If you’re wondering how to tell if a girl likes you, you’re not alone. Many people who are new to dating wonder the same thing. To know if your crush likes you back, the best thing to do is to simply ask her. But if you’re too nervous to do that right now, look out for these eight signs that may indicate she’s flirting with you.
8 signs a girl likes you
Looking out for signs a girl likes you can be fun, but signs and hints can easily be misinterpreted and mean different things to different people. Some behaviors may seem flirty but end up meaning she’s looking for a friend. Philadelphia-based sex educator Erica Smith tells O.school, “The thing about flirting is that not everyone does it the same way,” which makes flirting vague and confusing at times. While no sign definitely means a girl likes you back, knowing signs that are generally recognized as flirtatious can help you gauge how interested she might be.
1. She wants to spend more time with you.
This could mean frequently talking on the phone, FaceTiming, messaging, or hanging out with you. When you ask her to hang out, she might often respond positively and make time for you.
2. You notice her making eye contact often.
Research published in 2015 by the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior studied the flirting style of 102 heterosexual people and found that some people use their eyes and gaze to flirt. The study found that a “flirtatious gaze” was a strong indicator of romantic interest. A “flirtatious gaze” might include holding eye contact, making eye contact and then looking away in an alluring manner, or smiling while looking down. If you’re in a group of people, for example, and you notice a girl making more eye contact with you more than others, consider approaching her to strike up a conversation.
3. She compliments you — a lot.
The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior study also found that when someone was attracted to another person, they gave that person more compliments. A girl who likes you might tell you she thinks you’re cute, your jokes are funny, she thinks you’re smart, etc.
4. She gets close to you, touches you, or mirrors your behavior.
A 2012 Cambridge University Press study showed that body language can be a big part of flirting. Behaviors like leaning toward someone, hair tossing, and mirroring their stance or expressions can be seen as flirtatious. Another sign of flirting can be when a girl touches you. This could be touching your arm, hugging, or other kinds of physical contact.
5. She smiles and laughs around you.
The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior study found that women expressed physical attraction to men by smiling and laughing. They might smile at you from across a room, laugh when they’re talking with you, or you might notice them smiling a lot in conversation together.
How to tell if a girl likes you over text
Some people just don’t like texting at all and it’s no indication of how they feel about you. Others enjoy playful banter over text and use it as a way to communicate feelings. While you can never know if a girl likes you simply by the way she’s texting you, these signs might be positive indicators she’s engaged with what you have to say.
6. She uses lots of emojis.
The Cambridge University Press study found that some people who flirt online — texting, messaging, etc. — use emojis to mimic body language and behavior they would use to flirt in person.
7. She texts you often.
She may text you once a day, or every few days, depending on what “often” means to her. She might share something that happened in her day, a photo, or ask how you’re doing.
8. She wants to keep the conversation going.
When the conversation starts to wane, she might ask you questions to keep it going. She might respond with longer messages to keep you on your phone with her longer.
How to ask if a girl likes you
“Rather than make assumptions or drive yourself bananas by stressing about it, clear and direct communication is best,” Smith tells O.school. It can feel awkward, vulnerable, and even scary to ask if a girl likes you, however. To help you ease into the conversation and navigate what to say, here are a few tips on how to ask if a girl likes you.
- Pick the kind of communication that feels most comfortable for you. Consider how you and your crush communicate most often. If you spend most of your time on FaceTime, for example, you may choose to ask them over FaceTime because it feels familiar and comfortable for both of you. If you feel more comfortable texting and not having to look them in the eye while saying something vulnerable, consider starting the conversation over text. Avoid putting your crush on the spot by asking them in front of other people. Pick a time and place where they won’t feel rushed and can properly process and respond to what you’re saying.
- Start by stating how you feel. Sharing how you feel first can make it easier for them to be vulnerable too. While it can be scary, it is helpful to be as direct as possible so there is no confusion. You can do this by saying something like, “I really like you as more than a friend.” You can follow up by saying something you like about them: “I love how funny you are and how happy I feel around you.”
- Ask her how she feels. After letting them know where you’re at, ask them how they are feeling. Smith recommends saying something like, “Hey I think you're really cute and fun and I'd like to get to know you better. What do you think?" Or if you’re trying to tell if someone is flirting with you, Smith suggests asking: "Are you flirting with me?" Saying the latter in a flirty voice can actually “be [a] fun, flirtatious behavior,” too.
What to do if she says she doesn’t like you back
It can be painful if a crush doesn’t reciprocate feelings, but this is a risk we all run when putting ourselves out there. While it can be hard to hear, it’s important to remain respectful, not to try to change her mind, or make her feel bad for not liking you back. Smith says, “If a girl declines your romantic attention, it's ok to be bummed out.” You might feel sad, frustrated, confused, or rejected. You may feel like all the signs pointed to them liking you or as though you’ve been “friend zoned.” All of these feelings are valid and important to process with someone other than your crush. And while it can hurt to feel like you’ve been rejected or put in the “friend zone,” this does not justify getting angry at your crush for not liking you. Alternatively, you can reframe the “friend zone” as a positive — it means you’ve gained a friend who you value. “Rejection hurts, and there's not usually any getting around that. Just remember that a girl has every right to decline attention she isn't interested in, and still deserves respect” says Smith.
The bottom line
Trying to figure out if a girl likes you can be confusing. Knowing some signs and behaviors that are typically seen as flirtatious can help you get an idea of where she might be at. At the end of the day, however, the only way to really know if a girl likes you is to ask. If she is on the same page, then you'll be faced with a new, exciting challenge — coming up with a great first date idea.