Dr. Date: I can’t tell if my classmate is flirting with me or hates me

There's a fine line between banter and being an asshole...

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Morgan La Casse

Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date, 

I’m the first to admit that I have the awareness of a 6-year-old. Every relationship I’ve ever had was initiated by the guy seemingly out of the blue, even though they’ve later told me they were dropping hints for months. I’m completely oblivious to the whims of dudes, so besides dating apps, I’ve given up on meeting people.

However, there’s this guy in my class who I think might be into me — if fighting is flirting. I tease him so much that he seemingly gets pissed off, and we’ll banter back and forth in the lecture hall. While I think it’s just for fun, I’m worried he actually hates me and what I take as flirting is genuine anger. If it is flirting, I’d be super into it — he’s really cute, and I think we would get along well. But I don’t want to totally be misreading signals and ask him out if it would make him uncomfortable.

I thought I had time to DTR, but now the most I’ll see of him is whatever his webcam shows on Zoom. I want to hit him up outside of class, but I don’t know if I’m reading into things or how I would ask in the first place. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Banter in Biology Lecture

Dear Banter in Biology Lecture,

Without knowing the situation super well, it’s kind of hard to tell your relationship. While “if they’re mean to you, it’s because they like you” was common in elementary school, you might just be coming across as an asshole. But if it’s continuous banter over weeks of class time, he might not mind it as much as you think he does — there are no assigned seats in college; he could have moved a while ago. 

Thankfully, there’s a way to make half a move: track down his x500 and email him to ask if he wants to study together. Online or in-person, everyone can use a study buddy. I wouldn’t go to the typical coffee shop (social distancing, people!), so see if he could FaceTime or Skype.

If he says yes, you can gauge your relationship in a non-classroom/Zoom environment and see if he wants to hang out (6-feet apart) without textbooks. But if he says no or ghosts you, accept his answer and tone down the teasing. You may not be able to read signals, but you can probably tell if you’re being an asshole.

Sincerely,

Dr. Date