We get it: Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how she feels about you. As she’s processing her feelings in the beginning of a relationship, she’ll probably play it cool, making you question just about everything you’ve ever said or done. And perhaps, she doesn’t even know where she stands. But now, science says there’s an easy way to figure out if she’s into you — or at the very least, physically attracted to you.
If you want to know exactly how she feels, ask her one simple question: Roughly how long was our date? This may stump her at first, but her answer will be telling. If she estimates longer than the actual time of the date, then science says that she was lost in your eyes … or lips … or straight-up picturing your life together.
A new study in the Frontiers in Psychology journal issued questionnaires before and after dates to 37 volunteers — 18 women and 19 men — during a speed dating event. After each and every date, they were asked to estimate the length of the date and in most cases, women overestimated the length of their date when they were attracted to whoever they were seeing. From this, researchers gathered that women’s perception of time slows down when they are physically attracted to the person they’re with. ““When a woman perceives a potential partner as physically attractive she pays attention to several other characteristics of that man in order to make a reasoned choice (e.g., economic resources and intelligence), allocating many mental resources in that assessment. The use of these cognitive resources would make the perceived duration of the date longer,” the team explained in the study.
Men tend to be the complete opposite, more of the “time flies when you’re having fun” as opposed to the “time stands still” type. This comes down to how men process information on a date. “Males tend to be less selective than women and they may feel attracted to potential partners based mostly on their physical attractiveness,” the team wrote. Of the men surveyed, those who were especially interested in their partner underestimated the length of their dates.
Sure, this is all fairly subjective, but it doesn’t hurt to ask your date about a few time-related questions to gauge their interest level. Or ya know, you could just come right and ask the tough questions to get the answers you’re really looking for. Both approaches work — one may just take longer than the other.