The more I get to know guys, the more I realize how confusing women can be. I mean, I am one, and sometimes even I don’t understand the things we do. Then, when it comes to matters of the heart, already existing misinterpretation seems to be heightened.
So let’s see if I can help you, young man, decipher the signals you suspect you may be getting.
Know that these are generalizations. While there are definite throughlines, each girl will wear signs of affection differently— especially if she is coming from a previous relationship or some kind of trauma. There’s also a difference in personalities and how some are better at keeping things to themselves than others. So take these with a grain of salt.
She smiles and laughs…a lot
They say when a guy is in love, you can see it in his eyes, but when a girl is in love, you can see it in her smile. And she has been smiling a lot. You might not have thought you were that funny, but everything you do seems to elicit a laugh from her.
You bring her joy, and she does not restrain the bubbling fount when around you. Maybe her smile is one of her best features and every time she laughs she’s hoping you notice— recognizing her feelings for you and hoping you’ll maybe return them.
Then you catch her looking at you, and she never seems to have a good reason when you ask why. She just looks away and smiles some more, unable to describe how wonderful she considers you to be or the affection she is hesitant to express.
“This is the boy I love. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.”-Unknown
A girl falls in love with you for the things you never know you are doing, and the many more you consider insignificant. She finds a thousand things to love about you— and therefore gives your self-deprecation an incredibly hard time.
She gives you a hard time
She will begin to enter your personal bubble, likely starting with something innocent like tapping your shoulder, but can quickly snowball into taking any reason to touch you. Brushing away an eyelash or crumb, straightening your clothing, letting you feel just how cold her hands are.
Some girls are better at resisting these urges than others, but we all have them. We were made to be helpers (Genesis 2:18). We instinctively have a maternal nature to take care, so we help in any way we can. We will refill your water bottle, fight your self-depreciation, make sure you eat— anything to make sure you are taken care of, and export our budding sentiments.
Then sometimes we don’t know exactly how to express ourselves, so it comes across as tough love. She will give you a nickname (or two), tease, and maybe even playfully punch you. But when you’re walking side-by-side and accidentally brush against each other, she wants you to grab her hand and never let go.
She’s vague and discreet
Eyes are the windows to the soul. They will tell you everything you need to know about a person. So a girl who has feelings for you that she is trying to hide—whether because she’s afraid or guarding her heart—will often avoid eye contact.
If your conversation comes near or could be inferred to talking about one’s feelings for the other, she will likely become suddenly reserved. Not looking and tongue-tied but soaking up every word, words she will consistently replay afterward.
Side note: The reverse case is also true. If a girl looks you in the eyes and makes a statement of affection, know that nothing in the world can mean it more than her. By making eye contact, she’s letting you see that she’s determined to stick to her word.
“A serious girl, when she finds someone who calms her spirit and quiets her busy thoughts, will love you so fiercely it will defy even her own logic and reasoning.”-Unknown
Otherwise, feelings she’s just becoming aware of will likely slip out in side comments or seemingly random phrases she keeps emphasizing. “Thank you,” “this isn’t goodbye,” something from a previous conversation of yours that could hold more weight.
Know that there isn’t much a girl does that isn’t carefully orchestrated or strategically planned. There’s a lot of thought behind that. She’s trying to say what she’s trying not to say (this is how girls are complicated).
She lets you see her weaknesses
While we all struggle with control, women especially tend to hold a stiff upper lip and push through whatever pain, difficultly, or challenge. We must appear strong and independent. We must come across as calm and collected, not frail and helpless. So we hide external signs of weakness.
We’ll smile through heartache, hold back tears, and verbally brush off things that should hurt. We won’t let you know our head feels like it’s splitting open, leave the room to deal with phlegm, and act as if we didn’t just acquire a cut that really stings. I can carry all of this and open the door, thank you very much.
But a girl who is falling in love with you will begin to let you see her weaknesses.
She’ll let you see her pressing her hand to her forehead, won’t ramble to cover up lags in her train of thought, honestly answer your “are you okay” question, and admit that she was wrong. Whether directly or indirectly, she’s letting you in. She’s letting herself fall …and hoping you’ll catch her.
We want you to take charge and direct. Force us to take five, get us a cup of water, help us problem-solve, grab the door, make sure we eat. Us women are stubborn, but the self-aware ones want someone who can keep us in check. Don’t let us be a runaway train.
A real woman can do it all by herself, but a real man won’t let her.
You can’t get rid of her
Simply put, she keeps showing up. She follows you everywhere. She has a hard time saying goodbye. She makes excuses and changes the topic to extend your conversation and, therefore, your time together.
She looks up to you. She respects and admires you. You inspire her. You are bringing out the best in her and she wants to keep you around. She wants to get to know you better and help you see yourself through her eyes. She wants to love you.
She’ll let you take the lead, going where you go and doing what you do. She wants to help. She’ll let you see her inability, giving you opportunity to care for her in ways others are not allowed. She’s giving you a place of authority in her life.
You’ll mess up and she’ll come to know your flaws, but she won’t leave. Somehow she’s even more devoted than before, determined to stick by your side. Somehow she takes all of your darkness and turns you around to face the sun.
“And if she is in your life, you must know she believes you’re a battle worth fighting.”-JmStorm
Of course, consistent gratitude and explicit “I miss you” statements are obvious signs of a girl’s affection. Honestly, if you suspect she likes you, she probably does. Don’t run to the hills with that information. If you are interested in her as well, talk to her dad then have that conversation with her.
In general, though, a girl’s affection is something you don’t have to read into. We tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves (or at least struggle to keep them hidden away). If a girl likes you (and you are not completely oblivious), you will know. It will be an attraction you don’t have to question.