As a girl who grew up being taught to never pursue a guy, how do I make my interest known without coming across as desperate or a flirt?
This is a great question! This question is a reflection of one of the major things that bother me about how we talk about relationships within the church at large.
Oftentimes, many women are taught “never to pursue a guy." This mentality leaves them feeling helpless, at the mercy of whoever decides to show interest in them. Personally, I think this whole way of thinking is not only rooted in a misinterpretation of Scripture, but it’s especially dangerous because it sets up a woman for an unequal role later on in a marriage, but that’s a huge conversation we’ll have to save for another day.
But to answer this question, I’m going to start with the basics, because even with the freedom to initiate a relationship, some women still want to take baby steps in that direction.
So, when I asked some men out there tell us the ways a woman can show them she’s interested, here’s what they said:
1. Talk to me. This is the exact same thing that women reported as an indicator that a man is interested in her. It makes sense that the need to converse is one of the top ways you can show someone you’re interested because human beings are wired for communication and connection. The men said that the best way you can show them you’re interested in them is to start a conversation or keep one going when they approach you. Offering your thoughts and feedback, asking questions, and interacting with them is one of the best ways you can make your interest known.
2. Compliment me. I thought it was interesting to note that one thing the men expressed was the desire for compliments and encouragement. When a woman gives him positive feedback, it helps him know she’s interested. Makes sense, right? And not only that, I think the desire for encouragement carries over well into marriage. We all want to be noticed, and one of the best ways to show you’re noticing someone is by offering your compliments.
3. Make it clear to me. Over the years of writing about relationships, I think I was most surprised by the number of men who said they truly have no clue a woman is interested unless she makes it extremely obvious. One man went as far as to say you need to hit him with a relational 2×4 for him to understand that you’re interested.
Bonus: Another thing that came up regarding making it clear was the topic of body language. According to men, a smile, consistent eye contact, and a friendly touch can go a long way to express you’re interested.
I’m all for a woman taking responsibility for her love-life. Healthy relationships are all about give-and-take, so make it a point to give a little, and then see what happens. If it’s the right thing, you’ll find a pattern of getting as you’re giving. And that’s always a great way to start a relationship.
Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest book, Choosing Marriage, has just been released and can be found on her website, True Love Dates. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines and publications, including Relevant Magazine and Crosswalk.com. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!