Ahhh, yes. The old “Come on, big boy.” Sometimes it’s hard to know when a woman is just begging for it. For instance: A lot of women casually play with their hair and talk in a high-pitched voice – it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re flirting. Some women laugh at your jokes even when they aren’t funny … because they have a nervous laughter habit. Some women maintain eye contact just because they want you to know they are paying attention to you, not because they are trying to seduce you. Some women tilt their heads to the side because you need to trim some nose hair. I know, I know. You see a woman doing any of these things (up to and including wearing a terrycloth tube top and short shorts that say “juicy” on the back) and you think, “Man, she’s just begging for it,” but let me assure you that the only assumption you should ever make about a woman is that your assumptions about her are wrong.
That whole amazing porn scenario that plays out in your head when a female co-worker gently touches your shoulder to ask a question? That’s called a fantasy. It is not a realistic expectation of future events based on overwhelming empirical data. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but basing your behavior on a fantasy is never a wise move – OK, maybe in Second Life, but in the real world, you’re just setting yourself up for a big letdown. In fact, once your mind latches on to a belief, it is actually more likely to search out data that supports that belief than otherwise. What I am suggesting to you, Dazed, is the notion that these women aren’t giving you the “Come on, big boy.” Rather, they’re giving you the “Let’s be friends, big boy,” or “You’re an interesting person, big boy” and you know what? That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. You’re clearly getting positive feedback and that, as my uncle used to say, is better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Your area for improvement? Not making assumptions. Think back on all those previous occasions where you were shot down and see if there is any consistency in the signals you thought you were getting. Question those. Don’t be as hasty to act on them, and if you’re confused, ask questions. You may not get the answers you want, but at least you’ll be living in the real world and not the porn film in your head.