How do you know if someone at the gym likes you?

My obvious question is, how do I know if maybe a woman is interested in me or if she is just nice? I don’t want to invite a woman out and make it an uncomfortable setting if I see her again or for the gym. I try to go to the gym five days a week.

My dating history is next to nothing. I had a girlfriend in high school; we were together for about 10 years and then she found someone else and frankly we’re both better off. That was about 15 or more years ago, and I don’t really go out to meet new people. I tried a few simple things but nothing ever came of them.

TO WORK

A. I am still interested in gym letters. Do you remember this one? Or this one from 2013?

My thinking about gym crushes, in general, is that you probably need to have a lot of friendly conversations with someone before you consider more. If a woman talks to you – initiated – and is open to extending the conversation (beyond a simple compliment), you can ask questions on topics unrelated to the gym (like where she could exercise outside, the weather, what she listens to while training, etc.). If she is in this conversation and initiate again, think about what you would do to make a new friend. Then take those steps.

I would be cautious and keep it simple and platonic until you get some pretty clear signals that someone wants to know you outside the building.

If there are group classes in your gym, consider signing up. Sometimes it’s a great way to have organic interaction with a lot of people.

I know it’s possible to meet someone at the gym, but try to think of other places where you can go to find a new audience. Right now, your experience in the gym is a lot like working in an office. It’s part of your routine five days a week, and you need it to stay a safe space. It’s a risky place for romance. Exercise is a big part of your life, but you have other interests. Maybe books? Movies? Recreational sports?

Seems like you are in a better place to try out singles events and activities, in general. You have a different mindset about dating – and about yourself. Try more things.

MEREDITH

READERS ANSWER:

Hitting someone in your gym is like doing it at work – if the interest isn’t mutual, all of a sudden going there becomes less comfortable. I would push out friendly and outgoing topics like Mere said – and make sure to include what she did over the holidays / weekends. If she has a loved one, she * should * mention that she spent time with him. If none are mentioned, then of course ask him to come out.

GDCATCH

Perhaps hone your skills with online dating. If you want to give the gym market a try, maybe just mention that you do X (go out for a protein smoothie or a hike or whatever the gym folks do) and see if the sympathetic woman wants to join you. At least the conversation will come out of the gym. If not, then you know how to keep your relationship centered in the gym.

SOLAR

Why is it embarrassing to be around someone who has declined your coffee offer? Don’t be weird after that and you’ll be fine.

WORLD FIRE CONFIGURATION

In general, people shouldn’t overcomplicate things. If you decide to invite one of them out, remember that you are not asking them to marry you. There’s nothing wrong with just saying, “Jenny, you look really cool.” Would you like a drink someday? What makes it awkward is when you let go “I’ve been watching you across the gym for months and those 30 seconds you’re less than 30 feet away from me is the highlight of my day, unless it’s those days when I use the gear right after you and find one of your beautiful, long brown hair on the monitor and can put it in my pocket to take home and add it to my collection ”just before or after asking for the date.

PMCD101

^ Very good advice; MDR.

WIND CHEMISTRY29

Send your own questions about relationships and dating to [email protected]. Watch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast on loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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