We know, it can be hard to put yourself out there, especially after you’ve outgrown the age where you can just send your bestie to casually ask their bestie if they might possibly kinda a little bit like you, right? No worries, because we’ve put together this guide for how to tell someone you like them with tips that make sense for grown ass adults!
Dating can be complicated enough, let’s not overcomplicate the steps it takes to get to the actual dating part. There are many ways to tell someone you like them, whether it’s by dropping hints, telling them directly, or letting your body language do the talking. Most of these you’ll find yourself doing naturally when you like someone, but you can read through to see which are the best ways for you to tell someone you like them.
How to Tell Someone You Like Them: Tips for Grown Ass Adults
Make a Game Plan
For a lot of people, the most nerve-wracking part of telling someone how you really feel is in the inability to know exactly how things will go. Of course, you won’t know exactly how your crush will respond to you until it happens, but it can be helpful to have a plan in place for both outcomes.
For example, know what you’re going to say and/or do and practice it a few times alone. Also consider how you will react and what you will say and/or do if your crush tells you they like you too, or if they’re not interested.
The reason that you should act quickly once you’ve decided to tell your crush you have feelings for them is that the longer you wait, the longer you have to talk yourself out of it. There will never be a “perfect time,” so just make your plan, then make your move!
Unless you’ve been in a significant friendship for years and years, it’s typically best to keep things light and simple. If it is a long time coming Will They, Won’t They scenario, then it might be appropriate to introduce some deeper thoughts into the initial conversation like “our friendship has meant the world to me over all these years…”
For the rest of us, keep it light by just letting your crush know you’re interested in a way that doesn’t make them feel like you’ve planned the wedding already. Even if you have definitely already started planning the wedding
When trying to tell someone you like them, it’s important to read the room, so to speak. This can be harder than it sounds because it’s easy to get so caught up in our heads thinking what we want to say and how we want to say it that we might not be paying as much attention to real-time cues as we otherwise would. Pick a moment where there isn’t any major time pressure working against you (like you’re on the elevator, heading to different floors) or where your crush isn’t stressed out during a work rush or something like that. There is no Perfect Moment, but there are inappropriate moments, so as long as you steer clear of those, you’ll be fine!
Yes, you can hint and flirt all you want, but if you want to know sooner rather than later if he or she likes you too, then be direct about it. This doesn’t mean putting someone on the spot, either, because public proclamations of love and interest only add pressure to a situation that certainly doesn’t need any of that. Be direct by stating your interest in such a way that there are no alternative ways to interpret what you’re saying.
While it is still often the best idea to tell someone you like them in person, texting works too! Drawbacks of telling your crush you like them over text include possible confusion like maybe they think you’re joking or that you don’t mean you like them “like that.” These aren’t issues you’d be likely to have if you just told them you liked them in person, but the advantages of text include being able to perfectly script out what you want to say and not having to battle your nerves in real-time in front of your crush.
Whether you decide to speak to or text the person you like, be clear. You don’t want to leave too much up to interpretation, so skip ambiguous plans like “want to hang later?” and opt for clear date choices, like “Can I take you out to dinner later?” “I’d love to get to know you better. I know this cool coffee shop that would be a great place for a date, are you free tomorrow afternoon?”
Try not to leave them hanging, so to speak, with something like “I like you.” Give them something direct to respond to, like “I really like hanging out with you and would love to do more of that. How about a bowling date?” This gives them something specific to respond to, and using the word date helps to clarify what you’re looking for, too.
Whether you’re texting the person you like or you’re talking to them in person, it’s important to keep it concise! A common pitfall after texting someone you like is to follow up immediately after with texts that either second guess or walk back what you said, like “it’s okay if you don’t feel the same, I don’t want you to feel pressured” or “if you’re not interested in going on a date, that’s fine too.” Give your person a chance to respond! Texts like this only serve to make you appear less confident of your feelings for them, and that’s something you certainly don’t want.
If you’re telling your crush you like them or asking them out in person, avoid rambling on after the admission or the ask. Rambling on is a common thing we do when we’re nervous, so be mindful of this and give your crush a chance to answer you. You don’t want to have to wait even longer for an answer, right?
How to Use Body Language to Tell Someone You Like Them
There are many ways you can use body language to tell someone you like them, but you should consider that some people are better at picking up on body language cues than others. These are some of the most effective ways to signal to someone you like them, but many are fairly subtle on purpose. Most people find it very unattractive when someone is falling all over themselves to get someone else’s attention, so artful, subtle, and flirty body language is key!
This is simplistic yet powerful. If you’re not smiling around your crush, how on earth will they ever get the hint that you enjoy being around them? We’re not saying to keep a frozen grin on your face, but be sure you’re giving them plenty of smiles when you’re together, especially when you first see each other. Make sure they know you’re always happy to see them.
Open body language is standing or sitting with good posture, without crossing your arms or legs in front of you. This signals to the world (and your crush) around you that you are open to them, not closed.
There are a few ways to use your body language to tell someone you like them, but signaling a positive “yes” to your crush as they talk to you is an effective way to make them notice you. Yes signals include turning towards your crush when they talk with your body, head, and eyes, slight nods as they speak, a little tilt of the head as you listen, and a quick, flirty raise of the eyebrow to show them you are reacting in real time to them.
Eye contact can sometimes be a bit of a tricky tightrope because too little and you appear distracted, too much and you appear like a stalker! Eye contact is a sign of respect, so while you are talking to your crush, maintain eye contact but also wield it as the powerful tool that it is by occasionally and naturally looking elsewhere for a moment, whether it’s to pick an imaginary piece of lint off of your sleeve or to briefly follow the movement of a person moving slightly out of your direct line of sight, before bringing it right back to your crush.
Mirroring is assuming body postures and gestures that are similar to the person you are mirroring. For example, if your crush is standing and leaning back against a rail, you would find a way to casually stand and lean against the rail, too. If the person you like is very expressive and talks with their hands a lot, you could talk more with your hands too. This helps to put the other person at ease.
This is a pretty obvious way to show someone you like them, but it’s also one of the best ways. Casual touch should be light and brief, whether it’s letting your hand graze theirs while you’re working in close proximity, a gentle touch on the arm while you laugh at their joke, and perhaps lingering a moment or so longer in a greeting handshake or hug than you do in every day life. There’s also always the classic “picking an imaginary piece of lint off their clothes” move!
Of course, you always want to read the situation and maintain an appropriate amount of personal space, but leaning in just a little closer than you would with someone you don’t have feelings for is a great signal that you like them and like being near them.
Hinting may not be the most direct way to tell someone you like them, but it’s mostly just flirting with purpose, and that’s definitely FUN! Here are some cute ways to hint to someone that you like them.
Laugh at their jokes and say something like: “I love your sense of humor!”
Compliment them when you see them: “I love that shirt. You’ve got an awesome sense of style.”
Let them know you’d like to see more of them: “I have so much fun when we’re together. We should do more of this!”
Talk about shared interests: “I saw your Insta reel the other day about volunteering at your grandma’s retirement home. I love that you do that, I used to volunteer at the hospital.”
Make them a mixed CD/playlist: This will remain a classic hint that you like someone for all of eternity because it’s just such a fun way to tell someone how you feel!
Pick up their favorite drink or snack for them: This is a cute way to show them that you have been paying attention to what they like and that you are thinking about them even when you’re not together.
Remind them that you’re single and interested in dating from time to time: “It’s been a little while now since I’ve dated someone, but I’m ready to jump back in!” Bonus points if you can pair this one with a few flirty body language moves shared above.
Text cute messages to them that show that you’re thinking of them!
There are many ways to tell someone you like them, but above all, remember the most important one is to be yourself! Choose the things that resonate best with you and remember that ultimately, the best way to find out if someone likes you back, is to go ahead and put yourself out there!