Advice A La Mode: Second-guessing, accidental flirting | The American Word

American Word Logo
An American University student-run magazine since 1999

Advice A La Mode: Second-guessing, accidental flirting

Rachael Somerville | 9/7/13 3:25pm

 “Advice A La Mode” is a weekly advice column written by Rachael Somerville. To provide complete anonymity to those who submit questions, we created the contact form (which you can fill out below) so you may ask questions without disclosing personal details. You may select a traditional “Problem Summarized in Name” format, tell her you would like to go by “First Name from Place” or she will come up with a name for you. The more information you give her, the better she can address your problem.


Second-guessing a Facebook message

She doesn’t have his number or any other contact information outside of his Facebook.

“Dear Rachael,

 So there’s this guy I’m kind of crushing on. We’ve known each other for years but never spent time one on one. But now he’s cute and we go to the same school. So I invited him to this event with me, but it was last minute so he couldn’t make it—he had legit other plans, I don’t feel like he was just plain uninterested. Instead of saying “Let’s hang out another time” I said “Oh well, have fun at your thing.” Oops. Now I feel like I don’t have another “in” to say anything to him. Our conversation was via Facebook messages, so I don’t have his number or anything. What now?

-Sophomoric Slip-Up”


First off, I always second-guess my responses to guys I’m interested in. Don’t worry, you didn’t mess up. At least your message didn’t autocorrect to something awkward—I once accidentally sent “bjs” instead of “now” and Siri didn’t intervene on my behalf.

Next time you see him online consider striking up a conversation. Start off with something like “Hey, I know you were busy the other day—are you interested in hanging out this weekend?” Leave it open-ended and see what his response is. It could give you an idea as to whether he wants to spend time with you. He may even invite you to something he’s doing.

If he says he’s busy again, I would reply with something simple that suggests you’d like to see him eventually and end things at that. Hopefully he has the good sense to make time for the two of you; you initiating the conversation three times might seem over interested.

At least at AU you can be assured you’ll see him around campus. Wave to him at the very least and see what happens. Best of luck!

Not sure what I’m doing wrong

Am I accidentally flirting with EVERY guy I know?

“Dear Rachael,

All the guys I tend to become friends with and close with harbor crushes on me and often ask me out or at least flirt with me. It’s getting to the point where I wonder if they want to be friends with me just to be friends or because they want a piece of this (*gestures to body*). Is it possible that I’m just being friendly to the point of being flirty? Shouldn’t I be allowed to have friends who don’t want to kiss me? What do I do so I can have some more close guy friends who don’t crush on me all the time?

Yours truly,

The Accidental Flirt?”


Well it’s a good problem to have (want to trade lives?), but I understand your frustration. This curse may become a blessing if you ever become interested in one of your guy friends.

Avoiding crushes entirely is likely impossible—you’ve clearly got something special.  Because I don’t know you, I can’t say for sure if you’re being inadvertently flirty. Look at the common crush signals that you may be displaying in an attempt to be friendly: frequent touching and praising; teasing; racy jokes; flirty body language (i.e. laughing at everything he says, whispering in his ear or frequently touching your hair or lips).

If you’re doing these things it may give your guy friends the wrong idea. But honestly, it’s entirely possible that they’re just attracted to you because they’ve gotten to know you. It’s hard to take these awkward situations as compliments but maybe you should.

More importantly, once a guy has announced his crush on you try to be clear and upfront about your feelings. Don’t make him “get the hint” that you’re not interested otherwise you’ll both be wasting your time and energy. As frustrating as it is to have a friend flirt with you or ask you out, it’s worse when you express that you like someone and they give you mixed or vague signals. Hopefully you’ll be able to move on and remain good friends.

Again this isn’t a solution, just a happy side effect; if one of these guys turns out to be your Ryan Gosling and you hit it off, the other guys will back off and know you’re just friends.

[contact-form-7 id=”393″ title=”Advice Column Form”]