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We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2019, 19:59
by Ryant99
Hey everyone,

I'm a 19 year old, gay, freshman college student that started only about a month ago and I'm in a bit of a tight situation. In the past I've had bad luck with dating... Had crushes on straight guys, got close to guys online and then ghosted, and gone on tinder dates that led nowhere. So one of the first things I did was join the LGBT club at my school. The first meeting we had was about 2 weeks ago now and I met a lot of really cool people including a group that I now hang out with regularly! In the past few days I've really gotten close to this group which consists of me, a guy that I'm gonna call Damon (bi), another guy (gay), and 4 girls (lesbian/bi). Everything is great, we all have a ton of fun when we hang out, and what I like most about this group is that we all have similar views on drinking, drugs, and smoking. None of us do any of it, and me being quite mild-mannered it's perfect.

Anyways, now for the juicy stuff. So when I first met Damon, he struck me as someone that's really confident, extroverted, the kind of guy that knows his stuff. I met him at the LGBT club (along with everyone else from the group) and right when I started talking to him I started to notice how shy he really is. Which I can completely relate to as someone with major anxiety and shyness. He's unfortunately a commuter and lives about an hour away which sucks since he can't hang out as much as everyone else but we've still had some fun outings and he really seems to break out of his shell in a group, but closes up when it's one-on-one. At first I thought that might've been a sign he was into me, but I learned from a mutual friend that he does the same thing with them too. He's incredibly hard to read and almost never talks about any deep, personal stuff. The other night we all played never have I ever and I learned some more details that are starting to make sense. As far as I know, he's never been in a serious relationship (neither have I), still is a virgin (also me), never has been to a nightclub (literally ME), and just really seems to be at the same level as I am.

A few nights ago I found his bumble profile and since I didn't want to make it awkward, I just didn't swipe and closed the app. The next day I mentioned to the group that I joined bumble... He didn't say a peep during the conversation, but that same night his profile disappeared. The next day he joined us all after HE went on a date... which made me sad until I learned that it was his FIRST date...

I've had a crush on him since day 1, but the more I get to know him the more I realize how genuine, sweet, and considerate guy he really is. Most guys I meet are selfish jerks that just want to f**k, and as someone that has such deep emotional connections to people, I feel like we could have such a close relationship. But at the same time I also think that we wouldn't be good for each other since we both are SO shy and reserved.

--> TL;DR
Right now all I've been doing is treating him like any other good friend and while it's been great, I want to know more about him and he just hasn't opened up to any of us in the group about his personal life. I've been trying to pick up signs but he's incredibly hard to read, and I have no idea if he feels the same way. I'm terrified if he finds out that I have a crush on him so I don't make eye contact a lot, and almost never sit near him. The other friend that I've talked to about this is in the group and she thinks that I just need to wait and get to know him more which I totally agree with, but my biggest fear is that neither of us will ever make a move and never know how each other felt. We've only texted once and it was to meet up with the group, but other than that we talk in person. I love real interactions much more than online, but he's always so shy with one-on-one conversations, and it's hard to keep the ball rolling. For most people I would take it as a sign he just isn't interested, but he treats everyone else in the group the same way. I genuinely believe he's anxious and shy which breaks my heart since I'm the SAME WAY. Overall, I really don't want to miss this chance, but I also don't want to confess my feelings and break the friendship.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 02:40
by Eryx
I've been drinking for so many years that I'm really curious, and I have to ask: what do you guys even do? Museums? Bowling? I kind of want to get back to doing things without alcohol involved and I'd like ideas. My city is very beer-centered and there isn't much that calls to attention aside from bars, bars, bars. I'd love to branch out.

The commuting thing shouldn't matter. If he's interested, he'll do it, even if it takes a while. We're very accustomed to that over here. In Rio, I had to travel for three and a half hours to get to my friend's house without even leaving the city. Obviously I'd sleep over rather than doing it just for the sake of one day.

His profile being gone might mean something, but maybe it's just the app. Don't jump to conclusions, but also always work with the possibility that he might not be interested. Especially if he caught your comment.

The shyness also shouldn't matter, people aren't shy 100% of the time, it's something that gets in the way just for the first few impressions. If you guys end up dating, he's going to open up, same as you.

Don't overthink it. Just enjoy this new phase of your life, the companies and hangouts. All that happens is going to come naturally, you can't make it happen sooner and you won't make it happen later -- because if you really are causing it to come later, you'll never know that you did.

Take a deep breath and, if it's supposed to happen, it will. I wish you and Damon good luck.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 10:58
by René
Eryx wrote:I've been drinking for so many years that I'm really curious, and I have to ask: what do you guys even do? Museums? Bowling? I kind of want to get back to doing things without alcohol involved and I'd like ideas. My city is very beer-centered and there isn't much that calls to attention aside from bars, bars, bars. I'd love to branch out.

Oh, bless you. The looks I get from some people when I tell them I don't drink... I might as well have told them I recently moved here from Mars. :P

Personally, besides spending time on forums, I love playing German-style board games, which are very popular in the Netherlands and in my family in particular. Of course part of the fun is that they provide a platform for social interaction. I suppose they take away part of the social anxiety many people (unnecessarily) feel while not drunk, because there isn't any expectation to be talking all the time; you could just be thinking about what you'll do in your next turn or something, so there are no awkward silences, but there's usually lots of chatting about things unrelated to the game.

Note that it is perfectly possible to have very fun conversations in general while sober that you might normally have while drunk. The funny thing is...a lot of the effect from alcohol is psychogenic, not actually resulting from any biochemical effect of the drug. When people drink, they typically become hypersociable a lot sooner than the alcohol could actually have gotten into their bloodstream and reached their brain. They just associate the act of drinking with being in this state. I suppose the fact that they're drinking gives them a subconscious excuse to act out a little. People will also typically act drunk when given a non-alcoholic placebo without their knowledge.
What this indicates is that, if you like the effects of alcohol, what you enjoy may be more a state of mind than anything else, and the actual alcohol may not be strictly required.

I'm not the kind of person who enjoys going to a lot of social events, but one particularly memorable time when I was at one where other people were drinking, I pretty much felt and acted like I was drunk; I was every bit as laughy/giggly/"loose" as they were. People actually asked me if I was safe to drive when I got in the car afterward :P but I hadn't had a drop. :D

(Don't substitute fruit juice or soft drinks, by the way. Water is a much healthier choice, even compared to most 100% fruit juices and diet sodas.)

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 17:51
by NvM
I dont drink alcohol either.
at my age, if i drank i would not be physically able to do physical activity i like to do. Any type of social situation is fine, but i just dont drink.
the OP should use caution:
generally peeps not willing to say things about their home life... what if they are not as much shy shy but they WANT to be in the closet and or even worse dishonest.

You have the right to open a bumble account and you should use it too. He could have closed his account because he saw your activity. You dont know?

Ask him out for a coffee but understand he may be dating.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 18:54
by mxguy01
"Ask him out for coffee" was exactly what I was thinking. See where it goes. If you get a simple no, then accept that fact but act like nothing else really happened and the friendship will survive. You can keep that 1st next step simple and harmless.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 21:58
by Eryx
Awesome contributions guys. And thanks René! I love board games in general, and have been thinking of joining an RPG group. I'm going to put more of an effort on that.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2019, 22:05
by mxguy01
Eryx wrote:Awesome contributions guys. And thanks René! I love board games in general, and have been thinking of joining an RPG group. I'm going to put more of an effort on that.

And try to find a passion if you don't have one already. I think you understand what I mean by that. Being around people who enjoy the same things you do is a good catalyst for making friends.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 17 September 2019, 02:07
by Ryant99
Thank you all for the suggestions! I really appreciate hearing thoughts on my situation. As a 19 y/o, I have no plans of drinking not only because it's illegal, but I genuinely have no interest in getting drunk. Lately we've been playing a lot of card games, going out to places, and hammocking (I'm in Florida). The whole thing about the bumble profile has been puzzling me, but he actually told us as a group that he thinks its awkward to swipe on friends... So I think even if he was into me, he probably wouldn't have swiped anyways. The profile disappearing might've been a sign he swiped left on me and it's not showing for me anymore? I don't know how bumble works, but I'm trying to not let it bother me anymore.

About the shyness, I again genuinely believe he just isn't comfortable enough to talk about deep topics... From what I hear his home life seems good, I don't think he's deep in the closet but he has been going to the LGBT club meetings. He said the reason for commuting is to save money which is totally reasonable, but he doesn't seem to mind the drive and has hung out with us VERY late on some occasions. I almost know for sure he isn't dating anyone since he just went on a date with a guy, and even told the group that the guy wasn't his type.

At this rate I'm going to keep hanging out with him and the group and get to know him better. The friend I let in on this said she'll try to notice his body language, but I don't think I'm ready to outright do something one-on-one since the few times we've been alone it was kinda awkward (hoping it's just shyness). Again thanks for the suggestions, I'll post when more stuff happens!!

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 5 October 2019, 22:12
by Eos
Yes please do, as a shy person myself I'd love to know what will happen ^^
Good luck !

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 7 October 2019, 12:20
by kenzie_matt
Thanks for the post! I'm sure it took a lot for you to post this given how personal it is in nature. I agree, the other posters have given some really good suggestions. I really am rooting for the two of you! If you guys end up together that will be great. If not, really hope you find someone with similar interests soon as well.
I don't know bumble either so can't say how it works, but I imagine it's similar to Tinder. As you also pointed out, he is reluctant to swipe on friends so chances are he would never have swiped on your profile.

Cudos to you on sticking to your guns in terms of drinking! It's way easier to compromise than to stay true to your beliefs. I am not saying it is wrong to drink, but given the laws in the States it is wrong for you at this point.
If you can find out who you are socially without any social lubricant, all the better! I really am looking forward to hearing more from you about how all of this plays out in the end.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 13 October 2019, 02:47
by Ryant99
It's been about a month since my original post and I have a few updates... During the past couple weeks I've gotten much closer with Damon, we've hung out almost every day, usually as apart of the friend group I hang out with. One of the first things I did was delete bumble/tinder and told the group as a whole that dating apps aren't as genuine as meeting people, just as a way to subtly show him I wasn't looking online anymore. I did straight up ask him to go out sometime, he asked me to go out to an open mic at a nearby cafe that I really wanted to go to, but I had a schedule conflict so we compromised by doing a movie night. We tried to watch the movie in one of the study rooms in my dorm building which was a huge mistake because some guys burst in right when we got all cozy and shouted some nasty stuff that kinda ruined the vibe and I didn't feel like watching anything at that point. I'm annoyed at myself for letting that stupid thing upset me, but we ended up rescheduling it and are planning on doing it sometime soon! We've gone on a few unofficial "dates" including one last night where we went to a school play and went hammocking in a park afterwords. Our group goes hammocking a lot and the only reason I don't own one yet is so that I can share one with Damon... So last night we kinda cuddled, it wasn't super comfortable, but it was cute and we ended up sharing a hammock again earlier today :)

At this point I feel really comfortable around him and for the most part he seems to like spending time with me. Everyone's been telling me that I'm going to have to confess my feelings or nothing is going to happen... I think that the problem with us is that since we're both new to dating and relationships, neither of us know whats happening or what we should be doing. He's said some really sweet things that are definitely signs he's into me, and I've been trying to do the same but we're just at a close friends stage right now. He spends most of his time hanging out with our group and is pretty open about his schedule so I definitely don't think he's been seeing any other guys. The problem with being in a friend group is that we don't usually get to hang out alone much and when we do, we're missing out on what the group is doing.

I'm not too rushed to launch into a full on relationship, I don't mind taking it slow and seeing what happens but lately I've had this feeling of not being right for him... When we all hang out in a group he laughs a lot and always seems to have a ton of fun, but when it's just us, there isn't really much chemistry/playfulness. It makes me so sad because I genuinely care about him and really want to pursue something, but we're just too similar in some ways, and really different in other ways. I realize that it's not my place to judge if I'm "right for him" since he's clearly making the choice to spend time with me, but I often wonder about how he would act around someone with a personality more like his. We're both incredibly indecisive and are TOO polite to each other, which causes problems because I'll throw the ball in his court and say something like "I'm good with whatever you want" and he usually fires back with the same thing!!

Now I have all these swirling thoughts of how/when to confess my feelings, how to maintain the friend group but still do stuff one-on-one, and most of all if we're even the right fit for each other...

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 13 October 2019, 07:28
by Eos
I am so happy for you !

Concerning the part where you wonder if you're good for him, I think you shouldn't worry about this, because usually, if you see isn't right then you would just know it and acknowledge what's wrong. Right now you just seem to have some doubts so it's not terrible. With time this feeling might go away.

I know it's hard to confess your feelings, but if you're like me, one day, you'll no more be able to hold your feelings and just go for it. It's important to know what each of you is thinking.

Re: We're both shy

Unread postPosted: 13 October 2019, 16:33
by Eryx
I think you're overthinking things, people are never going to be the same, and being similar isn't a recipe for success. Sometimes that just makes things boring. Maybe if you weren't so nervous about what's happening, you could make him laugh more by being genuine?

The fear of missing out is genuine. It's even considered a mental illness, nowadays. But it's irrelevant. You're going to spend countless times with these people, it's no problem to skip a few meetings to be with someone you like.

I agree with those who said you should be upfront. It's time to let him know how you feel. Some of the insecurities you're sharing are going to melt away afterward.