So… why hasn’t he asked you out yet?
Who’s he? I’m not sure. It’ll either be that guy who you instantly thought of when you read that sentence, or maybe it’s just that you’d like someone to ask you out at all.
Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. A day of romance. What that means for different people depends on where you find yourself. If you find yourself on the single side of the fence, it can often be a day of longing, of wishing, of waiting… and then the day has come and gone already. And maybe you feel like you missed it. Another year, another night out with the girls screaming to Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies til you get to your girl’s night out… maybe. Or maybe you had a pretty regular old day, but there was still some difficulty seeing lots of other girls getting celebrated, except you. And that can be challenging.
I only just posted yesterday, but in response to some of the things I wrote, I had some people messaging me to write about this very topic. And it’s not the only time I’ve seen it rear its head. In fact, most times if I get involved asking about how some of my female friends and acquaintances are going and feeling in the area of relationships, this is usually the number one topic that comes up. Either, “he just hasn’t asked me out yet”, or, “I don’t know why anyone hasn’t asked me out yet”.
One of my friends is a writer and quite a bit of a poet, and she said it pretty emphatically one day, “A lot of girls feel like roses that have come to bloom, but no one is there to admire the result”. That’s a pretty challenging sentence and a very real thing. So I know I’ve put some funny pictures and started kind of light-hearted, but I do recognize that this is actually a really big deal. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. And hey, maybe there’s some guys who clicked through just to see what this was all about. Maybe there’s something in here for you too.
I’ve heard a lot of proposed reasons from my female friends and from various forms of media why this is apparently the case. Some common reasons put forward:
- He’s a coward
- He’s afraid
- He’s not sure what he wants
- He’s got commitment issues
- He doesn’t know what it takes to hold a relationship
To all of those I say a resounding “maybe”. Maybe there’s some merit to each of those. But what I’d like to offer is some other suggestions as to why, maybe, he hasn’t asked you out yet. I can’t speak much for the female side, but I do know a lot of guys and have seen quite a few situations come through. So here’s some thoughts from the male side of the fence. These are some potential reasons why he might not have asked you out yet.
He doesn’t know you. That whole admiring from afar scenario doesn’t always work out with us guys. If he doesn’t know you at all, there’s not as much chance of him wanting to make such a move. It depends on the guy, but just saying. If he’s on stage, if he’s a Facebook friend you never talk to, if he’s someone you haven’t seen in 10 years and don’t keep in touch with, if he met you once or twice – chances aren’t too hot.
Kind of going on from that point, let’s get into some real stuff – He doesn’t know you well enough. I’ve seen a few times when people have started dating, some people break down in tears. It can be upsetting to see when someone you have feelings for has gone after someone else. In one situation I saw this happen, I asked the girl what the guy she was interested in did for a living. She actually had no clue. How can you have feelings so strong for someone you don’t even know?
But on that, a lot of guys are looking to make friends first. John and Helen Burns, two of my absolute heroes, say building relationships are like making a cake. You have your friendship which forms the base of the cake, and you have the romance which makes the cake taste good and exciting. If you start a cake with the icing, you’ll have nothing to hold it together with, and it will be too sweet to keep eating properly. So in saying that, a lot of guys really just want to know a bit about who you are first before they start getting down on one knee and serenading you on a gondola in Venice by the full moon. Spend time with him. Doesn’t have to be one on one. Just hang out. Most people say they want to marry their best friend, but act like they want to marry just the romance without the person.
I made someone cry on this point once, which I kind of regretted at first, but it’s pretty true that if you keep going home early from events or staying to yourself, eating ice-cream, rewatching chick flicks or spending time with just the girls, that it’s pretty hard for a guy to get to know you. Maybe you’d have a better chance if your worlds were more involved with each other. Time is one of the best ways to develop attraction, and plus you’ll actually get to know him better too to make a better judgment call.
Ok, so those are two. The last one was a bit of a reality check one, huh? Some of these ones may not be so nice going forward, but they’re worth considering.
He doesn’t know you’re interested. Yeouch. But true. A lot of guys I know are completely unaware of the girls who are interested in them. Even, or especially so, the guys who all the girls are having fights over by themselves, have no clue to what is going on. You’ve written about him in your diary, you’ve told all your friends, you’ve even asked some other guys for advice and just do some scouting for you, but he has no idea about it. Maybe he’s even a close friend of yours. Maybe he just doesn’t know you see him in that way. Maybe you’re actually acting disinterested and playing hard to get and hoping he takes it as a hint.
“BUT AREN’T MEN SUPPOSED TO BE THE INITIATORS?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”
Yeah, they are. I mean, when I’m interested in someone, and I know a lot of guys who are in the same boat, we like to be very direct and give things a shot. But sometimes a guy doesn’t know that you’re more keen than you’re letting on. Being an initiator doesn’t mean you do everything, it means you’re usually the one to go first. I’m a big fan of the man manning up and communicating interest, but I’m also aware of lots of stories where the opposite happened, and he’s not any less of a man for it, and she’s not always having to drag him around for the rest of their lives like is the proposed horror story in that situation. Sometimes hearts take time to get on the same page is all.
“But I don’t want to be too obvious with him that I’m interested, otherwise…”
…he’ll know you’re interested.
You’re not gonna like this one. There’s other guys in the picture. Who wants to be involved with a girl who has 8 or 9 guys they spend 9 or 10 hours a day with? If you have a bunch of guys around you who look like boyfriends, act like boyfriends, smell like boyfriends, but aren’t boyfriends, they still look like boyfriends. No one wants to be playing second fiddle to a BFF. Dangerous territory anyway. A bit less common, but I’ve heard this one before from some guys, so just adding it to the list.
Kind of mentioned this one already, but maybe there’s too many girls in the picture. That is, he has to crawl through a lot of your girl time to try to get close to you. Coffee with the girls in the morning, movie with them at night, road trip with them on the weekend, that’s all well and good. But if it’s all the time, it just means he has to crawl through a bit more layers to get near you. Gents, yes, this is the time where the phrase man up has great application and you need to go for it, but maybe the process can be made easier if you were a bit more accessible.
Here’s a lesser known one, but can be pretty real – he’s got a lot going on right now. Men sometimes take on a lot, and are wrestling with some pretty big stuff in their lives, like you and I and we all do. Sometimes that can get in the way of focussing on a relationship at the time. Sometimes he just needs a friend instead of your secret angst about why you haven’t been asked out yet. Obviously be careful and guard your heart here, but just be aware sometimes that’s a reason a guy will pull away.
Ah man, how do I word this next one… you’re publicly desperate. No woman wants to hear that, especially those who are actually desperate. But what I mean by this is there can be some actions you carry out which can really turn a guy off. One classic one is constantly posting on social media about how much you don’t want a man and how much they suck while taking a photo of you dressed suggestively with your stuff hanging out and promoting your freedom as a single woman. That’s… not super attractive. The other one is constantly posting or texting or telling everyone about how perfect your future husband will be. I mean, it’s nice to talk about the kind of person you want to marry, but if you’re painting a picture of Superman when Clark Kent will do for you, it can be kind of intimidating.
And I’ve been delaying this one, but you knew it was coming – maybe he’s just not that into you. Like the book and movie suggest, sometimes at the end of the day, he’s just not interested. The ball is in your court as to whether that means you want to fight harder for it, or if you’re going to let it go and move on. Both are difficult, and even more difficult is working out which is the right one to do. But a good rule of thumb at least is, if he’s dating someone else (and definitely definitely run if it’s at a stage further along than that), maybe reconsider your options here). This one can be for a whole bunch of reasons – you’re not heading the same direction, you don’t actually get along as well in reality as you do in your head, he doesn’t feel comfortable with you, he’s not sure where you’re going, you’ve told him no or that you’re not interested (an obvious one but if it’s not what you really mean then he doesn’t know either way), or any of the other many reasons the book and movie spell out.
But at the end of all this, I want to speak to the heart of the person reading right now. Because at the centre of this question is the question – am I valuable? Am I wanted?
You are valuable. You are beautiful. You are great. These things are true as you are now, and they’ll also be true later on. And sometimes the reason why the search is so hard is because you’re not looking for 100 men to be in your life, you’re looking for one you can commit together with, and who can commit together with you. And these things take time. But at the centre of your life should be your relationship with God. That love is your first priority. And in that love, you’ll see how to give that love, and how to receive it too. Find your purpose, find your God, find who you were born to be.
This is the charge given to the Shulamite in Song of Solomon. She is crazy about finding her lover. She’s looking everywhere. “TELL ME WHERE TO FIND YOU!!!”. To which he responds, “I’m over here, looking after my sheep, but if you can’t find me, look after your sheep.” In other words, don’t stop living your life while you’re looking for me.
But hey, maybe that’s given you a few things to think about. And maybe it’s given you gents who’ve read along some things to think about too. I’m kind of sorry if some of those you may have found offensive, but not really that sorry as I’d like us all to be real about some of these issues in our lives.
If you enjoyed the read and know someone you might find this helps or would be a good talking point with, feel free to share it around and get others involved.
So how about you? What do you think on the matter?
Great article Matt, as usual. Telling it how it is. Keep up the good work 🙂