Welcome to Ask A Guy, where you can find unfiltered, honest, feedback on how guys (well at least one: me) really think about things, from relationships to body types to life dilemmas. Here’s this week’s:
Question: How do I know if a guy really likes me?
Note: there were a lot of other words in that question but fundamentally, all early-stage dating conversations boil down to this question: does he/she really like me? You want to know if you’re wasting time or building something, if you’ll end up a champ or a chump, if it will turn into a dream or a nightmare, if it’s destiny or misery, if – ok I’ll stop, sorry.
Unfortunately, the dating world is not a Carly Rae Jepsen song. Anyone saying early on to me, “I really really really really really like you” is someone I assume will kidnap me and lock me in her basement – or, since it’s Hong Kong, an extremely small closet. The clear proclamations of interest aren’t happenin’. So it’s up to us to read the tea leaves and understand if he sees you as Ms. Right or Ms. Right Now, a fling or a fawn, a – ok, seriously I’m stopping.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: if he’s texting you all the time, asking you out on dates, introducing you to his friends, inviting you to meet his family, giving you a ring, marrying you, having your children, and spending a lifetime together in blissful matrimony, he’s probably into you. What I’m saying is if he’s super-in, it’s obvious so stop reading this and start acting like rabbits. But if you don’t 100% know you shouldn’t fret (yet), some things simply need time to bloom, like that bulb I planted in third grade I’m still waiting on to sprout.
If things are good but you’re still not sure, here are some good signs he might like you lots:
- Electronic: he responds quickly to your messages on weekends or writes long responses. He ends up being the person who sent the last text (don’t always send the last text, girl – leave him wanting more blah blah seduction blah blah the Game blah blah). He sends you – not a group Whatsapp but to you specifically – messages that aren’t to make plans but just because he saw something funny. That means he’s thinking about you. This bodes well.
- In public: he holds your hand, kisses you in front of his friends, answers “we” to questions people ask, stops and hugs/kisses you for no good reason except it’s cute. This is different than kissing you for no reason other than there’s an alley nearby you can get frisky in.
- Gifts: he gives you a gift at a random time, the more personalised (thoughtful) the better. Caveat – flower or jewellery unfortunately don’t count early on – he might be doing that because he Carly Rae Jepsen likes you or that might just be his “move.” Be appreciative but skeptical.
- What he says: It doesn’t matter at all. Don’t read into it. For instance European and Latin dudes are like super over-the-top romantic, and they’ll say you’re the most beautiful girl they’ve seen and you’re amazing, amazing, amazing and it will mean absolutely nothing. American guys can be super mumblecore and be totally into you. Unless there’s a corresponding action, don’t read strongly into initial words.
- Separation Communication: if you’re away for a weekend and you get some “how’s it going” messages, that’s a good sign. Even though you can’t be there physically, you’re still on his mind.
Now if you don’t see those things, it still isn’t a death sentence to your joint future. You have to go with your gut here. I suck at online communication and if you were my girlfriend, you’d probably get a “cool” or “thanks” or “ok” WhatsApp from me at best. But I express my affections differently. You can use this survey/pop psychology for easy reference. But if you’re seeing no affections then jump ship, he’s not that into you (cry, eat ice cream, watch Steel Magnolias, drink, shake it off Taylor Swift-style and party hard).
And remember: deep down, you actually do know how he feels about you. And you know how you feel about him too. We try to trick ourselves into thinking we’re liked/not liked by another because it suits the narrative we want for our lives. Hey, some fairy tales come true; others may simply need a few more chapters ‘til happily ever after.