Sometimes it's obvious. Other times, well, not so much.
Dating isn't easy.
But if you do it long enough, you hopefully pick up a few tools of the trade.
There are some things, however, that still remain mysterious. I'm 33, and I still don't know how to tell if a guy likes you. I mean frankly, I miss the days a dude snapping your bra strap or tripping you meant he smelled what he was cooking.
When it comes to figuring out how to tell if a guy likes you I thought the best way of getting to the heart of the matter (or the penis, rather) was to ask the guys themselves. So ask I did, and oh boy did I get some answers.
So let's tackle the web first. If you see a girl you think is cute and interesting while online dating, how do you usually approach her? Do you have a line? Do you just say hi? Do you wait for her to approach you?
- Some dudes approach it with scientific precision: "I have a very systematic method that a lady-friend helped me come up with. First, I share one universal observation about her based on the profile. Like, "Wow, it's so awesome you're a stand-up comic!" Then I will ask one question based on her profile that I'm sincerely curious about. My prior method had been to write everything I could think of when reading the woman's profile. My friend pointed out that that may be a bit much."
- "If I feel there is a real possibility for connection, I typically ask her about whatever on her profile inspired that. Often enough, though, I get too excited and just blather on about whatever cool thing I've noticed between us. But I try to be open and interested first."
- Other guys are ever-so-slightly jaded: "Say hi. Introduce myself. Mention something we have in common. Then ask a boring ass question. Finally, wait for a response that'll never come."
- If he likes you online, he'll approach: "I usually try to find something in her profile or a photo that is a common interest of mine. I figure it shows that I took the time to actually read her profile and also proves that we have some similar interests. That's generally my approach. I don't have a standard line. I've never had any success waiting for women to approach me. My personal experience has been that women are even less interested in initiating online than in person."
When you're into someone IRL, how do you try to make your feelings known?
- Some dudes take the direct approach: "I tell them!"
- Others are still flummoxed by the best way to broach the subject at all: "I'm worse at this than I am at anything."
- Romantics do still exist: "Make myself available to spend more time together. Do something sweet. Sending a card in the mail is still a great way. Maybe it is old skool but it works."
- Some men get ballsy: "Broadly I just try to keep contact with them going. I would talk to them or invite them to things. I'm my wise old age of 28, frankly sometimes I just tell them straight up."
- We all have regrets: "If it's someone I met through online dating, I'm pretty clear pretty quickly. Politely aggressive, you might even say. But if it's someone I met in real life and I'm not certain they're down to be dated, I'm a lot slower. I've had many friends over the years who I didn't want to fuck up the friendship with by being honest about my feelings. That's not a good thing, I regret it, but I also don't want to push my interest on someone who doesn't share it, and I don't want to spoil rewarding friendships."
What are you more likely to do when you're into a woman romantically than you are when you just want to be her friend?
- "Good question. I'd do a lot for most of my friends to begin with so my standard for things I'll do for anyone is pretty high to begin with. I'd probably clear my schedule a bit more for a woman I was romantically interested in. Endure some social events that I might turn down for anyone less than a close friend."
- "Buy groceries." It's the little things.
- Some guyses release their inner Swayze: "Get close, arrange private time, take her dancing."
- How to tell if a guy likes you? Butt stuff: "This is going to sound like a joke but I only do butt stuff with a woman I'm romantically interested in. Eating your butt = giving you my letterman jacket."
Story time: If you'd like to share a story about a time you approached a woman, now is the hour!
- "The one time I approached a stranger in public was this really cute lady with pigtails who was sitting and reading a book at night in a small, arty city. I got my nerve up, walked over, asked, 'What are you reading?' She looked up at me, scowled, then looked down and snarled, 'Plays. I'm reading a book of plays.' I apologized, left, and haven't done that again." Clearly she was reading Pinter.
- "I talked with a couple who were our mutual friends to set up a fun way to meet. We went on a double date. Afterwards, we talked honestly and agreed that we hadn't really gotten to know each other as well as we'd have liked to, so we set up a one-on-one dinner and a movie. Afterwards I asked if she'd like to see each other exclusively and she said yes."
- "One time in college, I attended an "anything but pants" party hosted by some women I knew from the music department. I met a girl there. She was beautiful and knew way more about the science of music than I did as a marching band percussionist. I don't particularly remember how I approached her to begin with. I think the fact that I was wearing a kilt and she was not wearing pants of any sort made every interaction the maximum awkward from the start. We ended up laying on the floor in a weird shaped attic room talking about life and college through the night. It was nice." Um, can we say Meet Cute?
- "In real life? The last two women I approached were both in a bar. The first one acted very interested until I bought her a drink. Then she grabbed it and went back to her friends. I felt like an idiot. The last one was at closing time. We were making out within minutes. Back to her place where she spent the night alternating between intense gushing orgasms and hysterically crying because her dad died like 4 years ago. Eventually I sobered up and felt weird. So I went home." Not everything has a fairy tale ending.
- "I met my wife in sex chat. We did what everyone does there, and we talked endlessly. 15 years strong now." I'm not crying THERE IS JUST SOMETHING IN MY EYE.