How do you know when someone is hitting on you?

 Surely… there’s a way to make someone reveal their hand, without forcing a confession, right?

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Sometimes, you have a hunch that someone likes you, but you aren’t 100% sure. Surely… there’s a way to make someone reveal their hand, without forcing a confession, right??? Imagine misinterpreting someone’s disinterest as shyness, and declaring your undying love for them.

Awkward.

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Surely there has to be a more empirical way to test for attraction, p>0.05 right? Or, results should ideally only have a 5% chance of being a false positive. (Fellow social-science students out there, you know what I mean!) So in the spirit of being more accurate about things, I wrote this article about more concrete tests you can run, as though this was a quasi social experiment – which it kind of is, anyway. These should help you figure out if he’s just a caring friend, or if he’s crossed the fine line into being romantically interested in you.

PS: This only works for people who are already friends though. I’m sorry if you’ve been stalking some cute guy from afar – this won’t really help here.

1. They’ll walk you to the bus stop – when they don’t need to.
Very often, your object of interest is the one chatting with you after class or work. Today, announce that you have to make a quick run to somewhere nearby, for some errands. See if they volunteer to follow you anyway. If they do so, it’s probably because they want to chat with you more, and will do anything to spend a little more time with you. They’ll probably even claim it’s “just on the way lah!!”- when it’s actually not. If they’re into you, they’ll find any excuse to be with you for a little while longer, and this is one of the most sure-fire ways of catching it.

2. The thing about jackets…
Jackets are very personal things. It’s like getting a cuddle by proxy. Why do you think guys are so sensitive about their girlfriends touching other people’s jackets?! For this, try asking the person you like for their jacket, or hinting that you’re really really cold, and see if they’ll offer it to you first. Guys (mostly) don’t offer their jackets out to every damsel in distress, but they’ll be willing to tahan the cold if it keeps you warm. If this interaction goes through, it’s a pretty clear sigh of (reciprocal) interest between you two!

3. Shopping & errands
The task doesn’t just have to be shopping, actually. It’s anything that a guy generally dislikes / finds mundane, but would still deign to do with you anyway, because he likes you and he’ll make an exception just this once. Try asking him to do something he generally does not do, like shopping, or (if he’s a night person), waking up early to meet you for breakfast one day. If he/she likes you, they’ll still agree to it anyway. Even amongst friends, no self-respecting night owl would ever do early breakfasts …but you’re not regular friend, anyway. 

4. Carry your books
Even though guys usually offer to carry books, this one can actually go both ways. Guys, test this by offering to carry her things, especially when they aren’t heavy (e.g., a shoe bag). Most girls would politely decline because they can manage it, but if she likes you and wants to hint at it, she’ll let you help her out anyway. It’s kind of a girl-way to stake her claim on you so other girls don’t come near!

5. Defend how you look
This one is tough, because there’s a fine line between sounding genuinely worried about your looks, and openly fishing for compliments (which is just sad). This test favours females, but guys can try this out at their own risk. In front of your target, preen a little and comment that you’re feeling insecure about X part of your body (e.g., “Gah I think my legs have gotten flabbier, I feel terrible.”) If in front of a group of friends, they’ll probably tease you loads about it. However if alone, and you sound serious, they’ll usually be quick to comfort you and vehemently insist on how good-looking you are, just to make you feel better. Awww.

6. Mirror your body movements
This has roots in studies of body language, because mimicking/ mirroring another’s body language is a way to make people more friendly and open to you. For example, leaning forward when they talk to you, just as they are doing so, indicates that you are interested in hearing what they have to say. For this test, be extra observant of what they do. Lean on your left arm. Then put both arms off the table. Play with your hair slowly with your right. Notice if they follow you through these cues somehow (e.g., moving their arm when you do), because it’s a sign that the person is really interested. Extras: for both genders, playing with their hair, bright/long smiles (rather than polite, short ones), touching and biting of lips etc, are also signs of interest.

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7. Ask you out – but not explicitly
Such a teenage thing to do, but I hear this happens even to your thirties (shy people are still gonna be shy). They’ll text you if you want to go watch a movie, and make it sound like a pseudo group outing… but they won’t really be interested in asking anyone else along.

Guy: “Hey have you watched the latest batman movie? Do you want to catch it this Sunday?”

Girl: “Yeah sure.”

Girl: “So who else are you asking along?”

Guy: “I haven’t really asked anyone yet… ”

* Ideally, at this point the girl would say, “Sure, I don’t mind just going to watch it with you!”

* Not so ideally….

Girl: “Okay I’ll start asking others then.”

Guy: DAMN.

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