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How do we (men) even know if they (women) are interested? Women never bring it up in our group of friends, so it makes it hard to tell.
As I furrow my brow and stroke my invisible* beard, let me answer your question with a question:
How, pray tell, can women know if they are interested if they don’t have an opportunity to go out on a date with you and decide their level of interest?
My dad had an equally deep response:
This isn’t junior high anymore, so she won’t pass any notes**. Ask her out. You will soon know.
Recently on Twitter a guy asked, “Joy, my friend said he would give me an iPhone 5 if I asked out this girl from the donut shop. Should I?”
Ummm…I’m not one to promote consumerism, but if my friend dared me to ask out the chain smoking Santa Clause that rings the bell outside of the Goodwill for a new iPhone, I would definitely say yes.
Don’t tell Santa.
Marriage is a huge responsibility, my friends. I’m not trying to make light of our standards for who we pursue by ANY means, but sometimes it feels like we are so determined to have all the answers upon first sight that, as a result, we might just end up living a life on the sidelines watching.
Ask her out. And then be intentional about finding out.***
From The Eggerichs’ Hearts,
* Future husband, I swear…it’s invisible.
** Not gonna lie, I recently passed a note to a guy. Apparently, I just completed 6th grade.
*** Ladies, don’t play games. If you are interested in a guy, don’t act like you aren’t because you think it’s cute and coy. Help a brother out.
Guys: What are some reasons you may be afraid to ask a girl out?
Women: Do you find yourself acting uninterested? Why?
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Love it as usual, Joy! Good advice. I decided a while ago that I’d go out with everyone that asked me (with a couple caveats of course…if he is a believer, and if I know him to be an honorable man…oh, and I still turn down men that are more than 10 years older…haha!) I went out with a great guy a few times this fall that I wasn’t necessarily “interested” in but because he was interested and I have a lot of respect for him as a man of God. I gave it a few weeks just to see if feelings could possibly develop but let him know that I’d rather maintain our friendship before we became an item. It’s important to keep an open mind but also be very sensitive of people’s feelings!
Thank you for ‘Giving him a Chance’ Olivia. If it doesn’t develop into a relationship, I bet your friendship has grown immensely.
That is awesome!
Man o man.
“what are some reasons you may be afraid to ask a girl out?” I think a shorter list would be “When are you not afraid to ask a girl out?” To which the only item would be: “If we’re already dating.”
Practically though, the hard thing I’ve seen myself and others go through is that, while its rational to stroke invisible beards, not pass notes, and expect that a girl will “try it and see,” it isn’t always how things actually happen. As an example, I have a real beard, and last night at Bible study we were passing notes. *shrug* Many of the guys in my peer group have been rejected before even given a chance because the girls aren’t interested in being interested (if that makes sense). Truthfully, I get the feeling that most of them are really just to focused on their career / blog / Ph.d / Unicorn collection to really see much beyond it.
I can say for myself, that I am extremely shy when it comes to being asked out or a guy showing interest in me (plus, we don’t really have a dating culture here in Germany), so a guy who would ask me out would probably think I’m not interested at first. He’d probably would have to ask twice, because maybe the second time I could muster up enough braveness to say yes. I know it sucks, but that’s the way it is. I don’t mean to be teasing, it’s just that my first reaction to someone being interested is…becoming extremely shy and pretty awkward (I just graduated preschool by the way).
So Rob, maybe sometimes the girl is really really shy. 😉
Lena, I have a specific question about dating Germans actually, if you don’t mind 🙂 I’m Canadian, and there’s a nice German boy here on an exchange, but am wondering about some potential cultural differences (especially based on your comment about no dating culture). Is there a way I can get in touch so I don’t have to write a (somewhat irrelevant to the topic at hand) novel here? I left my twitter account 🙂
To actually add to the discussion, I really liked what you said Joy. I’d love to be asked out more often. 9 tines out of 10, I’d totally say yes and give the guy a chance. I figure if we are friends and get along, I’d more than likely say yes to being asked out. Although I do agree with the “Billy” example, I’m definitely guilty of getting stuck on one guy, and possibly overlooking others.
Hmm apparently I didn’t! It’s @k2marks
Kristin, I’d love to help you out, but, believe it or not, I don’t have a twitter account nor do I actually know how exactly it works (as is true for many Germans I suppose 😉 ). But if you’ll give me your e-mail (I’m also not on Facebook- but that has nothing to do with my nationality 😉 ), I’d be happy to write you!
Lena, thank you SO much!! I really appreciate that! Haha, the guy in question doesn’t have twitter or facebook either 😉
Email is great, my address is kristin.marks1 @ gmail.com (no spaces)
Looking forward to getting in touch. 🙂
Joy, sorry to hijack your post!
I agree. I think most young women are pursuing college/career/dreams/entertainment, and while they may still occasionally want to date “eligible” bachelors, they seem to mostly want to save “serious” dating/marriage until their late 20’s and 30’s. I also think their definition of “serious” dating changes depending on which man is asking. Many young men, however, never received that memo (or note) in sunday school, so we wasted a lot of time/energy pursuing marriage early (while women want “fun”) instead of just channelling that percentage of our time/energy back into our own college/career/dreams. Some women choose to date men “for fun”, and trifle with a man’s affections, when they know they aren’t interested in him and know they dont want any romantic relationships. This hurts!
Back to the point!
Here is a dramatic answer to address the topic of this post:
If 10 men are interested in the same woman, and one of those men is named “Billy,” then the woman probably already knows in her head that, out of all those 10 men, she only wants and is eager to chase “Billy”. Since churches don’t let women chase men, she waits expectantly for “Billy” to approach her, so she can immediately say yes. The problem is that if any of those other 9 great men approach her, she rejects them harshly and rudely because he isn’t “Billy” and he is “ruining” her plans of being with “Billy.” So, men learn the hard way (through insight or assumption) that doing and saying and believing all the right Godly, biblical things with the sacrificial heart of Christ is really not enough to get her attention, and certainly not what she is really looking for. We then try to guess if we can measure up to or become some idealized version of the perfect man she has in her head, who probably isn’t even one of the 10 men who like her, probably has better looks and much more money, and who we all are being compared to long before we even approach her.
A man often has the view that he is taking the very sum of his heart and life and leaving them at her disposal.
Asking a girl out on a date can feel more like playing Russian Roullette than simply asking her a casual question, except the cylinder only has one empty chamber and she is holding the gun. When we see many great, Godly men with many other admirable attributes repeatedly being rejected harshly and ruthlessly as if they are worthless, we can only wonder what random version of the perfect man a given woman might be expecting, and all those unknown, sky-high expectations are killing us … along with our entire sense of self-worth. She just happens to be the one holding the gun.
Usually men go through a LOT of painful rejection before they realize that her expectations (or “preferences”) are probably more of a statement about her than they are about us. Only then can we start viewing the act of approaching a woman as more of a casual process and less like another shot to the heart.
What if those young women you’re thinking about in your first paragraph are pursuing a career and not dating until their late 20’s/30’s because… no one asked them out?
That’s my story, anyway. I looked around as I was getting near to the end of college and realized I was going to need to apply myself to the career search because the only other option was to move back in with my mom and mope about how boys weren’t exactly lining up at my door. I know I can’t speak for all women everywhere, but I also don’t believe I’m an isolated case. I know a lot of career women about my age that would have loved to be married a long time ago, but never got popped the question. I’m not even talking about “will you marry me” – they never got asked “wanna hang out sometime?”
I totally fear the rejection and that it may change the friendship. I have had friends totally stop talking to each other after he asked her out; she wasn’t interested and he took the rejection well, but now she avoids him whenever they are at the same events. I have experienced this also, but only once and I think it is a maturity issue.
I would suggest “getting to know her” through serving with her within your mutual ministries. This allows you to see how she serves and how she handles many different situations; it also allows her to see you in the same light. You never know, someone else may present themselves while you are serving somewhere.
I love group dating but I am completely against casual dating though for a couple of reasons;
A. I as a man do not want to be thrown into the category of “Player”
2. I have seen women get “Labeled” a couple of times when only going out twice; “We are not in HS folks”
D. I do not want to become ‘numb’ to rejection; I don’t like the sick feeling I get before asking someone out, but it does let me know my heart is still soft and my emotions are still there.
Really appreciate your A, 2 & D points Aron. (-: I respectfully disagree about the casual dating part, because I think if we could all treat each other well while practicing getting to know each other and being realistic that it might not work out, rejection will be a by-product, but so will, I believe growth. But each person has to know themselves and what environments they believe will ultimately help them grow the most towards marriage.
I know a lot of the time the world makes you think you’re just supposed to sit pretty and wait for the strong male to come and rescue you from your dull, single, life, but you know, maybe it ain’t always like that. Maybe it’s okay, sometimes, if you think the guy wouldn’t care (you gotta make it personal) to ask him. You like someone, you ask them out.
-John (Ryan Gosling) L.
Haha.. Thank you Ryan Gosling. (-: I’ve had many people ask, “who pursues” and did a two part video series on that as well as a post about expressing feelings for your friend. Might add some further thoughts…to your thoughts.
Brian’s question brings up some questions like: what are the “ingredients” when you want to get something cooking? I think the men can answer better here than I in this area for men. Single women need to learn how to take initiative in areas too. Like Joy says,” Give a brother a break” ! Somewhere between the steamroller and the doormat is the assertive woman. Usually with trial and error the balance of “assertive” develops. One just has to be brave to make mistakes and learn from them. Even married women are encouraged to initiate when it comes to sex with their husbands which isn’t an easy subject to broach when you don’t know how. It’s the older wiser women who have heard their men that have learned to share these things. Not everybody comes with boldness, assurance, confidence..and the know how to get it right. Taking initiative begins with the thought/question like: “What do you like?” or at least “What do you want ?”. Another area that may come natural to some but not to others is reading non-verbal body language. If a woman is interested, what are the clues? I’d say listen/watch for the non-verbal cues-this is when attention to detail makes a difference for the better. The pitch in her voice will go up. Her head nods up and down for USA culture (left and right for India). Is she smiling? Oh that’s always a good sign. In the USA, watch her eyes especially-usually they brightened up along with the brows going up. If she turns toward you and respectfully engages, these too are all good signals to proceed. When she says, “Yes, Thank you I would really enjoy that.” That is another good clue. “Yes” may mean, “I’m curious but not interested”. “Interested” may mean there is some chemistry or at least admiration is growing. The link on non verbal language may be useful to someone like Brian. http://readingbodylanguagenow.com/readingbodylanguageofapproachingwomen/
I’m with Olivia & AlisonH! I decided a wee bit ago (in my 20’s) that I would say “yes” to a date with any guy as long as my inner “stranger danger” red warning lights did not go off. That sure made dating a lot more fun, & took off a lot of pressure. Even if I didn’t meet my prince, I got to know some quality guys. It also built up the confidence of the guys I went out with (& mine too), which was fun to be a part of. As for the girls that are so focused on their PhD’s, jobs, etc, I tend to find they are so focused on those things because they are moving forward in thetir life without their potentail spouse. Years back when I realized marriage wasn’t in my near future, I had to decide do I get my masters degree and work hard on my future as a single woman, hoping I’d find my husband one day (since I hope to be a stay at home wife and mother), yet knowing I’m okay on my own if I don’t find him, or do I do random jobs to pass the time until I find him? Once I decided to focus on my education and future, it was hard to make time for a special fella, but it was possible & worth it, as that was something I was open to. More often than not, even if we ladies talk like we aren’t interested/open, we are. We want to be asked out. We want you to get to know us, and us get to know you! So please take the chance and start asking us out. You’ll likely be glad you did. 🙂 One thing I suggested to some of my guy friends is to ask a girl out when you are newly interested in her (before she becomes a “crush”), because then you aren’t as emotionally invested, nervous or bummed in the off chance the gal happens to say no.
I act uninterested because one of two things is true:
– I’m scared to death
– I genuinely am NOT interested.
I’m guessing the first point would be the one to discuss further, since the second is rather self-explanatory. I find that I am absolutely terrified of making a stupid decision in my life and screwing it up (meaning I tend to obey God out of fear of consequences rather than love…ouch!). This fear is magnified about fourteen billion times when it comes to dating relationships; I reason that my choice was poor last time, so what makes me think I’m qualified to make a good one this time? Therefore, while on the fence and trying to talk myself into being brave enough to give the guy a chance, sometimes I give off the aura of apathy or disinterest.
Thank you for your honesty and, from my experience, you’re not alone in that at all (not even close). From my male perspective, however, you are hitting on one of the most frustrating positions for us to be in because we have no one of knowing if you are scared or not interested. If you are not interested, we should walk away; if you are scared, we should pursue in a reassuring manner. But, all we have to go on is a guess with 50/50 odds of guessing correctly. From a guy’s perspective, those odds usually aren’t good enough to balance out all of the risks that we have to take to pursue a lady who is apathetic or showing signs of disinterest.
I think we girls always try to act uninterested to protect our hearts. My girl friends and I always say assume everything is “as friends” until he makes a point that it’s not. If you ask me out to coffee? Friends. If you ask me to go to a concert? Friends. If you ask me on a date for coffee or concert? Not Friends, something more.
It’s just too easy to read into things and believe that there is something more there, so to keep from getting hurt, we act disinterested in hopes that we can fool our hearts into thinking that’s how we actually feel.
I totally agree Lauren. I think I always act uninterested until the guy has shown he might be interested. I do this so that I will not get hurt, but I realize that it is making it that much harder for the guys to show he is even interested in the first place.
How do you act interested to a guy you like without laying all our feelings on the table? Is that even possible?
“How do you act interested to a guy you like without laying all our feelings on the table? Is that even possible?”
This may just be my opinion, but if women want a man to approach them with honesty, politeness, and directness, then men should be given the same consideration when women answer them. If he is “laying all his feelings on the table,” she should respectfully do the same for him. He deserves an honest, polite, and direct answer. This is the kind of understanding men and women need to demonstrate and to build strong mutual respect and trust, whether or not they begin to date.
If you are unsure if a man is interested in you, you could just ask him politely and directly. Be clear you are only seeking an answer to his feelings and intent. Give him the time and opportunity to decide what he wants to do. Sometimes men want more time and information before they commit to a person or decision. Ideally, this will prompt him to make a timely decision. It may not seem “romantic,” but should reduce the awkward confusion, hurt feelings, and distrust.
Any other opinions are welcome.
“I do this so that I will not get hurt, but I realize that it is making it that much harder for the guys to show he is even interested in the first place.”
We men are trying to protect our hearts just as much. When women act disinterested, we perceive that the risks may outweigh the potential reward, so we either wait to see if you become interested and seek a better opportunity to ask you out, or we decide the risk isn’t worth the rejection, lose interest, and move on. If, at first, a woman acts disinterested when she really is, then she has a limited amount of time to express her interest before the man decides she is no longer worth the risk of rejection. The longer she seems disinterested, the less likely he is to ask her out.
On a slightly different topic, If he does later ask her out, then it is because he ignored her “elusive mystique,” not because of it. Playing “hard-to-get” only benefits women. Men hate it. You’re not giving us “something to chase,” you’re only frustrating us and toying with our hearts. Please don’t!
If I were an alien unfamiliar in the ways of love, after reading all this I would assume getting a date is like a magic trick that we see someone do once and are stuck wondering how they did it. Don’t over think it. If a guy and a girl are attracted to each other nature will eventually take its course, you won’t be able to keep them apart.
However please, PLEASE, don’t do it via Facebook.