No doubt, dating would be much easier if everyone were more open and honest with their feelings from the very beginning. For example, when someone says you’re awesome
, it’d be helpful to know whether they’re just saying that to butter you up or they really think you’re something special. Unless you're intuitive or just have mind-reading abilities, knowing if someone likes you and sees a potential future with you is no easy task. Fortunately, dating and relationship experts say there are certain signs you can look out for, from their body language to their reactions to your bucket list items.
"After spending time with someone, even just for five minutes or an hour, a connection or
spark is usually lit when making eye contact or conversation," relationship expert and marriage attorney, Vikki Ziegler, tells Bustle. "Sometimes one person may notice a special or unique quality and acknowledge it with a, ‘Wow, that's awesome,’ or ‘I like what you’re saying.’ Other times, a person may give other compliments — anything from ‘You have a really great smile’ to ‘I like your take on life.’"
According to Ziegler, these are just some of the more obvious signs that someone notices unique qualities in you. So how else will you know if someone sees you as someone special when you first meet? Here are some signs dating and relationship experts say to look out for.
1 They Try To Keep Eye Contact Martin Novak/Moment/Getty Images
It’s not just eye contact that’s a good sign someone likes you — it’s the intensity of it, too. "They'll look directly into your eyes with a level of intensity that makes your heart aware," relationship expert and author,
Cindee Bartholomew, tells Bustle. "They will often continue to stare at you even after you look away and when you look again at them they will smile again." 2 They Remember Things You've Said Before
A person who is interested in you from the get-go will be motivated to learn more about you. If the person remembers things you've said earlier on and is able to reference them as the conversation progresses,
Coree Schmitz, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle it's another huge indicator of interest.
"In today's society where
being present in a conversation is one of the hardest things to do, giving a new person full attention during [a conversation] is one of the highest compliments," Schmitz says. "To me that says, of all the 1,000 things I could be thinking about right now, I prefer to genuinely hear and think about what you have to say." 3 They "Mirror" Your Actions
You may have heard before that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. According to
Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, that rings true for first dates.
"You may notice your date 'mirroring' or subconsciously
copying your body language, gestures, speech patterns, or attitude," Bunn says. "If your date is interested, you'll get the energy you're giving off. So it's important to keep your verbal and nonverbal body language in check. If you're closed off, negative, or not fully present, you may squash the romantic spark before it even has a chance to emerge." 4 They Show Their Curiosity
Think "wide eyes, bright smiles,"
Kimia Mansoor, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle. If someone thinks you're someone special, they'll be curious about you. "They'll ... [observe] you carefully to try to learn as much as possible," Mansoor says. "They'll want to know more about you." Even if someone seems quiet, shy, or reserved, they'll still be listening and paying attention to all the little details.
Stephanie Churma, spiritual relationship coach and owner of The Good Love Company, there's a look people get in their eyes when they're completely captivated by someone. "You'll best spot it when you're knee-deep in a story about anything that lights you up," Churma says. People who are attracted to you will nod and smile. But the one who sees you as something special will watch and listen intently "with actual awestruck." 5 They Notice Your Similarities & Make Connections Freelanceimages/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images
We all want to
feel understood, especially in romantic partnerships. "If someone thinks you're special, they'll want to showcase how similar they are to you or how they can empathize with you," Samantha Campbell, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle.
For instance, if you're sharing a story about your cousin who's about to
have a baby, they might share how they just went to their first ever baby shower. Or maybe if you complain about how your favorite snack from Trader Joe's is no longer being produced, they might joke they're still grieving over the closing of their favorite restaurant. Whatever it is, they'll try to make connections between what you say and their own experience. "Whether it's conscious or not, they're trying to say, 'Hey, I get you,' and hoping that you feel the connection, too," she says. 6 They Laugh At Your Jokes
Laughter has been
known to improve relationships. But everyone has their own idea of what's funny and not. So as marriage therapist, Kimberly Hershenson, tells Bustle, "If [they] already find you funny early on, they likely think you’re special."
In fact, a
2015 University of Kansas study put this idea to the test. Researchers put together 51 pairs of college students who identified as heterosexual. Each pair was told to sit together in a room alone to talk for about 10 minutes. They were then given a survey to fill out after. As it was found, people who shared more laughs together were more likely to say they were romantically interested in each other. If someone's laughing at your jokes when you first meet, it's a good sign. 7 They Make You Feel Like You're The Only One Around
A good sign that someone thinks you’re amazing is the amount of focus and attention they put on you and only you. "They don't want to talk to anyone else," Hershenson says. "If they were around you the entire time and didn’t bother to meet other people or [start] up a conversation with anyone else, it's a sign they think you’re special."
When someone is completely focused on you, they'll stay engaged in the conversation. You won’t find them checking their phone or responding to their friend's text while they’re with you.
8 They Want To Prolong The Time They Spend With You PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and co-owner of matchmaking agency Platinum Poire, tells Bustle that if it feels like time time is flying when you’re with them, that’s a good sign early on that they think you’re special.
If someone's interested in you, it doesn't matter how long you've already been talking — they'll still want more.
"Anyone who's genuinely smitten with you will want to extend your time together," Churma says. So if they're asking you to grab coffee after dinner or just take a walk to talk more, it's a good sign they’re interested. 9 They Won't Waste Time
Sophy Singer, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle, when someone thinks you’re amazing they won’t waste time trying to see you again. "Before the date (or random social encounter) is over, they're already testing the waters by making future plans," Singer tells Bustle.
While Singer says they might not ask you right then and there, they will make a mention of something fun that the two of you might enjoy together in the future.
10 They’ll Try To Help You Reach Your Goals
When someone thinks there might be a future with you, they’ll be invested in your happiness early on. If you have a goal or bucket list item that they can help fulfill, they will make the effort to do so. According to relationship therapist
Kimberly Panganiban, LMFT, these could be simple goals like finishing up a project, or a bigger goal, like finding a new job.
“If they offer to help in any way, this is a sign they really care about you and your future,” she says. “While some people are open and direct, most people share their feelings a little more indirectly in the beginning in case the feeling isn’t mutual.”
11 They’ll Want To Know How Often You Like To Stay In Contact Fly View Productions/E+/Getty Images
As common as it is to text back and forth all day with someone you like, according to
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author, a person who sees you as something special will make it a point to ask you about your personal needs for staying in communication.
“They’ll want to engage with you on a level that feels right — neither underwhelming nor overwhelming amounts of connection (e.g., texts, phone calls, and dates),” she tells Bustle.
12 They Become Genuinely Happy When You Compliment Them
If someone has strong feelings for you, it will show through their reaction when you compliment them. According to couples therapist
Ana De La Cruz, LMFT, tells Bustle, “We communicate that feeling through different venues, through our eyes, our smiles, our way of walking, our way of moving our hands and of course, our choice of words.”
Cruz suggests starting by complimenting your date on how nice they look. Then, carefully analyze their reaction. Do they have a smile on? Do they seem excited or happy? Do they become flustered? Do they compliment you right back?
“If what you are saying is making them uncomfortable, most likely the person will be indifferent to your compliment, they might try changing the subject, keep it short, or cut you off,” Cruz says. If any of this happens, there’s a good chance they might not be into you.
Experts Vikki Ziegler, relationship expert and marriage attorney Cindee Bartholomew, relationship expert and author Coree Schmitz, professional matchmaker at Tawkify Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify Kimia Mansoor, professional matchmaker at Tawkify Sophy Singer, professional matchmaker at Tawkify Stephanie Churma, spiritual relationship coach and owner of The Good Love Company Kimberly Hershenson, marriage therapist Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and co-owner of matchmaking agency Platinum Poire Kimberly Panganiban, LMFT, relationship therapist Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of upcoming book, Date Smart Ana De La Cruz, LMFT, couples therapist Studies: HALL, J. E. F. F. R. E. Y. A. (2017). Humor in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis. Personal Relationships, 24(2), 306–322. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12183