Thank you very much for making this site and sharing your thoughts and experiences to us. Feel it helps me with understanding a reserved and quiet person a bit better, in this case is my friend. However there are things that I am still confused and I need an opinion on my friend’s behaviors.
But first of all, sorry, this is going to be a long one.
I met my friend at university, a year ago. We both are foreign students, same program different major, but occasionally hang out together in a group. We both are introverted, generally quiet and a bit passive. We have different background and culture, especially religion based. Birth zodiac wise, he is a Pisces and I am an Aquarius.
My friend started to show interest towards me sometimes after a hiking group. I assumed he was taken with my gesture in sharing my water with my friends, as most of them ran out of water.
He initiated and invited me to activities that line with my interests. We didn’t talk much during all the activities as we both introvert, plus for me I need time to get comfortable to people. In addition, as I know he was interested in me, I tend to be more reserved and observing him. I did sense he is different than any guy I have ever met.
There were times he mentioned to me that he looked for harmony, I was the sweetest person he had ever met (which I responded that he is the sweetest person I have ever met), I was his idol, and hinted he would try to understand me.
Many of our conversations happened through text, as we both generally awkward in person. We text daily, with a gap in responding for we both were busy with our courses, plus he has his job too. He also has the habit to not use phone when he is with people.
As he seemed to be a considerate guy towards friends and people in general, also consistent in approaching me (he dropped by on my class couple times to give me some snacks or talked to me briefly), and I made sure I was attracted to him, I indirectly reciprocate his feelings.
After he seemed to know I like him back, he didn’t approach me eagerly anymore and took longer time in responding texts as well. Our chats generally revolve around greetings (good morning and good night), our daily activity highlights, activity plans, made sure ones reached home safely, and expressed our feelings a bit (like miss seeing you).
We went out for dates several times, which still filled with awkwardness and silence. Plus for me I’m not used with dating, thus I stiffen up more. I was still unable to relax and be myself whenever he was around.
On our last date, the 5th month since he show interest, I asked if he actually has a girlfriend back home (for I’m not familiar with his culture and religion), which he shook his head with shyness.
After that date, I felt he tried to distance himself. He just respond and bit more cold. I thought he was busy and overwhelmed as our study reaching the semester’s end. I tried to send him clips of comedy which I thought could relax him a bit from the stressed, as I personally was stressed.
As his responds frequency declining, I reduced my text frequency too. He never initiated text anymore, thus I asked to meet to talk for I felt he distancing himself.
He said he enjoyed being with me and then he was afraid, for he found that it was mutual and things are getting more serious. He also said that we have a different path. Which he wasn’t sure either when I asked him how he knew we have a different path. I said to him we can discuss and compromised, but he didn’t want for it. Thus I asked him if we were still friends, which he said yes.
For 2 months, we didn’t really chat anymore, except I couple times wished him good luck on his projects, or sharing a movie’s name that he might like, which he responded with thanks only. We bumped a few times at school and was awkward, but I tried to be as friendly as I could.
I noticed he seemed to hang more with one of his female classmates. She was attuned to his behavior changed when I was around them.
There was a time I noticed they came out from the elevator, they were laughing and chatted a bit and suddenly got quiet. I was walking alone a few meters ahead of them. Didn’t know they became silent because noticed I was there or because the conversation just happened to be finished.
One day, I happened to give him a notebook (I was drunk when I bought it), which he accepted with quiet, more reserved and straight face attitude. One of his classmates was asking him who gave him the notebook, on which I learned he actually didn’t say anything at all, though his friends nagged him.
As the study program had completed, people slowly left. His female classmate that he usually hangs with also left for her internship. I happened to text him not too long after her departure, which to my surprise he responded. My guess many of his classmates was not around, thus I invited him along for activities. He came along to several activities I initiated with my classmates (he knows my classmates well). After one activity, I learned some of his classmates were actually here still, but he still joined us whenever I invited him (only one time he cancelled for he said he was unwell).
During one of the activities, I shared with him that I was going home to see my family. I noticed there’s a slight expression change on him, and he asked if I would return again. I did not think he would care for he was going to another country to study again until early next year.
We texted again more frequent just like friends, though I realized I slowly develop feelings for him again.
There was a time when I texted him asked if he liked anything from my home country, which he replied with if I was leaving that day. I said to him that my flight was on the next 3 days, which he responded that “it was very soon.. I’ll miss seeing you”.
I just didn’t get it why he said that, remembering we have history. But honestly i was happy and I told him that I will miss seeing him too, and told him if it’s okay if I bug him with my message. He didn’t comment on any.
2 days before my flight home, we met again in small group. And that day was supposed to be our last meeting. Our friend who was there as well, wanted to have dinner for the next day. She asked me to come, where I said okay. She asked him to join as well, but he declined. Before we say goodbye, she asked him again to come tomorrow for the dinner, to which he didn’t give a clear answer he would come.
I texted him the same nite when I had reached home, saying thank you for participating in today’s activity. I wished him for his next study too. He replied me and wishing me good nite as well as asking what time we would meet tomorrow for the dinner.
The next day, he did come for dinner. When our friend (the dinner initiator) learned he was coming, she was surprised and texted him something.
On my flight day, I bumped into him. He helped out his female friend moving her stuff. He noticed me first and said hi to me in a reserved way. I chatted with the female friends for a bit only. Have to say I’m a bit jealous, and yeah I just kinda ignored him.
We texted a bit when I was home. He did ask if i have reached home on my flight day home, how was home treating me, he also seemed to remember my return flight. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not.
He responded slower, like 1 – 2 days. So i tried to respond a bit later as well.
He answered my questions as well, almost most of them. We seemed to talk better, though it’s just about general stuff (days, school), no deep conversation. He asked about my job hunting and share a job position that match mine.
Last week, I texted him that I miss seeing him, followed up with his weekend plan. He replied after 4 days, ignored the missing part. Since this, I felt it again he withdrawing from me, so I distance myself and colder too in the chat.
I wonder if he actually using me, for he was kinda don’t really have friend to hang with (female friend, though his classmates majority is female), and he knows I am there still. Or is it possible that he just cannot be alone type?
At some point, I feel he still cares yet not sure. Or maybe all just my perception.
I personally still miss him, and would like to get to know him better, yet it’s hard to make him open up. For I dislike to ask a bunch of questions to introvert and they don’t share much. Feels like interrogating (I personally dislike it myself).
I am thinking to ask him in person if I can get to know him when he visits again, and let him know I still have feelings for him, but I don’t know if it’s a good idea either..
Overall it is safe to say that he obviously vales you in his life to do everything from the activities to remembering key dates that are important in relation to you. With the way he just goes cold all of a sudden I feel based on what you wrote it does have a little bit of the aspect of him wanting to find people that fill in his life deficiencies.
This is not what I am implying is happening here as I am saying this just to make the point. Imagine two people that find each other very attractive in every way. They both happened to be financially poor as well. For this guy he doesn’t want to be poor and he can’t envision the two of you getting out of that situation together. So because of that he doesn’t want to fully jump into it and then say “Well, I need to see if there are better options to get what I want in life as well” because everyone would think the person is a jerk. Again, not implying it’s this exact situation but that is the essence of it I feel.
For example, you mentioned about him talking about harmony and we need to factor in the logistical stuff in life such as having a great career as well. This is just typically the very “shallow” thing to talk about and so most people never would. He must have hinted it passively through some of your conversations where you can put the pieces together on what it is he is trying to accomplish in life as an example that he finds extremely if not almost impossible.
Just with the financial example a person would normally talk about things like wanting to own property but that it is too expensive. Or they talk about their dreams in doing something big which they say is “too hard.” Often a reserved person throws these things out to see how the others react to it and some hope the other will help be a solution for it.
We know that he knows you like him. We know that he obviously values you. So you shouldn’t need to worry about things such as asking how he feels about you. If what I said is true then the best way I think to get his attention to communicate more is to bring up a topic where you know/think he needs help with. Example, instead of asking “What are you doing the next few days” it would be specific such as if you knew he was looking for a job then you would find a place that is hiring and tell him about it.
This is also a test too because if this person truly values you in a good way with a reserved personality he should react positively in wanting to help you more in return without asking. That should mean valuing you more to stay close too naturally. If it just seems like he only responds quickly when you help him then I would revaluate how you are perceiving his interest in you in a soulmate kind of way.
Think of it like a wild animal that you have been feeding forever. It should be natural that the thing starts to get comfortable with you and takes initiate to be with you, let’s you pet it, etc. It should want to do that even without the food. If it only ever wants to come up to you knowing you have something or asks distant or aggressive despite how much you give then this one isn’t what you are hoping I say.