How (NOT) to talk to guys at parties…

An ode to straight guys and their broken flirting sensors (or their entitled toxic attitude related to “the chase”). From the guy who mistakes basic conversation with flirting and who’s girlfriend follows closely oozing passive aggressiveness, how does one politely drop “I’m not actually interested in you, you’re reading this situation wrong” mid-chat? To the guy who goes from bickering with you loudly to all out infatuation in a second. Marta Sundac speculates …

From a young age we’re taught how to interact with other people, with a particular focus on romantic relationships. Whether through educational avenues such as school, parental advice, or the suggestions of friends, most of our journeys in this area begin in adolescence. And what is most commonly taught is the male-female approach to courtship – a millennia-old practice that has in recent times progressed extensively, allowing women unprecedented freedom over their sexuality.

However, with emancipation comes confusion. Women the world over are no longer the prize but the judging panel in this sociological experiment otherwise known as dating, throwing off nature’s balance in the midst. One such newfound freedom that women possess that manifests as a common issue is choice. In choosing potential suitors women have disrupted the equilibrium, resulting in multitude hurt feelings and an unstable dating pool.

To rectify this, a set of guidelines for women has been introduced that will limit overall confusion in dating for both sexes. It is advised that women should study these directions—which explain how to politely ward off suitors that aren’t of interest to them—so that humiliation and heartbreak can be spared, while returning the age-old balance to sexual selection once again.

Phase 1 – First Impressions

Do not wear skimpy clothes or bold makeup.

How you present yourself is a first indication of whether you are open to the advances of a man. This means that revealing clothing and anything that generally draws attention—loud prints, bright colours, sultry makeup—act as subliminal indicators confirming that you’re open for approach.

Do not make initial contact.

This includes eye contact, introducing yourself first, or mentioning that you might have met before. These are all suggestive and give the impression that you are interested in the guy at question.

Do not be polite and engage in conversation.

If you are approached, refrain from answering any questions that might facilitate discussion, as this is often taken as a sign of interest.

Phase 2 – In Conversation

Do not be rude and reject banter.

As although this is the opposite of encouraging discussion, it in turn can have the same result, suggesting that you are simply playing hard to get.

Do not ask personal questions.

For example “What is your name?” or “What do you do?”, as this sort of inquisition can easily be mistaken for flirting.

Do not display interest in any topic.

Showing interest in anything invariably sends positive signals for further approach. Conversely (and confusingly) showing interest in a manner that sparks debate, can also be teasing, prompting the male to only try harder.

Phase 3 – Rejecting Advances

Do not use the excuse that you already have a boyfriend (whether true or not).

This mostly ends in an unfortunate paradox – either the male’s interest in you will only become heightened (or rather his interest in swaying you away from another man) or this brick wall will upset him, causing him to feel that you’ve unfairly led him on throughout your encounter.

Do not use your sexual preference as a form of rejection.

This will lead to a similar paradox, but with the added obstacle that he may now be aroused as well.

Do not accept free drinks or other items.

Accepting drinks from a guy is a form of social contract, whereby you are agreeing to his advances upon exchange of goods. As per Monopoly: Do not pass go, do not accept $200 worth of drinks.

If approached on the dancefloor, do not continue dancing after rejecting a pick-up attempt.

By not recoiling immediately when declining someone, you are inevitably sending the signal that you are still open for further approaches, even after verbally stating otherwise.

If all else fails, don’t be present at any party.

Words by Marta Sundac

Illustration by Eleonora Roginska