Pulse.ng logo

Pulse Blogger The traffic light approach: What’s your signal?

Like traffic lights on roads, I think we should mix things up a little bit. As much as directness is great in relationships, changing signs could subtly keep things just a little interesting and dynamic.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
We should be aware of the signals we give off. play

We should be aware of the signals we give off.

(Thought Catalog)

Pretty much every conversation around me ends up bordering around the subject of dating and relationships.

The conversation route…. Destination? Dating.

I guess it is inevitable at a certain stage in life. A few recent experiences have also taken me towards a direction to which I have not given much in-depth thought. Hence, I have come to realise that it is important that we should be aware of the signals we give off. We probably hear this all the time, but some of us haven’t really taken out the time for a proper self-navigation.

Real life example.

Here is an example: One day, I took my fifteen-year old friend out for lunch. On leaving the restaurant, we ran into a former male colleague of mine, and struck up a decent conversation. Afterwards, my little fifteen-year old friend told me that she strongly sensed that this guy was interested in me, but I gave no indication that I was single or available, like a HUGE red light…despite my friendliness.

My reaction to what she said was, “You are only fifteen years old, what do you know about the journey of life?” But she persisted and advised me to loosen up. My immediate thought was “What do fifteen year olds get up to these days?” Besides, after having written quite a few articles about my observations on flirtation, I consider myself a guru on the subject matter. I really thought I had it down.

Read Also: Attraction,stupidity and technique

The traffic light analogy play

The traffic light analogy



Perception, reality?

This perception of my behaviour or should I say, apparent repelling signals or STOP sign, was brought up yet again when a colleague gave me the special assignment to “have fun” during my upcoming holiday. I asked her what she meant, and being the straight-talking person that she is, she said that she could sense that I have a rigid and safe approach in my social life, which she sees as an indication of my perceived introverted character.

She did not find this to be much of a problem; but then she suggested that I’d be a little less uptight. I thought that as much as she may have been somewhat correct in her analysis of my personal life, there is only so much I can change about myself.

The dating traffic lights.

So taking all of this in, I started to think about the very popular concept of the traffic light approach to flirting, dating and relationships.

Red light.

Here is something to think about: If, on a road, the traffic light stays red for too long, a traffic jam builds up and frustration sets in. In the context of relationships, this is when the person sends signals that halt the approach of potential people of interest such that they are left waiting and eventually seek alternative routes (which may be longer or rougher) or turn around altogether.

But here’s the thing: If they see that route as worth taking, then could it be worth waiting for the traffic to eventually clear, or maybe find out why the light remains red for longer than it should and maybe try to find a solution?

Amber light.

If the light is amber for a prolonged period, then this sends mixed signals and builds anxiety. I look at this signal as people who are unsure of what they want in a relationship and constantly keep potential suitors guessing because the light could either turn green or red at any instant. I think a bit of mystery is exciting, but too much could get really annoying.

Green light.

Then if on green for too long, there will be free flow of traffic and a smooth ride.

The male perspective.

After speaking to some male friends, I have come to discover that, due to the fear of rejection, it takes a bit of courage to approach a lady they are interested in. So this is the part where a man searches for a signal from a woman that indicates her interest. For some, it could be as little as a smile; for some who are shy, it could be the lady initiating contact, and for those who don’t mind taking a risk, they can beat the red light and only hope that they do not cause an accident that they could later regret.

Read Also: Who should make the first move?

Men enjoy the thrill of the chase... play

Men enjoy the thrill of the chase...



Changing lights.

Like traffic lights on roads, I think we should mix it up a little bit. As much as directness is great in relationships, changing signs subtly could keep things just a little interesting and dynamic. For instance, after giving the green light, the man had made his way in,but it is important not to start to give off too much of her interest as a woman because the challenge fades,as she is no longer the exciting mysterious creature that keeps things interesting and leaves the man on his toes,craving for more.

What people usually say is that men enjoy the thrill of this chase, but what I think it is, is that human beings just like some dynamism.

In addition to dynamism, changing signals also helps set boundaries. For instance, some have somewhat differing personal values, and many other ideals they live by. I think that values and personality should not be compromised in the name of pleasing another person because this would be at the first person’s expense,unless true comfort is sought in reaching a compromise. This requires maturity, deep communication and a high level of respect for oneself and the other person in the relationship.

So there you have it! Check the balance of the signals you send, and make a few changes, you might just see a difference.

Just remember to always apply some wisdom in your approach.

Written by Oyin Egbeyemi.

Oyin Egbeyemi is an engineer-turned-consultant-turned-educationist, runner and writer.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.