Have your eye on someone as a potential date? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Or, at the least, someone to ask out for coffee or a drink, away from the college crowd? Trying to see if he or she likes you or not can be maddening. These five situations can help you gauge the other person's feelings-as well as your own-about possibly taking things to another level.
1. Go Out in a Group
Is this person by you the whole night? Are you by them? Are they interested in what you have to say? Do they laugh at your jokes, wait for you when the group moves around, and pay attention when you talk? Are you frequently making eye contact? If you close your eyes and imagined the person not with the group, would your experience change? Answering yes to any of these questions might indicate an interest in you in particular instead of just common group dynamics.
2. Do Something Together Off Campus
If you have to visit a local museum for your art history paper, see if this potential-date wants to come along. Their eagerness at doing so, and the chemistry that happens while you guys are out, can be a great way to see what's going on between the two of you. Of course, if you're heading off campus, make sure you're safe about it.
3. Grab a Meal Together
If you're interested in someone, chances are that you have things in common and have done things together, or with a group, already. If so, try to carry that momentum into a seemingly-friendly meal together. Did you work together on a class project, seek his or her advice on your computer science program, or research similar paper topics in the library? If so, say you want to celebrate finishing by grabbing a quick meal off campus. Keeping it really casual can be the key to seeing what your dynamics are when you're alone. Running off campus for a quick lunch of a burger or dim sum has a much different feel than a nice, sit-down evening meal that's been planned two weeks in advance.
4. Ask for Help With Something
If you like someone and he or she is really smart in a certain subject or has some experience in a research topic you're working on, see if they are interested in helping you. You can have a great discussion that will help expand your understanding of something you already find interesting, and you can see what this person is like on a more personal level. Have they had a lot of classes with a new professor of yours, and if so, can they talk to you about how that person grades? Are they majoring in a discipline you're taking your first class in? Can they give you some feedback on a survey you want to pass out to people in your residence hall? Then, of course, see how the conversation goes. Are they willing to help? Friendly? Interesting and engaging? Supportive? Someone you'd want to have more conversations with… say, over a real college dinner date that isn't made of food you both sneaked into the library?
5. Share Some Exciting News
Did you just hear that you were accepted into your summer internship program? Get an "A" on that project you asked for help with? Get happy news from one of your friends or family members? Share it with your potential crush and see how he or she reacts. If they are supportive, interested, and want to celebrate with you one-on-one, it might be a sign that the friendship could develop into more.
A Note If You Feel Self-Conscious Around Your Crush
Remember that having a crush on someone, and even putting it totally in the open, is something that should be very flattering. Anyone worth dating in the first place should be touched by your sentiments and handle them with respect, no matter what their feelings are in return. Put yourself out there--otherwise, you'll never know!