Ah, flirtation! In the beginning stages of attraction, men and women engage in an awkward and unrehearsed dance to test the waters for a long-term relationship. If you’re savvy to the signs of whether your affections might be returned, you’ll have no problems in taking your romance to the next step.
THE EYES HAVE IT
It’s often said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. This is especially true with a budding romance, as a woman’s eyes will reflect her joy, her sincerity…and her suspicions. Does she maintain good eye contact with you when the two of you are talking or does her attention seem to wander off in search of something–or someone–more interesting to her? Not only will a woman’s eyes communicate that she is an attentive audience to what you have to say but they will also convey that she is “reading” you as a prospective partner.
If after three attempts you have failed to get a date with a certain woman, there’s a better than average chance that she is either already spoken for or just doesn’t see you as being her type. While there’s no reason you can’t be friends with members of the opposite sex, you need to remember that she knows her mind and her heart better than you do and you have little choice but to honor that. There’s also a possibility that your timing has caught her during an extraordinarily frenetic crunch of prior commitments. If she’s interested in you, be alert to clues such as, “Thursdays are always bad for me. Could we make it a Tuesday instead?” or “I’ve got a houseful of relatives staying with me until the end of the month. Can I take a rain check and celebrate with you after they go home?”
Does she remember the things you tell her? A woman who is sizing you up as a potential love interest will come into the equation with a long list of questions that relate to your future compatibility as a couple. If, for example, you mention that your favorite recording artist is Tim McGraw and she later surprises you with McGraw’s latest CD, it shows that this is one of many tidbits about you she deemed worthy of filing away in her mental Rolodex. If, on the other hand, you reveal that you are a vegetarian and the first meal she cooks for you is a steak, it may be an indication that she either has a poor memory or didn’t really care enough for this crucial bit of personal data to register.
FANCY MEETING YOU HERE!
A woman who likes you will have an uncanny way of just happening to be in the cafeteria or the supply room or the parking lot at the same time as you and, thus, orchestrates an accidental meeting that casually leads to a conversation. She can do this well because she has been paying close attention to your patterns and wants to initiate contact with a minimal risk of rejection. This should not be confused, however, with someone who is purposely stalking you and refuses to let you have a life.
Does she lean forward when you’re talking? Does she slip her arm in yours when you’re out for a walk? Does her hand or arm accidentally brush against yours? Hundreds of books have been written on the topic of body language but the essence of all of them can be distilled to a single fact when it comes to sexual chemistry. Specifically, the more vulnerability or assertiveness a woman shows in terms of proximity or displaying her best assets, the higher likelihood she is trying to get you to pay closer attention to her.
THE POWER OF COMPLIMENTS
If you happen to remark that red is your favorite color or if you compliment her on a different hairstyle, it’s a sure cue to her that you have noticed how she looks. If red suddenly seems to infiltrate the lady’s wardrobe or if she keeps that hairstyle as her new look, it’s a reciprocal cue to you that she wants to maintain whatever it is that has captivated you.
HOME COOKED CUISINE
She doesn’t have to be a gourmet chef in order to extend an invitation for dinner. In fact, the gesture is often more symbolic than whatever is going to be served on the plate. A home cooked meal (even if it’s Chinese take-out) is an expression of trust and a chance to see what you think of her turf. She is also demonstrating a willingness to share responsibilities, especially if prior dates for dinner have all been your treat. Enjoy! And don’t forget to help with the clean-up.
MEET THE FRIENDS, MEET THE PARENTS
The degree to which a woman starts bringing you into her immediate circle of friends and relatives is a positive sign that she’s starting to consider you as more than just an acquaintance. She is also communicating to you that she is prepared to deal with the subsequent onslaught of questions once those she is closest to learn that she is dating you. Women and men further share the common trait of wanting a second opinion as validation that their own judgment is accurate and that the relationship is worth continuing.
Does the object of your affections start planning future dates for the two of you? When a woman likes someone, she wants to know that she’s going to see him again rather than have to endure the torture of waiting for him to pick up the phone and call her. While a woman who makes all of these plans for you might be exhibiting the signs of a control freak, a woman who occasionally initiates dating scenarios are doing so in the context of letting you know she enjoys your company. Even better is a woman whose plans reflect an interest in and respect for activities you have previously revealed that you would enjoy. It also goes without saying that an invitation to spend major holidays with her especially if it involves family members is a sign that the romance is going strong.
WATCH OUT FOR MAKEOVER ARTISTS
If a woman constantly corrects you, criticizes your personality, or starts telling you what to wear, you may be in the hands of someone who is looking more for a project than a mate whom she can love as is. In keeping with these reconstruction techniques is a woman who lambastes past beaus as a warning of what she expects in terms of future comparative behavior from you. While women such as this may really like being in a relationship, it’s clear that there are far more things they dislike about you–or the male species in general–that will inhibit them from appreciating you for who you already are.
When you like someone you have respect for their privacy and reputation. Be wary–especially in office situations–of women who feel compelled to blab about your interactions. A woman who genuinely likes you will be discreet and, further, not betray anything that was told to her in confidence.
LIKE FIRST, LOVE LATER
A woman who comments that she likes your company is going to be a better bet for the long run than someone who declares her undying troth to you on the very first date. Even if it does turn out to have been a mutual case of love at first sight, there’s no need to rush things. Friendship–based on common interests, goals, and values–is the cornerstone of a successful romance and marriage. A woman who is too quick to press for a romantic commitment is more interested in the physical security of being half of a couple than in making the emotional investment to get to know you and like you as a person.