A French woman and personal life coach's outlook on self-confidence, communication, and relationships. How to gain and manage them to get what and who you deserve.

Imagine you have a soft spot (or more) for one of your friends or any woman you know pretty well and share enough time and/or activities with. Women are intuitive and can often tell, or at least suspect it. Unfortunately, imagine she doesn’t reciprocate. Yet she wouldn’t want to lose you as a friend.

And, additionally :

Thank you very much for your contribution!
This question is often asked to me, so any comment from you is VERY welcome. :)

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Comments on: "Guys, we need your help!" (9)

  1. Michael said:

    It was difficult for me to choose an answer to the first question. If I don’t receive some kind of encouragement, I would never go beyond flirting. So, as long as she doesn’t encourage me along the way, there really isn’t a problem. I’d never make the first move. So I guess not encouraging me is discouraging me. Thus I chose the 4th option.

    This has happened with a female friend and me many times through my life. If I go beyond whatever is her line of what she’s comfortable with, I want her to talk with me honestly. So the second answer is also true for me.

    My problem with the first answer is that she might not be accurate in her perceptions of me, so why talk about it – unless she really wants to for some reason? I have soft spots for a lot of women, but I never intend to do any more than flirt with her a little – which I do with a lot of women.

    If however, she wants to make love with me and not get involved in an ongoing romantic relationship, I want her to tell me honestly what she wants beforehand. Think that doesn’t happen with women? My experience shows me otherwise.

    Conclusion, talk about it when and if necessary, but not before. When is it necessary? When either of you proposes sex. Then talk about it honestly. Until there’s a proposal of sex on the deck, no talking is necessary (for me, at least). Until that proposal is there, we don’t know that it will ever happen, no matter how lovingly I feel toward her.

    Is that thoroughly confusing?

    • Dot Rose said:

      Yes, but what is encouraging and what is not? That is the question and the root of many misunderstandings, IMO. Because, imagine anybody who’s into anybody else, well, he could see signs where there are none, or no significant ones. It may just be that the women, for instance, just means to be friendly. A smile or a hug can easily be misunterpreted, don’t you think?
      Many women may mistake flirting for hitting on them too… And they may feel uncomfortable if they don’t reciprocate. Of course, they could not flirt back. Sometimes though, it is not enough, if this is the way you usually interact with women, as you seem to say. They may read more in your behavior than what there is actually to read, see what I mean?

      Plus relationships don’t boil down to sex, Michael! Some shy or not that confident men would not flirt that straightforwardly, yet women can well feel they’re trying to get closer, their attitude has changed, little things which make them think (right or wrong) he’s romantically attracted, yet not daring enough to make the first move for lack of encouragement most of the time. So, of course, no woman in her right mind will encourage a man she’s not interested in, yet what she can perceive from him makes her feel uncomfortable, since the man’s behavior is equivocal, or so they think. When you’re only interested in him as a friend and you can “feel” he would like more, as long as things are not clearly said, both navigate in an in-between zone. You feel you’ve lost that clear unequivocal friendship.

      That’s why I asked the question. Honestly, I believe most women would like to feel free to bring up the topic and set things clear. But, for fear of hurting the man’s ego, or of losing a friend, they don’t. They would put a distance instead. A shame, when it could be all based on misunderstandings, don’t you think?

  2. Michael said:

    I’m not sure I agree with what I just wrote. ;-)

  3. Michael said:

    Yes, there can be confusion about what is encouragement. Smiles, friendly hugs, friendly kisses, friendly touching, etc. are NOT encouragement.

    I take really close, long hugs as encouragement. However, I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    I take touching my inner thigh for more than a moment as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    I take touching my butt as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    I take kissing with tongue as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    I take talking about our future together as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    I take eagerness (not just desire) to be together on certain occasions (holidays, birthdays, etc.) as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    There’s a certain tone of voice that I take as encouragement. I’ve been wrong about that on occasion.

    There are a lot of things women do that I take as encouragement that I’m not thinking of mentioning right now.

    Oh, leaning against me or holding my hand. I’ve been wrong about those on occasion.

    Just yesterday I was running lines with an actress who was auditioning for a role. The director gave her the instruction to seduce me with her lines. Damn, it felt like she was coming on to me, and I responded in kind. But it was only acting.

    It’s such a confusing issue.

    Yes, I acknowledge that some women take my flirting as coming on to them. But if it’s more than flirting, I’d be including some of the kinds of behavior I’ve mentioned above.

    OK, I get it. Here’s the bottom line for me. If either person is confused about what’s going on, then talk about it openly. If no confusion, no need to talk about it.

    I have a woman friend who lives all the way across the U.S. from me and who lives with her boyfriend. She and I flirt with each other outrageously. We both know that’s all it is, and we both feel comfortable with it. No problem.

    How’s that, Dot?

    • Dot Rose said:

      I do agree with you, Michael. If you feel some sort of confusion, be straightforward and clearly ask questions and make your point. Many are afraid to do it for various reasons and, unfortunately, this often leads to lost friendhsips which could have been otherwise preserved. A shame, isn’t it? I can see that often. That’s why I wanted to take that little poll. Because women often have a hard time believing what men would rather hear is the truth, should it match their expectations or not. Women have been repeated so often they should take care of the male ego, blablabla, that they don’t always know how to bring the topic up. :/

      I think people (men and women) send mixed messages because either there not quite sure of what they want (yet?). Would they go for a relationship or not and what kind of relationship? Or they may want to test their power of seduction at the other’s expense, because they need to at a given time, they lack self-confidence, etc… Not everybody unfortunately is self-aware. :/ It is not always on purpose and even, sometimes if not most of the time, they don’t even realize what they’re sending out.
      So to give a proper answer, we would have to consider each case in particular. I don’t think there is a way to generalize and not mistake. When, given a specific situation, chronology and being able to get an accurate enough insight about those people, I could almost always tell right away wether they’re playing or totally lost.

      Bottom line: I’m not so sure the misunderstandings come from a difference between men and women, I would tend to think it comes more from a lack of self-awareness, most of the time.

      At any rate, I would say that mixed messages are seldom a good omen for the future. When somebody is REALLY into you, it shows. When you wonder, you’re probably right to wonder because either the person is not sure of what (s)he wants or (s)he has personal issues to work on. So better move on 99% of the time, unless you seek complications, IMO.

    • Dot Rose said:

      I do agree with you, Michael. If you feel some sort of confusion, be straightforward and clearly ask questions and make your point. Many are afraid to do it for various reasons and, unfortunately, this often leads to lost friendhsips which could have been otherwise preserved. A shame, isn’t it? I can see that often. That’s why I wanted to take that little poll. Because women often have a hard time believing what men would rather hear is the truth, should it match their expectations or not. Women have been repeated so often they should take care of the male ego, blablabla, that they don’t always know how to bring the topic up. :/

      I think people (men and women) send mixed messages because either there not quite sure of what they want (yet?). Would they go for a relationship or not and what kind of relationship? Or they may want to test their power of seduction at the other’s expense, because they need to at a given time, they lack self-confidence, etc… Not everybody unfortunately is self-aware. :/ It is not always on purpose and even, sometimes if not most of the time, they don’t even realize what they’re sending out.
      So to give a proper answer, we would have to consider each case in particular. I don’t think there is a way to generalize and not mistake. When, given a specific situation, chronology and being able to get an accurate enough insight about those people, I could almost always tell right away wether they’re playing or totally lost.

      Bottom line: I’m not so sure the misunderstandings come from a difference between men and women, I would tend to think it comes more from a lack of self-awareness, most of the time.

      At any rate, I would say that mixed messages are seldom a good omen for the future. When somebody is REALLY into you, it shows. When you wonder, you’re probably right to wonder because either the person is not sure of what (s)he wants or (s)he has personal issues to work on. So better move on 99% of the time, unless you seek complications, IMO.

  4. Michael said:

    Also you said that relationships don’t boil down to sex. Yes, I agree. However, to me, the difference between a very close friendship and a romantic or sexual relationship is the sex. And also, to me, there is no such thing as a romantic relationship without sex or the promise of it. So it’s the sexual buzz that means there is the potential of a romantic relationship – or at least of a fwb (friends with benefits) relationship. Until there is sexual buzz, we’re just friends – IMO. That may be a big difference between me (and a lot of men) and some women.

    Related to that – there’s talk about how long people want to date before they have sex. Refer to what I said in the previous paragraph. If I go out with a woman who says she wants to wait 6 months (for example), then IMO, we’re just friends until she’s ready to start moving toward sex. “Moving toward sex” means (to me) that the sexual buzz is there and that we’ll act on it within the coming month (and that’s a long time).

    What do I mean by “sexual buzz”? I mean that we’re feeling the feelings and beginning to escalate the behavior.

    You want me to be honest, don’t you?

    • Dot Rose said:

      I share your opinion. Yet things are not that simple. Many people say they’d rather start by friendship first, see how it develops, become close and only then eventually turn it into a romantic relationship or not. Not many are able to do that though. I have to generalize here and I don’t like it, but men can be sex driven and women fall into the romantic dream too quickly when they’re attracted to someone (the opposite may be true, it is not the most common though) and skip the firenship stage in the process.
      So, while I agree friendship first is the best and more fulfilling way, according to me, it may require quite a bit of work from some to be able to follow this way.
      On the other hand, you can be close to someone you’re not physically attracted to. If there is no attraction on either side whatsoever, wonderful ! If attraction is there on both side, there is hope. Things become more complicated when one is physically attracted and the other is not. This is why I asked the question.

      And, personally, I find it somewhat silly to set dead lines beforehand, like you mentioned “I want to wait for 6 months before having sex”. What does it mean? You should have sex when both feel ready for it. Period. So the 6 months or whatever thing looks to me like another way to protect you from yourself or from the other person or from both, which, you will hopefully admit, is not a great start for a relationship. :/

      I am fully aware my answer is definitely uncomplete. Unfortunately, it would take pages to answer extensively to such a question, don’t you think?

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