Exactly how into me are you, then?

Well, what do you know? Helping hetero guys with their confidence problems isn’t on our agenda this week!

Question #1

I’m hoping you could help me figure out how to deal with a situation I have. I’m female, 22, with a serious boyfriend, and we spend a lot of time out socializing. All of these things are fine, but it seems like lately everywhere I go I run into this guy I had a few classes with at VCU. At first, I’d only see him every once in awhile at Cous Cous, and I just thought “Oh, there’s that guy, he must hang out here a lot.” But seems like these days he is everywhere. I’m almost surprised if I walk into a place and he’s NOT there, sitting at the bar and staring at me. I almost want to direct him to you guys’ column last week so he can just go ahead and try some dumb line and I can shoot him down and get it over with, but either he’s paralyzed with fear or he really just enjoys watching me from a distance. Or maybe it’s all in my head? Either way, it’s starting to make me feel weird, and I’d really like to handle it in a way that doesn’t involve my boyfriend, who keeps threatening to go over there and do whatever it is boys do to intimidate each other. Is there a scenario in which I can make this stop without making a big scene?

-Why Don’t You Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer

Susan: Ah, finally! Some females in distress! With all of you guys plotting and scheming and strategizing with each other, trying to work up the courage to go talk to another human being, somewhere on the other end of that equation is a girl thinking, “Quit stalking me.” JK JK, there are tons of (single) (and maybe not single??) ladies who would just love to hear what you’ve come up with, but if you’re the kind of guy like the above who persists in his dogged yet passive pursuit despite obvious context clues that he should abort his mission, I want you to pay close attention to what I’m about to tell Picture, here, so you can recognize this behavior when it’s directed at you and immediately and without hesitation drop your eyes and shuffle away.

OK, sister, here is what you do to instantly make this situation go away. Wait, first can we talk about whether or not you truly want it to go away? I mean this with the greatest respect and envy, but you are 21 and I would imagine it feels pretty good to think that some dude is addicted to the sight of you. That is normal and healthy and all that, I think people just don’t like to admit it. So talk to yourself privately and if you are still 100% willing to remove one creepy fan from your creepy fan roster, let’s proceed. (For the record, I recommend doing just that. No point stringing anyone along so you can feel good about yourself.)

Are you ready? Here goes. Walk up to your captive audience, sit down, and smile brilliantly at him. My money’s on him getting scared and walking away. Think about it, he’s been too scared to make a move during the last ten times you’ve seen him. Even Justin Morgan would have done SOMEthing by now – finagled an encounter in the parking lot, accidentally spilled his drink on you, painted you a tiny self-portrait… It would have been something clumsy but at least the ice would have been broken. This guy is quite possible content watching from afar. And if you’re not content with being watched, I’m honestly convinced that it’s as simple as directly engineering a direct exchange and I bet he will mumble an excuse and run away. Especially if you bring your boyfriend.

Jack: Ha! You women and your crazy, completely nonsensical scenarios. So, you see this guy you went to school with all the time? First of all, it’s Richmond and it’s small. If you don’t run into at least one ex-fling or someone you know everything single time you go out…then, you must never go out. That being said, I’ll humor you. Okay so let’s just say that this guy is stalking you or is afraid of you or whatever. So what? Think of it this way: most people go their whole lives without someone being obsessed with them — and these people then end up in the possession of many cats. You already have one stalker at the tender age of 22! You could potentially have 15 or 16 stalkers under your belt by the age of 30. So let’s look at this glass as half full here, lady.

Basically, my best advice would be to ignore it. Until he starts sending you pictures out of magazines with the eyes blacked out or you see him rummaging through your trash at 4 AM, you have nothing to fear.

Of course I say this now, but then next week the headline in the Richmond Times Dispatch will read, “Local 22 Year Old Girl’s Skin Used As Full Body Jump Suit.” And well, I’ll feel sort of bad if that happens.

Susan: I don’t disagree. At this point the guy’s done nothing but make your skin crawl and your boyfriend irritable and jealous. And what are boyfriends for if not to be irritable and jealous? Maybe you just need to ignore it as much as possible until things get truly weird. Then here’s what you do. You write down all the weird stuff in an email and send it to robothearts@rvanews.com and we’ll get a team of our best people riiiiight on it.

Question #2

I have a question that I think would be interesting for you guys. I am a 25-year-old gay male, and I have a major crush on another 25-year-old male. The problem is, he’s isn’t gay or, at least, he isn’t outwardly gay. He overtly flirts with me every time he sees me and even gives me big bear hugs, but I hear from everyone that he only dates women. I’ve become good friends with the guy, but I don’t know how to broach the subject of my crush on him without freaking him out or making things weird between us. How should I go about this? (Jack, I’m sure you have had a gay crush confess their undying love to you at least once).

– Wishing He Would See Me As Something More

Jack: I have had a gay admirer or three in my day, and it’s always flattering, but I’ve never been persuaded to switch teams. I guess it all comes down to whether or not you’re willing to take the risk. Unless this guy is some huge homophobic dickhead, which doesn’t sound like the case, it’s doubtful that it would ruin the friendship if you told him how you feel. Believe it or not, most straight guys love getting attention from gay dudes. I once had a discussion with some straight friends and we decided that if a number of gay men like you or want your booty hole, then it should automatically translate into more women liking you. Gay men are very discerning and, in my experience, have better taste than most women. Hell, other than my intense love of the female woo-hah, I might as well be gay due to my crippling Aqua Net addiction and the number of dramatic, overly emotional scenes I have with whomever I’m interested in at the moment. Hair product and emotional scenes are gay trademarks, right? Guys?

In this situation I think you take it old school and write him a note. Be like, “I don’t think you’re gay but if you are or are ever considering going to the brownside, I like you and I just wanted you to know.” Don’t make a scene and be discreet. Hopefully he’ll appreciate your honesty, regardless of his response. And if worse comes to worse, just get him really shithoused one night and trick him into bed. I’ve heard this works on some straight guys. Luckily for me I have the tolerance of a late-stage alcoholic horse and can only be tricked by really unattractive women. Sad but true.

Susan: Sorry, my brain goes into standby mode automatically now when Jack starts pontificating about how hot everyone finds him, and it might take me a second to shake that off. OK, where were we…tired old cat lady joke…full body jump suit…ah, right, I’m up to speed: gay dudes love Jack yet his machismo remains intact as he insists he only nails chick after chick after chick. That old chestnut!

I think males have it both tougher and easier in this scenario then, say, a forlorn lesbian. I say “tougher” because you run the risk of a muscular bartender feeling threatened and then slashing your tires/secretly submitting your question to his own advice column in order to shake off his own insecurities. And I say “easier” because friendships between males seem to the casual observer to be a little less complicated than those between women. If guys I know are mad at each other, they tend to just break off communications for awhile, reconnecting later on when the whole thing is forgotten or someone needs a ride to the Guitar Hero Tournament Featuring Free Beer. Hopefully the genial awkwardness tendency will overpower the acting out tendency, and I think it might, since Jack pointed out that he’s your pal already and that’s a start. Who knows, maybe he’ll be so flattered that yet another person wants to get in his pants that he will be overjoyed at the news and excitedly tell all his pals at Cha-Cha’s. My advice is to suck it up and have a pleasant, straightforward conversation with your big man-crush, and find out the information you want to know. If it’s in your favor, hooray! If it’s (more likely) not, then you’ll get over it that much more quickly. I’d say the same thing to a straight person. It’s 2009! If they can’t handle being reasonably crushed on by a member of their own sex, they need to get with the program.

Jack: Guitar Hero Tourney with free beer?!?! You had me at Guh. Tis true, it’s 2009. Gay, Black, White. Purple… Can’t we all just be friends without benefits?

Would you like to be similarly fulfilled?? Send your relationship questions to robothearts@rvanews.com and start the argument. Check out past columns at Robot Hearts, and keep tabs on Jack at Jack Goes Forth.

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Jack Lauterback

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