Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why won't he make any physical contact at all?

Asked by chelle21689 (5450 points ) March 13th, 2011

For those who don’t know: I met a guy through a mutual friend at my birthday party. He was flirtatious and put his hand around my waist and seemed very confident.

We have been talking every night for three weeks. He’d call me every night and even when we’re both out on weekends he’d make an effort to call. We only hung out 4 times and out of the 4 only ONCE we’ve been alone. He’d make plans with me each weekend but it’d always end up being our friends instead of us being alone.

He knows I just got out of a 5 year relationship a month ago. My friend told him. I didn’t bring it up to the guy and he didn’t ask me about my past relationship so I don’t know. I’m thinking maybe he’s going slow because of that?

He doesn’t touch me at all though. Not even playfully…and not even a hand around the waist when talking (subtly) like at the party! But he does hug me before we part each time.

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30 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Too shy.

robdamel's avatar

I am almost 100% sure he is simply being respectful, entirely because he is aware of the fact that you just got out of a relationship. I`ve been in his shoes, and I`ve also been told off for trying to hit on a girl who recently left a relationship. So he is being respectful, count on it. Let him know indirectly that you are completely over your last relationship

chelle21689's avatar

How do I move things up? Like little things like arm around the waist, shoulder or something. I know he likes me but physically it feels like friend zone lol

blueiiznh's avatar

I suspect he is being a gentleman. Or at least for your sake, I hope that is it.
If you want to be more physical, then communicate it. There is nothing wrong with that. I would bet he would like that approach too. Who says HE has to initiate.
Simply ask….Or, when you can, move close. Touch legs, arms, etc.
Reach out and ask to hold his hand or if its ok if you touch him?

Disc2021's avatar

You’re definitely picking up on the non-verbals. If a person avoids touching you – not necessarily like that but simple flirty gestures or what not early on, it is a sign that they either want to pump the breaks or put you in the friend zone. What also may suggest this is the fact that others are often present when you guys are together. Though it’s nice that everyone gets along, a sign of someone seeking to get more familiar and intimate with someone else is them wanting to spend more alone time.

Perhaps his interest faded. Perhaps he finds the idea of you getting out of a 5 year long relationship only a month ago is a bit daunting. Perhaps he’s uncertain; taking time to feel things out. Whatever it may be, I would avoid getting too direct or confrontational – that seems to freak people out early on. Try to reciprocate with his behavior and gently test the waters if it seems appropriate to do so (you know, like by sitting closely to him while watching a movie or by “accidentally” brushing up against him every so often).

If by the 8th or 9th date or another two weeks go by without a single clue as to what to consider the dynamic between you two, then you get more direct and inquire. Otherwise, asking too soon may seem too eager, desperate, clingy or demanding. Just go with the flow.

12Oaks's avatar

Maybe he doesn’t like to touch and stufc in public. Some of us are uncomfortable with that, both doing and seeing. Only four dates? I never touched at that stage, neither.

Seelix's avatar

I’m inclined to think that he’s taking things slow because he knows that you just got out of a long relationship and he doesn’t want you to think he’s rushing into anything too quickly.

Maybe he’s just not much of a touchy-feely guy.

Had he been drinking at your party when you first met him? He might’ve been more open then because his inhibitions were a little more lax.

Why can’t you be the one to touch him? He might get the hint.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I agree with @robdamel and @blueiiznh. This is a manners/respect thing. I would expect that he doesn’t want to seem forward or move things too quickly without being able to gauge how over your ex-boyfriend you really are.

marinelife's avatar

It is too hard to tell. He might just want to be friends or he may be taking it slowly.

Talk with him about it.

janbb's avatar

I agree with @marinelife. We can’t be sure; he may not be a toucher, he may see you as a friend only, or it may be a deliberate going slow. You could put out a “feeler” if you want to risk it – touch his arm and see if he jumps.

john65pennington's avatar

Lets be honest with ourselves here. He is treading lightly, because he is not sure where you are coming from. A five year relationship cannot just be ignored or overlooked. I believe he does not want to be a “bouncer receipient” for this relationship. He appears to be taking it slow and that is a good thing for both of you.

He, also, may have been hurt in a past relationship and his hurt may still linger.

I say, let him make the moves and you just bide your time and wait.

Anything good is worth waiting for.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Talk to him about it. What’s the point of waiting? If you can’t talk about this, you can’t talk about anything.

deni's avatar

Is he really inexperienced? Maybe he is just intimidated and nervous.

nikipedia's avatar

1. He’s gay
2. He’s not into you
3. He thinks you’re not into him
4. He has a girlfriend
5. He has a wife
6. He has a rare skin disorder preventing him from touching people

Have you tried touching him? Or… discussing this?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

1. He gay and likes you but not romantically.
2. He’s straight and likes you but isn’t into you romantically
3. He found out about the 5yr relationship and doesn’t want to be too brash lest he end up looking like a rebound chump.

GladysMensch's avatar

Stop with all the non-verbal guessing. Touch him, and if he recoils then ask him about it.

Kardamom's avatar

There’s a few possibilities

1. He’s super nice and you have lots of things in common, but he’s gay and he likes you as a good friend (it happened to me, and the fellow had no outwart signs/appearances/affectations/walk/voice inflections or outrageous clothing to suggest that he was gay and he had even had several girlfriends in the past, but he was gay as I later found out)
2. He’s super nice and you have lots of things in common, but he doesn’t feel any romantic spark towards you.
3. He’s never had a girlfriend and he is a little bit shy and has no idea how to make the first move. Does he speak to you in romantic, flirty ways on the phone?
4. He’s interested in you, but may have some type of physical problem, that would make him unable to have a sexual relationship with you, but he’s too embarrassed to say anything at this point.
5. He’s trying to be polite and wait until you’ve gotten to know each other a little longer. Does he seem particularly polite in general? In my experience, most dudes are not that polite.
6. He really likes you, but does not want to get involved with someone coming down off of a 5 year long committed relationship. And the friend of yours that spilled the beans to him, may have embellished the story by telling him that you were an emotional wreck because of the breakup. You should find out what exactly was said (by your friend to this new guy).

Now, what you should do is this. When you next talk to him on the phone, say that you really like him and that you’d like to spend the next date just one on one with him because so far there’s always been a crowd around and you’d really like to get to know him better and would that be OK. His answer will tell you a lot.

If you do manage to score a date with him alone. Be really calm and just take his hand. If he pulls away, then ask him why (right then, but very gently ask him if there’s a problem). If he lets you take his hand, then ask him sweetly if you might kiss him. If he agrees, see how it goes (if it seems forced or stiff, then again, gently ask him if there’s a problem) If he says no to the kiss, again ask gently if there’s a problem. It sounds like you are going to have to make the first move in this situation, but be prepared that one or more of the 5 possibilites above might be true.

Or you might just get lucky, and he was waiting for you to give him a sign! Good luck : )

chelle21689's avatar

I don’t have a feeling he’s gay. LOL. I don’t think he’d have an issue if I touched him though. Guess I gotta start some where

BarnacleBill's avatar

What’s his occupation?

chelle21689's avatar

auto technician. he’s only 21 but he has a full time job. works 6 days a week 9 hrs a day lol.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Get the pictures off of FB, and the next time you’re walking somewhere, take his arm or hold his hand, and he should get the idea.

chelle21689's avatar

Soo yeah something weird happened the other night. He brought up my ex and was trying to see how I felt about him still. I’m pretty much over my ex and moved on knowing that we could never be again. It was a really awkward conversation but I’m glad we had it!! We hung out again for the second time ALONE (first time in 3 weeks we were alone) and he actually made moves! He held my hand, he put his hand around my waist, we had good natural conversation, etc. Weirrrd….in a good way =P

BarnacleBill's avatar

It sounds like he’s really interested in you, and has a lot of emotional maturity.

chelle21689's avatar

It was really weird though! He just opened up a lot more, we were more comfortable, we joked around, etc. He definitely wasn’t like that the last few times.

chelle21689's avatar

Honestly, since I just got out of a relationship I think I should date around before making a commitment to one person. I would hate to stay with on person and always wonder you know? I mean, I do like him but I don’t want to cling on to the first person interested me after my break up.

BarnacleBill's avatar

That’s because there was an “elephant in the room” in terms of your ex. The guy is smart enough to know that you’re just out of the relationship and that puts him in the position of being rebound guy, which, if he genuinely likes you, is not a place that he would want to be. It doesn’t sound like he’s in any hurry, and you shouldn’t be either. You probably need to be clear that you recognize that dating one person for almost 6 years has left you without a scope of social experience that you would like to have, and that you are not interested in a committed relationship. Dating someone who has not slept around a lot is appealing to more serious guys; the fact that you don’t have a social history like “Sex in the City” can be appealing. Once you throw sex into the mix, unless it’s a one-night stand, some level of commitment comes with it.

Be true to yourself, grasshopper. You don’t have to cling or latch on. Just be truthful about where your boat is in the ocean. There are plenty of fish out there.

chelle21689's avatar

thanks barnacle!

nikipedia's avatar

@BarnacleBill: Dating someone who has not slept around a lot is appealing to more serious guys; the fact that you don’t have a social history like “Sex in the City” can be appealing.

Plenty of serious men are fine with women who are comfortable enjoying casual sex.

Sorry for jackin’ your thread, @chelle21689.

chelle21689's avatar

LoL its okay. I honestly think he’s not that type of guy which is rare to find. I don’t think I could do the whole casual sex thing O.O

BarnacleBill's avatar

@nikipedia, true. But everyone has to be in the same place with ideas about commitment. It’s generally easier to err on the side of least complications.

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