Being “easy to get” (read: readily available) doesn’t mean you’re a pushover. It means you’re not playing games, you’re making decisions on what you want, and you’re down for taking matters into your own hands, say women who put themselves out there.
"Ginnifer Goodwin’s character in He’s Just Not That Into You makes the first move and gets the guy."
Indicating interest gives him affirmation
“We feel safe with people who like us as they are less likely to hurt us,” explains Ping Dong, assistant professor of marketing at Northwestern University in the US. “We are more likely to get resources or support, when needed, from them.” No one likes getting hurt, so we prefer being with those who give us this assurance. Prof Dong should know – she was one of the PhD students behind a paper published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014. The study found that being positive and responsive is what boosts our likeability factor. It ran a series of experiments where single men went on dates with a woman who either behaved in an interested manner or was detached and aloof. The feedback given was that more men preferred the former. The takeaway: be too cool and you’ll scare him away.
Being labelled “desperate” isn’t a good look
Here’s how to know when you’ve crossed the line from being into him to being all over him.
Suss out his behaviour before declaring how you feel
If things are still casual, don’t throw him off by asking “so what are we?”. Charlotte saw that her guy was going out of his way to look after her when she was sick. It gave her the confidence she needed to suggest making things official.
If he’s not receptive to you, don’t prod further
Dropped plenty of hints and he’s not taking any of them? You need to stop. Unless he’s incredibly obtuse, he’s not looking to speed things up – in which case you’ll need to reconsider if he’s worth sticking around for.
Don’t axe your plans just because he changed his
When Lynette first started dating her boyfriend, her rule was never to meet him if she was busy with her own social life. It’s a slippery slope when you start making plans around his availability.
“I don’t say no when I mean yes”
“When I first met my boyfriend of 10 years, we were classmates who got along well with each other. Whenever he asked me out, I didn’t think twice about saying yes, no matter how frequent the dates were. Dating’s not something you keep a score on. I don’t believe in waiting around and replying to texts hours later just to string him along.” – Lynette*, 28
“I asked him to kiss me”
“I had a friend whom I was into for some time, but he wasn’t taking my hints. So one day, when we were hanging out at his place watching TV, I bit t he bullet and asked him to kiss me. He was surprised, but obliged. It must have worked, because soon after, he invited me on a holiday with him and his sister. We ended up dating for two years. It didn’t work out, but I never regretted what I did – at least I tried!” – Tessa*, 29
“I told him I wanted to be with him – but he’d have to wait”
“After just four dates, he asked if we could be exclusive. I was keen, but told him that he’d have to wait as I was still getting over an ex. I knew it was a risk as he might not still be interested when I was ready. But after two months of patience, we got together. While it would have been easier to say yes the first time and seal the deal, I was glad I was honest.” – Mandy*, 25
“I got tired of waiting for him to make things official”
“My now-boyfriend and I started off as good friends. He was so attentive – delivering ice cream and making me gifts for Valentine’s Day – it felt like we were in a relationship, only we never talked about it. It was confusing, and I was getting fed up. When he asked to join me on a solo trip, I snapped and asked him what was going on. Turns out, he was afraid of hurting our friendship. My confrontation motivated him to give a proper relationship a shot.” – Charlotte*, 30
“I was the one who gave him my number”
“I met this guy on dating app Coffee Meets Bagel and we hit it off. After several weeks of chatting and no move being made, I gave him my number and said he should ask me out. He texted soon after, asking if I always gave out my contact so easily. I joked that if he didn’t want it, I could take it back. He immediately asked me about my weekend plans.” – Lea*, 25
*Names have been changed.
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