You take a detour between Biology and Maths and walk up three extra flights of stairs, just because you might walk past him on his way to his English class.
For weeks now you have admired him from a distance and all your friends know it. Chances are it has spread through the grapevine and will reach his ears sooner or later. Every time you see him, you go completely weak at the knees and you feel as if your heart is beating in your ears. So how do you know if he is really interested or not?
There are usually signs within a few weeks if someone is interested. If one is desperate, though, one can read too much into little things. The fact that he glanced at you is not significant. He has to look somewhere, doesn’t he? Otherwise he would fall over his feet.
Significant signs that he likes you
Significant signs include a smile, real eye contact and indications that he knows who you are. Under these would count calling you by name, knowing what class you are in, knowing who your friends are or where you live. But all of these could still just be pure signs of friendship.
Approaching you to talk would count as being fairly meaningful. The topic of conversation is also a dead giveaway. If he is talking about the weather, don’t hold your breath. But, on the other hand, he may just be shy. Anything personal counts for a lot. Humour is usually a good sign. Try and say something intelligent back - don’t stand there looking like you’ve just been caught copying homework.
Then of course there is the definite sign of being asked out. It could be something as simple as being asked to join in preparations for the school play, or being asked to have a sandwich at the canteen. Invitations to anywhere, whether the movies, the beach or the school dance is a definite sign of great interest. Nobody asks anyone out unless they are interested.
Another good sign is when you are introduced to his parents and it is clear they know who you are. Being taken to public places where it is patently obvious that you are together, means you are in there with a fighting chance.
What to do if he is not interested
But then there are also definite signs that he is not interested and it is time for you to back off, save face and look for greener pastures. After all, if he cannot appreciate you and your attentions, does he really deserve you? Don’t make a nuisance of yourself. It will only embarrass you later. Don’t write letters or phone constantly or follow him around. It will have the opposite effect to what you are hoping for.
Signs that he is not interested
After months he still does not know what your name is, despite the fact that you have told everyone how you feel about him.
You get the feeling he is trying to avoid you - he ducks into classrooms as you walk past.
You have seen him in the company of another girl several times.
His friends point at you and laugh. (This is a big one)
He doesn’t really talk to you, even when the opportunity arises.
You find out that he didn’t go to the school dance at all, when he could have asked you.
He doesn’t return your phone calls.
Saying they’ll see you at some social event and not pitching more than once.
Remember that all is not lost. While you might feel right now that your life is dull and meaningless if you cannot have him by your side, just hang in there. Next week, someone else might take your fancy, and who knows, he might even fancy you.
(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated June 2010)