Let me set the scene for you (because we’ve all been in it, at the very least once or twice in our adult lives).
You’ve arranged to ‘hang out’ with someone; It’s most likely evening, there is alcohol on the table, and the sexual tension is buzzing around almost tangibly (at least you think it is… isn’t it?!). You really like them, but because of the nature of the encounter, you’re not sure if the feeling is mutual.
I think this has only happened to me twice, and both times it was confusing and rather agitating. Especially, when it comes to working out if someone is into us ‘that way’ or not.
So what can you do about it?
1. Most of these errors happen because we aren’t sure if the other person is interested in us (sometimes I wish humans could read each other’s minds, and then I remember what a god awful idea that would be). Therefore, we need to investigate things a little further.
Not that I’m against treading lightly. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that’s what a FIRST DATE is for. When you define the activity as a date, the boundaries are clear, you both know where things stand. You’ve both agreed to get a drink and see if there is ‘something there’.
Just don’t let yourself end up in ambiguous situations! If someone says “let’s hang out next Friday!”, Just go out on a limb and ask “like on a date?!” .
Things might not work out romantically, but at least you are both on the same page.
2. Fear not, if you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are a few ways to get out of it.
For starters, you can always be blunt and ask them (the worst that can happen is that you will end up realizing it was an awkward misunderstanding, that you can either laugh off, or end the evening prematurely with the most uncomfortable hug ever). Or you can go for plan B (this is what I usually do): show you are interested! I’ve fondly named plan B. “flirt your bum off.”
3. They may not be into you at all. People flirt for so many different reasons; to make themselves feel good, they genuinely think they are just being nice (and really didn’t mean to flirt at all), they want something from you (not necessarily sexually); the possibilities are endless!
My rule is, if I’m not sure, I either reciprocate to show I’m interested and, see where it goes - or let it go and move on.
4. If you aren’t interested in the other person, and you think you may be on a date, make it CLEAR that it isn’t a date. You don’t have to phrase it that way, you can tactfully slip it into the conversation, but make sure that they know you’re not interested.
(Try and do this ahead of time on the phone. Make it clear up front that it’s a hang out as ‘just friends’, and try not to wind up in the most ‘couply’ spot in town).
The best relationships often grow out of friendships. Just don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the ‘does he/she like me?’ limbo! Because it’s frustrating as all hell.