Not every guy is just going to walk right up to you and ask for you number or offer you a drink. Some guys take a less direct path. Whether they’re shy, lack confidence, or are afraid to make things weird if you don’t feel the same way, they send out vibes instead and hope you’ll pick up on them. On the one hand, if you’re not into them, it helps your cute coworker avoid the awkwardness of potential rejection. On the other, if you do like them, the whole thing can be grueling. But there are a few very obvious things he could be doing to feel you out. So if you’re into him, you might want to just let him know. He might need the help, and who is a better wingman for you than … you?
1. He always wants to know if you’re going to group events. Does he check in with you to see if you’re going to a mutual friend’s birthday party or post-work drinks with the whole office? Maybe he plays coy, as if he doesn’t know you didn’t hear about it, and then invites you out himself. He probably wouldn’t go to this unless he knew you were going to be there and had an opportunity to talk to you.
2. He offers you a ride to places all the time. This is really ‘stage two’ of asking if you’re going to a group event. He’ll probably mention that ‘you’re on the way’ so why doesn’t he pick you up? If you looked it up on Google Maps and ‘on the way’ really means’20 minutes in the wrong direction,’ he either likes you or wants to murder you. There’s a thin line here, honestly.
3. He’s proposed plans that could be a date but never calls them a date. He’s hedging his bets here. If he hears you want to go see a movie, he might let you know he wants to go too. Maybe a new restaurant opened up, or there’s a concert he’s got an extra ticket to. ‘We could go together’ is the giveaway here. If he says that, he’s basically asking you on a date, but if you seem uneasy, he can always back peddle. It’s a safe way to get time with you, but it can also lead to confusion.
4. He offers you his hoodie when you’re cold. All right, now this dude is just pulling things out of the cliche ‘nice guy’ handbook. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Maybe he’s just being a nice guy, sure. That’s entirely possible. If you never said you were cold in the first place, and he could just tell, he probably likes you.
5. He’s gone out of his way to do you pretty major favours, like drive you to the airport. Trust me when I say no one ever, ever wants to drive someone else to the airport, unless they’re secretly hoping you’ve got another ticket and are about to invite them off on some wild adventure that involves a Grecian island and bathing suits.
6. He has very awkwardly invited you to a wedding as his plus-one. Here’s the difference between asking a friend to go with you as a plus-one, and asking someone you like to be your plus-one but you’re too shy:
Asking a friend: ‘Hey, I’ve got a plus-one to this wedding and I don’t want to go alone. You wanna come with? I’ll foot the bill, don’t worry about a gift or anything. You’re doing me a favour.’ Notice how it’s concise and to the point, and there are no awkward, fumbling moments because there are no undertones here. Just two friends going to a wedding.
Asking someone you have a crush on (but they don’t know it): ‘Hey, so, uh … this is kind of weird, but … well, actually it isn’t weird, I just [awkward laughter] my friends gave me a plus-one to this wedding … and I was hoping you’d want to go with me? Not like, hoping … just like, you know, if you want to go. No big deal, I can ask someone else. It’s not like a date or anything.’ Bro … BRO. I want to shake this guy and he’s a made-up person I just wrote about. If he’s asking you to an event and it takes longer than half a second to get the question out, he likes you. Anytime a guy has to clarify with ‘it’s not a date’ or ‘I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way,’ it’s because he’s into you.
7. He finds reasons to come by and see you. Maybe he goes out of his way to walk through your department so he’s got a chance to talk to you. Maybe he goes the long way after class so he can show up outside of your room. He’s just looking for moments to spend time with you.
8. He’s outright rejected other women in front of you. If you can’t understand why he would’ve passed it up, it’s because you’re the reason.
9. He’s messaged you late at night. He’s not the kind of guy to just point-blank ask ‘you up?’ or invite you over for some Netflix … but if he’s messaging you at 2 a.m. because you’re on his mind … this is some barely concealed vibes. It’s almost not even vibes anymore.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com