DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I (a man) have a bit of a situation (who doesn’t). It involves a very good friend of mine and two girls. I’ve expressed a very strong interest for one of the girls to my ‘good friend.’ He said he’ll help me out with the girl (wingman-ing I guess) but I told him not to because I want to focus on myself (I go to college/university) for a little while before I go into something like this.
So anyway, after a party that happened on a Wednesday night, my friend was getting cozy with her and it made me a little depressed and betrayed. It was just cuddling or hugging but that, for her, is where the ‘seed of interest’ grows.
The conversation that we had over the phone (the night before the party) he told me she was ‘fair game.’
This really pissed me off because I don’t think of it as a ‘game.’ Why did he say that anyway? I feel that he likes her but he keeps on saying that she’s f--ked up over her last boyfriend. It sounds like he’s trying to push me away unconsciously or consciously so that he can get with her.
But this where it gets incredibly fascinating and where the absolute hypocrisy or inconsistency of humanity comes through. The other girl that I mentioned above (let’s call her Blondie), she made out with him at a student apartment complex after the party/club. She said that she doesn’t normally kiss other students and he says why don’t we kiss now or some s--t like that. This angered me because Blondie and I have something between us that I believe can develop, some sort of sexual tension is present as well, but she also flirts with my friend.
And last night I got quite drunk, it was the last day of the semester/term, and my friend was basically helping me to get back to his place so I can rest there. I heard just round the corner the two of the making out and then after they were done he says ‘I’m gonna be thinking about that until Sunday.’
He mentioned to me before this mess that his friend was performing his poetry somewhere and he asked if I wanted to come but I declined and instead he’s taking her.
When I asked him about it whilst he was taking me home, he denied it and then he brushed it off like it meant nothing and kept on saying ‘she doesn’t want to get with any of us’ (meaning any of the guys in our college). They’re clearly going to get together and I feel like I’m nothing.
The thing is SHE KNOWS I like her because my friend let it slip that I liked her. She’s playing a game, I believe, because before I got wasted she proposed that she wants to go have drinks at some bar or pub with both of us. Two guys and one girl – with her knowing everything. I got wasted on college premises with some of the really attractive lecturers. (Irrelevant – they are so hot it’s unbelievable, also my friend had our English lecturer grind on him at the club/party on Wednesday night)
F--k man, what am I to do? I thought about pursuing Blondie but I don’t know, when I see her, I see his face up against hers – kissing.
– Waiting To Start
DEAR WAITING TO START: K, you have more than one question buried in here and frankly I kind of needed to diagram the list of who’s doing what to whom, so let’s take it from the start.
So we have you, Waiting, who chose – and made it known that you had chosen – to focus on your studies instead of pursuing girls. Fair enough: that’s a viable choice and potentially quite a wise one, depending.
Then we have your buddy, who I will dub Player-1 for convenience’s sake, who has made the opposite choice: he’s quite content to go about trying to meet women, get make-outs, etc.
Then we have these two girls, Cuddles and Blondie. Am I correct so far?
So Player-1 offered to help you hook up with one of these women; contextually I’m assuming you mean Blondie, but it could equally apply to both. Ok, cool; your friend is offering to help you out. This is the mark of a good friend. You refused his help because – according to you – you’d rather be getting your studies in order. Again, a valid choice.
However: choices come with consequences. And in your case, you actively chose not to pursue these women. So when you catch Player-1 and Cuddles on the couch together, you may get jealous… but that could have been you on there. Player-1 may have been a little crass in telling you that she was “fair game” because there’s nothing women love more than being reduced to an object with no animus, but he’s not wrong. He’s not saying that it’s a game (or that he’s running game), he’s saying that she’s not attached to anyone and thus is free to cuddle with whomever she wants. He’s not trying to push you away, he was giving you a chance to say “No, wait, I want to go after her”, and that if you didn’t, he wasn’t going to hold back about making his move.
Then there’s Blondie. You like her. You think she likes you. You know that she knows that you like her because Player-1 accidentally passed her a note after gym class. You know that she knows that you know that she knows that you… sorry, got lost there for a second.
You think something could (please note that word very carefully) develop with her. But… you haven’t pursued it. In fact, you’ve actively chosen not to pursue it.
I think you see where this is about to go, right?
Right now, you have two problems. The first is that you’re getting upset over a situation that’s ultimately of your own making.
Blondie may or may not like you, but she clearly also likes Player-1, who – wait for it, wait for iiiit… – made his move and, thus, got the make-out at the party.
You see, your friend understands something that I’ve said over and over again: you don’t get to call dibs on people. And evidently I have to drive this home one more f--king time because you’re getting a whole lot of butt-hurt over the fact that Player-1 isn’t respecting your “dibs” on Cuddles or Blondie. Except: he has.
Player-1 has made every possible overture to you regarding both Blondie and Cuddles. He specifically offered to help you hook up with Blondie. He went out of his way to give you a chance to change your mind about Cuddles. Both times, you said “no”. Your friend has gone above and beyond when it comes to getting the all-clear from you when he didn’t have to and you gave it to him. If you’re going to make a point of wanting to focus on your studies instead of pursuing a relationship (or at least sloppy make-outs) then you can’t expect the world to go on pause until you’re ready. Everybody else has lives that don’t revolve around yours and they’re free to make their own choices that don’t involve you. Player-1 invited you to his friend’s poetry reading. You – again – said “no”, so he asked Blondie.
The fact that you may like Blondie is all well and good, but it’s meaningless when it’s not backed up by any action on your part. Your interest in her doesn’t project a magical dick-repelling force-field or inscribe a rune on her forehead that says “Wating To Start Was Here First, Back off”. You think something could grow if you pursued it… and you chose not to pursue it.
The second problem is that you’re assuming conspiracies and mind-games where there really isn’t any evidence. The issue isn’t that people are gaming you, the issue is that you’re jealous and you’re trying to rationalize why you “lost”.
Maybe Cuddles isn’t interested in dating anyone because she’s not over her last boyfriend. That doesn’t mean that a) she doesn’t appreciate some physical affection now and then or b) that your buddy is trying to keep you away from her. People – especially in college – can enjoy some no-strings attached cuddling or make-outs even if they don’t want to pursue an active relationship with the person they’re making out with… or anyone at all.
Same with Blondie. She enjoys hanging out with you. She clearly enjoys Player-1’s company. She knows that you and Player-1 are friends. Which seems more likely: that she’s f--king with your head or she just wants to get drinks with a couple of friends?
(Of course, option 3 could very well be “she’s hoping to hook up with both of you“, but this is Ask Dr. NerdLove and not Penthouse Forum)
Maybe Player-1 is right. Maybe she doesn’t want to date anyone at your university. This doesn’t mean she might not want to f--k them.
And let’s not forget that you were drunk when you asked him about it.
The thing to keep in mind is that you’re assuming that you could have something with her. You don’t know this. She may be a flirty person. She may have been interested in you, but when you never made a move, she assumed you weren’t interested and moved on. She may not have been interested in you in the first place and you were seeing things that weren’t there. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because the only way you could find out was to – and I’m going to say it again – make a move and ask her out.
You chose not to.
Now you can choose to change your mind and make your play –knowing full well that she likes Player-1. That’s up to you. But let’s not pretend that this is all the result of Player-1 trying to edge you out and steal everything you’ve ever wanted.
If you want my advice: let it go. Let it all go. Player-1 has been more of a friend to you than you’re willing to acknowledge. It’s understandable that you’re jealous of him getting to do what you wanted – that’s just human nature – but he made his move and you chose not to.
There will be other women. There will be more opportunities. Player-1 may well be willing to help you out – again.
And when those women come around and those opportunities arise, you have to make your choice.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org