I’m totally oblivious when it comes to flirting

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I’ll be the first to admit that this meme directly applies to me. I’ve always been terrible at determining whether or not a girl is romantically interested in me. I just don’t get the subtlety, the non-verbal cues. It’s all like some foreign language to me. But in this day and age, isn’t there plenty to be confused about? After all, as the meme implies, how do you decide whether someone has approached you because they’re interested in you or if they’re just being nice? But wait, it gets more complicated!

Some people in relationships flirt. People of my generation believe that flirting is essentially harmless fun. A girl might have an exclusive boyfriend, but go out to the club with her girlfriends and flirt with some dudes. Said dudes have no way of knowing that said girl has a boyfriend. She’s flirting with them, so why would they assume she did? In the 21st century, flirting isn’t cheating, so long as it never goes beyond casual words. And even if a girl isn’t in a relationship, she might be flirting just to have a little fun.

Suffice it to say, I can’t tell when women are flirting with me or more importantly why they are. But another problem that I have is that I believe that women probably wouldn’t flirt with me in the first place. Any insecurities aside, this isn’t 1850 anymore, where the dating pool is pretty much whoever lives in your town. Thanks to technology, the dating pool is wide open now. So how does one stand out in a virtual sea of men? I’m not really special, at least when it comes to why a woman would flirt with me. I’m just a normal guy. I have a hard time believing that there’s something about me that would draw a woman to me, at least when compared to all the other single, available men out there.

So I tend to automatically assume that every woman I talk to or meet is not romantically interested in me. Or that she already has a significant other. It really eliminates all the awkwardness surrounding this flirting business. But ultimately, it means I don’t flirt. I just have honest interactions with people. Maybe that can be awkward. Maybe I come off as uninterested, clueless, or obtuse. But honestly, that’s a small price to pay in return for never having to over-analyze every action, every word, trying to determining if there’s a romantic subtext. I never have to worry about whether or not this girl “likes” me.

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Moreover, I don’t really think I would be good at flirting even if I wanted to or thought that some girl was interested in me. My brain just isn’t wired to be smooth or have any game. I’ve never been adept at using innuendo, teasing, or suggestion. I don’t really think of myself as oozing machismo or having sex appeal, so I can’t really convey sexuality in a flirtatious way. While I do have self-confidence, I’m not one to talk myself up or anything like that. I don’t have a commanding presence or any sort of animal magnetism. I’m just me. And believe me, there’s plenty of awkwardness to go around.

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5 thoughts on “I’m totally oblivious when it comes to flirting

  1. This is no exact science by a long shot, but I have percieved that when a girl starts toying with her hair, or adjusting her clothing, it shows at least some self awareness, that are cues indicating a possible interest. After that I’m just as clueless as you are lol.

    I can totally relate to that last paragraph. I am much the same. My brother has the ability to talk his way into just about anything he wants. He has the gift of gab, that spark which ignites a aura all around his vicinity that makes girls and guys want to be there just to hang out with him. I got the brains…

    The one thing I do know, if you never ask them out for a coffee, dinner, or a movie, you may never know. You occaisionally have to use that self confidence you have. Be prepared to be shot down though. It is part of the process.

  2. I’m in the same boat Ryan. I think I’ve gotten better at it with age, and I would say that my ability to detect flirting has increased as I have developed a stronger sense of self-esteem. But moreover I’ve come to realize that people do have a choice of what to say and who they spend their time with, even at a party, or a bar, so if they are choosing to spend their time with you it definitely means something. If that person finds you interesting, but has a boyfriend that there is nothing wrong with recognizing the fact that someone seems to find you interesting and asking them out shouldn’t be seen as some social taboo. The girl simply has to say no, she has a boyfriend and that’s that. She might even feel flattered, I know I do when a woman asks me out and I politely refuse. Of course in the past I might have refused because I was with someone, or because I didn’t find that person attractive physically, but I think it’s always nice when somebody sees something in you that attracts you to them.

    In the end don’t worry so much about “how into you” they seem, look for people who seem genuine, intelligent, compassionate, and any other value you deem important (like obviously that you find them attractive) and just go for it. Flirting is not a necessary prelude to showing interest or for why people hook up. As you said nowadays it is just something you do and so there isn’t a whole lot of sincerity to it. I suspect that the kind of girl that would be crazy about you is very similar to you, in that she doesn’t have the first idea either about how to let you know she’s interested. 🙂

  3. I’ve always had a problem understanding flirting and sincere interest as well. I remember falling in love with a sweet girl from Georgia who constantly flirted with me. And when she broke up with her boyfriend, I attempted to make my intentions known that I was interested in her. But that went nowhere fast. Got shot down immediately.

    It’s interesting that another friend told me that that’s how southern girls are before I had even approached her. He explained that’s just how they are. Of course I had to find out the hard way for myself.

    1. I have a hard time understanding women in general without regional subtext lol. I can only imagine how much more poorly I would do somewhere like the south.

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