Ok, here's the situation:
I've suffered from crippling social anxiety for my entire life, but I only was diagnosed with it about 3 years ago. Up until that point I just thought I was weird and shy, and finally discovering there's a real reason I am this way was like this gigantic burden off my shoulders. But, living my life up to that point without any real socializing caused me to be VERY socially awkward. I didn't learn the social skills that most people learn in childhood. So in the past few years I've been actively trying to "play catch-up", socially. What social skills I have I've had to actively teach myself. so...
There is this super hot girl who works in my area (HB9.5-10), and being the AFC that I still very much am, instead of "gaming" her (I still struggle with approaching and/or talking to any girl who is attractive), I pretty much just stare. A lot.
Instead of being weirded out by it, like a lot of girls would be, she seems pretty friendly actually. Which seems surprising to me. One of the few social skills that I'm actually very good at is body language. It's been an obsession of mine for about 15 years. I read and study everything about it I can get my hands on. So I notice things she does.
Like, she always seems to be aware of when I'm around. Her attention always goes straight to me. Or we'd be walking towards each other (to pass by) and as we'd pass she'd stick out her hand for a high five. Or one time I walked over to a small group of people who were engaged in conversation, which included her, and she reached over and pinched me (all this was before I had ever said more than like 10 words to her).
The other night when I walked by she called my name and when I turned around, she gave me this kind of sideways glance and asked if I was married (which seemed odd to me since I don't even wear any rings). When I said no, she said "how old are you?" and I told her to guess. She instantly looked me up and down, glanced at my hair, made a show of really thinking about it and guessed 27 (I'm actually 38 but people usually think I'm 25). When I told her how old I really am, she seemed surprised and told me I don't look that old and that's a good thing. Then a minute later she asked me "what do you think about war?" which seemed pretty random to me. Eventually, I figured out she meant more in terms of do I think anything the military does is okay, and when I told her my thoughts about it she agreed with what I said and told me "I'm just against war and you seemed like somebody who might be too, I don't know why." It seemed to me like a very thinly veiled attempt at finding commonality, I mean "what do you think about war?" Seriously? So then last night as I was walking to go somewhere, I saw her and lifted my hand in a casual wave, and her face lit up in a big smile and she waved back emphatically.
These all seem like ioi's to me, but am I just over-thinking her friendliness as attraction? She's 19, but I would totally date this girl (based on what I know about her from the few conversations we've actually had). She seems really cool, really sweet, and utterly beautiful. And I get the feeling she likes me. But, my lack of social confidence is a problem.
One, I'm not sure if they're real IOI's or if I'm just seeing what I want to see. But, I think most girls can tell when someone is attracted, and I feel like if she was not interested or even weirded out by me, she would be polite but not overtly friendly. Two, I'm not sure how to approach it/her if they are real IOI's. Three, even carrying on a conversation with her is a gigantic struggle for me!
Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the novel.