It’s the question that preempts every relationship—does she really like me? Whether you’re not ready to jump in and directly ask or you’re on that first date and trying to decipher if the vibes you feel are reciprocated, it can be hard to figure out how tell if a girl likes you.
To help you out, here are five common ways a girl shows that, yes, she’s really into you:
1. She gives you her time.
Between work, school, friends, family, hobbies, etc. it can be hard for someone to carve out a bit of personal time for themselves. If the girl you’re into sets aside some of that precious personal time in order to be with you—and we’re not talking about rushed, only-when-super-convenient and possibly-had-to-beg-for-it time, but honest made-it-a-priority-to-hang-with-you time—you can be pretty sure she thinks you’re worth having around.
2. She communicates with you.
Whatever her preferred verbal or non-verbal method (Snapchat, texting, coffee, Morse code, etc.), she makes an effort to keep up with you and your interests. She turns into you when you talk, makes eye contact (not a stare down), and asks questions about your day. While everyone gets busy and may not hit reply right away, if she initiates contact (and not just when she needs something) and makes a point to learn about that obscure podcast you love listening to, she might be into you.
3. She finds excuses to get close to you.
Tying in with the emotional closeness that communication brings, we have the well-known idea of touch. If she finds reasons to touch you, she likes you. I would extend it to include physical closeness and not just straight person-to-person contact. While personal space bubbles vary from person to person, if we like someone, we tend to let them further into our bubbles. So while hand-holding or a warm embrace can be definite signs of attraction, so too can sitting close together during a meal or on the couch, or strolling close enough that you inevitably brush into each other. The best way to judge this closeness is to compare how close she gets to you compared to how close she gets to other people. If she keeps everyone at arm’s length but seems perfectly happy right up next to you, you’re probably high on her list of people she likes. On the flip side, if she hugs everyone and seems just as happy arm-in-arm with everyone else as she is to you, she might just be the open type.
4. She laughs at your jokes.
Being social creatures, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that humor plays a large part in human social structures. At one time, it was assumed that humor and attractiveness were genetic traits you just have or don’t. It turns out, our attraction to someone may have a large influence on how we react to their sense of humor. Regardless of genes, we tend to withhold laughter from people we perceive as threats or want to threaten (not physically, but socially), and find ourselves smirking and groaning at those lame dad-jokes our besties share. We also like people we like to see us as funny and try to turn up the wit around love interests. Therefore, if the girl you’re into is smiling or flat out laughing to encourage your little jokes, science says there’s a strong chance she’s really into you.
5. She respects you.
What connects all the above points into their own poignant sign? If a girl respects your time, money, interests, and boundaries, there’s not only a good chance she’s interested in having you around on a more permanent basis, but she’s most likely a keeper herself.
If you’ve found that person, I would highly recommend taking the plunge and asking her to that new bar in town. Or, if you’re on a first date, start booking date number two!