How to Know if He/She Really Likes You/Can't figure out if this girl likes me or is just friendly
First off, thanks for reading my question.
Here's my problem, sorry if it's a bit long. I work at an environmental NGO where I work with volunteers, mostly students. Recently some new volunteers joined, and among them was a really cute girl (a couple of years younger than me). At first I though just that: she's cute, but didn't think much more than that. During the first few weeks of her volunteering, where she would spend a few hours a week, I got to know her and she seemed really nice. In fact, a couple of times while we were talking she would touch my arm, but after a few times she apologized, thinking I might be offended, which I wasn't. But I didn't think much of it. I know girls can be naturally a bit touchy.
So, a week later I took her and a couple of other volunteers (one of which was her friend) to a Christmas party at a partner organization. There I got talking with this girl, and a couple of times she said "Can I ask you something", to which I answered "Sure", and then she would just bail out on the question (might have been something personal?). She also asked me how I was (since I'm usually very busy) and if I had time for a life, fun, love (got to thinking she might be fishing for info, but whatever), and I didn't have much time for stuff like that. As we talked we found out we had some things in common, and each time I said I liked something she liked, she would seem quite pleasantly surprised, intrigued even. Then, she asked me what my sign was, and when I answered she said: That makes sense. Also, she wanted to read my palm, and did so for about 10 minutes, even though she wasn't very good at it. She did say that I have a very strong love line, and asked if this were a fact in my life (again, fishing for info?). Anyway, she had to leave early with her friend because of exams, but as she was leaving she asked, a bit shy, if she could give me a hug. I said "sure", but asked why she is asking. She said that she sees me as an authority, which is very weird, but might explain why she shied away from the personal question. So she gave me a big hug (might have been a bit long) and left. She also said the she would like to send me some music on Facebook, and if that's ok. She later sent me some youtube tracks, and I sent her some back.
I saw her again at a pre-Christmas gathering we had at my organization with the volunteers. It was just a few of us at the office, having a drink, thinking about going to another party. She showed up with the same friend, and we all started talking. They were both supposed to stay for a short while because they were going to a party at their college. But when this girl and I found out we loved the same book and at the same moment exclaimed "It's the best book ever written!" she gestured that I come closer and we started to dissect the book and the great things about it. That got us talking about lots of other stuff, like politics, psychology, other books, music, but also really personal stuff. She told me that she had a tragedy in her family (death of a family member), but I didn't want to pry so I didn't ask for details. She also told me that her then boyfriend didn't understand the situation which led to them breaking up a few months ago. She might have been dropping a hint that she's single, even though that doesn't mean she didn't start dating someone in the mean time. We really connected on multiple levels. We had one of those conversations where you're so excited to connect with another person that you keep asking about other stuff they like or what they think of this or that. We even found out we shared some deep personal beliefs that not many people around me understand, so I keep them to myself. We completely ignored our surroundings for a couple of hours, lots of people all around us, but I just completely forget they were there. All the time, she would keep telling her friend that they would go to their party any minute now, but she would just never get up and leave. She would also touch my arm at times, look into my eyes all the time, and at one point rested her leg next to mine, touching, for a good half hour. So there doesn't seem to be a personal space barrier. Also, she was totally focused at me the entire conversation.
In the end, we all went to this other party, and had a great time. I wasn't keen since I was tired but she talked me into going (wasn't hard). After a while she said that she had to leave and go to the college party as people are expecting her. So she gave everyone a hug (me first, though). I told her as we were hugging that I really like the conversation we had, and so did she, and that we should do it again sometime (could just be friendly, didn't take it too seriously). And then she left.
After that were the Christmas holidays and New Year's, she was out of town, and I didn't get any other opportunity to talk to her. After the holidays, when we came back I found her to still be really nice and friendly, though not like that night, though I didn't get to talk to her that much.
So now I'm wondering: does she like me, or am I reading too much into it? We did talk about a lot of personal things very quickly after getting to know each other, and I don't tend to let people in easily. After the initial crush feeling died down, my instinct still tells me that this was more than just friendly. And from the way she acted towards me I don't think it's very likely that she has a boyfriend.
Sorry this was so long. Would love to hear you opinion on this. Have had mixed opinions from friends, though more of them thought that she liked me.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to answer your question. Based on all of the examples given I would honestly say I'd be shocked if this woman was not interested in you because all of the signs where there. I can understand you not letting people in quickly, but sometimes you have to go with your gut and based on my experiences these are definitely behaviors I display when I like a guy - Allowing the knees to touch, touching his arm/hand, etc... Next time you see her you can ask if she'd like to hang out sometime and see her reaction, if she accepts great! Go from there.
Please feel free to follow up with any other questions and let me know how things went.