Advice forums and lifestyle sites are filled with guys asking “Does she like me?” Conversely, there are a lot of women asking, “Why didn’t he call?” Clearly there are some mixed signals going on, and I’m reminded of Charlotte in “Pride and Prejudice,” telling our heroine Lizzy all about acting more interested in a guy than you really are in order to “secure” him. This actually isn’t that far off the mark. If you want that first date, or another date with a really great guy, you’ve got to let him know you’re interested.
Obviously, in Jane Austen days, you had to “secure” a man to ensure your future financial well-being. In today’s dating world, you needn’t sign yourself up for marriage the moment you spot a cute guy at the bar, but if there’s every going to be a chance of a long-term relationship, you’ve got to actually line up a few dates first. That means putting yourself out there, even if you’re not entirely sure of where things are going to go. Play it cool too long, and he’s going to think you’re not interested and move on to someone who is.
Sure, maybe some masochistic guys out there love dealing with a pouting model who doesn’t dare risk a wrinkle by smiling too much, but that’s their problem. Smiling at a guy is a quick and easy way to let him know you’re interested. An encouraging, shyly flirtatious or blatant come hither smile is going to get that guy to cross a room to meet you. Once he’s in front of you, a smile will let him know that what he’s saying or doing is something you’re enjoying. That will keep him close to you, and not looking for a gal he hopes will show more interest.
It doesn’t take much. There’s no need to get loaded on tequila and drape yourself across a guy’s lap. If he’s interested in you, laughing at all of his jokes and throwing in a few meaningful innuendos are enough to keep him trying for more. Trust me, flashing a little more leg when you know he’s looking will give him the signal that you’re interested, and no, you don’t have to do the full Sharon Stone “Basic Instinct” treatment to get results.
You know how annoying it is, when you’re talking to a guy and his eyes leave you every time the waitress walks by? Don’t do it in reverse. If you’re checking out the group of college guys doing shots at the end of the bar instead of listening to the handsome stockbroker in front of you, he’s going to conclude you’re not interested. And maybe you aren’t. But if you really do want to land a date with the guy, you’ve got to keep your focus on him. The more you meet his gaze, the more intimate it feels, and he’ll get the message.
Sure, the stereotype of the “frigid” girl is annoying, but if you sit with your arms folded and keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the guy who’s hitting on you, he’s definitely getting the impression you’ll never touch him with a ten foot pole. If the guy hitting on you is a drunken, offensive idiot, that’s a wise move to make. But if it’s a really nice guy who’s making you laugh, loosen up a bit. A soft touch on the back as you move past him at the bar, pressing your knees against his leg as you sit next to each other, or grabbing his arm while you’re telling a story are all positive signals that let him know you’re interested.
If he asks for your number and says he’ll call, ask “When?” If he’s noncommittal, and won’t set a date or even a reasonable time frame, then you don’t need to waste any more time on him. But if he smiles and asks you if tomorrow would be too early, smile back and tell him you look forward to hearing from him tomorrow. Subtlety is a nice lead-up to the moment he asks you out, but once you’re at that point, being direct seems to penetrate the male brain the best. He’ll now be certain that you like him, and you can be sure that he’ll call. Everybody wins, and nobody has to post for help on a message board–unless it’s to find out how to set up the perfect first date.