It’s hard to know if someone is flirting with you. Studies actually show that humans are bad at spotting flirting signals, often confusing them for a friendly conversation. How many times have you had a conversation with a guy and wondered if he was just being nice or if he’s actually into you? Well here are 9 ways for how to tell if a guy likes you.
#1 – He makes excuses to talk to you
The only way that flirting can take place is during a conversation. So in order for a guy to start showing you how much he’s into you, he has to get you into a conversation first. He will go out of his way to do this. ‘Aint nobody got time for luck when you’re into a lovely and sexy lady. He will find a way to make it happen.
So if he comes over to your desk to ask mundane questions, he’s probably super into you! This is even more true if he goes out of his way to keep the conversation flowing. It means that he’s enjoying your company and wants to establish a connection.
#2 – He smiles at you
One of the easiest ways for how to tell if a guy likes you is if he’s smiling. Smiling is a go-to act of flirting and is a great way to make connections with people. In my post on small talk, I mentioned that enthusiasm is one of the key ways to connect. It lets the other person know that you approve of them and that you are not judging them. One of the easiest ways to show enthusiasm is by smiling so if he’s doing this a lot, he’s trying to get your attention.
The Mating Game: A Primer on Love, Sex, and Marriage elaborates on this by saying:
If you’re into him as well, be sure to let him know by smiling back and laughing at his jokes!
#3 – He shows you that he’s harmless
Dr. David Givens is an anthropologist who discovered some amazing facts on attraction in humans. He discovered that an important nonverbal message that a man will display to a woman while he’s flirting is that he’s harmless. The man does this as a way to say “you are safe with me.” Confidence is also an attractive trait that he’ll want to show a woman, but too much can be intimidating. He wants to show you that he’s both confident and safe.
Ever since the beginning of humans, women have known they will be stuck raising a child on their own if the man doesn’t stick around. This is because women have to carry the baby for 9 months and then feed the baby with their milk. There’s no such thing as the woman running away from that.
It is for this reason that men have learned to show women that they are safe and secure. If they come across as too overbearing and intimidating, the woman will not let them become a sexual partner.
Dr. Givens says that a man will show he’s harmless using body language.
In humans, one such gesture is a palm-up placement of the hand, whether on a table or a knee, a reassuring sign of harmlessness. Another submissive display is the shoulder shrug, which, ethologists suggest, derives from an ancient vertebrate reflex, a posture signifying helplessness. Dr. Givens via New York Times
This is one of the more subtle ways for how to tell if a guy likes you but if you watch carefully you’ll spot signs. Watch for him putting his palm up, shrugging his shoulders or just open and inviting body language.
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# 4 – He acts playful
Making you laugh is one of the quickest ways for him to establish a connection with you. Being playful also gives off the “harmless” trait and lets you know that he’s not intimidating. Humour has a way of making people let their guard down so he will definitely use this if he’s into you. Dr. Givens explains that this behavior is also seen in wolves.
Being playful and childish is another way potential lovers often communicate harmlessness. “You see the same thing in the gray wolf,” said Dr. Givens.
When wolves encounter each other, they usually give a show of dominance, keeping their distance. But in a sexual encounter, they become playful and frisky, “like puppies,” said Dr. Givens, “so they can accept closeness.” The next step is a mutual show of submission, all of which paves the way for physical intimacy. – New York Times
Submission is key for establishing intimacy because it means that both partners are choosing to be vulnerable. Flirting is one of the most vulnerable acts we can do with another human because the feeling of rejection really hurts our egos. When he shows you that he is willing to be submissive and vulnerable, and you show him the same thing back – sparks will start flying!
Again if you’re into him, be sure to make him feel good and laugh at his jokes. This a simple way to start turning him into your boyfriend.
#5 – He wants to impress you
Another way for how to tell if a guy likes you comes from Social psychologist Timothy Perper, Ph.D. He bserved how men go out of their way to get the attention of a woman. He spent time studying how men behave in lounges and bars and noticed the following.
The men arched, stretched, swiveled, and made grand gestures of whipping out lighters and lighting up cigarettes. They’d point their chins in the air with a cigarette dangling in their mouth, then loop their arms in a wide arc to put the lighter away. Their swaggers, bursts of laughter and grandiose gestures were an urban pantomime of the prancing and preening indulged in by male baboons and gorillas in the wild. Man or monkey, the signals all said, “Look at me, trust me, I’m powerful, but I won’t hurt you.” And “I don’t want anything much… yet.” Psychology Today
Who do you think is going to be the guy that gets the girl? The confident man who walks into the bar with presence and authority, or the shy loner in the corner sipping on a drink?
If you’re talking to a guy who’s into you, he’ll often think of things to say that will impress you. This can be casually mentioning the marathon he ran last week or commenting on the fact that his apartment is in the most expensive part of the city.
Watch for little clues that show him trying to impress you.
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#6 – He touches you
One of the key things that makes an acquaintance different from a friend or a lover is the way we touch them. We handshake acquaintances, we hug friends, and we kiss lovers. If there is a guy who is into you, he’s going to want to increase the level of connection by introducing touch. Pamela Regan, author of Close Relationships noted:
He might start by touching your shoulder, but then may touch your leg or your face and eventually ask for a hug. If he’s doing this, he’s climbing up the “touch ladder” and increasing his level of intimacy with you.
#7 -He points his feet toward you
Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioral investigator who specializes in body language. She has written about and done interviews on romantic body language. Her research came up with three awesome discoveries, the first one being his feet.
If he points his feet directly toward you, he’s probably into you. This is especially true if he is talking to you and some other women and his feet are pointing at you instead of them.
The reason he does this is that he wants a direct gaze to the woman he’s interested in. He wants to have a direct line of “attack” so that he can focus his eye contact and body language towards you.
#8 – Manspreading
Vanessa Van Edwards also mentions that manspreading can be an act of flirtation. I know that manspreading has become something that represents authority and dominance (in a bad way). But flirting has always involved an aspect of authority and dominance. Remember the guy that gets the girl is the confident one, not the one sitting in the corner.
Previous generations of men have used this pose to assert their dominance but maybe this one will be slowly removed from society. One thing to note though is if you’re with a guy on a date and he’s manspreading under the table, he might really be into you!
#9 – Showing his thumbs (aka confidence)
The final act of flirtatious body language that Vanessa Van Edwards shares with us is the showing of the thumbs. Often seen in old cowboy photos, putting your hands in your pockets with your thumbs sticking out is a sign of confidence.
So this doesn’t mean just showing his thumbs willy nilly, it’s when his hands are in his pockets and he’s standing in a confident and authoritative pose.
The reason why men want to show confidence and authority to attract women is that they want to show that they can protect her. Back in our caveman days, the women and children who survived were the ones who had a big strong man with them that could fight off the tigers.
Guys know that if they show you they are strong, confident and can protect you, you are much more likely to like them.
So if that cute co-worker of yours keeps coming to your desk and is showing some of these flirting signs, he’s definitely into you! Science said so!
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