Whenever I want to know if someone I’m dating is catching feelings, I like to hang out in a group setting and pay attention to who they talk to. Not in a jealous “are they talking to that girl too long” kind of way, but rather, who my date’s eyes go to when they are addressing the group. Is it everyone, or do their eyes inevitably drift back to me and linger? For me, that’s always one of the things you’ll notice if your date is developing feelings that’s pretty much a dead giveaway. But it’s hardly the only one, and it’s kind of a specific set of circumstances, so knowing how to spot the signs in other settings can be really helpful — especially if you know you’re catching feelings, too, and want to know if you’re on the same page.
To help spot the more subtle signs that you’re capturing their heart, I reached out the the experts: Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, and Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This?. They both shared what they say are ways you’ll know if your date is starting to develop real feelings for you. Here is what they say to keep an eye out for.
1They pay attention and remember the little things you say.
One of the sweetest signs that someone really cares about you, House tells Elite Daily, is that they pay attention to what you say and — get this — they remember it! “They remember because they care. What you say matters,” says House. “They think about you even when you’re not together. They want to solve your problems, make you smile, and make your life better. And they know that it’s the little things, the in-betweens that make that happen.”
2They always try to be their best self around you.
When you care about someone, you care about what they think of you, and as a result, they will try to be their best self when they’re around you — and even when they aren’t. “You inspire them to up their game because they are looking at you as having long-term potential,” says House. “They put you on a pedestal and they want to make sure that they are on the same level, which means that they feel the need to elevate themselves.” In this case, you may notice them taking steps to improve themselves like taking classes or upping their wardrobe, says House — or even just doing little things like taking an interest in things that they know you care about.
“It’s not because they want to be like you or they don’t feel good enough for you, it’s that you inspire them to be their best, and they want to have more in common with you so that you can have those deep intellectual conversations that you have mentioned turn you on and keep you interested,” explains House.
3They like to show you off.
When you’re out in public, someone catching feelings is going to be excited to be with you. “If they are proud and even enthusiastic about ‘showing you off’ and introducing you to their friends, family, and business associates,” says House, then they are definitely falling for you.
Gordon adds that another sign they are developing feelings and are proud to show you off is that they engage in PDA. “It’s a sign they have real feelings if they plan thoughtful dates, and during those dates they are always either holding your hand or putting their arms around you,” Gordon tells Elite Daily. “Those who have developed real feelings won’t be able to keep their hands off you — not even in public settings.”
4They only have eyes for you.
You are also likely to catch someone who is falling for you looking at you when you aren’t paying attention, says Gordon. “When you’re consistently catching them gazing at you, that’s a strong sign they’ve developed real feelings for you. This is especially true if you’re out at a show, or in a public place with a lot of interesting things to watch and look at, yet your date is only gazing at you. It means your date is so smitten that nothing can distract him or her from you,” she explains.
5They show up for you.
Are you increasingly confident that your date will show up for you, even when they would have a totally valid excuse not to? If so, they are letting you know that they really do care. “If they’ve just finished working overtime, they’re exhausted, or they’re sick, this person may have a good reason not to see you that evening. If they still come to see you, however, this is a sign of real feelings,” says Gordon.
6They introduce you to the important people in their lives.
The clearest sign, however, that someone cares about you and that they’re taking the relationship seriously, is if they introduce you to the people in their inner circle. “When someone you are dating introduces you to important people in their life, this is a sure sign they have real feelings,” says Gordon. “Plenty of people might show off a cute girl or guy to their friends, but pay attention to who these people you’re being introduced to are. If the person you’re dating makes a point of bringing you to meet very important people in their life, they’ve likely fallen for you.”
The takeaway here is that knowing if someone really does have feelings for you isn’t actually as difficult as it seems. They will show it, whether that’s in small ways like giving you all their attention, or listening to the little things you say and remembering them, or the big things like taking you home to meet the family or their closest friends. The same can be said for someone who refuses to do these things. If they aren’t acting like they really care, then believe them and find someone who appreciates you and treats you like you deserve to be treated — because you do deserve to be loved and respected for being you, just as you are.
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