Language, be it communicated by the mouth or by the body, is a very complex business indeed. In times gone by women used a complex signalling system involving fans and eyes to flirt. Gay men have a great system of sexual signalling that involves keys, pockets and handkerchiefs! Unfortunately no similar system, sexual or otherwise really exists in the heterosexual world. In the absence of an overt dictionary of signals it’s easy to either get it wrong or miss the signals altogether because our signalling system is mainly unconscious.
I watch Blind Date every week because it's full of superb examples of signal 'botching'. The couple I watched recently were being filmed on the plane. She was looking at him with the flirtiest eyes I've seen for ages. Her smile, her body movements all said 'I am interested'. Later when they were interviewed she said 'He didn't seem interested'. He said 'she didn't give me any signs'.
What transpired was that because he was a 'touchy-feely' person [his own words] a touch expressed interest for him. He didn't notice her eyes. What would have happened if he had been more aware of the variety of signals that women give out and what would have happened if she had tried using a different sensory system to transmit her signals? I don't know but it's something to think about.
Touch, sight and sound
Interestingly enough another Blind Date series showed a girl telling the camera how she was sure the guy fancied her, even though she didn't feel the same way about him. I noticed while they were sitting together on the settee and chatting he touched her several times. His comment to her remark was 'You are mistaking friendliness for fancying you'.
signs to tell a guy likes a girl:
So, you see, it's not just the girlies that send out the wrong signals. While this was a clear cut example of mixed signals from him, the first example was clearly a case, not of mixed, but of missed signals!
We can learn to fine-tune our senses. When you develop the ability to perceive things like skin colour changes, voice tone, breathing rate changes and eye movement, you are developing your database of signals. When you have enough data you can begin to pattern the information and make sense of signalling. .As this happens you will become more aware of the signals you send out AND the reactions they provoke. .
Once we are more aware of our signalling mechanisms, we can also learn to vary the signals we give out so that we have more chance of getting our message across. When I touch someone on the shoulder to say a kind word, I make sure my eyes are saying the same thing as my hand and my voice tone. Successful flirts know how to send out the signals without saying a word and when your 'quarry' is seated across a crowded restaurant, that can be a mighty useful skill!
Once you begin to learn this stuff, your interpretation of the world changes and instead of jumping to conclusions you begin to see things in a new light, as you get to grips with the signals of flirting.