How to Know When She Wants You to Make a Move

May 5th, 2014 by Nick Notas 36 Comments

Some people believe romantic opportunities are out of our control. That they are a combination of chance and being in the right place, at the right time. 

Now there’s some truth to that. Sometimes luck plays an important role.

But the men who consistently succeed in dating have an innate ability that sets them apart:

They recognize subtle hints to consistently create their own opportunities. 

I’ve said this before, but the vast majority of women are not going to make the first move – whether that’s introducing themselves, getting into flirtatious conversation, or moving towards intimacy. They’re not going to tell you, “Hey dummy, I’m ready to be kissed!”

Women aren’t usually doing this to be difficult. They are instead struggling with: 

  • Shyness and anxiety
  • Fear of rejection
  • Sexual shame (being seen as easy or too promiscuous)

I wish more women took the initiative, too. But that’s the way courtship has been for thousands of years so you might as well learn to decipher the hints you do get.

When women show their interest and they don’t get anything in return – they often feel rejected, frustrated, or stupid for putting themselves out there.

This was a recent e-mail from a female reader:

“I’ve been online dating for the past year and it has been rough. I don’t want to kiss and tell but the guys I did have more of a connection with that I wanted to get physical with, treated me like a delicate rose. Which is really sweet, but not really what makes my blood boil. 

These guys wouldn’t take cues or even me straight up telling them. Turned me off because they weren’t listening to me and what I needed.”

Brian Family Guy Air Traffic

Don’t be Brian.

Here are the three main ways women signal their interest and how you can make the most of it:

Proximity and eye contact

Women show that they want to talk to you through “approach invitations”.

  • She goes out of her way in a bar, club, or party to stand next to you. Especially if she lingers for an extended period of time or keeps glancing at you. Be direct and talk to her, “Hey, what’s up?”
  • She makes prolonged or repeated eye contact while smiling at you from across the room. Walk over to her, ask for her name, or simply introduce yourself. “Hi, what’s your name?” or “Hey, I’m Nick.” Be playful if you want, “You know it’s rude to just stare and not say hello.”
  • She dances her way over to you and continues dancing next to you. Initiate a dance with her.
  • She touches you in passing. She may run her hand across your shoulder or back while walking by. Go after her and say hello with a hand on her shoulder.
  • A random girl asks you a question or makes an off-hand comment. Start talking to her and exchange numbers before you leave.

Accepting and returning flirting

Flirt with her – verbally or physically. If she reciprocates or doesn’t deny your advances, continue being more flirtatious. And of course, when girl flirts with you, always flirt back.

  • She touches your arm when you talk to her or make her laugh. Return that physical contact and work your way toward mid/high level touches.
  • She gets close to your face, touches your face, or looks deep into your eyes for an extended period of time. This is usually a sign she’s ready to be kissed. So do it.
  • She plays with or runs her fingers through your hair. You can continue with an intimate caress on her thigh or pull her in for a kiss.
  • She allows you to touch her in more intimate spots without pulling away. These include hands, hair, legs, back, face, and waist. Definitely kiss her.

Investment and logistics 

The more time and energy a girl invests in you, the more likely she wants the connection to move forward.

  • Any “firsts”: She offers her number to you first. She reaches out to you first over text. She suggests hanging out with you first. Push towards meeting up ASAP.
  • You approach a random girl and she stays to talk to you for more than 30 seconds. Exchange numbers before you leave.
  • She says she would love to see a new place, venue, or show with you. Make concrete plans right then and there.
  • She talks to you for more than 5-15 minutes at a bar. Go get a drink with her or take a seat together.
  • She asks you about what you’re doing later. If in person, make plans to move with her somewhere else or invite her back to your place. If over text, invite her to do something together.
  • She tells you about her logistics for the night. Whenever a woman informs you of her free schedule or asks you about yours, she wants alone time with you. Make plans to meet up.
  • She hangs out with you in a more isolated environment at night on a date. This shows she’s comfortable with you because it’s risky to be alone with a new guy. Move close to her, get more physical, and go for a kiss.
  • She asks about your place or where you’re staying (hotel). Invite her back there.
  • She invites you back to her place or into her bed. Get more physical, go for a kiss, and see if she’s ready to move towards sex. Do not just cuddle with her all night.
  • She asks you to walk her to her car. She waits or delays leaving before saying goodbye. Go for the kiss.
  • She doesn’t give a clear no to ending the night. She battles whether or not she should stay. Playfully lead that you should still hang out – even for just another drink, to listen to some music, or watch something.
  • She answers or asks intimate questions. Or she talks about anything sexual. Continue with deeper and more sexual topics or kiss her.

Now here’s the kicker…

Recognize her hints if they appear but don’t live and die by them. Please don’t wait or obsess over getting the perfect opportunity. Always lead with what you want and see how a woman responds.

While these signs help, the only way to know for sure that she’s ready is to make a move.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  – Milton Berle

  1. Hollis on May 5, 2014

    When you list it all out like this it seems so obvious. Reading it I realized how many chances I might’ve missed out on.

    • Nick Notas on May 5, 2014

      Hindsight is 20/20. Don’t beat yourself up for past opportunities. Make the most of the ones you get in the future.

  2. Dude on May 5, 2014

    So, there is this girl i like, she doesnt show me any of this signs… that pretty much means she is not interested?

    • Nick Notas on May 5, 2014

      Not necessarily. Simplest way to find out, invite her to meet up. If she doesn’t make plans more than 2 or 3 times or never tells you when she’s free, then she’s probably not interested. I’d move on at that point.

    • Morris on May 7, 2014

      There are girls that shows these signs and yet they’re not interested, the best advice for you is for you to make your move. You need to do it to make a confirmation, don’t be afraid of rejection.

      • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

        Agreed Morris, as stated in my conclusion. These signs provide natural ways to progress if you get them. But you shouldn’t need them to make a move.

    • Roman on January 24, 2015

      I had that same thing happen to me a long time ago, but it happened a little differently. She rejected me because she has a hot as hell boyfriend. Got over her after a few months, if anyone replies to post yeah she’s that hot

      • John Fornaro on May 19, 2015

        I know exactly what you mean. Took me ten months to get over this girl, as of this month. She moved to LA, and I never heard from her. Dunno if she has a BF, but it doesn’t matter. She ain’t interested in me. She’s that hot. Oh well.

  3. EZ on May 5, 2014

    Nick, thoughts on women who ask you to take a photo of her and friend(s)? I get this many times at the bar. Would you say this falls under “random girl asks question”? I generally don’t think much of it – I’ll make a couple playful statements, and then take the photo, and leave it at that.

    • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

      I’ve seen it go both ways in that situation. A girl genuinely just wants you to take photos of her friends or she’s using it as an excuse to talk to you. Either way, I would take it as an opportunity to start talking to her.

      You can either playfully challenge her, “Only if you tell me your name first.” / “On one condition, come grab a drink with me after.” Or just take the picture, hand her the camera, and start talking to her. “So what’s your name?”

  4. Janine on May 5, 2014

    I would not like to be a guy. Every girl is so different and think different things and act in different way to try to give hints at those things. If I were a guy though, I would just try my luck. If I was feeling it with a girl, then chances are she is too so why not go in for a try?!

    • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

      Definitely Janine and that’s a big part of my closing statement. You can read hints all you want but you should still always lead with your intention. If you get an obvious sign, use that as a natural avenue. Otherwise, take shots regardless.

  5. Bill on May 6, 2014

    Hehehe i love pick of Orange County, you’re missing alot for not watching it. I think eye contact plays a bigger role in making a move.

    • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

      Haha Bill, I didn’t think people would see the hidden text that easily. Yup, if a girl is giving you prolonged eye contact or “seductive eyes” — it’s usually a good sign to move forward.

  6. Jason on May 6, 2014

    Nick, great article, thank you. You have a real knack for taking complicated human dynamics, and boiling them down into crystal clear explanations. Thank you. My love life (and my big guy) appreciate it!

    • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

      You’re so welcome Jason. And I truly appreciate the wonderful comment.

      • John Fornaro on May 19, 2015

        Just want to add that I thought your article was pretty good too! Thanks!

  7. Mark on May 7, 2014

    Great post Nick! Here are two that are big ones for me.

    Invade her space: it is amazing how finely tuned we are to how close another person is to us. I choose a time when we are not interacting for a moment, but she isnt distracted by something else. One of my favorites is that moment after you tell the hostess you want a table, and your waiting to be walked to your table. There are usually about 3-4 seconds when there’s nothing going on. At this point I just shift my body about an inch or two closer to her. If she reajusts to move away it doesent mean she doesn’t like me necessarily just that she isn’t ready for physical contact. If on the other hand she stays in exactly the same spot then she just told you she feels comfortable with you being closer. As you said, no one thing is a definite no, but taken together a few hints are very important.

    Let her do you a favor: Something I often missed when I was less experienced is letting a girl do you a favor. There was a really cute girl who worked with me at my first job. I was a bag boy at the supermarket and we all had to go round up shopping carts in the parking lot for an hour each day. It was one of my least favorite parts of the job. One day she offered to take my cart round up shift. Since I considered it a shit job and I was a chrvalrous guy I refused to let her do it. Now the truth is that maybe she didn’t want to do me a favor. Maybe she wanted to get outdoors for some fresh air or to meet a friend. But it was a favor to me and I could have used it as an excuse to insist on letting me “make it up to her”. By taking her to dinner, for example. As the years have passed I learned to often girls like you more for what they can do for you than what you do for them. Of course you always need to reciprocate and return favors. But don’t be so self sufficient that you don’t need a little help now and then. Its a very non threatening way for a girl to show she is interested. And its also flirty and fun to insist on returning a favor that she has to do for you. For example, say to the cute girl at the coffee shop something like: I notice you always take extra care making my coffee, you have to let me take you out for lunch to repay your kindness. And give her a big smile.

    • Nick Notas on May 13, 2014

      Love those two points Mark. Allowing someone into our personal space can be a great indicator of comfort and attraction.

      Letting her do you a favor works because it gets her to invest in you. Whenever we invest energy/time into something, we place a higher value on it. And like you said, when she’s done something for you, she’s much more willing to then let you reciprocate.

    • Carrie on August 24, 2014

      Haha, great stories and interactions, nick and mark! I wish more guys would learn how to flirt… It’s so fun and such a great ice breaker, even if I’m not initially interested. :P thanks for sharing!

  8. Kevin on May 15, 2014

    One tip I got from a good friend was pretty simple: “If you’re wondering if you could kiss her…you could have 5 minutes beforehand.” Been putting that into practice and it’s a pretty solid heuristic!

    • Mark on August 24, 2014

      Yep, I agree! That’s a great rule of thumb. I have also used something like that in my online profile. In the “about me” section I explain “I’m very intuitive. I always realize when a girl is hitting on me … about 15 minutes after she gives up and leaves.”

  9. sam on January 13, 2015

    Hi sorry if this sounds stupid but there’s this girl i started to like in my uni (you would think id avoid the friend zone by now as im almost 24) we first started talking on a class night out to the pub and spoke for about 2 hours. Then we texted each other for about 2 days quite a lot. Then all of a sudden she just stopped texting or replying rarely. So i gave up amd then she text me out the blue when she was drinking with one of her girlfriends and told me to come out. This was at 2am. I was bored anyway so i joined them and us 3 spoke for hours. It was fun. When i was leaving her friends flat she insisted on walking to the taxi with me etc it was obvious it was for alone time but i like an idiot said are you sure. Its cold. But anyway i wasnt the first one to move closer n she sort of nodded to signal like ‘now would be a good time to kiss’ im not totally blind to these sigbs normally but got nervous as it had been a long time since i had kissed a girl. So anyway we kissed for about 3 or ao seconds n i was so happy. I said goodnight and after that texted her rwuce and rang ger once and she replied with a text saying she sees me as a friend more than anything and said ‘lets be friends?’ Then i asked her about it n she said after thinking a little she just wants friendship. I know i could have showed more interest that night but bloody hell i ve hardly had a chance. I dont know if she has some issues too as shes a 23 yr old but has never had a boyfriend. In the past i ve also tried to organise dates and she said it sounds good yet we just never got round to it as i didnt want to keep texting to seem desperate. Is there any hope of getting out of this hellzone called friendzone? Sorry about the 15000 word essay but its messing my head up. Thank you

    • Mark on January 14, 2015

      Hey Sam, I feel your pain. There have been many times I was in the same position. The trick is to move on. Get out there and ask some other girls out. Go out and have fun. You are clearly attracted to this girl. And after a few drinks she did call you. But you are obviously looking for more involvement from her than she wants to get into right now. Keep her as a friend and once you start going out with other girls you will be a lot more attractive. Not just to the new girls, but to this girl as well. Remember that we all need to put ourselves out there and not focus on just one person. That’s why its called dating. Best of luck buddy!

  10. Justin on January 26, 2015

    unfortunately i never had this signs…women are simply not attracted to me at all

  11. anonymous on February 11, 2015

    Hey, I’ve got a problem…There’s this girl I like, but I’m pretty sure I’m being friendzoned…
    At school she’s great, she touches, she’s always happy and talks to me all the time. But as soon as I try to give her small hints, and such, she doesn’t respond to those hints.. At this point I’m to afraid to ask her if she likes me, because honestly, I’m afraid people of my social group of friends that also hang out with her might laugh at me or something… I don’t know, I know it sounds stupid, but I’m just not sure enough… Also she never text’s me, I always have to text her first, which is followed by a short response..

    • EZ on March 18, 2015

      Likely not interested, but guess what? I don’t know, you don’t know, your best friend Roger doesn’t know. You know who knows if she is interested? SHE DOES. So what do you do? You invite her out to something you’re doing the next time you see her… something like this – “hey, there is a comedian I’m going to check out on Wednesday night at Comedian Zone, you should join me. You’ll laugh your ass off.” It doesn’t have to be a comedian, but you should be able to get the gist of my point.

      This will go a couple ways – 1) she’ll say yes or 2) she’ll say she can’t make it that night and doesn’t provide an alternative night or 3) she’ll say she can’t make it that night, but suggests another night or 4) says she’s not interested. Points 1 and 3 are promising, but doesn’t automatically mean she sees you as a romantic potential. Points 2 and 4 are pretty clear she is not interested.

      Women like men who are willing to put themselves out there and take risks, and show confidence to go after things they want. By playing these little games with yourself, trying to decide what these micro details mean, is just exhausting and won’t tell you anything. You have to make the move, and then you’ll know for sure, and can move on to the next step. But hey, if you like being afraid like a little boy and trying to sweat over asinine details, continue what you’re doing.

  12. Matthew on February 19, 2015

    There’s is this girl that I thought likes me and I was following her and I’m really into her and then my friend told me she likes him more than me what should I do

    • EZ on March 18, 2015

      Invite her to do something with you. You’ll know pretty quickly if she is interested in you. No point in playing mental gymnastics with yourself.

  13. bryce on March 18, 2015

    Okay, here’s my question. In this day and age as a guy, I’m very aware of women’s caution towards men and their general attitudes about men in general. As a result, I’ve always made sure to keep a respectful distance from anyone who I’m on a date with so as to not seem as if I’m some creep who just wants top get in their pants. But this has not really worked in my favor, because I’ll usually have a good connection with the person, but then they all seem to lose interest after going on a date or two. The dates always go really well, but then they usually stop talking to me. I find it really frustrating because I’m trying to be a good guy over here and have respect for women and who they are as a person, but then they in return give me zero respect. I’m tired of putting myself out there and trying to be a good guy and getting nothing in return for it except a deeper resentment and mistrust towards women. Everytime this happens I become more emotionally closed off towards women and trust them less and less, which leads me to put less emotional investment in a person i.e. not giving a shit. I feel like this is starting to become a problem. Any suggestions? I’ve taken a break from dating like 3 times in my life, but I feel like if I do that again, by the time I decide to get back into it again I’m going to be way too jaded and will only want to take these frustrations out on women I date by being a mean person to them.

    • EZ on March 18, 2015

      I can tell you one problem right off the bat based on your post – you have a sense of entitlement that puts up a flag for women pretty quickly. They are pretty damn smart and see through guys’ bullshit. Women would rather deal with the asshole who they know is an asshole rather than the asshole they don’t suspect – i.e. someone trying to “be” nice.

      Let me be very clear about this – acting like you’re a “good guy” doesn’t entitle you to get sexual interest from women (and I’m quoting you – “I’m tired of putting myself out there and trying to be a good guy and getting nothing in return for it”). There should be no trying. Women will either find you interesting, or they won’t. Being a “good guy” won’t change that.

      Women don’t want to be placed on some pedestal, and made to feel you bubble wrapped the world for them. They are pretty damn strong and can handle the world. What they want is someone who values and respects them as an equal. By putting them on a pedestal and “keeping a respectful distance” only signifies to them you don’t value yourself, and no one wants to be around someone who has no self-worth (and I’m not talking about artificial bravado-ness).

      Do you “try to be a good guy” with your friends, or that cashier ringing your groceries through? Probably not. You goof around with them, joke with them, smile, see how their day was, throw some lighthearted insults at them. You should have that same mindset on dates. Women want to see who you really are, and then determine if they’re attracted or not.

      Grow up. Contrary to what your parents told you, the world doesn’t owe you anything. You have to work for things you want.

      • Mark on March 18, 2015

        Basically I agree with what you are saying but there’s no need to be mean. Its not helping. Its easy to criticize. It takes courage to ask for help.

  14. Mark on March 18, 2015

    Hey Bryce, I totally get it. And I have been right where you are. For a long time I internalized all the negative things I heard women say about men. I tried to be a good guy and it bored my dates also. I would encourage you to stop trying to be a good guy. Instead be YOUTSELF its really that simple. It is simple, but not easy. It took me real pain and heartache to finally give up trying to be good and just be me. Clearly you respect women and are genuine because you realize that your becoming emotionally shut off and you care about being a good guy. It takes strength to just relax and be yourself. Trust yourself. I promise you the more you relax and be yourself the more women will see your selfconfdence and find it super attractive. When we try to be anything but our true selves others just see us hiding and it comes across as insecurity. They don’t sense that you are trying to be respectful. All they sense is that you are not being open about who you are. Be open, be forward, be respectful if you are told no, but stop thinking those women who complain about men are talking about you. They aren’t. They can’t be because they have never met you. Even the ones who went on dates with you have never met you because you weren’t you. You were too busy being who you THOUGHT they wanted you to be. Best of luck. I know it’s not easy. Its scary as hell. But its totally worth it!!

  15. terry on May 20, 2015

    a girl ask me if i ever seen a girl body part if not she will show me what does that mean she wants to have sex

  16. eddie on July 12, 2015

    what about when girl touches your shoulder while talking to you when you say hi.

  17. peter on July 12, 2015

    Great article Nick, you said some stuff I really never thought about before. But here is my problem. I met this girl while volunteering for school (I had never seen or met her before) for one day and I think I already like her. DO you think I actually like her or is my mind just playing tricks because I never thought it could happen that quick. We had some 1 on 1 time for almost exactly an hour with some pretty awkward conversation, laughing and joking about foreigners who walk by (one of whom didnt know what country he was in). Anyway, we rejoined everyone else and separated. Niether of us talked having only really known each other in the group, but whenever something funny happened we looked up at each other and smiled. So at the end of the day to test if she was interested I digned out before her and walked out. As I was leaving the front doors she walked up behind me and commented about the wheather. We realized that we were taking the same train so we rode home together. Once again we looked around the train at all of the quirky people laughing. She got off before me, and being the idiot I am, I was too nervous to even ask for her number to coordinate when we should go in next. I guess what I’m asking is 1) does she see me as a potential friend or is she interested, and 2) am I even interested?