First of all, when you are interested in someone, it requires that he/she pass what I call "The Three Points Test" These three points are as follows:
- Heterosexual (at least in my case--this turns to "homosexual" if your preferences are different)
There are many ways of establishing the validity of these premises when you meet up with someone who you think may be dating material.
Available: It is undeniable that people who are single tend to act a certain way. This "certain way" is determined by one of two things--either he or she is contented being single or he or she isn't. If contentment is involved, then you have good news and bad news. The good news is that you probably have a pretty confident, self-assured person on your hands who can handle ten minutes by himself/herself and has probably mastered taking care of himself/herself. The bad news is that he/she may not be looking at all, and just because you show up doesn't mean that his/her perceptions of the glories of singleness are going to change.
Heterosexual (or sexual preference compatibility with you): If you're a chick, you know the guy "you just wish wasn't gay." This usually stems from his ability to relate to you BECAUSE HE IS GAY, so that generally rules out that premise. I haven't seen a common reverse situation for men. At any rate, there is some credence to the concept of "chemistry." Chemistry can mean a lot of things--mostly different forms of compatibility which may or may not have something to do with physical attraction. However, I usually go with the "trust your gut" premise on this one. If you "feel something there" then, more than likely, the other person involved feels at least something there, too. In fact, I can't think of one situation I have heard of where someone felt "chemistry" and yet, the other person in question felt nothing at all. I suspect that if chemistry is not mutual, as unusual as that may be, the person who isn't feeling it will probably pick up on the attraction the other person does feel, and then respond with subsequent discomfort. Look for this if you have any questions about chemistry. If you do not observe discomfort, it is either because A) the feeling is mutual or B) that person is gay (or heterosexual, depending upon your preference).
Interested: This, of course, stems from mutually felt chemistry, so you get a two-for-one-kill on this one. However, I urge you not to get distressed if someone isn't interested in you. Someone may be attracted to you, but not interested--and there are hundreds of reasons for that. Of course, you can't be completely objective about the "signs of interest" when you are the one sitting in judgement of them as they relate to you. In addition, you may be tempted to include/omit certain signs or events that disprove your case upon its presentation to someone else for an objective point of view. Some things are pretty clear signs: first, effort is key. If he/she makes an effort to see you, especially if there are abject circumstances involved, you're probably good to go. Few people waste their time "being nice." Sometimes, you have to be patient with this one, sometimes you shouldn't be. Remember--no matter how clear it may be, "interested" does not mean "relationship."
Remember--every relationship isn't Pride and Prejudice. Preconceptions and expectations no matter what they are can be dangerous when you are sitting in the middle of "I don't know what is happening"-land. We all want things to work out and to have a good time. Set guidelines as to what is acceptable to you and what isn't but don't expect your situation to fit into that premise. If it does, great, but if not, cut loose instead of make excuses.
That is my inspired thought for the day. Thank you, muses of common sense. They visit so rarely....
Feel free to discuss....