After spending a few years reading everything I can put my hands on, discussing with other women who are in a situation similar to mine, asking questions, sharing my thoughts and experiences (or lack thereof) and, last but not least, wasting a whole lot of time into deep introspection...
After spending most of my time and energy trying to figure out what the hell is going on with me and how the hell to navigate those new waters...
I can now say I finally feel at ease with who I am, at ease with my orientation, at ease with my gay identity, and more importantly at ease with my belonging to the gay community.
And so I have decided to promote myself to the role of advice provider.
Our first topic is quite a hot one. Gawd, have I spent countless nights browsing the web for info on that topic!
If you've ever googled "is she interested?" or "signs she's into me", you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
The tricky part of it is that verbal cues have a limited informative power. Most flirting is actually non-verbal, and in the case of flirting between women, it's even trickier. Is she just being friendly?
My first trick: anything that puts a doubt in your mind should be subjected to the following questions:
Does she behave like that towards everyone, or is it just with me?
Is her behavior unusual in the circumstances (eg. is she unusually bubbly with me, or unusually sad to leave me, when in fact we've just met)?
What you want to do with those questions is distinguish between friendly behavior and flirty behavior.
Another good sign: when third parties comment on a lady's behavior towards you. If other people notice something, chances are there IS something. That's happened to me twice: an onlooker who I was very close to would ask me something along the lines of "Was this woman flirting with you or what?". Even more powerful when the woman in question is not known as gay and does not "look gay".
Now I could simply collage a list of all the answers I have found on the Internet, but that would amount to merely repeating the info other people have come up with. Instead I will only write the ones that I have personally tested, i.e. it was done to me by an interested lady, or it was done by me to an interesting lady. Ready? Here's the list:
1) Her eyes (and her attention) are on you
This is a very important one, albeit not always that easy to notice. An interested woman's eyes will be captivated by your sight... but if she's shy, or if the circumstances call for discretion, you might not realize how much she actually looks at you. If your eyes meet when you look at her, but she quickly looks down or away, it doesn't necessarily mean she's not interested. Quite the contrary, in fact. Locking eyes is powerful, sometimes too much, and not all of us can sustain it. The frequency at which you end up locking eyes, rather than the duration, should be an indication.
You might come to realize she looks at you quite a lot not from her eyes per se, but from what she tells you. One woman I had doubts about didn't seem to be looking at me that much... but whenever we talked, she always mentioned something she had observed me doing (that I had no idea she had seen), so much that I started wondering if she was secretly filming me! Moreover, a common acquaintance kept telling me "So and So said that about you"; "So and So thinks you are [fill in the blank with a positive characteristic]"; and even "I think So and So likes you a lot".
If So and So is talking about you to someone else all the time, that deserves some deeper investigation!
Now if you make it to actually talking together (and you should try and go for that as soon as possible - brake the ice before you get too nervous), look for sparks. An interested woman's eyes will sparkle when she talks (or listens) to you. (Her pupils might also dilate, but good luck for noticing that.)
She might insist on taking pictures of you, or obtaining a picture of you.
In the same vein, watch for other signs that your lady's attention is focused on you: she opens the door for you (or other signs of being a "gentlewoman"); she listens attentively to what you say, and remembers it precisely later; she seems to know more about you than you remember telling her; for some reason she always comes up with topics you are passionate about; she always hears what you say, even from a distance and while engaging with someone else; she compliments you a lot, even though you're not that close. Also, she finds you incredibly funny, and laughs at all your jokes. That kind of thing.
2) Her hands are on you
Again, this is proportional to her level of confidence and comfort. Never underestimate the power of shyness. Even in the absence of shyness, many of us have been paralyzed by our level of arousal around the one we're interested on. I have found myself chatting enthusiastically with everyone BUT the one I had my mind on. How silly is that? Attraction can ruin the best intentions!
Nevertheless, pay attention. If there is physical contact, how does she react? Does she move away quickly, or does she linger a little bit? (If she moves away quickly, it could also mean she's very nervous and not ready... don't insist. If she is interested, she will eventually come around, but it might take a while.) Generally speaking, though, an interested woman WILL tolerate (and probably enjoy) the contact. She might react to you touching her by touching you back. If you're lucky, she will initiate the contact (and then you only need to respond). It will usually start slowly, and gradually become less ambiguous. Here are examples of some of the moves I have done or that were done to me:
- removing lint (imaginary or not) from clothes
- feeling the fabric of a piece of clothing or some jewelry (and subtly feeling the body part that's under it by the same token)
- touching hair (with an excuse such as looking at the color, smelling the perfume or checking the thickness or softness - along with a compliment)
- touching skin (with an excuse such as noticing a bruise or a tan line)
- giving massages (even the sole mention of a future massage could be an indication. Once after I had done a good deed to a crush, she promised to pay me back by giving me a massage later... when we'd be alone in my tent... doesn't sound too "neutral" to me! Personally, I have promised another crush I would let her touch my muscles - in a humoristic tone of course!)
- downright (gentle) wrestling: most grown-up women don't usually engage in wrestling with each other, whatever the reason (tickling, splashing water or pushing each other in the water, rolling in the snow, "testing" martial arts, etc.) When it happens, it could very well mean there is attraction. In the same vein, playful teasing, even without physical contact, can be a sign too.
Again, for those "signs" to mean something, they have to be done in unusual circumstances. For example, my friends and I always hug when we haven't seen each other in a while. It doesn't mean anything other than strong friendship. We sometimes touch each other briefly while making a compliment. We might even put sunscreen on each other's back, without a second thought. But if it happens with someone I barely know, and who does not do it to anybody else, and who does not have a "professional reason" to do it (eg. your massage therapist or trainer), and if it keeps happening... and if I can hear the person's breathing get deeper or faster... then I might wonder what the underlying reason is to justify so much physical contact.
3) You always end up in the same place, or you always end up alone together (or you keep calling or writing to each other for no obvious reason)
When there's attraction, the first and foremost thing we want is to be in the person's vicinity, and to spend time with her, ideally one-on-one. Does that readily happen with the woman you have doubts about? Even if she's not a close friend? It might very well mean something. Just a day or two after meeting, a crush of mine and I would constantly find excuses to be alone together, even if the other people we were vacationing with were closer friends to us (we met through common friends). It sometimes meant getting up before 6 am or not going to bed until the sun rose. With another crush, it was constant - and by that I mean constant - texting. We would write to each other throughout the day, every day. It would start with any kind of excuse and we didn't seem to be able to end the conversation - ever. Would you do that with a new acquaintance if there was no deep interest? I don't think so. When you go out of your way to engage with someone in the very early stages of meeting with each other... that could be "a sign".
4) She does the typical "interested woman" moves
- touching, playing with her hair
- putting her head sideways
- laughing in a cute way
- changing postures in such a way her feminine attributes become more noticeable (chest, legs, etc.)
- biting her lips, licking her lips, caressing her lips with her finger
- caressing her own arm or leg
If she does this while talking to you, it could very well be a sign too!
Remember - it's the accumulation of signs that leads you to confirm that a woman is attracted to you. Don't rely on just one sign. Don't over think things, either. If you have to analyze, analyze, and analyze more... you might be trying to turn insignificant stuff into signs. If you intuition tells you there are signs, there probably are. Just be honest with yourself, in order to avoid imagining things out of wishful thinking. Good luck!
Now if you want to flirt, you can follow the examples above. Also keep in mind the following piece of advice (from WikiHow - Flirt). I personally call it "Make your move... then let it simmer":
Keep your interactions short and sweet. Remember that the key to creating demand is making supply scarce, so try to limit your interactions with the object of your flirtations. Consider these limits: