Maybe in an alternate universe, women approach men by simply saying: “Hello. I find you ever so attractive and intriguing! Wanna date?” But sadly, on this planet, it’s not quite that simple. Sure, some women might prefer in-your-face flirting techniques and courting ploys, but most give off more subtle signals that can be almost impossible to read. And in case you’re wondering if one such lovely specimen is batting her eyes at you, here are a few clues to help you figure it out.
Sign #1: She teases you by subtly drawing attention to her neck, shoulders and wrists
Body language speaks volumes — and goes well beyond the blatant hair toss many women use to attract male attention. Shrugging her shoulders, flashing the inside of her wrists, massaging her own neck and basically any kind of unconscious self-touching are all subtle invitations to woo her. “We stroke ourselves for two reasons,” explains Tracey Cox, author of Hot Relationships: How to Have One
. “First to draw attention to a body part itself, and second, to subconsciously tease the person who is watching us.” So if she’s making you hot under the collar, it’s because she wants to push your buttons — so, consider that a big green light to start the chase in earnest.
Sign #2: She displays a few girlish antics in your presence
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Dating may still make you feel like a giddy teenager for good reason: Grown women can really regress around particular men whom they find attractive. Witness the giggling, blushing, and whispering to a friend with one hand covering her mouth while she glances your way; in fact, her voice may even go a full octave higher than usual when she speaks to you. “Noticeable changes may result as one imagines the risk of rejection involved with pursuing a new love interest,” says Molly Barrow, Ph.D., author of Matchlines for Singles
. So guys, remember to take that girlish goofiness as a compliment — and don’t worry about it becoming a permanent fixture, either. “As her anxiety lessens, the behavior will improve,” advises Dr. Barrow.
Sign #3: When she checks you out, her eye movements follow a very specific visual pattern
If a woman looks at you in a triangular pattern — i.e., going first from one eye, then dipping to your mouth, chest (or even lower) before traveling back up to your other eye — she’s sizing you up... big time
. “Eye movement studies show that we look at different parts of other people depending on the situation and level of attractiveness,” explains Cox. “With people we’re attracted to, the triangle broadens” in order to take on more of the face or body as a whole.
Sign #4: She asks you a million questions about your life
When a woman’s really
into you, she’ll grill you just like a steak. “She’ll ask everything about you — your work, your childhood, your likes and dislikes,” says Janice Hoffman, author of Relationship Rules: 12 Strategies for Creating a Love That Lasts
. And if she asks about the future (for instance, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”), she’s scrutinizing your soul mate potential. Granted, this interrogation-like treatment often tends to bother men. To counter this approach, ask her
lots of questions — Hoffman says that women can’t get enough of them, just as long as they’re not too personal.
Sign #5: She actively listens without interrupting during your conversation
Sometimes it’s what a woman doesn’t
say that signals interest on her behalf. “Refraining from interruption during your conversation shows that your date has respect for you and is also probably interested in what you’re saying,” says Hoffman. So if she’s hanging onto your every word, rest assured that you’ve got her in your thrall.
Sign #6: She stealthily starts moving into your personal space
Has she nudged her latte closer to your cappuccino? Is she resting her hand on your side of the table? Yep, she’s moving in on you. “We use our hands to signal interest by moving them into the other person’s personal space,” explains Cox. And if she’s fidgeting or fiddling with her drink, silverware, or something else on the table, even better; that means she’s got some nervous energy brewing and wants to touch you, but can’t quite bring herself to span the divide just yet.
Sign #7: She hurls a few innocent digs your way
Snide remarks, like: “Who said you could wear a shirt like that?” or “So you think you’re smart, huh?” might seem like bad news, but as long as the teasing is being delivered with a smile, you can assume it’s meant as playful banter on her part. If she’s dishing out a dig, she most likely means the opposite — that she’s impressed by you, but too nervous to say so and worried she’ll embarass herself.
Sign #8: She seems to engage in perpetual preening throughout the night
Don’t mistake interest for vanity if your date seems to constantly be checking out her reflection, fixing her hair, or smoothing her outfit back into place. Dr. Barrow believes these mini-grooming gestures indicate that a woman isn’t self-obsessed; rather, she is just trying to look good to you as consistently as she possibly can.
Sign #9: She asks you for updates about issues you’ve mentioned during past conversations
“Did you have that talk with your boss?” “How was the hockey game?” “Is your roommate feeling better?” If you’re hearing questions like these – i.e., follow-ups on things you mentioned recently in her presence – it’s a clear indication that this woman really digs you. She remembers what you say and cares enough to inquire about what’s going on in your life, even when it has nothing to do with her.
Sign #10: Inconsequential contact
Before a first kiss is even on your agenda, a woman who’s hot for you will find excuses to make inconsequential contact with you physically. Whether it’s lightly patting your knee when you’ve said something funny, brushing lint off of your lapel, or plucking a loose thread at your sleeve, Hoffman says that all of these non-intimate methods of making contact are intended to build mutual trust and show you that she cares.
Now that you know how to read between the lines and tell if a woman’s really into you, use this information to your advantage on your next date!
Nina Malkin is the author of An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle