I once met a hot Brazilian girl. We had coffee. She had her face cupped in her palm. She kept looking around the room, and she would audibly sigh as if she was going to die of boredom. I felt like quite the charmer.
The only thing she could've possibly done to express any more boredom would be to get up and walk away. In fact, I thought she would. Most people try to hide their disinterest, in order to be polite. She was the opposite. Or at least, that's what I thought.
Thirty minutes later, after I had been holding the "conversation" all by myself, this date with a stranger was thankfully coming to an end. At least, that's what I thought.
I'm not a glutton for punishment, but I was still a little interested in seeing her again, despite her apparent disinterest. So, for the heck of it, I called her a few days later. The phone rang a few times.
I didn't expect an answer. But then, I heard the word "hello," spiced with her sultry accent.
Then, she agreed to meet again. Huh? OK.
We met at the mall close to my place. We chatted a bit. When I invited her home, she said yes. Back at my place, I started showing her some old photos from a trip. (Yes, real paper photos. I felt so vintage.) Suddenly, she scooted close beside me.
I paused and thought, "This is good." It was an obvious sign. So, I decided to end the show and tell. I leaned in to kiss her, and we ended up having a lot of fun that night.
Whether I misread her extreme boredom the first time or whether she had had a change of heart, the only sign that mattered was that she had agreed to meet up with me again. Her interest was eventually expressed physically, and there couldn't have been a more clear signal that she liked me.
This never would have happened if I had been too concerned about the "signals" she was sending me. Guys are notoriously bad at reading body language. It's easy to see a “signal” that says "yes" and crop out all of the other signals that say "no." On the other extreme, there are guys who wouldn't be able to read a signal if it was written in smoke from an airplane.
Those guys don't see any signals because they have a negative mindset. They always expect the answer to be "no." They miss out on opportunities by expecting the worst. In the end, there's really only one signal that counts if you want to read women: actions.
If a woman gives you her phone number, that's interest. If she answers your text, that's interest. If she agrees to a date, that's interest.
If she actually shows up, that's interest. If she agrees to go home with you, that's interest. If she kisses you back, that's interest. If she's having sex with you, take a guess.
Don't spend your time trying to decipher that moment when she touched her hair, instead of paying attention to her words and actions. The same rule applies when you learn how to approach a woman.
If she gave you all of the right signs – including her phone number – but then didn't respond to your text, don't fret about the signals you thought you read. Her disinterest is obvious.
At each step in the dating process, you'll see how interested she is. Either she follows your lead or she doesn't. That's the biggest indicator of all.
The Great Deception: Flirting
Another reason we guys misread signals is because we put too much weight on the most useless signal of all: flirting.
It feels good when an attractive girl is flirting. We're getting smiles, strong eye contact and maybe physical touches. What else could it possibly be except interest? You think the answer is obvious. But that's dangerous to assume.
The answer is validation.
Women like flirting because they get attention from men. They flirt even if they're not interested.
In the same way men like to be flirted with, women like the attention that is showered upon them when they do it too. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling for both people involved. But it's completely meaningless if you're looking for some sort of signal of interest.
A lot of the time, the women who are really interested will not flirt. They'll be attentive and quiet. This can be because they're intimidated by the guy they're interested in.
It's the same when guys are intimidated by the girls they're interested in. Either way, when it comes down to it, you're going to want to judge her actions – not her "signs" – when it comes to deciding whether she's interested or not.
It's not that signals don't matter. But you need to be more focused on what she does. It will make you a lot less frustrated by all the contradictions.
When you're trying to gauge a woman's interest in the future, remember these tips:
1. Pay attention to actions, not words or signals.
2. A woman who follows your lead is interested.
3. Just because a woman seems apprehensive, that doesn't mean she's not interested. Ask for her number anyway, and see where it goes.
4. Flirting is not a good indicator of interest. It's usually misleading.
5. You're the man: Make a move. Don't overanalyze everything.
6. Read her body language. Is she leaning toward you? Good, you can proceed. Is she leaning away from you? That's not good. Warm things up before you try to go any further.
The most important thing to remember is to have confidence. No one will ever be interested in you if you think you're not worth the time.
Eddy Baller is a dating coach who focuses on personal development for long-term results. For more ways to crush life and dating, sign up for his free newsletter.