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Hey, ISTPs (Or anyone who knows an ISTP) I was just wondering: What do you guys do that is separate from a distinct friendship vs. a love interest? Allow me to explain. First off, I'm gay. This ISTP is also male, and trust me I am not those kinds of people who will fall head for heels for straight guys because I know it's just going to turn out awkward. He seems like a great dude and I met him a few months ago starting in college but I sometimes get mixed signals from this guy. I don't know to keep my distance or progress since he is not like your stereotypical "gay" guys.

Some of his actions/my experiences:
-First time I met him was on my first class day of college, first class. He walked into the classroom and started introducing himself to the people who were in there. (There were only one other person and me at the time) I kind of ignored his presence until he came up to me because his aura was so oddly over-friendly and I'm usually the lone wolf. When he introduced and we made eye contact he had the most intense soul-searching eye with a smile that practically scared me. I got so uncomfortable I basically shut him off. He did ask for my number and the other dudes. I'll just say that the intense soul-staring eyes were just a one-time thing, it seems like something he does rarely.

-At our next class with those huge lecture halls, I sat by myself and he went out of his way to get up from where he was sitting and sat next to me. As I got more and more comfortable I guess I began to open up more to him and liked his presence. We got pretty close I guess and started sitting next to each other during class from then on.

-He's quite talkative. Introverted talkative but he doesn't talk much about himself unless I ask him questions and seem reserved in his own ISTP way. You can tell it's there, almost kind of like a wall.

-He teases me. A LOT. I'm an INFP and being the sensitive type I am, I think he finds it funny. It doesn't stop him though, he loves to push me. But I like it, I feel like it's helping me to learn not to take things so seriously. Something I find interesting is that when he gets comfortable he always makes random jokes on topics we talk about. And 99% of the time I don't get the joke or takes them too seriously. He always finds that funny and basically laughs at his own joke and "how funny" it is because I don't get them. Even so, there is always a lot of laughter and energy I feel.

-He calls me "buddy". Yet he also has "friends". He has never told me he considers me a "friend". It makes me wonder what is the difference between the two. What I find interesting is that he once told me a story about his idioticfriend who did something idiotic. His tone did indicate harshness. It's interesting because I remember him telling me the things that get him most worked up is idiotic people. He hates idiots but are "friends" with them, lol. I asked that question because he never/indicates how he feels. He has this stress-free aura and one of his favorite quote he constantly uses is, "Well, what can you do buddy?"

-He "nudges" me a lot. I am that type of person who feels uncomfortable with physical touch but desire it badly. I feel like because I give off that uncomfortable aura, he takes it as I don't like it so he sets boundaries; Meaning he still physically touch me but in his own way. Sometimes when we're walking in between classes he nudges me to emphasize a joke. Or when we depart he always says "Bye Buddy!!!" and pats me on the shoulder. Sometimes the pats I feel like are more intense than other times depending on the mood we were in, like laughing with energy or personal questions. As if indicating he feels closer?

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-We don't "hang out" a lot, most of the time the only time we see each other is during class and him walking me to my next class after that. We've only probably hanged out 3 times within 3 months. But the few hangout experiences...:

1)The first hangout we had was actually him taking the initiative. He called me during one of my classes and because I had my phone in silence I didn't get it. I called him back, but he didn't answer. I felt bad. However after 5-15 mins or so he texts me calling for an ice cream hangout. I was thrilled but during the hangout, I was the most anxious, nervous, and awkward person ever. Our conversations were nothing like in class and composed of small talks about tv-shows and whatnot. I loathed myself for forcing small talk. I've never "hanged out" with anyone before, so yea. I think he picked up on that and towards the end of hangout, he said, "Well, this was fun. We should do this more" with a smirk as if he found me funny. However, he has never called me again nor asks for another hangout like that. (We do still meet in class/walk)

2) Our 2nd hangout was at the movie theatres in our college. I invited him to see one of his favorite movies: Spiderman Homecoming or whatever. He stated he was busy that day and I understood even if I felt horrible. However, the next day after that, he texted me back if I was still up for it. It shocked me. During the movie, he did the overbearing eye soul-searching intense staring at me again at least twice. Being uncomfortable I just kind of stared blankly at the screen but saw his face and eyes at the corner of my eyes. It's not that I find it creepy, it's just so intense it's scary lol. Esspecially cause you ISTPs are so stoic and never express anything.

-Even though I feel like I'm always the one taking initiative to talk to him and the one to bring topics up, he is always responsive and takes his time if he needs to think. However I do feel like I'm the one doing most of the talking like 60% me and 40% him. When he does talk it's usually questions about me. He is though, the one who texts me first (usually 1-2 times within 2 weeks period) and take initiative to want to hang out with me. I never text him first nor as for hangouts lol. Although he hasn't been texting nor asking for a hangout recently. It really trips me up.

-I feel like he's very socially awkward? I am too, but I can see it from him through his action. When our conversation gets to a deadend or he feels stressed (?) or nervous he always repeats something like "What's going on buddy?" at least 2-3 times. Even if my answer is the same. He has that kiddish aura when that happens.

-Another time when he repeats himself was after another movie theatre hangout. He wanted to take a look at how my dorm building's room was layed out and wanted a tour. I was fine with that. Although again never been hanging out with people before, I was very nervous and awkward. Maybe my emotions effected him somehow but again he repeated this time, "I really like your jacket" 2-3 times. It comes out I feel, when he's stressed.

I guess my question is: Is this normal behaviors for ISTPs in friendships? Or does it indicate something further? It's so hard to read you guys sometimes. Would you guys do this just to anybody?

What questions should I ask to figure out this guy. Would something like "Have you been in a relationship before" seem too weird? Lol.
 

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He calls me "buddy". Yet he also has "friends". He has never told me he considers me a "friend". It makes me wonder what is the difference between the two.
Buddy is somewhat above acquaintance but below a friend, to me.


However, I generally only use it in confrontational times. Example, if I'm passing someone I don't particularly like, I'll say "hey buddy..."

I realize this is no help but that's all I felt like typing out



And 99% of the time I don't get the joke or takes them too seriously. He always finds that funny and basically laughs at his own joke and "how funny" it is because I don't get them.
I also do this, can confirm it is hilarious to us.
 

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Yeah, I act like this all the time with friends. It's really confusing to many thinking I was flirting with them when really I'm not. Both guys and girls have confessed to me before, thinking I was into them too. I was honestly being polite.

Anyways, calling you "Buddy" is not really a term I use for a friend. Only for those that I get along with and then never see or contact ever again after the semester is over. For friends, I just use a shortened version of the friend's name to call them with. Like calling a girl named Priscilla "Pris" or a guy named Stephen "Steph".

But I do tease a lot. It's funny to see people trip over what I say. And him repeating himself by complimenting you or asking how's things, I think he's trying to get you a little out of your shell and make things less awkward. Like, he's forcing the mood to be a little more natural. If awkwardness keeps happening, then the guy will definitely get stressed over it and want to be with you less.

And I "poke" my friends on the cheek. Especially ones that are uncomfortable with it. Their faces are priceless. Although the staring......I'm not sure what to make of it.

And....no, I don't think asking if he's been in a relationship before is awkward or weird to say. But saying it with some expectation to it or very energetically might make your friend not want to tell you. So be careful there.

Well good luck with him. We're all different and do things differently, so hopefully you can figure him out and see where to go with what you find.
 

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This doesn't seem like a "close friendship" to me. It's pretty typical (in general--I'm not talking about ISTPs per se) to hang out with someone at school or at work and not spend any time with them outside of those situations. However, since the two of you have done a few other things together, and since he texts you and gives you that soul-searching look, there could be potential for more. If you want to see if a friendship will develop, keep on going the way you are. If you're interested in a romantic relationship, then it would be a good idea to bring up the topic of relationships and/or gayness and see what he says.
 
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