An excellent article called "No More Confusion: Give Good Green Light and Red Light" appeared in Glamour magazine.  I believe it was in the March 2000 issue on pg 284.  It discussed the clues potential lovers flash each other and how they are misinterpreted.  Here are some examples of common misinterpretations from the article.

What you say: "Let's split the check."
What you mean: "I really like you, but it's the twenty first century.  I've got a great job, and I just made a killing this quarter on my mutual fund.  There's no reason you should have to pay for my grilled salmon."
What He Hears: "I don't want to feel financially obligated to have sex with you later tonight."

The article suggests a simple rule, whoever does the asking does the paying.

What you say: "Can I bring a friend."
What you mean: "I'd love to have dinner with you Friday night, but I've already made plans with my closest girlfriend, and I don't want to dump her.  Besides, I want her to see how sexy you are."
What He Hears: "I don't want to be alone with you."

What you say: "Can you help me set up my new home-theater system?"
What you mean: "I'd like to spend some time getting to know you in a comfortable, low key situation."
What He Hears: "I need a great big he-man like you to put my life in working order.  And when you finish, I'll reward you in ways you've only dreamed about."

What you say: "You remind me of my ex-boyfriend from high school"
What you mean: "You've got a great sense of humor.   That's what made me first fall in love with him."
What He Hears: "You're just like that loser I dumped."

What you say: "I'm not ready to get into a romantic relationship right now."
What you mean: "I'm not interested in you at all."
What He Hears: "I'm not ready to date you today, but try me again tomorrow or next week."

What you say: "Nothing.  You wait a week before you return his phone call."
What you mean: "I've read The Rules, and I know that for you to fall in love with me I have to play hard to get."
What He Hears: "Leave me alone. I'm not interested."

What you say: "It was really nice meeting you, but I have to get going."
What you mean: "You're the best thing at this party, but my friends are leaving and I don't want to walk home alone.  Now's your cue to ask for my phone number."
What He Hears: "Sayonara, sucker."

What you say: "Do you want to come in."
What you mean: "I'm having a really nice time, and I'd like to hang out with you a little longer."
What He Hears: "Do you wanna fool around?"

The article suggests putting a time limit on the invitation by asking "Do you want to come in for a half hour?  I'd love to finish our conversation."


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