Mixed Signals: Does She Want to Hook Up?

A woman you met through your online dating profile seems totally into a casual hookup… until you try to nail down a date that you’re both free. What gives?

Don’t lose your mind trying to interpret hers!

One of the most common mixed signals a woman sends is running hot and cold. She’s really flirtatious, but when it comes down to business, she’s missing in action.

For men, it seems logical and obvious—flirting is about indicating that you want sex. Therefore, a woman flirting with you must want sex.

The truth is that for many women, that’s not how it works at all!

The purpose of flirting is not to get sex. Say what?

For women, flirting is about testing the waters, securing attention, having fun, finding out more about the prospective sex partner, and feeling attractive—all in addition to the more obvious outcome you hope for.

Women can get sex anytime. Blonde or brunette, hot or not, skinny or fat, young or old—it’s not hard for women to get laid. Once I put an ad on Craigslist as an experiment: “I’m horny right now. Woman seeking man for sex tonight. I got over fifty replies!

It’s not hard for a woman to get sex. Flirting helps us with things that aren’t as easy to secure—it’s foreplay in a way. It’s about intrigue, attention, romance, and all those things that fire up our hormones and neurons.

Understandably, you feel shortchanged because you thought she made her desires very clear. Then suddenly, not so much. You wrote her off, and then there she was again, sending sexy messages and telling you she’s thinking about you.

This kind of up-and-down runaround guys get from women gives us a bad reputation, but biology is behind it all. Sure, some women get off by stringing guys along, but more often, we really can’t make up our minds.

We might be very attracted to you one moment, but the next we’re not sure. That’s because we’re biologically programmed to think instinctively in risk-cost-benefit analysis for the hypothetical product of our giving in to our lust—women are choosier because we can get pregnant. No amount of reproductive rights can reprogram the baseline reality.

All the flirting and back and forth gives us unconscious information we need before surrendering to your seed— information about everything from your techniques, tactics, patience, aggression, attentiveness, and more.

This is not to generalize—women are responsible for what they say. When they tell you no, that does not mean yes. When they tell you yes and follow through, they’re responsible for those signals too.

But that doesn’t change how indecisive we can be.

Your best bet? Simply by understanding that flirting is part of foreplay and doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome, you can avoid being disappointed AND enjoy it for its own sake. So have fun with it.

Be sweet and sexy and polite, not pushy, and move on if the game gets annoying. This will move her into the mode to finally make the decision, one way or another. Good luck.

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