This is going to sound pathetic, but I honestly do NOT have a clue about these things.
How do you know when someone is interested in you? How can you tell the difference between "interested" and "friendly"? And...any suggestions on how I can learn to figure these things out for myself since I feel helplessly clueless...?
Read girls' body language... There will some hints that a girl will give it to you. But guys are bad with body language signs... So we(guys) all need to practice on it. And this body language thing is quite true.
Or you can ask the girl directly but... MMM i don't know ha ha ha If that will turn out well.
I guess you have to develop this sense over time. Try to analyse all the social exchanges you've had with that person. What might be the motivations behind them, who initiated them, how did they end up, what did they produce, how did those developments affect the party member's subsequent behavior?
This is a problem I can fully agree with... Personally, I think people should have icons to carry around like IM status icons that say "Interested", "Friendly", "Do not approach", etc! lol! (It would make this whole "are they available, are they interested, etc..." thing a whole lot easier!
...part of the fun of it is to figure it out xD
Noooo... Not fun... More like agonizing torture... Is she for real, is she interested in me, or is this just friendly chit-chat with someone...
Yeah especially for those of us who take rejection bad.
That, and the feeling of "I'm looking for someone to have a real relationship with, and if you're only wanting to be having a casual friendly conversation, then I'm putting all this effort & time trying to find out if you're interested in me, and the conversation means more than meets the eye, when I wouldn't need to put that effort forth and could just enjoy the conversation, if I knew..."
yeah good point about them initiating conversations. thats often a good sign, especially if its more than just normal smalltalk topics. one of my friends once told me that if a girl confides in you about problems (eg boyfriend troubles) then it often means theres a slight interest there, but im not too sure on that one.. i think if shes telling you really personal secret stuff that nobody else knows thats definately a good sign but still with the chance of falling into friendship