How can I tell when a woman is interested?

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John Thomas

How can I tell when a woman is interested?

Jan 06, 2006 |John Thomas

I don't read social cues very well and have never been able to. How can I tell when a woman is interested? And how do I pursue her without being overly aggressive?

Reading the articles [in Boundless], I get the impression that I need to be more assertive and aggressive. For example, I was recently talking to a female friend, and she was telling me about the guy she's dating. I flat out told her: "I will not compete. I would rather let you have your fun and figure out for yourself whether this guy is the one for you, even if my heart is breaking every time you mention his name."


While your non-competition position probably seems to you like the high road because you are showing her you value her freedom (which is commendable), it will likely be interpreted as passive and disappointing if she's interested in you. You run the risk of communicating to her that she's not worth the effort, and you certainly don't want to communicate that.

My first piece of relationship advice I give to every person is this: Before you do anything, pray about it. I don't mean to be trite — far from it. Taking time to think and pray and seek God's wisdom on a relationship does wonders for solving problems. You've got to get your head on straight before you dive into something that will have significant impact in peoples' lives. Ask God to help you think clearly about it. After that, if you are at peace about moving forward, then here's what I suggest.

First of all, your feelings for her are only going to grow stronger the more time you spend with her. With that in mind, if she's in an exclusive, serious dating relationship with someone else, it's wrong for you to put yourself in a place where she is sharing with you information about her relationship with the other guy when she assumes that you're an objective third party. (By the way, that also might be a signal from her that she's content where she is.) Nevertheless, it's not fair to her for you to be hanging out with her and harboring romantic feelings for her while she (we assume) grows deeper in another relationship. In marriage that would be emotional adultery at least. If, on the other hand, her relationship with the other guy is not serious, then all the better for you. But either way, it's time to take action.

Sit down with her, face-to-face, and tell her that out of fairness to everyone (her, him and you) she needs to know that you're beginning to have stronger feelings for her than just friendship and that it's becoming more difficult to act otherwise. Make sure she knows that you're not just acting on a whim but that you've thought about it for a long time. Tell her what you think about her, how you feel about her. Then give her some time to think it through.

If she's not open to dating anyone else right now, you tell her how hard that is to hear, but you understand, and that the wise thing is for the two of you to see less of each other. Tell her if anything changes, you want to be the first to know.

On the other hand, if she's open to the idea of you and her, then move ahead and by all means put forth the effort to be the greatest man in her life. Don't wait for her to get around to you; jump up to the front of the line. When I was courting my wife, she didn't want to be exclusive with me, so I did my best to be the first in line for every dating opportunity she had. That's how much she meant to me, and it spoke volumes to her.

Ask any woman which type of man she prefers: one who appropriately and respectfully moves on his feelings or one who sits on the sidelines afraid of negative outcomes. Yes, there is a lot at risk when you take action. But don't fear the heartbreak that could happen so much that you never know the beauty of what might have been.


Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.


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