After Thursday's blog post about why girls get emotionally attached quickly, I was asked how guys can ensure that they do not "lead girls on." It's an excellent and very important question!
On the one hand, girls have the capability of making a big deal out of nothing. But in that case, it is not the guy's fault if the girl thinks there is grounds for a relationship. However, there are definitely concrete ways guys can strive to not lead girls on. Here are some ideas:
- Don't spend too much alone-time, individual-attention, etc. with one particular girl if you are not interested in her. A guy may take facebook chats, long conversations after school and a CD of favorite music as no big deal, but a girl could easily think that special attention equals special relationship. Spending time in groups without exclusive attention is a good start.
- Being very clear in your intentions. "I'm really glad we are friends." "I want to be clear that I really enjoy our friendship, but I'm not interested in dating." Sometimes it's necessary to clarify where you stand on things. And sometimes it's necessary to clarify this on multiple occasions.
- Be careful to not compliment a girl too much. This might sound odd at first. On the one hand, we need a culture where young men can tell girls that they are beautiful, caring, gifted, etc. So, this is not to say that guys should never compliment girls. But, a guy who is always telling girls that they are beautiful, amazing, holy, etc., can give the wrong impression that he thinks of her as more than a friend. Therefore, compliments and affirmation have to be given prudently and simply.
- Say what you mean. Mean what you say.
- Be on guard against allowing a girl's desire for attention, affirmation, affection, etc., to feed into a masculine desire to feel protective, strong, needed, wanted, etc. Let me explain: Sometimes when a girl is (through words, behavior, etc.) making it clear that she might be interested in a particular guy, it can be tempting for said gentleman to act as if he is interested on the surface in order to feel a level of control, security, affirmation. But of course, this goes nowhere! The girl ends up feeling empty because the guy is not authentically interested in her. And the guy feels guilty because he used a girl to feel protective instead of being protective. Just a temptation to be aware of ...