September 21, 2013 / 6 Common Indicators of Interest
Here are 6 common IOIs every man should know.
Is she into you?
Unfortunately, when you’re trying to figure out if a woman is attracted to you, she’s not going to give you a straightforward answer. For many guys, this can seem endlessly frustrating. A girl may act warm, affectionate, and kind… and then you find out you’re in the
It would be easier if women just openly expressed their levels of attraction with men, but this isn’t how the real world works. Women are going to be subtle in their interactions with you for two main reasons. One is that traditional courtship customs dictate that the man "pursues" the woman. But more importantly, it’s because our body language often responds earlier to attraction that conscious thought.
The good news is, you can detect these subtle cues in behavior and body language yourself. These are known as "indicators of interest," typically abbreviated as
Indicator of Interest #1: Physical Proximity
I’m sure you’ve heard the term "magnetic looks" or "magnetic personality." Magnetic in this case as used as a synonym for "attraction," but it applies literally as well. Is her body language indicating she’s attracted to you, or repelled? Is she moving herself closer to you? Is she leaning in to you when you’re talking? Does she mirror your movements, such as taking a sip of her drink when you do?
If you see these patterns, even by a small amount that may seem incidental, it is usually a sign of interest. Generally, the more obvious the maneuver, the stronger the interest.
Indicator of Interest #2: Receptiveness to Touch
The reason why physical proximity is important is because closing the distance will eventually lead to touch. And a woman’s reaction when this contact happens, even if it’s incidental and not remotely sexual, can be a very key indicator of interest.
As a general rule, the more receptive she is to any kind of touch, the more interested she is. I often suggest "intentional accidental" contact as a way to test a woman’s interest. If your hand accidentally brushes hers, does she respond positively or does she flinch? If it’s the former, you can take that as a good indicator of interest.
Indicator of Interest #3: Eye Contact
Eye contact usually means a deliberate attempt to give you attention, and we live in an "attention economy" more than ever. If she’s making eye contact, that means she’s choosing to spend that "currency" of attention on you. She’s interested enough in you to make an effort to pay attention to what you’re doing and what you’re saying. Conversely, if a woman is paying more attention to her phone and looking through the latest selfies her friends posted on Instagram, this is probably not someone who is interested in you.
Note: you should be regularly making eye contact with women while communicating with them, as this is a strong show of confidence and is attractive.
Indicator of Interest #4: Playing With Her Hair
Playing with hair is often considered an IOI. However, I have found a more accurate indicator of interest is how women modify their hair playing. Most women play with their hair, so a woman playing with her hair is not an incredibly useful indicator on its own.
What is useful is paying attention to increases in "hair playing". A noticeable increase in overall "hair playing" and in particular consistent hair playing associated with eye contact during conversation is a good sign.
Indicator of Interest #5: Talkativeness
If you notice an increase in how talkative a woman is with you, that is a sign of interest. Note I specifically mention an increase in talkativeness. Just like playing with her hair, the key is in the difference, not the absolutes.
Some women are just very chatty, so how talkative a woman is with you is not a great indicator on it’s own. This is why some guys end up in the friend zone without realizing it; a woman with a naturally friendly or talkative demeanor does not mean much on its own. But if she becomes friendly and talkative, you can take it as a sign this woman is interested in you.
Indicator of Interest #6: Receptive to Prolonging the Interaction
This is essentially the "logistical" version of IOI #1. If she’s interested, she won’t just want to be in your immediate physical proximity, but also in your future proximity as well. In other words, she’s open to "prolonging the interaction," such as going with you to the bar to grab another drink, or suggesting to go to another venue. Any action, whether initiated by you or by her that will prolong your time together is a strong indicator of interest.
Focus on the "Delta"
While all these IOIs may seem straightforward or even obvious, I still think they get tremendously overlooked. This is because most guys are focused on the absolute behavior and not the delta, or the difference in behavior. Have you ever said anything like the following?
- "She was all over me on the dance floor, but then she just left with her friends!"
- "Yeah, she was talking to me for like an hour, but then when I asked for her number she said she had a boyfriend."
- "She kept going on about loving 80s music, but then I asked if she wanted to see this 80s cover band next weekend and she blew me off."
If you did, this is because you weren’t focusing on the delta. The girl may have been all over you on the dance floor, or very talkative at the bar, but if this is her baseline behavior, then it’s meaningless. The strongest IOIs are the ones where the woman has a deliberate change in behavior in your presence.
So if you see a girl lamely dancing with her friends, but enthusiastically dances with you, that’s a great IOI and much stronger than one being "all over you on the dance floor."