Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Guy Friend Kissed Me But Won’t Tell Me What He Wants”

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I’m a college student and I have recently broken up with my long-term boyfriend. I have been friends with a guy, “Scott,” at my college for about a year (we’re very close) and I would hang out with him a lot. It was always very innocent as he knew about my boyfriend and was supportive of us, and he was seeing girls at college as well.

All was fine until I went on a break with my boyfriend a couple months ago. During this time Scott started flirting with me, and he ended up kissing me. He never told me how he really felt about me and would instead just flirt or deflect. When I finally mustered up the courage to ask him what he wanted, it seemed like he panicked and said “let’s just be friends.” Well, I was fine with that, and then the next day he kissed me again, leaving me very confused. I got back together with my boyfriend, and Scott was respective and stopped kissing me even though we didn’t really have a conversation about it.

We went back to normal friends and everything was fine again until I broke up with my boyfriend. It happened right before I came home from college (I live several states away from my college and even more states away from Scott). Right before we left, Scott kissed me again. Then we each went home and he started flirting a lot with me. However, he’d flirt with me and tell me he wanted to kiss me or things like that, and then he’d talk to me about other girls. He would talk about this one girl that he wanted to date while he would talk about wanting to be with me. Now he’s telling me he doesn’t want to be with that girl anymore and has started more serious flirting with me (even trying to get me a plane ticket to go see him).

Here’s the other issue: He’s a virgin and I’m not. I know he’s been hurt in the past because girls pressure him to have sex, and while I’m not like this, I think he’s nervous that I will be. However, he’s also made numerous comments about wanting to have sex with me, including telling me that if there was one person on campus he’d lose his virginity to, it would be me (said before we had even kissed!!).

So here’s my problem: I really like this guy, as a friend or maybe more but I’m not sure, because I don’t know how he really feels about me; however, I love being around him both as friends and when we were “together” (kissing). I don’t know what to do—if I wait to see if he finally fesses up his feelings for me or if I just forget about it. I don’t want to lose him as a friend, and I’m fine with any relationship he wants (friends, dating, FWB, etc.), but I’m nervous to ask him what he wants because of last time. What should I do? — Not Sure What He Wants

Well, first of all, you need to get some agency in this situation. You’ve been almost entirely passive; everything is about what Scott does (he flirts with you, he kisses you), what Scott says (he talks about other girls, he’s made numerous comments about wanting to have sex with you and how he’d choose you over everyone else to lose his virginity to), and about guessing what Scott wants (“friends, dating, FWB, etc.”) and you’re just “fine” with it all (your words). Girl, no. Have some self-respect. This guy you’ve been platonic friends with kisses you twice and tells you multiple times he wants to have sex with you, but when you ask him what he wants, he says “let’s just be friends” and goes on to talk about other girls? That’s not just confusing and vague and WEIRD, it’s fucking rude. You shouldn’t put up with it.

You say Scott is respectful of you, but this isn’t what respect looks like. This isn’t what friendship looks like. Friends don’t talk about having sex with you and then kiss you (more than once!) and then, when you call them on it and ask them about their feelings, panic and say “let’s just be friends” while continuing to flirt with you aggressively. This is some manipulative bullshit from an immature, inexperienced guy who seemingly not only lacks self-confidence, but also likely doesn’t have much respect for women either. You shouldn’t put up with it, and you sure as shit shouldn’t be willing to do whatever it is he wants — “friends, dating, FWB, etc.” if only he would communicate what it is he wants. Don’t be willing to do whatever a guy wants. Have some boundaries. Be willing to do what YOU want, with maybe a little wiggle room for compromise in certain situations IF your boundaries are respected.

You say you aren’t sure whether you like this guy more than friends because you aren’t sure how he feels. Your feelings are YOURS and they are not dependent on someone else’s. You are your own person – a person who has her own thoughts and opinions. What do YOU want? Are you interested in dating Scott? Then you should say so to him. Tell him that, with all his flirting and the kissing, you thought there might be a chance the interest was mutual and so you want to know if that’s the case and if he wants to try dating. If he says yes, give it a try, but if he says no, tell him the flirting and the kissing has to stop because it’s confusing for you. I would not advise being his FWB unless you like the idea of a no-strings-attached relationship with someone who’s wishy-washy with you, talks about other women with you, and has zero sexual experience. And if those things are a turn-on for you, then I guess Scott is a good fit for you! Regardless, it is beyond time for you to decide what YOU want and to communicate that with Scott since waiting for him to communicate with you is a fruitless endeavor.


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13 comments… add one
  • dinoceros May 21, 2019, 8:39 am

    My first thought was also that you’ve very passive. I don’t even really understand your description of being kissed. Does he just like walk up and kiss you with no warning? Because if so, that’s pretty problematic, no matter how you feel about it. Does he gauge if you want to be kissed? Do you kiss back?

    But if you want to know something, then ask. You asked before and he said he just liked you as a friend. … Then, bring that up. Say, “You said you just wanted to be friends, but you keep kissing me. I don’t get it. What does it mean to you?” TBH, I also think it’s a concern that you don’t know how you feel about him without knowing how he feels about you. That makes me think that you don’t actually like him more than a friend and that perhaps you just want th attention or something. Otherwise, wouldn’t you be into him regardless?

    Someone kissing you repeatedly is definitely a reason to think they might be into you. It’s not something where you need say, “Oh, I can’t be presumptuous.” That’s like seeing flames coming out of someone’s window and saying, “Well, I can’t ask if their house is on fire because what if it’s not!”

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  • brise May 21, 2019, 9:11 am

    It seems that he wants to have his first sexual experience with you without committing to you as a boyfriend. As you are currently single and let him do what he wants (kisses, intimate conversations about sex, and so on), he dares trying with you.
    He probably likes you but indeed, you are not there as a cobaye for his sexual education. You are a woman with her own needs: tell him that. So find out what those needs are. If Scott is really a man you would like to date, tell him so. If he is interested, he should date you and treat you as a date and potential girlfriend. He has to adjust and stop the nonsense: but yourself, you were quite unclear, with your unclear boyfriend situation. Make it clear for yourself, then for him, and you will get a clearer answer.
    Do you want to be with a boyfriend now? It seems, reading your post, that what you need right now is some room after the breakup with your boyfriend. Or do you just want to have fun and frolic with Scott? Figure that out.

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  • Betty May 21, 2019, 9:26 am

    I was in a situation like this in college (this situation is so college) and I told my guy friend that I was not interested in being a “flavor of the week” but if he wanted to take me on a date and see what happened that would be fun. Then I stuck to it–no kissing, no holding hands, no cuddling unless he was willing to take me out (I was willing to pay dutch, too). He planned an outing, we had fun, and we ended up becoming boyfriend-girlfriend and then getting married a few years later. My recommendation is that you set boundaries and if he is a great guy he will stick to them. If he is a weasel he will try to get around them and then you will know where you stand.

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  • Betty May 21, 2019, 9:27 am

    I was in a situation like this in college (this situation is so college) and I told my guy friend that I was not interested in being a “flavor of the week” but if he wanted to take me on a date and see what happened that would be fun. Then I stuck to it–no kissing, no holding hands, no cuddling unless he was willing to take me out (I was willing to pay dutch, too). He planned an outing, we had fun, and we ended up becoming boyfriend-girlfriend and then getting married a few years later. My recommendation is that you set boundaries and if he is a great guy he will stick to them. If he is a weasel he will try to get around them and then you will know where you stand.

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    • Mad August 7, 2019, 12:00 pm

      Hi betty!

      I’m wondering if right away he was like “oh yes, i will plan an outing” once you told him what you are wanting/looking for? Or did he need time to think, wasn’t sure right away, etc.?

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  • Essie May 21, 2019, 9:32 am

    I don’t know, this reads to me like a guy who really likes the LW but is very inexperienced with relationships and is sort of feeling around to get an idea of how she feels. He tries kissing her, she doesn’t seem to mind, but she gets back with her boyfriend. He talks about other girls to see if she gets jealous, there’s sort of no reaction. He’s not getting any kind of strong emotion from her no matter what he does. She’s just “OK” with everything.

    I know if I were this guy, I’d be confused as hell at this point.

    LW, I don’t know if you think you’re protecting yourself by not letting him know you like him, or if you’re not interested enough to feel much of anything about him, or if you’re really this passive about everything in your life and just go with what other people want you to do.

    I think you need to figure out what you want from this guy, and tell him. Not wait for him to make some kind of grand announcement that he wants to be with you, because it’s not really fair to make him put himself out there if you’re not willing to. And if you’re truly not all that interested in him romantically and just want to be friends, say so. Because it’s also not fair to let him think he has a chance if he doesn’t.

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    Bittergaymark May 21, 2019, 10:13 am

    Yeah. She’s confusing as all get out. Plus, she was initially not broken up with her boyfriend. They were “on a break” which is very different. She says she REALLY likes this guy? Does HE know that? She sounds very passive. And quite hard to read. Especially for a hapless inexperienced virgin…. no wonder the guy is waffling a bit.
    Wendy says he doesn’t have much respect for women… Eh? Does the LW have much respect for men? Honestly? It sounded to me like she just gets off on him liking her as an ego boost. I was surprised when she announced she REALLY likes him. I imagine he was, too. And backed off a bit.
    Also, she was leaving for summer break. Not the best time to start a new relationship. In fact, I would never recommend anybody start up a long simmering relationship as long distance. Wait until school starts again. And see how you both feel.

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    • Ruby Tuesday May 21, 2019, 11:37 pm

      @bgm, this LW is so 18-21 year old me it hurts.

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  • anonymousse May 21, 2019, 10:25 am

    If you have asked him outright what he wants and he can’t answer you, I believe he enjoys kissing you and pushing his boundaries a bit, but probably is not a long term potential. If he wanted to be with you, he’d tell you that. Is he religious? It’s interesting that he won’t have sex but says he wants to have sex with you.

    I agree that you sound very passive in all of this. If you want to be with him, you should tell him. It’s a weird game of cat and mouse you’re playing.

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  • FYI May 21, 2019, 10:58 am

    “tell me he wanted to kiss me or things like that, and then he’d talk to me about other girls. ”
    Record scratch right there. That’s just straight-up rude.

    Stop telling yourself that you’re fine with whatever relationship he wants. Don’t be so passive. DECIDE what YOU want, own your decision, and go from there. That’s what feminism is, by the way. You don’t wait for others to make decisions for you and tell you how your life is going to be.

    If you want him, then put it out there. If he rejects you, fine. If he accepts the idea, and you have to tell him to quit talking to you about other women, then do that. Just inhabit your own life, for chrissakes, and don’t EVER tell yourself you’re “fine” with whatever someone else decides about YOUR life.

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  • FYI May 21, 2019, 11:01 am

    Huh. Weird. I wrote my response before reading Wendy’s, and it’s pretty much the same. Take a course in feminism when you get back to school. Or read a book now.

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  • Ruby Tuesday May 21, 2019, 11:36 pm

    Please listen to Wendy. Believe in your feelings. Assert yourself. Don’t be College Me. I spent most of my years waiting for something to happen and I was fucking miserable.

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  • Chewe November 16, 2019, 11:27 am

    Well! Unfortunately the same thing happened to me but he only did it once.. we are both at University doing the same course. So there was an event, so we both decided we won’t go because my girlfriend’s went ahead of me and he wasnt going so I decided not to go but instead hang out.. it was awesome he opened up to me. Told me same parts of him I didn’t know.. he told me he had my back and enjoyed my company that it was worth it been with me all night that going to the event.. later on that night he told me that he liked me. We held hands under the stars.. have never seen that side of him.. then later he kissed me.. next morning surprisly he apologized that he shouldn’t have done that,that he was sorry,he cherished what he has with me and he feels guilty cause his dating.. he felt horrible and used I stayed a week without talking to him when I did start talking to him he replaced me another girl but still treating me the same way.. mean and caring at the same time,his capricone btw.. huh he just lives me confused am planning to ask him why he did that by the end of semester.my friends things that he does like me but I don’t think so..?

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