8 Perfect Ways To Tell If They’re Into You

Are you crushing on someone at work or in your social circle, but just not sure if they feel the same way? We’ve all been there. You’re paralyzed by that fear of rejection, and yet you’re sure the flirt from accounting is going to swoop in and make a move on them.

So how do you tell if they’re into you without looking silly? Use these steps!

1. The Pre-Game Show

Do Your Homework: Are they dating? Do they have pictures of a significant other on their monitor, phone home screen or desktop?
Know Their Stimulants: What sites do they visit? What links do they post on social media? What music, TV shows, entertainment, authors, activities do they like? This is as much for your benefit as theirs – If you’re into GWAR and they’re into 1 Direction…..it’s probably doomed.
LISTEN: Listening is a lost art. Cell phones, social media, the internet and narcissism in general have turned people today into constant outflows of information about themselves. All you need to do is actually listen to find out what people like.

2. Engage Operation “Intentions”

So… you’ve now determined that they’re fair game. You know a little about them, they know your last name, it’s not totally gauche for you to talk to them casually. Now how to find out if they’re looking at you as a promising prospect or a lump in the background scenery of life?

3. The Obstacle Course

Find any office/school/party social setting. Offer to run an errand for the group and ask them for some help. Pizza, drinks or supplies shopping – anything that shows you can be trusted with money and an order. During the errand, be inquisitive and start conversation. Ask them what they’ve been up to. The important part is this: when you approach any obstacle as you’re walking together – other people, or a mailbox or a light pole, etc. – opt for an exaggerated move away from their side as you go around it.

 There’s two tests here:

Bad Obstacle Course Good Obstacle Course (1)

If they still opt to go their way, but then quickly make an effort to get 10-15% closer to you than you were before the obstacle. That’s good.
If they quickly adjust to swing to your side of the obstacle and go the same way as you, that’s very good. They are OK with the two of you as a “unit”.

4. The 3-Syllable Laugh & Look

Raw sex appeal is still a pretty powerful force – for some people it’s the only one. But it doesn’t last. If they think you’re genuinely funny, you’re golden. Find a good joke or sassy comment online. The delivery and execution is all up to you – but do it in a group setting where The Target is. Two tests again:
If they’re not into you, you’ll get an awkward closed mouth smile and look away, even if you have good material.
If they give you a distinct, 3 syllable “HA-HA-HA”, where their teeth are visible, that’s good. Ha = Fake. Ha Ha Ha = Golden.
A 3-syllable “Ha Ha Ha” that lasts at least 1 syllable longer than anyone else, followed by a sustained “2-Mississippi” gaze is very good. If they’re into you, they’ll want to hear more of what you’re saying.

5. The Reply All/Reply 

Find a way to make a witty, mildly edgy email or status update to a wide group of friends/co-workers. The ‘edgy’ part is necessary to ensure that it’s something that people will actually have an opinion on. It shows you’re thoughtful, interesting and have something to say.
If they Reply All: And it’s not in revulsion to what you said, that’s good.
If they Reply just to you: With any form of “I just wanted to say that was so funny what you said and this is what I think about that”…you’re golden.

6. The Wounded Deer

Say you have an injury. In a crisis, fake one. Something larger than a regulation size band aid  but smaller than a full-body cast. Something that mildly impairs your movement. Have a good story about what happened.. Crutches or a cast are ideal props but in a pinch you can use a tensor splint or a good ole  limp. If they see you and give a wordless “bummer, dude” expression, then quickly go back to whatever they were doing before, you’re out. You’re looking for a reaction:
“OMG – what happened?” – Have a simple story, be humble and undersell it. They’re expressing care for your well being, but want to see that you’re tough. Nobody likes a delicate whiner.
If they “Can I do anything to help”…give a thankful “you know what? actually, if you don’t mind…” and ask for a harmless gesture like asking for a coffee. See if they’ll cheerily do the calorie burn expressly for your benefit. If they put on a stink face, then there’s your answer. If they do it for you happily, that’s good. If they do something nice for you without discussing what happened, they’re probably in love with you and you’ve been missing the signals.

7. Unnecessary Touch

DISCLAIMER: This is for a woman touching a man ONLY. If she makes any effort to touch your arm or torso, you’re good. She’s broached the ‘intimacy barrier’ – a full +2 points. These days, as a general rule, men shouldn’t touch women at this delicate phase of courtship. No exceptions.

8. The Stroke of Fortune

You have to know what they’re into. Find a local event – a concert or movie that they’re into. Buy two tickets. Wait until three full days prior to the event, and casually mention to them: “Hey, I have two tickets to Event X, and my friend bailed on me, their cat died (or something….). I kind of thought that this might be something you were into, wouldn’t want it to go to waste”
If they offer to buy the tickets or say no thanks, you’ve been solidly friend-zoned. While they like your taste, they’re not remotely interested in seeing you naked.
If they give an enthusiastic “absolutely”, without following that up with an awkward “I need you to understand that if I go, this is not necessarily a date”, that’s good.
The VERY good scenario is deceptive. It’s actually if they say “I’d love to go with you, let me check my plans and see if I can”. Be enthusiastic but urgent with your reply. Something like “ OK, well let me know before tomorrow? I’ll probably sell the tickets if I have to go alone”.
If they agree – boom, you have your date, and being near you is not revolting to them.
If they say they can’t, the plausibility of their excuse will tell you whether it’s worth asking them out on a date later on. If they say they can’t afford it, offer to just give them the ticket.

Good luck and happy testing!

First Date Ammunition: Conversation Starters April 11th

Got a hot date tomorrow? Didn’t catch the news this week…or ever? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This is a snapshot of what’s current in the world, so you’ll always have something interesting to say…on a first date or otherwise. Remember, if you want to find someone great, be someone great. Go get your read on.

POP CULTURE

What:  What’s all this hullaballoo about this ‘First Kiss’ video about strangers kissing?

The Essentials: This has become such a compelling video on its own that many people don’t realize it’s actually a commercial for women’s apparel maker Wren Studio.

Why It Matters: Obviously anything that is designed to appeal to an emotion is highly subjective to the viewer, but let’s try and break it down. It’s artfully tapped into a very compelling scene – that playful, vulnerable state where you really wouldn’t mind planting one on the lips of this new, interesting person and wonder if they feel the same. Add in the extra dimension that you’re doing it in front of a camera and crew, and the taboo element certainly spices things up. Very few of us in life have a first kiss with someone on camera (ideally). Who should make the first move? How passionate do you allow yourself to be? Did I brush my teeth recently enough? What if their breath stinks? Certainly all the kissers being fairly attractive and hip helps, but also take into account that the audience watching the video has sort of a voyeuristic thrill of being a witness to this mildly taboo idea of passionately kissing a perfect stranger.

FASHION & BEAUTY

What: Historically, pale skin and being overweight were seen as the pinnacle of female beauty in some cultures.

The Essentials: In other cultures & time periods, being very overweight or having a ‘plump’ wife was a sign of your high economic status, meaning you were successful enough to buy enough food to be obese in an otherwise food-poor time. Also at some points, having very pale skin meant you were successful enough to not have to work in the fields under hot sun like the average poor person.

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Why It Matters: Ever heard of the phrase “Rubenesque”, referring to a woman who has a little extra junk in the trunk, but still is pretty damn hot? It actually refers to 16th century Belgian artist Peter Paul Rubens, who liked big butts and he could not lie. He created a style of painting that adoringly documented plump, mostly naked women that would typically go against the current Western ideal of symmetry, thinness and tanned skin. Even today, in some countries, having an obese wife is a status symbol. Probably the most extreme example of this is in the West African country of Mauritania, where women are ritualistically fattened during their teen years in a practice called Gavage, by force feeding themselves huge portions of milk, fat & carb loaded meals over long periods of time. This is done willingly, and often with the help of ‘consultants’ to make sure they stick to their diet. We view it as very controversial, and it is undeniably unhealthy, but is prized in their culture. In India and other parts of south Asia, historically speaking, poor people had to spend most of their time in the fields tending to crops to survive. Working under the hot sun all day of course tended to cause your skin to darken, which therefore meant that if you were pale, you had higher economic status than a common subsistence field worker. As a pale person, therefore you were considered to be higher status than a field worker, more desirable as a mate. This affinity for pale skin persists even today in India where skin bleaching and keeping out of the sun remains a national obsession among high status seekers.

 ENTERTAINMENT

What: Game of Thrones tropes – it’s pretty much just middle ages Western Europe, the Middle East & Africa

The Essentials: Game of Thrones’ world of Westeros, Essos & Sothoryos seems pretty much based on Western Europe, the Middle East & Africa

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Why It Matters: It doesn’t really. But it’s mildly interesting, and people love Game of Thrones, so hey – might as well make this snappy observation and show your geography and history knowledge. The Game of Thrones world consists of 3 continents – Westeros (Europe), Essos (Middle East, Asia) and Sothyros (Africa). On Westeros, the truculent but undermanned cold-weather Starks of Winterfell are the Scots, the wealthy, treacherous Lannisters are the English, the Piracy-inclined Ironblood are the rebellious Irish, the Riverlands of House Tully and Frey are the Welsh, the hot blooded, passionate Dornish are Spain & Italy, the Stormlands of the Baratheons are the warlike Germans, and the cultured knights of the Vale are the French. The Free Cities are East & Central Europe, which is the last barrier between “civilization” and the wild savage horsemen from the great beyond are the Persians, Ottomans, Parthians, Mongols – all various menaces from “The Great Waste”. An alternate theory is that Westeros is solely based on England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland, and the horde of the Dothraki Horsemen just represents everything from Germany east.

SPORTS

What: Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves….Why are these teams’ nicknames suddenly a big deal?

The Essentials: North American sports teams with nicknames based on native Americans are considered by some to be racially insensitive stereotypes. Others see this a political correctness running wild against a name that’s not even meant to be insulting.

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Why It Matters: Well…it’s not really recent. This has been an issue to some people for decades. Society’s views on these have evolved over time to the point where it might make sense to consider changing these names to…well…anything else. Warriors maybe?. Both sides kind of have a point. You’d be hard pressed to claim it’s not even a LITTLE bit cheeky, at least. Yet you could also make the case of  The name Redskins is particularly iffy, though probably when they were named in 1932, it probably didn’t raise any eyebrows in a world where wildly racist language by today’s standards and open segregation of was still an accepted part of a number of western countries. But – times change. To those who think the name is a proud one, and not in any way offensive, consider if there were cartoon renditions of other cultures that were meant to be playful?

WORK

What: Some traditionally “middle-class” jobs are disappearing

The Essentials: Increasing automation, decline in demand and evolution of self-serve service jobs is making some jobs obsolete.

Why It Matters: The economy has always changed, for as long as there has ever been supply and demand. Candlemakers and buggy drivers used to huge industries before fuel lamps and cars. The change, though is usually pretty gradual and the reasons are often interesting in themselves. If you’re in these fields or know someone who is, it might be time for a change:

1. Gaming Cage Workers – If you’ve been to a casino lately you’ve seen that automated chip cashing machines are on the rise

2. Auto Insurance Claims Adjusters – Cars have been getting safer for decades. This is slowly reducing the number of accidents, and thus the number of claims

3. Floral Designers – Grocery & Big Box stores can sell flowers much more cheaply than speciality shops that tend to employ Floral Designers

4. Farmers – Farming continues to be ever more dominated by large industrial players, driving out the number of individual farmers through consolidation & automation

5. Power Plant Workers – The same mindset that pushes for energy efficiency pushes for plant operation efficiency. Newer plants have more computerized automation and require fewer human workers

6. Mortgage Brokers & Loan Officers – More online, more automation. This qualification process is being ever migrated onto web-based forms.

7. Computer chip makers & Electronic Equipment Assemblers. 4 reasons: Automation, automation, automation and continued global outsourcing to Asia

8. Warehouse Workers – Self-navigating robots that can ‘see’ obstacles and know the layout of the warehouse they work in will appear in more and more companies.

 

First Date Ammunition: Conversation Starters April 4th

Got a hot date tomorrow? Didn’t catch the news this week…or ever? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This is a snapshot of what’s current in the world, so you’ll always have something interesting to say…on a first date or otherwise. Remember, if you want to find someone great, be someone great. Go get your read on.

POP CULTURE

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What: Why would U.S. President Barack Obama personally appear on “Between Two Ferns”?

The Essentials: Obama recently appeared on Zach Galifinakis’ intentionally stupid but satirical ‘Between Two Ferns’ online mock interview show. Conservative media criticized him for it. He claims he did it because the people watching this show, are the people he needs to sign up for health care.

Why It Matters: Obama has always been ahead of his rivals in terms of engaging younger voters. This has in fact been a big strength for the Democratic party in general, particularly over the last decade. They have spent more time and resources successfully engaging social media and pop culture than the conservative Republicans. “Obamacare”, aka the Affordable Care Act, requires younger, healthy people to buy into the system in order for it to be financially viable. Younger people tend to believe that they’re invincible, and therefore don’t opt to buy health care unless prodded a little. Now, we’ll wait to hear whether the interview made an impact on healthcare signups.

CULTURE

What: What does “The Culture Wars” mean?

The Essentials: A generalized term for groups of people debating about what’s generally right & wrong on a given topic. More recently it’s been used as general term referring to opposing Liberal & Conservative viewpoints on a number of social issues over the past 50 years in the United States. Hot topics include gender equality & sexual orientation, environmentalism vs. economic development, religion vs. secularism, reproductive rights, gun control, and a host of other issues.

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Why It Matters: How a person feels about these topics is a pretty good measure of how likely you are to share similar values. These aren’t topics you’ll want to bring up on a first date, but sprinkle them into your conversation when you start dating someone you like. For example, start it off on a lighter note by asking your date how he or she feels about state legalized recreational marijuana. Asking what people think about this is a good two-fer question, because it provokes conversation on (a) how a person feels about “casual” drug use, personally and in general, and (b) government’s involvement in people’s lives.

TECHNOLOGY

What: Wearable computing is coming? What do I do?

The Essentials: Google Glass, WIMM One, Zypad, Oculus Rift are some of the big first players in a ‘wearable’ computer market that may have a huge impact in the future, both to how people navigate around the online & physical worlds.

Why It Matters: These devices will provide you with immediate information from your surroundings in the real world. For example, you’ll be able to look up directions while you’re walking down the street, find shopping recommendations, be alerted to sales & discounts to name a few. Headsets will change how consumers experience the internet. The internet may be experienced in three virtual dimensions instead of just looking at a two dimensional monitor display like it is now. Like most cutting edge technology, headsets were originally conceived as a military application, allowing soldiers more real time information, and sharing line of sight among members of a unit.

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What are some other great topics for a first date? And what should we stay away from?

First Date Ammunition: Conversation Starters March 25th

Got a hot date tomorrow? Didn’t catch the news this week…or ever? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This is a snapshot of what’s current in the world, so you’ll always have something interesting to say…on a first date or otherwise. Remember, if you want to find someone great, be someone great. Go get your read on.

Pop Culture

What: Kim & Kanye’s Vogue Cover causes uproar among celebrity readers.

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The Essentials: Social media exploded when Vogue chose to put Kim Kardashian & Kanye West on their cover. The outrage seems to be that Vogue readers, including several celebrities, have spoken out about how Vogue’s standards of high fashion have been thrown in the trashbin by featuring the details of K&K’s lives.

Why It Matters: Vogue readers commonly express that Vogue is a high end, sophisticated publication, while Kim and Kanye are mass market, vapid, self-absorbed egomaniacs who are ultimately tacky and tasteless. Chief editor Anna Wintour spoke up to defend putting Kim & Kanye on the cover, saying it is purely a business decision for eyeballs. Vogue, like all other print magazines are struggling with dwindling subscriptions and an ever tighter and competitive space where the internet is slicing away market share. There’s the old expression that all news is good news, and this may be very true in this case. It’s certainly got more people talking abou Vogue than there was last month!

Entertainment

What: Music Streaming service price wars are on!

The Essentials: The competition in the music streaming market  is heating up.Songza, rdio, Spotify and others are trying to outdo each other.

Why It Matters:  How music is distributed, sold & consumed by people is one of the first places that significant media shifts occur. The grey-area legal napster & mp3 players of the 90’s that was once the exclusive domain of hacker nerds in skateboard hoodies  created entirely new distribution systems that have broken the music industry’s distribution monopoly, and changed how bands reach their audiences and generate revenue. New pricing models (pay to see songlists, unlimited song forwarding, removing ads) are always being tried out and optimized. Because music has such a high turnover rate (people always want new music), changes in the music distribution business affect movies, TV, news & books down the road. Expect these other content channels to follow the music industry’s lead!

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Science

What: What’s happening to the bees?

The Essentials: World honeybee populations have been falling for decades, in what’s generally being described as CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, which is kind of a catch all for when an entire colony dies at once. Nobody’s really sure why this decline is happening for sure, but we’ve got some pretty good evidence

Why It Matters: Pretty much piece of fruit or vegetable you eat that comes from a flowering plant requires a bee at some point to have crawled into the flower and deposited some pollen to germinate the plant. Agriculture has become so specialized that bees can’t ‘live’ year round at a commercial farm or orchard; since there’s only food when the individual crop is flowering, bees need a more varied environment to survive year round in the wild. Bees have to be trucked in from secluded apiaries (bee farms) and brought to the crops. Scientists haven’t found a single cause for CCD, probably because there isn’t a single cause – rather, it’s likely a potent brew of commercial pesticides and specifically fungicides that have built up over years to reduce bees’ natural resistances to an otherwise naturally occurring but non-devastating disease bearing parasites. Individual farmers are concerned with protecting their fruit from insects and fungal diseases, so they tend to opt with using those commercial products, and not really being concerned with the aggregate effect on the bees which are moved from farm to farm.

Politics

What: U.S. Midterm Elections are coming up

The Essentials: On Nov 4th, the U.S. midterms will be held. Midterms are elections for all of the seats in the U.S. House of Congress, 33 of the 100 Senate seats are also up for grabs, plus all the Governorships & most state legislatures. “Mid-terms” refers to the middle of the presidential term. These elections are designed to be a check and balance to make sure that people can influence a presidential administration’s policies at a more regular interval than every 4 years when a Presidential election is held. 2014_Senate_election_map.svg.png

Why It Matters: Voter turnout is much lower for mid-terms than they are for presidential elections, in particular historically for the Democrats. Democratic turnout tends to be very high for Presidential campaigns, while Republicans’ is more steady throughout. Since Democratic turnout falls, Republicans tend to make big gains in mid-terms, and 2014 is expected to be the same. Congress has gerrymandered their voting districts so much (basically meaning they’ve changed the boundaries of their voting districts to include people likely to continue to vote for the incumbent) that it is unlikely that the GOP faces any threat to their control of the House. The Senate, however, currently has a small Democratic minority, and could swing to the Republicans this year. This is significant because having both the House & Senate controlled by one party will lead to more proposed laws that are in line with that party’s platform. If the Republicans win, expect more initiatives to curb gay marriage, tougher stands on immigration & abortion, more personal and corporate tax cuts, increased military spending, more aggressive foreign policy, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, expanded fracking development, the never-ending jihad to repeal “Obamacare” etc. If the Democrats keep the Senate or somehow manage to win the House, expect more proposals to expand universal health care, provide immigration reform, green energy initiatives, extend social programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits. In addition, Congress & Senate panels can delay or block Presidential appointments to roles on the Supreme & Lower Courts, Government Departments and roles like Secretary of Defense.

The World

What: Scotland is voting to become an independent country!

The Essentials: Scheduled for September 18th, 2014, Scottish citizens will vote in a referendum to decide whether to remain part of the United Kingdom (along with England, Wales & Northern Ireland) or become an independent nation.

Why It Matters: Scotland & England joined to form the United Kingdom in 1707. After more than 300 years together, the Scottish National Party, led by Alex Salmond, have pushed for a referendum for independence, but just like long, complicated marriages…breaking up is hard to do. There’s practical and expensive questions, like dividing up the Army & Navy, share of the national debt issuing passports and all the other diplomatic requirements of running your own country. Not to mention, whether the relatively small population of Scotland is better off, or even ‘viable’ in the long run in the modern world, since an independent Scotland would be highly dependent on declining North Sea oil revenues, would likely not be able to join the EU for a long time if at all, and that Scotland generally receives more money in benefits from the UK than it sends back in tax revenues. Similar separatist groups in Spain (the Basques) and Canada (Parti Quebecois) are watching intently to see what happens in this vote.

Culture

What: Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos, April 22nd to 24th in Alcoy, Spain

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The Essentials: Several towns in Valencia, in Southeast Spain conduct elaborate parades commemorating the battles of the “Reconquista”, under which Christian kingdoms re-took control over the region from ‘Moors’, North African Muslims who had controlled southern Spain for nearly 800 years.

Why It Matters: It’s an amazingly elaborate festival in a beautiful part of the world! You should go. The backstory is the Moors first took control of the southern half of Spain in the 8th century, and established a unique culture that flourished for hundreds of years, perhaps best exemplified by the incredibly ornate Alhambra fortress in Granada to the southwest of Alcoy. Over these 800 years, Christian kingdoms were eventually able to defeat the Muslim Moors in a series of battles and ‘reconquer’ Spain. In all, 28 “armies” from different surrounding villages re-enact key battles (including cannons!) of the Reconquista in amazingly elaborate spectacle of, oh let’s say, perhaps not always politically correct sights & sounds.