Matt Savage wrote a recent post on men missing signals of attraction from women. He related a story where he was talking to an attractive young woman at a bar, and he mentioned that he liked the show True Blood. The girl responded that she LOVED the show but, alas, had no television and did not like watching the show on her tiny computer screen. The conversation continued and eventually petered out.
Savage then says that it took him three days to figure out that the girl had given him a huge opening to invite her back to his apartment or at least set up a future date. Oops.
Men (in general, not Savage) like to complain about women not being straightforward and men having the onerous task of deciphering all of the cryptic messages that women send. I guess in a man’s “perfect” world, courtship would go something like this:
MAN: Yo, you’re hot. Wanna do it?
WOMAN: Okay. By the way, it’s only easy for you to get me, ergo I am not a slut.
MAN: *beats chest proudly*
The reason women tend to be roundabout in the ways they advertise interest, though, is that they want men to pursue them. If a woman has to spell it out for the man, then she doesn’t feel like she is being pursued; she feels like she is the pursuer. She will also feel like her feminine charms alone are not enough to incite action by the man, which is humiliating. Worse, if you do end up going on a date, she will doubt your attraction to her, so expect more shit tests. In addition, by being very straightforward, she will risk being labeled desperate and try-hard by other women and possibly other men, too. (Everyone knows a boy-crazy girl who throws herself at every available man she meets. No woman respects a desperate peer.)
As a result, the only option a woman has is to drop hints and hope the man responds. If a woman suggests that you should do something together or hang out sometime, you’ve hit the motherlode. She will not suggest hanging out to a man she has no interest in. If she says something sounds like fun, that’s also an invitation to invite her to join in. If she asks when the next time you’re doing X activity is, she wants you to invite her to go along. If she asks if you need help with something, that’s also an opportunity. If she eagerly expresses interest in something you’ve just expressed interest in (as in Savage’s anecdote above), you can make a move with confidence.
Given all of the above, when a man doesn’t act on a woman’s hints, the woman usually concludes that the man is not interested in her and has a list of 99 things he’d rather be doing. Men complain that women want them to shoulder all of the risk, but for a woman, showing interest and dropping hints IS a risk. Take the following scenario:
MAN: Some friends and I are helping our buddy move this weekend.
WOMAN WHO IS INTERESTED: Really? That sounds like fun. What day and time? Do you need help?
Here is what a man with a clue would say:
MAN WITH A CLUE: Really, you want to help? That would be awesome. Let me have your number so I can text you the address and time.
WOMAN WHO IS INTERESTED: *SWOON*
HER INTERNAL DIALOGUE: EEEE THIS GUY IS AMAZING I MUST TELL MY GIRLFRIENDS RIGHT AWAY
Here is what a man without a clue would say:
CLUELESS WONDER: Nah, we got it. Basically we’re just gonna be throwing some stuff in a truck and then go shoot some hoops.
CRESTFALLEN WOMAN WHO IS HATING HERSELF FOR BEING INTERESTED: …oh.
HER INTERNAL DIALOGUE: THIS LOSER WOULD RATHER HANG OUT WITH SWEATY, SMELLY GUYS THAN ME. I MUST BE UGLY. HE HAS BEEN TALKING TO ME OUT OF PITY.
Or, if she’s read He’s Just Not That Into You a bunch of times:
IRRITATED WOMAN’S INTERNAL DIALOGUE: He doesn’t know fabulous when he sees it! Has he looked into the mirror lately? YOU ARE NOT ALL THAT, NIMROD. You should be more grateful.
The signs are there if you look for them. Just understand that the less you read them, the more frustrated a woman is going to become with you.