Being single in the past few years has made me realize how terrible I am in reading romantic signs from girls. My mind convinces me that whatever they do are actually signals that I should respond to ASAP. I thought they had the same feelings towards me, waiting for me to make a move. I planned really hard to find the right moment, rehearsing the words that I would say, and finally expressed my feelings. But rejections always come after that.
I used to be so sad and disappointed after being rejected. The person who I kept thinking of every hour finally gave me the reality check that the attraction has always been one sided. In my mind, I blamed them for misleading me, that they should not have acted in a certain way to a person who they only see as “a friend”.
After some rejection, I started to reflect on myself and be more logical towards my feelings. I tried to understand what were the signs that I misunderstood and why I defined it as a romantic approach. Here are the things girls do (or did) that make my heart flutters.
They physically touch me and don’t mind if I do too.
Okay, it’s not as pervert as it sounds! There’s this type of girls where they have little boundaries when interacting with guys. They feel comfortable and will touch the guys’ hands or hold arms out of spontaneity, usually when they’re being playful. They also don’t mind to ask you to place your hand on their forehead or neck to check when they’re not feeling well. This happened to me and it was very awkward, but my heart beat stupidly fast!
They are very open to share their life problems with me.
Even in our first interaction, we discussed deep topics, and she was the first who started this. She shared about her family, what they’re currently facing, and how she’s handling all the stress of losing someone. She also willingly shared her personal issue and feelings. I started to share about mine to her as well because I felt there’s a click and we’re bonding. I thought, “Wow, does she feel comfortable and sees me as more than a friend?”
They are always available even if it’s only the two of us.
She would be my go to person if I was feeling lonely or just wanted to have fun because she always seemed to be able to meet any time and anywhere.She will agree with my choices on where to eat or what to do next. She would reply my chat quickly and put an effort to start new conversations. She didn’t mind having a midnight video call when I asked. Would she do this if she’s not into me? I don’t think so, no, no, no.
They reach out to me first and check on me.
I was her go-to guy to accompany her when she wanted to go somewhere, was craving to eat something, or just a casual window shopping — which is my hobby too! She would reach out to me first, chat me if I posted something cryptic in Instagram. She would remember what I said and checked on how I did when I finished my presentation or dentist appointment. It felt amazing when she showed that she cared, even the little things!
They say nice things about me as a person.
I have words of affirmation as my love language, so this hits me really hard! She gave me compliments like how she enjoyed hanging out with me, how she could share her stories with me because I’d listen to her sincerely and gave her the right advice. Then she would say things like, “You’re a really nice person, I can’t believe you haven’t found any girlfriend yet!”. To be honest, it’s a compliment, but my heart cracked a little after hearing that…
What I’ve learnt about myself from this experience
First, I only misread signs from those who I’m attracted to, not those who I see just as friends. They can act cute, show their cares, and be very obvious in initiating physical contact but I will just naively see them as what normal friends do, or maybe their friendship style is a bit more intimate.
Second, the girls have actually always been themselves and they will act the same way to anyone as it’s always been their personality. It’s how I think about them that makes me believe that I’m being specially treated. Just observe how they behave with their friends!
Lastly, my upbringing has shaped the way how I see acts of intimacy and care. This affects how I see certain actions as signs of attractions. For example, I believe physical touch as a very intimate thing, I don’t just hold a girl’s arm out of the blue. But for other people, it’s just a touch, nothing special.
A girl can be so kind, caring, and physically showed that she’s interested in you. She has done what all the relationship experts say and it can still mean nothing, she only sees you as a friend. Nowadays, I won’t assume anything until the girl literally says so, “Gun, I really like you, and I want us to be more than just friends, in a romantic way.”
Previously published on medium
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