"I am confused about a guy. He stares at me, then talks sweetly to me, then the next week he flirts with me. He blushes when he talks to me then the next day he does not talk to me at all. What does this mean? This has been going on for a month and is driving me crazy. Is he interested or just playing around? How do I respond? Why the disinterest the following day? All this is going on at work..."
I absolutely LOVE this question. It sounds like he is literally having a sordid love affair with you - INSIDE HIS HEAD.
And I would not have known that so confidently if I had not been there myself...
More than once.
I've flirted with tons of women at my old job and being there 18 years gave me lots of opportunities.
There are several reasons why a guy will stare at you, flirt, blush while he's doing it, and then go silent the next day and they ALL will be covered today.
First up - workplace romances create an extra layer of pressure on a guy and when he finds time to think about them (or realizes they're there) he'll back away until he finally decides what to do.
Which could be causing only PART of the problem.
The added pressures created are listed in another post.
This is from a guy's point of view but explains what we are thinking about with women at work:
- Sexual harassment. Say the wrong thing and you’re done. Make it advance and be wrong and you’re done. Very real stuff which has definitely gotten worse over the years.
- Public rejection in front of your other co-workers. If she’s not interested EVERYONE will find out you FAILED. Kind of makes showing up for work a little tougher.
- Whether she says yes, is interested or not, no matter what happens you still have to work with this girl which just piles up the pressure on you. You’re basically stuck seeing her several times a week no matter how the attraction plays out.
The added pressure and unknown variables such as threat of sexual harassment, public rejection, and the eventual "what if something happens at work" will make the guy courageous one day and silent the next.
This could be part of the problem but it goes deeper and I believe you'll find a more appropriate answer to your persona situation next:
The fact that he is blushing means he IS feeling highly attracted to you but probably lacks the necessary experience in this area or at work.
This means he knows what to do but he can not get himself to do it. Perhaps it's a fear of rejection, a little failure, and the curse of public rejection.
In other words...
He knows how to flirt but lacks the skills of knowing what to do next.
Transitions, as it's called, is a very common problem for lots of men.
Some are good at getting things started but are clueless on how to transition or move to a date or elaborate the interaction. Leaving both of you in a stuck state. Such as your case.
First reason - the pressure, second reason - lacks the skill or know-how to transition forward.
Next up - we'll call it number three...
He has convinced himself that if he continues flirting you'll soon believe he is clingy.
Can I tell you a little secret?
When I began to learn all this stuff I would flirt with a girl a little but then felt compelled to stay away from her.
In the past I would have hung around like a playful little puppy and since that NEVER worked I needed to do something different.
I wanted her to miss me.
I wanted to show her I could give her space.
I wanted her to believe I had a life outside of her and women in general.
I also wanted to play it "cool" in every way possible.
So if you have yourself a "freshmen" who is still learning all this fun stuff, then like me, he could be doing it on purpose.
That I will NEVER deny.
He's backing away to give you space and to make it look like he's not the typical needy clingy guy.
(Something he might have done wrong in the past.)
The fact he is blushing and then pulling back tells me he feels guilty for flirting with you.
Like maybe he crossed a line with you because you're at work. Some guys even feel guilty crossing that proverbial line outside work so keep your eyes out for them.
As a guy steps back thinks about what he did (especially at work) - he gets scared and perhaps starts to believe he did something wrong.
And until his courage or belief about what he did erases or overcomes his feelings of guilt - he'll back away. Hence the sudden disappearance.
Next please and thank you...
He's berating himself for not moving forward.
He's kicking himself in the ass because he is feeling like a failure who "sucks" with women.
Remember above, when I said some guys don't know how to move forward with women, in fact lots of guys don't have a clue of "what to do next"?
Well when a guy experiences those moments where they know in their head something more could've happen and then they fail to MAKE it happen - they all too easily become so displeased with themselves because it makes them feel like a failure.
"Shit I blew it again. I had my moment to ask her out and do something, anything, but once again I fucked it up. I freaking suck with women!!!!"
Take a guy with those types of thoughts, which again believe me are VERY common and you'll soon notice he just poof! disappears until later returning to try again.
(Got to give a man credit for getting on the horse again BUT since he hasn't learned anything or how to - he'll just do it over and over again.)
Failure to act or move forward is big for guys and one of the main reasons why a woman absolutely knows a guy is into her but then finds he doesn't follow through with it.
The problem with this also gets worse...
Once it's done once or twice the pressure builds and builds along with the fear beginning to grow, making it impossible for him to finally step up and just ask you out.
Each time he does it - he feels worse and now he's feeling it's too late to move forward, not that he would know how anyways, but he's now also feeling like he missed his chance with you.
Guys are quite the bundle or nerves around women, aren't we?
Okay - I'm not afraid to transition to the next reason why...
He's unsure how you feel about him and is sort of testing you. He's waiting for YOU to make the next move for him.
Here's what is possibly going on inside his head. These are his thoughts:
"Okay I'm talking with her and I flirted. I think she flirted back. That MUST mean she likes me. But I'm just not sure!!! I know. I'll test her with the only way I know how. If she comes to me the next day she must like me."
If you don't come to him after (like the next day) and start flirting with him he becomes more confused because he now figures - if you liked it or him , you'd certainly come back for more.
Yet, he can not help himself.
He NEEDS to come back for more or your "goodness".
Just in case you changed your mind. Men will often find every reason to believe there is always hope.
What happens here is also very common.
When a man is unsure about how a woman feels about him, he'll pull back and wait and see what happens.
If she makes an effort - it must be a sign she likes him. If she does nothing - then that too must be a sign she does not like him or is not interested in his sort-of behavior.
Yet - through all that - again, after a delay of sorts - he'll try again and again leaving the woman totally confused and frustrated as in your case.
In conclusion for this reason:
He's actually waiting for YOU to make the next step because he needs some sort of proof, encouragement, or a definitive green light to assure him it's okay for this to happen at work.
Now I did notice you mentioned he stares at you and I haven't forgot about it. I'm going to cover it lightly because it's not too relevant or important in this case.
Men stare for pretty much one reason alone: He's likes what he sees.
You can read all about that in my oddly enough now-famous article I wrote at the approach:
"When we see a girl that we are highly attracted to there’s a mysterious force ( attraction ) which draws our eyes to her. Some guys stare right at the breasts. Some try to position themselves to check out her ass. It all depends on the “type” of guy.
Some gaze at her eyes hoping and praying she will approach him and magically they will run off together. Okay this one is absurd but believe me, it does happen."
Sound reasonable? Cool. Let's move on to bigger and better things...
Is he interested in you?
There a 99% chance he is interested in you.
This does not mean he will instantly say yes to your advancement.
There's much more going on in most circumstances as in what you've already read up until now.
Keep in mind attraction and interest to a guy are different things... along with intention.
Is he playing with you? Or is he a "player"?
Highly doubtful. Very minimally probable because...
Players tend to be good at what they do.
If he's playing you, a date would have already happened unless he's that deep of a player.
Remember, players know the steps to seducing a woman and they know how to do it well.
If you were being played - he would've progressed forward by now.
At least in some general way which would means you would NOT be here today asking this question.
Next up, the big answer EVERYONE has been waiting for...
How do you respond? What can you do about this mess?
Honestly that depends on you and what type of guy you're looking for.
If you're looking for a man who knows and understands the steps of "courtship" and is able to take action then don't respond at all. Slip him a link to here at DiaLTeG TM with a helpful wink and a very cute smile and just HOPE he finally figures it all out.
What I'm saying and will always advise in these situations with men is that there are literally only TWO types of guys:
- The guys who understands and gets how all this dating attraction stuff works and do it well. In other words, they are GOOD with women.
- The guys who just don't get it. They often rely on luck, a persistent woman, or severe circumstances to accidentally have it work out for them.
This, or YOUR guy - I'm assuming is the second type which would explain why he's isn't moving forward with you.
Keep in mind this warning- IF you do what he is supposed to do, and things work out or you start dating THAT is what you'll be getting from him.
Unsure actions, a little of this and less of that, a guy who waits around for you to decide or take action (with regards to commitments and dating), and the list only begins there.
Make your choice now or later. It doesn't matter to me.
If you feel strongly about him and you're willing to risk a date with him because he's got so many other things going on for him, then you'll have to either go to him directly on the day he ignores you, and demand he take you someplace where you both can forget about work and swap some interesting stories.
You'll want to build up to that moment by doing what works for both of you.
Put bluntly - you're going to have to take the lead and hope he follows. If he doesn't, please don't take it personal.
Here is some more advice you might find useful to help you get it done at work.
This about covers it all today.
Hopefully you found what you were looking for and you now know exactly what is going on with your work-buddy.