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Sex + Relationships

Real Live College Guy Ryan: Why He Won’t Take It to the Next Level

Need Dr. Drew relationship advice but don’t have the sensationalistic drama to warrant TV time? Unfortunately, Real Live College Guy Ryan isn’t a reality show therapist. However, he can provide the lowdown on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about college males: how they think, act, speak and genuinely interact with the women in their lives.

There’s a guy I really like and we’re basically dating… but only emotionally. We call each other all the time, he tells me things he’s “never told anyone else” and I’m always the first person he goes to when he has a problem. It’s not that I don’t think girls and guys can be friends, but I do think there’s a spark. How do I ask him without ruining our strong bond? I feel like we already have the emotional part of dating down, so why wouldn’t he want to take it to the next level? — Not Your Therapist in North Carolina

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard someone qualify “dating” with something other than “we are” or “we are not.” Before going any further, let’s call this for what it is: you guys get along really well and hang out a lot. However, you want something physical to happen in order to reinforce your whole concept of dating.

The simplest route (without actually chatting) is just jumping this guy’s bones. Make a move on him and judge his reaction. You’ll definitely determine right then and there whether a relationship will work or if he’s trying to play the gay best friend.

However, you’re opposed to blunt routes, so how can you chat about it? Make a formal date. Don’t just meet up between classes for coffee—suggest doing something romantic like going out to dinner. This will help you determine how he reacts to a romantic environment and sets the stage for you to ask him about a possible relationship. And, assuming you read him correctly, it could set up some much needed whoopee, which is always a great way to end a date.

Take the reigns in this situation because there’s a chance that he doesn’t know how to take it to the next level. A lot of guys (this author included) have problems making that decisive move, especially when we really like the woman in question. There could be numerous reasons behind this inability, but the fact of the matter is some of us suffer from random, crushing bouts of romantic paralysis.

If he rejects your advances (which I can’t imagine if he’s a straight guy and not repulsed by you), don’t get embarrassed. There’s a very slim possibility that he’s refraining from that “next level” because of religious or personal values. You made the move and can pick his brain about his abstinence. Maybe he does just want to be friends, but at least this will give you the opportunity to find out. You tried and there’s no reason to be ashamed with attempting.

Be the leader and lead his hand (or whatever) to that next step. Whether that’s through talking or something physical is up to you. Get him into a romantic situation and go from there. 

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Ryan Joseph is fancy. However, besides being fancy, he is also a) a college senior b) a journalism major and c) a student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He's a Bobcat, not a Buckeye (although he will always be a Buckeye at heart). A Columbus, Ohio, native, he's a diehard music and Cleveland sports fan--don't judge him based upon the latter. He is a frequent contributor to Hip-Hop website, The Smoking Section, and Ohio University campus magazine, Backdrop, but has also been an ASME 2011 intern with Field & Stream Magazine in New York City.
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