Does he like me, or is he just being friendly? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


I am past 30, and I’ve never had a romantic relationship. Coming from a conservative family, I never had the chance to mingle with men other than my close relatives.

It was only around two years ago that I was able to interact closely with men. I met someone at work who stood out when we both got involved in a two-day company project. Being inexperienced, I didn’t know what to call what I felt in our first meeting, and I knew the feeling was mutual. But I could be wrong.

Before I left for Metro Manila, we exchanged numbers and, a few days later, he called. That started our regular phone conversations.
Though not every day, our talk—which usually lasted an hour to almost three—covered everything. Often we’d talk about the same topics over and over and still manage to stay on the line for hours.

Whenever he’d come to Manila on business, he’d always find time for us to meet and talk. And whenever I had problems, he always supported me.

We have been like this for over a year now. He’s been so good to me that I think I am falling for him. I hope he, too, feels the same way.
Is this a man’s way of courting? He hasn’t said anything. Should I take these as definite signs of his interest in me? Does my friend like me, or is he just being friendly? Should I ask him if he looks at me as more than a friend?

—Confused Bella

Being a thirtysomething woman doesn’t exempt you from having sexual feelings. You can’t be that dead to the world! Or you’re just clearly bordering on the very naive.

There are no clear rules in courting: “Dif’rent strokes for dif’rent folks.” Remember when Renee Zellwegger told Tom Cruise in the movie “Jerry Maguire”: “You had me at hello”?
Some men are old-fashioned and go the whole nine yards—flowers, moonlight dinners, innumerable dates and that ubiquitous dawn-to-dusk sweet-nothings phone conversations. Others use the caveman’s tactic of me-Tarzan-you-Jane-you’re-mine. That works, too.

It seems he’s been casing the joint too long! Knowing how conservative you are, he is probably taking it real slow. It will not be in your personae to jump the gun on him.

Hasn’t he nuanced anything in the long hours you’ve talked with him? Nothing? Could he have a terribly boring life, or possibly no life at all?

Some men will not say the “L” word casually. They let their actions speak for them. Has he held your hand the few times he visited? Kissed you on the cheek as some friends are wont to do? Has he ever mentioned any past love? Yes? No? Or could he be hiding too long in the closet and considers you a safe “fag-hag”—someone he feels comfortable with and just loves to hang out with?

Your impatience is understandable, but why are you in a hurry to carve his feelings in stone? Can’t you just go with the flow some more and give him time to do what is right for him?

Be unavailable once in a while and see how ardently he will run after you and whether or not that will get his engines running. Let him hone his hunting skills and see how seriously he hunts you down. Play a little game. This may inadvertently answer the nagging questions on your mind.

If nothing happens, then, there was really nothing there, sadly.

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