One Friday last year, near the end of the work day, I was sitting at my desk fixing my makeup when my office mate walked in catching me mid-lipstick application.
“Where are you going?”
“Meeting up with this guy.”
“Oh no! I don’t think it’s a date. More business, I think.”
“Then why are you putting on lipstick?’
“Ok, well, I’m actually not sure what it is. We were going to meet for coffee, and I thought it was business, so I was going to wear sweats today since I had to move to the new office, but then he texted me last night asking if I wanted to go see this documentary thing with him afterwards. Is that a date?”
“Sounds like a date to me”
In walked our other co-worker, “Ooh, where are you going?
“She has a date!”
“No, I don’t know if I have a date. I’m not sure if he’s interested in me like that.”
And that’s where it started. That very same conversation would take place in offices, over lunch tables, over drinks, over dinner, and over chat for months to come. Sure they varied in words and some of the details changed as my friends and I analyzed the latest information on how HE was acting or what HE was doing at any given moment, but the focus was the same:
Was HE in fact, interested in me?
HE was a guy I’d met over a year earlier. I had run into him near work one day the previous fall and after some conversation, he asked me out to lunch and when I said that I couldn’t, he asked me to dinner. I’d been at the end part of dating someone and in the middle of a busy work season, so I told him to check in in a few weeks. It took a little longer, but he did and so there we were, I was putting lipstick and getting ready to hang out (?) and discussing the ‘is it a date” question with my co-workers.
I won’t add any more details. Won’t go through the what HE did or how HE acted to analyze it here today because that’s not what I want to talk about right now. Sure, it was confusing and dating is confusing, especially when the word date has been changed to hang out, and hang out can change meanings at the whim of the person using it. But no, that’s not the point here (grrr) my point is a little different, because it wasn’t until months after all the months of analyzing that I realized one very important thing:
Was SHE interested in him?
SHE being a woman who had a lot of very strong opinions on a lot of topics. SHE who was always so strong, so independent, smart, self-sufficient and many other great things [according to her awesome friends] hadn’t considered her own interest and she who was ME wondered why.
Now a year later and another guy. Nice enough, cute enough, smart enough, and funny enough, but still the question resurfaced in the very same variations of the very same analytical conversations with friends. The same ole “Is HE interested in me?””
We went out and it was fun and all, but there was something. Something that should be there just isn’t there and is it really the lack of outright signs of interest on his part, or is it something else?
I initiated the date, well the time to hang out because I definitely didn’t think of it as a date. I initiated most of our conversations and he really didn’t ask me any questions, not about my opinions and definitely not about myself. What he knew is only what I volunteered.
And then, that feeling of deja vu.
Haven’t I already lived this moment a thousand times before?
What was the question again? Oh yeah…
Am I interested in HIM?
Google the interest topic and a zillion articles about HOW TO TELL IF HE’S INTERESTED will pop up. Everyone has the answer. Those 5 little things that will help you read the thoughts he’s not expressing, and if they can’t tell you if HE is interested, they’ll tell you how to make HIM interested.
So before you ask the question, “Is he interested?” ask yourself if you are. There’s really no 5 ways to know, you just know, by the way you feel and the way he makes you feel.
Do you want to see him again? Does the thought of kissing him make you smile? Yes? Then it’s a pretty safe bet you’re interested.
Now mind you, I’m not saying the question of his interest isn’t an important one, but you, your friends and a million detail-analyzing conversations can’t answer it.
If he’s not answering it in words and actions then fuck it. You have to ask yourself if he’s worth the investment of the time time and energy it will take for the dissection of what you perceive to be clues.
Who needs that mess?
A guy who’s interested isn’t going to leave you guessing. He may not be ready to bet all his chips, but he’ll let you know that he’s up for playing the risky game that we call dating with you.