The game of love is a rather complex one. A perfect match – where everything you want happens just the way you envisaged – is a rare occurrence. Many a love story has been derailed because the man and the woman were talking in two different languages. So to avoid any heartache or embarrassment, it is essential to know whether someone is interested in you or just being friendly.
In fact, consent and mutual attraction is the first step toward establishing a connection. And the strength of the connection will decide whether it turns into something deeper or remains stuck at the ‘just friends’ level. Potential relationships often go awry because a woman can’t read the signs properly, mistakes friendship for love and tends to over-read simple signals.
The way to avoid such disasters is to first recognize the difference between love, lust, interest, friendship and mere politeness, and decipher whether a guy is flirting with you or just being friendly. How do you do that? Read on to find out if a guy you have strong feelings for is willing to reciprocate equally strongly and if he is genuinely interested in you or just being friendly and treating you like just another buddy of his.
13 Common Scenarios Decoded To Tell If A Guy Is Interested Or Being Friendly
Cupid can strike anyone at any moment. Sometimes, it happens all of a sudden. You meet someone, you feel the hormones working overtime and bingo, before long you are head over heels in love. At other times, love or attraction can develop slowly, perhaps triggered by a particular episode or over a certain period of time where you see a different side to the person.
In such scenarios, you need to make sure if the object of your affection has any inkling of your feelings. Is he interested in you or just being friendly? If he is making passes at you, then too it’s vital to know whether it’s friendly flirting or serious flirting to avoid pinning your hopes on something that may have no future. To put an end to the ‘is he being friendly or interested’ conundrum, watch out for these signs…
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1. He hangs around you longer than with others at work
If you’re wondering if a guy is interested in you or just being friendly at work, his efforts to spend quality one-on-one time with you is a major sign to look out for. Workplace romances have become extremely common these days as most people spend a lot of time in the office (okay, maybe that’s during the pre-pandemic days but you get the drift).
In such a scenario, it’s not unusual to develop feelings for your colleague. But just because he helps you in your project or praises you in front of others does not mean he wants to date you. To know if a coworker is interested or just being friendly, note the time he spends with you at work.
Does he hang around longer at your desk than with others? Does he support you in every tough situation? Does he take up cudgels with the boss on your behalf? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then maybe there is something waiting to be developed there.
2. He is interested in knowing more about you
Want to know if a guy is flirting with you or just being friendly? Well, you can get your answer by simply gauging the level of his interest in you and your life. Say you have met someone at the bar or on Tinder and you hit it off. But ‘hitting it off’ does not mean he is madly attracted to you or thinks about you after the date is over. To judge whether a relative stranger is interested in you or just being friendly, pay attention to the questions he asks you.
A man who is attracted to you will want to know more about you, your life, your interests and your ambitions. He will not be swayed by only the external trappings but will make a genuine attempt to have long and meaningful conversations with you, where he listens to you intently. It won’t most certainly be a chat about him and his life alone.
3. He looks you in the eye and not at the phone
Is he being friendly or interested? Look at the way he looks at you. If your wannabe hot beau looks at his phone way too often while he is out with you, then dear girl, know that he is more enamored with his device than you. He might smile often, be extremely polite, buy you a drink and have a fun chat, but he may not be attracted enough to take things to the next level.
A man who sees you as more than the girl-next-door will have eyes only for you. He will put his phone away and be truly invested in spending quality time with you. When you’re together, he will have eyes only for you.
And eye contact is important. A lot of messages are exchanged only through looks. If you always find yourself wondering how to know if a guy is flirting with you or just being friendly, look him in the eye. A naughty glint, a direct gaze and a warm smile that accompanies his words will establish how serious he is about wooing you.
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4. He keeps in touch over texts but…
When a guy keeps texting you, don’t suspect his motives or try to add more meaning to the words he types. Don’t keep asking if he is being nice texting you back. The answer is, yes, he is. It’s a wonderful thing to do but replying to emails and texts is also a matter of etiquette.
So just because you receive prompt responses to your texts do not go into an analysis overdrive. Of course, if he is the one initiating a text, if he messages you without any rhyme or reason, and if he sends heart and kiss emojis, then maybe you can let your brain wander just a bit. But otherwise, do not read too much into texts.
If a guy seems to be sending mixed signals and you can’t tell if it’s a case of friendly flirting or serious flirting, look closely at not just the frequency of his texts but also their content. If he is flirting seriously, his emotional investment will shine through. You will know that he is catching feelings for you and not bantering for the sake of casual, harmless flirting.
5. He respects boundaries
Now this is a fabulous quality to have in a potential boyfriend. Just because a man is interested in you should not make him behave like Mary’s little lamb following you all around. Or sliding up in your DMs and texting you to boredom. Whether a man is interested in you or just being friendly, respecting relationship boundaries should come naturally to him.
If a person is genuinely looking to date you, then he needs to be all the more careful of your boundaries. There is nothing sexier than a man who understands his limits and does not force his way through. A confident man will give you your space and then makes you want him in that space.
A guy who likes you and wants to take things to the next level will make a visible endeavor to do this because he too wants to feel desired and wanted.
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6. He connects with you over social media
Social media behavior is a very important measure of knowing if someone is interested in you or just being friendly. In the latter case, he might connect with you on Facebook or Instagram but won’t stalk your every post. He won’t find it necessary to compliment every image you post or engage in a conversation.
But for a person who wants to be more than a friend to you, social media is the safest space to build on your existing connection. Keep a watch on how often he likes your posts, how soon he reacts to your posts, does he tag you when he shares something that is important for him and so on. These small gestures show the extent of his interest in you.
7. He doesn’t mind touching you lightly
This is a tricky territory to explore. Men who are interested in women more than just as a friend, love to remain close to them. Body language is the key to understanding whether a guy is flirting with you or just being friendly. One of the biggest signs that he is looking at exploring a possible relationship is when he touches you.
Of course, we don’t mean that in a creepy, disrespectful manner but in a playful, light way. Leaning in on you while talking, looking at you intently during conversations, lightly playing with your hair or gently brushing his hand over yours are subtle ways that answer the all-important question – is he interested or just being polite?
8. He remembers every detail about you
So you met a nice guy, had a fabulous time with great conversation and felt some sparks within. Now, you are confused if he felt it too. How do you know whether he is interested in you or just being friendly? Here’s what you do – fix up another date.
Perhaps casually without making it seem like a ‘date’ if you are still in the nascent stage of the relationship. Preferably, give enough time between the first and the second date. Then when you meet him, casually test if he remembers all that you told him. About your work, family, likes and dislikes… the little details. You know what he would say if he shares your crush.
9. He doesn’t talk about other girls
A man who is a friend does not mind talking about other women to you. He wouldn’t think twice about complimenting a girl in front of you or perhaps confessing his crush on say a girl who works with him or someone he met at a party. He wouldn’t think what it makes you feel especially if he is unaware of your feelings for him.
This wouldn’t happen if you are the girl for him. Then, he would probably be talking about YOU to his other friends. Even if the relationship hasn’t reached the level of exclusivity, he would not pay attention to others if you are the only one on his mind. So a good way to find out if he is interested in you or just being friendly is to check out his behavior with other girls.
10. He doesn’t want to say goodbye
We have all felt it before. When you are attracted to someone and you haven’t confessed to him or her yet, you make all sorts of excuses to make him or her stay. You just wouldn’t want the date to end as you seek a few more minutes of conversation.
On the contrary, a male friend would not have any qualms in bidding goodbye when a meeting is over. Sure, he might enjoy your company tremendously and you may have a lot of fun together but that yearning, longing and strong desire to prolong every interaction won’t be there.
If you’re struggling with the ‘is he being friendly or interested’ question, just notice if he drags his feet when it is time to say goodbye to you and looks for reasons to hang back just a few moments longer, savoring every bit of your time together. And if he does, you can be sure that he is harboring strong feelings for you.
11. He makes all efforts to impress you
Does he make that extra effort to tell you about his achievements? Does he boast about his work accomplishments? Does he buy expensive gifts for you even when there is no occasion? Then yes, he definitely is out to impress you. Is he flirting without realizing it? Yes, he is.
He may not want to put his feelings for you out there just yet perhaps because he is unsure about how you feel or is struggling with some past baggage. At the same time, his feelings compel him to make a favorable impression on you. He wants you to see him as an ideal partner, which is why he tries hard to impress you.
Once again, these moves can completely backfire if he does not play it right. But if you are equally interested but not sure about his feelings, watch out for his behavior when you are around him. A man who likes you will go out of his way to ensure your comfort and show off (sometimes subtly and at other times, overtly) his many talents.
12. The way he puts his arm around you is different
When a man treats you like any other friend of his, the way he hugs you will be very different from the way he hugs you when he is attracted to you. In the case of the former, it will be a bear hug, the kind he gives his male buddies and is most likely to leave you with no feelings.
However, if he has feelings for you, his embrace will be filled with more warmth and have a sensuous feel to it. A “non-friendly” hug will send a tingle down your spine, it will be gentler and slightly more sensual. These things are not forced, it just comes naturally so you just ‘know’ when it happens. Did you know a hug is enough to tell if a man is interested in you or just being friendly?
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13. He will drop hints and be more subtle
Just like girls, most guys too aren’t direct when it comes to expressing interest in dating. Perhaps it’s part of the love game. You drop hints, you make eye contact, you do all the things mentioned in the aforementioned points except talk directly.
A guy who thinks of you as nothing more than a friend is a lot more direct about wanting to meet you, hang out with you or get to know you. Perhaps he genuinely finds you interesting company and is not thinking of romance. So he is direct and puts things bluntly without leaving any room for doubt.
As we mentioned above, the game of love is a complex one and there are signs and symbols to be decoded. Just watch out for them and play along accordingly!