we’re back with the fifth installment of the monthly advice column. this one goes out to all the shy girls hiding their feelings because they’re scared. we talk about how flirting is actually just confrontation, and how you kinda just have to ask for what you want. i also brought in expert sharer of feelings, Aspiring MILF, to weigh in on the topic.
stay hot 🥵
I have the disease where I never want to be the one to pursue the guy (so juvenile, I know). It gets me into the kind of situationship where I feel insecure about showing interest/don't know how interested the guy is, so I pull back, and then he thinks I'm not interested in him, and then it just ends. It's a vicious cycle!
I know this avoidant behavior is rooted in me having put effort into relationships only for them to fizzle out. Tbh, I'm not really afraid of rejection–I'm afraid of feeling dumb. To add to the mix, I'm very non-confrontational. Why do I feel like asking someone what their intentions are/what they're looking for would be a put off? But why should I be the one who asks what someone's intentions are? Why can't they ask me! Maybe they're thinking the same thing? Help me, Randa!
We’ve all been there. Showing interest in someone we like is one of the most vulnerable things we do. Being vulnerable is scary.
You give a lot of reasons for why you don’t pursue a guy. You say that it’s juvenile, you’re non-confrontational, your past efforts haven’t worked, you’re afraid of feeling dumb, and that indicating interest might put him off. Let’s unpack all this.
The idea that guys should be the first to indicate interest is one that was planted in our heads probably by Disney or something. And now we’re in this equal rights era where we’re supposed to subvert gender norms, which I think is what you’re referencing when you call your behavior juvenile. In reality, indicating interest is a delicate little dance of indirect communication, otherwise known as flirting. Some people, irrespective of gender, are better at this dance than others. You could say flirting is the fun version of confrontation.
It sounds like you’ve considered your fear of confrontation and that you might be rejected, but you’re still afraid of feeling dumb. That if he doesn’t want to date you, it might mean something bigger about your lack of adeptness and ability to understand social cues. To this, I ask:
Sure, in a perfect world, we’d have no confusion around whether someone were interested in us. But if you ask a few couples, you’ll find plenty of stories of how one of them wasn’t sure if the other liked them back. It’s a tale as old as time. Getting rejected doesn’t mean you’re dumb and have bad social skills. Everyone goes through this confusion at one point or another.
I asked a bunch of hot singles if they’d ever been the first to make a move or say they wanted more. My favorite response came from Aspiring MILF:
“I literally have zero self control with these things so if I like someone it’s almost impossible for me to be subtle about it. Obviously that results in me pursuing guys first relatively often, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, but if it wasn’t successful it probably never would have been so that’s just life.”
Clearly, Aspiring MILF is not shy. And she understands that putting yourself out there doesn’t guarantee success. The most important part of her quote is the last bit so I’m going to repeat it: if it wasn’t successful it probably never would have been.
You’re not going to put him off by asking about his intentions. If a guy likes you and is interested in something more, he’ll be relieved you want the same thing. If not, then now you know. Waiting longer won’t change his mind, but it will waste your emotional energy that you could spend on literally anything else. Why do you have to be the one to ask? Because you’re the one who wants it.