Navigating the dating world – or even just the single world – can be rough. There’s no doubt that people come from some vastly different backgrounds and world views that there’s no one-size-fits-all, but I would argue that women still bear the brunt of changing their behavior to avoid trouble.
There are many things women do that are honestly innocent behaviors, but that be taken to mean they are romantically interested, that it can be hard to keep up.
Men don’t seem to want to educate themselves (as a whole), and so it falls to women to alter their behavior to save themselves some trouble out there – and here are 18 things most of us have stopped doing, innocent or not.
18. Out in the wild.
I don’t let on to any guys I just met that I’m into gaming, especially if I know they’re gamers too. There’s still this stereotype floating around the gaming community that women who game are a rarity or they’re not really a gamer, just a slut trying to get male attention.
So if I bring up gaming early on I usually get one of two responses: either the guy keeps hitting on me relentlessly or I get the Gaming Pop Quiz. Any woman who plays games knows exactly what the Gaming Pop Quiz is.
There’s also a third option which happens way less often, but I’ve experienced it all the same: guy just outright becomes hostile, like I’ve dared to step foot in the boys only clubhouse or something. In all of my 20+ years of gaming that’s only happened to me twice, though.
And just a disclaimer: most of the guys I meet while I’m actually gaming are cool dudes. For some reason I only get this behavior out in the wild.
17. No hugs please.
Like general affection, even with hugs and compliments I’m pretty reserved unless our relationship is clearly drawn out and we both know that nothing is being implied.
16. The world is a crazy place.
I work at a makeup store. Whenever a couple comes up to my till I make sure I avoid acknowledging the guy because I fear that either the girl is going to think her man is flirting with me or that the man is going to think I’m interested in him. This never used to be a concern until one girl flipped out at her boyfriend for ‘flirting’ with me. He literally just responded “good” to me asking both of them how they were.
*Edit: I only started to be concerned after the one incident because it was the worst, several girls had gotten mad previously, however this girl started yelling, so to avoid future incidents I changed. However if the male is to say something to me I will respond.
15. A little easier.
Not me, but my little sister started dressing as the stereotypical butch lesbian when she went off to college. Said that it made things a little easier.
I’m still not sure how to respond.
14. Not a rare and exciting offer.
Mentioning that I have a girlfriend, weirdly enough. You know how saying you have a boyfriend is normally pretty good for making guys go away?
Well, saying you have a girlfriend just leads to a bunch of gross questions and offers of “if you’re ever looking for a threesome, hit me up” (gag). Like what, does this guy think I’ll go home and excitedly tell my gal pal, “Guess what? I met a guy at a bar, and, you won’t believe this, he wants to have S*X with BOTH of us!! What a rare and exciting offer, we need to take him up on this!”
13. If we have to, we have to.
Trying to politely decline their advances. Sometimes I have to be rude just for them to get the point.
I remember in girl with the dragon tattoo when the villain says “you’ll be amazed at what people do because they don’t want to be rude” and I feel like half of the crap we put up with is because we want to be nice or polite.
(This was from the movie and I paraphrased I don’t remember the book very well)
12. Not ever.
Not accepting any favor from a man. No rides. No coffees. Avoid avoid. It sucks.
Yep. Last year I ran into a coworker at the supermarket, and he offered to help me out with my groceries. We get to my car, and all of a sudden I’m arguing with him for 10 minutes about why I don’t want to date him.
I started off joking, then got serious; Finally I just got in the car and left.
11. The fewer words, the better.
Asking a question or giving them a compliment.
But the worst thing is when I’ve walked back to my car alone and in the dark. I’d been out that day and was wearing cute and kind of revealing clothes. A guy followed me from the train station to where I’d parked (about 10 minutes), and when I got in my car he started to yell at me for leading him on. We hadn’t spoken, but we’d made eye contact a couple of times on the hour long train ride, which seemed to be enough for him.
I didn’t think that the phrase “leading someone along” was so literal, but okay.
10. I second this.
Turning fifty was the best idea I’ve ever had.
I was just thinking of all the creepy advances i used to get when I was 16-25ish I was told once to “not lick my lips” because it seemed I was flirting. I had one guy follow me off a flight because I chatted with him,he wouldn’t leave and he hung out with me until my next flight.
I haven’t had too many things happen lately. I’m attributing it to age, and I’m so totally fine with that.
9. We have all been there.
I once gave a compliment to my friend on a party. I just said his shirt looked nice on him when he thought it was too small. And then all his peers went “ooooooooooooooooooh” behind him.
I just really wanted to compliment my friends and I do it all the time. 🙁 I never gave a compliment to him ever again.
8. We can’t be polite.
I used to always greet everyone with a smile and happy eyes. Either a nod or a quick ‘hello’. But I got hit on way too often while doing that, to the point where they kept following me.
I’m just trying to be polite da**it.
7. Or hot dogs.
Let’s just say I don’t eat bananas in public anymore.
One time at work, just to be a silly goose I sat at my desk with a peeled banana on a paper plate. I began to eat it meticulously with a knife and fork. Oddly enough I was “randomly” drug tested the following week
6. I do not understand the scandal of this.
there was that time when i was eleven and i started needing a training bra and my teacher gave me a weird talk about keeping bra straps hidden at all times?
i didn’t even know how to properly adjust the straps so they wouldn’t slide and i really didn’t need Mr. N’s bra strap advice as an impressionable eleven year old
5. Every single time.
If I have to pick something off the ground I bend my legs and squat down to do it so it doesn’t look like I’m showing off my ass, even though it’d be a lot easier to just bend down.
4. There’s no way to win.
whenever I’m talking with a guy I’m always super conscious about not mentioning too soon/too late that I have a significant other. Too soon and its ‘geeze b*%ch god I was just making conversation!!!!’ and too late and it’s ‘geeze b*%ch way to lead me on!!!!’.
Thankfully since becoming engaged, this is less and less of a problem as my ring sort of speaks for itself on its own without my input. 🙂
3. Definitely don’t do this.
Today, apparently, I shouldn’t have carried a nightstand down the street. It was a little awkward but not heavy at all, and some dude came up to me and tried to take it from my hands, unasked. I held onto it and told him, “no thanks.”
He kept pulling on it. I had to ask him to let go. When I said “Jesus Christ” he went on, “oh, like it was such a bad thing.” Yes, dude, that was absolutely a bad way to try to help someone out.
You don’t take something from someone’s hands unbidden if you actually want to help them. Frankly, you pulling a medium-large object from my grasp makes me think you’re trying to steal from me or con me.
2. Not even a smile.
Came here to say this. I’m a naturally smiley person and smile when I talk to people and just to be friendly, but I have to be careful about it if I notice a guy taking it the wrong way.
I had one coworker who took it way, way too far and I ended up having to show him a picture of my ex boyfriend and I together and buy a cheap ring to wear to get him to back off. All because I smiled when I talked.
1. A simple question goes a long way.
About doing something without warning… I made the mistake of saying out loud I was cold and got a jacket almost forcibly put on me (I went the awkward way and practically ran away saying “No thanks” to avoid it being put on my body).
Can’t you ASK instead of DO? I am shy and not comfortable with people’s clothes on my person randomly like that without warning or consent..
All of these are super true, in my experience.
Ladies, what else have you found is more trouble explaining than it’s worth? Tell us about it in the comments!