So, here’s the thing. I’m a friendly, nice, polite person. I say hi to people of all genders, positions, and whatnot. I like to be nice. This, unfortunately, seems to be often mistaken for flirtation. Because, clearly, you cannot just say hi to man without wanting him to take you to dinner or drop his pants. I mean, right?
*face palm* Here’s the other thing: subtle clues are, actually, very important. If someone is walking very quickly, not making eye contact, and is obviously busy – it’s generally best not to deter that person. It’s generally wise to assume that person is busy or uncomfortable—or both.
Eye contact, or directly looking in a person’s direction, is a pretty strong signal. If that signal is absent? That is also a strong signal. If you strike up a conversation, and I’m only give you one word answers – this is a sign that I reallllly don’t want to be talking. If I keep WALKING as you are talking, this is not a subtle hint to pursue me, even if you genuinely DO want to discuss the weather pattern and if it will rain later on.
Additionally, if I don’t look in your direction when I walk past you, I’m deliberately doing that. If I say hi to you and three other people, I’m just being a nice person. This is not an invitation to inquire about my shoe size, living arrangement, and if I’m “seeing anyone special.” You know the reason that you don’t know any of that? We are not friends. When you ask me fifty entirely personal questions, it makes me very uncomfortable. It makes me wonder if you’re secretly digging a dirt pit in your basement, complete with a nice Chianti. If you’ll notice, I did not ask YOU if you lived alone, keep your doors locked at night, or if you are attached. For one thing, my dating life is not your business. It’s not up for grabs. And for another, asking that is just CREEPY. And I do not care if you’re secretly involved with a real doll named Jane who lives in your closet. In fact, I’d much prefer NOT to know anything like that.
The truth is, darling, that if I AM flirting with someone? He will, without a shadow of a DOUBT, know it. He will also notice that I am not edging away as he is talking, and I’m probably closing the gap between and finding a reason to touch his arm. When I’m maintaining separate dance spaces, this is not a peacock mating ritual. I’m not trying to see if you can cleverly quip about the usually long day. I’m trying to flee in the nicest way possible, because I don’t want to be an asshole. But if you keep pushing me, I’m not going to be nice forever.
The Girl Who is NOT Flirting With You