It can be hard for a guy to just come out and say it...
If I had a nickel for every time I've wondered "does he like me" I would have a Scrooge McDuck style money bank perfect for swimming.
Figuring out whether or not a guy likes you shouldn't be harder than remembering your lock combination from 5th grade.
And yet, here I am at the age of 33 still struggling to figure out if the dudes I have feelings for have the same kind of feelings for me.
To be clear, I'm talking about "pants" feelings.
The kind in the bathing suit region.
You know, attraction.
At this point, I feel like I have a relatively good handle on figuring out whether or not a guy finds me attractive.
But there is still one type of guy whose intentions are almost impossible to decode.
I speak, dear reader, of the quiet guy.
You know, that beloved strong but silent type.
It's amazing that all a guy has to do to be considered mysterious is just like, not talk.
Is he shy or is he mysterious?
Does he like me or does he find me overwhelmingly chatty?
I have, fortunately, developed a system for determining whether or not a quiet guy digs what I'm selling.
What do I do to figure out "does he like me"?
I ask myself the following three questions:
1. Forget what he says, what's he doing?
I say this to my girlfriends all the time.
Not just because I like to hear myself talk, either, but because it's totally true.
If you want to know if he likes you, pay close attention to what's he's DOING.
I know I talk a blue streak, even about tough stuff like feelings, so when I'm with a guy who doesn't talk as much as I do it can be hard to get a grip on what he's thinking or feeling.
That's why you have to stop, take a breath, and re-calibrate.
Not everyone expresses their emotions with words, that's why you've got to pay close attention to what your dude is doing if you want to know if he likes you.
Is he holding doors for you? Is he showing up for a date with a small surprise token of his esteem? Is he buying you dinner?
He's telling you that he likes you even if he isn't ACTUALLY "telling" you that he likes you.
It goes beyond clichéd dating gestures, too.
I once dated a painter who had a really hard time expressing his emotions. I had no idea where I stood with the guy.
Then, one day, he invited me over to hang out while he painted.
I realized that while he found it really hard to express his feelings for me, by letting me chill in his studio while he worked, he was showing me how much he liked and trusted me.
2. How does he touch you when you're alone?
When you're trying to figure out how a quiet guy feels about you, it's tempting to analyze every little thing he says or does to and/or with you.
But be wary of mistaking how he behaves towards you around other people with how he behaves around you when it's just the two of you alone together.
Shyness is easy to mistake as coldness.
Even a guy who is totally nuts about you might not feel 100% great about being all over you in a public setting.
Don't read too much into his behavior if he's physically aloof in public.
If when the two of you are alone together he's still physically aloof, that could very well be a sign that he doesn't feel the same way about you as you do about him.
But it wouldn't surprise me at all if Mr. Hands-Off in public became Mr. Handsy when the two of you are spending time alone together.
3. Does he venture out of his comfort zone to be with you?
Silent guys are very often shy guys.
When you're shy or an introvert, venturing outside of your perceived comfort zone can be challenging and make you feel super uncomfortable.
I know of what I speak. I'm a shy introvert, and let me tell you, any day where I have to leave my house to talk to other people is a legitimate struggle.
If your strong, silent dude shows up at your best friend's birthday or agrees to go to trivia night with you and your co-workers, he's trying to demonstrate to you that he's willing to push himself to be with you.
It's not like a conscious "look at what I can do" kind of gesture, it's his eagerness to spend time with you overpowering even his deepest insecurities.
If that's not an awesome sign that he likes you, I don't know what is.
I knew this one strong silent kind of dude liked me when he showed up to meet my friends for the first time even though he had the flu!
Talk about love, right?