Men, Stop Mistaking Kindness For Flirting

Back when I was in grad school at Tech,  I met a new transfer student while I was on campus. He seemed like a nice guy, but he really wasn’t plugged into the social scene on campus, even though he was Greek. I figured he needed a friend & someone to help him meet folks, so I invited him to have lunch with me one day.

To which he replied “Well I’m kinda talking to someone right now”.

*blink*

To which I replied “It wasn’t a date, I was being friendly. Way to presume dude”.

He apologized profusely, but the whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way & struck me as odd. I’ve never had that happen to me before.

I had forgotten all about that encounter until it happened to me again recently. Well sort-of happened. Once again, I was being nice & friendly, just helping someone out, in my mind. But I got the brushoff right before a scheduled outing & when I thought about it, it occurred to me that the person who did the brushing might have been concerned that I was expecting a date instead of a platonic “you need some friends” type situation.

Yeah….fellas, yall need to stop doing that.

Every woman who is nice to you is not trying to date you, be your boo/jumpoff/FwB/girlfriend/baby mama/future wife. Sometimes women are just being nice. And friendly. You do realize that a woman can be friendly  without wanting to date you, right?

It’s insulting to have a man immediately jump to “I have a girlfriend” or “I’m not trying to date anyone” when all you’re trying to do is be nice.

Don’t assume that because a woman is nice to you, she’s trying to hit on you. Sometimes people are just nice & making an incorrect assumption is uncomfy for both parties.

It’s ok to be just friends with a woman. Not every woman is trying to be anything more than friends…or even acquaintances for that matter.

In this most recent situation, I thought I was being helpful. Maybe it was the way I made a suggestion, or perhaps I was too eager to be nice, IDK…but my intentions were innocent & platonic. Too bad they weren’t taken that way.

Has this happened to anyone else?

  • The hell kind of dudes you find jub damn? lmao

    • Boooooooooooo! This isn’t my fault.

  • Beth

    this doesn’t seem normal…

    seems more like something women do…and do often…

  • This was hilarious! Talk about face cracked and on the ground! LOL!!!

  • Trevor/ @trekei

    “I figured he needed a friend & someone to help him meet folks, so I invited him to have lunch with me one day.”

    Yeah it was your fault. First from the way it sounds you assuming what he wants or needs. Second , “Hey a bunch of us are hitting the (insert place here) , your welcome to join us , it should be fun” sounds more of a meet and greet, than “You me , lunch … tomorrow 😉 ” .

    • So I was supposed to put together a group of folks? Really? For a casual on-campus lunch in the student center?

      I need to stop being friendly.

      • Trevor/ @trekei

        I didnt say put together one for the sake of one guy, im saying that scenario sounds better for a Meet and Greet , lets make more friends . The one on one lunch invite sounds like a date if it came from a man or a woman .

  • LM

    Ok…Different perspective (just humor me). What if the person (guy in your instance) just wanted to make sure you knew the invitation was not a date? So he just put it out there that he was seeing someone or not interested in having a date.

    I’m sharing this b/c the flip side could be someone asking you out and you assume it’s not a date and the inviter thought it was. You walk away thinking he wants to be your friend and he the inviter thought he was showing you he was interested.

    Yes he could have asked you if this invitation was a date. But he didn’t, he took a different approach and made it obvious.

    • I will totally conceed that point. I tend to err on the side of “he’s just being friendly” vs “He’s asking me out”. It has to be very overt for me to understand that its a date or that a guy likes me. If its not explicitly stated, I assume its strictly platonic. Maybe that’s a failing on my part.

  • I just think its bad taste to immediately jump to the assumption that there is a romantic interest in you. I would be totally fine if a clarifying question was asked. But to just assume (and wrongly at that) that the other party has just asked you out? #fail

  • @Ms_Jones74

    I can’t say that it’s insulting for a man to think I’m asking him out on a date. That’s kind of complimentary, isn’t it? I dunno. I wouldn’t get too worked up over that kind of thing. It happens.

    If something is happening a lot, I look at the common denominator. ME. What am I saying and how am I saying it to make this dude think I am asking him out? The more casual I can make it sound, the better. Not, “do you want to have lunch,” but “I’m going to X cafe to grab a bite. Come along.”

    If he assumes THAT is a date??? Well, he might just be full of himself. HAHAHAHA!

  • Andrew

    I believe its all in the words that are used. My thing has always been, “I was on my way to lunch, would you like to join me” verses “do you want to go to lunch?” One indicates that no matter what your answer, i am going to eat. The other is saying that I want us to go to lunch so when can have more time together. To me, the one that says I am going to eat no matter what makes it easier to understand that this will be lunch with someone for the sole purpose of not eating alone. If at the end there is an exchange of numbers then so be it, if not, well at least I had some company while eating.

    There is nothing wrong with a man saying up front that he has someone or he is not looking. Most of the time men are not that honest or forthcoming with such information and are quick to lie about such things. His comment to your kindness should be a welcomed breath of honesty so there is no confusion as to what is going on.

    Lastly, some women do not like there boyfriend or husband socializing on a friendly level with other women. His response could have been a direct result of his situation. Take it as him being loyal to his significant other and honest with you.

    • Trevor/ @trekei

      I was going to state that, What if his girl was crazy ? He made SURE he said he was in a relationship off top to avoid any further beat downs he may have been suffering.

      • LM

        that’s a whole other topic/situation. An intervention is needed…not a meet & greet lunch.

  • Stacy

    Uhm yeah , what did you expect him to say? No male other than your father or your gay male bff is going to think this is just a friendly get to know you over lunch!

    Where you going to pay, or what if he offered to pay for both would you have let him?

    This makes it even more significant that you approached him, you can be nice and friendly but asking him out on a date (lunch dates… are dates also) send up a flag that say hey I want to get to know you better.

    • Stacy

      Were*

    • So Stacy does this mean you think hetero men & women can’t be friends?

      Like I said before, I’m the type to err on the side of “just friends” as opposed to “he’s trying to holla”. If its not overt & explicit, I’d rather assume he’s not interested in me in that way.

      • Stacy

        To be perfectly honest, no. If you have a CLOSE friendship I think one person is generally more attracted to the other person. This is also true with males and females who have been bff’s at some point one of you lusted after the other or made it known and the other person disregarded your advances or told you straight up they weren’t interested.

        I’m just saying females rarely approach a male and if she does and is asking to hang out he is thinking she is interested. I’m very cautious to get around guys i’m not interested in b/c I know if I give them a hug, or send a fb message or tweet, or something out of the general conversation realm then they are going to think I’m interested.

        Honestly, were you interested in him on more than a friend level, did you think he was cute, could you see yourself possibly getting to know him before you knew he had a gf?

        • Nope, I was just being nice. He was a transfer student from another state & I know how hard it can be to meet people, especially at a PWI where its common to be the only Black person in your classes.

          Now, you really can’t send an FB msg or tweet a guy unless you’re interested in him? There’s no place in your life for a platonic male friend?

          BTW, any particular reason why you use male/female instead of man/woman? Just curious.

      • LM

        Wow Stacy!
        I totally disagree with your statements. There may be an attraction between opposite sex friends but to say that one lusted after the other is crazy.
        One of my closest friends is a man. And I don’t believe either of us has ever lusted after other. I didn’t after him and he has never mentioned lusting after me. In fact, 90% of the time we’ve known each other, one of us has been in a relationship. So those statements do not apply to the general public.

      • Stacy

        Males don’t want to be friends with females we need to stop believing this! They want to have a relationship/get to know us better/ make us the gf or they don’t think we are attractive and just want to do us or they do think we are attractive and just want to do us.

        Yea this sounds harsh, and un-lady like and it seems to put males in a bad light but come on now . No guy just wants to hang out and skip down the street with you … he has other ideas of fun on his mind …. if he is interested.

        As far as the males/females i don’t see any difference in the terms I use them interchangeably.

      • Mika

        Real opposite sex friendships are possible, but unlikely. Most of the time, men use “friendship” as a gateway to a relationship, while women use “friendship” to keep a relationship from happening.

      • LM

        I don’t think you can generalize the general population like that. It may apply to a percentage but not all.

  • allykat

    This post made me laugh. Both sexes are guilty of this at times. I’d recommend clarifying up front; this way you intentions are clear and its no grey area.

    • That just seems so weird to me – “hey btw this is just a friendly invite, ok?”

  • I think women do this too. Especially in DC. Because it’s a transient town a lot of women come from places where men only talk to them to holla. But a lot of DC dudes just want you to have a good time.

    • Interesting, so how do you handle it?

      • luckily I don’t have to. No one in the District of Columbia takes me serious. I could propose to a woman out here and they would just be like J stop playing all the time. *Sigh*

        So they take the free drink and keep it moving…

  • Goldsmith

    Hmm, I think the girl should ask herself whether she’s really being “kind” or whether she has an agenda such as a desire for attention, an addiction to drama, or a need for “back-up boyfriends” if her current relationship faild.  There’s nothing kind about being “nice” to a man you care tuppence about.  You don’t have to be rude, ladies.  Just stoping pretending you have “guy friends” and it’s all platonic and innocent and no guy’s feelings is ever going to get hurt.

    If you need friends so badly, find some nice, kind females.  There’s plenty of lonely women.

  • Goldsmith

    Another thought: what’s kind about telling a man he’s not good enough to be your lover?  lol