Figuring out whether or not a boy likes you can be one of the most common and confusing issues in a young woman's life. Boys are challenging creatures and they are all different. However, there are a few general principles that girls have managed to discover that signal if a boy truly has feelings for a girl.
Asking the Experts
In March of 2008, Marie Claire ran an article with several helpful tips regarding whether a man is interested or not. These suggestions ranged from the classic "meaningful stares" to the issue of body language, which also deserves a tomb full of debate in itself.
The consensus is out when it comes to key signals of interest. The most popular indicators tend to be:
- He looks at you a lot
- His body language is open and conformed to your direction
- He finds subtle ways to touch you
- He laughs and smiles in your presence
- He's available and always seems to pop up at events where you are also present
- He talks about you to his friends
- He becomes slightly nervous when you're around
- He would rather hear you talk than talk about himself
- Your interests become interesting to him (He suddenly enjoys shopping and Sandra Bullock films!)
- He makes drastic life changes to accommodate your needs
Many of these suggestions are well-advised examples of signals boys send out when they truly like a girl. In fact, such signals are not age-specific and can be exhibited by boys and men of all ages. However, some of these signals can still cause quite a lot of confusion, especially when you consider levels of interest. Relationship expert and certified life coach Mare Dubuque has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to the subtleties of male courting behavior. You can start by viewing her video entitled "How to Tell if a Guy Is Interested."
What Does "Like" Mean?
Many girls receive a lot of attention from a boy, only to find out later that he is interested in being "just friends." When massive amounts of phone calls, hang out sessions, text messages and pseudo dates occur preceding this proclamation, it's no wonder that girls are shocked to learn that they never made it past the "friend" zone. His body language was flirtatious. He seemed interested in your daily activities. He'd call frequently to see how your day had gone and scheduled outings and activities. So how is it that you managed to become a surrogate girlfriend?
Though this scenario certainly captures some of the aforementioned "he likes you" signals, it doesn't indicate that genuine romance was on his mind. Sometimes boys have a very easy time communicating with a female, simply because they are not truly interested in her. A genuine appreciation for a girl will often make a boy insecure about himself. It's not easy to call her. The fear of rejection may take hold and cause his behavior to seem nervous and strange. This is a good thing; it means that he holds you in higher esteem than himself, which is a threat to his confidence level.
Escaping the Friend Zone
Some boys like girls without truly liking them. They like the attention that comes along with female company, and they genuinely enjoy your company. This can be very misleading for women of all ages, and it happens all the time. If you want to know if he truly likes you:
- Don't be available to him before he declares his full intentions.
- Make sure (without interrogating) that when he says, "I like you" it means more than "as a pal".
- Observe as to whether he prioritizes his time with you and doesn't break dates or cancel plans, particularly during the early dating stage.
- Don't reveal your feelings for him until he has done so first. This uncertainty may heighten his emotions and also keep you safe from being openly misled.
The Safest Route
As stated early, the only way to really know that he likes you is when he garners up the courage to tell you directly. Hearing the news from friends allows for misconceptions and misinterpretations of events and words. Memorizing body signals and the frequency of which he turns up at parties may also allow for further misinterpretation. It is always possible that the object of your affection has been seriously crushing on you for awhile, but if you want to be on the safe side, wait until he tells you. This is almost always more effective than mulling over his peculiar behavior with your girlfriends.