A Man's Guide to Reading Between the Lines
It’s easy to feel that men and women speak different languages. Books titles like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus are a reflection of the wide chasm that can exist when it comes to male/female communication.
The bottom line is that men and women have a tendency to think differently, to act differently, and to interact differently than one another- especially in the area of love and relationships. I was recently asked to write an article for men, helping them to get a peek inside of a woman’s head. One question that many men are looking for the answer to is– How do I know she’s into me?
While I am ALL ABOUT healthy, open, and honest communication, the truth of the matter is when you are first meeting and getting to know someone of the opposite sex, you don’t start off by immediately jumping into the “define the relationship” conversation (unless of course, you want to come across as creepy…). Instead, you keep your eyes open for signs of interest that lead you from friendship into something more.
When John and I had been friends for a while, there was a period of time in which we weren’t reading each other well–straight up due to gender differences. I was starting to convince myself that maybe he just saw me as “buddy”- and at the same time, he started wondering if I was interested in him at all. We were both communicating interest- but in completely different ways. We were missing the signals until we finally sat down for a “DTR” 6 months into our friendship.
And from what I’m gathering from all the emails I receive- we’re not the only couple who’s faced the problem of misunderstanding when it comes to male/female friendships and relationships.
In hopes of getting the genders more on the same page, I decided to take a poll of my female readers asking them to explain how they show interest when it comes to the opposite sex. The responses were awesome– but varied from “running in the opposite direction” to “telling it like it is”.
But overall, somewhere right in the middle of the spectrum–a few strong themes emerged that might give you guys out there a little perspective when it comes to knowing whether or not she’s interested. Let me clue you in:
1. Body Language. Hands down, the number one thing women said they use to communicate interest to a guy was body language. The unspoken interactions that mean so many things to a woman–though sometimes go unnoticed by a man. Body language says so much, without actually having to say anything at all. And for women–apparently, it’s one of their favorite ways to interact. Whether by maintaining eye contact, closer proximity, facial expressions or a subtle touch–it’s a good indicator that she just might be into you. Be on the lookout for these un-spokens; they may mean more than you could have imagined.
2. Attention: When it comes to showing interest- a woman’s attention says a lot. Women love to GET attention from men- whether they are interested in them or not. But GIVING attention, that’s a whole different story. Does she laugh at your jokes? Remember your comments? Listen when you talk? Is she interested in getting to know about you, and learning what you like? Women are all about the details–so if she asks to know more, there’s a good chance she’s into you. She’ll pay attention if she’s interested.
3. Response: I truly believe that our culture is changing when it comes to the “cat-and-mouse” game that we’ve sometimes used to describe dating. What I mean is that I see a shift in women who are stepping up in showing interest, and taking the first step when it comes to starting a relationship. Though this change is definitely one step in the right direction- one thing I hear time and time again from women is that they are still longing to be pursued.
For some women, it’s only within the pursuit that they feel the freedom to respond. With that in mind, a great litmus test of whether or not she’s interested is to go ahead and take the risk!
If she’s interested- she’ll call you back. If she wants to keep the conversation going, she’ll text you again. If you ask her to get together, she will take you up on it–and if she’s busy, she’ll give you an alternate plan. At the end of the day, from the responses I got it was clear that women still love to know that they are wanted, and part of their interest develops and grows from the simple act of being pursued. Sometimes, a woman’s interest is awakened when she learns that you are interested in her. So put some signs out there– and then go ahead and take a leap of faith. You just never know how things might turn out.
Men and women can be so different in how they communicate and show interest- but learning to understand one another and communicate better will hopefully start to bridge the gap toward starting relationships on the right foot…God knows we need all the help we can get!
Add to the conversation by commenting below: How do you tend to show and respond to interest from the opposite sex?
Debra Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season, and Are You Really OK? She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twi