It always puzzled me — why does every guy I want to be friends with try to hold my hand?

My rulebook for wanting to stay single:
I keep a 3 feet cushion space between me and him.

I avoid using wink emojis through text.

I deflect every flirty compliment or move he throws at me by shrugging it off.

I even tell him, “sorry I’m not interested in dating. I’d rather focus on work.”

I mean, how much more clearer can I be?!?

But then I realized, it wasn’t his fault for making the wrong move and jeopardizing what could have been a great relationship. It was me.

For the longest of times, I’d been giving guys mixed signals without realizing it. Maybe I’d been too sheltered during my 9 1/2 year relationship and never exposed myself to dating. Or maybe my bubbly personality naturally invited men to flirt with me.

Either way, I had to revisit the old-fashioned “dating rules,” which by the way…sucks! Because most of them are deeply ingrained into my personality and habits.

  1. Eating dinner together.
  2. Instantly replying to his text.
  3. Using emojis to express my mood.
  4. Smiling while talking.
  5. Giving lots of compliments (on his achievements, skills, dress style)
  6. Asking for his number.
  7. Wearing slightly more makeup than average.
  8. Making eye contact for more than 3 seconds.
  9. Mimicking his gestures, accidentally.
  10. Leaning forward on the table while talking.
  11. Wearing any shoe higher than an inch.
  12. Asking one question too much.
  13. Putting on perfume.
  14. Wearing skirts or dresses of any length or style.
  15. Being too nice.
  16. Being too worried.
  17. Getting a quick coffee or tea.
  18. Asking for his honest opinion or advice about an important matter.
  19. Sharing my past, and explaining why I’m doing the things I’m doing now.
  20. Inviting him to a game of pool, mini-golf, arcades, bowling, a hike, any small leisure activity.
  21. Dressing up as if I’m about to head to a house party.
  22. Being open about how I feel.

So guys, please don’t take my actions to a serious level yet. I may be open with my mind, but if my reaction tells you otherwise, it’s better we stay as friends.

Written by Tiffany Sun