Sending The Right Signals

So, in the dating books I talk about how online dating isn’t really a great solution for everyone.  I think it is ideal for a certain type of person and a complete waste of time and energy for others.  Ideally, the best way to meet people would be in real life doing something you love.

My mom met her current husband in a bowling league.  She didn’t join the bowling league to meet anyone and neither did he, but they got thrown on a team together, her car broke down, he offered her a ride home, she cooked him dinner as a thank you, and the rest is history.  They just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

Here’s the problem with the whole meeting someone in real life idea: They have to know you’re available.

I’m in my thirties and I notice that I get hit on a lot less now than I used to.  Sometimes I think it’s because I’m old and fat, but then I glance around a little and see that I’m still getting eyed like a piece of meat, so, as much as I’m not what I used to be, I think there’s a different problem at play.

And that’s the fact that I give off no signals that I’m available.  None.  And, being the age I am, I wouldn’t blame men for assuming that I’m married, in a serious relationship, or not interested.

Unfortunately for my dating life, not giving off signals is a protective mechanism I developed when I was younger, hotter, and men said creepy things to me all the time.  After about ten years of that crap I think I pretty much suppressed every signal a girl can give off.

So, what signals are those?

– Eye contact

– Smiling

– Doing something with your hair.  (If it’s up and long, letting it down is the BEST.)

– Reacting to a man who is trying to get your attention (This one sounds a little odd.  But think of the guy who sits down next to you on the train and proceeds to fidget and make noises.  What’s your normal reaction?  You look at him.  If he’s good-looking, your gaze lingers.  He smiles, you smile.  You start talking…)

– Being open to being approached (Put away the book, cellphone, etc. and be open to conversation)

If you know someone and want to signal interest:

– Staying with them/near them at a party or event

– Laughing at their jokes

– Engaging in witty banter (Good example.  Guy I knew casually said, “You know, I had a dream about you last night.”  I said, “Really?  What kind of dream?”  He said, “Ah, the usual.  You were naked, I was naked.”  I responded, “Is that all?”  He crouched down by me and said, “Well, there was a little more to it than that…”  See where that was going?)

– Letting them run their game (A lot of times you can see someone’s angle, but if you like them, you don’t let them know that.  You just go with it.  Like that conversation above?  Here’s what I said next, which is what you DON’T do.  “You know, you’re really predatory…”  I actually liked that about him, but it shut him down.  So, don’t do that.)

– Being complimentary

– Touching them or allowing them to touch you  (Don’t be creepy about it, just allow them to be in your space.  Sit on a couch and let your legs touch, sit at a table and let your feet touch, etc.  )

So, those are a just a few thoughts.  Just remember, especially in this day and age, your odds of anyone approaching you are pretty much nil unless you’re signalling your availability in some way or other.

(And, for the really clever and brave, you might have realized that just because an attractive woman isn’t signaling her interest in you doesn’t mean she isn’t available or potentially interested…she may just be sick to death of dealing with the douchebags out there.)


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