Ask a Dude: How Do I Know if He Likes Me?

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of getting the pity-eyes as you sift through the Self-Help section at your campus bookstore? Over wondering what those boys are thinking?  We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question (Why did he do a total 180??) over to askthedude@collegecandy.com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time.  So bring it on, ladies.]

Dear Dude,

Guys are so confusing and I never know if they like me or if they’re just messing around. How can you tell when a guy likes you? Do they tease you or what?

There’s this guy and I like him but I don’t know if he likes me back. We talk and laugh and stuff, but he does that with every other girl he talks to. I really wanna know how he feels but I’m scared of asking him. What signs do guys show if they like someone?

Hope that made sense!
Love,
Katie

Dear Katie,

You’re question is one for ages. Thesis papers can be written on it. I’ve even done a little writing on this site about it already (see “What Man Does To Woo The Woman”). In truth we must go back to the snowflake defense.

Each man has his different theories and methods on how to attract women. No one way is right but it feels like a million of them are wrong. Generally, these ideas come from bone head friends who are lying about how many girls they’ve hooked up with, commitment phobe uncles who get us when we’re pre-pubescent, romantic comedies for the idealistically naive and potential life-long celibates (not by their choice), or even as far as being suggested by the wonderful fantasy world of porn (because, like, that’s so how it goes when you meet a pizza delivery boy and don’t have enough cash, right?). Needless to say that very few men develop their strategies on how to attract the female from REAL EXPERIENCE. Eventually, we do. Trial and error is really the only way we learn what does and doesn’t work. Then, we have to deprogram entire lives worth of reinforced bullsh*t. Some never succeed…

When we’re in our younger and more formative years, we tend to mercilessly tease you if we like you. Somehow we convince ourselves that humiliation is an adolescent aphrodisiac. A lot of guys then realize that rather than making women cry we should try to make you worship us. Or, to put it another way, we try to impress you. That becomes the strategy for the rest of our lives. How we impress you, that’s where the spice of life (variety, people, stay with me), comes into play.

1. We make you think we don’t need you thereby impressing you with our independence a.k.a ignoring and belittling you.

2. We buy cars, houses, and plasma TVs to show you that, with us, you’re every desire will be fulfilled (plus those are the adult equivalent to action figures, forts, and go-carts from those, above mentioned, younger and more formative years). This is also referred to in the good book as “buying happiness”.

3. We regurgitate everything we’ve ever read on an obscure subject to stimulate you on an intellectual level. Brain over biceps.

4. The gym rats show off their muscles hoping to tap into the primal instincts i.e. if he looks like the strongest hunter then he’s the most sought after mate. Might makes right.

5. The jester approach. A sense of humor, often self-deprecating, is used to lull you into a sense of security. This is a comforting form of bait often utilized by the less brawny of the species.

Those aren’t the only schools of thought but they are a few examples. Often each member of the gender will utilize parts of several schools. Waste not, want not.

At the end of the day, if we like you, we’ll ask you out or we’ll kiss you. Some guys don’t have the courage to make the first move (see my previous article: “Is He Shy or Not Into Me” for further reading on that subject) but will hint it by way of doing platonic little gestures (also known as the door mat approach) or simply “make eyes” at you from afar. If he likes you, he’ll show it in the way he’s most comfortable to.

What it really might come down to, if you want to know for sure, is you stepping up to the plate. It’s scary. You open yourself up to be hurt. However, ask yourself this question: Is it worse to hope but never know or to know but give up hope. Fortunately, we’re talking about one guy, not your life. Keep things in perspective. What’s the harm in seeing if he wants to come out with you and your friends this weekend? Or seeing if he’d like to grab a lunch or a drink after work? We’re not talking about declaring unending love and adoration. Small gestures. Baby steps.

There’s no reason for you to let him control this situation. You can take charge! You can settle this thing and not wait for him to determine the course of human events. If you want something to happen, then act toward that goal. If you’re not sure and just feel like waiting it out to see what will come, then do that. Just a little courage and confidence that you deserve to give yourself. You can do it. Breathe, rehearse the question in your mind a few times, then just go up and ask it. Trust me, the odds are in your favor. One common denominator among men, we like gals with moxy.

Martian translated by,
The Dude

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