It’s Thursday night. You’ve worked ungodly hours all week and then gone and thrown around weights, done cardio, and trained in your martial art of choice. It’s what you do as a man, because making money and fortifying your body are more or less the only two things that you can rely on, the two things you know won’t disappoint you.

There’s a girl you’ve pursued actively for a few weeks now but your schedules have yet to mesh, with you handling your business regularly and her of course being “so busy with work and school” in between selfie sessions and Like-collecting on Facebook. Here’s a typical exchange of the texts between the two of you:

You: Hey! That new Marvel movie opens tomorrow, want to go see it? We were talking about how cool it looks last week, remember?

Her: Hmm, maybe. I’ll let you know.

You: Okay, there’s a screening at 9pm. I’ll be in touch.

Her: Sounds good.

You text the next day mid-afternoon: So are you down for the movie tonight?

No answer. Your rationale of texting mid-day to not seem too early nor too late was supposedly “safe,” right? Wrong. If she wanted to hang out with you, she would JUMP at the opportunity to do it and everything else would be put on hold. Given the requisite level of attraction, nothing would stop her or get in her way. Straight-up. No hesitation. No “maybe.”

In today’s age of too many social options for women, the illustrious “maybe” means that you should probably move on to a new prospect. When you receive this response, it means one of two things:

1. She really is not interested. She never wanted to hang out as-is, but is too polite and “doesn’t want to hurt your feelings” by actually telling you this and seeming like a bitch. She sees her social status as far too important to compromise, and there’s that shred of a chance you might call her out on Facebook, which would be akin to cutting off her oxygen supply. “Maybe” in this case is simply a passive-aggressive and semi-polite way of saying no without really saying no.

2. She might actually be mildly interested BUT it’s contingent on having no better offers come up between now and then, from either males or females. If a group of female friends decides to go to a club and play attention whore, or if a hotter guy with greater social or economic standing dangles a more appealing carrot, you can bet either scenario will win out over you. Why fight an uphill battle?

Of course, you won’t know what exactly she did that night where she couldn’t even dignify you with a response unless you Facebook or Instagram “stalk” her, and if you decide to call her out on her shadiness the usual female chorus of “Douchebag-Awkward-Creeper!” will be repeated like a broken record nobody can quite reach with a sledgehammer to smash.

Gentlemen, be of sound mind that the modern “maybe” is just a thinly-disguised “no” the vast majority of the time in our society. Even if it is not a 100% kill, you’re looking at a 10% chance at best. I don’t like those odds, personally, which is why it’s important to play the numbers and always have other backup options at the ready.

After all, women do this on a constant basis, so why shouldn’t you?

Read More: 5 Things I Learned About Women This Week