5 ways to tell if someone really likes you
“Do they really like me?” – are you asking yourself this million-dollar question?
Only last week, I spent a whole session helping my client, Susan*, with this. She has come out of a tricky divorce with battered self-confidence and low self-worth. Susan has started dipping her toe into the dating world, but she asked me, “How do I tell if my dates like me?” She is understandably nervous about getting hurt but wants to find love, too.
It’s important to enjoy dating and find happy, loving relationships but at the same time be clear when someone may not be right or feel the same way you do. So, what are the clues to help you navigate your way through and find the answers to this question?
Is your date or partner being consistent with you? This can be a very good sign as to how important you are to them. Are they regularly initiating contact with you or is it always you reaching out, messaging, calling and suggesting dates? Of course, other things will sometimes take priority, but you should generally feel momentum coming towards you from the other person, no matter how busy they are.
Always cancelling dates or only making plans at the very last minute can also demonstrate a lack of real interest. We make time for the things we want to in life, no matter what other priorities we might have.
It's important that your dates and partners show you consistently with their words and actions over time that they are listening, respecting, valuing and caring for you. It is not good enough if someone does something nice once in a blue moon or takes you out when they have nothing better to do. What you are looking for is someone demonstrating the way they feel about you in what they say to you and how they behave around you time, and time again. This should leave you in no doubt.
If someone is interested, they will make the effort – no excuses. A person who struggles to make a date in the first place and keeps making excuses is probably just not into you, unfortunately. Someone with a genuinely busy life will make the time if they really like you and want to see you. Constantly saying “I’m really busy at work”, or “I have to spend all my time with my children” are simply excuses. Even someone with a busy job and children will make time for you somewhere in their lives if they want to.
You deserve better than ‘waiting around’ for someone to give you a bit of attention when they have nothing better to do. It’s good, and attractive, to have a full and complete life yourself. Remember, there is a difference between a person going through hectic times that make it difficult to schedule dates with you for a week or so, and someone clearly showing that you are never a priority for them.
If you find yourself constantly repeating the ‘reasons’ to your friends and family that your date has given you about why they cannot see you, or why they don’t have time to message you, then this could be a clue.
3. Body language and communication
Think about when you’re interested in someone – you want to find out more and so will ask lots of questions about their life. A date who only talks about themselves and doesn’t ask anything about you is not a positive sign. There should be a dialogue between both of you, so you build up a picture of each other and work out if you’re compatible. If this isn’t happening or is particularly one-sided, then I would be cautious about how serious they are.
Someone wanting to get to know you will remember things you have told them about yourself and refer to them in future conversations. This shows they are really listening to you.
Talk to your date/partner about how they’re feeling about things. Really listen to the answer, not what you want the answer to be.
Are they facing you; gently leaning towards you; making and holding eye contact with you? If they are ‘mirroring’ your body language – nodding and other facial expressions – this shows that your date is listening, and are all good signs they are interested, so look out for these when you’re on a date.
4. Practice makes perfect
It can be helpful to observe behaviours in other people we don’t know. A good way can be to watch reality TV programmes like Married at First Sight, First Dates or even Love Island! You can just dip in and out to hone your skills – you might find yourself shouting at the television “She doesn’t really like you” or “He is just using you!” Watching situations with no emotional involvement can give you clarity, which then gives you the power to go out and spot these signs for yourself with your dates.
Another good way is observing couples when you’re out and about – again, look for some of the things I’ve highlighted here. This is fun and gives you the confidence to then get out there and practice your skills with your dates.
5. Focus on you
Asking “How do I know if they like me?” is a sign that you’re putting all your focus on the other person. What about turning this around:
- Do you like them?
- Are you focussing on your needs and wants?
- Is your date behaving towards you in ways that make you feel good?
If you’re focused on the other person, you might miss warning signs or carry on in something that no longer serves you.
Our gut instincts are there to protect us and give us messages that we might otherwise miss. I encourage you to tune into this. What is your gut saying? Is anything about this person triggering you? Do you feel anxious? Listening to your body is important to give you clues about how you feel about your date or partner. It's OK to walk away if your gut is telling you that something isn’t right about a situation. You deserve someone who is ‘all in’ and shows you that.
Be authentic. You are special and will be right for the right person. Changing to fit what you think people are looking for usually only ends in heartbreak because people get to know and fall in love with what you show them. Changing to ‘make’ someone like you is a sign that the other person is probably not 100% invested. You will not need to change for the person who likes you for you.
Slow down and try not to give too much too soon. This allows you to watch and listen to what they show you and enables you to work out if they do like you before you get too involved.
Dating should feel natural and fun. Anyone is lucky to be going out with you and so only accept the best from them. Someone who likes you will show you clearly so that you are in no doubt.
I love supporting clients with dating and how to find, and nurture, healthy loving relationships. Please do email me today if you would like my help with this.
*Names have been changed