MANSWERS: A guy I like keeps calling me ‘dude’. Does that mean he’s just not that into me?

MANSWERS: A guy I like keeps calling me ‘dude’. Does that mean he’s just not that into me?

There’s a guy I like. We’ve had a lot of conversation / flirting but he keeps calling me ‘dude’. Does that mean he’s not interested in me romantically? Or am I just paranoid? Michaela

Doesn’t sit right with me, Michaela – I loathe being called ‘dude’ or  ‘man’. Also, I’ll never forget when a guy I was dating yelled ‘Oi!’ to get my attention on a busy street once. He was so dumped. Let’s see what the Manswers team think about this one.
Love, reality chick

Manswers Man Bernard says … “Guys have lots of ways of letting you know they’re interested. If you catch him taking a sneaky stare at you, that’s one. Fumbling his words, that’s another. This calling you ‘dude’ thing, though – it’s something I have reservations about. The classic ‘dude’ from cinema is, as we all know, a Coen Brothers creation you’ll find in The Big Lebowski. He’s a pot-smoking hippy with a penchant for White Russians and no one really takes him that seriously. So calling a girl ‘dude’ may seem, on the outside, like a term of endearment, but I reckon it’s a signal that he considers you one of the boys or just a cool mate to go on the piss with. Bottom line girls: if someone’s calling you dude, they’re just not that into you.”

Manswers Man Dr Phil says… “Whether we like it or not, ‘dude’ or ‘man’ is pretty much accepted vernacular when speaking to anyone these days – even regardless of sex. It’s just one if those freakin’ Americanisms. I personally call people ‘man’ all the time – sometimes including girls who are friends, which I try and avoid, and even my wife, much to her chagrin! (And my mum – who hates it!). On one hand the ‘dude’ endearment may be an indicator that he does not regard you romantically, but on the other, it depends on him. Is he an ex-hippie? Is he prone to calling EVERYONE dude? If that’s the case, you may be in there! Good luck dude! ;)”

Manswers Man Mr E says… Dude, what are you thinking?!? Clearly this chick is into you… Oh wait, HE is the dude and you’re the babe. Sorry, Michaela. Mmmmm, it’s a tricky one. Does your prospect enjoy the works of Owen Wilson or Jim Carey a little too much perhaps? Or maybe the occasional doobie? If not, then I think there may be only friendship in the future for you guys.”

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Sarah 8 years ago

    California Native here! I think this question really challenges American’s curtural dichotomy between East Coast and West Coast, of which I have noticed a hige difference after living for a couple years on the East and being from the West. People on the West are so much less uptight in general than the East. Dude is definately a general term for everyone here. I have referred to my own mother as “dude” in conversation. One does not need to be a hippie for that to happen. I call my BF dude and he calls me dude. It’s just a word and like in The Big Lebowski, it has different levels of meaning. I’m not sure about the etymology of that word but it does not necessarily mean you are “one of the guys” if a man uses that term toward you.

    • Rachel 8 years ago

      You call your mum dude on occasion? Crack up 🙂 Thanks for those Calif insights Sarah! X

  2. Reboyo 8 years ago

    My gosh, these guys could end up steering you to a quick relationship end. Some people just say dude because we grew up with it being used all the time. I wouldn’t read in to it as anything more than him probably being comfortable around you. Though I’ve been seeing that it really could depend on where the guy is from. I have a best friend that’s a girl that HATES being called dude, and I usually end up slipping it in every once in a while just to mess with her a little. Other times, I do it without even realizing it. Let’s face it, relationships, especially early on when you’re figuring things out, can be difficult, possibly even stressful on both ends. Anything showing he’s getting comfortable around you should be a good thing, right?

  3. happily married 10 years ago

    My husband has ALWAYS called me “dude” 🙂 I laughed so hard at that line in Bridesmaids because I could totally relate. Almost 7 years of marital bliss…

    • Veronica garcia 5 years ago

      Awww well I’m so happy for you!!
      I’ve been seeing this guy for almost 2 months and we are very comfortable around each other
      We see each other once a week due to work schedule
      He just got me a necklace and just told me he got me something for Christmas he said he had to guess my size!! Lol
      But sometimes he calls me dude like not directly like he would be talking about a situation and he’ll be “dude…..” So should I worried I heard from people that he likes me one guy told me that he said he loves me which I found it hard to believe….please help

  4. Author
    reality chick 10 years ago

    Oh, I forgot about that scene in Bridesmaids – you’re right literatechicken, sometimes a lover calling you ‘dude’ doesn’t mean you’re doomed! 🙂

    And Lola, better your friend than me in terms of linguistics. I love words but I still look at that semester as one I’ll never get back…

  5. Dolores Turró 10 years ago

    Oh, language relativism! A friend of mine has done some research on the word “dude” for his Linguistics degree. When I read the results, I was even more confused than before. I also adhere to literatechicken’s good wishes. Can you imagine the exchange of vows? “Do you, Joe Bloke, take Jane Black as your lawful wedded wife? Yeah, dude. That’s what we’re here for. I want to get hitched to the dude.”
    From a multicultural perspective, we should become aware that American English has made inroads into our wonderful Aussie English. Two countries and two cultures separated by the same language as well.

  6. literatechicken 10 years ago

    This reminds me of the movie Bridesmaids – Lillian isn’t sure where her relationship with her BF is headed, and says, “I don’t know, he calls me ‘dude’ a lot.” But then he proposes! So, you know… let’s hope life is like the movies? 😉

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