How to tell if someone really likes you (plus how to tell if they don’t)
This can be one of the most difficult parts of dating. It is scary as hell putting yourself out there to possibly be rejected, but it could even be worse if you are chasing someone who doesn’t really like you.
It might feel like they are interested, or you might just be sugar-coating it and be really hoping that they are. Have you got rose-coloured glasses on when you are looking at your relationship?
It can be hard to tell. Someone might be naturally shy and not big on showing how they feel. And other sorts of people can show all sorts of interest but be stringing you along for the wrong reasons.
How do you tell if someone genuinely likes you, and this is worth pursuing? And how do you tell if they don’t?
Tips that someone really likes you
Many of the ways that dating experts say you can tell someone likes you only happen face to face, which can make it a bit harder to tell if you are so far only interacting online.
If someone looks you in the eye when they are speaking to you, touches you lightly on the arm or hand, leans in toward you or is obviously paying attention to what you are saying, these are all good signs.
If you are only dating online it can be a bit harder to tell if they are leaning toward you or looking you in the eye.
If you are chatting online, the amount of time and attention they give you can be a good sign. If they are happy to chat often, they remember things that you’ve said, and they are giving you thoughtful questions and longer than one-word answers, these are good signs that they are interested in you.
If they go deeper with their questions, this is another great sign. I don’t mean asking dirty questions or requesting a nude pic, but asking about your opinions and feelings and reasons for something. Instead of just asking ‘What do you do for fun?’ they will ask ‘Why does that make you happy?’ or ‘Tell me about the best time you did that.’
If you get questions from them that no one else asks, and that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to answer, this person really likes you.
Someone who likes you will make time for you and make you a priority in their life. They will seem happy to hear from you and eager to keep making contact.
They will pay attention to what you have said and show this in things they say in the future (such as ‘I remember that you liked this singer, have you heard their new song?’ or ‘My sister mentioned that if you really liked books by George R. R. Martin then you should try Stephen King’s early stuff’)
They will support and champion you in the things that are important to you – such as asking how you did in the big game on the weekend, or how your university applications are coming along.
They will laugh at your jokes and find you entertaining, even if you aren’t even remotely funny. If someone really likes you, you will most likely have the same sense of humour and find the same things funny, no matter how lame.
Most of all, they will be open and honest with you.
How to tell if someone doesn’t like you
If someone is constantly cancelling on you, or choosing to do something (or someone!) else instead, this is a good indication that they aren’t really interested. Cancelling the odd plan here and there is ok, but an ongoing pattern of putting you second or third in their priority list isn’t a good sign.
One of the best ways to figure out if someone likes you is to stop making all the moves, and give them the chance to do so. Stop contacting them for a bit and see what they do. Tell them the ball is in their court and then take a step back.
There is a certain level of sexy mystery in a new relationship, and then there is someone who is deliberately keeping you at a distance. If the person you are dating is being cagey about anything or refusing to answer your reasonable questions then something might be up.
Ask your friends for their opinion – usually, this is one of the best measures of if this person really likes you or not. Your friends will notice if someone is treating you right, as well as if they are bringing out the best in you.
How to tell if someone is playing you
There is a third situation where someone pretends that they like you, but are in it for their own selfish reasons. You might be being played or used, or they might be trying to make someone else jealous.
Here are some ways to tell if someone is pretending to like you, but isn’t really genuine:
- They are giving you generic questions and one-word answers
- They aren’t really paying attention to things you’ve said
- They aren’t available for you, or they disappear or ghost you for periods without explanation
- It’s only about the sex
- They haven’t introduced you to their family or friends, and they don’t want to meet yours
- They seem to be avoiding questions or hiding parts of their lives
- Things tend to be focused on them and what they want instead of on you
- You find yourself making excuses for their behaviour
Generally, if you are being played you will have a gut feeling about it – something will just feel off. If this person doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and bring out the best in you, if they make you doubt yourself or question the relationship then something might be wrong.
Follow your own instinct on this, it is often the best way to tell.
Back to Top