General Question

yankeetooter's avatar

What are some ways to tell if someone is interested in you if they are not in a position to be direct?

Asked by yankeetooter (9651points) March 27th, 2011

(And no, I’m pretty sure they’re not married…) Here’s the deal; I have become rather smitten with a former professor of mine. (He’s four years younger than me, so there’s nothing creepy going on there.) Since the new semester started, we have run into each other any number of times and talked on a number of occasions, but I know he has to be careful about appearances while we are on campus. I am hopelessly shy so the chances of my “asking him out for coffee”, as my friends all suggest, are slim to none. I am just wondering what things I should look for to that might indicate he feels the same way…

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16 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

He may not be married, but is he living with someone or in a long distance relationship?

Before you try to decide if he’s crushing on you, you might want to think about ways to run into him off campus, like at a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, book store, etc. that he frequents. Do you have personal conversations with him, like about music, what he did over the weekend, etc.? If someone likes you, you have these conversations, and they generally include a vague opportunity to show up at the same place, at the same time for some event.

If you’re not currently in his class, the idea of appearances is not really a problem. It’s more likely he does have a girlfriend, and you’re crushing on the guy. His keeping his distance could be less about professional appearances on campus and more about being in a relationship.

yankeetooter's avatar

Appearances may be a problem since many colleges tend to frown on students and professors dating, and it was only a few months ago that I was in his class…I would love to “run into him” off campus, but my schedule is crazy-I’m either at school or at my full-time job, so I’m trying to figure out how I could make this happen. I’m not sure how much he is keeping his distance, since we keep happening to run into each other, and it’s not all my doing. That’s what prompted the question in the first place…

jca's avatar

the next time you run into him, tell him “we keep running into each other, maybe we should get some coffee sometime. I know a great coffee shop” and then see what he says.

yankeetooter's avatar

That’s a great idea-now I just need a big dose of courage. :)

marinelife's avatar

@yankeetooter To build up your courage, think about what could happen if you ask him. Either he will say “yes” and your relationship can progress, or he will say “no,” and you will know that he is not interested, and you can move on.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think you should just ask him.
If he says no,punch him in the forehead! or maybe not…

BhacSsylan's avatar

@yankeetooter Appearances really shouldn’t be a problem. Unless you know for sure that your college has a different policy I wouldn’t be worried. The general rule is that as long as final grades are in for the course it’s perfectly fine. Odd perhaps if you did have a large age gap, but nothing more. And several months is more then enough for him to no longer have any issues with the administration on that end.(and so you know I’m a grad student and thus teach, so I was versed on this stuff, not just making it up)

That said, professors are also not usually known for their people skills, so while he may have a significant other it’s also possible he’s just shy, and or doesn’t realize you’re into him (things that seem obvious inside our heads are very rarely so obvious to others). Your best advice to from @jca. Screw up some courage (not liquid courage! little strong for being at school >.>) and give that a shot. as @marinelife says, it’ll make everything so much simpler.

Oh, and to the last bit of your question, looking for ‘signs’ is usually a bad idea. If you keep running into each other and having good conversations and you like him, i think that that’s more then enough to warrant asking him. The answer to that is the only ‘sign’ i would trust. There’s not going to be anything, beyond him asking you, that’s going to guarantee a ‘yes’. And since, again, he may not even realize you like him, your best bet is really to just find the courage and ask.

yankeetooter's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille : A punch in the forehead seems a bit extreme, lol!

yankeetooter's avatar

@BhacSsylan :Thanks! I’m trying to take everyone’s advice-I just struggle with severe shyness/bashfulness. The more we talk the more I am getting comfortable with being around him, so hopefully that will wear off soon. I’ve considered that he might be shy, but he never struck as that kind of guy when he was my professor, so I’m worried that he’s not interested…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@yankeetooter I don’t like to waste time! XD

jca's avatar

If you would like, please post an update as to the method you used and the outcome.

The Update Lady

yankeetooter's avatar

@jca : Could you explain your question a little bit more? I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you meant by the method I used and the outcome…help!

jca's avatar

I meant the method you used to tell if he is interested in you, like can you tell us if you asked him out, or whatever. The outcome would mean did he go for it? did he tell you he is taken? did he tell you no thank you? did he ask you out? I mean, in essence, tell us how things went with your liking him. thought this was an easy question!

yankeetooter's avatar

It was an easy question and I guess it would have made more sense except I haven’t seen him since I posted this question, lol! I only get to see him at most twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, and sometimes not even that often, sigh…

I’m trying to get up my nerve to ask him out, but I’m really shy. Believe me, I’ll let you know if this happens!

BarnacleBill's avatar

Is his subject in your major? You could make an office appointment with him under the pretext of asking his advice about a class that you’re thinking about taking in the fall, or about something school related. That will get you his undivided attention in his office. You can see if there are pictures up, personal tchotchkes that you can comment on or ask about, etc.

yankeetooter's avatar

Thanks BarnacleBill, but his subject is not in my major. And if it was then I would really not be able to pursue this according to most college’s rules, since there would be a chance that I maight have him again for professor of one of my classes. Also, he doesn’t have an office anyway, being only an adjunct professor…but I appreciate the good thoughts. By the way, what’s a tchochke(s)?

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