There is no surefire, 100% guaranteed way to know if someone likes you as more than a friend.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
There are, however, certain signs you can look for that will give you a pretty good idea if your friend or acquaintance is interested in being more than friends.
1. Test his/her Personal Space
Everyone has something called “personal space”. It is like a bubble around us that we don’t like people trespassing into. If someone gets too close, we instinctively move away, and if they get too close again we move away again.
When we are attracted to someone that bubble disappears. They can brush their thigh against ours while sitting close and we won’t jerk our leg away, they can stand close and we won’t step to the side, they can sit beside us on a long couch while watching a movie and we don’t ask them to move over.
We enjoy being close to those who we are attracted to and sometimes make excuses to do so.
So, the first step in gauging whether your friend is attracted to you is to get past their “personal space” and monitor their reaction.
If they move away, heed it as a warning and don’t try it again that day. Our personal space is a personal thing and many of us become annoyed if someone we aren’t attracted to repeatedly invades it.
You can try this several times (over several days) and if he or she continues to move away as if by reflex, chances are, they are not attracted to you. This is not to stop you from trying the next test another time.
2. Observe Their Body Language
Is your friend exhibiting flirtatious behavior with you? Do they find excuses to touch you, stand close, compliment you repeatedly on your appearance?
Do their pupils dilate when they see you? Science has found that our pupils dilate when we are looking at someone or something we are attracted to.
Watching out for flirtatious behavior is a good method, but it is probably the most unreliable of all that are listed. This is because some people are natural flirts, they flirt with everyone, including their friends.
Also, some people are very affectionate with their friends and that could be misconstrued as flirting.
3. Touch his/her Hand
Another way to gauge if someone is attracted to you is to deliberately touch, or almost touch their hand.
Try passing him or her something and hold it in a way that makes it difficult for them to take it without your hands touching. When they reach to take it, observe whether or not they expend any effort to touch the smallest surface area of your hand possible.
If they avoid touching your hand then it could mean that they want to avoid all physical contact with you. Take it as a good sign if they linger by your hand when they touch you. Better yet, are their hands sweaty?
You could also try placing your hand very near your friend’s hand and watch to see if they move theirs away.
If they are standing with a hand rested on a railing, stand next to them and rest your hand right beside theirs. If they are trying to program their DVD or Blue-ray player, help them and let your hand graze by theirs while you both play with the buttons.
It would usually be a bad sign if they retracted their hand completely.
4. Watch for Changing, or Strange Behavior
Does your friend seem unusually awkward or nervous around you? Are their hands shaky or sweaty? Do they avoid talking about other guys/girls, and seem very uninterested in hearing you talk about other guys/girls that you are interested in?
Are they suddenly complimenting you more than usual? Are they only letting their best side show? Is she spending more time getting ready than usual? Is he wearing his nicest clothes and cologne…things you’ve only see him do when going on a date with other women?
5. Listen to What they Say
It sounds like a no brainer, but I am telling you anyway because when we like someone we tend to ignore any signs that they don’t like us and really play up any signs that they do.
If your friend is saying things similar to those below then they may have picked up on your interest and are subtly hinting back that they aren’t interested in taking the friendship further.
“It is so nice to have a male/female friend who is just a friend.”
“I really like this guy/girl from work, we went out last night….”
“There is a new guy/girl at school who I am really interested in. Can you give me some advice on striking up a conversation?”
“I’m so glad we can just be friends without getting physically involved, I see so many friendships ruined because they crossed that boundary.”
“I have a friend who I’d like to set you up with, you guys would get along so well!”