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Relationships these days can be confusing — even in the early stages of something new. Did that little brush to your arm while deep in conversation actually mean something? Does he tease you every so often?
Sure, let's not jump to conclusions too quickly, but if you answered yes to the questions above, this guy is totally into you. Here are a few ways to be certain that he's feeling it too.
He touches you
Does he press your arm as he makes a point? You’d better believe he is telegraphing his attraction.
“If a man touches you while you are talking it is a sign that he is physically attracted to you,” says relationship expert Siggy Flicker. “He needs and wants to be near you.”
He thinks you’re funny
You may or may not be the next Tina Fey but this is more about your presence putting him in a good mood.
“If a man laughs at everything you say, it means that he is actually listening to you instead of pretending to listen to you,” says Flicker. “This means that he finds your conversation engaging and worth a laugh or two.”
He uses you as a library
“If a man asks to borrow a book or a movie that is a sign that he wants to be connected to you,” says Flicker. “He wants to be able to speak to you again regarding that book or movie. It’s also a reason to see you again so he can return the borrowed item.”
If he’s trying to come up with situations where you guys can hang again — especially if it’s not particularly convenient — then you know he has more in mind than a friendly talk.
“He may seem overeager, but he’s simply coming up with creative ways to spend time with you in the hopes that he will become part of your life in a bigger way,” says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure. “You may even find that the situation and scenarios he infuses himself into to see you are a way to expresses true feelings about what you have in common.”
He’s a tease
He constantly rips on you — in a jokey, not mean manner — it’s a sure sign that he’s hoping you’ll be teasing him right back in the near future.
“If a man teases or makes fun of you that is a sign that he is completely comfortable around you,” says Flicker. He’s also paid enough attention to “pick up on what you would be secure and insecure about.”
He claims to love
When a guy goes on and on about your favorite reality show or the amazing shoes you’re wearing…well, it’s possible that he’s gay but if not, he’s most likely flirting.
“If a man takes an interest in something that you like—and he probably does not like—that is the ultimate sign that he is flirting with you,” says Flicker. “No man wants to be doing something that he does not enjoy.” But he might be willing to suck it up for you.
Good grooming to most men equals being showered with no visible food stains on their shirts. So if he’s constantly adjusting and primping, it’s definitely because he wants you to see the best version of him.
“If a man is fixing his clothing and hair that means that he wants to impress you,” says Flicker. “A man will take the extra five minutes to put the finishes touches on his clothing and hair for any woman he likes.”
He whispers a secret
Bending your ear is one thing, but “when a man comes close to whisper in your ear, it’s just an excuse to develop more intimacy with you,” says Carole Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets. “He wants to feel your body heat and to let you feel his (body heat, that is).”
It can be confusing, but sometimes when a guy is really into you, he’ll go all quiet or even say or do the wrong thing.
“When a man feels attracted to you, but is insecure and fearful that he isn't good enough, he regresses to boyhood,” says Lieberman. “He becomes the little 6th grade kid who expresses his attraction by pulling a girl’s ponytail or throwing snowballs at her.”
But he ignores his phone
“If a man ignores an incoming call or text, it’s a big deal,” says Lieberman. “Men are programmed — like Pavlov’s dog — to automatically reach for their phone when it makes a noise. Same thing for his tuning out others and focusing on you. It means he thinks that the biggest opportunity in the room is you.”
He turns red
Blushing — yep, it’s not just for us chicks.
“If a man blushes, it’s very significant because it is a bodily reaction that he can’t control,” says Lieberman. “He is unable to hide his attraction to you. This gives you the control.”
He mans up
Is he making lots of eye contact? Is he standing a little taller and taking on a manly stance? Does he reach or fix something for you?
“When a man puffs himself up like this, it means that he is trying to impress you with what a beast he is,” says Lieberman. Hey, humans have their mating rituals too.
Same goes for him ordering the steak or a scotch. “He is exerting his masculinity in a stereotypical way —showing he is classic and confident and that he likes the finer things in life and wants to share them with you,” says Levine. “He’s demonstrating that he can and wants to take care of you.”
He mentions he’s single
When he mentions his single-ness or asks questions to figure out if you are, it’s an obvious clue that he wants to know if you’re available.
“When a guy does this, he wants to get down to business right away,” says Lieberman. “He’s deciding if he should put an end to his fantasies or set up a date.”
He mirrors your movements and speech patterns
He may not even be aware that he’s doing it, but when he copies your stance or hand gestures, your accent or even sits the same way as you, he’s showing that he’s in sync with you.
“It may seem weird, but it’s his way of building rapport with you, and showing you he’s on the same wavelength,” says Levine.
He compliments you — a lot
If he mentions the color of your eyes, your hair, your figure, you may think he’s blowing smoke. The truth is, he’s trying to flirt with you, dammit!
“He wants to make you feel good by highlighting what he appreciates about you, letting you know that he has taken notice,” says Levine.
He ditches his wolf pack
He might have shown up with all his friends but he has no qualms about ditching them to go with you…anywhere! A guy who is interested will have no problem separating from his buddies.
“We do the same thing at times, don’t we?” asks Levine.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage in 2013.