Today’s short post is a response to a compound question asked by April (otherwise known as peacefulwife) over at Peaceful Single Girl:
What is it that women can do to signal interest, and what is it that women are doing to prevent signaling interest?
The question, asked in comment thread of this post, was in response to the following comment by myself:
It really isn’t true that men initiate first, or are supposed to initiate first. Women do through signalling a willingness to be approached by a man, or men. And this is where a lot of women, Christian women especially, fail. They send out the wrong signals, and instead of demonstrating that they are willing to be approached, indicate that they want nothing to do with the Christian men around them.
I will probably expand on what I raised in my comment at some later point, but today I will focus on the two questions which April asks. Fortunately, they lend themselves well to easy organization.
The key thing for a woman to understand is that she needs to maintain a positive signal-to-noise ratio. Life is full of distractions, or noise, that will interfere with a man’s ability to detect a woman’s interest in him. The more distractions, the more powerful her signal will have to be. Which translates into her needing to be more overt in making her feelings clear.
Additionally, women face several problems when it comes to signaling interest. The first is that it can be difficult to determine how much noise there is. What may be distracting to a man may not phase a woman. Another problem is that some men don’t like it when a woman is too overt. Myself, I don’t have a problem with this, but for some guys this seems to be a real bother or turn-off. Lastly, men and women communicate in very different ways, so a man may completely miss what a woman thinks is obvious.
Given all of this, I suggest a strategy of slowly ratcheting up signaling interest to a man. So, what ways can a woman signal her interest? Here are a few that I have thought of:
1) Smile. Smile a lot. This may seem simple, and it is. But smiling is a good way of showing a man that you don’t mind his presence.
2) Compliment him. Find something you like about him and let him know.
3) Ask him what his favorite color is, or if he likes a particular color pattern. Then, wear a dress or outfit with those colors or that pattern to an event that you know he will be present at.
4) Serve him. When you are at a dinner or other event where food will be served, ask him if if you can bring him anything.
5) Flirt. That’s right, flirt. There is nothing wrong with some light-flirting and teasing with a man. It is one of the surest ways to express interest.
Now to address the second question. What things should a woman avoid which interfere with her signaling interest to a man? Some thoughts:
A) A cold demeanor. A woman who isn’t pleasant and shows no warmth will come across as uninterested in a man. Smile and have a welcoming expression on your face. Make it clear that talking with you won’t be a painful experience for a man.
B) Rigid body language. A lot of our communication isn’t in what we say, but how we say it. If your body language is closed and rigid, you are sending a message that you don’t want to be approached. Relax and let your motions flow. Don’t give the appearance of not wanting to be there.
C) Nuclear rejections. If you are approached by a man who doesn’t interest you, don’t blow up on him. Reject him politely and quietly. Don’t make a scene. And don’t gossip or talk about it. Your goal is to make it so that men don’t see approaching you as a costly endeavor. This way, any man you are signalling will think to himself that even if he is wrong about your feelings, he won’t regret approaching you.
Those are a few ideas that I have to answer the peacefulwife’s question. As I think of more I will update the post. In the meantime, I invite my readers to offer their own thoughts on what women should and shouldn’t do to help signal their interest.