Whenever we are talking about trying to figure out what someone else is feeling or thinking, as Bible believing Christians we need to tread cautiously and not violate God’s word.
Before we unpack three helpful ways to detect if someone might be romantically interested in you, we need to first lay the proper foundation for why we would even try to do this and how we should try to do this so we do not sin in the process.
The reason this is not a trivial topic to study is because as a single person who wants to be married one day, there are certain social and relationship skills that are very helpful to possess. God is the one who is in ultimate control of when you meet, date, and marry the person he wants you to marry – but more often than not God allows this process to unfold in such a way that it coincides with your maturity in the area of relationships.
So if you are unable to sense when someone likes you, you will often inadvertently miss good relationship opportunities or you will also inadvertently be leading other people on and hurting them even when you did not mean to do so.
When it comes to the “how” in assessing if someone likes you, we need to be careful we do not put too much authority on our own judgements of someone else’s internal thoughts and feelings. According to 1 Samuel 16:7, only God truly knows the heart. There are at least two forms of “judging” in the Bible. The first is a sin and it’s when we try to judge people’s inner motives. The second is not a sin and it’s when we judge their external behavior.
So while it’s not a sin to make an educated guess on whether or not someone likes you so you can react appropriately, it is important you do not try to assume you know for certain what is going on in their heart and thus commit this sinful form of judgement against them. Ultimately you won’t know for sure if someone likes you until you both have a clear conversation about this.
But in the meantime, before your relationship with this person progresses far enough to need this type of open conversation about your feelings for one another, it is very wise to thoughtfully assess if this person may secretly like you so you can encourage the relationship by your actions if you like them too or so you can discourage the relationship if you are not romantically interested in this person.
1. If This Person Acts Different Towards You Compared to How They Act Towards Other People of the Opposite Sex, This Is a Good Sign That They Like You
As we just mentioned, as Christians we must leave judging the heart and motives to God alone (Matthew 7:1-4). However, we are called to observe people’s actions and make accurate judgments based upon someone’s behavior (Matthew 7:5, Matthew 7:20).
While we still can’t fully know why someone acts a certain way, we can make a wise assessment that if this person treats you differently than they treat other people of the opposite sex, then it is probable that they feel differently about you as well. Our actions often coincide with our feelings and desires.
For example, if a guy is really talkative to everyone he meets and he is talkative when you two see each other, this is not a sign he likes you because he treats everyone that way. But if he is talkative towards everyone and then gets rather shy and nervous around you, this could mean he feels differently about you and likes you. Or vice-versa, if he is quiet around most women but talks more to you, this is a good sign he likes you.
Or if a Christian woman is the type of person who likes to get people together and plan lots of social events, it’s not a sign that she likes you if she invites you to something she is planning. But if she is not that type of person normally but she goes out of her away to invite you particularly, that is a good sign she likes you.
2. If Someone Is Giving You Their Time, This Is a Sign They Like You
There are few commodities more valuable than our time. It’s something we have a limited amount of and it’s something we can never get back. When you read through the Bible and you look at how God expresses his love and affection for us, one of the main ways he does this is by spending time with us.
God’s greatest gift to us is the gift of himself. His presence is the greatest prize he can give to us. Now this principle is especially true of God himself because unlike the rest of us he is perfect in every way and is the one our hearts need the most. As Psalm 16:11 puts it, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
With that said, when we bless each other with our time and our attention, this is a clear sign of our affection for one another. So if someone seems to always find a way to attend the events you attend, to sit in the row you are sitting in, or to serve in the ministry you are serving in, this is a good sign this person likes you.
3. If You Two Spend Lots of Time Together But You Do Not Like This Person in a Romantic Way, the Odds Point to This Person Being the One Who Likes You
I accept that many people have a different view than me when it comes to male and female interactions and friendships. While I certainly believe that two singles of the opposite sex can truly be just friends, I also do believe it is very rare for this to occur, especially when they claim to be “good friends” or “close friends.”
When a single man and woman spend lots of time together, it almost always means one of two things. They either both like each other as more than friends and will eventually date each other once they both finally admit that they like one another; or one of them likes the other person as more than a friend even though the other person just likes that person as simply a friend and nothing more.
So if you are in this type of situation and you are the friend who truly likes the other person as just a friend, the odds are very high that this person likes you as more than friend. If this is the case, I think you have two wise and loving options. One, you can have an open mind about possibly dating this person one day. Or two, you could lovingly put up some healthy boundaries so you do not lead this person on and hurt them more than is needed.