Love

It's Not You, It's Her: Why Women Don't Know What They Want

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woman rejecting man

By Georgia Farquharson

I often get asked by my male friends: what the heck do girls actually want? They say: if we give them attention, they call us clingy; if we play hard to get, they call us game-players; if we move forward, they pull back.

What happened to girls wanting the nice guy?

And then suddenly I realized, in a moment of complete clarity, that us girls make it really difficult for the guys. I’m not saying that guys make it easy either, but I think I speak on behalf of the female population when I say we know and accept that we are difficult.

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We cry a lot, sometimes for no apparent reason; we crave reassurance and then bat compliments away. We blame boys for playing games and being jerks, but then we push them away when they are nice.

Maybe we just don’t know what it is that we want.

Having grown up with Cinderella and Snow White as our main gals, it was always all about Prince Charmings, fluffy ponies, and happily ever afters. In our heads, we picture flowers and roses, but unless it’s the right time, even those things can’t sweep us off our feet.

Truth is, life isn’t like a fairy tale. Although Rapunzel may have spent every waking hour locked in a tower waiting for her Prince Charming, us ladies of the 21st century aren’t waiting around for anybody.

So boys, here are five bulletproof ways to pick up on the fact that the girl you’re talking to isn’t trying to play games — she simply has no idea what she wants.

1. She misinterprets your romantic gestures.

Sure, sending a girl flowers is one of the most traditional romantic gestures you could offer. She’s seen it in the movies, she’s dreamt about it as a child, but when they turn up at her door... her initial reaction? She calls all her friends to discuss the matter.

While they’re all like “OMG, that is so cute” (the advice she’d be giving if the shoe was on the other foot) all she can think is “he’s clingy,” and “this is too early,” “how can I escape,” and “I need to escape.”

This leads us to point two...

2. She immediately wants to run away because you’re “too nice.”

She doesn’t really want to escape, she’s just scared to commit because you’re that nice and she isn’t used to it. It doesn’t make much sense, does it?

See, sadly, most girls have encountered more players than princes, so don’t bombard her with grand gestures when the most she’s used to is a guy splitting the bill instead of paying for it.

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If you are a romantic-gesture-kind-of-guy, introduce them slowly so she knows you’re not just trying to buy her affection or guilt-trip her into being with you. It needs to be her own decision, without the pretty presents and big bouquets clouding her judgment.

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3. She’s protective of her time and space.

Girls are pretty independent these days and they enjoy their own space. Going from being in control of your own time without having to "check-in" with anyone else to being bombarded with the “what are you doing,” “where are you” and “when can I see you” messages is pretty terrifying.

When she’s ready to surrender some of her precious time to you, you’ll know she’s definitely into you.

4. She’s not taking the advice she’d usually offer.

Let’s revert back to the flower scenario. If a guy sends flowers to her best friend, no doubt she’d be super excited for her friend because isn’t that the most adorable thing ever. She’ll tell her best friend, “he’s totally a keeper.”

But, when she’s the one receiving the flowers, it’s a whole different ball game. If she isn’t taking the advice she’d normally dish out to her friends, then she’s making excuses for why she isn’t that into you.

5. She’s overthinking it.

Girls? Overthinking? Never! Yup, boys, you should realize that every text you send, the number of kissy face emojis you include, or even the duration between the texts are clearly all tell-all signs of how much you like her.

Trust me, she’s freaking out about all of the above, so don’t give her any unnecessary reason to worry; a little bit of reassurance and clarity can work wonders. If all three of your Snapchat best friends are girls (total player), she’s definitely thinking now is the best time to run before she gets hurt.

Contrary to what you might be thinking though, as I sit here insulting half of the male population for being too nice, it doesn’t mean being the nice guy won’t ever get you anywhere in life.

I’m not going to sit here and say we want the bad guy, because we’ve all been there, done that, thought we could be the one girl to change him. What I am saying, though, is an air of mystery never hurt anyone.

What’s dating in your 20s without the thrill of the chase? As long as you’re on the same page, you can’t go wrong with a touch of mystery. After all, she doesn’t really know what she wants, so why don’t you be the one to show her?

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Georgia Farquharson is the celebrity writer for Woman Magazine and Woman's Weekly. Her work focuses on relationships and women's empowerment, and she's been featured in Southern Living, TV Times, Unwritten, New!, and more.​

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.