There are many advantages to being single, but it also carries its share of disadvantages. The hardest concept of single life for most is overcoming the challenges of dating. Several other obstacles present themselves for singles as well. It's not always the challenges of dating but sometimes, the challenges of not dating.
How often do you find yourself attracted to a person but not sure how they feel about you? It happens more often than you may think. Imagine the stressors associated with that feeling of not knowing. You begin to question yourself about the approach. Imagine a more difficult scenario. What if the person is extremely friendly towards you, but you're unable to determine if it's just friendliness or something more? Yikes! That happens often and can be intimidating as well as overwhelming.
There are various ways to approach a person to ask them out or pursue a more serious relationship. What's the strategy when the person is always friendly towards you or a friend? In one word, awkward. Yes, it can be awkward, but it doesn't have to be that way. There is a process to the approach when you're completely unsure if a person is interested in you or just being friendly. It begins by understanding the downside of pursuing someone who isn't interested in you.
The Friendly Person
Some people are friendly by nature. They're always smiling, offering kind words, greeting you with a hug or friendly touch, or other similar gestures. These gestures of friendliness often lead people to believe that the person is interested in them. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. In any event, pursuing or approaching someone who is simply friendly by nature and has no romantic interest in you at all can backfire. It can create periods of awkwardness in the friendship that are sometimes difficult or impossible to come back from in some cases.
Here are a few ways that pursuing someone who's just being friendly can have a negative impact on the friendship.
Distinguish Between The Two
If you are almost certain that the person may be interested in being more than just friends but want to be absolutely sure before ruining a great friendship, there are ways to distinguish between the two. In addition to being attentive to how the person acts around you differs from the way they act around others, you want to pay attention to a few other factors that will help you understand "is she interested in me or just being friendly."
Here are a few ways to tell if a person likes you, which would allow you to make a conscious decision on whether or not to pursue them:
If you glance at them and always notice that they initiate an extended "glance back" it's likely that they're interested in you, or you've got a really big zit on your face. Eye contact is not always easy to maintain for some people. It makes them uncomfortable or anxious. However, if a person is interested in you and shyly glances at you while you're looking at them, you may be on to someone who likes you.
If you deal with anxiety or low self-esteem, you may not be able to engage eye contact with anyone, and you may find it difficult to believe that anyone likes you for more than just a friend. But noticing that a person returns the same sentiment of eye contact as yourself, could be a strong indicator that they're interested.
Exercise caution with eye contact. You don't want to stare anyone down and cause alarm.
Sitting close to each other or walking by one another in a crowded space, you may begin to encounter spontaneous touches. You might notice that they casually touch your arm, shoulder or hand during conversations. If a person makes the conscious effort to engage contact with you, even casually, they may be flirting or attempting to get you to notice that they're interested in being more than just friends.
When talking to this person, if you begin to notice that they have many of the same movements or make the same gestures as you, it could be a sign. When a connection is made between two people, it's typical that they subconsciously begin to mimic each other. They may start to stand and sit alike or execute the same dramatics in conversation. Mirroring the acts of another person is a sign of interest. However, it could simply be admiration or desire to improve themselves in some way, and not necessarily a romantic interest.
They have long engaging thoughts about you and have a strong desire to learn as much about you as possible. A person that wants to know your likes, dislikes, hobbies, fears, and deepest thoughts are interested in connecting with you emotionally. They are intuitive and ask questions about your day and your life, personal questions. They strive to keep the conversation going, and you may find that you spend hours talking while giving no attention to the time.
This is a major sign that someone is interested in being more than just friends. If a person is quick to defend you or your character, they care about you. It's common for a person to defend someone they're interested in jokingly. They may make passive comments to others like "Don't try and pick up my girl," "Don't keep her out too late," or "You know he's taken a right." These could be hinting that the person may be dropping as a sign of their interest.
This isn't the obsessive jealousy, but instead it's the inert form of "I like you" jealousy. It's cute but not crazy acts of jealousy that says they don't want to risk losing you to anyone else or ruining their chance of getting closer to you, On the contrary, a person who thinks of you as just a friend will not display signs of jealousy. They won't care about you dating or spending time with other people because they see you as just a friend.
If your "friend" calls you for every big event, minor crisis, major life decision, or before they make the simplest decision, it's a sign that they value your opinion and you hold a special place in their life. They inquire about the simplest things such as, "what color shirt looks best with these pants?", "do you think I should make changes to my 401K", or similar questions. Inquiring about personal or life-changing decisions may be a sign that there's more than just a friendly interest in someone.
People who have a genuine interest in someone will eventually connect with them on one or more social media accounts. You may begin to notice that they're liking, commenting, and posting heart eye emojis to your pics. If you have a large social media following, it may be difficult to notice, but eventually, the consistent engagement may become obvious.
There is friendly text, and then, there are let's be more than friends type texts. Sometimes, they can be difficult to decipher. If you receive "good morning," "how's your day," "have you eaten," or "goodnight" texts or calls regularly, you are definitely on their mind. This is a simple but impactful way that a person lets someone know that they are interested in being more than just friends.
If you're getting surprise lunches, flowers, or other gifts, that's not a sign that's a confession of their admiration for you. However, some people flirt endlessly without ever asking a person out. They want the person to notice their effort and respond to it accordingly. Some people don't want to put it all out there and decide to implement kind gestures to show you how much they admire you. If you're getting flowers or other nice sentiments from someone, they're not just friendly; they're interested in you.
Have you found yourself wondering, "Is she interested in me or just being friendly" more often than usual? Is there someone that you're interested in but not sure they feel the same? These are both extremely common thoughts to ponder. It's healthy to be open and honest about the feelings that you have for someone, even if it's just a little crush. You could easily miss a romance connection because you're afraid of rejection or dealing with low self-esteem. Professional counseling provides support and tools to help with relationship anxiety and other self-esteem issues. Trust your instincts, and don't shy away at the opportunity to discover if a person is truly interested in you and wants to be more than just friends.