Some things in life never change.
Unfortunately, one of them is the eternal question of “How to do I know if she likes me?”
The same question that has plagued geeky boys since junior high has an annoying tendency to follow us all the way through to adulthood, leading to grown-ass men plaguing their friends with an endless repetition of “Do you think she likes me, likes me? Or just likes me?”.
Once again, it’s a classic difference between how men and women are socialized. Men are taught to be straightforward, even blunt, in their dealings with others. Women, on the other hand, are taught to be indirect and non-confrontational, especially when dealing with men. Women will indicate their interest through subtle signs and body language while men look for overt signs that a woman might find them attractive.
Meanwhile women fume that men don’t seem to pick up their signals and the men read the wrong messages into her behavior or, worse, confuse niceness or professional flirtation for actual interest. As a result, everybody is left confused and frustrated with the whole exercise.
If you want to know whether she actually is attracted to you or she just thinks you’re a nice guy who gets a double espresso every morning, you need to learn how to read the signs that she’s interested in you.
1) The Eye Contact Game
Eyes are the window to the soul and they remain one of the most important ways that people communicate with one another. Eye contact is amazingly powerful in it’s potential. It’s staggering just how many messages are conveyed by simple eye contact. Eye contact can signal a threat, force a battle of wills, indicate one’s social superior or social inferior, convey boredom and frustration and, critically, romantic and sexual interest.
The act of locking eyes with someone is an incredibly intimate act, which is why we avoid prolonged eye contact with people we aren’t close with. However, we instinctively recognize the power of eye contact, which is why it is a strong indicator of interest from a woman. A woman who’s interested in a man will often initiate eye contact, deliberately break contact – often by looking down, a submissive gesture – then looking back. The act of breaking contact and looking away is a way of catching his attention; looking back is to check to see whether he’s taken the bait, as it were. When she re-initiates eye contact, it is frequently followed by a slow smile; a subtle way of saying “yes, that was a message for you.”
It’s a simple and non-verbal way for women to indicate that she would be interested in you coming over and introducing yourself.
A woman who’s interested in you may also have a slightly unfocused gaze; the muscles around her eyes will relax and her pupils will be slightly dilated as she tries to take in as much of you as she can. The longer the gaze, the more interested she is. Sexual interest can also be indicated by the “triangle gaze”, where a woman will look from one eye to the other, then down to your lips and back. Some will forgo looking from eye to eye and look from eye to lip and back. This look is a strong indication that she’s interested in a kiss, so make your move, son.
Some women, especially more socially dominant ones, will give what is known as the “elevator gaze”, a brief look up and down another’s body. This is a sizing up gesture, gauging your potential as a threat… or a sex partner. Be aware: this can be both incredibly intimidating and rude if you’re caught giving one to her.
Eye contact is also a way of indicating disinterest as well. A woman who breaks eye contact by looking up and away is telling you that not only is she not interested in you, but she’s actually somewhat insulted by the suggestion in the first place. Looking up and away communicates that not only is she your social superior, but that she’s dismissing you as well. Trying to pursue a woman who’s given you this gesture is a mistake; the situation can be turned around, but you had better be a Jedi Master of flirting before you even attempt to try.
2) The Power of Touch
Touch is incredibly important to humanity as a method of communication and connecting. It is so important that babies can actually die from a lack of touching and physical contact. Like eye contact is a versatile and powerful method of non-verbal communication. Touch can be a method of comfort, a measure of one’s place in the social hierarchy or a threat. Or, like eye-contact, it can be a subtle indicator of interest from a woman.
First of all, let’s dispense with all the jokes: yes yes, if a girl grabs your crotch and isn’t trying to tear your balls off, you can safely assume she’s interested in you.
But for those of us who don’tlive in a porno movie, touch can be an easily mistaken sign of a woman’s interest.
Women as a whole are socialized to be more touchy-feely than men are and tend to speak more with their hands. A woman will often emphasize a point with physical contact; touching someone on the shoulder during an emotional high-point when agreeing with what they say, for example. However, it’s the duration of that touch that conveys the message: a woman making a point will only touch someone for a second or two, while a woman sending a message will let her hand linger. Similarly, the location of the touch makes a difference; touching a hand or face is more intimate than touching an arm or shoulder, and is a stronger indicator.
Another strong indicator is what’s known as “reciprocal touching”. I’ve advised before that touch can be a powerful flirting technique, once properly calibrated, and it can be a way of measuring a woman’s level of interest. Reciprocal touching is, simply, the tendency of a woman to reinitiate contact after the man has broken it. A woman who is interested in a man may, for example, react to a side-hug by leaning back in against him, or putting her hand back on his arm. The message is simple: she is enjoying being touched by him and would prefer that it continues.
Finally, one of the simplest and easiest tests is the high-five. At an emotional high-point during a conversation, offer a high five; “Hah, that was hilarious! High-five!” or “OK, you’re awesome. You get a high-five,”. Offer your hand flat, with your fingers slightly spread. A woman who isn’t attracted to a man will respond to a high-five with the traditional flat palm and closed fingers. A woman who is attracted to him, however, will twine her fingers amongst his and grip his hand briefly
This is a simple and subtle way of gauging a woman’s level of interest in you. Please note that you have to be at the energy level where giving spontaneous high-fives might be expected. Someone even-keeled and subdued suddenly offering a high-five will be seen as odd.
PRO TIP: To ensure not missing during a high-five, watch at the other person’s elbow, not their hand. Accidentally palming a woman’s face is a faux pas that’s hard to get past, no matter how interested she is in you.