He only wants to hang out around friends. What should I do?

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Sequindreams asks:

Met a guy through my best friend two weeks ago. He ended up getting my number from my best friend and we’ve been texting daily.

We’ve hung out three times including the day we met all with friends. He wants to hang out with everyone again tomorrow. He’s clearly into me because we’ve kissed multiple times.

Would you bring it up that you wanna hang out just the two of you?


Demetrius says:

Oh I’d definitely bring it up, because I’m not shy about that sort of thing at all.

First let me say that it’s always a bad idea to draw larger conclusions over small things. Like drawing the conclusion that he’s into you because you’ve kissed. I’ve kissed plenty of people who I had no interest in actually dating, and while “into someone” is subjective, it generally means more than “just wanted to kiss”. If you think that just because he got your number and kissed you means more than that, I’d caution against getting too far ahead of yourself. Here’s what we actually know about your situation:

  • You text on a daily basis
  • You’ve hung out 3 times, mostly with large groups of friends
  • You’ve kissed multiple times

Those are good signs, but beyond that, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions. You even called it “hanging out” instead of “going on dates” so the whole “he’s into me thing” is already on shaking ground. I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it: You don’t “hang out” with people you like, you take them on dates. That’s not to say that he doesn’t like you, but it’s not like he’s Lloyd Dobler with a boombox over his head. He’s a guy who has hung out with you and kissed you a few times. What’s a few kisses between friends, really?

I say all this only to temper some of your enthusiasm so don’t take it to mean that I think that he’s not into you at all. It sounds like at minimum, he is attracted to you, enjoys your company, and likes texting you. A good start for sure. At this point, yes, I would 100% say “Hey, can we do something where it’s just me and you?”. It’s not out of line on your part, and I think that it’s entirely possible that he’s just a social guy and doesn’t realize that you might want some one-on-one time with him. People who are big on being social tend to have this problem when dating where they try to incorporate the person they’re seeing into existing social groups, which is fine, but often they overlook the fact that one-on-one time is absolutely necessary with a partner. I’ve been guilty of that on more than one occasion because I enjoy my friends but there are dozens of them and they’ve always got something going on, so sometimes it’s hard to ration out your time. While I warned you not to draw conclusions over the small things, I also want you to know that the whole hanging out with you with friends thing is a sign, though not a huge sign. Don’t draw too big of a conclusion about him bring you around your mutual friends, but it does mean something. He likes you, he likes his friends, and he likes hanging out with all of you together. If you told him that you’d like some one-on-one time I’m guessing that he’d understand where you were coming from.

With all that said, just have fun. You’re still early on in the dating process and if you’re texting on a daily basis something must be there. When you ask him for some time together don’t make the request sound like “hang with them, or hang with me” instead, it should sound closer to “I love doing things with a big group, but I’d like some one-on-one time as well. Sound good?”.

Good Luck Out There.

7 Replies to “He only wants to hang out around friends. What should I do?”

    1. Either that, or he’s just too young to realize they’re not signs that he actually wants to date. Lots of under 25 year olds “date” this way and its not because they don’t want to get serious, I think it’s because thats the only dating model they know.

  1. Agreed. But what happens if the friend spends lots of one-on-one quality time with you, and you’re supposedly only friends (as in my case)? Very tricky… And frustrating.

    1. That’s a good question! I think sometimes with friends it gets tricky because you could just be close and affectionate but not romantically interested, romantically interested but you both wonder if there is something there, or one of you are oblivious about the other’s interest. The best bet, assuming you’re interested in seeing where a romance can go, is to just ask if they’d be interested in dating you. If they’re a good enough friend but not interested, it might be awkward for a bit but that’ll fade. I’ve done it before, having my suspicions confirmed and also misread a situation with an overly affectionate but not interested romantically friend. It was awkward for a few weeks, but fine after. I think it’s worth the risk if you feel like they might be a good match for you.

      1. I did ask. I would be interested in more, unfortunately he wouldn’t… Now I’ve to reign myself back in on friend territory. Difficult.

      2. I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve found that if you make yourself less available to hang with your friend, not in a malicious way but in a “I’m busy with these other things” way and create some space it makes it easier to sort of reign yourself back into friend territory. I will say, it’s much harder to do that with a friend who is very warm, or big into one-on-one hangouts because it’s just like “WHY CANT WE DO THESE THINGS BUT ALSO MAYBE KISS?!”

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