think he was too forward, but I'm glad it happened the way it did.

A month goes by and I still haven't heard anything from him, no e-mails or even a call. But then I saw him again at one of our group outings which he came over to say hello. However, for the rest of the night, we didn't talk at all. It wasn't until I was leaving that I went over to him to say good-bye and he asked me when we are going to hang out again. It threw me off and I didn't know how to respond, except by saying-- anytime, just e-mail me.

The entire summer goes by and nothing from him. We met up once again at another one of our group outings 3 months later. This time I spotted him and attempted to say hello first. After that, he did not leave my side for the entire night. I thought everything was going so well. We had so much to talk about and even mentioned about that very night he kissed me, except we never mentioned the 'kiss'. I made a comment about him having a few too many drinks that night and whether he remembers anything. He replied that he remembers everything vividly. I was so close to asking him about what happened that night and why he kissed me. I guess I sort of wanted to hear from him whether he wanted this to be more than a friendship or it was just a spur-of-the-moment feeling he had when he kissed me. But I completely chickened out and never asked. So basically, the whole night went great, at least I thought so. You could definitely sense the attraction between us. But what bothered me the most and left me with questions was when he left. All he did was to give me a peck and a hug and took off. This happened about a little over a week ago.

I can't tell if he's interested or not. Should I just forget about him and move on? Also, I wanted to contact him (through e-mail) to see if he'd like to get together. He's always been the one to e-mail me first and initiate getting together in the past. I on the other hand, have never contacted him first. Maybe I should at least make the move just this time and go from there? Because 'if' we do get together this time, would it be wise to ask him what really happened that night with the kiss. What should I do? Please help.

So, let me get this straight: you are attracted to him, but you act completely indifferent when you're around him. He even kisses you (likely a HUGE step for him) and even asks you about it later on and you're dishwater-dull about it. Even now, you're not 100% sure of his feelings so instead of doing something to find out, you do nothing but lay out a plan for him to follow in your mind (contacting you via email, asking to hang out, etc.), but do nothing about it - including telling him!

Can you say "mixed messages"? I knew you could!

Here's what's going on:

Yes, he's interested. He'd never have kissed you in the first place if he weren't. Then, he'd never have asked you about it later. Unfortunately, this guy is obviously not one of my students and doesn't know what in the hell to do from here! He probably figures that you're just not interested and has moved on.

So, what should you do?

You better start by deciding once and for all if you're interested in him or not. He's not going to just come riding up on his white horse, sweep you off your feet and lock you up in his castle on top of the hill! He's waiting for you to show him something - anything - that is a positive response to what he feels is a very obvious signal. But instead, what does he get back? Static. White noise.

Email him and tell him you want to get together. Don't wait for him to do this - he has already done this many times. It's way past time for YOU to reciprocate. When you DO get together with him, kiss him back for God's sake! Climb in his lap and give him a big, sensuous kiss. Express to him in something close to his language that you're interested too. You might even tell him directly that you would like to start seeing him more often or even try working on something more because you both are obviously attracted to each other.

If you continue doing what you're doing now, he's going to quickly lose interest. In fact, I'm surprised he's even hung in there this long.

Best regards...

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World" series), hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive. Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? To learn more, go to