This article is lesson 4 of 6 in our Six Frustrations series.
It’s happened to all of us.
You’re in the middle of a conversation with a woman and suddenly you think “I wonder if she’s attracted to me? Is she flirting?” She’s smiling, and the conversation is going well, but how can you be sure? You decide to hold off on making a strong move, and wait to see if she gives a clear signal.
It never comes.
As the evening ends and conversations draw to a close you feel a pang of regret for possibly missing an opportunity. The conversation plays over in your head as you dissect every word searching for a clue that would communicate her attraction to you. Nothing sticks out. Maybe it was just a friendly conversation after all.
Or maybe it wasn’t.
Let’s be honest, as men, picking up on subtle signals is not our strong suit. It’s the smoking gun of many a failed relationship, and the reason we often frustratingly find ourselves in the “friend zone”. So it should come as no surprise that when we asked our readers for their top frustrations with women, this problem came in at #4:
How can you tell if a woman is attracted to you and how do you read her signals?
Before we talk about signals, we first have to discuss how attraction differs between men and women.
One of our biggest problems as men is that we assume attraction works the same with women as it does with us. That is, if we find someone attractive, then we’re attracted to them and it’s a done deal. But that’s not really the case with women. Let me explain with an example.
Let’s say you’re in a bar, and across the bar you see a gorgeous woman. She has a perfect smile, a beautiful figure and is incredibly sexy. She looks over at you and smiles seductively.
At what point do you make the decision of whether you would sleep with her given the opportunity?
If you’re like most guys, you’re already 100% go on this one.
But let’s make things more interesting.
Let’s say you walk up to her and begin a conversation. You quickly realize you have nothing in common, and she’s actually incredibly boring. She’s still flirting with you though, and is hinting to leave the bar with you. Do you?
Again, be honest.
If you’re one of the rare men who value personality more than looks when it comes to going home with someone, good on you, but you may be surprised to find that if you give this same example to a room full of men you will find yourself in a very small minority. If you had no problem admitting you would go home with the beautiful boring woman congratulations on being a man; we can’t help the way we’re built.
Let’s get to the interesting part of this example though. What do you think would happen if the roles were reversed?
A woman is in a bar and sees an incredibly handsome man who notices her and smiles. He looks like a sexier version of Ryan Gosling and is exactly her type. He walks over and introduces himself. They have a conversation and she quickly realizes that he’s nothing like what she thought: not at all interesting, awkward and boring to talk to. He’s still interested in her though, and is hinting to get her number and possibly go somewhere else.
Do you think she’s interested in taking things further with him?
The answer in most cases is: No. For women, attraction is a lot more than looks, and we went over how this works in our last article on attraction. For now though, understand that a woman’s attraction to you may rise or fall throughout the conversation.
The take-away from this example is that for men attraction is a switch: it’s on or it’s off.
And for women attraction is a dance: They have to feel the music, there’s a series of steps and if there’s too many miss-steps, the whole thing falls apart.
So understanding her signals becomes important when you realize that just because she gave you an opportunity to “make a move” earlier and you missed it, doesn’t mean the opening is still there. The dance may have ended.
How do you know when to make a move though? Sure it’s been driven into us from a young age that it’s the man’s job to lead, but how do you we know if we’re leading at the appropriate time, and it’s mutual? Let’s get into that.
If I asked you how to tell if a woman likes you, you would probably give me a list of things you think women do when they like someone that is based on popular culture, the media, and conjecture. Let’s make a list:
OK great. That’s not a bad list, and they’re certainly true in that women will do some of these things when they like someone. The issue here is that most of the time, they won’t do these until they REALLY like you, and by that point, for most guys, it’s already obvious.
Here’s an easy trick to be able to tell right away if a woman you’re speaking to likes you. Now again, when I say “Likes” I don’t necessarily mean she’s ready to jump your bones, simply that she’s “ready to follow your lead” so to speak.
Look at where her shoulders are facing.
Seriously. You can learn a lot about how a woman is feeling about you by looking at her shoulders. For instance:
Is she facing away, or “giving you the shoulder”? That’s a pretty strong indication that she isn’t really into you, and possibly annoyed by you. Women will do this to guys they don’t know and don’t like. This is usually followed by them turning their back or walking away. This is a woman’s default position for men who come in with lower value, so needy guys hitting on her awkwardly or other low value behaviour. It’s not a deal-killer since you can still win them over but if you’re speaking for a bit and she’s still maintaining this position, it means she’s not interested. Especially if there's no eye contact. Wish her a good night and exit gracefully. She may be more open later, but it's best to move on.
Is she half facing you? Or giving a 45 degree angle? This means she’s intrigued. You haven’t won her over yet, but she’s waiting to see more. This is a woman’s default position when meeting men who come in with an average amount of “value”: guys they’re curious about but not necessarily sold on. Get her to crack a smile or two, or do anything else on the above list we made, and she’ll quickly turn to face you full on.
Which brings us to...
Is she facing you full on? Congratulations, you have her full attention and she’s interested in you. Again, she may not be ready to leave with you, but she’s certainly paying attention to what you’re saying. From here it’s about not making any miss-steps. If you’re approaching women and they’re automatically facing you full on it means you’re making a very strong impression.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “She facing me!? That’s it!!? That’s the big clue?” Well….yes. There’s more to it but understand that women are subtle. They do not telegraph their interest like men do, and what’s more they expect you to be conscious of that. What this means is that if she shows interest in you with subtlety, and you don’t make a move, she loses interest. So, here’s an important rule when it comes to when you should make moves with women:
Women don’t give too many obvious green lights. So if you wait for them, you will likely be waiting in vain. They'll pretty much never say "Hey you can kiss me now" or "would you like to take me home to have sex now?" as that's really bad game from a female perspective and makes them seem desperate.
Now, this doesn't mean "Oh she isn't telling me to leave, I should try to kiss her now." though. A "move" in this case, would be something simple like continuing the conversation, flirting lightly with touch, or even straight up asking for her number if you're feeling confident. As she starts reciprocating the flirting and touching then you can move on to bigger moves like kissing and moving the conversation somewhere else.
If you could magically find out how many women in your lifetime have been attracted to you, and gave subtle signals that you were oblivious to, you would probably kill yourself.
Red lights are quite obvious by the way, back turns, smiling politely while shifting away from you, even straight up telling you to leave: they are rarely subtle.
So how else can you tell if a woman likes you? The list we made wasn’t bad, but here’s what you should really be paying attention to:
1. Does she ask you questions?
This one may seem obvious but one thing guys may not realize is that this includes ANY question. Even ones that sound flippant or confrontational. For instance, “Are you hitting on me?” is actually still communicating interest on her part. Think of it this way, if you’re an attractive woman an easy way to separate confident guys from weaker ones is to cut through the bullshit, ask tough questions and see how they respond.
Women, for the most part, want a guy who can handle himself in tough situations. What better way to test for that then putting you through one on the spot. By the way, a correct answer to that question may be something like “Yeah I am. You’re cute and I wanted to talk to you.” said with confidence and maybe a shit-eating grin.
2. Does she touch you?
This is about as green as lights come with women. If she touches you, even a teasing push or poke. She likes you.
3. Does she hold eye contact?
It’s much easier to ignore someone you don’t like than to engage them. Unless they’re being incredibly polite, women won’t hold eye contact with someone they do not like.
4. Is she smiling/laughing?
She doesn’t have to have a smile plastered on her face the entire conversation for this to count, but the emotion should be a constant positive.
If you notice one or more of these, then you’re golden and guess what? She likes you.
So next time you’re having a conversation with a woman, pay attention. Stop looking for those big green lights because they won’t come. Watch her shoulders, look at her eyes, smile warmly, is she smiling too? Then it’s time to stop stalling and make a move.
If you'd like to learn more about how to get women to start giving you these signals, we've just released a free ebook entitled "Be The Man She Wants" which goes over exactly how to do that. You can download that for free right here.
Until next time,
For more on the six most common frustrations that men face in dating, check out our article on the Six Frustrations of the Single Man. Or click to download our NEW ebook "Be The Man She Wants" by Chris Shepherd.