How to Tell if Your Lab Partner Likes You

Get closer to test the chemistry between the two of you.
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He pulls his chair closer to you, softly leaning over your shoulder to see what you're writing down. If this is the scenario that you're seeing during your lab class, it's possible that your partner likes you. Even though the two of you are forced to spend time together out of educational necessity, seeing the signs that your lab partner is into you can take things from academic to romantic.

1 Anatomy Basics

You may have mastered the anatomy basics in your class, but understanding your lab partner's body language is a different type of science. If your lab partner isn't exactly shouting, "Hey, I like you!" you can still look for signs that he's interested. Body language is a nonverbal form of communication that allows you to read someone else's feelings without hearing her talk. If your lab partner is leaning in towards you, getting closer when there's no real reason to or has an open body stance, it's possible that he has an interest in more than studying with you.

2 In Your Eyes

Whether you're in lab class, working on a chem project or studying together in the library, your partner's facial features may give away a romantic interest. Aside from body language, eye contact is often a giveaway that someone special has a crush on you. Constant eye contact or lingering in a lasting mutual gaze indicates affectionate feelings. For example, you ask your lab partner to pass the test tube. As you look up to grab it from her, she catches your eyes with hers. The gaze goes on and on and on, for what seems like ever. When she does finally look away, it's coy and flirty.

3 Listen Up

Sure, you pay attention during lab class. After all, you need to listen to what the teacher and your partner are saying if you want to score a good grade. That said, tuning in to what you lab partner is saying and how he's saying it can help you to tell if he likes you or not. Instead of only listening when he gives you the answers to the quiz questions that you're working on, give some attention to what else he is saying to you. For example, he might say something like, "I'm really enjoying being your partner. I think that we get along really well, and I have such a great time talking to you."

4 Ask Outright

You're picking up on your lab partner's subtle signs, but you still aren't entirely sure if she likes you. If it seems like she's into you, go ahead and ask her out. Her response will give you a definitive answer to your questions about her intent. Given that you may have to stay partners with her for the entire semester, if you're somewhat unsure of yourself or don't want to make things uncomfortable, wait until the term is almost up before you bring up the subject. An indirect approach allows you to act casually while still trying to figure out what she's feeling, suggests doctor of social and personality psychology Jeremy Nicholson in his article, "5 Ways to Indirectly Ask for a Date" on the "Psychology Today" website. For example, suggest a date by saying something such as, "What are you doing after our chem final?" If she says, "not much" respond with, "Do you want to grab a bite with me?"

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.