Does dating boil down to “If they’re into you, they’ll ask you out”?


usernamechequesout asks:

hey, 24F here. Just wanted to make sure I’m not being a jerk for thinking this way. If I am giving signs to a 24M that I like him, like what I say and how I act, and he’s not asking me out then I should just drop it, right? He’s either really dense and not picking up the signs (unlikely) or he’s not interested enough to ask (more likely). without going into more detail, is this a fair assumption to make?

Demetrius says:

Ah, a philosophical question for the modern age. If he doesn’t initiate is he interested at all? Does his lack of action also mean a lack of interest? If a tree falls in the….okay let’s not go down this path.

The reason I’m framing it as a philosophical question is that I think that a lot of dating questions have no clear answer. I’ve answered hundreds of different dating and relationship questions and my approach to answering questions like this is to examine them the same way you would a thought experiment like the Ship of Theseus. You might have noticed, if you read enough of my writing, that I rarely if ever say “THIS IS DEFINITELY THE REASON WHY THINGS HAPPENED” unless I’m dealing with provable facts, rather than matters of perception.

It’s easy to say “If they’re interested they’ll ask you out” and assume that’s true, but what if they’re thinking the exact same thing?. What if, in your case, he’s waiting for you to ask him out because he doesn’t subscribe to hetero-normative gender roles? I mean, that’s probably not the case, but how can we be certain for sure? Oh right, you could just ask! Seriously, I cannot stress it enough: If you want to know the answer to a question, ask the person who can give you a direct answer. I love answering dating questions, don’t get me wrong, but instead of asking “well if I’m giving signs that I like a guy and he doesn’t ask me out does that mean he’s not interested” please remember that you can just ask him if he’s interested. Directly.

My advice to you, and everyone really, is take the energy you’d use to search for the potential reasoning behind the actions or inaction’s of the people you date, and focus that energy on getting an answer from them. “Why did he ghost me?” is fun for me to answer, but if you really really want to know, ask him. “Why did she lose interest?” is something I answer a lot, and my answers are always educated guesses, so if you want the actual answer just ask her. If you ask and you don’t get an answer, by all means ask for my educated guess. But maybe do that as a last resort.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to hear this from me. I love answering sex, dating, and relationship questions, and I love how engaged my readers are, but I want more than just page views and content. I want daters to be less stressed out by all the uncertainty that revolves around dating. Remember, when I answer your question, even if my answer is 100% right, I’m just guessing. They’re educated guesses based on a mix of my own experiences, anecdotal information, research, statistics, etc., but they’re still just guesses.

Oh and to actually answer your question: I’m 50/50 on whether or not he’s interested or not, mostly because there isn’t a clear sign one way or the other. I don’t think you’re a jerk for thinking that if he was interested he’d ask you out because you’re confirming to a norm that society has told you is usually true. But at the same time, you’re asking whether or not he’s interested based solely on “signs” which could mean one thing to you, and another to him. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want to know if he’s interested in going on a date with you, just ask him. You can shoot your shot too.

Good Luck Out There.

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