The Couch Creep by Raz

DSC01746, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

There are some things that go in the world of single people that probably happen frequently, and no one has coined a term for it. The couch creep is a term I came up with for something that has happened to me a few times, and I’m sure it’s happened to you too.

The couch creep occurs when two people are (obviously) on a couch hanging out. At first, they are sitting a socially acceptable distance a part. Then, next thing you know, the other party is right next to you, uncomfortably close to you, and they have literally crept over without your notice.

This has happened to me watching a movie with a guy friend, who appeared to have other ideas, and in a small group situation at dinner parties. In every occurrence it has been with men where I think it is a friendly situation, but they appear to think it is something different. I guess in different circumstances, this would not be considered a creep, but a welcome movement closer.

This can also apply to other situations. I constantly tell my coworker that he is chair creeping me when he moves away from his desk, and backs up towards me.

Food for thought….

Any other folks experience “Couch Creep”?  

57 Comment

  • Vonstallin

    Hmmmm, not really, but in yoga i experience matt creep…. but the women who normaly do it are hot 2 trot !!! and I welcome it.

    I also think “Oh I wonder if she is trying to put a move on me” but i know i blow the deal because i normal put more space since i normaly hit yoga after 2 hours of cycling….and i smell like the zoo 🙁

    I think i scare women in social settings so they don’t sit next to me… 🙁

  • Hahahaha the couch creep, definitely. I’ve been in more than one of what I thought was just a friendly situation where this has happened, but usually it’s a welcome move. Sure is awkward when it isn’t though.

  • So, you’ve continually found yourself on a couch watching a movie with a “guy friend” who eventually creeps over looking for “something different”? Whatever dude.

  • ugh, jee-zus… that is it with straight guys? what makes them think that every little smile or nod is an instant invitation to move on? from what ive seen of my female friends, theyre going along with this whole friendship thing, nothing out of the ordinary with the guy, nothing that says ‘hey, i wanna make wild monkey love with you’, and bam, the guys trying to get on her. and some of them just do not. take. a. fucking. hint. i have a little game that i play with my girl friends where if there is a guy being obnoxious about it with them, i intercede and turn the tide with some heavy flirting of my own… with the guy.

  • this happens on metro all the time.

  • Geezer, I’m getting the vibe that you think its unfair of Raz to complain that a guy she has put in the friendzone has crossed the line and tried for something more?

    Sometimes we just want to have guy friends…who are just that, friends. In a society where it is generally easier for a girl to get laid than a guy, if a girl hasn’t made it obvious pretty early on that she is interested, than she probably doesn’t plan to.

  • I see this conversation beginning to sound like When Harry met Sally…

  • Shenanigans, that’s right, I called it.
    “Sometimes we just want to have guy friends, who are just that, friends.” …and most men would agree; female friends are a welcome, constructive, and essential part of any great plutonic group. However, as you so eloquently put it: In that same society where it is generally easier for a girl to get laid than a guy I’d like to request that the matching pairs of chromosome in the room to see the forest for the trees. Historical, societal, and expected norms require the man to put himself out there emotionally and physically to express our interest in your stead. (When was the last time you made the first move and asked a guy out, bought him flowers just because, drove out of your way to kill a scary spider, fixed his flat tire in a torrential downpour, or provided a steady shoulder in 9th inning, tie game, with bases loaded?) It is impossible, from time to time, not to be mistaken for a couch creep. At some point in their life every man in this thread, nay this world, has their advances rebuked and yet we continue to do so; so forgive us the occasional missed hint, especially if we place our romantic gamble amongst those women who we feel provide the best extra-plutonic odds: our friends.

  • There’s also the dance floor slider, who boogies his way up behind a woman stealthily until lo and behold she turns around and he’s right up against her back. Yuck. Guys, really, it does NOT work. And, as befitting the name, the couch creep is, well…creepy.

  • “plutonic” 🙂

  • Vonstallin

    “”Flipflopirate “”

    I have to say I have a nice lot of plutonic female friends and I prefer it.
    Less Ego I guess…..

    And we can talk about Greys Anatomy and Desperate House Wives 🙂

  • …and Flipflopirate, while I certainly do not envy the position of men as being expected to make the first move, I think we can all agree that creeping is not the best tactic (and the last date I was on was one where I asked the guy out, I have spent many nights nursing a sick boyfriend with chicken soup and cold towels on the forehead, helped to paint apartments, bought gloves where he thought his pockets were enough, and sat through many a football and baseball game enduring earsplitting yells (ok, some of those were mine, but you get the gist)…And I can change my own flat tire, thank you very much). 🙂

  • flipflop, if a woman expects those things from you, then yeah, she should be calling you more than just friend… i already spoke my peace on straight guys, so now for straight girls… you cant treat a guy like hes your boyfriend and then be creeped out by his advances…i guess it gets into a grey area while youre working on building platonic trust in him and he might see it as building a romantic relationship with him. but honestly, its not that hard to tell when youre driving a guy crazy… dont talk about how you like to be on top during sex, or how you just want a boyfriend, or let (worse yet, expect) him rub your back during a movie and then get weird when he moves in for a kiss at the end of the night.

  • How do you think I scored my wife

  • The couch creep! that’s my move!

  • I love the photo – dude’s wearing sweatpants… just makes the skeeze factor so much higher.

  • I’m sorry, but who wrote this post? I think we all love the Prince but we don’t want men putting the moves on him if he’s not looking for that

  • The only thing that bothers me about this entire “friends zone” debate, is that is nearly impossible to actually make friends with people in this city.

    Seriously, how are you supposed to do it? Example, I am a guy in a commited relationship. I’m not looking to meet women for dating, hook-ups, etc.

    If I start talking to a woman that I don’t know (say at a bar, on the metro, at a show, party, etc.), it will generally be assumed that I am hitting on them. If I start talking to a guy, they will most likely assume the same thing. Neither case is true!

    Do I need to carry around a sheet of paper with a disclaimer that I’m just trying to talk to people to be nice and social and I have no interest in anything beyond friendship?

    Herein, I suppose, is the double standard. A guy approaches a girl, and no matter what it is assumed he has ulterior motives. However, if a girl approaches a guy, we are to assume that 9 times out of 10 it is 100% platonic and unless it is explicitly said to be otherwise, we should back off.

    Well, now that I think about it… this is probably a fair and accurate assessment. 9/10 the guy is probably interested in the girl, when only 1/10 times the reverse is true. So strike the double-standard complaint, and well, this whole comment is kind of meaningless. I suppose people should just be more upfront about things from the beginning as to avoid the awkward prolonged period of guy thinking he’s going on dates, while girl thinks she’s just hanging out with a friend.

  • the couch creep? i agree with what you are saying. see also: bait and switch, the fisherman, the so-called friend, the con artist, the game player, the pretender, the slow player.

  • Don’t forget stopping short!

  • I’ve seen the couch creep in effect and have had it done to me before…I think the big factor is if the couch creep is welcomed or not. If not, the couch creep is very awkward. If it is welcomed, then it is good times! You can even initiate the couch creep by asking someone to come over and look at some pictures or something to that effect!

    Based on the assumption that the Prince is a breeder, I think the real question is what sort of mojo is he putting out that makes the non-breeders work the couch creep on him?!?!

  • Gosh, this reminds me of high school parties in the basement.

  • do you couch creepers work the 1-2 combo by then doing the yawn, stretch and arm around the shoulder?

  • Dave, I hope you don’t mind me laughing at your post a little bit–you started out EN FUEGO! and then it kinda petered out. But I think you make a lot of sense when you say why it might be hard as a guy to make friends in this city. But at least you’ve got the committed relationship part down; I personally find it fairly easy to make friends, but it’s much harder to find men to date. But that’s another topic.

    I know that with my platonic (plutonic!) guy friends, I try to let my body language speak for me. So I don’t stand very close to them and I try to avoid touching them (though I am an upper-arm squeezer, maybe that needs its own slang term). Also, if I know they’re dating/married, I make sure that *I* talk about their wives/girlfriends. Sometimes just a casual question like “hey, so how was your weekend, do you guys go see that movie you were talking about last week” is enough to make the point that I know that the guy is taken. It’s just a way to underline our respective roles and put us firmly in the “friend” category.

    I would not ask them to rub my shoulders or come over and kill a scary spider for me; I do think that sends off mixed signals.

    So Dave, maybe if you’re chatting up a woman or a man and you want it to be seen as totally friendly, you can casually drop in mention of your girlfriend?

  • By the way, I think that it’s not clear that Prince is NOT the author of this post. When I read it at first, I thought, wow, who is putting the moves on the Prince? I somehow missed how it says RIGHT IN THE HEADLINE “…by Raz,” whom I assume is a woman.

  • OOPS! Good catch Christina!

  • haha PoP didn’t write this post, Raz did! But now I wish he had.

    Nita, I am right there with you. If I am interested in a guy I will def make the moves if I think he is interested. I’m not about to say that guys in my friendzone should back the hell off and then sit back and hope that some boy would make moves. My last 2 boyfriends were my doing. So don’t try to put your double standards and wah wah guys have to do all the work bullshit on me flipflopirate.

    And bars are not great places to meet people unless you are just trying to get laid.

  • I ask guys out. I do feel sorry for guys in this situation because I’m sure I’ve turned down more guys than have ever turned me down, even if they might not have been that interested. Guys don’t quite have the “thanks but no thanks” thing down like the ladies do. I take advantage of that. 🙂

    (And no, if I ask the guy out I don’t expect him to pay!)

  • I find that call girls eliminate the awkwardness and such.

  • Vonstallin

    hey, im lost…whats a breeder and non-breeders?
    i might have made the false assumption that breeders were women, but he called the prince a breeder and giving vibes to non breeders….

    And here i thought i was hip to all the slang in DC….

    Oh and I let ladies down so polite and eazy (I think).

  • breeder = straight/hetero
    non-breeder = gay/lesbian

  • I think term “breeder” refers to a hetero person… but of course it’s a faulty assumption that anyone who fancies the opposite sex wants to make a baby…

  • vonstallin: Breeders = Heterosexuals and non-breeders = homosexuals.

  • And it’s definitely a faulty assumption that gays and lesbians don’t “breed,” or want to.

  • saf

    Personally, I find the breeder/non-breeder thing more than a bit outdated. It IS now possible for hetero couples to be non-breeders. Those wonderful advances in birth control

  • I always thought “hey, do you want to come over and watch a movie at my place?” was code word for “hey, want to come over and hook up?” Am I wrong?

  • My post was all about a joke that PoP had written the post (which I knew he had not), but I know that any joke that needs splainin’ aint no joke at all.

  • Vonstallin

    see…you learn something everyday…

    DC_Chica Says:

    December 18th, 2008 at 1:17 pm
    I always thought “hey, do you want to come over and watch a movie at my place?” was code word for “hey, want to come over and hook up?” Am I wrong?

    You would think thats the secret code right!
    I’m such a social and laid back dude, that alot of my Ex’s and fellow biker chick friends like to come over to watch Chick Flicks with me….knowing damn well they are “not” going to rekindle any old sparks…

    I have to say, They do ask for back rubs, full messages the whole works. if it’s like a topless full lotion message i will ask ” Soooo you wana take this up stairs?”

    I’m hit with a “stop playing…im fine right here” 🙁


    Besides enjoying watching chick flick/show with the ex’s I secretly hope its a signal for “hey i want to come over and hook up”
    98% of the times that isn’t the plan 🙁

    I chalk it up to us Guys originating from Mars and the Women coming from Venus.

    Oh and I am a breeder….:)
    Just haven’t breed anything haaaaaaaaaaa !

  • See, I use the term breeders to refer to people who make babies. Not necessarily a gay/straight distinction.

  • PoP – awesome post and I’ve used couch creep to great effect in the past. that and elbow touching. seriously, it works.

    but i also think you’ve opened up another interesting line of discussion about how hard it is to find other straight dudes to befriend in this town (or maybe any metropolitan area). straight mens’ relationships have definitely changed in the era of gay rights. hell, i’d feel weird putting my arm around a friend i’ve known for 15 years, just in case he thinks i’m coming on to him.

  • I have never heard the term breeder to refer to heteros. I have always used it to refer to people who have ignored malthusian theory and crankout kids. Could be gay, could be straight, doesn’t matter to me.

  • Nita/Kalia,
    I wasn’t trying to dispute the role women play in a relationship, god know whoever ends up with me will have their hands full and I’m not looking for your sympathy either. I’ve been turned down in the past, I will be turned down in the future; but I will continue to creep ever further on life’s couch until I find a warm embrace at the end (right next to the throw pillows I don’t like) Furthermore, I’m not downplaying your efforts, in fact I applaud them. I wish more women would get up off the romantic sideline and take charge when it comes to kindling a relationships first flame. In the meantime I’m asking that the rest of the ladies to take a page from your book and pull the couch creep on us once in a while rather than getting insulted when we don’t and skeezed out when we do… thats no way to go about refreshing the gene pool.

  • I guess my boyfriend isn’t worried about sounding gay, he’s always telling his guy friends, most of whom are married, on the phone “you’d be my bottom”. I guess by not saying he’d be the bottom he’s maintaining some level of heterosexual male dignity?? Haha. They also say I love you, man and hug each other. He’s more affectionate with his friends than I am with mine.

  • Holy cow, people! Let’s dissect the breeder vs. non-breeder joke a little more!

    Homo = gay, but not every gay person I have met is happy.

    Hetero = straight, but I have seen some pretty crooked straight folks.

    DISCUSS!! 🙂

  • very interesting take on the situation oregonian… ive wondered about this myself, as ive looked through both of my grandfathers pictures from when they were in the service… its amazing to see how intimate men used to be with each other. i mean arm in arm, arms around each other, laying out on the deck in their boxer shorts, each others heads resting on one another (one grandpa was in the navy). i look at that with admiration, and also a little jealousy… it makes me think of the shift my straight guy friends went though when i told them i was gay. nothing really changed, but you are very aware of the apprehension that comes into play during things that used to not matter, like wrestling, skinny dipping, sleeping arrangements and attire…

  • That’s interesting christopher and kind of sad. I’m a straight girl, and I don’t think (or at least I hope I don’t) behave differently around my lesbian friends. I know that just because they’re into my kind doesn’t mean we can’t have a platonic hug.

  • I think that women are currently allowed far more flexibility in gender expression than men are, and that’s a shame. There are still people who adhere to “girly” things for females of course, but in general, it would be celebrated if a little girl wanted to play with, say, a Tonka truck. But if a little boy wanted to wear a tutu and play with a sparkly fairy wand, I don’t think that it would be looked at quite as benignly. It’s unfortunate.

  • Vonstallin

    I use to play with barbie dolls…
    then my uncle would come over and be like WTF?

    My parents didn’t care, but he made sure that if i HAD 2 play with dolls it was a male doll.

    One day I had a Shaft doll with bage, afro and plastic leather jacket…

    I was a happy camper….

    hey…I grew up with 6 girls….shesssssssshhhhhh..

  • hey Anon 3:45, I think the change in straight mens’ relationships is unique to men, since male relationships and sexuality are different. In fact, I think christopher hits it right on the head in terms of how our grandfathers probably interacted with their male counterparts, since homosexuality hadn’t been accepted by the mainstream. then again, i’m gen X, so it really didn’t hit the mainstream until you Ys were in college.

    I’ve had this discussion with my girlfriend and the best way to explain it was this: I asked her about how women act in the locker room at the gym – are they comfortable dressing in front of each other, do they walk to the shower topless, etc? Her answer was yes, but not in the college boy fantasy way. she was shocked when I told her that only the old codgers walk around naked in the men’s locker room at my gym, but any dude under 50 doing that is totally suspect.

  • Vonstallin

    Oregonian Says:

    December 18th, 2008 at 4:55 pm
    that is true…lol

    it is ashamed tho. I look at some of the Foreigners and old dudes and its not an issue.
    It looks like they are real good friends. makes me think about how thing use to be when a hand shake and your word was just as good as a contract.

  • “…she was shocked when I told her that only the old codgers walk around naked in the men’s locker room at my gym…”

    Uhh, thanks for bringing back some of the most disturbing memories of my life. Old, naked men = vomiting and/or suicidal thoughts.

  • For the guys who posted about how it’s hard to make friends without coming across like you are trying to pick someone up, I recommend joining some kind of group — volunteering, a sports team, running group, alumni group, etc. There are a ton of groups around town for all types of interests. It’s a good way to meet new people with common interests.

  • you cant treat a guy like hes your boyfriend and then be creeped out by his advances


    I am extremely conservative about flirting, but when a woman lets me take her out to lunch and gets all, I thought we were just friends on me, I had to wonder how lousy the date was. Straight men never, under any circumstances, pay for a woman’s lunch (unless they’re her boss) without it being a date.

    I was on a double date with another couple and the guy was no great shakes, but he was trying, and the woman freaked out on him when he made a move at her door- I mean like FREAKED OUT. And my wife and I were in the car watching this, you know? I think my wife’s intel was that the woman thought we were like an after-work thing, but the hell we were. What a dunce.

  • saf

    “Straight men never, under any circumstances, pay for a woman’s lunch (unless they’re her boss) without it being a date.”

    Huh, that’s not my experience. Now I admit, I’ve been married a good long time, and everybody who knows me knows him, or meets him pretty quick, so it’s not like it really could be misunderstood that easily, but… my male friends are as likely to pay for my lunch as I am to pay for their lunch. You know, if we’re celebrating a promotion, or a birthday, or they think I need cheering up – and really, I do the same for them.

  • well… then it’s just something I’ve been around.

    I work with a scoundrel and HE attempts to go out to lunch with these women, give them innocent neckrubs and the like, but he’s trying to (and has probably succeeded) carry on an affair. I don’t think he’s an awful person, but I know that good women at work are freaked out by him.

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