General Question

khebe25's avatar

Why do guys do this?

Asked by khebe25 (20points) February 22nd, 2008

Okay, so here’s my question: I’m a librarian. I’m 24, cute, single. I’m also pretty shy. I met a guy in the library. He’s nice. He’s single (he told me). He’s the right age-ish. He’s not shy. He keeps coming by to see me, a few times for help in the library, but often just to “say hi”. We laugh a lot, he’s touched me casually, we talk about all sorts of things; he’s asked me what my interests are and we have a few in common, but he hasn’t asked me out. So my question is, “why?” I mean, I know you can’t read this particular guy’s mind, but guys, especially; can you enlighten me as to why you wouldn’t ask a girl out under these circumstances? I’m really shy, and I’ve tried to be as flirty as I know how to be, but is it possible that he still doesn’t think that I’m interested after four 45 minute long conversations? I don’t have much relationship experience, but this seems like this should go somewhere, and, well, it isn’t. Any thoughts?

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43 Answers

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Well, a lot of guys are still shy even though they don’t look like it. I know of quite a few who put off a lot of confidence but really aren’t confident deep inside. Maybe he had a bad experience before and he’s afraid, too. Guys can take a long time to ask out a girl because they’re scared even when it is unreasonable to be scared because there is always a doubt in his mind. Sometimes, the girl has to make the first step. Maybe he’s just waiting for the right moment or opportunity to come up. What he doesn’t understand is that the guy sometimes has to make the opportunity himself.
More than likely though, he acts confident but is a little insecure (which isn’t a bad thing at all). Might I suggest bringing up an opportunity to see him or hinting at it in conversation?

Zaku's avatar

Seems to me the specific reason is both unknowable from this, and unimportant to know in detail. From what you wrote, I think he would like to get to know you for potential romance, but is stopping himself – something along the lines 8lightminutesaway wrote, or close enough, doesn’t matter. He’s not shy in the way you’ve seen, but apparently he is shy or unsure about the part about asking you out. Maybe he’s misreading your shyness – for instance, maybe he’s always connected with girls once they give some sign that he’s not recognizing in you. Guys are generally not good at reading non-verbal communication, even the few of them that are conscious that there is non-verbal communication.

One thing you could do is think of something fun to do that he could come along for or not, plan to do it, mention to him you plan to do it and ask if he’d think that was fun too and/or he could go too. A variation is think of something you would like to do if someone went with you, and tell him that you wish you had someone to do it with, and if he doesn’t take that up, ask him if he’d want to go do that.

ambos's avatar

I agree with 8lightminutesaway. You should bring up an opportunity to see him or hint at it somehow. Sometimes guys need a little help. And it never hurts to make known that you are available and interested. He might not be sure of your interest, yet, and wants to make sure that you are interested and that he isn’t going to be rejected. Just a thought…

PupnTaco's avatar

Maybe he’s shy and would appreciate you making the first move?

Just look out for social retardation.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

I also think that guys are afraid of the friendship thing. They want to make sure you’re not just friends and that you won’t be freaked out if he asks you out. And I agree with Zaku, guys aren’t great at picking up the non-verbal.

Poser's avatar

My girlfriend still can’t believe that I was extremely nervous to come talk to her the night we met. She says I appeared very confident and sure of myself. I certainly didn’t feel that way. The main reason I felt I could go talk to a very attractive stranger was because several times that night, she caught me checking her out and smiled at me. That gave me the confidence to believe she wasn’t going to shun me if I struck up a conversation.

The point is that we can’t know what’s going on in another person’s head. He may be confident enough to talk with you, but unless you’ve given him enough reasons to believe you’d like more than just conversation, he may never take that step. While picking up on hints is not a guy strong point, if you make them obvious enough a smart guy will pick up on them. You’ve got to meet him halfway.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m a guy and I would never ask a girl out while she was at work… Maybe he is the same way.

I think you need to take control and ask him to have a cup of coffee with you.

phoenyx's avatar

Agree with the above.

Consider from a guy’s perspective. When he asks a girl out, he’s also asking “do I impress you?”, “do you find me to be attractive?”, etc. It can be a bit of a blow to the ego if the answer is “no.” So guys will sometimes do a bit of research first to make sure that odds of a “yes” are pretty good before they commit.

Realize also that it is a fairly public setting and someplace he may need to visit regularly; which could increase the anxiety a bit. You might have better luck if were just the two of you in a different setting.

You could try saying things like: “I enjoy talking to you”, “I’m glad you came by”, etc. that overtly indicate that you are interested in him.

Zaku's avatar

@phoenyx: Hmm, seems to me “I enjoy talking to you” and “I’m glad you came by” could be taken as friendly but not interested in romance, especially to a man who doesn’t clearly pick up non-verbal.
I’ve certainly seen the reverse miscommunications between lovers more than once: Man (intending simple positive statement): “I like you!” Woman (getting upset thinking he means he doesn’t love her): “How could you say that?”

Emilyy's avatar

In my humble (female) opinion…..

One possibility no one has mentioned….You said he’s single, but have you ruled out homosexuality entirely? That would be one reason to avoid asking you out and stick to friendship.

If he’s definitely straight, I agree with PupnTaco….Social retardation could be to blame. A lot of guys won’t get that you want them even if you beat them over the head with it. If that’s the case, you might just have to come out with a verbal expression of your feelings rather than assume that he’s picking up everything that you’re laying down. Also, a lot of men fear rejection. I say, make a move and see what happens.

Randy's avatar

As a guy my biggest fear from women is rejection. Its a hard pill to swallow when a girl turns you down when you thought she was sending you signals of interest. Maybe he is just trying to test the water so to speak, just in at his own pace for the sake of saving some heartache.

gooch's avatar

I am a guy and I was always scared of being told no especially by the pretty girls. Ask him to grab a bite or coffee then he will be more relaxed and get the nerve for the second “date” if he is interested.

simone54's avatar

Umm Maybe you should ask HIM why he hasn’t asked you out.

or just continue to not commutate and cause problems,

gailcalled's avatar

I love the word “commutate.” It is new to me and means, apparently, “to change the direction of an electrical current.”

Certainly appropriate to EmilyNathon’s “ruled out” query, I must say. To communicate clearly certainly is helpful in relationships – of any kind.

simone54's avatar

MiscommuniCation is the cause 99% of the world problems.

TheKitchenSink's avatar

Seriously, why wait? If you feel this way, just ask HIM out. Are you deterred by gender roles? If no, then go for it. If yes, then, well, stop it. :P Gender roles in this sense are pretty archaic and annoying.

Also, his not being shy may not apply into the relationship realm. Oftentimes people can exude a lot of confidence and be very outgoing, but have an extreme fear of rejection, or alternately weigh their chances pessimistically, and obviously a rejection can make things rather awkward from that point on, and people don’t generally like to go through with that. (Sorry about the run-on sentence)

Miscommunication is also a high chance of being the cause; he could have seen/heard some things you did/said that didn’t seem in any way to deter the possibility to you, but may have to him. Other (platonic) relationships and miscommunicated joking are usually high causes of these.

Lastly, perhaps he just wants to be friends. Then he wouldn’t ask at all.

You should definitely make a move if this is bothering you to such an extent.

srmorgan's avatar

I am probably a generation (or two) older than many of the responders to this question and I have the advantage of a longer perspective to these situations from my late teens and early 20’s. I must have missed or overlooked or mis-read feelers or outright invitations from a dozen women. I realized in my 30’s after I had met my wife that these girls or women, depending on my age at the time, were looking to me to make the first move (this was 1965 to around 1975) and of course I blew the opportunities.

I could not attend my 40th high school reunion last June due to a family conflict but one couple, both members of the class, attended. The first e-mail I got from them said we ran into B,T. (female) and she asked about you and told us that “she had the most enormous crush on Steve for two years in high school”. DAMN.

Now I can see how she used to hang around at lunchtime or come into the library when I was on squad and she actually came to a soccer game (not popular in 1967) and I missed every clue or sign. <sigh>

In his memoirs, Charles Kuralt stated that his biggest regret in life was that he did not sleep with every woman that he could of. I know that’‘s terrible syntax but I can’t remember the exact quote. He missed opportunities or he may have seen the opening and just ignored it.

Go for it. In 40 years you will laugh about it but even if he rejects you, it won’t matter to you a couple of weeks from now anyway.


chaosrob's avatar

You are just six words away from peace of mind, and possibly a very nice relationship: “Hey, let’s go get some coffee.”

8lightminutesaway's avatar

I completely agree chaosrob. good stuff.

srmorgan's avatar

Even simpler, does he know your name? Ask him his and tell him yours.
You will have broken the ice..


glial's avatar

Since no one else has said it, I will…

Send him a cake. No, seriously. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

Seconding srmorgan’s memories, I went to my HS 45th in 2001; a huge babble of emails were triggered by that. I discovered that several guys had crushes on me during a (9–12 grades) period when I felt anxious, sweaty, self-conscious, ungainly, too smart, and too vain to wear my glasses.

After our reunion, I had two flings, in series, and recently turned away a third man at the end of the queue. Primarily because I had these eerie fantasies of being talked about in the boys’ locker room.

Shyness fades with time usually; but it is painful to work through it.

Everyone here knows how old I am; I still flirt mildly; it is fun and harmless now for me, of course.. My painter just repaired my toilet, for example. He is young enough to be my grandson. It’s a good skill to learn.

As chaosrob sagely suggested, “Coffee?” is a gentle and safe first step. I once picked up a gorgeous guy at a fashion show at Bloomingdales because I thought nonchalantly, “He’s so good-looking and so interested in women’s clothes that he must be gay.” We were together for four years.

Emilyy's avatar

LOL glial. Cake.

scamp's avatar

Go for it girl! Just ask him to go for coffee. Like the others said, he is probably more shy than you know. I bet once you brak the ice by asking him for coffeee, he will know you are interested and take it from there. Good luck!!

nikipedia's avatar

Is there an update to this yet? OP?

theloveprophet's avatar

Because he thinks you’ll say no.

I’ve been here before. I would never ask a girl out for fear of rejection. My current GF asked ME out. I think that’s pretty sad.

But I know how this guy is. I’m also outspoken and not shy, but I would never ask someone out for fear of rejection. It’s a huge stumbling block in my life…

baseballnut's avatar

Ask him out for coffee AND bring a cake with you. (I wish somebody would send me a cake right now – devil’s food with that really good thick fudgey icing and cold milk)

megalongcat's avatar

Even though you’re 24 (granted I’m 21), you’ll find out that the male ego is the most important thing that we have and we are very very careful in how we deal with women in regards to damaging it. Rejection being the foremost cause of male ego destruction. (mine personally being screaming when small animals sneak up on me). I understand that you’re shy but if it’s just something like going out, I agree with Basebalbut, just ask the guy out for coffee casually during conversation. “Hey, I have to get off work soon, do you want to talk more over at the coffee shop down the block?”

Something like that. All the same, guys are afraid of rejection, just like women. That’s what it comes down to.

RandomMrdan's avatar

personally, I despise coffee…I’d rather go grab a bite to eat =) but yeah, it seems he would be interested, so maybe you should drop the question. I’m about to get something to snack on, care to join?

punkrockworld's avatar

He might be shy too so maybe you should drop a hint. Tell him that you guys should kick it some time. Don’t make it seem like you’re desperate to be with him but just say ‘kick it’. I’m sure he’ll ask you out then. He might be slow but he’s not stupid!

gailcalled's avatar

Maybe people in their 20s who work in or spend time in a library would be stupid to “just say ‘kick it’.”

jvgr's avatar

I often visit another site where people are involved in serious problems of all kinds, but there is a section for these kinds of questions. Since you are the age of one of my daughters, consider this:

There seems to be a clear division among women your age, but doesn’t appear to relate to an equivalent division between the males your age.

One group believes that males are always required to make the first move, and that (worse) the lack of action from the male either means there’s something wrong with me (less often) or this guy isn’t worth the time, because he’s not interested in me.

Then there’s the other side that has no difficulty in taking the lead in a situation they would like to promote. There are a few extremists in this camp who believe that males have no right to make any assumptions and must wait until the female decides.

My advice is: If you are interested in developing a relationship beyond librarian/patron, why not just ask him for coffee/desert/movie. Nothing overwhelming. Just something to get you together but not in the library.

Forget the advice of those who say hint. Not that their advice is wrong, but hinting is complicated with respect to interpretation. You are a bright, young capable professional woman. No need to stop all that positive energy now.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Well, I’m from the older side of the aisle. When I was in high school, my grandmother gave me this dating advice, “Chase him until he catches you.” If you wait for a guy to figure it out, things could take forever. It never hurts to start by saying something nice, like you really look forward to him coming in, and you really like talking to him, and you would like to talk with him when you didn’t have to also work.

answerjill's avatar

I am curious about how this all turned out. Anyway, I hate to be a party-pooper, but I have had so many experiences where guys loved talking to me and seemed to be flirting, but it turned out that they were just being friendly….

Jeruba's avatar

There must be plenty of books in a library on the subject of how to get dates, how to ask someone out, how to break the ice with someone you’re attracted to, etc. I would think a librarian could find such a useful work on the shelf and put it aside until her regular customer came in: “Thought you might be interested in reading this…”

Resonantscythe's avatar

Okay, this guys sounds just like me. he likes you. all the sings are there. He wants to spend time with you, he just likes being around around you, and it sounds like he goes somewhat out of his way to meet with you. If my suspicions are correct, he’s afraid of asking you out because then it will become awkward to visit you and the comfort will be gone. You don’t have to be blunt with it, if you’re interested as well, just start hinting more and more till he gets it, but confronting him is the only way to find out for sure.

Strauss's avatar

He likes you! Start with coffee, and then see where it goes!

CMaz's avatar

The guy after a 45 min. chat still wont ask you out? A couple of possibilities. And #1 is on the top of the list. 1. He was reading you big time for a wording, an impression, that would imply you will have sex with him. 2. You have bad teeth. 3. shared too much personal information that scared him away. (if he was sincere, he does not want to know you slept with the football team) But I would go for #1 being the answer. Good men, honest sincere men are harder to find.

Gabby101's avatar

Shy or gay are probably the most likely scenarios, but I wouldn’t rule out “not single” as a possibility.

When I was in college there was a guy that would follow me around all over campus and talk with me for hours. Everyone said he liked me and I felt it too, but he never asked me out. Finally (2–3 months later), he did and we went out several times. I always thought we had a good time, but there was something distant about him and the relationship didn’t really progress. I could never figure out why he was so interested, and at the same time not, then someone told me that he had a girlfriend in another state. When I confronted him, he admitted it. I guess the whole time he was “trying” not to go out with me because he didn’t want to cheat on his girlfriend, yet he couldn’t stay away. Men.

Mp123's avatar

when a guy really wants something he’ll do anything to get it! I learned the hard way, maybe he’s just not interested in that way, Sorry :s someone here suggested me to read; he’s just not into you….

Or if you’re really stubborn like me! you should take all your courage and ask him out and you’ll see. If he says yes good :D see from there but if he says no at least youre not investing more feelings in this guys and you’ll clearly know what’s up. Waisting time in the wrong guy takes time from the good guy

Have a good day!

gailcalled's avatar

^^Good answer but the OP asked the question in Feb.2008

Mp123's avatar

@gailcalled o_O oooopsss haha I didn’t notice saw it on the side of the screen lol

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