Is she just being nice or is it more?
Photo by: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
Should you make a move?
Should you ask her out?
Should you ask for a second date?
Should you kiss her (or better yet, ask if you can)?
It can be a tough call to make. As a woman, I know that we?re socialized to do a lot of the emotional labor when interacting with a man.
We feel like it?s our responsibility to make sure his feelings aren?t hurt, that we don?t reject him too hard, that we make him feel heard, that we acknowledge him and not ignore him.
We?re taught in all sorts of little ways to be super friendly even when we don?t really want to be. We want to be likeable, and part of that means making everyone else feel liked.
We?ve all learned how to let a guy down gently and how to avoid making him feel rejected (even when we?re rejecting him).
We?re taught to smile even when we?re uncomfortable.
So, even though we all give signs when we don?t like someone (or don?t like them as more than a friend), they?re subtle and often get misinterpreted.
If you want to know if a girl really likes you or is just being friendly or polite, here are the signs you should look for.
She Acts Nervous (But in a Good Way)
If she likes you, she won?t be able to play it cool when you?re around.
Your attention makes her blush. She acts a little shy when speaking with you. She laughs at your jokes, even the ones you?re pretty sure aren?t all that good.
She might also seem a little off her game. Sadly, my game is at its best when I care less. I make bold moves because they?re fun, I say what comes to my mind instead of second guessing it. But when I start developing real feelings, I struggle more. I play it safer.
If her game isn?t at 100%, it?s probably because she likes you. She wants to impress you, entice you, and get closer to you but she?s worried she?ll mess it up and that makes her a little too nervous.
And if you make her nervous in the wrong way? You?ll be able to tell because she won?t be engaged. She?ll feel like she?s trying to close herself off or pull away, not trying to connect with you. Respect that and save your attention for someone who will want and appreciate it.
Her Body Language Is Inviting
If she?s into you, you?ll feel it in the way she positions and moves her body.
She?ll turn toward you. She?ll try to get close to you. She?ll try to touch you, even if she makes it look like an accident. Even if a girl wants you to make the first move, she?ll do something to nudge you in that direction, like putting her hand next to yours.
You?ll get lots of eye contact and plenty of smiles from her. She won?t be spending her time looking away like she wants an excuse to leave or something better to look at.
She?ll also be responsive to your body language. If you move in closer to her or touch her, she won?t pull away. (Though be careful not to overdo this one. Keep it subtle so that she can gently move away without feeling awkward.)
She Mirrors You
Imitation is a form of flattery. If she likes you, it will be like your mannerisms are contagious. She might use the same turn of phrase you just used or smirk the way you just did.
It?s not usually deliberate. When you like someone, you pay attention to every little thing they?re doing and you subconsciously imitate it.
If she?s mirroring you, that means she?s locked in and focused on you. And that?s a good sign.
She?s Preening and Primping
Having a crush on someone feels really good (usually, anyway), but it does come with a few little uncomfortable feelings. One of them is self-consciousness.
When I like someone, I?m highly aware of myself when they?re around. I want to make a good impression, I want them to think I?m attractive, so I spend my whole time low-key wondering whether I have any strands of hair sticking out of place, how my shirt looks, and how I?m holding my purse.
If she seems to be constantly fussing with her appearance, playing with her hair, adjusting her clothes, and just generally fidgeting, take it as a sign that she likes you and she hopes you like her, too.
She?s Creating a Connection with You
If she wants to build a connection with you, she?ll do it in two ways.
First, she?ll show genuine interest in you. She?ll ask a lot of questions to get to know you better. And she won?t be shy about going a little deeper than the surface stuff.
Second, she?ll open up to you. She?ll find opportunities to share details about herself and revealing parts of her personality.
If you?re also asking questions, you?ll be learning about each other, getting excited about each other, and getting closer in the process. You should be able to feel that energy between you two.
She?s Finding Excuses to Talk to You
Does it feel like she?s initiating contact even when there?s no big reason to?
If she calls you out of the blue asking for help or advice with something or you get texts that say things like:
I just saw this meme and it reminded me of what you said the other day
Ah! I?m so nervous for my job interview later! Help me keep my mind off it?
Or even just
Hey, I?m bored.
It means you?re on her mind even when you?re not around.
This is a tricky one, though. If you know each other well, it could just be regular friendship contact. But if you?re just started getting to know each other and you?re not that close yet, it could be more.
She Teases You ? And It Feels Good
Playful teasing is something that you do when you?re close to someone, but it can also be a shortcut to building that closeness.
There?s something intimate about it. If she?s teasing you, it shows that she?s been paying attention to you, wants to make you laugh, maybe even wants to throw you off your game a little to see the real you shine through.
It?s fun and it?s sweet. If she?s doing it, there?s a good chance it?s because she wants to draw you closer.
It?s got to be gentle, though. She might poke at a few little sore spots, but it should only be by accident and in good spirits. If she?s going for the jugular, she might just be cruel or toying with you. Move on and find someone who is ready to treat you better than that.
She Remembers the Things You Tell Her
Again, this comes down to paying attention, but she?ll also show you that she?s been listening. She?ll bring things up in conversation that you spoke about, even days later. She starts little inside jokes with you based on what you?ve said to her.
And that includes the dumb little things, too, like remembering your favorite color or the football team you?re rooting for even though she?s not into sports.
She?s also mindful of what you?re going through. If you told her that you?ve got a major work deadline to hit by Wednesday, she?ll wish you luck on Tuesday but give you a little bit of space instead of texting you non-stop during that day.
She?s Playing Cat and Mouse
Some women are very direct when it comes to seduction and will pursue you aggressively. As far as I can tell, though, that?s the exception rather than the rule. Women, for the most part, prefer being chased instead of doing the chasing.
That doesn?t mean she won?t try to seduce you. If she likes you, she will. It?s just that her seduction will be more like a cat and mouse game ? and she wants to be the mouse.
I?m very much like this. I?m submissive in bed and I like to play the more submissive role on the way to the bedroom, too. But that doesn?t mean I won?t do anything to indicate I want it. I?ll be flirty and coy. I?ll make bold insinuations that are really invitations. I?ll get a little playfully defiant to challenge him to impress me or come after me. My voice changes. You can see the excitement in my face because I can barely hide it and I bite my lip when he?s starting to move things in the right direction.
If she really wants you, it will feel like she?s escalating things playfully. But if she doesn?t, she?ll be more avoidant. She either won?t be playing the game at all, or she?ll be shutting down the flirtation.
The differences can be subtle, but they?re noticeable. If she?s just being avoidant or indifferent, it will feel like a challenge to seduce her. But if she?s playing the seductive mouse, you?ll feel like she?s actively challenging you to do it. She?ll match your energy ? when you move things forward, she?ll move ahead along with you.
You Get to See the Real Her
A girl who likes you will show you her real self. She?ll get comfortable around you and all her guards will slowly start coming down.
You?ll get to see her quirky side. She?ll nerd out about what it is that she loves to nerd out about because she wants to be herself around you. For me, it?s vlogs I?m into and elaborate vegan recipes I?ll never get around to making. It?s also when I start showing my real sense of humor, with too many dorky jokes, puns, and Office references.
If she doesn?t like you in a serious way, you?re only ever going to get her polished persona. She?ll show you the same presentation every random schmuck gets to see. She?ll try to act cool instead of just letting go.
You Have Her Undivided Attention
Obviously, you can?t have it all the time. Sometimes, you?re in a group of friends or you?re texting her while she?s in the middle of something. But you?ll regularly get her total focus because you?re a high priority to her.
If she?s busy and only has twenty minutes to spare, you?ll get that full twenty minutes. If she isn?t, she might stay on the phone with you for over an hour, getting deep into conversation. And if you?re on a date, she?ll ignore her notifications instead of constantly reaching for her phone.
And when you don?t have her full attention, she?ll tell you. If she likes you, she wants you to know that. She doesn?t want you to misread her being busy as not caring. She won?t just text back once every few hours without an explanation of why it can?t be more frequent ? not if she?s really into you.
She Doesn?t Put Up with Your Bullshit
If you?re honest with yourself, you know that you probably have a few bad tendencies. Maybe you?re flaky and don?t text when you say you would. Maybe you?re distracted and inattentive when you spend time with her. Or maybe you sometimes say things that can come across a little disrespectful or rude.
If she puts up with that stuff, it?s for one of two reasons. Either she?s a major people pleaser or a bit of a doormat, which is sadly a possibility (if that?s the case, don?t take advantage of her ? her life is rough enough as it is), or she just doesn?t think you two have a long shelf life. She?s not going to bother trying to fix you or ask you to shape up if she?s not going to be around for the new and improved version of you anyway.
If she calls you out when you do something hurtful to her, it?s because she wants you guys to work through it and be better together.
And if she?s called you out before but doesn?t bother doing it anymore, she probably lost interest in you as a serious, long-term prospect.
Being called out doesn?t feel good, but take it positively, because she wouldn?t do it if she wasn?t into you.
Look Past the Polite Smiles
Every woman I know plays a delicate game when it comes to showing her interest in a man. She always wants to be polite, friendly, and sweet, sometimes even to guys who are really off-putting to her or don?t make her feel safe. At the same time, she?s always mindful of making sure she?s not leading anyone on or sending mixed messages.
The wires often get crossed. Sometimes, we try our hardest to keep up that nice front while telegraphing that we?re not into a guy and he still thinks he has a chance.
I try to avoid too much of the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus stuff, but it really sometimes feel like guys and girls are speaking different languages. So, consider this article a translation guide. If you?re into a girl, look for the signs that I?ve mentioned to see if she?s into you, too. If you?re not picking up on these, chances are she?s not interested or just wants to be friends.
And friends ain?t bad. So, be grateful for her attention and concentrate your energies on someone who will give you some clear (even if subtle) signs that your efforts might get you somewhere.
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