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Flirting has a primordial language.

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The question:

What are the sure signs to look for to figure out whether a girl is interested in you?

The answer:

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Dear Romantic,

This is a question with a very long pedigree, from epic poetry to rock ballads. And still there is no periodic table for attraction, no fail-safe cheat sheet (if there were and I had penned it, I would have a fountain in my front hall and it would be made of gold).

The only reliable rule is that, akin to any emotion, a woman's interest is expressed in her own particular way. While one woman will be forthright and declarative, another will be as inscrutable as Mona Lisa. We all have our attraction DNA. Your fine fortune? Deciphering it.

In the meantime, you are at a pool party or a bus stop trying to determine whether the woman beside you is winking suggestively or has a dust allergy. Undoubtedly, you have noticed some common signals of flirting: Her motions mirror yours; her arms are open rather than crossed; her high-tops are pointing toward you and not the Exit sign; she is smiling, not yawning, during your fascinating roundup of why the Leafs continue to break our hearts; she is perhaps even tossing her hair as if in a private windstorm. This primordial body language affirms interest at the preliminary level.

Beyond that, ask yourself: Is she eager to see me? When she does see me, is her attention exclusive or divided? Is there an effort in her presence? Rather than crossing these questions off a checklist, you must rely on the best barometer available to you: your intuition. Thereafter, if you are still wondering, it is then, dear Romantic, that you may pick up your guitar and sing.



Claudia Dey is the author of How to Be a Bush Pilot: A Field Guide to Getting Luckier ( www.claudiadey.com).

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