Last month on The Tonight Show, Nicole Kidman confessed to Jimmy Fallon that she had a crush on him but he didn't seem to like her back. Jimmy, however, was clearly blown away and quite embarrassed; he said he had no idea the gorgeous actress was into him, and if he had, he would have behaved a lot differently!
How did Jimmy not notice that Nicole was making up a reason to spend time with him? She says he barely spoke to her when they were together. He put a video game on instead!
Haven't we all been there though? Blithely unaware that our close male or female friend has a massive crush on us -- or on a date with someone and not able to clearly tell if it went well. Did they like us? They acted that way at first but by the end they seem to back off...even if they text or call us later, we still don't know for sure!
Knowing when someone is into you is actually quite different for women and men. When a woman likes a man, she will do a lot of reconnaissance work behind the scenes! With her newfound knowledge she might "coincidentally" post on social media that she's listening to a guy's favourite song or reference subjects she (already) knows he's interested in. She'll try her hardest NOT to act jealous about other women he talks about. And she'll go out of her way to find an excuse to meet up, but likely not admit it's an actual date.
There's a great book (and movie) on how to tell if a guy isn't into you, but how do you know if he IS? Are there specific signs we should be looking for or particular actions that hint at what's really going on? And why don't we pick up on the signals that ARE being sent our way? Is it because our heads are somewhere else? Are we not paying close enough attention or are we misinterpreting the signs?
Sometimes it's just hard to tell. Here are some clues that may help:
"Sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't." Jodi Picoult
Did you know that our personal thought patterns can strongly affect the way we interpret the words and actions of others? For instance, if we have low self-esteem we may discard compliments that men or women give us, not realizing that they are trying to express interest. Or, if we have been hurt by neglectful loved ones in the past, we might jump to conclusions that our recent date went poorly if we don't hear back from them right away. In the book Mind Over Mood, the authors teach strategies on how to recognize when our thoughts are affecting our behaviour, and it can be really enlightening to approach new relationships with this kind of self-awareness. This means it's not that someone is sending us poor signals, but that we might be receiving them wrong.
"The best way to understand people is to listen to them." Ralph G. Nichols
Recently, I was having a bad day and noticed that you can really tell who cares about you when you are feeling blue. Not everyone wants to hear that you're sad; they are only there for the good times. But when someone really likes you, they'll be there for the down times, too. They will make an effort to actually listen to what you have to say. They will ask how your day is going, and be genuinely interested in your reply...no matter what kind of day you've had. It's unfortunate but true that most people speak more than they listen when it's such a powerful way to get to know someone. And getting to know someone in good times AND bad honours their whole person.
"One day spent with someone you love can change everything." Mitch Albom
If someone is into you they will make time for you, period. Whether it's just a casual walk or a traditional dinner-and-a-movie date, everyone wants to increase the time they spend with the person they like. Yes, sometimes we have to cancel plans or say no to dates, but look at the reasoning behind the "rejection" before you write the connection off. Do they offer a raincheck? Nowadays with our schedules so packed, this can get difficult. But just like with the people who listen to you when you're having a bad day, you can tell who cares about you by who makes time for you. Spending time together is one of the best ways to show someone you care, whether you're just starting to date someone or have been married for years. It truly shows you matter to them.
"Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language, and the last, and it always tells the truth." Margaret Atwood
Have you ever felt that spark when someone you're into brushes their knee against yours? It can be such a small touch but it can feel like so much more! Our gut reactions are often ignited by physical touch, and even though some clues can be misleading, I think the best course of action is to trust your gut because it always knows! This article from Psychology Today examines how touch can be one of the most accurate ways to express our feelings to one another. Participants in a study on this basic "human language" tried to communicate eight emotions with touch alone and the success rate was 78 per cent. So that feeling of excitement you get when your date touches your arm is probably right: he's into you too.
When you know yourself and understand your own behaviour patterns, it can help you better understand the signals other people are sending you. We are all afraid of rejection but the next time you're wondering if someone is interested in you, pay attention to the clues, trust your gut and, if you're into them too, be brave. Courage will open many doors for you in life, and there might just be someone special waiting on the other side :)
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