Desperately trying to understand the inscrutable mind of the college male? Real Live College Guy Joel (replete with a name way cooler than those of RLCGs Joe and Joey) is here to help you out, call you out, write you a poem to show you’re great and to stop worrying, etc. From major emotional drama to the minutiae of social interaction, use him as your one-stop shop for guy advice.
So I met this great guy recently – we’re both interns at the same company and we have a ton in common as far as personality, interests, and aspirations go. I had a huge crush on him and was playing it cool, until he drunkenly told me that he had been “enamored” with me ever since he met me! We went on a date that same week, had a great time, and continued to flirt for the next week. But then all of a sudden, nothing. He just got extremely distant. And it’s especially awkward because I still have to see him at work this summer. Why did he suddenly change his mind about me? And how am I supposed to react to this situation?! – Summer Love Turned Cold in San Diego
I recognize in this guy a kindred spirit to my awkwardness. Like me he uses professorial words like “enamored” and probably “kindred.” Also like me, he seems to struggle with timidness. He sounds like a great guy who has no idea what he’s doing in terms of communicating with girls. Unfortunately he does seem to have the idea that he’s no longer interested in you, so it’s best if you distance yourself from this once-enamored boy.
This guy needs the aid of alcohol to make a move. When he admits his feelings, he tries to be ironic (or at least I hope) by using a word like “enamored,” using humor to distance himself emotionally instead of just stating his feelings. When he decides he doesn’t want to pursue anything with you, he simply stops communicating. This guy is shy. Cute, right? Not really. I think he led you on out of shyness, a common girl behavior that’s rarer in guys. He decided he didn’t want to establish a relationship with you. Not knowing what to say or how to handle a situation involving conflicted feelings, he chooses to say nothing. Now you get to see each other every day with elephant-sized unresolved feelings in the room.
Why did he change his mind? Who knows. I wasn’t sitting at the next table with my fake mustache and glasses observing while you were on your date. Maybe he thought you were less similar than you yourself believed, so he didn’t keep an open mind about further exploring a relationship. He might just be too busy being an office grunt to go on dates and doesn’t like you enough to make time. As hard as it is, you can’t let what some guy thinks bother you. What you can let bother you is that he neglected to speak to you about his feelings and let you say your piece. You really liked this guy, and he didn’t show you the respect of communicating with you. That’s proof enough that he isn’t worth your time.
Normally in these situations I would advise that you totally cut him out of your life. Sadly you can’t because you see him daily at work, which makes a good case for avoiding workplace romance. Even though your internship is likely winding down, I would talk to him. Ask him why he stopped talking to you. You can say that your feelings were hurt, but don’t get emotional. In fact, say that you’re asking primarily because you feel like your interaction has been hurting your work. Ask him how he wants you to communicate with him at the office. Don’t try to do this at work; just call him. Afterwards, delete his number. Tough it out through the final weeks of the internship and pride yourself on surviving one of the most awkward of all romantic problems.