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Subtle Times at Floating Atoll

Recently, I've noticed more flirting than usual from the girls I interact with in my daily life; standing at the bike rack, working at the coffee shop, playing pool at the bar; I'm rather unaccustomed to the attention. It seems to be unrelated to my physical appearance, or at least the parts of it that I can change (haircut and clothes); I surmise, then, that I've started broadcasting some sort of "low-key" signal expressing interest.

It could be the other way around, though; I may have just recently learned how to interpret some "low-key" signal that I'm not aware of, such that it seems that now everyone's flirting with me; maybe they already were, and I just couldn't tell. Maybe it's both.

I think that successful low-key flirting requires both parties to actively work towards communication, even if the total conversation consists of eye contact on your way out the door. It's hard to say, but I suspect that it's similar to how your olfactory sense works: every nerve (person) in your nose (life) reacts differently to a given smell (interaction), and it's up to your brain to somehow make some sense of those reports and react appropriately.

Each time you interact with someone you're attracted to, dedicate a few seconds of thought (not too much) to the interaction. Don't worry about extracting useful conclusions from it, just think back to the interaction, compare it to other interactions, and then get on with whatever you're doing. Occasionally you'll know for sure that someone was attracted to you — and as you think back, you might suddenly realize that an interaction you thought was friendly was actually a flirt.

Most social groups have some forum where discussion about interactions is accepted; stereotypically, girls go the bathroom and guys go the bar. Over time, each person assembles in their mind some subconscious compendium of low-key signs and probable meanings; sharing situations with others allows this to happen much more effectively, as you can air several opinions about any given situation. That's at the core of my current social interaction theory: first, interactions; second, interpretation; third, comparison.

Link: This was originally posted as a reply, elsewhere (not safe for work); I've edited it somewhat.


I dunno... my best friend, who's a guy, used to say that several times a year guys gathered around me as though I were in heat, although he couldn't detect any change from other times.

I never could actually make anything happen, though. It went down or it didn't.

Good luck to you, however your cycles play out...

As I was reading this post, I kept thinking "I know I've read this before, and I think it was on my own blog". Glad to see I haven't completely lost my memory.

Also, I've meant to email you and say how amazed I was to see how quickly you read through my archives and left an amazing amount of detailed comments. I'm still not sure whether to be impressed, flattered or frightened by you. I'm leaning away from the last one, though.

Hello, young friend. I'm betting you are getting better at reading faces and body language. It is an interesting subject, go check out:


Paul Ekman's site on how to learn to read faces. This is revolutionary stuff, in that it makes it easy to see what other people are feeling.

Now, on keeping those relationships:


(p.s. Joey pointed me to your site)

first, interactions; second, interpretation; third, comparison

Isn't that the way all learning is accomplished anyway?

crappy comments above. [noted, thanks. --ed]

It's difficult to mistake friendliness from kindness and vice versa.
One 'rule' I have noticed is that if your eyes are not making eye contact, but she is viewing any other area of you(especially the face), then it shows interest.

I always find the best way to find out is to first find out more about them. I treat all as a friend with no intentions of otherwise until those intentions manifest themselves from conversation. The body language works as well, but it's the way people try to articulate their thoughts into sentences without slipping that gives away alot... Freud, is that you?

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