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When a Man Mistakes Your Friendliness for Flirting

If you’re attractive and outgoing, you might not find it a challenge to get a man’s attention. Too much of a good thing? Maybe!

The other day I wrote about the difference between being merely friendly and actually creating chemistry when you meet a man you find interesting. Being able to subtly inspire that chemistry whenever you want can have a powerful and positive effect on your dating life.

But what about when you DON’T want that attention from a man? How can you politely send him on his way so you can talk to the guy across the room you really do want to meet? How can you enjoy a fun, quick conversation with someone and then move on with your evening?

Deborah and her friend Ellenmary sent me this fantastic question on Facebook:

We’re hoping for your take on how we, as single women, can go out and enjoy a nice conversation with a single stranger without him thinking we are interested in him romantically. My friend and I are wing-gals for each other, we are nice people & we talk to strangers. Even when we act fun and sarcastic, men think we are interested in dating them – even married ones!!! We’re looking for insight into what we are doing wrong. Perhaps someone like myself shouldn’t seem interested in what the person is saying, actually care to listen…? But then, that wouldn’t be me.

Great question, and a tough one! We’ve all been in the uncomfortable position of being out with our friends and getting stuck talking to men who just can’t get the hint, or who happen to read more into the situation than you intend.

You already know I’m a big fan of being attractive, polite and friendly to everyone around you. You’re not doing anything wrong, ladies. Certainly being interested in people is a good thing, so don’t go changing! Here are a few things to keep in mind, however, the next time you’re out with your wing-gals.

1. Be friendly, but brief.

I would never advise you to be half as kind and lovely, but you can definitely spend half the time with someone. Being rude is never an option unless a man is inappropriate. Your exit strategy should begin with a compliment: “Mike, it’s been great talking to you and very nice to meet you. My friends and I need to get going/get back to our conversation. Have a lovely night.” Smile, be sweet and get moving!

2. Talk is cheap.

Single and married men alike enjoy going out, right? So what are the married men who are there to support their single buddies supposed to do? Not talk to anyone? I’m married and I still like to engage and meet new people. Be sure you’re not taking conversation and innocent flirtation from men as something far more serious. Are they just enjoying the moment? If so, what’s the harm in a man thinking you’re fabulous?

3. Sometimes You Simply Have to Say No.

Just because men are flocking around you and your girlfriends (there are worse problems in life, such as no one approaching you) that doesn’t mean you have to entertain them, or that you can’t be direct and honest with someone. You’re not out to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, but you can’t necessarily avoid it either, because come on — you can’t waste an entire night talking to married men, or to men you have no interest in! You have to take care of yourself and your needs. And in some cases, that will require being very direct with someone who just isn’t getting it.

Learn how to speak up, and say exactly what you mean. It takes practice! Be firm yet polite and keep your head and hands still when you speak. Then simply maintain a steady gaze, rueful smile and a pleasant silence, to allow your words a little time to sink in. Don’t feel you have to sooth his feelings. We’re all human, after all, and rejection is part of life. Most men will absorb your words and make a graceful exit at that point.

Make it Work for You

Life is all about connection, and being in the moment as much as possible. Avoid being the woman who chooses to connect and talk with only the men she’s interested in. You’re cheating yourself if you do that. Worried that the guy you want to meet might lose interest since you’re talking to someone else at a party? Trust me, if he’s interested, he’ll wait his turn. Besides, nothing is more attractive to a quality man than a woman who is kind and social wherever she goes!

Deborah, Ellenmary and all of you who manage to be bright and shining beacons with your fun and friendly ways, keep it up! You have so much to gain. And enjoy every moment of it. You’re doing it right!

Have any great stories about how you managed to extricate yourself from someone who was too clingy in a social situation? Would love your take on this! Please share in the comments!

Much love,

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