A challenge that all single blokes face this year will be figuring the line between demonstrating interest and being a pest.

The great unknown pondered by sentient males will forever be finding the secret to women. It’s a fool’s errand, of course, because that is like asking how heavy is a particle of light, or why do fish have scales but not very short fur? The answer will always be “That’s a stupid question” or “What kind of dummy are you?”

Neither question nor answer is especially helpful.

The time-honored (if now somewhat disreputable) way we tested a lady’s interest was to make a move. We’d make some kind of physical contact, anything from a hand on the small of the back to an outright move toward a snog.

Interestingly, an Australian Prime Minister, Mr Keating, once spawned howls of outrage by placing his hand on the royal personage of HM Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia and some other places.

With lovely irony, in subsequent years Mr Keating came out as a queen himself.

At the other end of the action-man’s making-a-move spectrum is the stealing a smooch plan. In my long-ago youth, this was accepted as valid, if not validating. Memory highlights my many rejections and separates them from the numerically fewer successes, proof that failure hurts more than love heals.

The line separating wanted and unwanted advances has always existed, which is exactly as it should be. Although women might think that their green lights are easily seen, guys don’t see them as clearly as they would like meaning that persistence, daring, opportunism, confidence, playfulness, risk tolerance and resilience will win in the end.

Those qualities make for successful men and strong fathers. But that was then. For now we might be wise to work on green light interpretation.