Here’s a common scenario. You’re out at a bar talking to a girl. You’ve been chatting for a while, maybe even on and off throughout the night. You’re into her, but you run into a problem: You’re not sure if she really likes you, or if she’s just being polite. You want to make a move, but you don’t want to misread the situation. So how do you know when a girl likes you and when she definitely doesn’t?
Why girls are polite even if they’re not interested
Guys often ask me why girls are polite even when they’re not interested. The reason women are so polite in public spaces with men they don’t know is because they fear a negative reaction from the rejection of the men who are taking interest that is misplaced. That is right – the fear of an over reaction to rejection has led women to avoid rejecting men publicly.
So we need to dig a little bit deeper than words to understand what is going on. More importantly, women tend to communicate their interest or disinterest in nonverbal ways — signals that we must learn to interpret.
So you’re wondering how to know if she likes you? Let’s talk about some of the most common signals.
Does she let you walk her home?
It’s a simple act, but letting you walk or drive her home (or just walk her to her car) can be a sign of interest. For one thing, it prolongs the interaction. She’s spending as much time as she can with you, whether or not she invites you in. She’s also letting you know where she lives, which is a very powerful display of trust, since she doesn’t want just any guy knowing where she rests her head. On the other hand, if she refuses a walk or ride home, that can be a sign that she’s not interested, especially if walking or driving her home is convenient.
Does she spend one-on-one time with you?
This seems obvious, but it’s worth pointing out: If she brings along a friend or only spends time with you in groups, then she’s probably not interested in you romantically. (She might, however, be interested in you as a friend, which can be immensely valuable.) Girls who are interested in you want to get you alone. And they’ll continue to do so, as long as they are attracted to you. You two might still spend time with other people in a group, but if the focus of your interaction is on each other, and there aren’t platonic messages to the contrary, then she’s certainly interested in you.
Does she initiate contact?
Whether it’s a text, a phone call or a shared invitation, girls who are interested in you are going to initiate contact. If one of you is initiating contact more than the other one, that’s fine — especially early in the relationship, when a man’s social role tends to dictate that he make plans first. If, however, you find yourself making more of an effort to hang out for a prolonged period of time — with less emotional investment on her part — then that’s a sign that she might not be interested. On the other hand, when a girl blows up your phone, texts you consistently and makes an effort to continue a conversation, she definitely likes you. So pay attention to how, and how much, she initiates contact. It provides valuable insight into her level of interest.
Does she make and keep plans with you?
More than who makes the plans, it’s how she responds to plans that reflects whether she likes you. If she’s vague or evasive about hanging out, she probably doesn’t want to see you that badly. Similarly, if she breaks plans with you more than once in a short span of time, that’s a sign she’s not interested. Keeping plans with you might not seem like that big of a deal — for many people, that can seem like basic courtesy — but a girl who keeps plans usually likes the person she’ll be seeing. If she doesn’t, she’d find a reason to cancel or else just totally flake on you, a universal sign that she’s just not that interested.
Does she treat you like a friend?
If a girl is friendly with you, that’s great — you want to foster that connection. But if the emphasis is on the “friend” part, that means she’s probably not that interested. Examples of treating you too much like a friend include consistent side hugging, telling people that you’re “like a brother,” or even talking about “what good friends” you are. (This might be about as literal as a woman will get without being asked point-blank.) Referring to you in terms you would use for your guy friends (“dude” or “bro”) can also be a sign that she sees you more as a friend than a boyfriend. A lack of touch or mutual flirtation is — obviously — a signal that she’s not sexually interested in you. Of course, it’s your responsibility to create that sexual chemistry between the two of you through touch and playful teasing. That’s what separates a friend she’s attracted to sexually from a guy she sees as “just a friend.” But if she doesn’t respond, then you can safely conclude that you two are meant to be friends.
Does she make herself up when you get together?
Girls who are interested in guys will go out of their way to make themselves look nice. So if she looks like she just rolled out of bed every time the two of you have plans, she might not be that into you. But if she looks really put together, she might well be signalling her sexual and romantic interest in you. Some of the more obvious signs include makeup, lip gloss (especially if consistently applied), and well-considered outfits. Of course, this signal can vary dramatically from woman to woman, and depends greatly on her own values, standards and grooming habits. But her appearance does provide helpful data to understand your dynamic.
Does she share your space?
When you two are together, where is she and where are you? For example, if she comes over to your place but won’t sit on the couch next to you, that’s a sign of disinterest. On the other hand, sitting near you — especially if there are other options — is a sign that she’s interested. Where she locates herself relative to you is one of the clearest signs of attraction. If you’re not sure, sit next to her and see how she reacts. You’ll know if she’s interested or not. Sharing other things — food, gossip, observations — is also a useful signal to study.
Does she talk about other guys she’s interested in?
This is a huge red flag. Mentioning a guy she’s interested in, or a guy she’s dating, no matter how casually, communicates that she probably doesn’t think of you romantically. This can be a subtle and polite way of her letting you know she’s not into you, or a sign that she implicitly treats you as a friend. This goes both ways, though. Talking about the other women you’re seeing can elicit a response that will help you understand how she feels about you. Does she ask questions about these other women? Does she seem subtly intrigued, invested, possibly even envious? Women tend to be interested in the dating lives and history of the men they like. Don’t invent these people, but consider being honest about your dating life early on, and you’ll discover a great deal about how she feels about you.
Has she tried to set you up with a friend?
When you’re getting to know a girl, it’s natural that she would introduce you to her friends. But if she seems to be pushing you to be interested in a friend of hers, you can bet she’s not that interested in you. (You might also thank her, because this can be a great way to meet new, qualified people.) Girls who are interested in you are going to want to keep you for themselves, not pass you off to her single girlfriends. Remain honest and open, both to her feelings and to the possibilities.
Does she compliment your appearance in non-sexual terms?
If a girl calls you “hot” or “sexy,” you can take her at her word. On the other hand, if she uses terms like “attractive” or “good looking” or even “cute” to describe you — especially in a clinical, objective tone — she’s probably just not feeling it. Talking about your appearance is a way a woman might subtly tell you that she’s interested without coming out and saying it. But you need to pay attention and see if she’s using overtly sexual terms and more meaningful sexual subtext to describe your appearance. That’s a signal of attraction.
Attraction as a pattern
When you’re looking for signs of attraction, you’re really looking for patterns. For example, catching someone’s eye doesn’t mean too much. Catching it twice suggests there might be something happening. Holding her gaze a third time is a pattern: It’s on. Eye contact, in combination with close proximity and sustained conversation, is a clear signal of attraction within a larger pattern of interaction. And one sign of attraction usually exists with other signs of attraction, especially when you know how to recognize and respond to them.
None of these signals alone will give you all the information you need, but treating them as individual pieces of data can be immensely helpful in recognizing a woman’s interest or disinterest. More than anything, if you’re wondering how to know if a girls like you, trust your instinct. Even if women aren’t always obvious with their intentions — even if they don’t say aloud precisely how they’re feeling at every moment — your instincts are probably correct. Listen and triangulate them with these objective signs, and you’ll start to recognize and enhance attraction as it arises.
AJ Harbinger - author of 1166 posts on The Art of Charm
AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality.
Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.
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