How do you let a guy know you like him without coming on too strong?
I was raised with these ideas drummed into me:
I wasn’t sure if it was wrong to smile at a guy I liked, make eye contact with him, or talk to him. Was I supposed to ignore him and hope that somehow he would notice me?
The fuzzy line between friendly and flirty left me confused, guilty, and unable to relate to guys in a healthy way.
I’m relieved to say I don’t think like this anymore!
The belief that men should do the initiating often leaves women feeling helpless within their relationships and sitting around, waiting for their man to “appear” and start a relationship with them.
And it often doesn’t happen.
The idea of “only men can initiate” is a rule that precludes relationship. It leaves girls confused and guilty and hinders the expression of true Christian friendliness.
The Bible isn’t clear on who should initiate a relationship.
It tells of men seeking and choosing wives for themselves, of women initiating a relationship (Ruth with Boaz), parents seeking wives for their sons, and even servants initiating (Isaac’s story with Rebecca).
Each story is different, but the underlying principle is that men and women need to be in tune with God’s will for their lives and seeking His direction.
One of the ideas that prevents girls from initiating is that initiating equals leading. But they are not the same.
Ruth initiated the relationship with Boaz. She let him know she needed a husband but then stepped back while he took the lead and pursued marriage with her.
She did not manage and control his every move or each stage of the relationship. She did not arrange for the marriage herself.
She alerted him to her interest and then allowed him to lead.
Simply put, be inviting and send the right signals.
A guy needs to know you are receptive to his attentions. He needs some encouragement to pursue you.
Here’s how to do this:
If you talk to him more, he will get the idea that you are interested. Begin a conversation or keep one going when a guy approaches you. Be approachable and responsive. Guys don’t generally do small talk with each other. The only type of small talk guys like is with a girl they are interested in.
Kristy noticed that Mitch was interested in photography – something she was also into – so she chatted to him about it. When she saw him taking photo’s of the sunset in a field she sent him a casual message telling him he better take some amazing photos. This sparked his interest in her, and so their relationship began.
Admiration is a breath of fresh air for a guy. It speaks of respect and valuing him. But, please, don’t walk up to a guy and blurt out a list of things you admire about him! Look for an opportunity to encourage him and then do it in a casual way.
This makes you approachable and lets him know that you are at least open to friendship with him. Ignoring him and avoiding him is not going to encourage him to approach you.
Invite him to do something with you without calling it a date, or defining the relationship – like joining you on an outing with friends. This is a clear sign that you are interested, but it provides an easy way for a guy to say no without it becoming awkward. This way no one need feel rejected or humiliated.
There are some no-no’s when it comes to the guy you’re interested in:
Don’t hang around making a pest of yourself if the guy is not showing interest. Take his lack of response to your signals as indication that he is not interested, and back off.
This will appear desperate and pushy and put him off. If you’re sending him signals and he’s not responding it’s probably because he’s not interested, not because he’s clueless.
– not looking at him, not talking to him, not giving him any attention. This can cause confusion for a guy and can totally backfire on a girl. The mixed messages you give may make him walk away instead of pursuing you. Guessing games and ambiguity are not what a genuine guy, interested in real relationship, is looking for.
Finding the balance between letting a guy know you’re interested, and not appearing pushy, is difficult. But if you’re sensitive to God’s leading and don’t pursue something that clearly isn’t being led by God’s providence, you won’t appear desperate.
And if he’s not interested? Well, he’s not interested. Let it go.
Has this challenged your thinking of how girls should relate to guys? Has it set you free in any way?