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Real Live College Guy Pat: How Can I Tell If He Wants To Be More Than Friends?

If you looked up “hopeless romantic” in the dictionary, Real Live College Guy Pat would be standing there smiling and waving back to you. As a college guy himself, Pat has witty opinions on all the stupid situations guys seem to end up in. From relationships, to friends with benefits, to altogether lacks thereof, Real Live College Guy Pat has all your answers and more!

I hooked up with one of my guy friends at a party while we were drunk. It got pretty intimate and I am trying to figure out if it was because there was alcohol involved or because there is a mutual attraction in general when we’re sober. I’m trying to figure out for myself whether or not I potentially see him as more than a friend. I’m not sure how he feels about the whole situation though. How can I tell if he also wants to be more than friends without making a fool out of myself? – Decoding at Dartmouth


It’s clear there’s some mutual attraction between you two without the alcohol, so I think it’s safe to say that you’re past the “more than friends” stage. Remember – even when you’re drunk and your inhibitions are much lower, unless you’ve reached black-out levels of intoxication, you usually still make conscious choices and are aware of them, even if your decision-making process is hazy. He wanted to hook up with you just as much as you wanted to hook up with him. On top of that, the “intimacy” you speak of means it didn’t just mean nothing to him.

Side note: Be careful with this: your idea of how “intimate” the hook-up was may be different than his, especially with alcohol involved. Presuming you’re correct in your judgment that it was intimate for both of you, the most important first step to take on your end now is to determine if you want something more serious or if this was a one-time thing with no emotions involved.

Take it from Nicholas Sparks’s character from The Notebook, Noah Calhoun, “Stop thinking about what everyone else wants. What I want. What he wants…What do you want?”

Take this process seriously and figure it out at your own pace. Once you’ve figured out what you want (and assuming you do in fact want to be more than friends), hang out with him sober. Grab a pizza, watch a movie, study together – just do something you would normally do together.

Once you’re hanging out, pay attention to what he says and how he acts. If he’s awkward with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t want something more. It’s important to keep in mind that he’s going through the same thing you are – the oh-crap-I-just-hooked-up-with-one-of-my-friends-moment. More importantly, how is he communicating with you? Is he not his normal self? Is he more shy? Is he awkward or at a loss for words? If he can’t act the same as he did before you hooked up, this should be a warning sign that something is up with him.

After you hang out, keep talking how you normally did before the hook-up. Once again, pay attention to how he responds. Is he talking to you less? Does he not text you first? Does he reply with short, one-word answers? These are all clear signs he’s feeling unsure or trying to distance himself, but doesn’t know how to say it or doesn’t want to be a jerk and hurt your feelings. If he does any of these things and you tell him you want to be more than friends, you’re very likely headed for that awkward situation you’re afraid of.

Ultimately, while these tips can help you try to figure this out on your own, the reality is that it will undoubtedly be much easier to figure it out if you simply sit down and have a conversation with him, even if it is awkward and potentially a bit embarrassing.  If you’re willing to put yourself out there, talk to him about what happened (the hook-up), what it means (ask things like “Are we friends or are we more than friends?”, “Are we in limbo somewhere in between friends and something more?”, “Do we want to go on a date and test the waters?”, and “What if we try it and it doesn’t work, then what will we be?”). Also ask where you both want it to go (do you want to stay friends, become friends with benefits, look for a relationship, etc.). Whether you do it yourself or together, use these strategies and you’ll have an answer in no time.


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Pat is a Junior at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA studying Psychology and Communications. Pat plans on pursuing a Master's degree upon graduation, but after that his future plans lie unknown on a blank page, much like his next article. When asked what he wants to do "when he grows up", he simply replies "Make a difference in the world." Pat is a contributing writer for his college's newspaper, The Beacon, and has his own blog. He also openly admits to having read the entire Twilight series and that The Notebook is one of his all time favorite movies. In his spare time, Pat is a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, loves the game of basketball, all things Harry Potter, and enjoying what little free time he can squeeze out of a day. Readers can follow Pat via Twitter at @patbradley99
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