Five ways to let a man know you’re interested without saying it
There are more options than ever for finding “the one,” or at least someone to go on a date with. Think about it: there’s been online sites for years and now smartphone apps that can connect people in seconds, whether they’re looking for forever or a fling. But all that technology and algorithms and profiling can’t help you in the moment when he’s there, in the room, and you want to show you’re into him. There’s no app for that. And even if there was, why rely on a phone to show him how you feel? Take control of your dating life with these five tips:
1. Smile. Not a smile-for-the-camera grin, but a relaxed smile that engages him so he knows you’re smiling at him. How long is that, exactly? Some say up to five full seconds, but really it should be just enough to where you are still comfortable and haven’t contorted your face into an awkward stare. Giving him a double take can help, too. Here’s how: smile at him once, then look away (say, back at your coffee or book you’re reading), then look back to him again with another smile. And remember, relax. The point is to make eye contact, so when he looks back at you, just smile. Still scared? Practice in the mirror, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to remind yourself of how beautiful you really are.
2. Ask a question. Men are helpers and fixers and chances are, if you ask a question or for help he’ll be happy to engage. There’s no need to be dramatic here—don’t stage a car break down or anything complicated like that. Think smaller, less stressful scenarios. If you’re having drinks with a friend and notice a man you’d like to talk to, ask him whether he would recommend his drink. But wait, he’s having beer and you’re strictly a white wine kind of gal? No problem. Connect his drink to something else, say, the rise of artisanal beers that you’ve heard a lot about. You don’t have to really know about beer, you just have to know how to ask a question and listen to his response. Conversation hits an early dead end? See tip number one, and keep smiling!
3. Compliment him. This works for a man you’ve known for a while and haven’t yet had the courage to approach, or for a complete stranger! We could all use a little confidence boost, right? Offer up a compliment that’s authentic and specific to get the best results. Did you notice his watch or glasses, or other accessory or clothing? Say so. There’s no need to overthink this one. As Jon Willard writes in his article, “The Anatomy of a Compliment and Art of Giving One,” you should “simply aim to let your words and body language openly reflect the positive feelings that make compliments so…complimentary.”
4. Listen well. The art of listening in a conversation is fading from our social interactions, with cellphones and app notifications constantly pulling our attention away. If you want him to know you’re interested, you must show that you are interested, too. That means putting the phone away, making appropriate eye contact, and listening closely to what he says…even if it’s about a subject you’re not a huge fan of. After all, you hope he would do the same.
5. Make a lasting impression. If you tried all these tips and still felt shaky on the results, don’t admit defeat. But do try to make a positive last impression. If your conversation is at the end don’t just scurry out with a “Have a nice day!” and a wave. Instead, make eye contact, tell him how you enjoyed the chat/coffee/drink. Tell him it was great to meet him (or spend more time with him if you were already acquainted). Be genuine and warm, even if the encounter didn’t go as planned. We all fumble, but you can still walk out the door with a smile on your face knowing you put yourself out there. That is beautifully brave in itself.