It's not always easy to distinguish between platonic and romantic relationships, especially when you're just beginning to get to know one another.
How can you tell if someone is flirting or just being friendly?
Before you make a fool of yourself assuming either, there are certain verbal and non-verbal cues you should notice.
The following tips are far from a definitive formula, but they should provide direction when you're trying to decide if someone is flirting with you.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for on your possible date:
1. He or she keeps the conversation going.
When you like someone, you want to do everything you can to bridge those awkward silences.
If your “date” keeps asking you questions about your life, he or she is probably sizing you up as a potential love interest.
No one is that fascinated hearing about your chemical engineering job.
2. He or she is trying to impress you.
“My article was featured on Elite Daily. Maybe you’ve heard of it?”
When a person thinks he or she is in on date, you'll only hear bragging. Keep an ear out for how hard he or she is trying to impress you.
3. You don’t know what his or her phone looks like.
When people are invested in a conversation, they don’t check to see how many likes that bathing suit picture got on Instagram. They are with you in the moment.
Even when there's a lull in the night, a person who likes you will not be looking for distractions.
4. He or she leans in when listening to you.
Whether it's conscious or otherwise, our brains typically relate proximity to intimacy.
If your dinner companion is trying to get closer to you, there's a good chance it’s not because he or she is trying to identify your new perfume.
Also, this is a sign the person is actually listening to you, rather than just waiting until it's time to go home.
5. He or she compliments your physical appearance.
This shows the person is observant and is also hoping to make you smile.
Compliments are often difficult to give or receive, so this person probably had to step out of his or her comfort zone to tell you how beautiful you look.
That’s a pretty good sign this person is looking for more than friendship.
6. He or she wants to dance.
When someone asks to dance with you, he or she is definitely comfortable enough around you to potentially look like a fool. This is especially true if your “date” is a man.
As a rule, guys don’t typically go out of their way to dance with someone they intend on just being friends with.
7. He or she asks about your dating history.
Maybe this person is probing to see how you view romantic relationships. Maybe he or she is trying to find out about any crazy exes.
Either way, this person probably thinks you’re on a date, or he or she wouldn’t have asked. Bonus points if you get any information about his or her love life, too.
8. He or she is big on physical touch.
This is a big one. If someone keeps touching your hand or arm, he or she thinks it's a date. I can say that with almost complete certainty.
If you're into it, play along. If not, make sure you make yourself clear before anything gets too weird.
There is nothing wrong with moving away when someone reaches for you.
9. He or she picks up the check, as if it were expected.
I know the rules of dating are not what they were half a century ago, but many people feel the need to pay for dinner when they're on a date.
If your dinner partner reaches for the check, he or she thinks it's a date.