Are You His Lover Or A Friend?

by Cherry Norris on March 10, 2016

Differences make life interesting, n'est pas?

Cultures. Cuisines. Cocktails.

But when it comes to men and women, differences can be confusing … especially when we give off different signals.

Like when you meet a new man and he takes you out a time or two.  Even if he talks about himself a lot, his inviting you out signals he's romantically interested.

So it comes as a surprise when over dinner one night, he asks you if you see him as a lover or a friend.

Not wanting to "pin it down" you signal your interest by smiling and paying more attention, however …

Instead of a good night kiss, he gives you a hug.

Instead of making another date, he disappears.

So WTF happened?

Just when you thought things between you were going so well.

Today's video gives you a fun, fail-proof tip on what to do in the case of "mixed signals" and you feel he's losing romantic interest.

I'm also giving you a little bonus tip because you never know who you'll meet around the next corner!  (And no, I'm not a rep … just love the style :))

Enjoy and in the comments section below, let me know two things:

1.  What mixed signals do you receive from men?

2.  What subtle signals do you give out thinking a man "gets it" but he doesn't?

Thanks so much for tuning in and connecting!





{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn March 1, 2017 at 7:15 am

Interesting topic! I don't have a whole lot of experience with that whole "qualifying talk" that comes from a guy as a signal he wants to be romantic. However, I would personally be wary about a guy who talks about himself so much and then expects an answer of "Lover or friend?" after all that jibber-jabber about himself. Might border on the narcissistic side of things, or at least otherwise very insecure.

This said, I suppose it's something akin to what many people do during job interviews: they sell themselves and what they bring to the table, like romance is nothing more or less than a job negotiation.

Neale Donald Walsch said something like this: "When we say 'I love you very much,' what we subconsciously mean is 'I trade you very much,' as in I am trading this thing I offer for your affection and love." Many love relationships are no more or less than "tit for tat," or the traditional psychotherapist's question of "What are you getting out of this relationship?" See what I mean? It all feels very "I'm going to 'sell' my qualities to you so I can get the 'job' I want."

Sorry, but in my book, real love (and the chemistry that comes with true romantic love) should be more about giving and receiving love and affection because you each want to, and not because of perceived need for the guy to "qualify" himself.

Call me idealistic, naive and overly romantic, but I would think truly confident men wouldn't need to justify or sell themselves before posing the option to take things further than merely friends with chemistry. In other words, why can't the conversation go a bit more like this:

Guy: "So, we've been seeing each other for a while. You're beautiful, smart, sexy, I'm mad about you, and I get the feeling you dig me, too. So where are we here? Lovers or friends?"

Girl (if interested): "You're right, I do dig you. But why should it be either/or? Why can't we lovers as well as friends?"

Guy: "Fair point. So, are you saying you'd want to step things up a bit?"

Girl (flirty wink): "What do *you* think, handsome?"

But then, I'm a woman who likes direct communication as well as subtle flirting. 😛


Camille March 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm

Dear Cherry,

I think the woman should let it go. She said that she didn't want to pin it down, and your first response is usually the right one. Maybe she is just a little jealous because he went out with the friend instead of her, but he has every right to move on. If it was just casual dating she wasn't emotionally invested so there is no love lost between the two.


Marie March 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm

I experienced a situation when the guy I liked did not step up, but was flirting, kind to me etc. I thought he might think I did not make it clear that I don´t see him as a friend (collegue)…I sensed he had some "issues" in this area. Today, I am happy I did not chase him, did not give him "the answer" without him asking (I would have done it). However, I´d ask this guy why he is flirting with me, if that had a reason (and not stepping up for a long time). If a man asked me what I think of him, I´d be so happy to have some direct guy in front of me. Hurray ! I´d happily answer. (even though it would be negative). Before folling the posts from Cherry, I´d be afraid and I´d think he is "not ok".


Karen March 12, 2016 at 4:54 am

There is a guy at a place I work sometimes who is constantly giving me mixed signals.  One day, he'll pay all kinds of attention to me and seek me out, then the next time I see him, he'll practically ignore me. This has gone on for more than a year and it's driving me crazy!!  At first, I really thought he was going to ask me out, but, he didn't. I had a huge crush on him,but, I've had to pull back because of the mixed signals…


Linda March 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Hi Cherry,

I love your videos! 

Mixed signals I have received: 

      When he agrees to something and flakes

      When I compliment him/reward good behavior (example: he calls after some time and instead of getting upset or frustrated, I say something to the effect of "good to hear from you  🙂

I know there are more, and of course, I am unable to remember them now.


I give sublte signals a lot in the beginning when he is describing himself or talking about how he is… I'll say things like "I can respect a man with integrity," "I appreciate a man who can cherish my feelings," I will smile and respond to their questions. 🙂 I have learned a lot from you Cherry. 

Happy Day,



Leslie Kmetz March 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm


I LOVE that top by Lorna Jane that you were wearing when you talked about the man asking the woman if she thought of him as a friend or a lover. I tried to find it on Lorna Janes website but I couldn't. Can you tell me the name of the top? 

Love your advice! 



Newcomer March 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Hi Cherry – that's so great about going to Africa to build for Habitat For Humanity! No doubt you'll come back even wiser.
I do also believe he was qualifying her as a girlfriend and also really admire his forthcomingness of asking her how she sees him.  I do think it a little concerning that after the first date he'd want to know that and then instantly move on to dating her girlfriend.  That's a little unsettling to me and feels a bit manipulative. But again, she doesn't know him yet.  Maybe he's even desperate and can't be alone?
It's hard when we've had our own negative experiences to not see flags.  Another concern is most men who pursue me hard, fast and want to be my boyfriend right away have 100 percent been emotionally unavailable men.  The chase and conquer.  And I agree with the women who have said, when a man talks about himself all night is he qualifying or self-absorbed?  What's the difference? How can you tell?  And for me, it has been true he ends up being self-absorbed and the relationship he wants is all about him.  
So it's tricky:) 
Would it be appropriate to say regarding his question: "Do you see me as a friend or lover?" To answer, Can we see each other three more times, get to know each other better and see how we both feel then?"  


Tammy August 18, 2012 at 4:00 am

Hey Cherry, here's my problem. I often get proposed to before the third date, before we have even had a chance to get to know each other. Others, just seem to see me as a strong independent "friendly" women whom they have NO romantic interest in. Is it possible to get out of the "friend" zone, without going directly to proposal? How do I find the romance?


Goldberry March 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

This is funny, Tammy.  However, I can actually relate.  Hahaha!  Sometimes it seems like the way men perceive us has no connection to our actions — that it's all their wishful thinking and assumptions.


Lily August 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I've had a MANY experiences where men talk about themselves all night. It turns out that never really changed, and i became bored to tears after a few dates with a few & a long term marriage with the other!
How much time should give it before deciding that he is a self absorbed bore?


Ellen August 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hi Cherry,
I liked her observation that he was checking her out, however I would be concerned.  It seems that this is all about him.  I didn't see that he asked about who she is.  Was he interested in getting to know her or was this only about her accepting him?  I would hold off until he showed interest in knowing me.


Cherry Norris August 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Thanks, Ellen. The man was qualifying himself to be her boyfriend by talking so much. You can see more about this subject here:


Tammy August 18, 2012 at 4:02 am

I once went on a date where that's ALL he did was talk, but he had NO interst in what I was saying. It didn't last long after that date.


Carma August 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Oh! And in asnwer to your question, "What signals do you give out thinking a man "gets it" but he doesn't?" … I actually have the reverse. I've lost count of how many dates I've been on that I didn't know were dates until he went to kiss me or a friend (and one time his friend's mother) told me a day or two later. Of course, that was in my 20s and most guys who were asking were friends first. I just couldn't tell the difference when they asked me out to a movie or something from how a female friend would do the same thing.


Carma August 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

If a guy asked me that, I would have two potential answers:
1. If I thought of him as a friend, I'd say so.
2. If I wanted more, I would ask back, "Do I have to choose only one? I don't know if I'd want a lover who wasn't also a friend."
I wonder if that would still be too subtle for a guy. 🙂


Cherry Norris August 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Perfect response, Carma!!


Newcomer August 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hi Cherry,
Thanks for clearing up he was qualifying her, sometimes I miss that cue on dates that is what he is doing. This man sounds like a peach!  He was really forthcoming, "How do you see me as a friend or a lover?"  It would be a breath of fresh air to have a man be so clear.  
I'm not sure though about contacting him now that he's asked her friend out?  Is she willing to compete with a friend for a guy?  Also perhaps from his point of view he may think, "I asked her directly what she wanted, she didn't seem to know, now I'm seeing her friend, so now she's interested?"  He may think she's gamey? (Sorry, not a word unless referring to meat:) And it could upset her relationship with her friend?  
Is it possible for us to hear how it works out? 
Wish them all well!
And have a fab trip!


Cherry Norris August 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Thank you for your comments! Yes, clarity is a wonderful trait. Her friend isn’t interested in the man romantically, so it’s not a competive thing. 🙂


Shoshi August 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

Dear Cherry,
Thanks again for your 'words of wisdom'. I just love the
way you explain these things. I'm smiling ear to ear now.
And the top is gorgeous. I want to wear something like this and
then you said where you bought it. Wonderful.
All the best to you, Lorenzo, Biscuit, and your mom.


Cherry Norris August 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thanks, Soshi 🙂


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