When Pals Won't Put Out

Dear Dategirl,

I've known Kevin my entire life. Our parents are close, and we have hung out off and on for the past 38 years; until recently, always via our families.

I recently got out of a 17-year relationship. As part of the divorce, I kept the house, but in order to afford it, I remodeled so I could accommodate roommates. Kevin was my contractor, and over the course of the remodel, we became fairly close. My friends adore him and wonder why I haven't jumped his bones.

I did begin to consider him on a more intimate level, and although the idea frightens me a bit, I think we would be great together. One night I told him people kept asking when we were going to start sleeping together. He laughed, but didn't say anything.

I told him what I had told everyone else: that we're getting to know each other on an entirely new level, and that I was really enjoying the time we were spending together.

He said he liked getting to know me better as well, and that I'm far more fun and interesting than he had realized. After a momentary next-day jolt of embarrassment, I decided my confession was for the best, because I might as well just put it out there and see what happens.

Three weeks after our big talk, Kevin asked if I still had a room available. He moved in the next day. He's been here for almost a month, and I barely see him—usually only in the mornings before work. For the past two weeks, he's made my coffee and is becoming territorial with both the house and me. He's fixed things and has taken to eating off my plate. He's building his own home, so I know he's only going to be here for a couple more months.

The more I know him, the more I like him, but I'm still dating other people. I don't want to give that up if Kevin isn't interested. But should I curtail these relationships and wait to see if something happens with Kevin? I wonder if he moved in with me to determine if we could make it before pursuing anything? Should I just tell him how I feel? Or should I try to seduce him?Chris

Kevin knows you like him. You made that clear. There are a million possible reasons for him not busting a move—he may not be interested in you in a filthy, semen-spurting manner; or he may want to wait until he has his own home/escape hatch to disappear to if you get on his nerves.

Instead of examining his behavior for signs of like, relax. You were married for a very long time—no need to rush right into another relationship. And while you're at it, quit overthinking things. If you had a female roommate who made coffee when she woke up, you wouldn't think she was flirting; you'd simply chalk it up to good manners. As for the eating off your plate—I don't care how cute he is, he'd get a fork through his hand in my house.

I know that when we ladies like someone, we tend to infuse every stupid little thing that person does—no matter how innocuous—with deep meaning. An example: He told you you're "far more fun and interesting than he had realized."

You do realize that telling you you're not as boring as he'd previously thought is not a compliment, don't you? It's not exactly an insult, either, but it's definitely not a panty-moistener.

My suggestion is that you keep dating, while remaining open to anything that might happen with Kevin. I know being suddenly single is a huge adjustment, but try to enjoy it. And if you can possibly manage, hold off on any potentially embarrassing declarations until after he's outta your house.

Note: Chris is probably a tad irked with me because I had to chop the hell out of her letter. But she went on about this dude for close to 1,000 words! I'm only allotted 700 for the whole shebang. So let this be a lesson—if you want your letter to run intact, keep your musings brief and your sentences snappy. Otherwise, I gotta chop.

Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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