“What if he’s just being nice?”

16 Jan

I was talking the other day with a male coworker about reading signals, and he (of course) opined that men are “easy” to understand and everything with them is very obvious.  My response was that as a woman, nothing about men seems that obvious or easy to understand, plus women are prone to overanalyzing.

He said that if a man is talking to a woman, he is probably interested in her.  (He thinks that women are constantly approached.  I disagreed.)  I said that yes, sometimes the man is interested, but what if he’s just being nice?

This did not seem to compute with my coworker.  But I’d say there’s a good chance that most women have run into the “he’s just being nice” scenario, where she thought that the guy was showing some interest, typically by singling the woman out in some way (often: some mixture of  one-on-one conversations, isolation, kino), but in actuality, he’s just being nice and has no interest beyond the platonic.

Male readers, have you ever been the “just being nice” guy and inspired the ire of women?  (“Just being nice” is not the same as being a Nice Guy, btw.)  And how can a woman tell if a guy is just being nice?  Female readers, have you ever crushed on a “just being nice” guy and gotten crushed in the process?  Please weigh in below.  I don’t have answers to this.


55 Responses to ““What if he’s just being nice?””

  1. BDM January 16, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    This really only happened to me when I was a Christian and waiting till marriage.

    While I was attracted to and had crushes on girls, I was not allowed to act on or show that in any way. I had to explain to more than one girl that I wasn’t available in that way. I know that the two college roommates I had – both waiting-till-marriage Christians – had several women crushing on them, because they were good looking, intelligent, and kind – but unavailable for a physical relationship. Women could sense their high standards (they were looking for a wife after all – both are married now) and they both had multiple female orbiters.

    I’m getting into a serious relationship now, and noticing the number of women who suddenly are interested in me. I find I’m able to approach women and “just be nice” because there is no agenda – which is attractive. Being a “nice guy” or direct both have an agenda of some kind. When I’m not looking and talking to a girl I’m just expressing myself without expectation. We’re just enjoying each others company.

    I think it was Owen Cook of RSD who said the key to game is “intention plus freedom from outcome.” When I’m just hanging out with a girl, there is total freedom from outcome – but there is no intention. If a woman wants to tell the difference, look for intention. A man who wants you sexually is going to move things that direction – or be qualifying you to see if you’re someone he is interested in.

    The most common reasons I or a guy I know would “just be nice” are if he is in a serious relationship or not looking for a partner for whatever reason… or he has high standards and hasn’t decided yet. Men who are looking for a committed relationship or wife may fall into this category – as evaluating someone for that takes longer than just finding mutual attraction.

    I generally just assume my female friends are attracted to me, and it’d make sense if women did the same. If you’re an attractive person, it’s probably there. If you get friendzoned as a woman, it’s probably not lack of attraction but high standards on his part or avoiding something in the girls personality that turned him off.

  2. Vicomte January 16, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    If you’re an attractive guy, what happens nine times out of ten is the girl flirts with you relentlessly and often, corners you, talks to you, stands near you, the whole bit. Girls are terrible at controlling this reaction around a guy they’re attracted to. We can see your dilated pupils, ladies.

    If you like the girl, you flirt back, touch, the usual.

    If you’re not interested, she touches you, flirts, the usual. You talk just like you would with anyone else.

    The problem is, the girl is doing enough flirting for the both of you. She’s laughing at every other comment, touching your arm, and her eyes are moony dinner plates of interest and lust. Whatever you do will be interpreted as interest. It can’t not be. The girl has become a hysterical black hole pulling in any and every bit of energy you put out, drawing it deep within her bio-luminescent heart, crushing it down to particles and separating it at an atomic level , then using the base matter to construct something she can interpret as interest.

    You could sneeze in her face at this point, and your sneeze will be horribly and perversely transmogrified into an indicator of approval and sexual desire. You can tell her the weather has been nice lately, and she will hear ‘I want to be inside you’. You can accidentally spill your drink on her new merino wool scarf, and she will think it’s cute you’re trying to get her naked.

    You could say and do absolutely nothing, and after incoherently babbling and giggling at you for five minutes, she will walk away thinking ‘OMG HES SOO CUTE I THINK HE LIKES ME!!!11!11!’.

    There is nothing a man can do. Many attractive men have been forced to become cold, distant, and apathetic, just to stem the flow. This often increases the attraction, paradoxically, however it has the advantage of discouraging approach.

    This is where you get the ‘Stalker Lite’. Avoid eye contact at all costs. She will take any opening. Be afraid. Never stand anywhere alone. Sit with you back to the wall, and one eye on the door.

    This happens to me a lot. You may have inferred this.

    When it counts, you will not be able to tell if the guy is just being nice.

    Your best bet is to stand near the guy, and wait to see if he initiates. If he does not initiate, all conversations between you are conversations in which he is just being nice. Please stop flirting with him, it makes him uncomfortable.

    We’ve lost so many good men that were just trying to be polite. They did nothing, but still, they came, and after being harangued, hounded, hunted at every turn by those misguided fat girls, these men took their own lives.

    Everything I’ve written above goes double for a fat girl. Men, if you see a fat girl, don’t move. They can’t see you if you don’t move.

    This is all I have to say on this topic.

  3. Toz January 16, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Reasons a guy would “just be nice”.

    Blue pill men –

    Appreciating the attention
    Girl is a really good conversationalist (fairly rare)
    Girl is new to social circle
    Is new to social circle himself
    Girl is friends with girl he’s crushing on/is beta orbiting

    Red pill men –

    Practicing turning on the charm
    Trying to make target (another girl) intrigued
    Likes girl

  4. OhioStater January 16, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    You may think of this as trolling, but I think men and women should be segregated if women get flustered when men are nice to them.

  5. Nate Winchester January 16, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Still seems like a bit of projection on Haley’s part.

    It’s been said (and they’re right), that guys will look for almost any reason to sleep with a girl, while girls will look for any reason NOT to sleep with a guy. Biological imperative, all that. Of course, the only difference are at the extreme ends. Really attractive men (who have more women available than time to deal with them) will obviously filter, while unfortunate women won’t be that choosy in accepting guys. So, keeping that in mind…

    This did not seem to compute with my coworker. But I’d say there’s a good chance that most women have run into the “he’s just being nice” scenario, where she thought that the guy was showing some interest, typically by singling the woman out in some way (often: some mixture of one-on-one conversations, isolation, kino), but in actuality, he’s just being nice and has no interest beyond the platonic.

    When you say “platonic” are we talking about sexual interest or commitment interest? Because with the former, unless you’re really bad looking, he probably won’t refuse you. If you’re talking relationship, then the “non interest” can be explained as:
    1) He is already committed to someone else.
    2) He thinks you are.
    3) He doesn’t have room for romance in his life at the moment.
    4) Consequences (anything external like… worrying about sexual harassment rules, also put morality under here – like if he thinks it would be wrong to go out with you)
    5) Something about you as ruled you out as a long term thing with the guy.

    Male readers, have you ever been the “just being nice” guy and inspired the ire of women? (“Just being nice” is not the same as being a Nice Guy, btw.)

    Hah, you’re assuming any woman liked me. Yeah, I’ve “just been nice” but that’s because of where I was raised, you were polite to everyone. I don’t think I’ve broken any hearts.

    And how can a woman tell if a guy is just being nice?

    Well, there’s direct (throw yourself at him, see if he retreats) and then there’s subtle. Most subtle would probably be touch escalation. Just touch him and see how he reacts. You know, like your post about the side hug. That’s a good guideline.

  6. Austin January 16, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    I’ve been nice to women but without interest in anything romantic. Sometimes the woman is sane and doesn’t start having delusions, and other times, with less sane women, it turns into Vicomte’s situation. In college I played basketball and I had to talk to a lot of women I didn’t know very well. My social style is easygoing/ameable and many of these women took my kindness as interest. Days, sometimes weeks later I’d bump into these women at some other function and not remember that we had any interaction at all. The women would remember me, have hampstered more into their version of our interaction, and then get really frustrated when I didn’t react to their mere presence in a room. Next thing you know, they are telling their girlfriends that I am an ass, stuck-up, blah blah, all in obvious anger that they didn’t grab my attention. It worked out quite well for me. Eventually my reputation would create a buzz at social events, which only worked to my advantage with the women I wanted to poke, plow, and bend over the nearest chair.

    Sometimes it pays to be nice. And then bad. Dirty bad.

  7. Natalie January 16, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Yeah my experience in college was that if he asks for my phone number it’s never happening. And when I say ask I mean “Hey, would you give me your phone number.” It wasn’t like I misinterpreted a request to check algebra homework. That confused me. It didn’t break my heart or anything, but I didn’t get why I could easily hang out with the guys I ran into at the gym or at the library with absolutely no expectations and then one guy would ask for my phone number and essentially disappear for the rest of the semester.

  8. Simon Grey January 16, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    “And how can a woman tell if a guy is just being nice?”

    I have no idea how a woman can tell if a random guy is “just being nice.” However, I can tell you how a woman can tell if I’m just being nice: If I don’t ask for a number or a date, then I’m just being nice. Other guys are likely to be different.

  9. M3 January 16, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Beta, if a guy is stumbling over his words, stuttering and isn’t in speech therapy, is looking at the ground or fidgity, and struggling to find things to talk about punctuated with a lot of ‘ummm’s and ‘uhhhhh’s…. he likes you.

    Alpha, if he’s a guy thats staring right into your eyes, smiling with his teeth, talking smooth and calm, checks you out by looking you up and down, and speaks to you with flirty overtones and innuendos that make you turn beet red, blush and dampen your panties like going over Niagara Falls… he likes you.

    Else.. move on.

  10. dejour January 16, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    My opinion is that for men you either like a woman or you don’t. If I like a woman as a friend, it means I’m attracted to her. It doesn’t mean I don’t value her friendship. Just that if the situation was right, I’d be interested in more than friendship. So if the woman was married, I’d still be pleased to talk to her and spend time with her. It’s just that in the hypothetical situation that she was single and I was single, I would be eager to pursue a romantic relationship.

    So if other guys are like me, I’d conclude that a man approaching you probably likes you. Maybe he’s dating someone else, so he won’t pursue the romantic angle. Maybe the age difference is too great, and despite liking you he does’t feel you’d be a suitable partner.

    Occasionally if I’m in a new situation and don’t really know anybody, I might just approach whomever seems open. So the idea would be to forge a social connection and if the woman shows some positive qualities, I will become interested in her as a friend or romantic partner. But I’d be unsure going in.

    Long story short – usually if a man approaches you he is interested on some level.

  11. BDM January 16, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    @Vicomte – Your comment struck me – because I’ve had that happen, where a woman will feel something for me, not be okay with her level of sexual desire and then project it.

    The most common way this comes out is she’ll preemptively say no to sex. As in “I know that [indirect way of saying I’m really attractive, like that I probably date a lot or have really good eyes] but I’m just [excuse for not having sex – looking for a relationship, really busy with work, not able to for whatever reason].” She’ll then ask me not to do anything – outsourcing her conscience and self-control to me. I used to just shrug and say “I wasn’t planning on anything” but I’ve found that when the same woman puts the moves on me later – goes anime eyes, snuggles against me, leans in and parts her lips – she’ll blame ME for her behavior. “You made me do that.” No, I’m just attractive and you wanted me and didn’t want to take responsibility for your sexual attraction. So now when a woman says “we shouldn’t” I’ll put the responsibility for sexuality back on her – “if that’s what you want, it’s up to you” or “yeah, try and keep it in your pants.”

    For the record, I’ve had people tell me I should do modeling. I suspect most women aren’t used to experiencing that level attraction and have never developed any game of their own. It’s all passive game, and when I don’t respond… the frustration and blame is almost visible.

    P.S. We need a “good looking guys” game blog.

  12. The Rigorist January 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Do I reap women’s suspicion and anger when I sow compassion, charity, and assistance?

    Oh HELL yeah. All the time.

    Yesterday, it was dropping off 4 boxes of chocolate pudding to the county’s children shelter.

    Friday, it was for not pestering a woman who had been indifferent to me 3 days prior.

    I’m going to meet with other single people later this evening, some women included. Something will come up.

  13. Mint January 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    “The most common reasons I or a guy I know would “just be nice” are if he is in a serious relationship or not looking for a partner for whatever reason… or he has high standards and hasn’t decided yet. Men who are looking for a committed relationship or wife may fall into this category – as evaluating someone for that takes longer than just finding mutual attraction.”

    The latter argument (about not having decided because of high standards) is correct. Other than that, no, there’s no way I’d ever “just be nice”–just like men and women aren’t “just friends”.

  14. dorsey47 January 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Could the confusion between you and your coworker be about apex fallacy? He may be drawing experience from a larger pool of men. The one, you know, that women don’t find attractive.

  15. allamagoosa January 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I seem to somehow run into an inordinate amount of guys who are just being nice. They talk to me for hours in person/over text/over chat, single me out, tease me, flirt with me, but do any of them want to go out with me? Nope.

    And I’m not going up and flirting with these guys either, they are normally initiating these conversations with me and I only flirt if they flirt with me first.

  16. HPLC January 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    I think your friend’s advice is a good first order approximation for most guys in random situations where a strange guy starts talking to an odd women for no sound reason. But, I think it really only applies when guys (and girls?) are working from a scarcity mindset. Personally, when I’ve got a good set of options and am operating from a rock solid abundance mindset, it’s easy to be “just nice” to random girls I meet. But the idea of “liking them” don’t really exist either. It’s more like “they seem cool, what will be will be…the process will sort things out”.

    Body language is important, but it can go very wrong (my experience at least) if the guy isn’t interested in the girl but feels awkward because he’s trying to be nice. I think someone above already kind of mentioned this. I hate those types of situations, for example you sense that a chubby girl likes you but you then go all beta to avert the rocks and she thinks a) you’re nervous because you like her and b) you’re low value enough that she has a chance.

    Anyway, back to the point. Typically in a situation where a guy approaches a girl to talk (or even singles her out in a new group) there’s a cost, investment, risk. So unless the guy is stupid (which can’t be discounted!) there’s a reward/return that the guy is trying to achieve (which was probably really at the heart of what your friend was trying to say).

    Reasons for approach: interest in the girl (far most common), desire for attention/narcissistic supply (honestly isn’t this at the root of 90% of human interaction?), networking (I do this a *lot*) and social engineering (roll your own small group, book club, etc), triangulation, etc.

    Once you already know a girl (running in the same friend circle) and the new has warn off though, I don’t think there’s generally much risk/any risk associated with the transaction (i.e. talking). In church, a bit of gossip maybe, if it happens frequently. In this situation, I don’t think there’s much predictive value in actions. I’m generally “just being nice” to lots of girls at this stage, but a lot of churchie couples seem to result from friends that grow attached. That being said, I don’t know that there’s much that a same-league platonic non-couple-couple can talk about that’s worth being said (gossip, complaining, etc) but not turn romantic. At least I don’t talk that way.

    Going back to risk involved with approaching or getting to know a new girls. In this situation, if a beta approaches a girl intent is obvious because it’s not normally in his nature to do a lot of risk/initiative. But the more a guy approaches an alpha ideal, a) the lower the transaction costs (people expect/accept your behavior/won’t risk acknowledging your rule breaking/etc) and b) the harder it is to know if he’s really interested in a girl. (Again, what does that mean? Engagement ring maybe?)

    This is where in my experience girls that don’t keep their expectations in check get “hurt” a lot. Something like…Girl gets adjusted to supplicating betas approaching her with a preformed interest in her even though they don’t know her. Then one day Great Guy alpha man or even greater beta man with some game comes along. Great Guy approaches, gets contact info, invites to event(s), introduces to circle of friends, etc. (If Great Guy is really a great guy though, its assume he’s also adding guys he meet that seem are cool to his “tribe”, otherwise something’s not really as it seems). Girl projects her attraction onto him, but eventually feels duped and blames Great Guy. Talk about refusing the 15/16th full glass! Rather than realizing her gain in social capital, being introduced to a new tribe, etc, she gets angry that she can’t have everything to her liking.

  17. an observer January 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    +1 Nate

    Nice guys need painfully obvious iois. Side hugs, yes. Given most nice guys are accostomed to continual rejection, too much kino is overwhelming.

    Most girls misjudge the average guys reading of their receptivity. Those normal guys do NOT get it. All they see is 80% of girls pining for 20% of guys.

  18. Vicomte January 17, 2013 at 3:29 am #


    Assanova used to have the market conered on good-looking guy game. He eventually turned into a total game denialist and shut his blog down. It’s understandable, really.

    Basically it amounts to upping the beta/comfort game and toning down the alpha/aloof game. The preemptive rejection is basically the biggest sticking point.

  19. Kuraje January 17, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    “P.S. We need a “good looking guys” game blog.”

    @BDM. I second that.

    I find the stakes to be higher. Women *expect* you to have game and if you don’t or don’t feel like it at that moment, the frustration level goes through the roof. Basically, they want to pedestalize you as Prince Charming and get filled with righteously furious anger if you don’t live up to the expectations they constructed in their own heads.

    Absolutely fascinating.

    May start a game / lifestyle blog early 2014 after I handle a couple things.

  20. M3 January 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    LOL why am I thinking of Jurassic Park right now?

  21. Jzb January 18, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    I echo the notion that women tend to believe what they want to in this regard.

    The truth is, if he isn’t asking you out, he’s just being nice.

    Also take venue into account where making people feel welcome is part of the environment – I.e church, social gatherings, party where one is the host, etc

  22. Retrenched January 18, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    “The truth is, if he isn’t asking you out, he’s just being nice.”

    Perhaps, but “just being nice” doesn’t necessarily mean “isn’t attracted to you”. He could be like the guy in this comic:


    Of course, when women ask the “is he just being nice” question, the “he” is almost always the handsome charismatic alpha type she wants, not the shy beta that she probably doesn’t want.

  23. Aunt Haley January 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm #


    Of course, when women ask the “is he just being nice” question, the “he” is almost always the handsome charismatic alpha type she wants, not the shy beta that she probably doesn’t want.

    Well, yeah. Usually because it’s a lot more obvious that the beta is interested. “Beta longing” is pretty easy to spot.

  24. natewinchester January 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Whoa, hang on, Haley.

    Well, yeah. Usually because it’s a lot more obvious that the beta is interested. “Beta longing” is pretty easy to spot.

    Therefore this whole post sounds like rationalization. After all, you just said betas are easy to spot. And from what I’ve read, it seems that a hallmark of an alpha is being forward and direct. (in other words, you don’t have to wonder, because he will ask you out soon)

    Seems like you’ve already answered the post. If he’s interested, you’ll know, otherwise if you have to ask, he’s “just being nice” and you’re trying to give yourself hope that he might be interested.

    Oh and I’d like to amend Retrenched’s point. He’s spot on. With public shaming (see: the “guys of ok cupid” and “elevatorgate” for examples) and byzantine sexual harassment laws, some sane guys just plane don’t find some girls worth the risk.

  25. Aunt Haley January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm #


    I said USUALLY! Many a girl has gotten hung up on some guy who sort of hangs around and sometimes initiates and sometimes doesn’t, but he’s not always an obvious alpha.

  26. DJ January 19, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    Interesting factoid: guys usually talk to girls they find attractive.

  27. natewinchester January 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Ah, ok, Aunt Haley. So maybe this time it’s a rationalization of a guy who’s maybe a bit beta (or lower) and the girl is trying to talk herself into thinking he’s more alpha. ;)

    Anyway, like I said, ways to tell if he’s “just being nice”.

    1) He’s taken.
    2) You’re taken.
    3) Something (like fear of shaming and/or laws) is holding him back.

    Oh, and the premise for those are that the guy has approached the girl. If the girl approaches the guy, he’s probably just being nice as you may not be attractive enough for him.

  28. Twenty January 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    “P.S. We need a “good looking guys” game blog.”

    @BDM. I second that.

    I find the stakes to be higher. Women *expect* you to have game and if you don’t or don’t feel like it at that moment, the frustration level goes through the roof.

    That’s the saddest thing I’ve read all day. It’s like those starving African kids with the big bellies or something. We should start a charity, raise some funds, help you guys out.

    Stay strong, man.

  29. haustin January 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Have to tell the girls that YES – many, many times guys are just being nice. Not sure why but it seems just about every girl I meet seems to think she has a chance with me. Now I’m talking a pretty wide range of girls here. Perhaps because I’m on the a quiet side these women think I am full on beta or something, but I definitely am not dtf anything female that moves. I’d say I have a sexual interest in less than 10% of the women I meet. I’m not saying I’m some male model or anything – I’m okay looking but probably on the fringe of the top 15-20% in looks, but tall and somewhat athletic. Usually in a social setting I will talk to the second or third tier of girls mainly because I have no desire to be one of many talking to the most beautiful. Usually the girls I’m interested in are not the stunners, but there has to be some quality about her – pretty face, good personality, etc. The ones who are more aloof grab my interest more.

  30. Aunt Haley January 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm #


    I find the stakes to be higher. Women *expect* you to have game and if you don’t or don’t feel like it at that moment, the frustration level goes through the roof.

    Women expect good-looking guys to have game because the women assume that the men are experienced with women. A good-looking guy who is lame around women is like a broken man or something to a woman’s mind. She wonders how he can possibly have been approached by so many women and still have no clue. (Good looks absolutely will cause women to approach/chase men. They won’t keep a woman around, but they do open the door in a way that an average-looking guy will not experience.)

  31. Zeppo Shemp January 25, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    I’m late to the party, but had to comment on this sentence:

    > My response was that as a woman, nothing about men seems that obvious or easy to understand, plus women are prone to overanalyzing.

    There was an interesting study of speed dating. Researchers videotaped the speed-daters in Europe, then asked the daters if they were interested in seeing each other again. Americans later watched the videos and tried to determine if they were interested in another date. Note that the Americans didn’t speak the language as the speed daters; they could only evaluate body language, tone of voice, facial expression, etc. Nonetheless, male and female Americans could fairly accurately predict if the men were interested in another date. But neither male or female observers could predict if the women were interested better than 50/50. Thus, there’s at least one study showing that men are much easier to ‘read’ in a dating/romantic setting, and that neither sex can ‘read’ women with any consistent accuracy or predictability. [Place et al, (2009). The ability to judge the romantic interest of others. Psychological Science, 20(1), 22-26.]

    My assessment, based on personal observation and studies like the one mentioned above, is that women do indeed tend to over-analyze. Moreover, when women complain that nothing about men men seems that obvious or easy to understand it’s usually a sign that women are so caught up in their over-analysis that they can’t distinguish between the contents of their mind and objective reality. I’ve lost track of the number of times women have asked my opinion, in dating contexts or otherwise, only to use my words as a springboard to a further torrent of verbal diarrhea which displays, at best, an indirect and tenuous connection to my comments. My words and thoughts simply don’t matter to women most of the time. It’s just grist for her mill of egocentric free-association.

    Men are simple.

    Men want sex, companionship, praise for their accomplishments and hard work, and a bit of time for fun. That’s about it. Any women who helps a man obtain those things will earn his endless loyalty and support.But to help a man obtain those things, a woman needs to turn off her ego and stop thinking about herself. Lots of women don’t want to do that, or don’t know how to do it.

  32. Nerdy Bachelor January 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Haley, some women in that situation may be engaging in wishful thinking. But, in your case, what you’re describing as “just being nice” sounds to me more like “ambivalent attraction”. He’s attracted to you, but not enough to make a clear move. What seems like mixed signals are actually clear signals of mixed feelings.

  33. magnushouston February 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Disclaimer: this comment is from a male.

    Women display their interest by flirting. Men display their interest in asking for a number or date.

    Men do not flirt. If a man is flirting, he is acting like a girl anyway so what’s the point?

    A man receives 100% confirmation of interest when a woman gives him her number and agrees to go on a date with him. Sure, she could just be ‘using him’, but the smart man would weed out such women eventually. Asking a girl out is the most efficient way a guy has to finding out if she is interested.

    The Real Man WEEDS OUT women. He doesn’t try to ‘express interest’.

    If I wanted to go to a steakhouse and asked a woman to come with me, if she said no (and I offered another place and she still said no), I’d assume LOW INTEREST and not call her again.

    My point is that LOW INTEREST signals are easier to detect than high interest signals.

    If your case, Haley, I still think the best thing for women is to look for LOW INTEREST signals instead of trying to see if there are high interest signals. The surest way to see if the guy is being nice is if he was in a confined area such as work. A guy at work has to be nice to everyone at work because it is work.

    What I want to know from women is whether or not they are available, meaning that they are single. Many women try to hide that they are single which means guys aren’t going to ask her out. Some girls wear all these rings, and it is difficult to tell if they are married or not. I don’t want to ask out a woman who is married.

    Flirting and looking for signals is definitely something women should do. But I would stress low interest signals. if the guy is in a confined environment (such as work), a woman shouldn’t waste time thinking about him.

    Guys are nice when talking to people when they are confined. Guys are interested when talking to people when they are not confined.

  34. Hana February 4, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I don’t think that it’s that hard to tell whether a guy is just being nice. Anytime I’ve thought, “I wonder if he’s interested in me or if he’s just being nice,” it always turns out that he’s just being nice. If a guy is interested in me, he usually does or says something obvious within a short period of time.

    I think it could also be that a man talks to a woman because he’s somewhat interested (maybe he likes your personality but isn’t sure about your looks, or likes your looks but isn’t sure you have enough in common to go out).

  35. y81 February 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    I think that one source of confusion is that sometimes, a man starts off with mild interest. But early on, he realizes that the spark isn’t there. He may continue to be nice, but he has lost romantic interest. This may be a little confusing for the woman, who (correctly) detected some initial romantic interest.

  36. Hana February 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I agree with that. My brother told me that he asked a girl out to a group activity once because he was attracted to her and got along with her, but he never asked her out again because he couldn’t picture himself in a relationship with her. Then he had to avoid the girl, because she was still interested in him and was probably wondering why he didn’t pursue anything further. This goes further than “just being nice”, but it illustrates y81’s point that sometimes a guy might have some romantic interest at first, and then realize that the “spark” isn’t there.

    I think the same thing can happen to girls, but in a different sense. I once met someone who seemed nice, normal, and met the minimum threshold for someone I’d be interested in; but he was pursuing another girl. I often seem to attract overly nerdy or overly zany or chatty people (or both), and I definitely sometimes thought, “I wish someone stable like ‘X’ could be interested in me for a change.” Then I saw ‘X’ again when he was single, and from the way we were interacting with each other, I realized that if we spent more time together, something actually might end up happening, and I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea! Similarly, I feel like sometimes a man might spend a lot of time chatting to a girl without asking her out because he likes the possibility of dating her more than the reality.

  37. Lisa June 12, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    Interesting to read this discussion. I sense a level of deceit in your attitudes but we women shouldn’t talk since we’re just better at hiding the deceit. And so the game continues. Oh well, such is life.

  38. Sam August 10, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I am 26 years old and I am as confused as ever. I had a beautifully clearer vision when I was 12 years old. I could sense immediately any kind of stir in the environment around (romantic interests sparking). I don’t know how! Anyway, how many of you remember absolutely clearly, how the air around you changed, you could hear a lot of sounds and you felt terror approaching you and you finding yourself completely incapacitated for a fraction of second at certain situations. Well, that was some guy approaching you, out of the blue, to specifically ask something of you or to just chat. All those were love interests, as confirmed later on too. I never went for any of those guys as I wanted to maintain my straight As, piano practice, sports and leading the dance. I started to date pretty late, around the age of 18 when I was in college.
    For me it happened like this: It is only before (not after) you actually get into some relationship that you can clearly tell the intent of the opposite sex. After a few failures in relationships and guys not asking you out when they should after showing so much interest, it feels like with age and experience, overanalysis kills your natural ability to spot anybody’s interest in you. Girls overanalyze everything the guys they like do. Guys over analyze when they want to be in a relationship with someone. They just don’t go for relationship with the ones they are “just” attracted to, cz they are attracted to a lot of women.
    One advice for girls, all guys who approach you, like you definitely. Now given the fact that humans are attracted to something they cannot have, make yourself not-so-happy to be approached by the guy, be neutral on first approach. Judge by his confi (confidence), if he has piercing eyes (player, or player in formation), then talk to him with the elan he cannot forget about. Always be positive and never ever show too-much interest by showing your teeth or fluffing your cheeks. Feel free to be mean, oppose his ideas (gently please, they are humans too :) ..) while still talking to him. He will stick around. If the confi level is low, be nice to him and talk to him the way you talk to anybody who is your best friend. If you like him, he will definitely stick around with such positive attitude but if you don’t like him, please please mention something like you have a boyfriend/you like some guy etc in your conversation, so he gets the hint. You know what, he will still stick around with such positive attitude of yours and be a nice friend for you. If he mentions he likes your girlfriend, don’t look hurt, always plant a playful smile so he gets a bit embarrassed and then you can get over yourself and talk further. There is absolutely no love interest for you here in his approach but don’t ever step back to help the guy you think will be nice for your single BFF. It’s lovely to make nice stories. You can always be approached by more men, not an issue.

    I feel neutral (no interest no disinterest) many a time, even when some guy is taking pains to scream and tell me how much he likes/loves me by taking me out on one-to-one “friendly” dates, literally stammering while talking and feeling so shy when otherwise they don’t give a sh**. I go on dates every now and then, maintain a healthy relationship of something more than friendship. I wait for them to explicitly ask me if I’d like to be their girlfriend, only then I go ahead. Well, in the last 4 years it has happened only twice but sadly they were not the sincere (not “serious”) kinds and despite being unloved and lonely, I had to let them go with a hope to be with someone worth spending my time with.

    Whenever I spot a full groomed player in general or sense a player setting his eyes on me, I not only completely ignore him but also show absolutely no interest when he approaches me or follows me around just whenever go. They are hard to get rid of. They get insecure pretty early and even when you have shown negative interest in him for a couple of times, they will take every opportunity to get a hint of positive reaction from you, so they could at least put you into their “acquired” list and forget about you. Feel free to blast at his face if he gets hold of you and isn’t letting you go. And let him know his physical imperfections should he ask you what you think about him.

    I acknowledge only those approaches that are made upfront in public. But one thing is there, if a guy who has no female friends in his circle approaches me online, I give him a benefit of doubt and see where the conversation goes if he seems to be interested in me romantically (you get to know, cz they are the ones who are always looking at you/checking you out in the friends gathering, event or parties) but I am not gentle with men who have BFFs, GFs and wives and they contact me online/on phone via texting. Some of them are shameless creeps and they ask you out or outright ask for sex (when you are friendly just to be nice) to betray their partners or they wanna flirt with you without letting their “actual” friends know about you. Block these people immediately. They are so weak, they won’t acknowledge their friendship with you in broad daylight (or in front of their social circle). However much you admire the person or like the guy romantically or in general, be on alert when such a guy contacts you online.

  39. kat August 30, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    reading these posts…..has made me realize why men are scum..god forbid you have body fat…..or else you deserve to be treated like a diseased malcontent……really??? I’d say all the “chubby or fat girls” you write of are the ones that are winning…..they don’t have to be involved with insecure boys…who put premiums on the superficial…..

  40. Nice guy September 8, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    I think the problem is that the “nice guys” always lose out in the first place but then the girls often come back with their tail between their legs after the bad buys let them down. By this time it is sometimes too late and the guy has moved on.

  41. Toffee Hammer September 12, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    @kat, I am naturally attracted to females regardless of size, but have given up on marrying/dating plus-size women because:

    (1) A woman despises a man who “settles” for what she thinks is a less-attractive woman… including herself. Without fail, each girl I’ve dated eventually makes her confession about how much she despises her body and wishes she were thin.

    (2) The near-constant complaining about “I’m so fat”, “I’m ugly”, “My body is horrible”, “I’m not pretty like I was when I was 13.” Hearing from someone you find very attractive about how unattractive she is is wearisome. (Yes, I’m aware thin women do this too, but it’s not nearly as constant.)

    (3) Hell hath no fury like a plus-size woman who becomes skinny. One girl I was with got a LAP-BAND, lost about 100 lbs., decided she was hot stuff, and then started cheating on me. (Of course now that I’ve moved on she wants me back)

    I am not superficial, am not an insecure boy, and all men are not scum. They are, however, all sinners, myself included: I pray daily for the Lord to help me with my endeavour to be less of a gluttonous eater of meat, as gluttons, just like fornicators and adulterers, will not inherit the kingdom of God. I would advise young women to do the same, regardless of their size. Not all gluttons are plus-size, but all plus-size people are gluttons.

  42. Bummed lady October 11, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I made the mistake of asking a genuinely nice guy out that and then didn’t return my response about going to see a movie. I mean, I’m a customer. Of course he was being nice but several people pointed out he singled me out and was flirting with me. Totally misread his intentions and may have lost a cute guy that I could be friends with. Booh!

  43. Linn October 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Interesting discussion. Recently, a co-worker of mine has been all smiles with me, a glimmer in his eye as he walks past me in the hallways. Then there have been times when he seems awkward, and goes out of his way to avoid me. I am getting the bigger picture now after having read this thread!

  44. Hilda January 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    There is a guy who was flirting with me, loitering around me, smiling alot, asking me questions like where do I live and directions on how to get there and he always asks the same Questions, gets nervous around me, stares alot, mirrors my body language, always tries to get my attention and catch my gaze just basically very much focused on me, but I was too late getting in there and now he is sleeping with the other girl in my class even thought he noticed me first and usually when he did/does flirt shes not usually around so I know he’s no doing it to make her jealous. So I find out from him on a night out and though I dont usually drink, I had a few to ease the shock of the unexpected news and whilst under the influence, told him a few home truths. The next day he unfriended me online and now I feel bad as he went from being in awe of me to not talking to me in the space of one night, im confused now and I have to see him next week as he’s in my class. awkward as I dont know what to think.

  45. purpleprincesspatricia January 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Reblogged this on PATRICIA NGUYEN.

  46. Max May 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Lol, guys aren’t confusing. If anything girls are 6 million times more confusing.

    Girls, do you want to know if he is interested or likes you?
    Ask yourself these 2 questions.
    1. Am I a fairly attractive female?
    2. If I was to go into a public place with a lot of people, would I get hit on by atleast ONE guy?

    If the answer to those 2 questions are “yes”, then yes that confusing guy likes you.

  47. Red May 9, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    This blog DID. It’s DED. Haley did, rip.

  48. Steve W August 4, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Maybe he’s being nice because he’s actually a gentleman. Also, maybe he’s been rejected and/or humiliated publicly and doesn’t want that to happen again. The author disagrees with the notion that, “women are constantly approached”. If indeed they aren’t, that’s a big reason why.

    One thing I notice from a lot of the commenters in this blog is that the man’s feelings and concerns shouldn’t matter to women so much, but he’s supposed to care about the woman’s feelings and concerns. That’s not how my woman got me. She liked me, she was honest with me about it (and remains so), and she got me. Yes, she is attractive. She got way more attractive with her honesty. She followed the Golden Rule.

    The result: I have her up on a pedestal, and she does likewise with me. We’re ridiculously happy together, and we’ll probably be married soon.

    And that, ladies, is how it’s done. Care about the man’s feelings, too, not just your own. That’s what worked on me.

  49. Elizabeth February 14, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    I’m a little flabbergasted by these comments for advice. I’m 31, single for the first time since I was 15. Due to semi-recent events, lack of dating knowledge, & little romantic interaction with men, I decided to research several common dilemmas in dating. Confidence is something I rarely lack but so much of this screams arrogance from men. Please, no offense!
    I find most of it to be useful but I don’t think I’ve ever gushed in awe over an attractive guy nor have I ever had a friendly conversation that I later mistook for him being attracted to me. I’m more of a natural instinct woman. If I am attracted to an available man that I’ve enjoyed their company, conversation, & time then I would simply ask him to get coffee. If he turned down the invite then I would casually take my loss & push foward. I don’t believe it is a bad thing to take a loss & return to our friendship as usual. Aren’t all relationships a friendship in the beginning? Does it really matter that I may have been attracted to him but his response was not mutual? Is it that awkward to naturally return to our friendship as was? I’ve never been turned down but at the moment there is someone that keeps me guessing. I treat it as I always have. We are friends but also aware that we are very much attracted to each other. If he calls or wants to enjoy available time together then we do. I never blow his phone up with text. In the beginning because both our schedules are hectic we spoke consistently@ certain times through our day. We spent available time texting through our nights when we were no longer working or busy. The calls have dwindled & so have the text. Do I wonder if he has lost interest? Yes, I do. Does it bother me? Yes, it does. I’ve waited 3yrs for someone I would consider an actual relationship with. I do wonder lately if the few text or phone calls received everyday are out of kindness. I don’t over exaggerate our relationship or bring up the fact that I would eventually like more. I feel like if he likes me as he has said then it will naturally follow its path in that direction. If it doesn’t then it doesn’t & I will deal without any of the female reactions you have stated in your comments. Mainly because it’s just not my character. I’m completely lost to the answer to the question (Does he like me or is he being nice?) I have thought that he started off liking me a lot but once he got to know me then he realized there was something that was not his cup of tea. I’ve also thought that though his affections may have changed does he call to be nice? Either way in the end we will remain friends as long as he can do so without the interference of what use to be between us. Also, is there something wrong with me because I so easily am able to push feelings & thoughts aside in order to leave this relationship in good standing? I’m an attractive, classic beauty with a sweet heart, very much a lady, & strong in my way of handling things. I must say that in my situation none of what I’ve read so far resembles my situation but it could be that I’m blind because lack of experience? I’m completely aware of the heads I turn when noticed. I’m well aware of the men who have no issue being obvious with their attraction to me, especially the ones who are persistent though I’ve been politely foward that I’m not interested, but I’m so lost with the (Kindness or interest)

  50. Rajneesh Aiyer July 7, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    I agree with what you’ve written. I thank a 15 yo girl for bringing this article to me :) I am basically a well mannered and chivalrous guy, chivalrous to the extent of holding the door open, chair out, standing up when ladies walk upto me, offering to carrying their bags etc but most times it’s perceived as flirtatiousness. I do try to explain but there are those in both genders who vehemently deny my explanation. Ofcourse I explain once and then they can take a walk lol.

    What I’ve realized is that those who vehemently oppose my chivalry and being nice / well mannered to being a show off or a flirt are those who are basically insecure for various reasons and are intimidated or envious or jealous. A scarcely negligible percentage of them may be those who have fixations on opinion though. Best is to ignore them :)

    As of the confusing part between genders is concerned, guess nature intended it that way thus keeping the intrigue alive thus the attraction. For women, men are confusing and vice versa. Ideally I think the other gender is simple to understand unless there is some purposeful thought process in progress there :)

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