How do you know he’s interested in you?

According to my blog reports, this is a phrase many people search when finding this blog.

I only wish I had the answer.

It is much easier to identify how he shows he’s not interested, as I detailed in “Signs that he won’t be asking for a second date.”

But knowing he is interested? That’s a whole different story. And one I don’t feel particularly adept at deciphering.

For example, last week I had a first date with a guy. We’d had a few email exchanges and a nice phone conversation. He seemed engaged during dinner, asking me questions, keeping eye contact and sharing his stories and feelings. We occasionally touched the other’s hands when we talked. We strolled around the shopping area after dinner, but didn’t hold hands.

At my car he hugged me goodbye and planted a kiss on my lips. There was no talk of a second date, we just said we enjoyed ourselves and went our separate ways. I was ambiguous about seeing him again, but decided to try some recently read advice and try a second date, if he wanted. I wrote him a nice thank you email and suggested we might do another outing.

He wrote back a nice email telling me he enjoyed meeting me but there was no spark for him and asked if we could be pals.

So while there were no flashing green lights that he was interested in me, there were no red lights saying he wanted out of there during dinner. And why would you kiss someone on the lips if you had no interest in them? Was it a test to see if I’d play tonsil hockey with him? It was just a quick smack.

Before I’ve experienced conflicting signals like this, I’d say “Duh. He emails you regularly. He calls you every few days. He says nice things about you. He asks you to do things with him. He talks about doing future things with you. He touches you respectfully. Maybe he kisses you and/or brings you flowers or small gifts.”

But we know that someone could do all of these things and not want a relationship with you, just a booty call. So how is a gal to know how to interpret these things?

I wish I knew.

Any hints you’ve picked up during a first date that are reliable signs a guy is interested?

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9 responses to “How do you know he’s interested in you?”

  1. Rodney Avatar

    How would she know Im interested in her? I have a really subtle technique. I turn to her and say, “Hey, Im really interested in you.”

    If she doesnt get the subtle nuances of that covert message, Id drop her like a hot potato, but generally that works.

  2. Lulu Avatar

    When a man is interested, it’s obvious: he’s keen. He texts, he emails, he phones. He makes enthusiastic arrangements to be with you again, he’s interested in what you have to say when you’re together, he’s perky as a puppy. The reverse also applies, let’s not make excuses. If he doesn’t make arrangements to see you again enthusiastically, doesn’t eagerly call, doesn’t regularly text, doesn’t ring it’s not because he’s had a stroke, is shy, thinks you’re too good for him, has fallen off a cliff, is busy tending his sick mother. It’s because he’s not interested. Sigh. Don’t agonise. Next!

  3. Kvetch Avatar

    I totally agree with Lulu and I don’t even know Lulu! Although I think that a man can be interested one day — and not interested the next. Clearly THIS is the issue. How to know when it’s going to stick for him and for you. When I figure this out, I will become a 40-something single mom gazillionaire!!

  4. sdl Avatar

    I think DG has a very VERY important point that most women seem to be unwilling to look at:
    Interested in you for most guys is the same as interested in a booty call ‘with activities’.

    Many men will go to whatever lengths needed for a booty call or even the POSSIBILITY of a booty call, be it driving you long distances for a family event, taking you to expensive and romantic restaurants for long meals, writng and/or calling you with great enthusiasm, showing a high level of interest in you and what you are saying, etc, etc, ETC!

    No, I DON’T think women can tell when MOST men are interested in more than that, because the bulk of men will even keep up the above program for a few months if they believe you will become a regular booty call for them.

    And as a result, the guys that are REALLY interested in a long term relationship/future with a particular woman, feels he could fall in love, doesn’t want to see others anymore, and all the things women associate with ‘interested’ will continue to be lost in the white noise unless women are willing to hold back on the physical intimacy on nearly all levels for a number of months.

    No, this is seriously NOT fair or equal, and for women with a reasonable sex drive and a strong attraction to a man they are dating this would be very tough-
    but the option is to be strung along and ending up bewildered and hurt if YOU are looking for more than ‘friends with benefits’. 🙁

  5. Lulu Avatar

    Wow! Aren’t we women wonderful? Thank you, Kvetch and sdl. I’m so glad I found this site, from my little corner of beautiful Wales, when I was lost and vulnerable and wondering if i could go on dating…reading these comments, wise, funny, honest, bewildered, makes me wonder what on earth we are doing chasing something – romance, desire, love, men in general – which maybe we don’t even need. I’ve just read Intimacy and Solitude by Stephanie Dowrick, and it puts so many things in perspective. I really recommend it. Meanwhile, I’m going to relax and just enjoy this site, forget about dating for a while, and celebrate my singleness with my single friends.

  6. walt Avatar

    Women can be ambiguous about their interest also, which is highly annoying. When I go on a first date with a woman, if she’s not interested (especially if just not physically attracted to me), I want her to yawn, look at her watch every 5 minutes, and then claim another engagement after a half an hour. If not interested, laughing, smiling and touching is just plain rude!

  7. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Walt:

    I’m sure both genders have difficulty expressing their feelings during the first date, although I’ve had some men be *very* clear they weren’t interested!

    You raise an interesting point, though. I think it’s rude to act as you prescribe, no matter who I’m with. While I won’t yawn and look at my watch, I will feign another commitment if I want outta there. I’ve had this feeling over lunch, which makes it difficult to cut the assignation short. I try to be polite by listening, nodding and when moved to, laughing. But I’ve always wondered the polite way to not encourage another date when I’m clear I’m not interested, without resorting to what I consider rude or insensitive behaviors.

    To your point, however, I can see that my being polite (laughing, smiling, engaging in conversation) is your rude. Go figure! Another example of how many men want women to be straightforward, and women want to be more sensitive. (Not that you aren’t sensitive.)

    Also, I’ve found, as you might have too, that one does not know they aren’t interested until well into the conversation when you’ve received a number of clues that your values don’t match. At first you can be in “possibility” mode, but when you hear story after story of bitterness or anger, or watch the other be rude to the waitress one too many times, *then* you know you’re not a match. But we’re typically on our “first impression good behavior” when in the early parts of the encounter.

  8. walt Avatar

    DG – My experience with internet dating is that both parties make a snap decision upon meeting as to whether they migth have an interest, based on the others looks. Recently a woman I was on a date with said that that is exactly the way it is for her. Fortunately, I “passed” in that case (and she certainly “passed” for me). However, I have also seen a certain look upon meeting, sort of a plastic smile, maybe even a startled look for 1/2 a second, that tells me that she knows she’s not interested. In that case, I think the best thing for both parties is to get it over with as soon as possible. In another interesting experience, a woman told me that if I know I’m not interested as soon as we meet, I should just shake her hand and walk away. It turned out, as I expected, that she said this because she was self-conscious about recent weight gain. But she insisted that she would prefer the quick exit and whatever ego blow that entailed to an agonizing 45 minute date.

    Of course, as you say I sometimes have no interest for reasons having nothing to do with appearance. I haven’t experienced anger or rudeness to the waitress, but no sense of humor (or at least not one that matches mine) is often the deal-killer. I generally don’t do the things I suggest women do (eg, yawning), but try to make an exit after 30-45 minutes. Interestingly, that’s exactly the way I felt about the woman I’ve been seeing for 4 months now. However, I did call her for a second date, because I thought “what the heck, at least she’s cute.” Her true personality didn’t come out until the second and third date.

  9. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Walt:

    Now I’m confused. You went out with your GF a second time because she was cute, but kinda boring the first time? I think this reinforces my point to give people a little time, even if they aren’t stellar at first. Either you will become more or less fond of them. In “Yummy is as yummy does” I talk about how very few of my 77 guys have been yummy to look at — at first. But I got more attracted to some of them, and they got cuter, as their positive personality emerged. If I shook their hand upon meeting when I saw I wasn’t physically entranced with them, I would only report on 77 very short dates! (Actually a few were cute, but those guys didn’t stick around.)

    I think if one is ambivalent or not turned off completely by the end of the first meeting, then try, as you have, a second date. If you’re not drawn to them at that point, then the dreaded “let’s be friends” conversation is appropriate.