It’s easy to make a guy fall in love with you. Or at least have a bit of a crush. Really it happens without me even trying half the time just by being friendly, striking up a conversation and laughing at their jokes. Cosmo can reduce it to Five Easy Steps (I can predict what it will say already: Be Confident, Look Cute and Be Yourself. Oh and Buy Expensive Cleanser from our sponsors)
But this isn’t always as fun and desirable and it may seem. It can lead to awkward silences and a wrecking ball to your friendship. There are many reasons like…
You simply may not enjoy their attentions.
Case in point 1: The Deaf Guy who had a crush on me in Year 10. I was just being nice because he was deaf and had an enlarged overbite. Cos that’s what you do. But he repaid me by paying a little bit too much attention… Subtle actions like climbing up on the woodwork table and attempting to catch moths presumably to impress me. In front of the whole class. Or at lunchtime while I was sitting on the oval with my friends he would grab his mate’s footy and run around us…but end up slipping over embarrassing both him and myself. Poor guy but it didn’t work for him or me – I ended up having to ignore him to save him the pain.
You may already have a boyfriend who you adore and are practically engaged to.
Case in point 2: I had a boyfriend and I had a good male friend. My friend and I talked of many things (including his horrible ex girlfriend) but he never asked me if I had a boyfriend and I never told him. Wrong I know, but I enjoyed our conversations and felt very insecure about holding his attentions and I didn’t want to threaten it even with the truth (THIS IS NOT RECCOMMENDED). Of course this foul play undermined and was dangerous to both relationships because the friend started thinking we were closer than what was reality and was about to ask me out when I freaked out and told him everything. Which wasn’t very fun at all. Things haven’t been the same since.
They’re perfect as a friend.
Case in point 3: My best guy friend is a legend. He pretty much single-handedly pulled me and 13 other classmates through tricky math methods, we were Co-Chairpersons of the Student Representative Council and organised everything from the Black and White Social to the Biggest Morning Tea. We did the Production (Grease) and pretty much ended up as rescue-Directors scheduling extra rehearsals at lunchtime so that it would stack up in public, he took up my dare to wear the GIANT SPARKLY JACKET he had as his costume for the production plus suffered through many rants during the year. Oh yeah and we won the State Debating Grand Final. Now in year 8 he had a crush on me (which he only told me about years afterwards on a Truth or Dare question) but never told me about it and instead became one of my golden friends! And I am so grateful for such a wonderful friendship that has never been marred by anything it shouldn’t have been.
So, some guidelines for that tricky area, full of landmines between mere acquaintance and boyfriend.
- Forget the categorization
I know it happens, as a girl you can develop a habit of dropping guys into categories, there’s the “potential fun hook up (as my friend Renee calls them)”, “potential husband”, “potential nothing what-so-ever”. But I’ve found out that once you categorise someone you start treating them that way. So you could subconsciously start flirting one while ignoring the other. Which isn’t right. So I’m working on trying to think of guys as the one category: brothers. So you can have fun and in jokes but you also treat them fairly without leading them down paths you didn’t mean to go.
- Be clear about you “status”
As Case in Point 2 taught me, you must be upfront with the guys in your life on where they stand. Especially if you have a boyfriend. It’s hard to do subtly, and you do worry that it may imply they had interest or an intensity/interest that had energized the relationship will fizzle and die. But truly it’s only fair; I learnt this the hard way. Some ideas:
– Drop your bf into the conversation e.g. mentioning something you have done together on the weekend. I find this a really good strategy.
– Introduce him to your bf and do something fun especially if him and your bf have common interests e.g. music concert, sport event
– Facebook, by simply having your relationship update, well, updated
Obvious really. But it’s surprisingly tricky and the most innocent things can be taken the wrong way! And I tend to be a naturally friendly person which leads me into trouble sometimes (see Case in Point 1). So I guess just be aware, especially of his reactions and take it down a peg if need be.
- Don’t read into things
Just because he opened the door for you doesn’t mean he has a crush on you. Maybe he was inspired by watching Pride and Prejudice with his sister to be more gentlemanly.
- Things that may give him ‘the wrong idea’
– Long phone calls late at night
– Texting 24/7
– Calling each other cutsie nicknames that no one else is in on
– Discussing his onstage kissing technique (or his biceps, or how much you love his hugs)
– Giving him a shoulder massage