If You Have To Do All The Work, He’s Not Interested (Enough)

May 9th, 2016

Dating Skills, Moxie 101, NEW!, NEXT!, NOPE!


Name: Kristen

Question: I was working with this guy for over a year and developed strong feelings for him. I feel  he feels the same way about me.  When I first started working with him, he had a girlfriend. He never told me, but I learned this after our boss started teasing him about her. Howerver, he broke up with her about 3 months after I met him. About 8 months of working together, I’ve gotten closer to him. We started going to lunch together, and he’s opened up to me about mental issues he’s going through (generalized anxiety). His personality is a little on the shy side and he doesn’t socialize much at work. People always refer to him as the antisocial guy. After a little over a year of working together , I switched to a different department but we would still meet up for lunches or coffee occasionally.

He seemed to really be interested in the beginning, however, he couldn’t seem to ask me out directly. He would mention that he will be in a particular area for the weekend (knowing that’s where I like to go), but would never directly ask me to hang out with him. It was only after he asked me where I was going to be that weekend  that I realized he wanted to hang out. I already made plans with a friend, so I couldn’t even suggest spending time together with him.  This kind of passive aggressive on his end would occur whenever the weekend is coming up, but being shy myself, I couldn’t make the first move until a few months later, when I asked him to hang out with me for the weekend. However, he turned me down, saying that it’s going to be too cold. The forecast was in the teens that weekend. I was so hurt and felt that he lost interest.

He has also mentioned that he does online dating and will tell me about the girls he’s gone out with, so far, he wasn’t happy with any of them. One day, I also shared a first date story with him involving this guy I met and mentioned that I’m planning on seeing him again this weekend. He then asked me when are we going to hang out?  He, himself suggested next weekend. However, when that Friday before we were supposed to hang out came around, he never brought it up! Deciding to have courage this time, I texted him that night and asked him if he still wanted to hang out this weekend. We agreed on Saturday, however, a few hours before meeting up, he texted me to cancel saying that he’s not feeling well. I told him, that’s no problem and that we can do this some other time.

As weeks passed by, I would sometimes see him in the break room at work and we would talk. He brings up hanging out again, but this time I was so discouraged that I told him that I couldn’t do it that weekend. He brings it up again the following week, and again, I told him I was busy. Moxie, I don’t know if I’m being strung along, or if he’s really interested  but has some anxiety about it for some reason.  I really like him, but I honestly don’t know what to do!
BTW, I’m 32 years old and he’s 27.
Age: 32


I feel  he feels the same way about me. 

Really? Based on what?

I’m not really sure where you’re getting the vibe that he’s interested. He’s blowing you off left and right, talking about his dates with you, etc. Those are not things that people who are interested do. And even if he is interested, who wants to deal with someone who involves this much prodding and hand-holding?

At the very least this guy is wishy washy. Do you really want to get into a relationship with someone who forces you to do all the heavy lifting? The guy can’t even ask you out properly. Girl, no. And I’m not just saying this to you, I’m saying it to myself, too.

Several years ago I met a guy via Twitter. We exchanged a number of flirty Twitter DMs and decided to meet. I canceled on him last minute because I’m an asshole. A few years later, we finally do meet up. In my mind, it was just two Twitter pals having a drink. But when I got there, the whole thing had a very distinct “date” feel to it.  He paid the tab, walked me to a taxi, etc. So, when I got home, I emailed him and asked if he sensed what i sensed. He said he did.

Now, that was the first red flag for me. I had to poke him with a stick to see if he was interested. The second red flag was that we would make tentative plans and he’d flake. He did it once and I laid into him for it. We didn’t speak for a year.

Last year, when I changed the direction of my book to take place at a magazine, I contacted him because he works in a high position at a very well known publication. He gave me a ton of insight as to the day to day goings on of an Editor in Chief and provided me with a great deal of information about various aspects of digital publishing, contracts, measuring metrics, etc.  I offered to take him for a drink as a thank you for all his help. Oh, he was “definitely” interested in meeting up. He outlined his schedule for me and I picked two night and asked if he could make one of them.

No response. He’s a single parent and so I keep giving him leeway. I happen to think he’s a decent guy. I don’t want to think he’s a dick, because then my judgment goes into question. I want to believe he’s just a man with a lot on his plate for whom women/sex/dating just is not a priority. That’s more palatable than he’s a self-serving thoughtless douchebag

We are still in touch and have even danced around getting together again. “I don’t want to wait too long [to get together],” he said. Uh huh. Okay. So this last time I said, “Give me a shout when you know your schedule and we’ll figure something out.” I was not going to try and pin him down to a night only to have him flake on me. That would just hurt my feelings too much.

This guy? Not all that interested in me. (And that’s okay.) He’ll meet up with me if the mood strikes him, but he’s not going to go out of his way.  Acknowledging that to myself before responding to his last email was the key. If I didn’t make the effort, he wouldn’t bother. Maybe it has nothing to do with me at all. Maybe his life is such that he just doesn’t have room or time or interest in women. That’s perfectly acceptable. But what’s not acceptable is the constant building me up just to pull the football away, so to speak. Just…don’t engage. Simple. Say less not more. Don’t say you’re “definitely” interested in meeting up if you really mean, “Eh, sure.”

Any way, all of that is to say that this guy you’re dealing with might very well like you, but if it’s like pulling teeth to get him to meet up with you, it’s probably not going to be worth it in the long run.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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10 Responses to “If You Have To Do All The Work, He’s Not Interested (Enough)”

  1. Jake Says:

    OP was told by this guy he has anxiety and by others that he is anti-social.Actually, being judged by others as “anti-social” is code for, “he’s an asshole.” Anyway, his behavior confirmed he is socially awkward and, more importantly, not that interested. Time to move on and find a socially competent and and well adjusted guy.

    Regarding Moxie’s twitter friend, I think she expects too much. She ditches him last minute before their first encounter which she admits she was an asshole for. Fast forward a few years later and they go out. I don;t know why this guy would after a last minute cancellation–but, oh well. Then, he helps Moxie with her book free of charge.

    I’m sorry, but this guy isn’t being close to a dick to Moxie. He’s being nice even after her behavior.

    • Stacey Says:

      Jake – Ok, so the last minute cancellation on Moxie’s part was an asshole move, as she said herself. But him not responding on their next date after he already went over his schedule, and the days that he is free with her, is an even more asshole move.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        I don’t think it’s an asshole move, per se. I think it’s the move of someone not terribly interested who is trying to extricate himself from a situation without creating conflict.

      • Goldie Says:

        I think it was more of an “being in the moment” move. He enjoys Moxie’s company, she’s a good business connection probably, and there were some sparks flying on that first date. I think he genuinely meant it when he replied in the affirmative. Am I saying he still meant it an hour later, or that he had thought it through and considered how the meeting would fit into his schedule before replying, eh, probably not. But for that split second when he said “definitely”, I think he meant it.

  2. fuzzilla Says:

    **He would mention that he will be in a particular area for the weekend (knowing that’s where I like to go), but would never directly ask me to hang out with him. It was only after he asked me where I was going to be that weekend that I realized he wanted to hang out. This kind of passive aggressive on his end would occur whenever the weekend is coming up,**

    I disagree that this is passive-aggressive. I think that’s just innocuous chit-chat and the OP reading too much into things – something to watch out for as a sign you’re overly invested and mistaking wishes for facts. If the behavior is passive-aggressive, then why do you want to put up with it?

  3. Nicki Says:

    Nowhere in OP’s entire letter did I get the sense that this guys interested. Like he isn’t. Not at all! If he was interested then he’d set a plan!

    • fuzzilla Says:

      She’s also using the “oh, but he’s shy” thing as an excuse for why he hasn’t made a concrete plan. Is there such a thing as looking for red flags in your own behavior (i.e., “yup, I’m rationalizing again”)? He got over his shyness enough to ask the OKCupid gals out.

  4. Goldie Says:

    A lot of people just plain avoid dating coworkers, period. Either way, though, OP’s letter was almost too painful to read all the way to the end, because it reads like a detailed description of an utterly unsubstantiated and unrequited work crush. I’ve had those. No, this person is most definitely not interested. And, rule of thumb, if the other person isn’t interested, that’s a dead giveaway that the two of you would never work out as a couple. He’s not interested for a reason. This isn’t a movie where you pursue an indifferent person until you’re blue in the face, and then one day he wakes up and realizes that you two are soul mates, and you live happily ever after. In real life, the other person is indifferent because there’s not enough chemistry and you two don’t have enough in common, and, if you were to ever get together, YOU would run away screaming after a week, if that.

  5. Catherine Says:

    Not many may agree with me, but I think the next time this guy asked the OP what she was doing for the weekend, she needs to put her foot down and say something like, “nothing at all, let’s do something.” See how he reacts. If he finally does go out with her, then maybe they can go from there. If he makes an excuse again, then at least she has a definite not interested answer. The reason why I say this is because I was on the other end of her situation. I was a damaged good, and a guy friend was very interested in me and I felt the same way about him. I was afraid of going through the same mess I went through in the past, so I would constantly make excuses not to go out with him. He must have asked me out 3 or 4 times, and I turned him down each time. He stopped asking me out, but we remained friends. One day it just came to me that I need to let this guy know how I feel or lose him forever. So I invited him to dinner, and this time he turned me down! After about a few weeks, I decided to give it another try, and he did say yes. We’re now married, not saying that that tactic is going to work, but my point is, people sometimes are going through situations we don’t know, and we can’t just give up on them. It looks like the OP was turned down by this guy a couple times, but he did invite her to do something with him two weekends in a row, and she told him she was busy. Give it one more shot the next time he asks. Good luck!

  6. Sarah Says:

    Kristen. Get it together. This guy could not be less interested in you.

    First of all, he’s 27, so he wants to date someone in her 20s.

    Second: the moment a guy starts confiding in you about his “mental issues,” that means he doesn’t want a sexy time with you. What it does mean is that he’s wasting your time and using you for free, albeit amateur, therapy.

    Third: He sounds like a douche, anyway. Your co-workers refer to him as “the antisocial guy.” I mean. What, exactly, is his appeal?

    Just cut your losses and move on. This is never going to happen, barring the likely event that he seeks you out after his next breakup for help with his ‘mental issues,’ has sex with you after you listen to him whine for three hours, then vanishes for a month, only to resurface and act like nothing ever happened.

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