Does it mean he likes you? His moves, decoded

His every word makes you wonder: Is he being flirty...or just friendly? Here’s how to demystify those ever-confusing dude moves.

He asks for your help.
It’s a tried-and-true move from an old-school playbook, but you know it’s true: There’s no easier way to strike up a convo with a cutie than to ask for a quick favor. (“Did you catch the math homework? Could you help open my jammed-up locker?”) But here’s a surprising secret: Boys do it, too. So is he asking for a friendly favor…or making up an excuse to see you? First, consider the sitch you’re in. If you’re the numero uno student in your Español class and he needs an A to play baseball, you’re the logical go-to gal for a quick tutoring sesh. But if he wants to practice lines for the school play together over the weekend (even though you know he’s got his part down cold), it’s safe to assume he’s seeking you out. Either way, accept his request, make the most of your one-on-one time and see where it leads.

He makes eye contact.
You’re deep in conversation with your girls over lunch—then happen to look up and *immediately* make eye contact with him. (And he’s four tables away, by the way.) In busy hallways, you always catch each other’s eye for a quick “hi”…and when you present your science fair project in the school assembly, he’s hanging on your every word. No surprises here—but yes, constantly catching him staring is a sure sign that he’s all about catching your attention.

He gets nervous.
On the other hand, just because he can’t peer into your peepers doesn’t mean he’s not interested; in fact, stuttering and stammering could mean he feels nervous or intimidated by you. If you find yourself in a seemingly awkward encounter, help the convo play out by smiling wide, being extra kind and asking questions—giving him a kick of confidence might be all he needs to go from shy guy to sweetheart.

He returns your texts.
The operative word here is “returns.” If your guy only ever *answers* your texts (meaning he simply responds to questions, and usually with a simple yes or no), it’s likely he’s just being polite. Slow down on hitting the “send” button to see if he keeps the convo going when you get quiet. He takes the hint and puts in effort? Great. Once you’ve built up a good back-and-forth, focus on chatting him up IRL to see if you’ve got a spark.

He flirts with you—and other girls.
You laugh at your locker. He teases you in trig. Yep, it’s a full-on flirtation (squee!). But wait...why’s he cozying up with his chem partner, too? Some fellas are flirty, plain and simple—and while it’s possible that you’re the only girl he’s truly into, you won’t know unless he sends other signals as well. (Or if you ask him straight up—it’s a bold move, but a total time-saver). But before you make any major moves, just be sure you’re truly set on dating this guy. It’s tough to take the flirt out of the fella, so if his player ways bother you now, imagine how irked you’ll be if he’s your BF.

He laughs at you.
There’s a fine line between playful teasing and flat-out snarkiness. He tugs on your ponytail to say hi? That’s his (childish, outdated) way of showing you he thinks your hair is pretty. He cracks a joke about your new boots? He secretly digs your style. But if his comments are more cruel than cute, listen up: It’s never cool if he laughs at your expense or makes you feel embarrassed. No, he’s not just trying to get your attention—it means he’s a not-nice guy who doesn’t care about your feelings. If his go-to phrase is, “Oh, don’t be mad, I was just playing,” then it’s time to say game over.

He saves you a seat.
Congrats, girl—you’re golden. Whether it’s on the bus, at the lunch table or in the school assembly, seat-saving sends a signal that you’re important to him—and he doesn’t care who knows it.

He remembers details.
On Friday, you’re buzzing about plans to see Billie Eilish—and in homeroom on Monday he asks all about it. Or maybe he grabs you the last slice of Hawaiian pizza in the caf (it’s your fave!). If this guy is tuned in to the little things that make you happy, there’s little doubt he’s head over heels. Just be sure to mention that you’re still free on for the spring dance

A version of this story appeared in the February/March issue of Girls' Life magazine.


by GL | 9/21/2019