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Parallax - Advice

April 7, 2003

Good vibrations?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I am attracted to a new friend of mine and I'm getting vibes that he might like me, too. We met about six weeks ago. We've emailed, called each other, and done a few things together. It's really been fun. He's single now, but in conversation he constantly brings up former girlfriends. Although he refers to them in the past, it seems a bit strange to me. I don't see why he feels he has to mention them. Once, when we were drinking wine, he said that a former girlfriend used to have nightmares after having only one glass of wine. This past weekend, an ex visited him (thus, we did not get together) and he called her his 'former girlfriend, now friend.' Why is this? Is he insecure? It doesn't make me jealous, but it makes me wonder about his modus operandi. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Vibes,

It's one of two things. One, your guy is a bit insensitive and he matter-of-factly drops in ex-girlfriend stories simply because they spring to mind. Or two, he has you well in the friend category, and mentioning ex-girlfriends is not strange because you are just a friend. You need to identify if his level of interest in you is more than as a friend—at this time we do not have clarity on that point. After all, you are certainly not a girlfriend right now.

However, should you fill the girlfriend slot one day—and should his reliving of 'girlfriends past' continue—this analysis may be somewhat superficial. He may be too attached and not ready for a new person in his life. Should that scenario arise, you'll have a very different problem.

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His view:

Dear Vibes,

Well, I have no idea what 'vibes' you might have gotten that made you think he likes you, but if he truly does, he has a very strange way of showing it. Unless he's a complete dating novice (which he can't be, by definition), there is no reason why he should be bringing up ex-girlfriends so frequently—that's just bad form.

Of course, that assumes he thinks he's on a date. Maybe he's just in 'friend' mode, while you are falling for him. That would explain his behavior. He feels comfortable speaking about his past relationships with a person he considers to be his friend. He also feels comfortable spending time with his ex. (And you must know they had sex, right? Just because she is a former girlfriend doesn't mean they can't do it for old time's sake.)

You may want to give him some more time to get over his ex (or his exes) and look for some more convincing vibes before concluding that you are in a courting situation with your new friend.

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