Every single person in the world has been in the conundrum of liking someone and having absolutely no idea how, or if they even should tell them.
Take a little comfort in the fact that you're in the company of millions of school kids on the playground, grown adults at work, teens mulling over their crush on social media, and our grandparents trying to figure out if they should tell ol' dog walking Jim or church-going Rob how they feel.
Love is quite literally a worldwide epidemic, no one is immune! You're here because you want to figure out how to tell a guy that you like him, and I'm here to help you out with that.
It takes a lot of guts to tell a guy you like him.
No, but seriously, as someone who’s had a million and one crushes and been too shy to tell one half and brave enough to profess my love to the other.
Should you tell him you like him?
The very first thing you need to do is figure out how you really feel. It is insanely easy to get caught up in a new crush and fall into the trap of lust posing as like, or even obsession posing as love.
Think about how you thought you were in love with every single member of your favorite band at 14 only to realize you were really in love with the music they made and the story they told; it just made sense to be into the band members too.
You need to make sure you really like this guy before you tell him. If he likes you too, but you get together only to realize you just liked the idea of him, you might realise he's actually kind of an ass with a pretty intense addiction to video games once you take off the rose-tinted glasses.
Not even the good ones either - he likes FIFA and regularly throws controllers out the window. Abominable.
Let's do a 'Do I really like him?' checklist, just to be sure:
1. Your time together never feels like enough.
In the early stages of liking or loving someone, you can really crave their time and attention, and it can feel a little deflating whenever it's time to leave. I remember when I first started hanging out with my boyfriend, a straight 24-hour sleepover together never felt like enough time.
Even now I keep him up till 2 am with silly 'Would You Rather' questions because I'm not done spending time with him. How you value your time with them can tell you a lot about how you feel.
2. You look at photos of him.
Not a creepy way of course, unless that’s something you’re both into I guess? Stalking is definitely off the table too, if you’re looking at his photos from a 2015 family trip to Barcelona buried under your blankets at 5 am it’s safe to say you’re probably obsessing not crushing.
But saving his cute selfies just to see his face, or a little fawning over some photos you took together? Definitely, a sign you’re into him!
3. You find yourself thinking about him.
Now this isn't just when you're remembering a nice text message he sent you or a cute outing you had; it's when mundane little things remind you of him. A weird statue in the park you know he finds funny, a cool building you see that reminds you he likes architecture, a song by your favorite band that reminds you of him.
Essentially, if it's a true crush, you're gonna be thinking about him as a person and who he is and not just daydreaming about him as a potential boyfriend.
4. You find any excuse to bring him up in conversation.
A personal favorite sign of crushing - straight from Busy Phillips character in ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ - is when you’re talking to a friend and the conversation turns to your crush. But, not in a "I need advice about my crush way".
More like, a new TV show or album by The Weeknd pops up and suddenly you say: “yeah that’s actually (insert crushes name)’s favorite, he loves that, we listened to it in the car on Saturday”.
Did your friend ask about the guy? Is he relevant to the conversation? No, but that’s sure as hell not going to stop you from bringing him up every 5 minutes despite your friends groaning! This is a sure sign you've got a genuine crush.
How to tell him you like him
Now you’ve hopefully figured out if you really like this guy or if you were just infatuated with his fluffy hair or kind of annoying brooding stoicism (we’ve all been there). So, how should you go about telling him?
Send a text message
This is the easiest way to handle the difficult conversation of confessing your love to someone. It has all the added benefits of being able to take your time to craft the perfect message and say exactly what needs to be said, without the awkwardness of any eye contact or stuttering.
It's a moderately direct approach that suits the shyer types. If you're very nervous about the prospect of marching up to them at a social event and telling them how you feel, you can choose this option and just sit back and plan out exactly how you want to handle it.
The best part is, that you can work up to it with a little flirty conversation without feeling any pressure to rush. You could even use this time to clue onto their responses and try to guess how they'll react when you unveil the truth.
Here are some ways to get it off your chest:
- "Hey, I know we've just met but I've found myself starting to kind of like you. How do you feel about that?"
- "So I was wondering, if you're free next week would you like to go on a date?"
- "Hypothetically, if I said I liked you, how would you feel about that?"
Posing the confession as a key question can alleviate pressure on their end and make them more likely to respond to you honesty rather than impulsively.
You're remembering to include them in the conversation about your feelings rather than bombarding them with information, which opens the door to better communication which is exactly what a healthy relationship is built on.
Alternatively, you could take the long way round and incorporate heavy flirting or suggestive texts into your conversation instead of directly spelling out how you feel. You never know where things can lead - this might build a romantic rapport naturally!
Keep it light and boost their self-esteem with some compliments and flirting to see where it goes.
Use body language
This is a powerful tool every confident person should use to help communicate their feelings to a guy.
Next time you find yourself hanging around with your crush, let him know how you feel with a little dose of psychology! This could look like this:
Eye contact is one of the most intimate and vulnerable kinds of body language. As human beings, we associate eye contact with bonding, love, and trust.
So, holding your gaze, slowly tracking between their eyes, nose, and lips, or looking up at them suggestively from a tilted head, gives you a much better chance of putting your feelings out there.
This method is going to be much more effective than just timidly staring at the ground whenever they're nearby!
Hugging and kissing.
Okay so, don't become that "Where's my hug?" person. We all know one and it can come across as a little desperate. Instead, if you're hugging him goodbye just linger a little and pull him in tighter!
A hug is an intimate, personal, and subtle way to get across to him that you're interested. If you're feeling brave, you could always make the first move and plant a cute little kiss on his cheek! This would be a pretty clear sign you're into him especially if you don't tend to go around smooching the cheeks of all your mutual friends!
Graze his arm.
This could be running your fingers down his forearm, resting your head on his shoulder, or even for the bolder among you: lightly brushing your breasts against his arm as you stand or walk by him.
Plenty of guys have stated that this specific form of physical contact gives them the idea that you're interested! Make sure you know he'd be okay with that last one though, you don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
Go old school
Remember back in your younger years when it was of massive social importance to let your crush know you liked them in the most sneaky, convoluted ways as possible? The genius of those youthful techniques is that they basically circumvent as much risk of awkward rejection as possible, we really were smart kids!
Get a friend to tell him.
The ol' school playground trick. You ask a mutual friend to sneakily sus out the situation and find out how your crush feels about you, or even outright tell them that you like them. Worst case scenario, they don't respond how you hoped they would and you can say your friend was just messing around.
A little juvenile but a pretty solid plan of action for the more shy or timid bunch.
Write a letter.
Consider this idea a modified, adult version of passing them a love note in class. If you're not a confident speaker and find texting a tad too impersonal then writing a love letter could be a lovely, meaningful way to confess your feelings.
Even if they don't feel the same, they'll definitely appreciate the thought and effort that went into it!
Use party games.
If you're at a social event or some kind of party, you can easily use the guise of classic games like Truth or Dare, Spin the Bottle or Would You Rather to let them know how you feel.
Whether it's answering honestly that you like them, or getting really into a Spin the Bottle make out; you can rest easy knowing you took a fun, light-hearted opportunity to show him how you feel.
Just come out with it!
You knew this one was coming. If sneaky plans and text messages aren't your bag, the only other way to tell him that you like him is to strap on your confidence boots and just come out with it!
Meet up in private, maybe even bring him a little gift like flowers or his favorite snack, and just tell him how you feel. It doesn't have to be a big deal or anything to worry about, he's either going to feel the same and tell you or he won't, but at least you'll know and all the anxiety around crushing will finally be gone.
Some people prefer being upfront and honest with their emotions, and he may well appreciate and find himself attracted to your confidence and transparency.
You might be worried about a bad reaction, but all I have to say is that in the unlikely scenario he just laughs in your face at your confession, it's probably better you know now that you were crushing on a jackass.
A good guy is going to handle rejecting you with a whole bunch of compassion and grace, so I doubt you'd want to waste any more time on a rude or nasty guy.
The bottom line is, that it takes a lot of guts to tell a guy you like him. It can really go against our human nature of self-preservation instincts to be so open and vulnerable with another person.
But I just want to let you know that loving someone, liking them, or even just acknowledging your emotions about them isn't weakness, and any guy worth his salt is going to see it the same way.
Whatever confession technique you choose to get those big, heart-pounding feelings off your chest, just remember that communication is always the best way of telling anyone anything.
Whether you're communicating with your words, body, or cell phone it's always best to try and be as upfront and honest as possible if your goal is a healthy relationship.
The chase is fun, crushing can be fun (if a little stressful at times), and liking someone is always exciting, but the game has to end eventually so you gotta just take the leap and let him know how you feel!