Who can more accurately tell when the opposite sex is interested in them?
The more attractive the woman was to the guy, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest in him, researchers found. And it turns out, the less attractive men (who believed they were better looking than the women rated them) were more likely to think beautiful women were hot for them. But the more attractive guys tended to have a more realistic assessment.
And the women? Perilloux and her coauthors found that women underestimated men’s sexual interest.
Evolutionarily, it is good for men to think that women are interested in them so that they feel like they have a chance to mate (and therefore spread his genes into the next generation).
And women underestimate men’s interest, which is why many men get placed into the “friend” category when they don’t want to be. So men, don’t behave towards her like a friend if you want a different type of relationship with her.
So when should women express interest in the man? Per Justin Wehr:
What seems to maximize my swooning quotient is when I suspect that she *might* be interested but is kind of trying to conceal it. This must be a hard line for her to balance because I will lose interest if she either (a) expresses that she’s interested before I do, or (b) seems like she’s genuinely not interested. It’s got to be a *maybe* interested, but not discussed outwardly at all.
The age-old techniques of charm and flirt is how this interest is conveyed. Women who want to encourage the attentions of a particular man should smile at him when the he talks to her, touch his arm, and be playful.
The best thing that men could do would be to learn how to be playful and charming themselves, and to pick up on these signals that women send. Men often have a very hard time reading the “meta” of communication, both verbal and non verbal. If you say you have a particular hobby and she says something to the extent of, “oh, that sounds so interesting! When is the next time you’re going to do/watch/eat X?”, that is an opening for you to invite her along.
Meanwhile, what women should take from this is that throwing yourself at men, asking them out, and making it really easy for them to see you almost guarantees that he won’t value you as much as he would have had you made yourself more elusive.