It's one of the big imponderables of male life. Is she interested or not?
OK, sometimes it's obvious. You approach her and she walks in the opposite direction, for instance. Or on the other side of the coin she gazes into your eyes and tells you how interesting/attractive/incredible you are.
But that doesn't happen very often. Most of the time women are unwilling to appear too keen, for fear of rejection and humiliation. So the clues that she's interested that this is prey worth pursuing are often subtle and refined.
And if you know what they are, you can act accordingly, whether that means giving it up as a lost cause or giving it your best shot. With that in mind, here are 10 less-than-obvious ways to know she's interested.
She gives you a taste…
Of her steak (what else!) if you're in a restaurant, or her cocktail, or her ice cream, or whatever it might be. If she lets you take it from her fork or spoon or suck from her straw, even better. She's not in the least bothered by swapping saliva with you, and that has to be a good sign. If nothing else, your personal hygiene isn't putting her off.
She calls you Andy/Dave/Steve
We don't mean she gets your name wrong (that's probably not a good sign). But if she eschews the nickname she's heard your mates calling you and uses your first name, it's saying something good. Because if to her you're Dave not Dogbreath, it means she doesn't want to be just another one of your mates, which could in turn mean she wants something a little more intimate.
She responds quickly
If you're dating online, a speedy response is always a good sign, says Kate Taylor, relationship expert for match.com. "Generally, look at her actions rather than her words; if she's replying to your emails within 48 hours, she likes you, even if it's just with a smiley face, or a couple of words."
She sits forward
Look for signs that talking with you is as thrilling to her as watching a good movie. She laughs long and loud at a joke. She gasps or raises her eyebrows when you come to the climax of a good story. She sits on the edge of her seat, subconsciously trying to get as close to the action (you) as possible.
She keeps it brief
Once initial contact has been made in either the real or virtual world she may keep texts and emails brief. Don't be put off, says Taylor. "Wary of seeming too keen, many girls will keep their emails brief and light-hearted online, so don't be put off by any brevity. Ask to meet in person and take it from there." Brevity might in fact be a good sign. She's desperately trying to appear relaxed.
She looks at you, sort of
So you're talking to her and she doesn't spend the whole time gazing into your eyes. She's not interested, right? Not necessarily. "Don't expect lots of direct eye contact, many girls are too shy for this," says Taylor. "But if she likes you you'll always be in her line of sight, even if she's lowered her eyes and just has you in her peripheral vision."
She uses body language
Look out for the usual body language clues. If you're anxious to see obvious signs of attraction, you may miss these, but they could be telling you exactly what you want to know.
"In effect, if she enjoys talking to you her body language will open up," says Taylor. "She'll lower her drink, uncross her arms and stand or sit so her torso is directed towards you. She may make self-grooming gestures (like smoothing her hair or clothes), and smile widely so you can see her top and bottom teeth."
She ignores interruptions
Her friend comes over and she half listens, then says she'll be over in a while. Her mobile rings and she glances quickly at the screen before declining the call, or even better ignores it altogether. She goes to the toilet and comes straight back, even if she has to pass her mates on the way. Obvious perhaps, but these signs are all too easy to miss if you're not looking out for them.
She enters your world
If she's a friend or acquaintance, you'll know she wants to be something more if she wants to enter your masculine world. "You'll know she's interested in taking your friendship further if she asks to come along to male-centred activities you enjoy, like watching sports, running in the park, or walking your dog," says Taylor. Even expressing a vague interest in joining you on any of these occasions is a pretty good sign. After all, they're all occasions when she'll have the time and space to see what you're really like.
She laughs a lot
And often when you haven't said anything funny. It's a little known fact that laughter isn't just a response to humour it's evolved to grease the wheels of social interaction. If she laughs or giggles often perhaps even a little nervously on occasion and when the conversation doesn't seem to warrant it, you're doing well. She's laughing to give you the encouragement to continue, because she doesn't want your social interaction to end.
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