How To: Tell If Someone Is Attracted To You

1NaDARa

Anyone over the age of 6 has experienced it: Laying eyes on someone that JUST HAS TO BE their soul-mate. You look at them and feel that immediate pang of attraction. Your heart skips a beat, your feet feel lighter, you quickly glance away so no-one sees you staring at them. Then your glance darts right back to them.

You decide to grow a backbone and walk over and maybe start a conversation. They look at you.. You play it coy and smile.. Surely, you two are meant to be, and he/she has a facebook that you can immediately begin to stalk, right?!?!? RIGHT?!?! Well here’s how to tell if that 30 second encounter has legitimacy to it..

  1. Pay close attention to their eyes: I have years of experience and training in reading body language and “Micro Expressions”, and I can say from experience that the eyes and the area around the eyes truly are the windows to the soul. Pay close attention to what they look at when you two make contact, and to how long they look at it. Do their eyes move all over your face, from feature to feature? Do they look at your lips? Does it seem as if their eyes opened up a little wider when they first looked at you? These are all signs of potential romantic interest. I say potential because every little clue must be taken in context of the situation/circumstances. What does that mean? If this person in question is a waiter, then giving you direct eye contact or gazing into your eyes may just be them being a good and receptive waiter. When reading body language you can’t go off of one piece of information to make any conclusion. That’s a surefire way to get it wrong. People look at things that interest  them or that they desire. We do it by habit. So if the object of your heart doesn’t give you any eye contact in return, or if their eyes are darting around at everything but you, then this is a sign that they don’t feel the sparks. But once again, take it in context. Are they in a hurry? Working? Distressed? Take in the environment you two are in to help you gauge the strength of  your observations.
  2. Look at their body: You may have already given them “elevator eyes” but this time, pay attention to how their body is oriented and to whom or what it is oriented towards. If upon walking towards them or up to them, they immediately face you, showing you their face and body full frontal and not at an angle, then this is a good sign. If they are angled away from you, or they shift to show you their side, then they have interest in something else right now. Even more true if they never turned in your direction at all. Look at their feet as well: what are they pointed towards? Any expert will tell you that our feet naturally and unconsciously forecast our intentions. If they turn to point at you, then this is good. If they turn to point at the door, then that’s where they’re heading. Women have a particularly habitual way of doing this, oftentimes while standing, and using their lead foot. Gay men tend to as well. Also, how open is their body. By this I mean, do they have an open inviting look to their body? Or is it closed off or restricted? We tend to show open body language like tilting the chin and/or face, showing the wrists, and spreading legs and/or arms when we are comfortable with the person we are talking to or interested in. We do the opposite with people we do not like or feel threatened by: our posture becomes rigid, our bodies stiff, we bring limbs closer to our bodies, and and we literally close our bodies.
  3. How close are they to you?: We naturally move closer to people we are attracted to. Some people out of nervous habit may not, but if given the opportunity by your proximity, they will at the very least stick around. They may even follow you, if only for a minute or two. When you walked over to the boy/girl of your dreams, did they move themselves closer to you? Did they rearrange themselves to maybe get a better look? It is also of note that in social settings, people who are shy (instead of moving closer to you) will draw attention to themselves to make you look at them. They may suddenly yell a friend’s name, they may raise their voice if they are in conversation with someone, they may drop something. Once again, take the signs in context of the environment. If you approach them and start conversation, do they move in closer? Very good, if they do. Now here’s a big indicator: are they mimicking you? Yes, literally. Our bodies naturally mimic the person we are speaking to when we are attracted to them, or in the very least comfortable with them. Opposite is true with people we don’t like.
  4. Preening: When we come into contact with someone we find attractive, or someone we want to impress, we do what is known as preening. We fix our hair, brush off our shirt (especially men), fix our clothes, and in general make ourselves look the very best we can. So if you spark a conversation by asking a question first, like “Do you know what the weather is supposed to do today?” pay attention to anything they are doing to make themselves look better.

That’s the basics of it. You’ll find out that the more you consciously pay attention to people’s body language, the more it will become second nature to you. The vast majority of our communication is done non-verbally, aka, body language. Better yet, the more you do it, the more accurate you will get, and the quicker you will be able to read people. Some of the clues I’ve outlined carry more “weight” than others, but they must still be taken in context of the environment. Don’t thin-slice your subject; remember that you’re looking at a big picture, not a small window. A good way of keeping track is to add 10 points to every positive body language read or “tell” that you got and subtract 10 for the opposite. Reach 100, and you’re good to go. With that, here are some tips and tricks.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Want a quick gauge to see if they mimic you? Get in a conversation with them and consciously cross your arms. Or if their arms are already crossed, put your hand on your hip. Cross your legs if seated. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you consciously put your limb in a natural position and keep it there for at least a minute. Did they just do the same thing? Good. Now double check and change it again. What do they do? If they don’t change with you, take half the points away for the 10 you gave for the first time. Do it a 3rd if you have time. It’s fun to watch other people do this as well from a distance!
  • If you are talking to them, move your face just a little closer. Not much, though; think as if you are trying to hear what they are saying. Do they move in as well?(+10) Do they stay put?(+0) Do they move back?(-10) Also do this with your proximity to them: take a step closer, but don’t invade their personal space. Do they step closer? (+10) Stay put? (+0) Or step back? (-10)
  • If someone likes you, and they are confident or not shy, they may touch you. If they do, even something as subtle as a pat on the arm, then they are at least comfortable with you. We don’t touch people we don’t like, period. Want to test the waters? Touch them on the back of the arm, or touch their forearm as if to say “hey”. See how they react. If in the course of your encounter, they touch you back, then add 10 points. If they don’t return it, don’t add any. If they angle their body away from you or put distance between you afterwards, or exhibit any closed body language after the touch, subtract 10.
  • This is one of my personal favorites to look for: Are there any obstacles or objects between you two? Do they move them out of the way? Did they put them there? This can be as small as playing with a salt shaker while on a date, and keeping it in directly in front of them, and between you. Or better, holding something like a notebook in front of their chest in crossed arms. The point is that they are placing a barrier, no matter how small, between you and them. This doesn’t mean disaster, after all, they may be insecure, or have a lot on their mind, but it is definitely something that we all do unconsciously, and is therefore very universal (yet subtle). Do they clear obstacles we you two are communicating? Move things out of the way? Clear a path to you? Good!
  • Finally, here’s a flirty yet shy way to test the waters, which I find particularly fun: Look at them and wait for them to look at you. When they do, immediately look down, wait a second, then look back at them. Are they still looking at you? Good. Now smile and look away again, maybe to the side, and keep your gaze off of them for 3 seconds. Now look back at them. Are they still looking at you? If they aren’t, keep looking at them and see how long it takes for them to look back. Less than 3 seconds? Good. Now smile again, and look away for at least a minute. During this entire exchange, you should be checking them out for signals. check out their body language. Have they moved closer to you, even for something stupid like to fake going to a water fountain? Gooood..

I will add to this article as I think of more, and as always feel free to ask about anything. Happy hunting!

20 comments

  1. Santina · September 25, 2012

    Thanks for posting this so much. It really helped a lot.

  2. Teresa m. · September 25

    This guy told me last week that he didnt want to speak to me. So I was like cool and I left him alone. Since then he has been trying to get my attention, coming near me as much as he can. I took his comment at face value. He is constantly looking at me when he thinks I dont know that he is. What is going on here?

    • Squirrel&Moose · September 25

      First, I’d like to say sorry for the delay; I’ve been covering the events in Ferguson, MO. (It’s a mess.)

      So, my immediate impression is that he definitely likes you. Context is everything, so some more information would be very useful: what were the circumstances when he told you he didn’t want to speak to you? Was it in a joking manner? Was he around friends, in a work environment?

      A lot of times, people (females AND males) will sometimes play hard to get initially, so that they can get a “read” on your reaction; to test the waters so to speak. As a general rule of thumb though, we do not pay attention (nor try to attract attention) from people we do not have interest in. So I would say his actions trump his comment. How long have you known each other?

  3. Danica · September 25

    hi. So there’s this guy i’ve secretly liked for just over a year now, and i’ve been going on sites like these (this is the best so far) about finding out if someone likes you, and i’ve been realising that SOME of the things he does seems like he’s trying to ‘test the waters’ with me. Anyway what i wanted to ask is if it’s possible that he wants to know if i like him without asking me? Seeing that unfortunately he is taken by someone else, i dont think that he likes me. But are there any signs i can look out for to know if he does wanna know if i like him? Maybe he wants to know just for fun… Reply when you can asap… Thanks, btw loved this post! :)

    • Squirrel&Moose · September 25

      Thanks! I need to create more articles like this one, and that will come soon. But that aside, here’s what I think so far:

      If you have enough of a reason to ask yourself if he is “testing the waters”, then he probably is. Granted, he IS in a relationship, and for a lot of people that means there are boundaries that they will not cross; if for no other reason than the fact that they don’t want the “cheater” label/don’t want THAT to be the reason their current relationship ends. If it were me, I would set up a situation where you have some time with him, just the two of you. It would have to be something innocuous and not indicative or romantic in the slightest, so that he feel cornered. Perfect time frame would be 10 or 15 minutes. I know it sounds manipulative, but if there is any “spark” or interest there, it will show. Perfect sign if he is interested in you is if he prolongs any kind of contact or time around you unnecessarily. Like if something should only take 30 minutes to do/accomplish, and he finds any excuse to make it 45 minutes or an hour. Another good way of seeing where he is/how he feels is to ask him for help with something innocuous and not highly technical (unless that’s his job). One thing as a guy, (and I think most guys will agree with me on this one) is that we like to be the hero; if he lights up when you ask to help you put windshield wiper fluid in your car, or seems enthusiastic, then great! If he sends you to someone else, or says he’s not good with cars (or whatever you asked for help with) then he probably doesn’t want anything more than friendship. When someone we like asks us for help, we help. If we don’t know how, we figure out how. A big sign is if he contacts you when his S.O. isn’t around. That’s typically a BIG (yet subtle) sign that someone who is already committed is interested in someone else. Another good sign is if he talks about his current relationship as if it is on the rocks. Simple gripes and complaints aren’t that indicative, (hell, spend enough time with anyone and you’ll have a gripe at some point) but if he eludes to being unhappy or that the relationship isn’t doing well, especially to YOU, then that is one sign that he may be making an opening for you. This is one of those type of things that you have to calculate with a cumulative total of “signs” and not just one or two.

      Being an investigator has taught me that when reading people, context is everything, and on the same token, people very rarely do things for no reason. Hope this helps, and feel free to ask more if you need more help!

  4. Danica · September 25

    thanks so much !!! You helped alot, i was also thinking that he set boundries and limits as to how far he’ll “test the waters”, like he wont touch me but a few times he has been in my personal space for no reason (we weren’t in a crowed place or something like that)… Thanks so much again, i appreciate it!!! :) :) :)

  5. RST · September 25

    Thank you so much for this insightful article.
    There’s this guy who goes to the same spot I go to everyday after work for a year and a half now and we had eye contact for this whole period until recently I heard he got engaged.Thought he’d just stop looking but no he keeps staring he even sometimes turn in his chair to see if I’m there or looking. He never tried approaching me though and I even tried to approach him through facebook with a friend request but cancelled it the same day at night.
    I can not just let it go and I have absolutely no idea why he does this or why he keeps looking at me for that long. He likes to sit facing me all the time too.
    any advice would be great :)
    thanks

    • Jordan! · September 25

      Thank you! I appreciate the comment! So to your question:

      Well, with respect to his new engagement, I would still approach him if you’re interested. I wouldn’t elude to the fact that you know he may or may not be engaged, but I would instead approach it as making a new friend first. With all of the eye contact, I do think there may be mutual interest (based on that) but I would definitely be careful not to encroach. If he is in fact engaged, you never know how long he may have known his fiancee, and you definitely don’t want to upset something like that.

      My advice is to raise your glass to him the next time you see him, or offer some form of acknowledgement. It works as a small ice breaker, and his reaction (which should be positive) should give you a little bit of a foot in the door to begin a conversation; “We must get off of work at the same time, what do you do for a living?”

      Ultimately, you only live once, and what’s the worst that could happen? At the least, you could make an awesome friend!

  6. celestialblight · September 25

    I’ve noticed a few girls looking at me in school, some of their body language is confusing. They look directly at me and gaze, but I avoid contact, mostly because i’m a quiet and non social person. I tend to get loud around friends yet when im alone i stay ereasonably quiet. Thats when they begin to look and start moving my way, but they keep their distance, everyday, they just take glances over and it is kinda weird. xD

    • Jordan! · September 25

      Haha, yeah, you’re dealing with the age range whereas your classmates are figuring things like non-verbal communication (and themselves) out, and that always makes things easy in some ways, and harder in others. The good news is, your age range typically hasn’t mastered the art of hiding/manipulating their own body language, (and thus depend more on social cues to navigate social settings) and that makes reading them easier. The awkward stage of being REALLY self-conscious, but not quite self-aware enough to know their body language betrays them. The bad news is that your age range generally relies on social cues to navigate social settings, haha. That means that social interactions are very reliant on a person’s perceived social status/stock, basically, what other people “think” of another.

      You’re at a fun age to be! Have fun with it; give them the “Hot/cold” treatment. One day, respond with open/dominant body language, and the next show them no attention whatsoever. See what effect it has on them ;) (I’m betting it will make them very curious about you, maybe a couple of them will initiate conversation)

  7. light · September 25

    thx it helps a lot

  8. Jack · September 25

    I’m a guy and I think this guy likes me but I can’t tell. I like him to but anyways. We always stare at each other all the time and we have locked in each other eyes before but then turn away. We know each other and we have had many conversations before but that’s it. I really like this guy and I think he likes me to but I don’t know what to do please help me. :-(

    • Jordan! · September 25

      Sorry for the delay, my friend! Based off of what you’ve told me, I really don’t have enough information to help you out; I don’t want to give you an impression or assumption so vague. How often do you two talk? Do you two ever talk about personal things or broach the topic? Where do these interactions happen? Has there ever been any form of touch? Reading body language is one of those kinds of things were context means A LOT, and no single action can be taken by itself to mean much. If you get this in time, reply with a little more detail :)

  9. Alicia · September 25

    great article!
    so i’ve met this guy online, he was giving me mixed signs but i was still very eager to meet him in person. so we went out, the date was amazing. we both had a lot of fun, we talked and laughed, and walked around. he gave me all the signs, like moving closer to me while we were sitting on the bench, staring directly into my eyes for long, or holding the eye contact while talking to me, once i noticed how he raised his eyebrows really quick when he saw me. he moved the objects that were between us away and tried to move closer, gave me his jacket. and he was extremely open with me, telling me about his dreams, family, friends, and things like that. he was also teasing me all the time, but i guess it also just his personality. so at the end of the night he told me he really enjoyed the night and had a lot of fun, and then had the triangle gaze (from eye-to-eye-to-lips), so i figured we both wanted the same things and we kissed but not long. he didn’t seem too much into it, so then i left.
    second day he texted me that he had a great night, but he doesn’t feel like its gonna happen again, that he just didn’t feel it. we talked a bit about it, and he told me that lately he hasn’t been much into relationships or anything like that, being focused on other things. and when i asked if he doesn’t like me that way he said i don’t know.
    it was kind of a shocker since i really felt like we clicked amazingly that night and because of all of the signs he gave me.
    what do you think about that?

    • Jordan! · September 25

      First off, I’m sorry things ended like that for you, and for the delay in my response! Well, knowing what I know about human behavior, I don’t think it is you; meaning, I don’t think you did anything wrong or that the second date is a result of anything you did. If it was a matter of you, I don’t think he would’ve been so vocal about how good the date went, especially doing so unprompted. But then again, I don’t know him as well as you would. The first thing that came to my mind while reading your situation is that he may not have been ready to continue dating in general because he may have some unfinished business, (an ex, maybe?) that is still in the picture, or something in the background going on that made him stop. I get the impression that he didn’t want to hurt you, not because he’s not into you, but because of other circumstances. I’m curious as to whether you ever learned more about it or what happened to him since? Anyway, I hope that helps!

  10. MM · September 25

    Hi I really like this article. It is very insight.
    However, it is really hard to tell sometimes in the real life because each person has his/her own way to approach or to express if s/he is interested in someone.
    I work with this guy, he is in his thirty. He is a very nice and considerate person. He is different than other co-workers that he talks to me, asks me questions about myself, listens, pays attention to what I said and he also remembers what I told him. Sometimes when he was working on his stuff, and I went around stocking things, or talking to the house keeping guy, he would notice what I was doing and asked me what I was talking to the house keeping guy. When talking to me, he would lean in and listen to me patiently ( English is not my first language so I need to think sometimes). One day, the boss sat at his seat and talked to me. I spoke with the same volume but the boss was kinda sit back instead of leaning in like he did. The machine coffee on our floor broken, he went down stair to get some and he asked me if I wanted something and he got me some yogurt. He asked me twice but last time was at his lunch time and I already had lunch so I did not want anything. I saw most of the time he faced me with his body faced me, his feet pointed at me, his legs were opened. Once, I put my Phone at the basket that put the post notes at my side and went to the restroom. When I went out, he told me my phone had messages, and I realized that he took my phone and put it in the basket but he did not say anything about touching my phone. He would always wait for me to get off work together. He touch me twice, once on my shoulder when he wanted to get out and slightly hit my chair, he put his hand on my shoulder and said sorry. The other time was on my arm. Whenever I looked at him, he would give me a smile. However, he did not ask me my number. There were more than 3 times he asked me what I was going to do after work or on the weekend. He did not say anything when I told him I had nothing to do. After Thanksgiving week, I gave him the Xmas card, he asked me what I was going to do that night. I already told him twice that I had a project to work on and need to be turn in the next morning, so I thought he forgot, I repeated that again, but he was like-” No, after you done the project tonight.” When walking with me, he walked next to me and with his arm touch my arm. However, again, he did not ask my number or say anything. Sometimes I would assume that this guy has eidetic memory just like Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory because he remember details of stories I told him, he remember exactly how long he had not seen me when I called sick, and that he is just one of a nice guy; but I do curious. And note that I am not much of a talker, I am kind quiet.

    • Jordan! · September 25

      Sorry for the delay in writing back! I hope this still has some use for you! My first observation is that you shouldn’t compare your boss’ body language to the co-worker in question; your boss exhibits classic “boss” body language by leaning back in the chair as you described. That’s classic “Alpha” body language that men and women tend to exhibit. But by all indications, from the way you describe his behavior, ESPECIALLY the touching and asking what you are doing after work, it seems like he is interested in you. He may not feel comfortable with flat out asking you out on a date because you two are in a work environment, and that could get him in quite a bit of trouble. It seems from what you’ve told me that he is playing it cautiously with you. The thing that would cement it for me is if he DOESN’T do this to any other co-workers. If he DOES act the same way with other co-workers, then he is just a friendly guy. People express themselves in vary different ways. If he DOESN’T act that way or extend those kinds of questions/favors to others, then he is clearly reserving them for you ;)

  11. KimSamSun · September 25

    i just love this post and to me its been very informative.. there’s this guy in class that i never took notice off.. one time i saw him fixing his shoes on a chair across me.. when i looked up i saw him looking at me.. i felt butterflies in my stomach!! and since then i got curious about him.. there were times when i caught him looking at me.. but sometimes he would ignore me even he is in front of my table. sometimes he would approach me and make small talks about not so important stuffs and he does this after class when there are few students in the room.. one time he asked me if i will join in their class exchange gift and he said he picked a girl and he said she is very pretty and he already bought a gift for her.. i asked him who the girl is? he just smiled and didnt answer me.. im sure its not me because somebody already got my name.. the exchange gift didnt push through so i dont know who the girl is..

    He has group of friends in the class, and because of an activity i found out who his crush is.. almost everybody knows it except me.. sometimes i saw him staring at the girl and his friends would tease him about the her. i asked around and they said He never courted her.
    if his friends say that he likes her, why would he continually stand or walk pass my table.Sometimes he would tell jokes and look at me? Before he just pass in front of my table, sometimes he is behind me or he is at my side about 5 – 8 feet away.. sometimes he would just stand there. his back at me.. doing nothing.. almost everyday he would use the mirror on top of my table and fix his hair in front of me.. or he would use the other mirror from the table behind me.. just to be sure i look around first to check if the girl she had a crush on is around but she is not.. i notice him standing beside me, this time about 5 inches.. again his back at me..
    if his friends say he likes her, why is he always around? its kinda confusing..

    • Jordan! · September 25

      First off, sorry for taking so long to reply. Second of all, if this guy is under the age of 21, he most definitely has a crush on you. Just because he has a crush on you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one on another girl as well, especially if he doesn’t think you feel the same way. If I were you, I would flat out ask him to out to some sort of social gathering. Nothing too intimidating, like out with a group of friends. Stick by his side and give him a lot of attention/compliments during this informal (date) and I would bet a lot of money he’ll pick up on your interest and return it ;)

  12. KimSamSun · September 25

    yes you are right he is under 21. he has been more visible lately since the last time i sent this message to you. i caught him looking at me. one time he is smiling and another time he has a straight face, a few feet away from me. he still fix his hair on a mirror in front of me. and he never fails to approach me these days.. i will follow your advice and i will talk to him more often.. thanks a lot!! i hope you will have more articles about this kinds of topics.

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