Is He Interested?

If you’re uncertain if your crush really likes you, read this.

No matter how cocky a guy seems, he’d rather have his chest waxed than risk being rejected by you. So instead of sticking his neck out with a straightforward come-on, he might work his magic in these mysterious ways.

Back at primary school, did a guy ever kick you in the shins or tug your ponytail on the playground? Well, when a boy likes a girl, he often acts like an idiot to show her just how much. And unfortunately, some guys never outgrow those antics. Meet Joel*, 22: ‘The first time I went out with Sara, I kept making fun of her glasses,’ he says. ‘I wasn’t trying to be mean. I just wanted a reaction from her.’ If a guy dishes it, he can take it. So give it to him. Give it to him good.

If a man lists his finer points, it’s usually a desperate ploy to win your favour – not a sign his ego requires its own area code. Men are insecure and often go overboard in an attempt to seem desirable. Prime example? Tom, 28: ‘I met a cute girl at a party and immediately blurted out that I spent thousands on a new couch,’ he says. ‘I was nervous. I wanted her to think I was successful, but I ended up looking like an idiot.’ Hot tip: Button up a braggart with a quick compliment such as ‘Wow, you must be doing really well.’ With any luck, the strategic stroke will help ease him on to a more interesting topic… like you.

When a guy probes into your past, he’s actually saying ‘I hope I have a future with you.’ Allow Seth, 30, to explain: ‘If I can see myself getting serious with someone, I’ll question her about the last guy she dated,’ he says. ‘I want to be certain I’m not some sucker she’s rebounding with.’ So what to say when pressed about a former flame? Just give enough information to let him know your heart is in the clear and that you have no boyfriend baggage.

Ladies, you’re not the only ones who play hard to get. He may pass up a tempting proposition to seem slightly unavailable and hopefully a lot more attractive. Take it from Jake, 25: ‘This new girl I was seeing e-mailed me at work and asked if I was free for dinner,’ he says. ‘Even though I was dying to see her, I lied and said I had plans. I didn’t want to come across as pathetic.’ Indulge his game of cat and mouse. Coolly say something like ‘Okay, maybe another time’ and give him clearance to pursue you.

* Name has been changed.