Attraction. How does this work nowadays, exactly? It's so confusing, yet showing and detecting attraction should be so simple.
It's easy to tell when women are attracted to someone, but maybe that's because I'm a woman and I know all of our tricks and signals. When we're attracted to a man there are numerous ways that we'll show it. We'll find ways to spend time with you, even if it's only for a few minutes. Start random conversations just to learn more about you. Unnecessarily touch you in places that are not overtly sexual, like your hand or shoulder. Sneak peeks at you, smile at you, try to make you laugh. Laugh at all of the things that you say, no matter how stupid or unfunny. These are some of the subtle signs of the beginnings of attraction, and to me they are obvious because I do them as well, unless I'm really unsure of a man's attraction to me (i.e. he's giving me signals that are too subtle, or none in either direction). After getting positive responses to these signals, a confident woman may make the first move, if you don't first. But what do men do?
Some men, confident men have already assessed their level of attraction to us, so when they see that we return the attraction they make their move. Simple. Easy. Straightforward. I like these kinds of men. The first guy that I dated was this kind of guy. I had no questions about his feelings for me, which made things much easier.
The next kind of guy, has already figured out whether he is attracted to you and is trying to figure out as he goes along how to actually get somewhere with you. He's too young and immature to simply ask you out, so there's a period of extended flirting (which can last weeks, months, or, dear God, years) that involves playful teasing, constant attention-getting, unnecessary touching (appropriateness depending on his creep level). Eventually, hopefully, he'll either ask you out or give it up. I get this kind of guy, and I will play along with his games to a certain extent. But if he can't work up the nerve to ask me out, I sure as hell will.
The men who elude and confound me are the ones who send mixed signals, or signals that are so subtle that you're not sure what they mean. I'm not sure what's happening with these guys. Part of it is probably some sort of insecurity, but I'm starting to wonder if the men in my generation are, for lack of a better term, "pussies". As much as I hate it when random older men hit on me, they have the right idea as far as making a connection goes. They know that if you swing every time you have a better chance at hitting a ball every now and then. Young guys don't understand that. Sitting and pining for a girl for a year is not cute and charming the way the movies make it look; that's a year wasted that you both could have been having fun, enjoying new experiences, helping each other through rough times, getting laid regularly! And if she's not interested, then you can focus your attentions on someone else. Simple. Easy. Straightforward.
Grow up, boys. I don't want to have to start dating 30 year-olds, but I cannot remember the last time that I was approached by a guy my age, or was absolutely sure that one was interested in me.