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questionmarkDear Mark,

How do you know for sure a guy likes you? I’ve been flirting with this hot guy at starbucks for weeks. We see each other every Saturday morning and smile at each other. The other day we exchanged a few words and had lingering eye contact. I really am attracted to him and would like to ask him out but don’t want to get rejected. I guess I’m not sure of my next step. Hooking up with guys is easy but asking one out on a date is kind of riskier I guess. He’s always with a group of friends but doesn’t look like he has a boyfriend. How do you think I should proceed. -Questioning in Wilton Manors

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Dear Mark,

How do you know for sure a guy likes you? I’ve been flirting with this hot guy at starbucks for weeks. We see each other every Saturday morning and smile at each other. The other day we exchanged a few words and had lingering eye contact. I really am attracted to him and would like to ask him out but don’t want to get rejected. I guess I’m not sure of my next step. Hooking up with guys is easy but asking one out on a date is kind of riskier I guess. He’s always with a group of friends but doesn’t look like he has a boyfriend. How do you think I should proceed.

-Questioning in Wilton Manors

Dear Questioning,

This is where that Nike ad comes in handy….”just do it”. Whats the worst that could happen? You already know he is friendly. He may even be trying to send you some subtle signals with his smile and small talk. You should take a deep breath the next time you see him and ask him his name. Start off slow. Find out what he does. Where he goes out. Give him a bit of information about yourself. And after a few minutes, take the plunge. Say something like “we’ve been smiling at each other for weeks. I’d really like the chance to get to know you better. Would you be interested in grabbing a bit to eat or a drink sometime?”

Ask him for his number if he doesn’t offer. And then, very important, follow up within the next day or so.

The old fashioned approach to asking a man out on a date is very helpful. We can be sexual men AND we can have manners. My guess is that he’ll appreciate it.

Good luck.

Dear Mark,

Here’s my dilemma. I just joined this new social club for gay men at the urging of one of my best friends. I’ve been single for the past few years and was lamenting to him that it was hard to find a guy to date in this town. Sex has been easy, but dating. . .not so much. He told me about this club that meets monthly and said it was a great way to meet other gay men. In fact, he had met his guy a few times and was hoping to ask him out on a real date at the next gathering.

So I went to the event. It was okay. There were a lot of very nice guys — a bit on the older side and not really my “type” sexually, but nice to talk to. I did meet his one very handsome guy at the bar and we really hit it off. However, I found out it’s the same guy that my friend was interested in. I decided to take a step back because he was already “spoken” for. But since that night, this guy has pursued me heavily. I am interested in him but don’t want to hurt my friend. After all, he was the one who convinced me to go. How should I handle this?

Sincerely, Gary

Dear Gary,

There is really only one good answer here. . .you have to talk to your friend. It will be an uncomfortable conversation most likely. And I can’t guarantee he won’t get upset with you. But this is what friends do. They talk with each other about things that are important to them. . .uncomfortable or not. I would be clear with him that he is your first priority. Assure him that you won’t proceed if it makes him uncomfortable.

I would also reiterate to him how much you have wanted to find a guy you had a connection with. Remind him that is why he invited you to the event. Hopefully he will come around and give you his blessing. If he doesn’t, you have a decision to make. If you proceed with the new interest, you may hurt your friend’s feelings. If you back away from this man, you may feel a sense of loss around “what could have been”. Good Luck.

Sincerely,

Mark Rutherford LCSW

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