If she asks me for dating advice, does that mean she’s not interested?

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JW_2 asks:

If a girl is asking a guy for relationship advice, would you say the girl is not interested in the guy beyond friends?

I work as a waiter while I’m in school and we just got a new waitress. She immediately took a liking to me and told me how fun I am to talk to, how much she loves working with me, always giving me hugs, telling me I smell good. Having me meet her family when they came in for dinner. I thought things were going well until after only a week or so of knowing each other, she asked me some advice on whether she should get back with her ex or not.

I figured this was her way to a) get legit advice b) hint that she isn’t interested or available. I just think her positive behavior when we initially met is in stark contrast to all of a sudden asking for advice.


Demetrius says:

First of all, thank you so much for letting me answer a question about answering dating advice questions, and what that might mean when it comes to dating.  I love meta-textual stuff.

Generally speaking, people seek out two types of dating advice: Objective advice, usually from a third-party, or Partial advice, usually from a peer. Putting subtleties aside of course. If you only know me from the internet, you’ll probably get objective advice from me. If you’re a friend of mine, you’ll probably get some advice that is influenced by my being partial to you. Sometimes you want the advice of someone who is going to lean toward your side, sometimes you just want the cold hard truth. It’s something to keep in mind whenever anyone asks you for advice in general. Everyone seeks counsel, but how they do it, and whether or not they seek a specific kind of counsel from specific people varies from person to person. It’s why some people only surround themselves with sycophants and yes-men, while others will surround themselves with people who will, for lack of a better term, check them. If I had dating questions, I know that I can get one type of counsel from people who know me from the Internet, a different type from my mother, and a completely different type depending on which friend I ask.

You know what happens to me on dates a lot, especially if I meet someone from a dating app? People ask me for dating advice. On dates. With me. Once someone hears about the blog and podcast, both of which I’m very transparent about, it suddenly opens up the door for a Tinder or Bumble date to have a conversation about dating, on a date with me. I’ve had people ask me to critique their profiles, their pictures, their messages, all while I’m trying to woo them.  If you’re wondering what goes on in my head when this happens, it’s pretty much the Inception sound. I don’t think people asking you for dating advice automatically precludes you from being a viable romantic option, some people just get asked about this stuff a bunch. Especially if you write and podcast about it pretty prolifically the way I do.  I’ve had women who I’ve already dated/slept with ask me for dating advice, women who later went on to date/sleep with me have also asked me for dating advice. We seek the counsel of people who we assume will give good advice, but it doesn’t automatically mean that once you give that advice, romance is off the table. Whenever I get asked for dating advice I never assume that the person asking would never date me, they’re just seeking advice.

I bring all that up so that you can question for yourself why she would ask you for dating advice, and also to show you that hey, sometimes people seek advice just to get advice. This situation is pretty similar to a question I’ve answered before. In it, the guy wondered why a girl who had been flirty would ask him if she could get back with her ex. In that case, I landed somewhere along the lines of her asking for advice but also fishing for some hint that he’d want to date her. What she seemed to be asking was “Should I get with him, OR, are you interested in dating me?”. In your case, I don’t think she was asking for advice because she’s interested, nor am I discounting this as a motivation either. Limited sample size, but it sounds like she was innocently flirty with you, the ex is back in the picture, and she’s seeking your advice because your advice will be somewhere in-between Partial and Objective. I don’t think she views you as only a platonic connection, but I don’t think she’s trying to get you to convince her to date you either. Sometimes people seek out dating advice from people they know are kind-of into them. It’s six in one hand, half a dozen in the other when it comes to her seeking out legit advice and/or signaling she may not be that available. I think she was being flirty with you, but it’s also possible that her ex came back in the picture and is weighing her options.

I think that’s separate from whether or not she would want to date you, so you might still have a shot.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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