By Jane Hoskyn
Two people can fancy the pants off each otherm but if neither one knows that the feeling is mutual, they may never get together.
So if you like someone and you think they may like you back, you need to let them know. If they’re at all interested, you won’t put them off – on the contrary. They’ll like you even more once they know that their interest is reciprocated.
But how should you let them know? Here are our top 10 ways to say “I fancy you,” ranked in oder of how well they get the message across without making a fool of you.
1. Ask them out
What? I know, you’re shocked and disappointed that we could even consider including this in the top 10, let alone give it the top spot. But when it comes to making your feelings known, there really is no better way than this.
Men especially can be very slow to pick up on apparently obvious signals, such as eye contact and smiling. You may think you’re being obvious, but he just thinks you’re being nice. If he’s a bit on the shy side, your so-called signals won’t come close to giving him the confidence to ask you out.
Take it from psychologist Dr Joel Wade, who found that men are easily confused by “hints” and respond best to the direct approach. The men’s favourite way for women to show interest – and the one most likely to get a positive response from the men – was “Fancy dinner?,” followed by “Can I give you my number?” and “What are you up to tonight?”
Confidence and conversation are the keys to asking someone out without losing your dignity. Don’t just spring the question on someone you’ve just met – chat about other stuff first, until you reach a point in the conversation where “do you fancy meeting up?” wouldn’t seem out of place. And if you’re friendly, happy and confident, you’re unlikely to get a “no”.
This move won’t make you seem desperate. It’s all about confidence, and confidence attracts. You’ll only seem desperate if you fail to read their “back off” signals and outstay your welcome.
By the way, funny chat-up lines don’t count as asking someone out. The women in Dr Wade’s study regarded chat-up lines as the very worst way for a man to show his interest.
2. Look them in the eye – and hold it
If you really can’t bring yourself to ask someone out, lingering eye contact is the most effective non-verbal way to say “I like you.” It’s also extremely seductive, so it’ll encourage the other person to like you back.
Holding someone’s gaze can be equally effective wheteher they’re across the room or sharing a drink with you. In either case, silently look them in the eye and hold their case for a couple of seconds. Look down, then look back up. You’re consciously and assertively sending the message that you’re flirting with them. The fact that they’re still looking suggests that your interest is mutual.
3. Pay them a compliment
Telling someone that you like something about them is essentially saying “I like you.” But it won’t work if your compliment is too vague and cliched, or if it’s too focused on their appearance. Women especially can hear “you’re sexy” from any nearby buolding site, so it really doesn’t count as a compliment. The ones that work are more thoughtful and sepcific. 0000. That makes the other person feel good about themselves and genuinely admired. Chances are they’ll stick around to hear more compliments where that one came from.
4. Do as they do
We like people who think and act like we do. Studies have even shown that you’re more likely to fancy someone with a similar name to your own.
So, send a strong signal by mirroring the behaviour of your companion. If they sip their drink and meet your eye, pause for a minute before doing the same. They’ll feel that you’re connecting, even if they don’t understand a word you’re saying.
5. Play hard to get – with everyone else
Playing hard to get only works when you play hard to get with everyone except the person you’re interested in. Don’t let them think you’d have anyone.
How it works: Does playing hard to get work? It does and it doesn’t. The key is ‘selective difficulty’, which is fancy science-speak for being ‘hard to get’ by everyone except the person you fancy.
How to exploit it: Be cool and unavailable with everyone except the person you fancy. If you’re trying online dating and you meet someone you like, subtly hint that you’re perfectly happy being single, and that you’d been thinking of ditching your profile. But then they came along, and you can’t help yourself. Don’t throw yourself at them, but let them know that you’re a fussy catch.
6. Single them out
Show that you want to get to know them better by separating them from the crowd. Suggest that you sit together at a table, or head outside for some air. Chances are they’ll feel flattered by your attention.
7. Remember the details
Show that you’ve been hanging onto their every word.
Listening is one of the easiest ways to make someone feel like the most important person in the room. So, to get off the singles’ bench, shut your mouth and open your ears.
Make sure that they know you’re listening, too. Look them in the eye, curb your impulse to interrupt, and remember what they’re saying. If you can refer back to bits of their conversation later on, they’ll know that you were hanging on their every word. Their ego will glow, and you’ll be so hot right now.
8. Touch them
Flirting breaks this barrier. To show that you’re interested, accidentally-on-purpose touch them. Keep it brief and gentle. Allow your knees to touch, or brush their your arm when you go for more drinks.
9. Give a suppressed smile
This often goes hand in hand with the eye contact and posture of that first “ooh, I like you” glance.
If you look at someone and suppress a smile when you catch their eye, they’ll know you want to get to know them better.
10. Coordinate your social life
Oops, you’ve accidentally-on-purpose turned up at the same party again. They’ll soon get the message that you like being around them.