How to Tell Your Crush That You Like Them

How to Confess a Crush

You’re crushing on that someone special, and for now, you’re trying to keep your feelings low-key. But since this hottie first caught your attention, your heart beats a little faster just thinking about him or her.

As you daydream about a shared future, you’ve been caught staring in their direction yet again. Like a satellite sucked into planetary orbit, you are cosmically, magnetically attracted to your crush. You want to know every detail about their lives. Oh, just to stand in their aura! The way they laugh is mesmerizing. They’re smart, kind, funny, attractive. Hell, they could pick their nose and it would probably be adorable.

You’re smitten but how do you take that next step and drop the news to your crush that you like them? If you’re faced with this dilemma, you’ve come to the right place. Here are tips on how and when to confess a crush. You can do this!

Should You Reveal a Crush?

Take the chance to express your liking while you have the opportunity. Just because you may be an unlikely couple doesn’t mean you should keep your attraction silent. Being nervous or fearing rejection should also be no excuse. I know people who went to high school several decades ago. They had a crush on a classmate but never took the chance to express themselves or ask the person out. You don’t want to be one of those regretful souls, do you?

If your crush doesn’t share your romantic interest, at least you will get them out of your system rather than pining away for them, always left to wonder, “What if?” Sure, rejection hurts, but we’ve all experienced it. You will get over it. Not knowing is so much worse.

When NOT to Reveal a Crush

There are times when revealing a crush isn’t such a good idea, however. If you’re wondering whether you should reveal your crush, here are two big red flags to consider.

  • Does your crush involve an inappropriate target?
  • Is your crush unavailable for a potential relationship?

If the target of your crush is your boss/employee, teacher/student, coach/athlete, or either of you are married to someone else, then confessing a romantic attraction could be deeply troubling to your crush, very awkward for you both, or involve serious consequences regardless of whether the relationship is initiated. Really, just don’t.

Similarly, if your crush is dating someone else, evaluate whether the romance is worth pursuing. The same can be said for these complicated situations: you and a friend are both crushing on the same person or you’re attracted to your friend’s ex. Just because you have a crush on someone doesn’t mean you must pursue it.

Getting Closer to a Crush Who Doesn’t Know You Exist

What should you do when your crush doesn’t know you exist? Before sharing your feelings, you first have to get on your crush’s radar. Here’s how to do it.

Friendships start when people recognize that they have things in common—ideas, experiences, hobbies, interests, or other friends—AND they expect to interact with one another regularly. Thus, you’ll need an opportunity to share similarities and develop interpersonal trust through regular contact. That can be through classes, informal groups of friends, clubs or organizations you both belong to, etc.

The best chance of doing this is if you have a mutual connection who can include you in the friend group that they hang out with. Since you don’t know your crush well, you’ll have a chance to talk with them and then assess if you actually do share common ideas, a sense of humor, interests, etc. (A pretty face only goes so far.)

Be genuine, but chat up their friend so that you can be included in the group eventually. If that doesn’t work, join a club or sign up for a class your crush is in or learn about a hobby they like (as long as you’re genuinely interested). Sit near them if you already share a class or attend their games if they are in sports, especially if you have other friends on the team who can introduce you. Show some interest in their life so you’ll have something specific to talk to them about. People enjoy talking about themselves.

In addition, get noticed by flirting with your crush. For example, you can get your crush’s attention by eyeing them across the room. Wait until they notice you peering at them. Try to hold their gaze for a moment as you smile at them broadly. If your crush responds in kind, then you know they’re sharing your joy. Note that shy people may be embarrassed at first, so they may blush or smile and look down briefly. Don’t look away or automatically assume this is disinterest.

Develop this into a flirty game. Over time, try to hold your crush’s gaze. Then perhaps hold up a sign that says your name or draw a funny picture. After a while of fun flirting back and forth, hopefully, one of you will work up the nerve to walk over and introduce yourselves.

Telling a Crush That You Like Them

You’ve flirted and hinted around, but when the time seems right to finally confess your crush, how do you have the conversation? Here are some tips.

  • This is a personal matter, so have a one-on-one with your crush. Don’t rely on friends or anyone else to transmit your message for you. Friends can provide you moral support but only you can actually do this right. Don’t be a cop-out.
  • Similarly, it’s best if you discuss your feelings in person. Because feelings can be awkward, texting your crush a confession may be your first inclination. While texting is certainly the easy way out—particularly if you think you stand a good chance of being turned down—think of it this way. When you talk with someone in person, you have the benefit of being able to watch your crush’s nonverbal behavior. Do they look anxious and surprised? Delighted and excited? Confused? You won’t see any of that over text.
  • Don’t try to overthink the perfect way to confess your feelings. You’ll work yourself up worrying about how to get it right. Just keep your expression of feelings simple and your expectations modest.
  • Pick the right time and place to talk. Make sure you can be alone to talk uninterrupted. Arrange for enough time and ensure that’s it’s mutually convenient (e.g., not before a big presentation or exam or after a long, stressful day at work). You may prefer to schedule the time in advance (e.g., “Mark, could you meet me after class tomorrow in the recreation center for a few minutes? I need to talk to you about something.”) Alternatively, you may also simply bring up the topic in conversation with your crush if you’re hanging out with them and the time seems right (e.g., “Mark, can I talk to you about something that has been on my mind lately?”).

Creative Ideas for Telling Your Crush You Like Them

Perhaps you’re looking for a more creative option rather than a candid conversation. In that case, assume there’s already been friendly flirting and all signs are go that your crush is receptive. Here are some creative ideas to let your crush in on your feelings:

  • If you’re artsy, make a collage about your relationship that includes photos, clipart from magazines, and mementos. Add some hearts to clue your friend in that this is more than just friendship for you. You could also send them a personalized Snapchat message with the same type of information.
  • Write a poem if that’s your talent. It can be funny or serious.
  • Make a “story of us” video of your relationship using highlights and memories. Use photos from your relationship. Divide the video into “chapters” like a book, and at the end, signify “Next chapter?” That’s a great segue for having a conversation about where you want this relationship to go. You could also video your confession and send it to them in a YouTube, but be sure to use private settings so the whole world doesn’t see it.
  • Play “Would You Rather” (or “20 Questions”). Along with silly questions slip in a question or so about would you rather hold hands/kiss/date you or (name an alternative person). This will naturally lead you down a conversation path.
  • Make a playlist of songs about crushes and crushing on someone. Send them to your crush either as a playlist or text your crush a song every few days and tell them why the song reminded you of them.
  • If you share an inside joke or interest, buy matching t-shirts or other items.
  • Play a game of “Tell Me Something Awkward.” It can be an embarrassing story, something you can never do correctly (like tell right from left), a strange habit, or a crush on a friend! Since both people take turns admitting awkward things, you never know … your crush may admit they like you first!
  • Give them a can of Crush soda and a small bag of Hershey’s kisses with a note that says, “I’m crushing on you!” Be sure to sign your name, or better yet, present it to them personally.

Revealing your feelings for someone in a way that is clear but which won’t overwhelm them is usually a matter of timing and degree. Go ahead and confess to your crush. Good luck!

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