How to tell if someone is interested in you

'They remember what you say'

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 23 July 2019 15:52

There are many hurdles in the dating world – finding the right filter for your Tinder pic, learning how to play it cool while you wait for WhatsApp ticks to go from grey to blue, aubergine emojis – but there is one that trumps them all: how do you know when somebody fancies you?

It’s a complex question, one whose answers have mutated and evolved with the times. A few years ago, an obvious indicator of romantic interest might’ve been, say, a casual “come here often?” quip at the bar. Or perhaps, in simpler times, putting someone's name in your MSN bio. Not so in 2019.

Another equally archaic flirting tactic is “negging” – a term to describe men who insult women they’re attracted to – as coined by author Neil Strauss, who whose once lauded book The Game now reads like a dating manual for misogynists.

Fortunately, when it comes to the realm of romance, things have changed dramatically, most notably thanks to the advent of dating apps and the resulting behavioural quirks that have since emerged i.e. ghosting. But that’s not to say it’s any easier to ascertain whether or not somebody is interested in you. People still say things they don’t mean, some are naturally gregarious with strangers and others might wink at you just because they have something in their eye.

We’re probably all guilty of conflating friendliness with flirting at one point or another. Hence why being single and trying to find out who wants to mingle with you can be a minefield. And it's no less tricky once you've started dating someone. You might have a great first few dates, but then, before you know it, they're just not that into you.

It's just as tricky even when you’re in the initial stages of dating someone.

We spoke to dating experts and psychologists to find out how to tell if someone is actually interested you.

1. They pull their sleeves up

This might seem far fetched, but dating coach and psychologist Jo Hemmings explains that rolling your sleeves up on a date is a subtle sign of showing interest, particularly among women.

“Pulling up the sleeves of a dress or a top to reveal the lower part of our inner arms – the softest skin on our body – is often a subconscious sign of attraction,” she says, noting that it displays our vulnerability to someone.

2. You talk about mundane things

If someone likes you, they will find any excuse to text you, says psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree of dating agency, The Vida Consultancy.

The messages might seem weird or dull (“I just came back from the park” or “Had a long day at work”), but it’s a good sign, she adds, because it shows this person is keen to chat to you about anything at all.

3. They remember what you say

If someone is interested in dating you, they will remember aspects of your previous conversations, says Hemmings. Whether it’s a minor detail about the new coffee machine at work or the location of your sister’s birthday party, if they like you, they will follow up to find out more.

4. Texts often end with a question

If they end their messages to you with a question, no matter how insipid (“what did you have for lunch?”), it’s a strong sign they want to keep communicating with you. “This is a bid to get you to engage with them,” says Mason. “They want to maintain a sense of connection by keeping a conversation going.”

5. They will alter their body language to be closer to you

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There’s more to showing interest through body language than just holding eye contact (a well-documented indicator of interest). Other gestures, Hemmings notes, may include leaning in towards you and crossing their legs, or standing at an angle so their body is facing you. “This suggests that someone is enjoying your company,” she says.

6. They try to impress you

Are they inviting you to swanky bars, trendy photography exhibitions, or revered plays? This isn’t showing off, they are trying to impress you, says Mason.

“This kind of behaviour can occasionally be difficult to spot as you don’t necessarily know their default nature,” she adds. But if they’re taking the lead by planning fun and engaging activities for the two of you, it’s a clear indicator that they are making an effort to woo you.

7. You know when you’ll next see them after a date

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If you’ve just had a good date, let’s say conversation was flowing and the sparks were flying, you will be a source of excitement for them, says Mason. “By spending time with you, their levels of the 'happy hormone', dopamine, increase. They will want more of that,” she explains. Hence why you will know soon after leaving them when you’ll see them again, because they will make sure it’s in the diary.

8. They get in touch at random points of the day

“Texting is often used simply for pragmatic reasons, or sometimes out of habit or obligation,” says Hemmings. When someone messages you sporadically – i.e not just to make a plan or find out information about something – it shows they’re spending time thinking about you, she explains.

9. They tell you how they feel

This might seem blatantly obvious. But some people really do just straight up tell you they like you, says Mason. “Saying it out loud is an attempt to secure the longevity and exclusivity of being with you,” the psychologist adds.

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