Study confirmed that straight men interpret a woman’s actions as more sexual or romantic than they actually are. This essentially means that men are more likely to think you’re flirting with them when you aren’t, so you have to take extra care to avoid misinterpretations. (Frustrating, I know.) “The child safety experts I work with are constantly warning young ladies [that] doing a duck face kiss and posting it a thousand times on Instagram … may send a particular message that may not be truthful about what your intentions are,” Kardian says. “Guys more easily mistake that than women do.”
Alcohol makes those misinterpretations worse, says Kardian. “With each drink he takes, he believes that the woman that he may be looking at, talking with, or interested in now sees him even more attractive.”
This is why, if you’re truly not interested in a guy, it’s crucial to give him a firm, clear, and direct “no.” You could even be a little assertive if you have to. Because if you interact with him in a way that makes him think he has even the slightest chance with you, he will continue trying — and you may be put at risk.
It’s completely unfair that the burden of these misinterpretations are on us. And rest assured that if he continues to misinterpret your behavior after you’ve done what you can to make sure he doesn’t, it is 100 percent not your fault. Even before you’ve done all you can, it’s not your fault! Still, we must acknowledge this dynamic when we navigate spaces where sex is a possibility.