Being nice is important to us, but it's not a free ticket to the bedroom if you've got none of the other things.
Just to be clear, there are actually girls for whom jerkiness is the first thing they're drawn to (or rather, they're drawn to other factors that tend to come packaged with jerkitude). But for a lot of them, this is because they've grown up being mistreated or abused, so trying to take advantage of that makes you a dick.
"What Does a Girl Mean When She Says X?"
(Note: The above is a real iPhone app, by someone named Simon Poon.)
The right question (Plan A):
"Girl, what did you mean when you said X?"
Believe it or not, there is, in fact, no universal woman-code language. A girl who says she is "not ready for a relationship" may literally mean the very idea of dating terrifies her at the moment for whatever reason. She may be politely avoiding telling you that she doesn't find you attractive. She might be the manipulative harpy some men think all women are, and is playing games to see how much you want her. And of course, she may be a hipster who finds the word "relationship" too conformist and wants to have a "cooperative sex-love venture" with you.
"Are you participating in this venture or not?"
So which one is it? Well, Plan A --and I know this is going to sound crazy -- is to ask her. I'm sure that you, the socially well-adjusted Cracked reader, would have already done that, but many people will just nod in understanding at the girl and then run away to ask other people, or complain on the Internet. I'd strongly suggest Plan A, but if that goes wrong, like she's terrible at explaining things, you might have to ask someone else.
Like if you were talking to Miss Teen South Carolina.