Women and "signals"

Let me rant for a moment on women and their “signals” – Wake up baby, 95+% are missed by men. At least. I find it funny to hear conversations where women discuss how they “gave such obvious signals” and yet the guy didn’t get it… Guh, don’t give signals, if you have something to say, Say It! Guys are not as “intuitive” as you think, sheesh, we don’t get your secret language. Something on your mind? SAY IT, don’t bury it under layers of potentially useful insinuation and then get mad that your point wasn’t taken… SAY IT! Someone died? Made you sad? And I was supposed to take you home and fuck your brains out to make you feel better but I didn’t (ya know, you were in mourning and all…) and **I’m **the asshole? Huh? If you want something, fucking SAY IT!!!

For whatever it’s worth, I’ll toss out the advice I’ve repeatedly given my daughter:

Boys are dumb. They do not catch subtle hints. They do not catch overt hints. Hints don’t work at all. If you have something to say, say it. Use small words and short sentences. And even then, there’s a better-than-50% chance they won’t get it and you’ll have to say it again.

Yet she still comes home from school every day talking crazy talk - convoluted who-said-what-to-whom and what-do-you-think-this-REALLY-meant stories that I just can’t follow. But her mother gets it.

It must be in their blood.

If women did something constructive with the time they spent giving and interpreting “signals” they could end war, poverty and DSB.

The problem is that women don’t know how often they give signals. All the stupid advice folks saying, “when she puts her hand on your leg, or when she leans close, or she players with her hair, etc.” is a bunhc of crap Enough women do that all the time, whethere they are interested, creeped out or just bored.
And every guy on earth has made an ass out of himself several times thining she must be interested, only to find out it was just subconcious normal actions.

Guys arn’t stupid we are smart enough to have just found out that “signals” are worthless. I am very big on personal space to an almost clasutrophibic degree. I distinctly notice and mentally record every time someone touches me, or leans close. I just cant help it, but I try not to recoil anymore ;). And many chicks are just touchy all the time with anyone.

Along those lines by the way. Is it just the chicks I know or are more women doing that wierd lightly-slap-back-of-the-hand-to-your-chest-or-gut thing in the middle of random conversation lately?

Maybe you’re just that damn irresistible.

That kind of language troubles me slightly. If someone is trying to send a message, and it doesn’t get through, the fault can’t be entirely with the recipient.

If you try to tell us something and it doesn’t work, and you try the same thing again, and again, please don’t call us stupid.

So true. I play with my hair when I’m thinking about something - could be something you’ve said, could be something I just remembered, or I could be suddenly realising the answer to that problem I encountered a week ago. The odds of it being flirtatious are about 100:1 against.

Hey, I’m a girl and I miss well over half these “signals” (guess it’s because I’m such a tomboy).

I learned a lot time ago that when I communicate with men I have be blunt and obvious. After awhile, I started wishing women were like that, too, at least more often than they usually are.

Will you guys please straighten out **Alex Dubinsky **over in this IMHO thread?


He seems to be deviating substantially from the party line.

“We don’t understand signals” isn’t generally true, even of men. A lot of men who don’t “understand signals” them simply ignore the negative ones.

Guys, say you’re chatting with someone you’re into and this happens:

  • you lean in close to her. she immediately backs away, increasing the space between you
  • you touch her arm. she a. stiffens or b. pulls away
  • you say something witty. she doesn’t smile or say anything in response.
  • as you continue to speak to her, she crosses her arms across her chest
  • when you ask questions, she answers lifelessly, with short words
  • and as you still presist, she turns away from you, so you’re now speaking to her shoulder

How do you think this exchange went? Should you keep trying?

A while later, after you’ve given up or she’s gotten a restraining order, you get to know another woman.

This time, this happens:

  • for no apparent reason, the woman you’re interested in comes to see you to chat about something unimportant. this happens pretty often.
  • when you speak to her, she looks you in the eyes. a lot. more than your male coworkers, your friends Billy and Steve, or your sister does.
  • when you lean in, violating her personal space, she doesn’t move away. even when you’ve accidentally on purpose bump into her on occasion since you’re so close.
  • because her mom was right, you still tease girls you like. she smiles and maybe she playfully swats you. then she teases you back.
  • when you make a joke, she laughs. perhaps she even makes a joke in return
  • she occasionally touches you, and not just to tap you on the shoulder to point out that you’ve dropped your wallet, or grab your arm to inform you that you’re about to step in front of a car.

The vast majority of men understand that they’re having a lot more success with woman #2 than #1 even though she hasn’t asked you to bed or rubbed your crotch. Likewise, girl #1 obviously doesn’t like you and she doesn’t need to knee you in the groin or call you an asshole to get the point across.

There’s no guarantee that girl #2 will eventually sleep with you, but you recognize that it’s much more likely than girl number one, right? I know what you’re thinking: “Only a moron wouldn’t understand that!” That’s what the majority of women want - for you to understand the basics. Women who actually expect you to read their minds aren’t worth the trouble, anyway.

Yeah, you have to love the “Don’t name-drop a boyfriend too quickly – how presumptuous and obvious is that?” versus “Be more obvious! Come on, we’re idiots!” show. There is no right answer in a society that’s still fundamentally sexist.

Thanks!! This is what I was trying to say in the other (already linked) thread. You said it much better. Yup, this is exactly what most of us are talking about when we expect a man to get “signals”, they’re not difficult. If any given woman does have some super top secret set of signals then yeah, then you’ve got a legitimate complaint. Otherwise, the ones mentioned above aren’t “women’s” signals, but human signals.

And if you meet one who’s not, run like hell, because he’s probably a sociopath who will play you like a yo-yo.

This is entirely true. Also, I’ve never seen a girl unsuccesfully give a signal. Sometimes the timing was off, but that’s it. Frankly, I think if your not sure, then she’s not sure either.

When my husband and I were just giggly, flirty best friends, I wrote him a long, fawning e-mail about how he was unlike any other person I’d met. It terminated with the following exact words:

He didn’t get it.* I wish I was kidding. I had to sit down with him, go over it again and make it more explicit.


‘‘Ohhhh.’’ Pause. ‘‘Yeah. I’m in love with you too! I thought that might be what you meant, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.’’


When a guy is ignoring signals it can either mean one of only two things:

  1. He’s not interested.
  2. He doesn’t think he has a chance.

There really is nothing else it could be. If the guy is interested he will notice all the signals. Even some that aren’t there. “Every time I see her she is wearing red. Red means passion. She is obviously passionate about me!”

Only if a guy is really insecure will he think “OK, she is showing me her underwear, but she probably does that with everyone.”

Girls, if your signals are being ignored try to figure out if it is either 1 or 2 and proceed appropriately.

No, it doesn’t necessarily mean either of those things. It might mean, “I’m tired of rejection, I’ve had enough rejection, and you’re going to have to be WAY more damn explicit before I’ll stick my neck out again.”

I think it’s not so much sexism as that some people are easier at noticing and interpreting signals than others.

That means you don’t think you have a chance. Read #2.

Actually, with your example there is a right answer. Women should be explicit when they are into you and subtle when they are not.

You might not like it, but it is an answer.

And PLONK! You’ve just dropped to the very bottom of her “viable options” pool. A man who’s “had enough rejection” sends a woman all kinds of bad signals.