From Michele: “I’m confused. I’m in my early to mid twenties and I’m realizing guys have been paying attention to me this whole time but were and still are being overly subtle. Only way I can pick up is if friends notice or some time later, I realize it. If I have tried to salvage, it becomes awkward on their end. What can I do to help combat this? Am I too oblivious perhaps?”
This sounds like a textbook case of Attraction Obliviousness. And the unfortunate news is that there isn’t an easy cure. Some folks just have trouble picking up on the signs. The subtle physical contact, the laughing a bit too long at things you say, and the random online communication might as well be in an alien language. There are things you can do to make your dating life easier, but before we get to that, let’s talk about why guys keep things vague.
There are a few reasons why guys don’t just come out and tell someone they’ve got feelings. But the most common reason is that guys don’t want to be rejected any more than ladies do. Regardless of how tough a guy’s exterior is, getting shot down by someone he has a crush on is going to hurt him. So an average guy with an average fear of rejection isn’t likely to make his intentions crystal clear if he’s unsure if the object of his affection feels the same way. Given that, you can’t be upset with most guys about how obvious (or vague) their flirting is. They are trying to wander around in the dark just like you.
With that said, here’s what you can do to help yourself. Just as they’re trying to give signals, you need to give some signals too. What do you do when you like a guy? How do you flirt? Are you be obvious or not obvious? Do a bit of self-assessment on how you let folks know how you feel. Perhaps if you’re a bit clearer with what you want around a guy you like, he might be a bit clearer as well.
Also, be prepared to make the first move yourself. There’s no reason for you to wait and try to read signals if you don’t want to. If you like a guy, ask him out and do it clearly. See what happens to be the pursuer instead of the pursued. It’s 2017 and you don’t need anyone’s permission to proactively get what you want.
Plenty of folks out there are as oblivious as you, and most of them are able to navigate the wilderness eventually. I’m sure you’ll do the same.