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[RUSH!] Long-time friend - not sure about his feelings or what to do next...?

I met him through a college club. We hung out regularly with a group of friends. I had feelings for him, and got mixed signals. He would talk about other girls and such. We joked with eachother a lot. At the same time, we would get touchy-feely; hugs, backing me into walls, holding hands, tickling, wrestling, lying together. He moved a few years later and we lost touch.

I reached out this past Feb (he moved back last year). I recovered from some personal issues, and wanted to re-connect. I planned to send a confession letter, but agreed to meet (about a month ago). We had dinner, caught up, laughed, joked around like old times. We didn't even realize when our meals arrived late (he paid for both even though I tried to pay for mine). We walked back to his place and talked more. He encouraged me to talk and really listened.

We wrestled, pinning eachother and fighting for control. He said he could tie my wrists with a lanyard, and I was game, so he did. This lead to him pulling out actual rope (a kink I was aware he had and am cool with) and wrestling while he tied my wrists. By the time we stopped, I was really turned on. He made an off-hand comment about his clothes, and I suggested he take them off. This led to us taking off most of eachother's stuff and talking about sexual preferences. He suggested we sleep and see in the morning. We shared his bed and stayed close all night, and at one point after he had gotten up, he pulled me closer and rubbed my back.

The next morning, we played around a bit. He told me he wouldn't do anything until I told him what I wanted. I'm a virgin (he doesn't know), and didn't know what to say. We didn't have much time since he had to meet a friend, so we just laid together for a bit; he rubbed my body very gently and didn't pressure me.

We talked about meeting again after he came back from a few weeks of traveling. Since then, we texted a few times. The last text I sent was on 4/25 asking when I could see him next; no reply. He's never been a fan of texting. I really want to see him again to figure things out. He's so hard to read, so I'm still confused of his feelings for me and unsure of what to do next. What do you think?

Re: [RUSH!] Long-time friend - not sure about his feelings or what to do next...?

I think he likes you and he's attracted to you, but he's not in any rush to get a relationship going. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to play it cool. Give him the time and space to miss you and to ask you out. You're on different "clocks" and you're pushing to move things forward, but you might make him feel pressured by doing so. And if he is interested you'll get better results by playing it cool. So since you texted him on April 25, and he's not a big texting person, don't text again -- unless he texts you first. Instead, give it a few weeks or a month, and if you want to reach out and invite him to do something, then you can do that (by calling him) and see how he responds. The only reason that may be a problem is that he may be someone who is happy and ready to go out and be with you sexually, when you invite him, but he isn't as interested in being the one to get or keep the ball rolling himself. That's going to be dissatisfying to you over the long run. I think you're confused because you like him and he likes you -- but you're ready for more of a significant, regular relationship, and you haven't gotten a clue from him that he's on the same track. So play it cool, and understand that he may be a guy who likes you a lot -- but isn't ready for a relationship. I hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.

Re: [RUSH!] Long-time friend - not sure about his feelings (UPDATED)

Thank you for your advice! Things have progressed:

We met Sunday at his place. Joked around, took a nap. He pretended he didn't want to get up, and said "Use your imagination". We headed towards rope play, but he teased he would leave so I told him to stop, and he took that as a sign I wasn't interested. After talking, it was clear we were DTF. Affectionate foreplay, lots of laughs. Intense but respectful; he took control and kept it at my comfort level. We finished about the same time, then just kind of held each other for a minute, and looked each other in the eye.

I kissed him (the lips was the only place he didn't kiss me), we napped then talked and were fine with FWB. To me, we'd talked circumstance, but not emotions. At one point, he said he wouldn't want me to wait for him because he wasn't worth it (I didn't mention waiting; why bring it up?).

He got frustrated because I wasn't saying what I wanted to, but I couldn't read him, so I didn't think I could. He encouraged me to take risks and it again felt like he was talking about vague things that potentially cross the FWB line.

He winded down and ate, I was on the couch. I asked him a few times if he was going to read (he'd said I could stay as long as I wanted, but I wasn't so sure anymore). He told me I didn't need to ask and it's a habit that wears people down if you ask too much (since he does that too). He said he didn't want to make it seem like he was angry/yelling, but I felt like I messed up. I got up and got my stuff, said I was heading out, and he walked me to the door, we hugged, etc. He seemed very tired.

I texted him later because I felt like I fucked up when trying not to, and I really did want to meet/catch up again. I texted him this afternoon when my head was clear and asked specifically if he was open to going out around his b-day. Will leave him alone now.

Am I so stupid to think his feelings might not be entirely platonic, and he just isn't willing to go there yet? He says he can't read my mind, but it's the same for me! He says things, but it's like he's holding back and his actions don't feel in line with how he treats his female friends.


Re: [RUSH!] Long-time friend - not sure about his feelings or what to do next...?

He doesn't want a traditional relationship and the two of you agreed to be friends with benefits, plus he's brought up the fact that the doesn't think you should wait for him because he's not worth it. These are all signs that this is going to be a solid friends with benefits relationship, and that he's not interested in more right now. If that's what you want, then proceed. But I don't think it's what you want -- I think you want a relationship that has a strong emotional connection in addition to the sexual experiences and I think you want some continuity and someone who's going to be in contact more frequently and regularly. He's not offering this -- so you've decided to take what he is offering so that you don't lose the relationship altogether. In other words, you cut yourself a deal that isn't really what you want, and now you're trying to figure out how to leverage it into more. :? This is a tough position to be in -- but lots of people with not that much dating experience get themselves into this kind of a pickle. So, here are some options. You can continue with what he's offering, and try to understand that you agreed to this and he's been upfront about the terms of the relationship. Or, you can change your own behavior and only accept dates where he shows you that he values your time beyond sex, and wants to take you out, show you off, and make sure you're happy. This means you'll have to say no to dates that just involve sleeping over and napping and hanging out -- and the risk is that he won't ask you out on romantic dates and the relationship you have will fizzle away. Or, you can play the field and get to know other people and date other guys while you're waiting for him to show up next. This is probably what he's doing, and it'll give you more of a sense of control over your life. But as long as you try to get him to show you emotions he doesn't really have for you, you're going to be frustrated. I hope you can consider this advice -- and if you need more, I'm here for you.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.