In our fortnightly column ‘Great Sexpectations’ the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on and ask us anything. Here, we tackle how to work out if someone likes you.


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Hi Woman Alive

I would love it if your panel could help me work out if a guy at my church likes me. We talk a lot and he always seems pleased to see me. Sometimes he WhatsApps me with jokes or sends me memes on Instagram. We grabbed coffee before church once before, but I don’t think it was a date. He didn’t say it was and he never asked me again. It seems like the fun and laughter is all there, and we both love Jesus. But it’s been ten months and he’s not asked me out. I don’t get it!

Hi Reader,

As the only man on the Woman Alive panel (yes I know - you probably didn’t think there was one!) I felt I should jump in on this one. Working out if someone likes you it tough, I know lots of people will analyse messages and look for signs. But there could be a number of factors at play here.

I have heard horror stories of people being back benched or given ultimatums when dating in the Church. 

Firstly, what’s your church like? Some churches, while they have the best intentions, are judgemental and scolding when it comes to dating. I have heard horror stories of people being back benched or given ultimatums. This means some people hold off from asking someone in their community out, in case everyone jumps in with opinions and puts a strain on the relationship. 

That said, it’s also possible that he just sees you as a friend. In the Church as a whole, it’s not uncommon for a man and a woman to develop high levels of emotional intimacy (hanging out one on one, being a support to each other, talking on the phone for hours) but with little to no commitment. Sometimes this is because one party wants some of the perks of dating, without actually having to commit to dating the other person. This sounds mean and calculated, but plenty of people don’t know they’re doing it. 

My suggestion is that you drop him a message and ask him what the deal is. If he doesn’t respond or is vague with his answer, then you can take your cue’s from his response. Ten months is a long time, to be left hanging, so it will feel like a relief to know either way, even if it’s not the answer you hoped for. 

Ten months is a long time, to be left hanging, so it will feel like a relief to know either way

You need to know if you’re in the friend’s zone or the potential zone. If it’s the latter, then he needs to make it the official zone pretty sharpish. I know it is not ideal for you to do the asking, but some men who are raised in Church are not comfortable or too shy to ask a woman out on an official date. He may need a bit of encouragement.

If any of these issues have affected you, you can call Premier Lifeline for support. Premier Lifeline is a national, confidential helpline offering a listening ear, emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective. If you would like someone to talk with and pray for you, call Premier Lifeline on 0300 111 0101.

Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel. If you have a question for us,