How Do You Know If Someone At The Gym Is Into You?

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Dear Meredith,

I’ve always been a big guy, but I started going to a gym and have been doing pretty well. I get complements from people, both men and women, about how much weight I’ve lost. My obvious question is, how can I tell if a woman is possibly interested in me or just being nice? I don’t want to ask 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 pretty much nothing. I had a girlfriend in high school; we were together for about 10 years then she found someone else, and truthfully we are both better off for it. That was about 15 years ago or more, and I don’t really get out to meet new people. I’ve tried a few singles things but nothing ever came from them.

– Working It Out


I am always interested in gym letters. Remember this one? Or this one from 2013?

My thought about gym crushes, in general, is that you probably need to have a lot of friendly conversation with someone before you consider more. If a woman talks to you – initiates – and is open to extending the conversation (beyond a simple compliment), you can ask about non-gym topics (like where she might exercise outside, the weather, what she’s listening to while working out, etc.). If she’s into that conversation and initiates yet again, think about what you would do to make a new friend. Then take those steps.

I would err on the side of caution and keep things simple and platonic until you get some pretty clear signals that a person wants to know you outside of the building.

If there are group classes at your gym, think about signing up. Sometimes that’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 about other places where you can go to find a new audience. Right now your gym experience is a lot like working in an office. It’s part of your routine five days a week, and you need it to remain a safe space. It’s a dicey place for romance. Exercise is a huge part of your life, but you have other interests. Maybe books? Movies? Recreational sports?

It sounds like you’re in a better place to try singles events and activities, in general. You have a different mindset about dating – and yourself. Try more things.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts on finding romance at the gym and decoding compliments?

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