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:
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!