I am a 20 year old male living in India. Most probably, I am bi, but I am not out yet. My problem is a mixture of shyness, attraction, and confusion.
So I live in a college in a hostel (hall) of 400 people and a common mess. New people come in for summer internships every year and this time in my hostel too. I started going to the gym two weeks ago with the sole motive to make myself feel good about myself and look better. I live very isolated and would not start any conversation just for the sake of talking.
I saw this 23ish and 6'2" guy who also has a very nice moustache and at least one year of going to the gym. He used to do a full body workout of maybe three-day splits. So almost every day some of our machines were close to each other's. I shifted my time to a bit early so that I could find the gym empty and wouldn't have to talk to anyone while working out. I noticed that he did the same too. I am not implying that he did so due to me. I see him in my mess too. Some other eye contacts too around the campus. The same happened in the canteen too while we both were buying ice cream. If it matters, I went to the box first.
In a week, we both had acknowledged the fact that we live in the same hall, gym in the same time slot, are serious about it and live alone and quiet mostly. I at least have some people to talk to. But given he is new, he might not. Then suddenly I didn't see him for three days and figured out that he has changed his timings.
Sometimes I would run my eyes across the area he usually sits for eating and find him looking at me. It is not like that stranger eye contact that we make every day with so many people and ignore later. But recurring one which shows that okay we know each other, but there's no talking between us.
I am in no way interested in him sexually.
After this buildup, I have so many questions and confusions: Am I going to talk to this guy? Yes! But how?
There are several ways I have imagined the ice breaker! For instance: simply saying hi, waving, or asking about his gym routine. Since he is the senior, I don't expect him to do it. I've also considered sitting in front of him or inviting him to sit with me in the mess, but I have already messed up such a moment with another guy, who also comes to the same gym, is in the same batch as me, and lives in my hall. He was there to talk but I just kept my eyes in the phone.
I have read on Reddit, posts which start (or end) with gym, approaching and hitting on people or people getting annoyed due to being hit on. I am trying to make this very clean and less creepy. But I cannot stop thinking about the possibility of him leaving the campus after summers and me never meeting him again.
I believe we can be good friends and given the very few I feel good with, I don't want to lose any. My goal is to become friends with this man, not anything more.
How can I start talking to him, with the goal of becoming friends, after these previous interactions?
Edit: What I have thought of doing was there in original question but was edited out for legibility. Adding to those remarks, these questions were dug-up for build-up.
All these 3 questions question are related but stand different like this:
They are of opposite genders and it is for office culture. I cannot invite this guy out for lunch or coffee or, show up asking doubts. Although I had written about some ideas about having the lunch together in original question.
They regularly meet and have to talk. And also I have no big event coming soon.
3-5 times a month. In my case it is 3-5 times a week. Any bitterness can be ignored in a public space in that case but not in mine.
I need an answer or guidance that considers this context and helps me start talking to this guy without creating awkwardness later by coming out as creep.