It’s 2012. It’s okay for a woman to ask a man out on a date. Sure, it can be an ego boost to be “chosen,” but that’s no excuse to wait around for a man who’s dropping signals left and right to ask you out. This is outdated thinking. If a guy likes you — especially if he’s too shy or over-analytical to let you know — he’s not going to be turned off when you show a little interest. He’s going to be psyched.
Still, nobody wants to crash and burn. So how can you know that a man is likely to welcome your advances? Well, there’s no guarantee that a guy is going to say yes when you ask him out (there never is), but there are occasions upon which you may plausibly assume that a guy is interested.
Here are seven “green lights” to watch out for. Any one of these is a probably a good indicator that you won’t be totally humiliated when you go out on a limb, but a combination of two or three? Go for it.
1. He showed up to your thing.
If a guy that you don’t know that well makes it to your party/opening/reading/event, it’s a good indicator that he’s at least interested in your friendship. If he shows up all by himself, you are well within your rights to ask him when he’s free this week for a drink.
2. He “lingers.”
You know that point when you’ve run out of casual conversation fodder but you’re not quite done, and you both pause and kind of regard each other for a moment? You’ve got about six seconds before he rocks back on his heels, sticks is hands in his pockets and says “Okay. So. See you around, yeah?” and walks off.
Go ahead and take those six seconds to ask him out. “Lingering” is an indicator that someone is hoping for something else to happen. Be the one to make it happen.
3. He made you a mix.
No man has ever made a mix for a woman that he wasn’t interested in. I’m not saying if a guy burns the new Wilco album for you, then you should definitely ask him out, but if he actually selected songs with you in mind and put them in a particular order? Jump. On. That.
4. He dresses up a little for you.
He normally a scruffy, t-shirt and jeans kind of dude. But then he shows up for drinks with you and your mutual friends and he’s clean shaven and wearing a blazer? Watch him. Is he smoothing out his jeans or fixing his collar when you’re around? Does he come back from the bathroom with his hair a little bit wet? This probably means that he suddenly, for some reason, cares more about what he looks like than normal. If you notice this consistently, chances are, that reason is you.
5. His friends seem to already know about you.
If he introduces you to one of his friends for the first time and his friend says “Oh, yeah! Hey! Good to meet you!” That means his friend has heard about you. Which means that this man that you’re interested in? He’s been talking about you.
6. He remembers things that you told him and follows up.
“Hey, how was that (thing you mentioned in passing) this weekend?” Yeah, maybe he’s just being nice, but he does want you to know that he’s paying attention. This alone probably shouldn’t prompt you to grab him by the face and kiss him, but there’s a good chance that he’s interested.
7. He touches you when he talks to you.
In fact, he looks for any excuse he can to casually touch you. He could just say your name when he’s trying to get your attention. Instead, he touches your shoulder. He could just nod vigorously when he agrees with the point you’re making. Instead, he slaps you on the knee.
You’re now clear to initiate the exchange of phone numbers. You know. So the two of you can continue to talk about that thing that you so emphatically, knee-slappingly agree on.