10 Ways You Can Tell If a Girl Likes You

By: Natalie Kilgore & Sydney Murphy  | 

teen girl in library
Does she or doesn't she? Can you tell for sure? Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

You are sitting behind your crush in math class and you get butterflies in your stomach as you try to muster up the courage to ask them out. But your nerves always seem to get the best of you. You walk on to the next class without a Friday night date. Again.

We know you've all been there at one time or another. You want to ask out a certain girl, but you can't tell if she likes you enough to say yes. You may even rather bungee jump off of a bridge than risk being rejected. And, yes, the thought of rejection is terrifying — we'll give you that. On the flip side, she could secretly be interested in you, too, in which case, we encourage you to overcome your fears, take a risk and ask her out.

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So, how can you tell if a girl likes you enough to go on a date with you? Cracking the code to a girl's heart certainly isn't easy, but here's the good news — people just like you have been looking into the issue for hundreds of years, and you can benefit from their research. If you look hard enough and pay attention to her subtle signals, the clues are in the pudding. You just need to know what to look for — and we're here to help by sharing 10 big hints that a girl is into you.

10: Her Body Language is Flirtatious

Paying close attention to a girl's body language is a great way to tell if she likes you. Be on the lookout for a girl who crosses her legs toward you and plays with her hair while holding your gaze. While you don't want to have a weird staring contest, eye contact is important; it shows you have confidence, which is extremely attractive.

Most girls know what they're doing when it comes to flirting. If she made your heart race when she rested her hand on your shoulder during the conversation, it was no accident. More than likely, she's interested in you and is trying to let you know in a subtle way, hoping you'll get the message and return the gesture.

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A girl who's interested in what you have to say will listen to you and give you her undivided attention. But one who has other things on her mind will allow her eyes to wander, paying attention to her surroundings instead of her conversation with you. Her response to your jokes can be an obvious sign that she is into you. If she laughs at your jokes and gentle teases, she is probably interested in having more conversations with you.

Still not sure if her body language is giving you the green light? See how a girl responds to you taking her hand if you want her to follow you through a tight crowd. If she squeezes your hand back, this is definitely a positive sign. If she drops your hand immediately, try not to take it personally, but this shows she's uncomfortable with the physical touch and might not be into you.

9: You've Become an Information Kiosk

If it's common knowledge that you're the best student in science class, then it's natural for people — like your crush — to come to you with questions about homework or an upcoming test. But if she texts you directly with questions, she could be trying to make a connection with you using homework as her excuse to talk to you, so pay attention to what she says!

She won't just send you single-word texts or take days to respond, she'll ask you questions and add her own thoughts to keep the conversation going [source: Liles]. Try to keep the conversation light and friendly — there is no need to get too serious right off the bat.

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8: Conversation Is Playful and Inviting

Any girl can be polite and friendly when you strike up a conversation with her, but if she really likes you, the conversation will take a playful and flirtatious turn. She'll laugh at your jokes and go out of her way to compliment you. Pay attention to her body language as well because if she is leaning into you during the conversation, that is a sign she wants to connect with you on a higher level. Some girls might even be a bit more forward. If she leans in and compliments your outfit, take note that she's paying attention to your appearance.

So, where do you go from here? Talking to your crush through text messages, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok is one way to go. It's less intimidating than a face-to-face conversation, and you have plenty of time to come up with answers to tough questions and to think of something clever.

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But at some point you'll need to step it up and give her a call via phone or FaceTime. You don't want to look like you lack self-confidence because you retreat to texting as a crutch. While sending texts is an acceptable way to flirt in a relationship, resist the urge to confess your love or ask a girl to an important event through a text message. Those feelings said verbally can hold a lot more meaning. Remember, you want her to feel special, and the only acceptable way to ask her out is by collecting yourself, taking a deep breath and calling her on the phone — or, better yet, finding a time to ask her out in person. She'll be flattered and appreciate your sincerity.

7: It's Gotta Be the Shoes!

She knows what she's doing when she reaches out and touches your arm or – on the other hand – rolls her eyes and turns away. Those are direct forms of body language. But romance can be like a game of poker – you might notice mannerisms that she doesn't even realize she's doing. For those, we look to her shoes.

Renowned British psychologist Geoff Beattie said people try to mask their facial expressions but don't realize what they convey with just their foot movement. If, while she's talking to you, her foot moves away from her body to project a more open posture, that's a good sign. She feels comfortable with you and is welcoming you to learn more about her. Pay attention to the direction in which her feet are pointed during a conversation with you. If her feet are pointed away from you, she is likely not interested in continuing the conversation. But, if her feet are pointed toward you, she is probably enjoying the conversation and wants to continue getting to know you [source: Macrae]

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6: She Thinks of You in a Thoughtful Way

A girl who has a genuine interest in you will find ways to do nice things for you. If she sees that you're down about a difficult class, she'll offer to help you study. If you both share an interest in a band, she might buy a pair of tickets to a concert and offer one of them to you. A girl who's into you will show concern for your wellbeing or act protective of you. If she sees that your current love interest isn't giving you the time of day, she'll swoop in to comfort you – possibly hoping that you'll notice her, instead.

Another obvious sign that a girl likes you is if she remembers you on significant holidays or your birthday. If your school sells holiday grams before Winter Break and she buys one for you, or if she brings you a card on your birthday, this means you are on her mind and she has taken note of these special occasions. Some girls might choose to give you a gift on special occasions that sends an obvious message, like a handmade, heart-shaped card for Valentine's Day. Others might gift you something a little more ambiguous, like sharing a playlist with you on Spotify. A good rule of thumb with gifting is the more thoughtful the gift, the more likely a girl is interested in dating you.

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5: Casual Meetings Become the Norm

teen couple at carnival
That first or second date can be something casual like going to the carnival. It gives you a chance to talk in an easy setting. Tim Jones/Getty Images

Have you ever been at your after-school job at Starbucks or bagging at the local grocery store and looked up to see the girl you like checking out for the third time in a week? If this has started happening a lot more than usual, and if she always makes a point to wave and smile at you when she visits, she might be hoping for a chance to talk to you. Then again, she could just enjoy the coffee or need items from the store. Maybe she's constantly walking by your locker to talk to you between classes, or you begin to see her regularly at one of your local hangouts. If you start seeing her places where you normally spend your free time, she might be trying to get accidentally run into you or just get your attention.

Similarly, any girl who starts attending your after-school activities or sports functions to see you is sending a clear signal that she has feelings for you – especially if she's your loudest cheerleader. Maybe her afternoon run leads her through the neighborhood where you and your friends play basketball, and she just happens to stop and talk for a few minutes to see how you're doing. Taking note of your accomplishments, like recognizing you for winning a college scholarship, shows that she admires you and pays attention to what's going on in your life.

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Bottom line: If casual meetings start happening more than usual, it's likely that she's got a crush on you too.

4: She Gets Indirectly to The Point

You and your object of affection technically speak the same language. "Technically" being the operative word. You use words from the same mental dictionary, but your method of conversing can be totally different. It also gives you a reason to be hopeful.

According to Deborah Tannen a professor of linguistics, if the girl you like is angry with you, the direct interpretation is "she hates me." If she jabbers like a bird in a tree, you might assume "she's interested in everything but me." But consider that maybe, just maybe, her talkativeness is a sign that she trusts you and enjoys getting closer to you by sharing information about herself [source: Tannen].

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Her expression of anger could indicate that she wants something more from your relationship, but she feels that you are not getting it. Though it would be easier if she just expressed her feelings to you upfront, odds are she'll make her point indirectly. You've just got to listen and interpret it in a different way than you're probably unaccustomed to.

3: Your Initials Keep Turning Up

When a girl is really into you, she may find it difficult to think about anything else other than how much she likes you. She may want to constantly talk with her friends about you or listen to music that reminds her of you. She may even watch movies that seem to mimic the love-sick scenario she's in.

But during class, there isn't any way to express the emotion that's bubbling up inside besides daydreaming about you. She may have no choice but to stare off in the distance thinking of how cute you two look together and how much she wants to spend time with you.

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2: She's Time Tested

There's a difference between liking, loving or being infatuated with someone. The human body is wired to experience infatuation. It's that amazing, tingly, over-the-moon sensation that tends to last only a matter of months. It's nature's way of making sure you stay together long enough to reproduce [source: Fisher].

It's also a play – three months or a year from now she may look at you blankly, realizing there's not a single quality she admires in you. In short, she never liked you, but she was infatuated with you. But, hey, infatuation is like a legal drug, and three months to a year is an eternity in some youthful relationships. If her infatuation with you is good enough, enjoy it while it lasts. Just don't reproduce!

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1: Her Friends Give Her Up

The most unmistakable sign that a girl likes you is if her best friends give her up and spill her secret: She's into you.

Her friends might be breaking "girl code," but they probably wouldn't share such a weighty secret with you about their friend unless they realized that you're head over heels for her. Besides, it's always nice to know that her friends are on your side — it's like they're giving you their approval to date her. This is the final and ultimate sign this girl is into you, so if you feel the same way, it's time to stop playing games and ask her out.

When it's time for the big question (whether that's asking her on a date or to see a movie) avoid using any cheesy pick-up lines. While pick-up lines can be funny, they're usually awkward and a major turnoff for most girls. Be yourself, and she'll dig your individuality.

Strike up a friendly conversation by congratulating her on making the dance team at school or tell her that you noticed her ordering a drink at Starbucks or checking out at the local grocery store. Speak slowly and clearly, and look her in the eyes, giving her your undivided attention. If there's a dance or some other school function coming up, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to ask her to be your date to the event. Who knows? Your first date could turn into a long-term, happy relationship.

Originally Published: Feb 14, 2011

Lots More Information

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  • Fisher, Helen. "Is There a Biological Basis for the 7-Year Itch?" Scientific American, Jan. 1, 2015 (Jan. 27, 2022) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-a-biological-basis-for-the-7-year-itch/.
  • Grammer, Karl. "Strangers Meet: Laughter and Nonverbal Signs of Interest." Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. 1990. (March 21, 2012)
  • Hagen, Shelly. "The Everything Body Language Book." Adams Media. 2008.
  • Kirberger, Kimberly. "On Relationships: A Book for Teenagers." HCI Teens. Sept. 3, 1999. (March 25, 2012)
  • Liles, Maryn, "Spot the Signs! 15 Sure-Fire Ways to Tell If a Girl Likes You" Parade. Sept. 29, 2020. (Jan. 27, 2022) https://parade.com/1095294/marynliles/how-to-tell-if-a-girl-likes-you/
  • Macrae, Fiona, "The language of feet: How to tell if a woman likes you". Dec. 3, 2009 (Jan. 27, 2022) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1232741/The-language-feet-How-tell-woman-likes-you.html
  • Pease, Barbara and Allan. "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps." Random House Digital, Inc. June 19, 2001. (March 21, 2012)
  • Perry, Alison Kim. "How Men and Women Use Body Language to Flirt" HowStuffWorks.com Oct. 12, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2011) https://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/dating/flirt-body-language.htm
  • Tannen, Deborah. "Sex, Lies and Conversation." The Washington Post June 24, 1990.(Jan. 27, 2022) https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1990/06/24/sex-lies-and-conversation/01cb17ba-1af7-4bf4-8a02-3d1b6c11648f/?utm_term=.d7952842a971

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