Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Red Light, Green Light – 7 Signs that Say a Woman IS Looking to Hook Up

A couple of weeks ago, before I got this stupid flu thing, I was out drinking with some friends.  One of them was a straight guy friend who is completely clueless about women and dating, which I think is kind of charming, in a weird way.  But I’m strange.

I digress, we were just hanging out.  I wasn’t playing wingwoman or anything like that. An hour or so into the evening I made mention of the fact that a (cute) woman sitting not too far from us at the bar was looking to hook up and that if he was interested, she’d totally go home with him.  YES, I said that.  C’mon, there’s nothing wrong with a couple of grown-ups hooking up.

He was a) not interested  – which is SO another story. b) confused as to why I woud say that this woman was looking to hook up.

And so I had to explain to him that there were certain signs that I could read, and that he should probably learn to read.  If he wanted to.  I think it’s fine if some people are just too to talk to strangers in that context.  I also think it’s kind of slily that they don’t work to get over that but whatever.  I’m a big fan of online dating and one of the great things about is that it’s perfect for people who are shy like that (and, indeed, my friend met his last couple of gfs online).

Speaking of those signs, I figured I’d do you guys a favor and spell some of them out for you.  Let me be clear here, these are not universal.  Just because a woman does one or some of these things does not mean that she definitely wants to hook up with someone.  Or more importantly, just because a woman does one or more of these things, doesn’t mean she wants to hook up with YOU. So please proceed with caution and manners.

7 Signs that Say a Woman IS Looking to Hook Up

  1. She is out in a group of 3 or 4 women and at least one of them is showing lots of cleavage and/or plenty of leg (women don’t dress that way for each other).
  2. She fusses with her hair in the bar mirror.
  3. She frequently reapplies lipgloss or lipstick.
  4. She’s playing with an empty or nearly empty glass.  Maybe she’s playing with her straw.  Or maybe circling the rim of her wineglass with her finger.  Whatever it is, she’s waiting, hoping that someone will buy her next drink.
  5. She makes frequents trips to the bathroom, alone (which requires her to walk past a group of men).
  6. One of her friends purse bumps you (a woman will frequently bump her purse into a man, not-so-subtly, or elbow him as she walks slowly by to start a conversation).  In my experience, the purse bumper is not usually the woman who is interested in hooking up.  Rather, she’s breaking the ice for a friend of hers.
  7. She is coming up to the bar, alone, to order drinks (each time angling her way in next to a guy, maybe you), thereby ignoring table service.

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5 to “Red Light, Green Light – 7 Signs that Say a Woman IS Looking to Hook Up”


  1. PMFoutofwater says:

    Nice post. I always knew you guys were up to something with your purse bumps!

  2. shabel says:

    Haha! Good list… what about the one where she will look uninterested in her friends’ conversations? Coz I do that a lot. LOL…

  3. lostplum says:

    #6 (the purse bump) has got many of my friends boys/laid! I am the queen of this….in fact I think I invented this ;)

  4. Simone Grant says:

    -PMFoutofwater
    Assume we’re always up to something. Except for when we’re not.
    -shabel
    Another excellent one. Thanks.
    -lostplum
    It’s true, you are the queen of the pursebump.

  5. Michelle-Ashley says:

    I’m feeling a little hypocritical right now to be honest.

    Often times my girlfriends and I will get together and discuss the multiple lame, sly, smooth ways men attempt to pick up women at the bar. Going on for hours about how vulgar these actions CAN be, I never thought to stop and analyze my own actions. It is true; we really do do all of those things you listed above. Turns out, we too are just as sneaky and predictable as the men we were teasing.