ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:
If a girl is interested in a guy and gives him obvious hints, and he isn't responding, does that mean he's really not interested in her and avoiding confrontation, or is he really that clueless?
You have a big problem you need to overcome when it comes to how you relate to males. The problem is your assumption that there can be certain things in the universe that to a male will count as "obvious hints."
"Obvious" and "hints" do not belong together when describing a male's response to relational undertones. Much better is the description, "clueless." Or, to answer the question, "is he really that clueless?"
(Of course I am assuming some other things, as for example that he is not already married, or that he is not gay. If either of those is the case you will need to ask yourself who is really being clueless.)
Most of the reason that women are confused about men, is that women assume that men think the way that women do, despite all the comedians and humorists shouting from the rooftops that "NO, Men and Women do NOT think the same way!"
So, women use "intuition" and body language and emotional clues in order to communicate telepathically, and then they confirm all of their intuition by talking to their friends to see if they were thinking the same thing, which they inevitably were, but to make sure about it they each have to articulate every single nuance that led to their conclusions, which is why women end up talking on average at least twice as much as men per day.
Whereas men operate by "hunches." If a man comes home and discovers his wife waiting for him in the dining room in a negligee, and the only food that is set out is a platter piled with whipped cream, he has a "hunch" that unless he says something really stupid like "why didn't you wear the pink one?" he will probably be enjoying the goodies before long.
Let us analyze this scene. How "obvious" are the "hints?" The problem is that a man has learned never too assume he knows either what is wife is thinking or what she wants at any given moment. Maybe she is wearing the skimpy see-through pajamas because she is both tired and warm. Maybe the whipped cream has been set out that way in preparation for some other recipe being prepared in the kitchen. So the man knows to step carefully.
Which is why men discover that, around women, it is much safer not to say anything than to say the wrong thing, and the wrong this is said most of the time anything is said. So men don't talk much around women, which drives women insane. Women need constant validation for their ESP and telepathy. Men just need to know when it's all right to unmute the television.
So, hopefully this guy you are interested in is not your husband already. If he is, wow, you have some serious issues. But if he is single and you are single, his response to you and your confusion about it might mean one of two things: Either you really do not click the way that you need to for a relationship to work over the long-term, OR, you really do belong together but your relationship will get off the ground only if YOU are the one to take the plunge and ask him out directly.
There are better ways and worse ways to do that. If you are all growed up, you should probably avoid having a friend ask him if he likes you. That's junior high stuff. Wait until you are in a social setting; Hallowe'en might be a good opportunity to find yourself with this guy you like and other friends. Sit close to him, laugh when he says something funny, and then ask him if he would like to go out for coffee sometime. Or, if you are at a place where dancing is happening, go to him and tell him you would like to dance with him, and while you are on the dance floor, ask about a coffee date. Tell him straight out, "I'd like you to call me. Can I give you my number?"
Then you will learn what's up with him. He will either take you up on it, or he will tell you why not, such as: "I'm married and you're my wife's sister" or "I'm allergic to your perfume" or whatever other reason which will have you mortified and kicking yourself for weeks. But hey, you only live once!
Confidential to "Help Me."
Thank you for the letter. I'm not printing it partly for your own protection. I have two comments: First, men don't normally get married because they want to be changed. Whatever the truth about the man's need to change may be, the fact is, a man enters marriage believing that he is admired by his bride for who he is already. So, his negativity may be defensive. Okay?
Second, I strongly encourage you to go with church friends or whomever, maybe with your husband but perhaps better not, to a corny but effective movie that reflects your religious values, called "Fireproof," in current release. Then I challenge you to follow the example of the fire captain's mother. You will know what I mean once you have seen the movie through to the very end. Resources are available to help you do that.