There is a certain bash-your-head-against-a-wall charm that accompanies a crush. The frustration of not knowing whether the feeling is mutual and the painstaking analysis of the signs are enough to test the level-headedness of most women, never mind the added challenge of maintaining the illusion that you couldn’t care less. I have heard many a girlfriend bemoan the tortures of a crush, whining in between bites of Ben & Jerry’s that she simply wished she knew if he felt the same way. Well, for all of you ladies out there dotting your i’s with hearts…your pleas have been answered. By the end of this article you will have a very good idea about whether or not your crush is keeping your misery company. However, before I open my fabulous Prada bag full of tricks, I need you to promise that you will use this information for good instead of evil dumb. Many girls, upon learning that their crush is mutual, will pounce on that poor bastard like the last pair of Manolos at a sample sale. What they fail to see (due to being blinded by visions of white picket fences and monogrammed bathrobes) is that knowledge is power. Up until this point it has been you suffering in silence, blushing every time he looks at you and giggling at his only-kind-of-funny jokes, but this knowledge is a game-changer. Now you have the power. You know that he likes you, so you’re free to be yourself, and make him chase you. There is a method to my madness you see, because if you make him work to win your affection, he will feel like he won you (as opposed to feeling like he succumbed to your quarter-back quality tackle) and you will get what you wanted (i.e. the affection of your love interest). Everyone is a winner in this awesome game of love!
Alright, so now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. Here are some sure-fire signs that this dude wants to order whatever’s on your menu:
- Body Language: I watched all 3 seasons of Lie to Me on Netflix, so I’m basically an expert at this:
- You know what it means if he has big feet…well at least you do if they’re pointed towards you. A man’s feet point towards what he wants. This is a well-documented fact, as well as the theme of a particularly hilarious episode of New Girl (and people say you can’t learn anything from TV). If he likes you, his body will be directed towards you the majority of the time, and he will rarely turn his back to you. This is true regardless of where he is in relation to you, and whether he is talking to you or someone else. In order to ascertain the direction of his body, focus on his shoulders, and feet. If he shrugs his shoulders toward you when he talks, it’s either bonus points….or a symptom of his hunchback. But I’m a positive girl, so I choose to stick with the former (osteoporosis, be damned!).
- Monkey see, Monkey do: When one person is attracted to another they are prone to subconsciously mirror, or imitate their body language. So, if you cross your arms while talking to a boy, you may notice that within the next couple of minutes, he will similarly cross his arms. Try to keep your test-gestures within reason though, if you start hopping up and down on one foot, he may not stick around long enough for you to test your theory.
- Hair, hair, beautiful hair! People think it’s only girls that play with their hair, but both genders are prone to touch their hair while talking to someone they’re attracted to. He may also start preening himself like a male bird about to swoop in for the kill; straightening his tie, smoothing his shirt. They’re all animals, honestly.
- What lovely eyes you have: Pupils dilate in response to feelings of affection or sexual attraction. I will say though, that it’s really hard to try and figure out whether someone’s pupils are dilated without making things hella awkward. Literally the only way I have found to test this theory without looking like the girl from the Ring, is by suggesting a staring contest, which is questionable in and of itself. Anyone who has ever been on a road trip knows that a staring contest is like the last resort game…if there isn’t some devious ulterior motive involved, it’s just lame.
- My eyes are up here: A recent study conducted by scientists in the U.K. found that you can effectively determine what a man is looking for by monitoring his eye contact throughout the course of a date. When a man’s gaze continually wonders down to your body, he is looking to hit it and quit it. However, when a man maintains eye contact with you for prolonged periods of time, he is more likely considering your long-term potential. In a nutshell; if a man is focused on your boobs he’s after the milk (not the cow).
- When your eyes meet, does he immediately avert his gaze? A boy caught looking at the girl he likes is like a little kid sneaking cookies from the cookie jar. If he didn’t like her, there would be nothing incriminating about glancing her way, but the fact that he likes her makes stealing looks as exciting as snatching that last chocolate chip cookie.
- I find your interests very interesting! A guy that likes you is more likely to express interest in things that you’re interested in. If you’re curious about whether he might like you, throw him a bone by subtly mentioning something that you’re interested in (a particular band, disco dancing, martial arts), then see if he brings it up over the next couple of weeks. More obscure or unique interests are typically more effective indicators, since it will require post-conversation thought (or more likely, Googling) on his part.
- Does he find excuses to touch you? I’m not talking “show me on the doll where Billy touched you.” I’m talking high-fives, celebratory hugs, “pound-its,” playful shoves, “you have some lint on your sweater,” etc.
- Does he frequently initiate conversation? Guys tend to be assertive. If they want to talk to you, more often than not, they will make it happen.
- Is he all about himself? It is a common misconception that if a man is interested in you, he will ask a lot about you. However, many times men get nervous when talking to a girl that they like and feel the need to prove themselves. The result is a largely one-sided conversation in which the guy high-lights all of his greatest features. Many girls will be put off by this late-night-infomercial-style advance, however, they don’t understand the sentiment behind it. When you have a guy so smittin’ that he turns into Billy Mays in a crush-induced panic, you may want to smile along instead of writing him off. In order to ensure that he is not in fact just highly egotistical, you can take some of the pressure off of him by asking questions and inviting yourself into the conversation. If he continues to talk over you, tell him to talk to the hand and leave him in the dust.
- Single lady? He will find a way to ask whether you are single. There are only two reasons that a guy asks whether you are single: one is because you just asked him, so it’s necessary to maintain the balance of the conversation; the other is because he is scoping out the competition. Some girls think that appearing to be in high demand by the male population makes them more desirable. But here’s the thing: if a guy likes you, you are already in demand. Trying to make it seem like your dating life is basically a revolving door of eligible bachelors will just cause him to question your long term potential. However, responding “No I’m not seeing anyone…unless you count my cats and my therapist!” is also highly inadvisable. What is the correct answer then? “No, I’m not seeing anyone at the moment.” (Translation: I’m currently available, but you better act fast. Girls like me don’t stay single for long.)
- Does he tease you? My dad used to say “I tease you because I love you” I maintain that he did it purely because he was a butthead. In any case, that seems to be the logic that men adhere to. If you like a girl: pick on her. I feel that it’s necessary here to draw a distinction between “teasing” and “being an a$$hole.” Teasing is playful, gentile, and makes a guy feel special because he has a license to interact with you in a way that others don’t. Being an a$$hole involves launching verbal insults at a girl in order to lower her self-esteem, making her an easier target (ex: I like that dress, but it would look better on someone skinny; Your new bangs look great- they really draw attention away from your big nose!)
- Does he get all Prince Charming-ish? When a guy likes you he gets an urge to be somewhat protective of you. He may be more attentive to your needs. For instance if you seem chilly he may ask if you want to borrow his jacket, or start messing with the thermostat. You may also notice him being a bit more territorial, by casually placing his arm across the back of your chair, or stepping in when someone else tries to joke around with you. Now, if you girls are anything like me, you are much closer to being Princess ‘I can Do it Myself’ (…there really aren’t enough fairy tales about her) than you are to being a damsel in distress. But deep down a man wants to be chivalrous. If he wants to adjust the temperature, or give you advice about where to get your oil changed, fight the urge to google it, and let him be a hero. It’s not being helpless- it’s helping him to feel manly.
I will include one final disclaimer: people tend to see what they want to. It’s hard to remain objective when your heart is throbbing, so take this for what it is: power. After all, it’s a lot easier to stay cool, calm, and collected when you feel like you’re holding all the cards. So poker faces on, pitiful school girl shenanigans off.