Subtle ways women back away
Photo by: ViDI Studio / Shutterstock
Dating and courtship can be confusing.
Everyone holds their cards close to their chests because no one wants to be rejected.
Most of us don?t want to play a heavy hand. We take a much more tentative approach instead. We?ll give signs we?re interested. We?ll make a small move and hope it gets reciprocated. We?ll play coy and hope he escalates things a little.
But we?ll very rarely come out and tell a guy we?re getting to know, ?Hey, I want you to be my boyfriend. You in??
Often, that leaves things a little ambiguous. It can be hard to tell if a girl is into you or if she?s just being friendly. It can even be hard to tell whether you still have a shot with her or she?s trying to let you down gently.
Plus, we?re all prone to feeling hopeful when we like someone. We look for signs that they like us back, not signs that they don?t.
I?m a hopeless romantic, so I often do that. Sometimes, I focus so much on the little signs that someone likes me back that I miss the bigger signs that they don?t. When I?ve really fallen for someone, I?ve even flat-out make up signs that weren?t there (because what if?)
So, I know first-hand the importance of being realistic about this kind of thing. Knowing the signs will help you with that. That means knowing the signs she likes you but also getting the picture when she doesn?t. Here?s what to look for so you know when a girl is not receptive to advances or doesn?t want things to escalate.
1. She Takes Her Time Getting Back to You
She?s got a life. She?s busy. She might not always have her phone. And even if she does, she?s got better things to do than answer every notification she gets.
I personally have a busy schedule and I leave messages unread until I can give it my full attention. It can take me a while to get back to someone. That being said, if I really like someone, I?ll still get back to them relatively soon because I?m excited to talk to them.
A good rule of thumb is 24 hours. If she?s taking longer than that to get back to you, she probably doesn?t like you in that way.
2. She Cancels Plans Repeatedly
If she agrees to dates but keeps backing out of them, it?s because she?s not willing to invest a lot in you. If she really likes you, she won?t give up on your plans as soon as there?s a minor inconvenience.
If she doesn?t have any follow through, it means she?s not all that interested. Move on and find someone who is.
3. She Calls You a Friend
If she introduces you to others as a friend or tells you what a good friend you are, that?s not a slip-up. That?s how she thinks about you.
Guys often get confused by this one. They think it means they have to try harder to mack on her because she?s not picking up on their intentions. She is ? she?s just making hers clear.
4. She Tells You She?s Not Ready
When she tells you she?s not really looking for anything serious, she?s not ready for a relationship, or she?s just having fun right now, listen to her. That?s not her challenging you to change her mind ? that?s her telling you exactly where she stands.
5. You Always Have to Initiate Contact
Sometimes, a girl will wait for you to make the first move. She might even test you to see if you?ll reach out to her if she doesn?t text you for a day or two). But if she likes you, she?ll reach out to you once in a while.
If she never does, it?s because you?re not on her mind. If you?re not on her mind, it?s because she thinks of you as an acquaintance, not someone with boyfriend potential.
6. When You Escalate, She Goes Vague
A lot of women don?t like to explicitly reject a guy, so they?ll be a little indirect about it.
When you compliment her, she waves it off and changes the subject.
When you make suggestive comments, she says something vague instead of matching your energy.
When you ask her out, she?ll say something about being kind of busy right now but won?t make concrete plans with you.
If you never feel like you?re getting a clear response from her when you?re being direct, it means she?s trying to let you down gently.
7. You?re in the Blue
Scroll through your text history. What color is it?
If you?re mostly seeing blue (the color of your messages), that?s because you?re the one doing all the talking.
If you don?t see a good mix of blue and gray, she?s not putting much into the conversation. She might be keeping it afloat, but she?s not doing much to move it along. If she was into you, she?d be a lot more engaged in your conversations.
8. She Leaves You on Read
Again, you?ll need to give her time. Sometimes, a message stays on read because it pops up, you look at it, and then you get caught up in something.
Sometimes, I?ll open a message, read it, but before I can reply, I need to go because my kid shoved a Cheerio up his nose. Likewise, she might have some stuff to deal with on her end. Or maybe she read your message and wanted some time to think of a good reply.
But if she regularly leaves you on read and never gets back to you, it?s probably not because she?s ultra-flaky. She probably just doesn?t care.
9. She Pulls Away from You
When you?re with her, how does she respond to your presence?
If she likes you, she?ll be open, she?ll get close, and she?ll spend most of her time facing toward you.
If she?s not into you, she?ll keep a little more distance between you two. She might face away to signal that she doesn?t want you getting too close. And if you do get close, she?ll either pull away or look uncomfortable.
If that?s the kind of behavior you?re getting from her, listen to her body language and give her the space she wants.
10. She Just Doesn?t Seem to Care About You
There?s a bit difference between playing coy and just not giving a damn.
When she?s playing coy, you can almost feel her pull. When she?s just not interested, she?ll feel closed off. She won?t really listen to you and bring up things that you?ve mentioned in previous conversations.
She won?t share any personal details, either. She?ll be slim on the details because she doesn?t care whether you know her or not.
She also won?t ask anything from you. A girl who likes you and is just being a little coy will share some of her problems with you. She?ll tell you when she?s sad or bummed out. She?s hoping you?ll cheer her up. A girl who?s not into you, though, won?t look for that from you because she doesn?t want to be that vulnerable around you.
Feel Her Out Before Hitting Her Up
Whenever I write about a subject like this, I usually get complaints from a few readers (and they?re not always polite about it).
They tell me I?m essentially sanctioning women misleading men by not being straightforward with them. Or they use the responses as their soap box to rant about women being manipulative or emotionally immature.
The thing is, there?s a reason we behave the way we do, and it?s not because we?re irrational or don?t have the courage to just say what we mean. Believe me, we all wish we could. We wish we could just say it straight up: ?I can see you?re interested in me, but I don?t feel the same about you.?
We just don?t feel we can.
First, there?s all the social conditioning we?ve been given. We?re told early on (directly and indirectly) that it?s our job to do the emotional labor in our interactions with men. It?s our responsibility not to make anyone feel bad. It?s up to us to make sure the rejection is gentle. It?s up to us to make a guy feel good about himself when we?re turning him down (that?s why we blurt out ?I?m sorry, I really would love to date you, I would. I just have too much going on. But you?ve got so many good qualities, you?ll find someone for sure!? instead of ?No thanks.?)
Most of us have also been through some shit or have plenty of friends who have. We know it?s not always safe to reject men. Sometimes, it?s not physically safe. Other times, it comes with emotional abuse instead.
That stuff hurts, even if it?s coming from someone we don?t even care about or respect. It?s not something we want to hear, and definitely not something we want to hear regularly, so we give out rejection as gently as we can because we never know who will be able to handle it and who will lash out.
That?s why she?ll signal how she feels about you more subtly. That?s why she?ll turn you down so gently you might not even realize she?s doing it. That?s why you might mistake her backing away as a hint that you still have a chance.
And that?s why it?s important to be able to tell when a girl isn?t interested in you or would rather just be your friend.
You deserve someone who won?t leave you on read forever. Someone who will show genuine interest in you. Someone who won?t pull away when you get closer. And when you find her, you?ll know because she?ll show you.
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