When I was growing up, I always had a slew of guy friends. This wasn’t surprising since I was nerdy and would rather be playing World of Warcraft than getting mani-pedis.
Throughout my youth, seven of my guy friends confessed their feelings for me at one time or another. Four times it happened as soon as I started dating someone else.
This isn’t uncommon in the world of straight male-female friendships.
In a survey, 88 pairs of young male and female friends were asked to rate their attraction to each other in a confidential questionnaire. The findings showed that men — whether attached or single — were more likely to be attracted to their female friends than the other way around.
Men also assumed their female friends were more romantically interested in them than they actually were, and the women were usually unaware of this.
Women are much more subtle than men about expressing their interest, but, if you pay attention, it’s actually pretty obvious.
It’s also really obvious when women aren’t interested if you look for some key aspects:
1. She’s in a relationship with someone else.
Look, despite how you might feel in such a way, if she’s in a relationship with someone other than you, she is not interested in you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a better fit for her, or if you think she’s throwing hints (since, I hate to say it, you could be imagining them). You deserve to be someone’s #1, and that’s not possible if she’s taken.
In this case, let her go, and not in an “I’ll hang out until she’s single again . . .” sort of way. If you seriously can’t stop holding a flame for her, distance yourself, set boundaries, etc.
While Jim and Pam from The Office is a great love story, you don’t ever want to be Jim. You deserve a happy ending, and Jim was never guaranteed one.
2. She tells you she’s not interested in you or a relationship, etc.
No means no. If she says she’s not interested in you or a relationship, yeah, that could change, but you should never hold out hope for that. Instead, you should take care of yourself and assume she’ll NEVER be interested in you.
It’s icky and gross if you hold on in the “hopes” she’ll change her mind or if you try to “convince” her you’re it.
Have some self-respect and honor that she knows what she wants, and you just happen to not be it.
3. Her smile isn’t genuine.
We all smile out of politeness. I’m a champ at the quick lip lift when I’m passing a stranger on the street, but that’s not a smile I would reserve for someone I was into.
Real smiles crinkle the skin on the outer edges of each of the smiler’s eyes.
When you see her, what kind of smile does she give you on average? Don’t focus on the one or two times she may have been bursting with excitement and that got directed at you, or the one or two times she was having a rough day.
An assessment of the average should be able to help you tell if she sees you as just a bud or the guy for her.
4. She doesn’t make much eye contact with you.
People convey their level of comfort and interest by how often they meet the eyes of the people they’re around.
If you approach a woman and she answers you verbally, but intentionally avoids meeting your eye, this is the opposite of interest. She’s anti-you.
If this is how you’re being treated, this isn’t an opportunity for you to “convince” her to feel differently about you. Give up, and move on.
5. She keeps checking her phone.
If you were her priority, she wouldn’t be checking her phone constantly to see if someone better was texting her.
6. Her body language is closed.
If her arms are crossed in front of her chest, the best-case scenario is that she’s cold, but the most likely scenario is that she’s guarded and closed-off.
If a woman is comfortable with you, she’s into you. If she’s not? The opposite is true.
7. You’re the one handling all of the labor of trying to get together.
In the world of dating, this is called “curving.” She responds whenever you text, but she never texts first. She’ll hang out with you, but only if you arrange all the whens and wheres first.
This may not feel like a one-sided relationship, but it is. You’re putting more energy into it than she is. If she was interested in seeing and talking to you more often, she’d be blowing you up, not just responding or making plans once you do first.
8. She takes more than 24 hours to get back to you.
While it’s true that everyone gets busy, if you were a priority to her, she’d be excitedly awaiting your texts and be quick with her replies.
If she continually doesn’t respond like a text from you is the best thing she’s gotten all day, assume you’re not the guy who’s caught her eye.
9. She’s not breaking the touch barrier.
Most women touch men they are interested in, but it’s all about what’s out of the norm.
If she’s touchy-feely with everyone — you included — that’s not special, and if she’s not reaching out to touch you at all, that likely means she isn’t interested either.
If you can tell when a woman isn’t into you, you can save yourself a lot of heartache. I know there’s something romantic about holding out for a special lady, but, really, the last thing you want to do is harbor feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same.
The best thing you can do for yourself is move right along. You deserve to be with someone who is as crazy about you as you are about her!
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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