Author Topic: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?  (Read 5745 times)

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MsMarjorie

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2011, 03:42:41 AM »


Do you ever work together in the mornings?  It might be easier to suggest going out to lunch together and day-time activities always seem less "datey" (new word alert).

Otherwise my suggestion would be to say to him at the end of the day (and preferably week) "Its been a long week, I'm going to the pub do you want to come?".

Unfortunately, we only ever do half-days, and everyone finishes at slightly different times and then scoots off to wherever they have to be next. It's a casual job. The last couple of times I've worked it was just me and him, and it took us literally about 4 hours to do 2 hours worth of work because we kept getting sidetracked into conversations. I wanted to say 'Let's get this done and then go grab a coffee', but I was too embarrassed, in case he went  ???.  I don't want to be rude and put him in an awkward position.  :-\

Judging from this I think that you know how to ask this guy out and perhaps that's not the problem.  The problem here is the "embarrassment & exit strategy", as in - you need an out in case he says no. 

Imagine if it had gone like this;
Spoder "Lets get this done and then go grab a coffee"
Co-worker "Sure I'll be done in a minute"
Result happy Spoder

or this

Spoder "Lets get this done and then go grab a coffee"
Co-worker "Oh, um gee I've got to go wash my hair"
Spoder "No worries, see you later"
Result happy Spoder who tried

I don't think you'd be putting him in an awkward position, its not like its a date, right?  You are just testing the friendship waters (for now...)

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2011, 04:09:16 AM »
A word of warning about inviting him to a BBQ/Group Outing - make sure he doesn't fall for another person in the group! (and yes, I have seen this happen. Luckily, not to me, but a friend who invited her crush along to a group event, only to have him fancy (and subsequently date) one of the other single girls).

I like the idea of inviting him for a drink or a coffee after work. It's an activity that isn't necessarily a date. IMO, it's perfectly acceptable for persons of the opposite gender to have a drink/coffee together without it being a romantic-type activity.


Spoder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2011, 04:18:49 AM »
A word of warning about inviting him to a BBQ/Group Outing - make sure he doesn't fall for another person in the group! (and yes, I have seen this happen. Luckily, not to me, but a friend who invited her crush along to a group event, only to have him fancy (and subsequently date) one of the other single girls).

Umm, yeah, that would be unfortunate! Luckily (or not) for me, literally ALL my friends are in relationships, so I think he's pretty safe.  ;)

MsMarjorie and LifeOnPluto, you are both right that it would be better to invite him for a coffee. The thing is, it's actually really hard to fit in a spur-of-the-moment thing directly after work because I'm busier than he is at the moment and I always have to be somewhere. Like, I can't really suggest grabbing a coffee at 2pm on a weekday because I'm already on borrowed time and rushing to get to my next job.

I think I'm going to do the bbq thing, once it fines up a little. 

mooseketeer

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2011, 01:18:25 PM »
I'm confused, do you have romantic interest in him??

If so, why not show it? you say you think he likes you, you have good conversations, but you think he thinks you don't like him. That's confusing to write out, but basically I read it as, you're interested and want to show it. So show it!

If you don't return his affections, well, that is different. I personally wouldn't ask out a fellow I thought had a crush on me if I didn't have romantic feelings for him.


NestHolder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2011, 02:23:13 PM »
Don't forget that the purpose of dating is - surely - getting to know the person you're going out with.  dating doesn't have to be fancy dinners and such, it can be any activity.  Asking him along to something casual and friendly just tells him that you enjoy his company and think it's possible you would like to know him better.  You seem to be excessively wary of hinting to the guy that you might be interested - but if he never notices that you might be interested, nothing is going to develop, is it?

virgo

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2011, 06:50:34 PM »
What's law mooting?   ???

TeamBhakta

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2011, 07:41:03 PM »
It's better to just treat it like pulling off a bandaid: Call it a date straight out when you talk to him. If he says yes, hooray! If it's a no, oh well, at least you won't find yourself thinking later "Geez, I wonder what would have happened if I asked him out. Now I'll never know because he switched companies / moved to Peru / met a cute waitress during our 'just friends' outing."

Spoder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2011, 10:14:11 PM »
What's law mooting?   ???

Just debating at law school, but often involving many dog-eat-dog personalities and semi-public humiliation if you stuff it up. I only threw that in there to illustrate one of the reasons why I don't get cut slack for being Shy Retiring Spoder.  ;)

Spoder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2011, 10:19:34 PM »
I wrote out a long response, replying to each post, then lost it (grrr). So here's the condensed version.

I guess I was hoping that someone would tell me some risk-free way to ask a guy out, without saying 'I only want to be friends', but without betraying that I might want to be more than friends, in case he doesn't. Once it's written out like that, it looks ridiculous.  :-[. I'm trying to make the whole process risk-free but as TeamBhakta says, I'd be better off going the rip-of-the-bandaid route.

So, next week when we work together, I'm just going to ask the dude round for a barbecue. I think I'll be able to tell from his response whether he actually is remotely interested in me or not.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, and for the wake-up call.  :)

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2011, 11:07:33 PM »
Good luck Spoder. I hope it all works out. I think it's harder for us Aussies, because our country doesn't really have the dating culture that the US does. So it's often a case of two people tip-toeing around each other, trying to figure out if the other's interested, before becoming a couple, etc.

mooseketeer

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2011, 12:50:07 AM »
Good luck Spoder. I hope it all works out. I think it's harder for us Aussies, because our country doesn't really have the dating culture that the US does. So it's often a case of two people tip-toeing around each other, trying to figure out if the other's interested, before becoming a couple, etc.

Haha! I think maybe any kind of dating culture is kind of a myth? I don't know anyone who dates all proper like.

Good luck with the BBQ Spoder! I think that's a great idea.

Spoder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2011, 01:22:35 AM »
Good luck Spoder. I hope it all works out. I think it's harder for us Aussies, because our country doesn't really have the dating culture that the US does. So it's often a case of two people tip-toeing around each other, trying to figure out if the other's interested, before becoming a couple, etc.

Haha! I think maybe any kind of dating culture is kind of a myth? I don't know anyone who dates all proper like.

Good luck with the BBQ Spoder! I think that's a great idea.

Thanks, guys! I'll let you know if anything comes of it... ;)

Redsoil

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2011, 09:02:18 AM »
Another approach may be to make a list.  Column one - things you're interested in, to which you may be able to invite a friend.  Column two, thing's that he's interested in that you'd like to experience, just for fun.

For example, if, in the course of your conversations, he mentions an activity he does (say bowling/surfing/fishing), you could say "Oh, I've always wanted to try that/find out more about that, and let him be the one to ask if you're interested in doing whatever activity at some point.  Even if you lead the convo around to hobbies and interests so you have an idea what he's into.  If nothing else, it's a low-risk strategy.
Look out... 
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blarg314

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2011, 10:33:14 PM »

I think that you should only ask someone out for an explicit "just friends" event if your interest in them is purely friendship, otherwise you're asking him out on false pretenses.  Think of how you feel if a guy asked you out for a friendship event, and it turned out that he was after you, he just didn't want you to know it.

If you're just interested in friendship, ask him to a group event - friends going to a movie, a BBQ, etc.  If your interest is more than purely platonic, ask him out for coffee.  You'll know it's a date like object, and he'll probably figure that out, but he can decline gracefully if he's not interested without you being too embarrassed.

But basically, if you want to start something romantic, or test the waters to see if he's interested, you do have to accept some degree of risk.

Spoder

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Re: Is there a polite way to say 'Want to go out but just as friends'?
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2011, 10:41:13 PM »

I think that you should only ask someone out for an explicit "just friends" event if your interest in them is purely friendship, otherwise you're asking him out on false pretenses.  Think of how you feel if a guy asked you out for a friendship event, and it turned out that he was after you, he just didn't want you to know it.

If you're just interested in friendship, ask him to a group event - friends going to a movie, a BBQ, etc.  If your interest is more than purely platonic, ask him out for coffee.  You'll know it's a date like object, and he'll probably figure that out, but he can decline gracefully if he's not interested without you being too embarrassed.

But basically, if you want to start something romantic, or test the waters to see if he's interested, you do have to accept some degree of risk.

Interesting point in the first paragraph, blarg.  :-\.

The problem is, it's not always that cut-and-dried, KWIM? Sometimes you don't *know* whether your interest is going to end up being purely friendship, or romantic, and you won't know until you spend more one-on-one social time with them. Which is why you have to ask them out. Plus, sometimes people's feelings changed. A guy might ask me to a 'friendship'-type event, thinking to test the waters and see if he was interested in more, and I wouldn't have a problem with that.

Also (genuinely curious) - re: the bolded, how is it more clearly date-like to invite him for a coffee than to a bbq?

These are the things that I sometimes struggle with 'getting'.