Being a single guy in an office can be tough. We’re often working with a mix of men and women. And sometimes it’s difficult to tell office banter from hints of something more. A common question I see online from guys is how to tell if a female coworker likes you. It can be a complicated and somewhat risky affair if you don't have the right knowledge going in.
In this article, we’re going to cover a few things you can look for to help figure it out.
For most of us, we tend to see the same people more than 35 hours a week. For virtually every week of the year. Naturally, that means we’ll try to be pleasant with our colleagues to keep a positive environment.
Over time we’ll also find common ground and grow closer with some and this is where the trouble can start. Is she just being friendly? Is she the flirty type or is this intentional?
In my mid-20s, I worked IT Support at a company that was around 70 percent women. Most of them were around my age bracket too. This was great in a lot of ways. For instance, I got comfortable spending most of my day around very attractive, well-dressed women. The downside? It was common for them to flirt with the guys in IT as a way of getting a higher priority.
This was frustrating and a bit demoralizing but I chose to see it as a good thing. It made me far better at distinguishing between genuine interest and cheap flirting. This is exactly the type of thing we’re going to cover in this article today.
Let’s go through some of the things I used to look for that treated me well. Some of these I had to learn the hard way — read on and learn from my mistakes!
Does she walk the long way to her desk just so she can personally greet you every morning? Maybe the first thing she does every day is make a coffee and stop by your desk for a chat.
This is a pretty good sign for the simple fact that she likes to start her work day with you. It’s also a great way how to tell if a female coworker likes you.
If she’s just the local office socialite and starts her day chatting to everyone, you can probably disregard this one. On the other hand, if she’s taking the time to come chat to you specifically each day. . .
A continuation of the previous point, she makes excuses to spend time with you throughout the day. It could be as simple as asking you questions she could figure out herself. (“All my pens have gone missing. Do you know where I can get more here?”).
Sometimes it’ll be a bit more obvious. Like coming to sit at your desk because she’s had a rough day or just needs a break. She’s finding comfort in being around you and it’s an excellent opportunity.
This type of situation gives you so many opportunities to initiate something more as well. If she has had a rough day, suggest the two of you go get lunch together. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if a girl likes you at work.
She wants to spend time with you outside of the workplace. Great! It might be an invitation to lunch with a group of coworkers. Or maybe just you and her having a few drinks after work.
Whatever the situation, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to get to know her better and see where it goes. It’s also a great segue on how to tell if a female coworker likes you. Simply by seeing how she reacts to you outside of the office, it can become clear.
Ever noticed that in a room full of chairs, she always picks the one right next to you? It’s more than just a coincidence. If you’re into someone, you want to be near them. You want to sit close to them, chat to them and get to know that person better.
This point is a perfect example of what that looks like in the workplace. She’s taking an opportunity to be closer to you in a subtle way. Make sure you’re paying attention.
Similar to above, she’s asking if you’re going to that work party next week. It’s not that she’s asking every person in the office, it’s because her night will be better if you’re there. Depending on your work environment, she may even be asking because you’re the only reason she’d go!
I know I’ve personally done this on a few occasions myself actually. Only going to a work Christmas party if the woman I’m into is going. It’s an opportunity to go do something fun with her, even if it’s still work-related.
If she’s talking about you frequently that’s a great thing for you. The best thing you can hear from her friends is “I’m so sick of hearing about you!” It means she’s thinking about you often and needs to share that with others.
One of the biggest mistakes I made at that IT job was mistaking a genuine interest for empty flirting. I considered her virtually a 10 and way out of my league so figured she just wanted faster repairs. This was until she invited me to drinks with a bunch of people from her department one night.
Naturally, I accepted this invitation, though I figured she was just being friendly. When I arrived, the first thing one of her friends said was, "So you’re the guy she’s always talking about”. The penny dropped at that moment and things went very well from there.
I’m not talking about her friend saying this woman straight up said she’s interested in you. I’m sure you’re more than capable of figuring that one out for yourself. What I am talking about though is others around the office insinuating something is going on. This is probably the easiest possible way of knowing how to tell if a female coworker likes you.
It’s much easier to pick up on these things when observing from the outside so don’t discredit these comments.
“So are you and Jessica officially dating yet or what?”
This may be the most obvious signal you’ll ever get, albeit from a different person. My response to this is always to ask what makes them say that. More often than not, this other person is about to tell you all the signals they’ve noticed. Make a mental note of them for future reference.
It’s much easier to see these signals from the outside. When you hear them from someone else, everything can seem so immediately obvious.
Like touch, eye contact is usually a strong and deliberate signal. We’ve all been there at some stage. You're at the local bar with your buddies and as you look around you notice someone looking at you. You pause for a moment. For what feels like forever (probably a fraction of a second) you hold each other’s gaze. Until she smiles shyly and looks away. While we may do a great job of convincing ourselves it was nothing, that’s rarely the case.
That same lingering, exciting and almost uncomfortable eye contact is what we’re looking for here. Albeit at work so probably a bit more subtle. She’s paying you more attention than others and is watching you, hoping that you’re paying attention to her as well. She wants to be noticed and that’s a great way to go about it.
When this does happen, hold that gaze for a moment longer. Not an awkward stare, just let her know that it’s deliberate and you’re into it too.
Similar to the previous point, you may notice she’s paying you more attention in general. If you’re with a group of people, keep an eye on who she’s looking at when others are speaking. Is she looking at you even though Dave is the one telling a story?
Often more obvious, what about when someone says something funny? Even if you had nothing to do with the story you may catch her watching your reaction. If she likes you she’ll also care about whether or not you’re having a good time. Subconsciously, she’ll be watching how you’re responding to everything that’s going on.
This is another subtle one that falls into the same category as my previous point. She cares about you and pays attention to what you’re up to.
If you work in the same space, she’ll notice when you leave the office. She’ll remember if you said you had to go somewhere and she’ll know if you have the day off.
This one subtly pointed out to me one day when I’d overlooked interest at work. I was out at a meeting. I get back and someone says “I wasn’t sure where you were so I asked Anna. She always seems to know where you are.”
Once again, others sometimes notice these things better than we can ourselves.
When we’re interested in someone we care about them as a complete person. Hobbies, interests, opinions, family, etc.
If it naturally comes up in a group conversation, that’s one thing. How often do you ask others about personal topics or actively want to talk about their hobbies? The only time I ask about these topics is when I’m genuinely interested in them for one reason or another.
If she does start asking these questions, it’s another great opportunity to really get to know her and build rapport. Flip the conversation around and learn more about who she really is too. Since we all love talking about ourselves, it makes for smooth, easy conversation you can return to later.
When you’re paying close attention to someone you’re going to notice any subtle changes in appearance.
She may simply comment on your new shoes or a trinket you’ve just put on your desk. Maybe you spent the weekend outside and she comments on how tanned you look on Monday.
The actual subject is irrelevant; something subtle changed and she noticed. Don’t ignore that.
Knowing how to tell if a female coworker likes you isn’t particularly easy. Hopefully, these tips make it a bit less challenging and can get you to the next steps.
With any luck, you may have started to relate some of these points to how she’s been acting around you. If that’s the case, things are looking promising for you.
If it seems like she might be into you, don’t be afraid to initiate something. Interest won’t last forever if you don’t go for the next step. Invite her to something low key outside of work and see how things go from there. Good luck!