I’m a sophomore in college and a while ago I met this guy who’s really sweet and cute, and on top of that, we have the same sense of humor and similar interests. I didn’t really have a huge crush on him, though; more of a “Well, if he asked me on a date, I wouldn’t say no”-kinda feeling.
So a few months ago we ended up cuddling and holding hands, and I started to develop a more serious crush. Fast forward to a few weeks later and he asked if he could kiss me, but then he stopped and said, “But you’re not gonna blow this out of proportion, are you?” I said I wouldn’t, and that I would be chill about it and nothing between us would change. We kept making out, but he kept stopping to ask the same question, and later that night he texted me saying that he didn’t want this to put strain on the “weird-ass friendship we got going on.” The next day everything was Just Fine and back to normal; he even cracked a few jokes about us kissing.
At this point, I was still dandy because I was content either way; as friends or as more than friends. It’s completely up to him if something else happens between us, but I can’t help but like him and think it would be cute if something were to happen.
But about a week ago, I found out that he thinks a girl from our class is cute, and that there was an incident literally the day after he kissed me. It was pretty silly, actually: this girl put her stuff down on the table next to him in the school cafe, but then moved to another spot, which he took personally because he thought she’d found out he thought she was cute. (He didn’t tell me this himself, btw, he only said that he was annoyed and wouldn’t say why when I asked so I didn’t push it; another friend ended up mentioning the why in conversation later on in the day).
What sorta hurt me is that he’s upset over this girl he has never once in his life talked to, and it’s all so superficial. And again, I’m content just being friends with him even though I do have a crush on him, but he just doesn’t care a single bit, and he acts completely and utterly normal as if nothing at all happened. I know I deserve better, but I can’t help but like this guy. What should I do, Auntie?
For starters, my darling Sparkler, you can take a deep breath and drop the ridiculous pretense that you’re so totally fine and content to just be friends with this guy, no big deal, because it is obvious and total baloney. Nobody writes this kind of hyper-analytical breathless run-on email about a person in whom they are not extremely emotionally invested (which you did) let alone then send that email to an advice column with the subject line “My crush made out with me and is now acting like nothing happened” (which you also did.) So let’s just be real about this, okay? IT’LL SAVE US SO MUCH TIME.
Plus, you don’t even need all this subterfuge to justify why you’re bummed about the state of things. “My crush made out with me and is now acting like nothing happened” is a totally bummer thing to experience! Maybe even worse than never getting to kiss your crush at all! Even if the guy warned you in advance not to “blow this out of proportion” (and geez, what kind of total bonerkiller thing is that to say in the middle of a makeout?), it is hardly blowing things out of proportion to imagine that being kissed by your crush might be a prelude to additional future kissing down the line.
In short, you didn’t do anything wrong, or even anything unreasonable. But here’s the thing, sweet pea: neither did he. Not really. Yes, he overestimated the power of a pre-kiss disclaimer to keep things from getting weird—and if he were here, I’d point to that moment as one that should’ve made him think twice about hooking up with you in the first place. At the same time, though, there has never been any confusion or deceit as to what was going on between you. He’s been awfully direct on that front, from checking in mid-makeout to contacting you afterward to confirm you were cool. In short, his feelings are exactly as you described them: he just doesn’t care a single bit.
Or at least, not in the way you do.
And that stinks for you. It does! It stinks! It is completely disappointing and unfair that someone you like so much could be so indifferent to you. But it is what it is: whatever this guy’s excellent qualities, returning your affections is not among them. And because that’s the case, what you should do is whatever it takes to make peace with that and move on—even if “whatever it takes” means giving yourself the kind of distance that puts strain on your weird-ass friendship.
I know you promised your friend that nothing would change, but your heart is in the mix now—and you do not owe him the continued, comforting pretense of cool-girl disinterest at the expense of your own feelings. So if what you need right now is to express your disappointment to him directly, or flail around and lose your chill and make a big crying scene, or to disengage from him completely until you’ve gotten over your crush, for the simple reason that crushing on him is a big waste of time? Then uou do it. You do whatever you need. He’ll still be there afterward. And if your weird-ass friendship is also strong enough to survive the awkwardness, you can always pick it back up again.
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