Read this before you start flirting with a gal
New rules of flirting!
How to know if she's interested...and when it's time to pull back.
So here are some guidelines:
That women can tell a guy is creepy just by looking at him is a myth perpetuated by “incels” and other “men’s rights” proponents online.
We have no radar for creepiness, which is why I once went on three dates with a man who thought he was a prophet. Creepiness has nothing to do with appearance (although a pencil mustache suggests a certain alienation from civilized society). Michael Shannon, for example, may look like the personification of the dark basement in “The Conjuring,” but he’s still a low-key sex symbol because he’s so polite. Shannon has, in 2018 parlance, “big dick energy.” BDE, the opposite of creepiness, is characterized by quiet confidence.
Creepiness has very little to do with specific behaviors and a whole lot to do with context.
With the exception of criminally creepy behavior, like upskirt photography, very few actions are inherently menacing. While I might be thrilled to get a dick pic from a boyfriend, receiving one from a stranger on Tinder is always unwelcome. And I’d be perfectly comfortable with a guy sitting on my side of the booth on our second date, but it was creepy when a guy once boxed me into a booth on our first date. The trick is knowing where you’re at on the intimacy spectrum. There are circumstances when that’s really straightforward—a 17-year-old girl cannot legally be interested in James Franco, so that’s an easy one—but in most cases you have to pay really close attention.
It’s rare that a woman will tell you when you’re being creepy.
Women are nice to men for the same reason you don’t eat blowfish every day: Each bite might be the one that kills you. I’ve seen a lot of Lifetime original movies, so when a man starts talking to me, looking at me, or standing too close to me, I’m always aware of the chance that he may stalk me relentlessly until I’m forced to move to a remote ranch in Louisiana, where he will find me years later in the embrace of a swole local and go insane with jealousy, killing us both. So instead of explicitly rebuffing a man’s creeping, I try to passively deflect it. Nicely.
But there are degrees of niceness.
If a woman is interested in you, she will be very, very nice. She will make eye contact when you’re talking. She will answer your texts. She will ask you questions about your life. If you’re getting anything less than extreme niceness from a woman—even if she’s still being base-level nice—you should take a metaphorical and literal step back. If a woman is even a little bit rude to you, she’s probably extremely uncomfortable. Failing to respond to the man from the subway’s messages is as un-nice as I get. (As of press time, he seems to have finally gotten the point.)
If you’re at all worried you’re creeping on a woman, you should back off and see what happens.
If she starts to pursue you, she’s interested. If she takes no action, she’s probably relieved that you’ve stopped bothering her. In this era, women aren’t “playing hard to get” anymore. If I’m interested in a man, I text him back immediately. I tag him in memes. I miss work and skip funerals to hang out with him. Sometimes I can be a little bit creepy.