Call it "the Group-date"
QUESTION: Hi! I'm sure you get hundreds of emails every day, so I'll be brief.
There's a man I go to church with who I think likes me. He writes me emails asking questions he knows the answer to, he got me a card for my b-day and wanted me to open it in front of him, stuff like that to get my attention.
He finally got the guts to ask me out, or so I think, and this is where I need help. We were sitting with a group of people and just talking about movies we'd like to see. About 15 minutes later, he blurts out, "We should go see such and such." I said, sure, sounds like fun! He asked me, he didn't ask his friend or the whole table if they wanted to go.
Anyway, later in the week, he says, "I'm still up for that movie, MaleFriend #1 is meeting us for the movie, and Friends 2&3 are meeting up for dinner." I was furious, thinking it was me and him seeing a movie and then it turns into a group event. Did I misinterpret what he said? Why would he change his mind, when I said yes?
Chuck: Thank you for the question.
You may not have misinterpreted this gentleman's request. He just may have extended himself and lost his nerve. In this day and time, in the dating arena, sometimes it's possible not to take yes for an answer. This guy may have blurted out that you should see a movie together, and later thought, "maybe I was too forward." And he thought that the best way to take some of the pressure off of himself, or to make you feel more comfortable, would be to invite some wing-men and women along, too. It's possible.
The other option is that, although he's attracted to you, he may be seeing someone else. And to avoid looking like a cad, especially in a church-folk setting, he is trying his best to erase any implication of a date from this date that you've made.
Either way, I hope that you didn't over-react to what could be a very benign situation. I understand that you feel that you were misled, but I don't know that you really needed to be "furious." Maybe these clumsy, tentative steps are how this guy goes about wooing a woman (and I can't believe I just used the word "woo"). Every guy out there ain't smooth.
Keep an open mind, try to confirm his relationship status, and, if you like, go out with him if he asks you again. Just find out first if there are any others on the guest list. Don't let some initial clumsiness ruin what could be a good thing.
GARLAND: Usually, Chuck and I don't talk about the questions we get until after we've answered them. We like to keep our thoughts uneffected by one another. However, we found ourselves on the highway this weekend riding together on our way to poker at a buddies house and we were loosely discussing the number of questions we had for this week. And I broke tradition and specifically mentioned this question. Why I just shared that - I don't know.
But uh, I think the guy got in a little over his head with the movie thing. Either he WANTED to go with just you, or after you all parted company the other folks kinda' took for granted that he made a group invite. If the latter is the case, he may not have been smooth or confident enough to say, "Oh, no. I wasn't inviting YOU guys! I was just talking to ------." This would take a pretty confident guy. And, maybe he's just not there yet.
The whole "asking you questions that he knows the answers to," and wanting you to "open your card in front of him," it sounds very cute and very unpolished. Let me guess - this guy is between 19 and 22? He sounds young and he sounds coached.
But this isn't a bad thing. I'm willing to bet that we likes you and wants to go out with you - just you. He's just rough around the edges. I'm willing to bet that you are between 20 and 23? Am I right. If that is the case then you are like... what... 10 YEARS MORE MATURE THAN HIM!
I say, he's okay. Be a little patient with him and let him know that it's cool to go out alone sometimes. It sounds like your a lot more comfortable with the whole dating thing than he is. Good luck and slip us an E-Mail or a comment letting us know how things are going!