1. Call her.
Like, pick up the phone, hit that little phone symbol, and call. her. It rarely happens these days, and that’s a shame. There’s a whole bunch of subconscious reactions that happen when you listen to the voice of someone you’re into, and beyond that, it’s just so much more personal. You know their attention is on you. You know they’re (probably) not texting anyone else the exact same thing. Also, if you’re taking the time to actually call someone, you clearly value whatever it is they have to say. Even if it’s just random late night babble. That’s good, too. You don’t have to be saying important and weighty and lofty stuff all the time to get closer to someone. (And if you’re worried about getting stuck in the 7th circle of voicemails forever, just text her to ask if you can call her. You show her that you A: respect her time, and B: want to actually talk. Win-win.)
2. Remember the things she assumes you won’t notice.
Her coffee order, for example, and show up to your day date with her half-caf, soy, vanilla whatevermaccino in tow. Her favorite drink order — but you might want to wait until she’s there so she sees you order it and knows you didn’t slip anything in. (Not like you would, but, you know.) See a random card or billboard or window display that reminds you of a joke you two shared once? Send her a photo of it. Let her know you’re thinking about her in little ways, because I can guarantee you that if she likes you, she’s fighting the urge to send you all those little inside jokes and prove she remembers your likes and dislikes, too.
3. Dress like you give a damn.
Yes, everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes “dressing well,” but at the very least, you can invest in an iron and make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled. I can’t tell you how many of my female friends flip through GQ to check out the photo shoots. Am I saying you have to look like a model? No. I’m just saying, we like you looking fly just as much as you like you looking fly. Bonus: chances are that if she sees you’ve put in effort, she’s going to up her ante, too. You’re just going to be the best-looking couple this side of street style blogs.
4. Don’t be shy about her.
Tell people — your friends, or even your family if things are getting #serious — about her. Post a photo of the two of you to Instagram every now and again. If you make her feel like she’s being kept in the dark, she’s going to wonder if you’re embarrassed to be seen with her. (It’s a worst-case scenario, but no one ever said emotions were rational.) Sure, you might feel like that’s a lot of effort to go back if things turn south and delete everything, but hopefully you won’t have to do this.
5. Be silly.
You don’t have to be a natural-born comedian, but let down your guard and get a little silly. Tell a joke; do an impression; dance to a good song, even (and sometimes especially) if you’re a bad dancer. Rare is the person who says that a sense of humor isn’t attractive, and if you’re willing to put yourself out on a limb expressly so that she can think something’s funny, that speaks volumes. Also, laughter is clinically proven to strengthen a bond between two people. Sorry, science says ya gotta sharpen your wit.
6. Ask her.
If she wants to go steady with you. If she’s as into you as you are into her. If you can call her. (Again with the calling thing.) When you can see her again. If she wants to leave the bar with you. I know it sounds like a cheesy line, but saying “do you want to…?” rather than “let’s…” sometimes makes all the difference in the world. (Then again, there are some women who say they like it when people are decisive, so the one caveat here is to present the option and ask if she’d like to do that. Have a plan, but still offer the choice.)
7. Focus on her.
Turn your phone on vibrate, or airplane mode, or silent, or even — gasp — off, when you’re with her. Don’t make a small comment about some other actress’ looks when you’re watching something together. (I know it’s petty, but everyone’s possessive about the people they’re into, whether or not there are any actual chances between you and the Khaleesi.) If you’re each talking to different people at the same party, make an effort to come back together for a little bit. Tell her you think she looks nice today. I know the common knowledge is that if you ignore someone, they’ll wind up liking you more, but really. That’s ridiculous. If you’re into someone, be all the way into them. Don’t be shy about it. And sure, it feels a little scary to risk things like your heart and emotions, but look, love is a risk. And if you’re not willing to do that from the get go, why should either she or you think you’re going to change your mind down the line?
Check out our practical guide to finding, friending, hooking up, breaking up and falling in love in the 21st century.