Someone on Reddit posed a seemingly innocuous question about dating the other day, and surprisingly, it turned into a teachable moment—the good kind. Reddit user Topvennie wondered: “What are some signs that girls give to boys that they like them that are obvious to girls but totally not obvious to boys?” Naturally, people chimed in with their take on the “signs,” but one person cut right to the core, explaining that there are no such thing as universal “signs,” because every woman is different.
We cannot emphasize this enough: There is no one-size-fits-all rule for engaging a romantic interest, and not every woman will express interest the same way.
“For every woman talking about how a guy missed the obvious signal, there is another woman talking about how her friendliness is mistaken for flirting. You laughed at his jokes because you are interested. Another woman laughed because it was a funny joke,” the Reddit user continued.
There is so much societal pressure on men to avoid rejection that they often rely on these non-communicative “signals” before they ask someone out. Since these so-called signals don’t often signify anything, straight-forward verbal communication is the best route to learn if someone is into you. Non-ambiguous verbal communication can be scary because it may lead to rejection, but if more individuals reject potential dates with empathy and the pursuer realizes that rejection isn’t the end of the world, we can stop relying on arm touches and simply ask someone out.