You want a surprising truth? Women are just as baffled by men as men are by women. Yep, it’s true. No one can count all the hours we’ve gathered around a phone at a sleepover or in the playground to try and make sense of the garbled nonsense that one of you lot have flung our way. But, since you’ve guys don’t tend to make yourselves vulnerable in that communal way to decode the messages, here I am to straighten things out for you. 

Here are, without further ado, a couple hints and tells to look out for…

More still, here’s what a girl will be thinking when she does certain things, just to give you a psychological insight. 

  1. Heels! Maybe it’s a bit gratuitous, and I’m not going to pretend that they won’t hurt by the end of the evening, but they’re always a knockout blow to the unassuming male. They might be minding their own business, feeling in control of themselves, and then they see you go by in a pair of killer heels. It does something miraculous to our legs; don’t underestimate the power of heels. 
  2. Increase physical contact, casually – if you’re say at the bar together and feel comfortable, why not opt for a tactical hand to his chest or thigh as you laugh charmingly at his nervous joke? He will go crazy for your affection and the blood will rush to his head and other places.

The old faithful…

  • Bite your lip. It’s just science, don’t ask me. 
  • Recommend a book that you think he’ll like, or a film or TV show – this shows that you have not only common interests, but you are willing to engage with his worlds. Here, two worlds can meet and you can both become well-rounded individuals. You might also blow his mind by sharing the same tastes in Murder Mystery novels as he does. 
  • Get his number early – maybe you feel like the guy should traditionally be the first person to make the move and get each other’s numbers. Not so, it’s 2019, guys! Why not be gutsy for a change and boldly request his number. While he gives his digits away he may well pass along his heart too. Well, we can dream, I guess. 
  • Communication! Yes, we do love a fun period of playing hard to get and decoding each other’s messages, but there comes a point when you both deserve emotional maturity. This comes with time, but try to be clear early on about personal boundaries, expectations and what you want. Taking control and having conviction in yourself is impossible to ignore and you will find that your chap will be only too happy to oblige. 

I wish you all luck, but also bear in mind that it might not quite go to plan all the time. In that eventuality, here’s a pep talk to get you back on the horse. Metaphorically speaking.

Do what scares you!

I’m not going to pretend that life is always going to be sunshine and daisies, dear readers. The simple fact of the matter is that sometimes life sucks, and it sucks hard. I’m not sure that there is an emotional experience more frustrating, heart-wrenching, guilt-tripping, or generally horrible than unrequited love. If you remember feeling like Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet – the brief object of his whims only to be side-lined for the flashier, younger model – then you’re in the right place. It is so hard to find value and validation in who you are as a person without the reciprocal feedback from another person.

Indeed, if your feelings of worthiness stem from the emotional support of another person, as so often it does, that person is, for better or worse, responsible for your state of mind and sense of self. This isn’t fair on anyone, and don’t we know it as we angst and stress about the lack of emotional reciprocation we’re receiving, all the while lamenting that it’s not necessarily even their fault. That’s always the kicker, that the people causing such emotional distress and pain aren’t actually aware they’re doing it. The quest for a satisfying and enduring, comfortable love is a long journey and often one that doesn’t have a specific end point. Certainly, ‘enduring love’ cannot be achieved through sheer force of will. Oh, but haven’t we tried!

But you aren’t alone!

I promise you that there are millions of people around the world and close to you that feel exactly the same way; helpless, confused, frustrated, and like you’re ‘lacking’ something fundamental. That feeling doesn’t even necessarily go away when you’re in a relationship, and there’s no two ways about it, love is hard. But it’s even harder when you don’t feel loved.

Ultimately, love is what all the great songs are written about, but we all deserve to have someone serenade us with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’, and mean it unapologetically.