There are ten indisputable signs that an Irish farmer has grown sweet on you. If you’ve ever fantasized about a life spent tossing bales of hay in the early August sunlight you should probably know them.

This week, IrishCentral will help you decipher the top ten rustic smoke signals to land that countrified catch.

1. He stops speaking.

When an Irish farmer grows even more uncommunicative than usual it’s an excellent sign he’s taken serious notice of you. Remember, the less he says the more he feels. If you ask him a question and he blushes, stammers and runs away then you’ll know that Cupid has finally struck and struck hard.

2. When he does speak to you it’s only to insult you mightily.

If a young Irish farmer can’t speak to you without saying something witheringly sarcastic you should know that wedding bells are in the offing. The more an Irish country lad loves you the more he will be compelled to inventively mock you. Some visitors to Ireland find this counterintuitive move offensive or confusing, but that just proves they’re not ready for pastoral passion.

3. He lets you have a go of his bike or a drive of his tractor.

Understand that in country life a Massey Ferguson tractor means independence and strength. A bicycle is also prized for its ability to get you to fair days and the movies quickly. If an Irish farmer permits you access to one or the other its like he’s just taken off all his clothes. You have just sealed an intimate pact without knowing it.

4. He gives you a nickname.

Yes it’ll be insulting, yes it will probably refer to some part of your anatomy, and yes it will instantly stick. But Irish farmers have a way of being familiar without being mean, a neat trick their city cousins could stand to learn. If he gives you a memorable nickname it’s because he wants to let you know you’re becoming important to him. Go with it.

5. He’ll give you vegetables.

This is actually the greatest gift in his possession, if you think about it. Farmers know where all this stuff comes from and they know how hard it is to make it grow. By handing you some of the fruits of his labors he’s paying you the highest compliment you will ever be paid. The thing to do is accept them right away and make something tasty with them – and for goodness sake don’t forget to share, it’s the country way.

6. He’ll introduce you to his mother.

Not his father mind you, his mother. There is no female alive or dead who can rival her in his estimation (and probably in her estimation too). When a young Irish farmer introduces you to his sainted mother it’s a bit like shouting, ‘I have found a laughably insufficient facsimile of you and I’m embarrassed to even mention it but here she is.’ You are not supposed to take offense at this, you are supposed to agree. If she has passed on he will probably show you her photograph instead, look impressed.

7. He compares you to a hunting dog or a handy farming implement.

This is high praise from an Irish farmer. If you’re as good as a dog or as handy as a hoe you’re indispensable to him.

8. He invites you out for a walk ‘some’ evening.

Notice all the wiggle room in that word indefinite ‘some’? That gives you room to say no, but it also gives him room to make sense of his feelings for you, which if you know Irish farmers will be a lifelong struggle they’ll never resolve.

9. You hear him whistling.

The emotional life of an Irish farmer is a mysterious thing. He can go for days, weeks and even months without a show of affection, but then suddenly cheerfulness starts breaking out. When he whistles he often has an external cause. If he’s whistling happily it’s a sign that you’re in his thoughts.

10. You make him laugh.

If you can make an Irish farmer laugh you will have succeeded where everyone else has failed. You might as well print the wedding invitations.