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Shy Guy Quirkiness – Is this typical?


RomansEmpire

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My apologies in advance for the long post; I tend to write books.

 

So my shy guy and I have been having a fun hanging out and getting to know each other. We spend time together outside of work a couple times each week and he opens up to me a little more each time we talk. He has even managed a little flirt here and there. I am trying to understand his actions and be patient but this is new territory for me. He does so much for me and is nothing but kind and generous. However, there are some things that still leave me guessing and scratching my head wandering what just happened.

 

(1) He never directly or boldly asks me out. He always says something like, “So, I’m going to XYZ. You can come if you want.” (That last line is verbatim the way he always ends an invitation.) And he cannot look me in the eye when he asks; he looks at his feet or bows his head and looks up at me from under his hair. I know the fact that he is including me counts for something but I sometimes think he doesn’t really care if I go or not. He seems so indifferent about it.

 

(2) When we go out he never walks beside of me. He will walk closely behind me and if I slow my pace he will eventually fall back again. These aren’t situations where the streets are crowded or something like that and I start to get a little self-conscious because I feel like he doesn’t want to be seen with me. If he is walking with another female coworker or friends, he will keep pace right beside of them.

 

(3) He rarely touches me; I can tell he wants to touch me but he doesn’t. One day he asked to see my hand and when I extended it to him he reached to touch my finger three times but just did not seem to be able to make it happen. His finger came within fractions of an inch of my skin and he would pull back quickly as if he had been shocked. He was pointing out something about my hand and he eventually just grabbed a guitar pick and used it to touch my hand (?). If I touch him, he gets really awkward, he turns beet red, and forgets how to speak for a few seconds (depending on the situation he may even avoid me for a bit).

 

(4) There are still days when he doesn’t seem to want to talk to me. I was outside on the lot at work last week and he started around the corner of the building toward me. I saw him and he saw me and then he turned and walked back around the corner. He blatantly avoided me. That one was hard to digest. I wasn’t expecting him to run up and throw his arms around me; a smile or a wave would’ve sufficed. The next morning he was waiting for me when I got to work and he greeted me timidly. When I said hello with a smile he lit up and chatted away.

 

(5) It seems like he thinks I am mad at him a lot. He doesn’t say that but it’s the way he approaches me, like I am going to hit him (I’ve never hit him; not even playfully). If he has to give me disappointing news like cancelling something we have planned he literally backs away from me while the words are coming out of his mouth as if he is preparing to run for his life. I make a point not to respond negatively to him even if I am disappointed. I do tell him that I will miss him or that I am bummed not to spend time with him. I try not to dwell on the subject and move the conversation on to something else.

 

Is it typical for a shy guy to continue these behaviors when he knows a girl is interested? By "knows" I mean I have said, “I like you. I always have fun when we’re together and I’d like to spend more time with you.” Do you think there is anything else I can do to help him relax more or should I just keep being patient and let him get comfortable in his own time? I don’t want him thinking I’m losing interest but I don’t want to overwhelm him either. Sometimes I hesitate to initiate a conversation or invite him out or touch him because I can’t understand his actions.

 

The strangest (accidental) observation yet is that he writes down things I say. This one really left my head spinning. He doesn’t make notes during our conversations and he doesn’t write down every word that comes out of my mouth; at least I don’t know that he does. But I was at his desk earlier this week and he had a note with a few lines scribbled on it. It was just there as I was talking to him and I could clearly see it. At first I thought they were song lyrics but then I realized these were things I had said to him. It wasn’t personal information but rather playful phrases I had used during our recent interactions. I have no idea what to make of it. I didn’t ask him about it because I didn’t want to embarrass him and it somehow felt wrong that I had seen it. Any thoughts?????

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OMG. I am laughing so hard right now. I always appreciate the direct and colorful input from members of this forum. It is weird. We actually do have really decent conversations when he opens up and his life seems normal enough. He has friends and activities that he is into. It is definitely slow going. I know I need to talk to him about it; I just have to figure out how to express how I perceive it without him hearing "you're so weird".

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I have tears in my eyes from laughing. Bring up a story about how you have trouble understanding something...physics, music...distance. See if he shares something in response.

 

For instance...I cannot.tell square footage to save my life. I know what it means...but I cannot estimate it. It is a spatial thing.

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I find his behaviors weird and creepy, especially the guitar pick incident and writing down phrases you said. Is it possible he as Aspergers?? This goes way beyond shyness and quirkiness. This whole thing reminds me of that show, "Hey Arnold" where Helga would always act different and mean towards Arnold, but secretly loved him and kept things of his she found and created a figure of him with those objects hidden in her closet....which she then worshipped.

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I don't think this is just shyness - I don't want to diagnose but my sense is that he has processing issues/sensory issues/possibly Aspergers or something like it. I don't think there is anything wrong with that but it might not work for you in a romantic relationship.

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Okay, not to be "that guy" but I seriously defend and stand up for this guy.

 

However, I should mention, I'm incredibly biased since I was an extremely awkward shy guy myself. I still am a bit shy but it's more of an "inner shy". I try to play it off as either "laidback" or "lackadasical" depending on who I'm talking to or with.

 

So one thing I am kind of interested in knowing, although I can safely assume, are you both in your late teens or early 20's in terms of age? I only ask because your situation sounds almost exactly like my experience with a good friend of mine who became my girlfriend. She also led me to believe she was interested and I was so shy and wanted a girlfriend and she knew I did and we both were interested in each other but it took FOREVER for anything to become of it because of my shyness, even with the fact that she was kind of aggressive in terms of dating.

 

The weird thing is, when it came to our actual relationship, it moved a bit fast (in retrospect, way too fast) because we had been friends for 3 years, knew each others secrets and everything and had such a deep understanding of what the other wanted, that once we became official, there was no point in going on "first dates" and all of that because of that familiarity. I'm getting off on a tangent here. I'm not a doctor either, but I do take a bit of insult from those who are saying he's "creepy" because he fears touching her or he may have asperger's. People have said I may have that and I realize it's not debilitating but its also somewhat over diagnosed.

 

There could be a reason he closes off to some people some days. Your line "his life seems normal enough" is the one I relate the most to. Some people would see me as that one person in the corner doing weird things, writing gibberish on a notebook, afraid to touch girls, etc. but then others saw me for who I was and for whatever reason I could open up to those people, whether it were close friends or family or even teachers on occasion and they'd see I have a sense of humor, and I like to do "normal" activities and everything.

 

I can't speak for him, but for whatever reason, I was always brought up with a deep, deep, almost too deep, respect for women and that's why I'm hesitant about touching them in any way. Even today, I'm very careful about it, because even if it seems like a woman is interested, I'm not the type who's going to put my arm around someone's waist or touch their hand, shoulder etc. without it being 100% perfectly clear that its okay and even then, I just don't know. I become afraid of offending them and also, again, it was just how I was raised, to always be courteous towards women. I realize touching someone's hand isn't really a daring endeavor but for some people it is and you just need to be patient.

 

I'm mostly past those things now, if only because at my age, there aren't that many opportunities to be hugging, kissing, touching hands lol. I see some female colleagues from time to time but besides an occasional hug here or there, there's no logical reason for me to initiate any physical contact unless we're dancing together (and I'm not a big dancer). So anyway, I got off on a major tangent but I hope you at least understood some of what I'm trying to say.

 

To answer your basic question at the core, yes, it is common for shy guys to remain shy even when they know (or are fairly certain) that a girl is interested in them.

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Is it possible he has Aspergers?? This goes way beyond shyness and quirkiness.

 

I don't think this is just shyness - I don't want to diagnose but my sense is that he has processing issues/sensory issues/possibly Aspergers or something like it.

 

My thoughts exactly. It really sounds like Aspergers Syndrome to me.

 

Now you'd have to decide if you could deal with dating somebody like that long-term.

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So one thing I am kind of interested in knowing, although I can safely assume, are you both in your late teens or early 20's in terms of age?

 

Yes, early 20's.

 

I'm not a doctor either, but I do take a bit of insult from those who are saying he's "creepy" because he fears touching her or he may have asperger's. People have said I may have that and I realize it's not debilitating but its also somewhat over diagnosed.

 

I haven't felt his actions are "creepy" either (If I'm being honest, the note taking was really strange though). They are just unexpected and at times discouraging and certainly not what I have encountered in dating before. I am often left to reflect on how what he did or said measured up to what I wanted him to do or say.

 

and they'd see I have a sense of humor, and I like to do "normal" activities and everything.

 

This is what I see sometimes when we are alone, just the two of us. I get this whole different person who doesn't take himself too seriously and isn't afraid to be silly or goofy.

 

So anyway, I got off on a major tangent but I hope you at least understood some of what I'm trying to say.

 

I do understand and I appreciate your perspective. I'll see him this weekend and see if I can get him to share with me what goes on in his head during the situations I described. Mhowe had a good suggestion on how to start the conversation. I guess we'll see how it goes.

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