Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Waiting it Out and Getting Past the Butterflies

November 23, 2011  |  

Dear Champ,

I read your responses and your advice/suggestions always seem to be very appropriate and right on, so I figured I’d give this a shot.  Thanks in advance!

I’ve been seeing a guy for about three months now.  We met through an online dating website.  We’ve gone out just about every weekend since we first met up.  When we hang out, it’s usually something low key like grabbing lunch or dinner, going for walks, or hanging out at the house.  He seems cool and we seem quite compatible.  We talk a lot the entire time we’re together, and we communicate frequently throughout the week.  Here’s the problem.  I’m not sure if he’s truly interested in me as a potential mate or if he sees me as just a cool friend and nothing more.  We’ve never had any sort of intimate contact, besides a hug every now and then and our conversations, while very interesting, are typically on a platonic level.  I hesitate to ask him about it because I don’t want him to feel as if I’m rushing things, for example, if he’s just slow and really wants to develop a good friendship with someone before moving to the next step. I’m starting to develop feelings for him, and I’m not sure if I should just continue to be patient or initiate a conversation on where things are going.  We’re both in our late 30s.  What’s your advice?  Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,

Trying to be patient


Dear Trying To Be Patient,

If you would have asked me this question 10 years ago, I probably would have encouraged you to run for your life because your new guy is definitely a serial killer and is likely just waiting for the perfect opportunity to hit you with the chloroform cocktail so he could drag you down to his dungeon and make miniature lampshades out of your eyelids. Why would I be so certain? Well, you met him on a dating site, and as we all know (well, as we all thought we knew) men who join dating sites are usually either serial killers or closet Jerry Sanduskys looking for unsuspecting women to be their beards while they take daily “field trips” to Chuck E Cheese.

Times have changed, and the stigma attached to dating online seems to have softened as well. But, the stigma still does exist, and it’s still particularly strong in the black community. There does still seem to be a tendency to side-eye any black guy who does the virtual dating thing, and a part of me wonders if this guy is taking things at a snail’s pace because he’s aware of the stigma and just wants to make sure he doesn’t scare you away. Also, perhaps his reasoning for joining the dating site — he’s a little socially awkward/shy, he just got out of a long relationship, etc — contribute to his wanting to take things very slow.

With that being said, you can’t continue on like this, because if he truly isn’t romantically interested in you, each moment you spend with him is taking away from the time you could be seeing someone else. It’s time to ask him what his plans are and where this relationship is going. Taking it slow is great, but you should at least know if you’re inching towards an actual destination or just crawling around in a circle.

Sincerely,

Damon Young (aka The Champ)

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