dropping hints

take the hint

i’m not a big jewelry fan.  i’ve been wearing the same tiny silver hoop earrings for the last 14 years.  the bad news, Craig can’t buy me with jewelry.  the good news, Craig never has to buy me jewelry.

well almost never.

he bought my wedding set.  natch.  and he just bought me a vintage ring i saw in an antique store as a surprise for my birthday.

but this one time at band camp i left a hint about a ring i wanted that i saw in an ad.  and by hint, i mean i accidentally left the ad laying on his pillow and i would hold it up and say, “did i show you this?  do you like it?  i think i like it.”  i did that approximately once for every dollar the US is in debt.

he bought me the ring.

is Craig more perceptive than most guys?  probably not.  he just noticed i was making a fuss over something i normally wouldn’t.

guys, as a rule, aren’t good at picking up on hints.  why?  because that’s not how they interact with each other.  they’re blunt.  they’re direct.  in a fight, whoever hits the ground first, loses.  easy.  done.

but get the hint?  not normally.

girls, your success rate of getting a guy to do what you want him to do increases by roughly a billion percent when you are direct.


you:  “wow, the trash smells.”

him:  “sure does.”

trash stays in the house for another day.

you:  “the trash probably needs to go out.”

him:  “sure does.”

trash stays in the house for another day.

you:  “you need to take the trash out.”

him:  “i sure do.”

trash might make it out of the house at some point that day.

you:  “can you get the trash out of the house right now?  it’s starting to smell.”

him:  “sure.”


and don’t forget the thank you.

now girls, this isn’t guys being irresponsible or lazy or not wanting to help.

it’s just that picking up on clues is not their thing.  especially if their minds are on something else.  cut them some slack.  when it comes to women, having to guess or wonder if they are reading the signs correctly can be terrifying for even the most grown of men.

put them out of their misery and just say what you mean.  like “i don’t want to date you.”  or “you should ask me out.”

need some more clarification, then read this older post of mine called “he should just know!”  pay special attention to Bryan Allain‘s instruction in the comments section.

girls, do you drop hints?

guys, do you pick up the hints?

this post brought to you by my writer’s block and a suggestion made by Jamie while playing Words With Friends this morning.


22 comments on “dropping hints

  1. Jamie says:

    I’m guilty of hinting. I’ll bat eyelashes and hold a hand while suggesting all types of lunacy. And then I think “This guy isn’t too swift. We should break up.” Only then am I direct.

    I’m Southern, so I inherently think confrontation is overrated. It’s why we tend to land last in almost every “best state to ____________” list.

    • pathologically polite can be endearing.

    • Jennifer C. says:

      Being direct can be hard sometimes. Being from the South, I was born and bred to be pathologically polite. One time I had to tell a guy that I didn’t want to date him. I dropped too many hints, and he kept asking me out. I almost threw up when I told him like it was. By almost, I mean I did a little.

  2. Mandie Marie says:

    I had this conversation a few months ago.
    Me: I hate carnations. Carnations are ugly.
    Him: Oh.
    Me: They make me want to barf. That means you should never buy me carnations.
    Him: Noted.

    As soon as it goes from “oh” to “noted” I know that I have communicated effectively.

  3. JBen says:

    Super true. I just had a conversation with my fiance today and she chose to be very direct. It was difficult for her but I understood wonderfully.

    Not bad at all for a thrown together post.

  4. Brilliant, Sharideth! And so true! Any statement without the all important qualifier–such as “I’d like you to take out the trash now”–is interpreted as being open to interpretation. Because I have priorities, too.

  5. Chris says:

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but when did this blog become “A Woman’s Guide to Men?” 🙂

    I already know I’m dense. It’s the women’s hints I need help figuring out.

    Or rather, do women appreciate direct communication? Is it bad manners to ask them to clarify an obvious hint? Does it make it better or worse to attempt to break the silent treatment with frank questions?

    For example, how would you rewrite poor Chet’s text messages in the graphic above?

    (I’m being slightly extra dense here, for the sake of discussion, but I would indeed like to read the answers.)

    • i occasionally throw in something specifically for the girls. usually it’s aimed at making life a little easier on the guys and giving everyone an opportunity to communicate better.

      maybe tomorrow there needs to be a part 2 on how to clarify the hints girls throw out there….

  6. Freakin’ gold. I don’t know how many times my wife and I have had a conversation about this. She’s not all to blame. I should probably pay attention to hints more. It’s just so hard.

    When it really matters, don’t drop a hint.

    If I wanna show some love and score some points, pick up on the hints.

  7. TOO true! I am definitely guilty of trying to drop hints, then get disappointed when he doesn’t pick up on it. Its a fine line between being demanding and saying what you want…Do you agree? How do you come off not sounding like a nag when you say take out the trash right now! I guess its better than the alternative since I have a very low tolerance for bad smells lol

  8. The problem with hints is they’re completely subjective. You only see them if you’re looking for them, and if you’re looking for them you’ll find them whether they’re there [their] or not. If the guy’s not into you, he won’t pick up on hints of whether or not you like him. If he’s into you, he’ll make up his own “evidence” of what seem like hints, and use that to justify pursuing you. HINT: if it’s the latter, your passive hints in the other direction will NOT be perceived.

  9. yeah right says:

    Except if you ask the guy directly, he’ll think you are bossing him around and dig his heels in. Or some of them will. And you never know which one you got til the first time you ask. Being indirect is a way of letting him know something needs attention without making it into a direct power play, which too many guys find threatening. And if any of you guys out there don’t like it, you’re the ones who make being told what to do, even nicely, into a freaking power play. It’s in your hands to change it. Make it so.

    Also, YES, he’s being lazy and useless if you had to ask him to take out the trash five days in a row. Trash is physical reality. It will not go away on its own. It does not matter what his opinion is or how direct or indirect you are. If he can’t see the trash can is full then he needs to be sent to a desert island to live all by himself where no one else has to smell him.

    Seriously? This is the 21st century. Are parents still not teaching their sons how to do housework? Because women are still coming home from full-time work and doing a second shift being the house maid and 24-hour child care.

  10. Dave says:

    I know the trash is only an example, and any guy with half a brain knows that taking the trash out is foreplay, when he is attentive to her wants/needs.environment, she will WANT him….but there are other ways to ask, Honey can you take this smelly trash out for me so I can make you….

    Other than that I hate hints in those early days, just wish they would out and say it….

  11. Heta says:

    Why should he buy you a ring? Why don’t you buy it yourself? :/ Is this a cultural thing that men should give presents to their girlfriends? I am a Finn and I hate getting presents from men. 😛

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