Trying to score on a night out can be a big undertaking. You have to acquire your target, respectfully woo her and close the deal—all while overcoming obstacles like annoying friends and ever-present smartphones.

But it doesn’t have to be so difficult, really. Heighten your senses, take note of some key signals, and you’ll know pretty early on whether it’ll be bedtime for two tonight. Here’s what to watch for…

1. Even-keeled imbibing
Observe your new lady friend’s drinking habits. If she barely sips her wine, she’s probably looking to get out of there quickly—and alone. If she downs five tequila shots plus vodka on the rocks, she’s probably passing out the second she hits a bed. But a modest number of drinks accompanied by a fun, tipsy demeanor? That’s a girl with hooking up potential.

2. Touching moments
You can tell a lot from body language. Pay attention not only to what that girl is saying, but also what she’s doing. Playing footsie under the table? Lightly stroking your upper arm? Leaning in closer than necessary to tell you that story? Those usually aren’t signs of disinterest, ifyouknowwhatImean.

3. Going solo
Here’s the scenario: You meet a hot girl at the bar, buy her a drink and start chatting. Everything’s going great until her girlfriends approach in a frenzy to tell her they have to get on the dance floor or they’re so over this scene and going home. Lots of girls will say their goodbyes at this point. But if your companion confidently tells her friends to go on without her, chances are she’s planning to go on with you.

4. Tech neglect
It’s the era of smartphones—everyone’s on them, all the time, right? Not really. If someone’s engaged enough by another person, they’ll give the iPhone a rest. So if the girl you’re chatting up is ignoring texts, silencing rings or not even looking at her phone, you’re doing an excellent job of holding her attention. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you just might be holding her later.

5. Big primpin’
Guys and gals all want to look their best for those they’re interested in and will go to great lengths to do it. So this one is simple: study your lady’s appearance before and after she heads to the bathroom. If she comes back with a new coat of lipstick and her makeup refreshed, she’s probably trying to impress someone—and hopefully it’s not the bartender.

6. Clear eyes, full heart
When I got bored in school, I looked everywhere but at my teacher. When I get bored in meetings, I look everywhere but at my boss. Same goes for flirting. If she looks at you when you are talking to her, good sign. But if she’s scanning the joint during your best stories, she’s probably searching for a different scene or a new prospect. Cut your losses and do the same.

7. The look of lust
So the girl you’re sweet-talking at the bar isn’t really appreciating what you have to offer? Before you get down, look around. Spot a female onlooker taking notice with a long, lingering stare your way, a once-over and a glare her way? Whoever said don’t switch horses in mid-stream never saw an opportunity like this one, my friend. Take it.

Photo: Getty Images/gilaxia