You sit behind a girl in math class who you're secretly smitten with, and you pump yourself up each day to summon enough courage to ask her out before the bell rings. But your nerves always seem to get the best of you. You walk on to the next class without a Friday night date. Again.
Guys, 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. Most of you would probably rather bungee jump off of the Golden Gate 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, so we encourage you to overcome your fears, take a risk and ask her out.
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 -- guys just like you have been looking into the issue for hundreds of years, and you can benefit from that. We have the research at your disposal. If you look hard enough and pay attention to the signals, the clues are there. 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.
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 the light squeeze she gave your arm made your heart pump double-time, 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.
If a girl folds her arms while talking to you, doesn't smile and rolls her eyes when you try to tell her a joke, it might be time to move on to another available fish in the sea. 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 everything that's going on except for her conversation 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 like a hot potato, try not to take it personally, but this shows she's uncomfortable and might not be into you.
If it's common knowledge that you're the best student in science class, then it's natural for people -- like her -- to come to you with questions about homework or an upcoming test. But if she texts you with questions she could just as easily find elsewhere, pay attention. Is she reaching out to you on Facebook with "Hey, what day is Winter Homecoming?" That's not a clue, that's a bright orange flare.
Even today, more often than not, the girl wants you to make the first move. But that doesn't mean she's out of bounds with lots of indirect references [source: Dating Excellent]. Speaking of out of bounds, do you know when the Friday night football game is? Friday night, you say? Just checking.
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. Some girls might take the less obvious approach and tell you they enjoyed watching you score the winning goal at your soccer game, but other girls can be a little more forward. If she leans in and whispers that you look great in your green shirt, take note that she's definitely interested in you.
So, where do you go from here? Talking to your crush through text messages and Facebook 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. The best advantage, because you can't see the other person's facial expressions, is that the nervous knot in your stomach won't be there.
Even if you tend to get anxious in situations that require face time, try talking to the girl you like in person, too. You don't want to look like you lack self-confidence because you retreat to your computer as a crutch. Also, don't expect a girl to accept a date if you asked her out by writing on her Facebook wall. And while sending coy 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. 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.
Yes, it's true that she knows what she's doing when she squeezes your arm or -- at the other end of the spectrum -- rolls her eyes and turns away. Those are direct forms of body language. But romance can be like a game of poker -- you might catch signals she doesn't even realize she's giving off. For that, we look to the shoes.
Renowned British psychologist Geoff Beattie says people try to mask their facial expressions but don't realize what they convey with foot movement [source: Wardrop]. If, while she's talking to you, a foot moves away from her lovely form to project a more open posture, that's good. You say her feet never stop moving and she laughs a lot? That's truly a winning combination [source: Wardrop]. Crossed feet, however, are an indication she's not into you.
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 grade, she'll offer to help you study for the next test. 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 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 -- maybe 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 candy cane-grams at Christmas and she buys one for you, or if she brings you a red velvet cupcake from your favorite local bakery for your birthday, this shows that you're on her mind. Some girls might choose to give you a gift that sends an obvious message, like a handmade, heart-shaped card for Valentine's Day. Others might give you something a little more cryptic, like a mixed CD full of your favorite songs. A good rule of thumb with gifting is the more thoughtful the gift, the more likely a girl is interested in dating you.
Have you ever been at your after-school job flipping hamburgers and looked up to see the girl you like ordering at the counter 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 a tasty burger, so keep your antennae up for any other possible meetings where you think she might seek you out. 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 free time, she might be trying to 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.
Bottom line: If casual meetings start happening more than usual, it's likely that she's got a crush on you, too.
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's a frustrating, research-proven fact [source: Tannen]. It also gives you reason to be hopeful.
If she's 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 a multitude of information [source: Tannen].
Her anger could indicate that she wants something more from your relationship but you're not getting it. It would be nice if she grabbed your face, told you how much she likes you and planted a big ol' kiss on your mug. That level of directness can happen, but, odds are she'll make her point indirectly. You've just got to listen and interpret it in a way you're probably unaccustomed to.
When a girl is really into you, she may find it difficult to think about anything else. She wants to talk with her friends about you; she wants to 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 inconspicuously writing your name or initials on her notebook, textbook or even her hand. If your name is John Doe and "J.D." is unmistakably appearing on her class notes, you're in [source: Kirkberger]. It's a classic tell-tale sign. It can't be denied. Unless, of course, her name is Jill Davis, the school quarterback is Jim Dawson or her class is reading "The Catcher in the Rye."
OK, we may be splitting hairs on that beautiful, sweet-smelling head of hers, but 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: Pease].
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 [source: Pease]. 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!
The most unmistakable sign that a girl likes you is if her best friends give her up and spills 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 unless they realized that you're also head over heels for their friend. 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 for a date to prom or to see a movie) avoid text messaging, e-mail or Facebook, and, above all, don't use 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 complimenting her on making the dance team at school, or tell her that you noticed her ordering dinner at your burger joint the week before. Speak slowly and clearly, and look her in the eye, 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.
Why is it hard to make friends as an adult? Emilie and Bridget from Stuff Mom Never Told You explore the topic of adult friendship at HowStuffWorks.
- 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)
- 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
- "Seven Signs That He or She is Into You." Dating Tips and Advices. (March 22, 2012) http://www.datingexcellent.com/2011/09/09/7-signs-that-he-or-she-is-into-you/
- Tannen, Debra. "You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation." Harper Collins Publishers. July 24, 2001. (March 21, 2012)
- Wardrop, Murray. "How to Tell If a Woman Likes You: Look at Her Feet." Dec. 3, 2009. (March 22, 2012) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6709373/How-to-tell-if-a-woman-fancies-you-look-at-her-feet.html