As a guy in his 20s who had to navigate through the minefield that is dating, it wasn’t easy trying to figure out what every little action or gesture from my date meant.
Was that hair flip telling me to kiss her? Did she wink at me or was she just blinking? Did she mean ‘go away’ when she said ‘go away?’
But for many poor blokes in a massive new thread over at Reddit, they had the unfortunate scenario of being at receiving end what appeared to be sure-fire hints from a girl, only to be rebuffed and told it actually wasn’t a hint.
It’s bad enough when you miss a hint from someone you’re into, but it’s just cringe central when your instincts are wrong and you act on something that’s totally not the signal you thought it was.
Some guys had reasonable explanations as to how they managed to mistake something to be a hint:
‘Her wink was a disorder.‘
‘I found her in my room in my bed in her underwear at a party at my place in college. Turns out she was just getting dressed.‘
‘At a cruise ship. A girl asked me to come with her to her room so she could ‘change shoes.’ On the way to her room I got a semi and softened like 3 times, thinking it was an obvious flirt. Nope, she just wanted to switch into more comfortable shoes, and felt she needed company on the way.‘
Some stories were kind of understandable:
‘Moved to a new town for a job and didn’t really know anyone. I got a haircut and the hairdresser seemed to be flirting with me, and ended up giving me her number. The next day she asks if I want to come over to her place. I’m like, hell yes. I get there and there’s like three other people with her, and it turns out she was hosting a Mormon Bible study or something and was basically trying to convert me to Mormonism.‘
‘I asked a coworker out and she said “yes.” I thought that was a good hint. Next day she called me and said she only accepted it because I caught her by surprise and she didn’t know what to say, but she wasn’t interested in going on a date with me.‘
And then there are anecdotes that are an exercise in Olympic-level mental gymnastics and you just feel sorry for the poor bloke:
‘Friend from high school and I were hanging out. After talking for a bit, she leaned over and kissed me, and for the next hour we made out with her stroking my d*** through my pants. Nothing further happened though. Next time I saw her (a couple days later) she was talking about her new boyfriend (I thought she was playfully referring to me) and then acted completely surprised when I went in for a kiss stating ‘I just told you about my boyfriend.’‘
‘I asked a girl to go ice skating with me for New Years eve. She excitedly said, ‘I’d love to!’ A few days out I asked her when I should pick her up. She seemed confused and said that ‘I’d love to!’ doesn’t mean ‘yes.”
‘She was sending me nude pics. When I made a move she acted all surprised and said it wasn’t like that.’
As with literally anything on the internet, we can take these stories with a grain of salt – and also enjoy the flip side with this thread of incredibly obvious hints that were, in fact, really obvious hints.
So it seems that despite thousands of years of male-female interaction, men apparently are no closer to figuring out how the whole dating thing works in 2018 than they were when communication consisted of Donkey Kong-esque grunts.