I'm a 20-year-old student and I've never had a serious romantic relationship so far except for the first year of high school when I went out with for two months with a classmate of mine, but that's not exactly what you call a relationship. In the end my classmate left me for an older guy, and I have not since then dared to approach a woman since freshman year, but she turned me down and that was it. But for the past three months I have been hanging out with a girl who lives in my apartment building. We often go for coffee, she invited me to her house for dinner two or three times, but I don't know if she likes me. She has spoken to me several times about her ex, and how much she was in love. She has shown me photos of him and the guy is fit and the athletic type. You wouldn’t call me an athlete, although as they say, I have a handsome face. I really like this girl but I don't know if she only sees me as a friend. And I'm afraid that if I tell her that I love her and she doesn't see me that way, I will lose her as a friend. How can I know if she likes me without being so obvious?
There may be some signs that would show you if a girl is interested in you, but you should keep in mind that not all people behave in the same way. For example, there are people who are extroverted, and very expressive with others, and others who are more introverted and more conservative in expressing their feelings.
In order to be able to come to a safer conclusion about a person's behavior, therefore, you need to have a measure of comparison, that is, to have observed her behavior on many different occasions and with different people.
In general, however, you could understand that a girl is interested in you; if she makes and effort to be with you on her own initiative; if when you are together she is interested in getting to know you in depth; if she asks you about your dreams, about your hobbies, about your past; if she refers to something she wants to do in the future that includes you; if she looks you in the eye when you talk; if she smiles at you often; if she seeks physical contact with you.
You could even ask her if she was interested in someone, or tell her that a girl was interested in you and see how she reacted.
You could also ask a friend who is more experienced in relationships to join you and go out as a group and ask for his opinion.
However, it would be good to think about how you would feel if you told her the truth about your feelings. There is always the possibility that she feels the same way, that is, wonders about your own feelings for her and is hesitant to make a move – so someone needs to break that cycle.
On the other hand, there is the possibility that she does not have romantic feelings for you. Beyond that, it depends on how much you can manage her possible refusal to have a relationship with you.
Just because some girls have rejected you or will reject you in the future doesn't mean there aren't others who would love to be with you. We don't all get along with everyone. Having a partner who is athletic is not the top priority for all women. Some are much more interested in someone who is polite, giving, has a sense of humor, and an interesting personality.
In this case, I would suggest that you work on the issue of relationships and self-esteem, perhaps with a specialist. It will be easier for you to discover that you are unique, and just like each of us, can claim what you deserve in a relationship.