Doctor’s Note: A little programming note before we get started. I’m hosting a cross-over of sorts with fantasy author Jonathan L. Howard – his character Johannes Cabal, the Necromancer will be taking over Ask Dr. NerdLove for a column to handle your questions about life, love, the afterlife and the dark arts. This is going to be a whole lot of fun, and I’m thrilled to be taking part in it. If you have questions for someone who’s managed to beat the devil, twice, send your questions to email@example.com with “Ask The Necromancer” in the subject header.
And now, your letters.
I present to you one of those eternal relationship conundrums: which is better, to be more or less into your partner than they are into you?
Years ago I developed a massive, “never spoken to them” crush on a guy in my large social club. I figured there was no way a guy like him was single, and so enjoyed my little infatuation while dating and falling in love with others. About six months ago, I broke up with my long term boyfriend, and by circumstance I and my crush ended up on a small “team” together, and ended up chatting a lot more. Eventually the chatting turned into hanging out outside of the club with other groups of friends, then alone, though always very platonic. My crush on him only grew more intense as I discovered that not only was he cute, but smart, passionate, incredibly kind and thoughtful, goofy, and frankly just one of the best people I have ever met… and yep, single. (How?!)
I finally admitted my crush, but made it clear that I completely understood if he wasn’t interested. He responded that he’d just been waiting until I moved out (stuck in lease with ex) to ask me out.
So awesome, right? I have somehow ended up with this amazing guy I’d had a crush on for years! Fairy tale ending! Here comes the but.
But… I’m pretty sure I am way more into him than he is into me. In the process of hanging out as friends, I learned his physical type, which is pretty much the opposite of me in every way: I’ve got a decent rack but he’s a butt guy, he likes em lithe and light and I’m round and dark, he loves tans and I’m McPastey of the Blinding White clan, and so on. The biggest shock though was that he’s actually incredibly shy around girls he likes (he’s never been shy around me), which is why he’s been single for… pretty much his entire life. He also joked about how he wished he was more of a player, and admitted that he’d never even really noticed me as a dating option until he got to know me.
My friends joke that I have this uncanny ability to ask out guys who are desperate and without options. I have a long history of being in relationships with guys who never really wanted me, but thought “Can’t tell a starving man not to eat at McDonalds.” (Direct quote, and I was unaware of their feelings until too late.) To avoid this, I promised myself I’d never again ask a guy out, and I’d only date guys who had lots of options so I knew he wasn’t picking me out of desperation or convenience. Yet here I am, accidentally breaking both my rules.
I’ve tried talking to him about it, but each time he just insists he DOES think I’m cute, is sure he isn’t settling, and the only thing he dislikes about me is my insecurity. I don’t think I can bring it up any more without the conversation becoming repetitive, and yet he’ll make the occasional comment (“Lean women are so hot!”) that’ll send me right down the rabbit hole of angst and concern.
I don’t know what to do. This guy is literally perfect; he’s attentive (wants to hang out way more than I do, actually), plans dates and always responds to texts, initiated “the talk” with no pushing or prodding (and in fact some reluctance) on my part, introduced me to friends and family without hesitation, and has pretty much done everything on a “Top 10 Signs He’s Into You” list (he endeared a ton of the most boring Dr. Who episodes JUST because I like them.) And yet… I’m not at all what he’s into physically, “pursued” him into liking me, and don’t seem to inspire any of the palm-sweating, heart-racing, gotta-have-her feelings that guys feel for women they’re really into.
Help me, Doc, you’re my only hope!
–Senpai Noticed Me