How do you know if the girl you’re into is also interested in you? That’s a hard one, because dating always is. Whether you just have a crush on her or you’ve been out a time or two, it can be really confusing if you can’t quite tell if she actually likes you. Here are some key signs she may just not be into you in the same way.
1. She doesn’t make time for you
If someone is really interested, they’ll do what they can to carve out time for you, even if they have a really busy schedule. It’s especially telling if your crush seems to always be busy with other people, but never makes that effort with you.
Desiree Costa, a first-year law student at the University of Massachusetts, has heard all the regular excuses like “I’m too busy” or “Something came up.” These sound innocent enough, but for Desiree, it was too frequent to be believable. “It obviously left me confused, but of course I felt some kind of vibe that they weren’t really into it,” Desiree says. “I ultimately learned that a relationship can never start without an equal effort.”
If the girl you’re into isn’t putting in the same amount of effort to hang out that you are, you may want to stop wasting your valuable time and effort on someone who clearly doesn’t care enough.
2. She doesn’t try to get to know you
Someone who really likes you will try to get to know you beyond small talk. They’ll ask you about your likes and dislikes, your favorite hobbies, your family and friends.
“Especially in college, its easy to have shallow relationships,” Desiree says. “A lot of times, no matter what context, after meeting someone in person or online or whatever, they would just flirt with me.” Rather than taking the time to get to know her as a person and ask her deeper questions, her potential SOs would just compliment her on her appearance or make sexual comments.
If your girl seems like she’s just answering basic small talk for the sake of being polite, but not digging deeper to get to know you on a personal level, that’s probably a sign the two of you aren’t going anywhere.
3. She doesn’t text you back
If the girl you like doesn’t respond to your texts, and then makes continual excuses about why she isn’t answering, it’s pretty likely that she’s seeing your texts and isn’t interested. On the other hand, if she only texts you and isn’t interested in meeting in person or in communicating in any other way, then she probably only wants someone to talk to when she’s bored, and you otherwise don’t mean a whole lot to her.
Desiree has encountered this situation many times, including when her potential date insisted they were too shy to hang out in person. “Whenever I’ve talked to someone like this, it obviously doesn’t work out,” she says. “I don’t know what it is, but I guess maybe what they just want is the attention.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s highly possible that the girl you’ve been texting wants attention when she’s bored and alone, but doesn’t actually care a whole lot about you as a person.
4. She flakes at the last minute
If you make plans with her, but she backs out at the last minute consistently, this shows that she really doesn’t want to make the effort. “I think ditching you last minute is a sure sign,” says Elizabeth Ribar, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and a writer for Bustle, The Huffington Post and Luna Luna Magazine.
Standing someone up is a little like being reluctant to make plans at all: it shows a sure lack of interest, especially if this girl is a repeat offender.
5. She’s really inconsistent with her actions
Does she act interested one minute and then change her mind out of nowhere? In all likelihood, she’s not into you like you’re into her.
“I was stuck in a situation like this for about a year and a half,” says Sarah Jo Enloe, a senior at Westfield State University. “The other person would flirt and show interest, then not talk to me for a week or two. I hate that I wasted energy and time trying to figure out the other person’s feelings.”
Situations like this are super frustrating because half the time, it seems like the other person really is into you. But then they switch gears suddenly, and tend to be really hot and cold with their actions. “It communicates that they only want a relationship with you based on their mood rather than a lasting connection,” says Ghia Vitale, an assistant editor at Quail Bell Magazine who writes about love and relationships.
6. Her excuses and answers are vague
If you ask her out all the time, and her excuses for not being free seem dicey, there’s probably a reason. There’s a good chance she’s not actually busy, but doesn’t want to make plans with you.
This is especially true if her vague excuses are matched with vague responses during your conversation. Someone who likes you will want you to clearly get to know them, rather than being vague about what they’re doing, what they like, and how they spend their free time.
7. She never tries to be alone with you
Someone who likes you will try to spend time with you alone—even in non-sexual and non-romantic ways. They’ll want to hang out, just the two of you, rather than always being in a really large group or with at least one other person.
Desiree has had experiences where her date never invited her places alone, only to group events with friends around. “I learned the hard way that if someone is always doing that, I’m still definitely not a priority,” she says. “It’s just like ‘Hey, yeah, you can come along.’ But you’re not important enough for that person to set aside time for you.”
If a girl invites you out for a lot of group occasions, she could be nervous or just a serious extrovert, but the fact that she never wants to see you alone is too big of a sign to ignore. “Sure, they could be nervous, but their lack of action alone speaks volumes that overshadow any words between you,” Vitale says. “A person who likes you will at least express the desire for you to be a part of their life. You’ll hardly have to do any guessing in the first place because they’ll make you feel wanted.” Even people on the shyer side will find their own unique way to let you know that they want you around, and you shouldn’t stand for anything less.
8. She doesn’t introduce you to her friends
If you never get an invite to meet her friends, you may be wondering if it proves her lack of interest in you. It could be because her friends tend to embarrass her and she’s afraid they’ll do that, but it could also be because she doesn’t really want to be with you, and sees no reason to make the introduction.
One way to tell the difference? If she’s showing a ton of other signs that she’s definitely into you, then she may just be worried her friends will scare you away. You can bring this up with her. But if she’s showing a lot of other signs that she’s not into you—not texting back, making excuses, breaking plans—and she also doesn’t want to invite you to a group date, then it’s probably for the best, anyway.
If someone isn’t interested in you the way you are in them, it’s best to just try to move on and focus on other things. It can be hard, especially if they’re giving you mixed signals and haven’t told you outright that they don’t like you. Overall, though, you’re better off without someone who doesn’t treat you absolutely the way you deserve to be treated, and you’ll thank yourself later for getting out of the situation early.