Why Men Think You're Interested In Them — Even When You're Clearly Not

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woman talking to two men

Thanks to society, there are many ways that women are just set up to fail.

When I walk down the street, I have to ignore men who say hi to me.

They may consider me as rude for it, but in a lot of cases if I even give so much as eye contact with them then they decide it’s OK to follow me for a couple of blocks or begin to say inappropriate things.

Many men complain that women are overly sensitive to things like catcalling.

They may not understand why women begin to put a wall up when a man decides to approach her and say something like, "The guy is just paying you a compliment! Why can't you just be nice?"

Why do men think you like them when you're just trying to be nice?

Scientific research has found that male brains evolved in a way that causes them to pick up the wrong signals when a woman is nice to them in order to help them find more opportunities to procreate.

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Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) discovered that men are programmed to seize every possible opportunity to reproduce due to a phenomenon known as Error Management Theory.

For them, it is all low-risk and high reward for them to try to be with as many women as possible, unlike women, who could pay a higher cost if the have multiple partners.

The study also got feedback from women who said that, in their experience, acting friendly towards a man was misinterpreted as sexual or romantic interest 3.5 times on average over the past year.

After that happening so often, it might be understandable for women to become more standoffish around men they don't know.

So this isn't very surprising news, but it kind of helps women tp have concrete proof of what men really think when they pretend that they expect nothing more from a woman if she decides to be nice to them.

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One thing that I can't help but wonder is what does this mean for platonic heterosexual friends?

Does this mean straight men will always be up for something more from their nice female counterparts just because their brain works that way?

According to a previous study, the answer is yes.

A study had 88 pairs of platonic, opposite-sex friends anonymously answer questions about whether they have romantic feelings for the other.

Men were much more likely to be attracted to their female friends, and they were more likely to think their friend was attracted to them.

Well, all of this is pretty depressing.

I guess as a woman, it might be time to be a lot more selective when it comes to even friendships with men.

Perhaps in a couple hundred years men's brains will evolve to be different... But that's probably a long shot.

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Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. Follow her on Twitter.