Women seem less likely than men to let a crush go un-expressed.

In my observation, it seems to me that women are less likely to let romantic attraction go on un-expressed than men - that is to say, if a woman has feelings for a man (i.e., genuinely infatuated or in love with him), she is likely to go ahead and make it known to him. Whereas men are more likely to fall in love with a woman but keep such feelings to themselves and not tell her for a long time. Women seem less prone than men to let a crush just continue under the surface, unspoken, “being in love with someone from afar,” never actually making those feelings known. Does anyone else think this is the case?
(I’m referring to situations in which the man and woman are both eligible and available to enter a relationship. Obviously, if one or both of them are married or in another relationship, or if there are other complicating factors - say, one is a company boss and the other a lower level employee - that would make people hesitant to express feelings.)

I don’t know enough about this to either disagree or agree your generalizations. But I’ll throw out two things for your consideration: 1) The possibility that women do a better job at playing it “cool” around their crushes and 2) The possibility that men are more likely to miss the signs a woman shows when she has a crush (and misread the “not interested” signs, too).

I can speak only for myself, a gay man. I’ve had unexpressed crushes continue for years, with the other person having no idea. This was significant years ago, before meeting my partner; less significant now.

I did finally let one person know, a coworker, many years ago. I wrote him a lengthy letter. His response was nothing, zero, as if he hadn’t read it. I wasn’t at all prepared for that.

How would you know? I mean, if there are women out there, even among your circle of friends, who are crushing on someone, you wouldn’t know about it. It’s only the ones who make their feelings known that would show up in your sample.

Glad I’m not the only one who could never read the signs. Wife had to make it painfully obvious.

I don’t have statistical data, of course. But hearing women say things to the effect of, “I liked him a lot, so I went and told him I liked him a lot,” and then also knowing of men who had a crush on a woman but wouldn’t or didn’t express it for a long time, just gives me that impression.

Yep, sampling issue here.
It very much depends on what one means by “expressed”. Often a woman will express her attraction by sitting next to said crush, giving a compliment on clothes, smiling a little more or talking about how there’s a new restaurant she’d like to try. All of which are (purposefully) ambiguous and could be expressions of interest as likely as not.

Confirmation bias. You’ll find plenty of men who make it obvious they’re interested. Embarrassingly obvious. Disgustingly obvious. You’ll also find women who say they didn’t show their interest or whose way of showing interest is so stealthy that DARPA is currently learning from them.

When you say “unexpressed”, do you mean not verbalizing it? Or do you mean simply being successful at hiding it from everyone?

Like, I suspect one of my coworkers has a crush on me. I know he will never say so out loud, nor am I ever going to bring it up (I’m even reluctant to bring it up with ya’ll). But I can still tell based on how he acts around me, and so can others. I think maybe even the janitor knows by now.

Refraining from conveying it, verbal or not. Of course, though, some people have no poker face and unintentionally give themselves away anyway, but that’s not really what I am referring to.

I’ve also had a couple of female friends (including current wife) whom I found out later I was “friend-zoning”, when I was just oblivious to their interest (and all the while I was interested in girls who were “friend-zoning” me).

But I’ve also found the OP’s statement to be fairly accurate. I think for guys there’s more perceived shame in having an unrequited crush then there is for women, because a real man always gets the girl and all that. Women can be in the same situation, but there’s less macho shame about it, so less is stopping them from talking about it.

A woman expressing interest in a man is safer, and a better strategy, than vice versa, in just about every conceivable way.

First of all, it actually increases her chances of success. If a woman likes a guy, that makes the woman more attractive to the guy. If a guy likes a woman, it’s more the other way around.

If she is rejected, there won’t be much in terms of negative repercussions. Not so much for the guy, who risks any amount of awkwardness as a result.

Woman having unrequited crush on man: “I like you!” “I’m not interested, but that’s very sweet.”

Man having unrequited crush on woman: “I like you!” “I’m not interested. Go away, you’re a creep.”

step on your toes?

That probably wouldn’t have been obvious enough. She asked me for a ride on my motorcycle.

OR woman having unrequited crush on man: “Go away, you desperate slut.”

Dating is rough on everyone, and women are indeed creatures capable of experiencing rejection. I don’t know why some people are so invested in believing dating is some kind of paradise for all women, it’s just not that straightforward.

I always felt like being rejected as a woman stings extra hard because we are told over and over again that all men will at least sleep with any willing woman who isn’t actively repulsive (of course, not true.) So when we do get rejected-- especially from sex-- we feel like we are being told we are so hideously unattractive that we don’t even fall into the “do her but don’t tell your friends” category.

As someone once pointed out, it’s selective statistical sampling; people are only using attractive women as case studies and so think that because attractive women seemingly have it easy, that therefore all women have it easy.
I think dating is more polarized, generally, for women than for men. Attractive women get lots of attention; unattractive women get almost none.

In terms of ease of getting a date, it’s probably Attractive Woman (finds it very easy to get a date) → Attractive Man → Unattractive Man → Unattractive Woman (finds it very difficult to get a date).

I’m somewhat loath to bring this up, as I don’t have a lot of experience in this area. But I do have to ask about this.

I’ve encountered guys who get hit on so often that they don’t really like it. I know a lot of guys who believe in the concept of a slut. But I’ve never gotten the impression they would call someone a slut just for expressing interest in them.

The phrase calls into mind not some woman who merely asks a man on a date but someone who drunkenly presses up against men or otherwise heavily implying she wants them to head over her place right now, and likely doesn’t even seem to care which exact guy it is.

So, my question is, have you actually heard someone say that to you or someone you know who was just expressing interest in going on a date, and, if so, have you heard it often? Or were you just coming up with the worst example you could think of to make your point more clear, like Martian obviously was? I’m sure it’s happened, but I’m hoping it isn’t common.

(I mean, the worst I’ve ever gotten said directly to me was a matter-of-fact “I don’t like you.”)

Right to their face? No. Though in some groups (think along the lines of a rowdy frat) unattractive women expressing interest can be targeted for mean-spirited teasing.

But afterwards, recounting the story to friends? Absolutely.

Same here, except replace “wife” with “ex-girlfriend”.

We met at a huge party on campus. Actually, we were constantly throwing glances at each other every time we were in the same area but we were with completely different groups and there was too many people in the way to start a conversation. Towards the end of the night, there were less people around and I invited her to dance. Everything was going very smoothly when all of a sudden she said: “Sorry, I’ve got to go. My friends are waiting for me.” :confused:

Fast forward two weeks later. I was at the library one late afternoon, killing time. I heard a voice to my right: “Can I sit here?” It was her.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: “You know, I’m going to be alone tonight.”
Me: “Really?”
Her: “Yeah. I wanted to go out and have fun but my friends are tired. Which means I’ve got noone to go out with.”
Me: “Uh-uh.”
Her: “It sucks. I really wanted to go and have drink. But I’m going to be all alone.”
Me: “I see.”
Her: “I guess I’ll just have to go back home, then.”
Me: “Probably.”
Her: “What are your plans for tonight?”
Me: “Well, I was planning to hang around here for a couple more hours and then go home.”
Her: “OK.”

LONG PAUSE.

LONGER THAN THAT.

Me: “Perhaps we could go out and have drink?”

She let out a deep sigh, rolled her eyes and said “At last.” We stayed together for three years :D.

Man, we humans really make life miserable for each other, don’t we?

Gender roles are so ingrained that I bet it didn’t once cross her mind to just invite you for a drink.