Guys: How Did You Manage to NOT Get the Multiple Obvious Clues that She Liked You?

And another thread inspired by Miss melodyharmonius

In the Signs of Female Interest thread, melody relates an amusing anecdote in post #71. The upshot is that over a lengthy period of time, she did everything short of pulling a HazelNut to let this guy she was interested. Much later, he tells her that he had had a crush on her but wasn’t sure if she would have gone out with him.

A lot of guys on this board have said that they really are that clueless. I’m wondering why and how that occurs.

Can any of you identify the reasons that you didn’t get the message?

I’m looking for analysis here, not necessarily anecdotes. (Though funny anecdotes are always good.)

Oh, and I’m not talking about one-off :smack: moments like tdn’s condom lady from post #66 in that thread. I’m talking about repeated and pervasive cluelessness.

The answer is really simple. Women are not as obvious as they think they are.

There. Thread over.


Ladies, why all the hints? If you like someone, why not tell him? Is there still societal pressure that a woman can’t ask a guy out?

If you want to send us a message, use Western Union.

So why all the threads with guys asking if she’s interested or not? Ask her out and find out.

My now-husband was still kind of confused even after I French-kissed him. :smack:

Just to be clear, in that particular case it’s not that I wasn’t sure if she liked me – I thought that there was a good possibility that she did. It was that I couldn’t come up with anything to say in the moment. And I wasn’t sure I was all that into her.

But to answer your question, a hugely disproportionate number of times I just assume that a woman isn’t into me, so any transmitted signals are just disregarded as background noise. Yeah, I know, not a good way to approach the situation.

Not to guys, anyway. There is plenty of evidence that men tend to be not as good as picking up subtle social cues as women are, so women may be doing things that would be obvious to other women, and at a level of subtlety that they know from experience other women would get, but that just pass a man right by. Also, I think it may be that men and women use rather different non-verbal signaling systems amongst themselves, and simply do not recognize the “codes” of the opposite sex.

Furthermore, if a guy does not see himself as particularly attractive to women, he will not be looking out for these “signals,” and even if he sees them he may well disbelieve and think it is just wishful thinking. On the other hand, a very sexually confident guy may more likely to feel that he should be taking the sexual initiative, and choosing his women rather than letting them choose him.

At the time, I suspected she might be sending me signals, but then I thought “well, what if I’m wrong, and I reciprocate, but she recoils and says ‘what the hell, dude?’, and I just create a really uncomfortable situation for both of us?”

For reason I won’t get into here, I had rejection issues when I was younger (read that as: still have to this day), and the thought of misreading something like that among my peers was enough to make me sit on my hands until the point she came up to me and basically jumped my bones and told me she was totally into me. Only then was it safe to show my own feelings.

I think that as this thread progresses, we’re going to see this answer more and more. And I’d bet that we’ve all that that actually happen a few times. If it’s really embarassing, it can stick with you for a really long time.

In my twenties I was a lot shyer. Now I’d just ask him. But now I’m in a relationship!

In that post linked to by melodyharmonius, I would have definitely suggested for her to call him and invite him somewhere. But you don’t think we feel those doubts, too? That if we call you up and ask you on a date, you’re not going to recoil? It happens, you know, even to attractive girls.

It’s so easy to lose sight of that. A lot of men think that women, especially attractive women, have it so easy.

Big Lie #267.

I’ve missed “obvious” clues from women because:

a. they’re not all that obvious, especially not to a man who has more problems catching social cues than most.
b. if they are, they usually make me feel too self-conscious to enjoy the situation.
c. my idea about what makes men attractive to women focuses on qualities I don’t have. That makes me not only self-conscious when b. happens, but suspicious of a woman’s motives and sincerity.

Given the large number of introverts that frequent message boards, I’m not sure that you will ever get a large enough sample of people that are fully cognizant of themselves or their surroundings to answer the OP’s question.

Agreed - lack of self confidence.

Part of this at least for me was being shot down so many times I wasn’t sure if I could handle the rejection yet once again.

And I’m not talking about asking some random girl if she wanted to screw, but asking out girls I had known socially for had good rapport with. The “let’s just be friends” response can get pretty depressing if you hear it often, especially if you honestly though you had a chance.

Wow does that ever sound pathetic and whiny :wink:

I would go a step further and say that a kind of “uncertainty principle” applies - that the mere fact of examining the situation at all is enough to make one introverted, and cause even further social distress.

One can be an extrovert only if s/he does not question certain things about people, and accepts the facts of social interaction at face value.

…because being introverted is the same as autism or sociopathy, or what?

Yes. here’s my story, and I’ve told it before.

I was in college, at SUNY New Paltz. I was slim and lithe and cute and friendly and social. I was friends with a young man. We saw each other every single day. We went for walks together. Studied together. I used to go and hang out in his room (I was a commuter) a lot, or he would meet me somewhere.

I was dreadfully attracted to him but wasn’t sure how to make the relationship progress. One day I toughened up and clumsily asked him out. I don’t remember the words but I either asked him for coffee off campus or a movie.

So he gives me this funny look, with dawning realization that I was attracted to him, and says…he can’t. Because he’s getting married. To a 40 YO Japanese woman (my friend was Chinese, and about 19 or 20; I was 18, I think). That was coming over from Japan - you know, like a fucking mail-order bride.

So he couldn’t, because he was ENGAGED!!!

Let me tell you, that crushed my self-esteem for a long time. Not only a denial but such a made-up story? Did he think I was going to buy it? Was I so terrible that he had to make up this ridiculous story? What did he think I was going to do if he just said “No, thanks,” or even, “I have a girlfriend back home.” Or just “I don’t feel about you that way.” That would have hurt, but the magnitude and the sheer obviousness of the lie just stunned me.

Or worse yet. What if the story was real? Had I been so naive and thought he liked me, when really, his thoughts were elsewhere? In short, what the fuck just happened?

I didn’t date anyone for the rest of my time at New Paltz. I just crawled back into my shell. I next dated at SUNY Albany, and he asked me, though I gave him plenty of signs.

It may actually produce similar results to autistic spectrum conditions.

The way I see it, there are things about the way human beings interact that we are better off not understanding - at least not consciously or intellectually - if we want to interact often, and positively, with others.

Because it’s rare enough that women are into me, so I usually assume that if they’re interested in being around me, it’s because they want to be my friend, not date me. It’s nearly always the case, and I feel (and I think look) really self-centered when I assume that a woman must, naturally, be interested in something romantic.

That’s not to say I’ve never managed to ask someone out (I think I’ve made the first move in every relationship I’ve ever been in) but it can take me a while to be sure.

I do think it’s interesting that in our attempts to insulate ourselves from rejection, we deny ourselves happiness.

When in doubt, ask. “Hey Mandy - I think you are cool. Would going out for coffee hurt the good thing we’ve got going on here? Cause I like you.”

Done. If she’s like, hey, I like you too - but let’s not do the coffee thing - then Hurray! Gone are the minutes and hours you twist and turn uncomfortably, wondering where you stand.

And if she says - hell ya, let’s do coffee AND each other - then Hurray! Gone are the minutes and hours you twist and turn uncomfortably, wondering where you stand.

It’s a win-win either way.

Which is why I don’t play games anymore - I just ask guys out. And win!