Not too long ago, one of my zodiac matching apps told me a guy friend I had and I were highly compatible, and both possessed qualities of being the other’s ideal. Out of curiosity, I presented this information to him and got instantly shut down because he’s secretly been in a long-term serious relationship. If you want to spare yourself the potential embarrassment, here’s what you can do to find out if the guy you’re into is available without jeopardizing a friendship or making things weird.
- Remove yourself from the outcome. Look, my former guy friend is a straight-up jerk and so is any guy who makes you feel bad about not knowing something he’s keeping hidden. I get the desire for privacy and all that, but if he’s so bent on his relationships being on the low, he should realize others may not know. If he’s an attractive dude and you two get along, there’s nothing wrong with being interested. Don’t let someone make you feel bad for shooting your shot and if they do, be happy you were rejected by someone who isn’t nice anyway.
- Be direct. What you don’t want to do is make assumptions or leave room for an unclear response. Although asking him may be awkward, how much more awkward would it be if you had to quit while you were ahead? You could’ve been friendly for quite some time then see an engagement announcement from this guy. Or he may enjoy the extra attention he gets from you and intentionally and unknowingly to you make you the “other woman!” Better to just find out the real sooner rather than later.
- Ask without explanation. You’re not obligated to tell him why you’re asking. If you just pose the question as is, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be with him. You could just be a nosey person who wants to know if he’s shacking up with someone or not. Or you may want to know if it’s okay to be flirtatious with him cause that’s the kind of person you are. It’s just a question and if he reads more into it then that’s his choice. Just throw it out there- “so are you seeing anybody? or “are you currently dating?”
- Bury it among other questions. It could be something that puts him on the spot. You definitely don’t want to call a town hall meeting just to put this one topic of discussion on the table. You could play a friendly question/answer game or ask a series of conversation starters for fun. That way, this isn’t the only or last thing you find out from him and it doesn’t make it as obvious this was the sole burning unknown on your mind.
- Don’t wait too long. Some time ago, I was introduced to this one guy through someone else, so I assumed the person who connected us would know his relationship status. Wrong. The guy started off pretty strong then quickly became inconsistent. I thought it was me until a holiday came around and the same guy posted the gifts he received from some mysterious woman. I guess the mutual contact wasn’t aware of her, but so much time had passed from our introduction it didn’t feel right to bring it up anymore and I let the whole prospect go without an explanation.
- Do it yourself. The right thing to do isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sending a messenger can create all types of unforeseen problems. You don’t know if the middle person is going to get the info you’re seeking or if they’ll accidentally slip and reveal why they’re asking. They could think they’re doing you a favor by letting him know you like him, so he starts thinking about you in that way! Just settle your nerves and put yourself up to the task to prevent a disaster.
- Ask out loud. See the previous bullet point about taking the easy route. Digital communication leaves so much room for false interpretation and added complications. What if he leaves you on read or you perceive the tone in his response incorrectly? Leave short message services for exchanging funny GIFs and quick questions like what time you’re meeting up and dropping the pin to a location. Otherwise, important chats are best heard and/or seen.
- Ask with confidence. Set the tone for the discussion yourself. If you start fumbling with your words or telling him how awkward you feel, it could make it worse. Just go for it and pretend it’s a natural thing you want to know about people in your life, particularly that of the opposite sex. If he asks why you’re asking, you can simply state you want to make sure by hanging around him there isn’t anyone you could potentially be offending. If you’re bold and daring enough and want to just let him know your feelings go for that, too. A real man should be flattered by your interest and you never know, he might like you back and piggyback off your display of confidence to proceed with asking you out. You only live once so carpe diem and all that good stuff.