How to Pretend to Ignore Someone That You Have a Crush On

Updated on June 17, 2016

How to Pretend to Ignore Someone That You're Actually in Love with (and Not Have Your Crush Ignore You Back)

So it has come to this: Being an adult about things and being dead-obvious and dead-honest about your feelings serves you no purpose because...

  1. The person you're dealing with has the emotional maturity of a five-year-old,
  2. You have the emotional maturity of a five-year-old, or
  3. You're both actually five-year-olds.

In any case, you have no choice: You must play the push-pull game and make the person you fancy feel ignored for at least some period of time. Ignoring them first means your crush is unlikely to ignore you back, and you get the upper hand. This may seem difficult at first, but really, with a little self-restraint, it can be quite easy to pique their interest by following these basic tips.

Counter-Intuitive Relationship Advice: Act like a Five-Year-Old
Counter-Intuitive Relationship Advice: Act like a Five-Year-Old

#1: Stare at Them from the Side of Your Eye (a.k.a. The Side Stare)

Making it clear that you're looking at them is no good—they might get the wrong (or is it right?) idea that you really do have some kind of special interest in them. Even if you're the kind of person who normally watches people, regardless of your level of romantic interest, stop it. Make a special exception just for this situation and stare at everyone except the object of your desire.

The problem with just not looking at them altogether, though, is that you'll never be able to enjoy their fabulousness or see what they're doing or read their body language, because you'll always be turned away from them. The solution to this problem is to watch them from the side of your eye—that is, your peripheral vision—so that they are always to some degree in your sight but they won't know you're interested. You can be as creepy as you want, but they'll never know it.

Don't Let Them Catch You Looking
Don't Let Them Catch You Looking

#2: Be Overly Formal with Them

Rather than act familiar, like you guys are buddies or something ludicrous like that, confuse your love by being really stiff and polite. If you bump into them, say "excuse me" in a monotone voice that echoes from the core of your being that you don't care about them and could never want them.

Also, don't use their first name when you address them. In fact, don't use their name at all if you can help it, just use "you" a lot. Better yet, if you can just avoid addressing them altogether, it's even better. I promise, this tactic will have the object of your infatuation totally confused, in a good way.

Confused in a Good Way
Confused in a Good Way

#3: Only Say "Hello" Or "Goodbye" in Response to Their Own Greeting

If they say, "Hi there, how are you?" You say, "Hello." If they say, "Will I see you tomorrow?" You say, "Goodbye." If you limit yourself to "hello" and "goodbye," you will drive them crazy with desire.

And even then, only respond sometimes. Better yet, pretend you don't hear them and say nothing 50% of the time. Those times that you ignore them completely may make them feel dumb or may make them wonder if you're angry about something. Good. The more they feel any kind of emotional response you were the cause of—any emotion at all—the more they'll find you irresistible.

Sure, there's a chance they might just think you're a jerk or something, but that chance is so astronomically unlikely it's hardly worth mentioning. The only time something like that could ever happen is if the person you like has this thing called "self-esteem" or something like that. Crazy, I know.

Counter-Intuitive Communication Tip: Play "Telephone"
Counter-Intuitive Communication Tip: Play "Telephone"

#4: Talk to Your Desired Love Only Through Other People

If you ever have anything to say to this crush of yours, anything at all, try to avoid talking to them directly as much as possible, even if they're right next to you. Instead, use someone else in the room as a messenger.

For example, let's say that your lover-to-be is named Jane Doe and you are both out in a group of mutual friends. A conversation on a typical group outing might potentially go like this. Ideally, Jane is standing very obviously within earshot and it is very clear that you can see her.

You: "Hey, Bill, before I go in to order, does Jane want a sandwich, too, or is it just the two of us?"

Now here's an alternate method that might be even more effective, if performed with the right tone of voice (which would be no tone at all): Omit Jane's name altogether.

You: "Say, Bill, does she want a sandwich too [don't look at her when saying this], or is it just us two?"

Or, potentially even better, if it can be pulled off without being too vague: Omit any direct reference to Jane altogether and only refer to Jane through implication.

You: "Oh, Bill, before I order, is that going to be two or three sandwiches?"

Everyone knows Jane is the third sandwich, but it's more powerful because you've made her feel like you're so indifferent that she may as well not exist because she's not even worth mentioning—but still, you're thinking of her enough to order her a sandwich. Do you understand the cunning brilliance of this? No? Well she probably won't, either, so award yourself 100 points for slyness.

Counter-Intuitive Relationship Advice: Keep Them Guessing
Counter-Intuitive Relationship Advice: Keep Them Guessing

#5: Have Your Crush "Feast on Scraps," so to Speak

Every once in a while, throw them a bone, if you will. In those very rare moments, act familiar and actually normal with them, or maybe even charming. I'm not talking about holding doors or buying gifts or anything crazy like that. Begin with something simple, like actually calling them by name.

If you have done all the other things detailed in this article, they should be so in love with you by now that they'll feel a thrill at the tiniest bit of attention. Use this reward system wisely and only do it randomly in order to keep them guessing.

But don't overdo it; remember, it's always better to have them eating out of your hand instead of the other way around, where you're wondering why your crush ignores you. Make them feel unwanted and they never will.

There you have it. Following this advice, they should be in your arms in no time—just make sure it's a stiff, indifferent embrace.

What do you think?

What's your favorite counter-intuitive method for attracting someone's attention?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        andrea 3 weeks ago

        i think this is not gnna work for me but i can try to at least

      • profile image

        Lily 3 months ago

        TBH me and my crush had some problems so i ignored him and now he is starting to come back again

      • profile image

        Anita Willis 3 months ago

        The level of sarcasm in this is amazing. All of these people that actually believe this'll do something probably don't understand that just because you have a crush on someone doesn't mean they have a crush on you. And if they do, I can assure you that they won't for long if you act like this

      • profile image

        brrr 6 months ago

        I ignored my crush and now

        "We don't talk anymore"

        The end.

      • profile image

        carrie ward 7 months ago

        I agree with Rachael.

      • profile image

        Racheal Muchekechi 7 months ago

        Don't say I hate you

      • profile image

        NotOnlyALastName 8 months ago

        Addition to my previous comment:

        It's embarrassing to say, but here's some other examples my co-worker and I do:

        -Anytime there is a group situation, he purposely turns his back to me. EVERY TIME. And he turns his back to ONLY me. He'll stand close to me, but with his back turned. He'll sit close to me, but with his back turned. If he has to stand in a position where he can't turn his back to me, he'll talk to me looking out of the corner of his eye.

        -Anytime there is a group situation, I will talk to everyone else BUT HIM. If I want to ask him a question about his opinion, I'll ask the entire group and not look directly at him.

        -We have to constantly pass by each other in aisles and when working in the warehouse and we try to not look at each other but we are both highly aware of each other's presence (and yes, we're watching the other out the corner of our eyes). I know that because I can feel his gaze and I have no doubt he can feel mine.

        -Speaking of watching out the corner of our eyes, we rarely stare at the other. I have caught him once staring at me and I had to speak him right afterwards, which, he could only answer while looking at me in an indirect sideways glace. When he caught me staring at him once, I accidentally pulled a heavy box down and punched myself in the face with it (hard enough to bruise me and break my glasses a little). LOL. Needless to say, neither of us stare directly at the other anymore, unless it's momentary and their back is turned.

        Call us immature if you will. And yes, we both have had moments of frustration and of scraps throwing. But I don't know how to express emotion like romance since I so rarely feel it. Also, to express interest in someone usually signals people of sexual orientations to think you want sexual things. Which I don't. As for him, I haven't worked up the courage to ask him his reasons yet.

        Until then, the highlights of our week will have to be when we work in the warehouse and have a couple lines of real conversation (with everyone else in earshot of course) and we lock gaze to see the depth of how much we mutually like each other.

      • profile image

        NotOnlyALastName 8 months ago

        HA! Both my co-worker and I do this to each other. TO A TEE! I laughed the entire read of the article! Well done!

        Sometimes I wonder if he even stands my presence, other times, it seems obvious he likes me.

        I try to play it cool and professional (we are at work and all- plus he is technically my boss). Other times I feel like he and everyone else can see that I like him.. a lot.

        Sometimes we seem so naturally compatible it blows me away. He and I don't even try to impress the other with our specific likes/dislikes, we naturally follow the same groove.

        Only two problems separate us: 1) We have to be professional for work (he is a manager after all) and 2) I am asexual and while I don't know his orientation, I never bank on anyone else being asexual too. :/

      • profile image

        Sami 11 months ago

        UGHHHH I like this boy but he is a jerk. How do I talk/ignore him!

      • profile image

        Ty 14 months ago

        These are all great tricks! And now, since life is short...Go for the person that is nice, shows interest, wants to have a conversation with you, makes you feel special, and buys you dinner and flowers, instead of dealing with the idiots that plays these stupid games!

      • profile image

        15 months ago

        Sounds like a way to get a person who likes you to start to resent you.

      • profile image

        Mick 16 months ago

        Non of this actually works at all, it's been tried and tested with a co worker who had a crush on me and went on for months so I just asked her out but by then she lost interest rejected me politely twice and got herself a new guy lol she still watches me a lot and orbs around my aura and still smiles a lot and tells me her life story but doesn't mention her boyfriend she touches me and tries to get close she drops hints when she is available though so when I asked her out I got refused lol women are wierd but it's all fun and makes my day just flirting with women!!!

      • profile image

        Sara 16 months ago

        I had this co worker who was so interested in me, we hanged out twice, and then I started to text him a long paragraphs to why he is being diff and where did I go wrong.

        Now we see each other work, and the more he ignores me the more I'm running after him, like when I say hi or hello it takes him about 1 minute to say hi or hello back, then he doesn't look at me in the eye and he also avoids talking to me but I forcefully start conversation and I also text him while we are working and I just can't stop showing him attention! Then when we get off I still keep texting him and I'm trying so hard to get a text back from him, he just ignores me so much!

        That its driving me nuts

      • profile image

        Ana 19 months ago

        The first one was awesome. Had me laughing my head off.

      • profile image

        Ambrose 20 months ago

        So funny starting at the front the corner of you eye lolololololololololololololol

      • profile image

        Anonymous 21 months ago

        This is crazy! It's really funny but it's s game

        And someone said it would only work if the other person the "crushee" likes you. Which in my case I feel is the case. I totally gave my Crush a hint for the first time in 6 months, seeing each other and passing each other by at work different department,

        He talks to me small talk and i do as well. He seems shy not flirty with other woman very respectful which of course I like, but he still seems to be holding back and so I feel this may work But don't want to seem crazy which I can see a guy thinking like one day she likes me and one day she's ignoring me just not sure uhhhh!!! Help

        Can give me a response

      • profile image

        Anonymous 21 months ago

        Recently one of my friend tried this trick on a girl of whom I'm mutual friend between them both he succeded and at last to my oh! girl proposed a boy might be he might be here to read this whole article but i'm surely following this for crush if mine. Thank You everyone!!

      • profile image

        N.E Precious 21 months ago

        There's this guy i like he is always looking at me and he always hits me anytime he passes me(we're friends actually)when i told him that his friend is my boyfriend he asked me why i never said a wkrd about it then i told him that i don't like his friend at all and he was actually laughing and not to forget one day we were chatting and he called me mum the next day we fought he put on his dp i still love you mum please what can this possibly mean??

      • profile image

        I need sleep :-: 22 months ago

        I don't see why anyone would want to ignore the person they have a crush on, I was wondering how to stop... I do that on accident... If anything by instinct... I wish I didn't "in my opinion doing such things is a bad idea" -_-

      • profile image

        anon 3 years ago

        Let me just say this might work on someone, but not me! My crush and I confessed to each other and for about 4 months we constantly talked and he told me all these wonderful things and I had never been happier. Then all the sudden he stopped texting, talking and interacting with me all together. It frusturated me at first and then I just felt miserable. He just stopped everything all at once and I didn't even know what I did. He still stares at me with this look in his eyes that makes my heart flutter, but if i catch him staring he looks down. This went on for a month until he FINALLY texted me in his old goofy way. I was elated! After I texted back he didn't respond. Then a week went by an he didn't say a word to me through text or in real life. Now were back to the stare tag game and I feel like crap. When i read this i face palmed because these tips were all mixed into his little ignore-my-crush scheme. Its like he pulled all his tricks from this hub.

      • mothercristina profile image

        mothercristina 3 years ago

        This is awesome. It's funny how we all know it's a joke, but yet it's not at the same time. When we really like someone desperate times call for desperate measures. ;)

      • profile image

        gittel 4 years ago

        Joke or people in real life actually do this?

        And how can one tell if they r saying 4 real back away. Or i like u, but i am pretending not to.

        Very confusing... never heard of such a thing...seems cruel.

      • profile image

        bitzy 4 years ago

        I'm sorry, but did Mr. Darcy write this? :)

      • thehands profile image

        Jorge Vamos 4 years ago

        ...IT WAS A JOKE. lol.

      • profile image

        Sheila 4 years ago

        This will only work IF your crush is actually attracted to you in the first place. If not, no amount of manipulation is going to work, no matter what you do.

      • profile image

        Leslie 5 years ago

        don't do it, I always do this it never works they only get confused and you end up with no prom date !!!

      • profile image

        atika 5 years ago

        im sorry it was great advice but only for someone who wants to hurt someone else... i have been through something like this where the guy has done this to me and let me tell you it made me depressed, it tore me apart, i was always sad and confused and if u really care about this person you would never want to do anything like this. I have trust issues now because of this, it is really horrible in every way. i know this article was written to help people but im sorry its really hurting people. i felt so disgusting, ugly and my self esteem got really low. please i beg of you anyone who reads this do not do this. put yourself in their shoes, imagine someone u really like was doing this to you. it would break you wouldn't it? so i beg, please, please don't do anything like this. thankyou

      • profile image

        bur 5 years ago

        So funny. I'm still laughing at the 'angry?' face.

      • profile image

        snowbow 5 years ago

        Seems like playing games to me. A few weeks ago someone did this to me but it had the opposite effect I have moved on. Playing games in the long run does not work, and obviously my emotional maturity level is higher than her's!

      • profile image

        SandCastles 5 years ago

        These suggestions sound like game playing to me. I don't want to trick someone into liking me and these tips can backfire. If people did this to me I would assume that they didn't like me.

      • thehands profile image

        Jorge Vamos 5 years ago

        And, btw, coming back a year later to find comments like these makes me realize my humor is just too dry. Hahaha.

      • thehands profile image

        Jorge Vamos 5 years ago

        Dylan: By creepily stalking them and getting to know every aspect of their life without their knowing you.

      • thehands profile image

        Jorge Vamos 5 years ago

        Yeah, don't do this. This hub is a joke. LOL. Yes, ignoring someone does kind of work sometimes, but only for a very short time, and only with people who have relatively low self-esteem. (And you wouldn't want to date them anyway.)

      • profile image

        sarah123 5 years ago

        Actually I'm a real-life example of being on the receiving end of this sort of behavior. & trust me when I say, it will have exactly the opposite effect because if the person you are ignoring has any self-respect at all, they will ignore you right back. I ignored him back, in retaliation! this went on for about 6 months before he showed any signs of guilt/making an effort to being friendly again towards me.

      • profile image

        Mysteriousguy7 6 years ago

        Gals...if i were a guy with a crush on a gal and if she behaved this way instead of dropping hints.i'd rather run away...

      • profile image

        Aina 6 years ago


        You are ignoring this person because they don't feel the same as you do. When you start to ignore a person you previously have given a lot of attention to, they will start to wonder; why is he/she ignoring me? And they might even fall in love because they suddenly start to realize that they do care for you more than they thought and that they actually miss you! Many people do this push and pull technique wihtout even realizing it and it does work because often we want something we can't have. When we can't have a specific person's attention anymore, we want it back.

      • profile image

        Maria 6 years ago

        @ sary

        I totally agree. But for me nobody knows I like my crush... I've kept it to myself

      • profile image

        sary 6 years ago

        what happens when you want to really be with this person that you are ignoring,they are going to think that you are crazy and anyway why can't you just be yourself and not play any mind games. why play a mind game just to get someone to fall head-over-hills for you, sounds like an insure person to me. it may seem fun but, for how long. i'll be scared people are crazy out here in this world.

      • profile image

        Maria 6 years ago

        This might actually help. But this isn't what I'm looking for... What I'm looking for is help, why? Because yesterday at school, I have a best friend and she likes my crush (she doesn't know I like him though) and our friends kept saying that he likes her... It's hurts me to think my crush likes someone else... At the dance I was with my best friend and she said, "he is staring at me!" I smiled at her... I was thinking maybe he was staring at me and she probably got the wrong idea

      • profile image

        duh 6 years ago

        "emotional maturity of a 5-year-old"... yes. satire.

        I do this when I'm afraid someone thinks I like them and I don't (I'm naturally really friendly, and guys tend to get the wrong idea) and they might be offended/disgusted... I do have really bad social anxiety in certain situations, and it's something I'm trying to get over. Haha, thanks for showing how ridiculous it must look!

      • profile image

        Seriously? 6 years ago

        Is this supposed to be satire? Because frankly this comes off as you having an incredibly bad social disorder.

      • profile image

        mila 6 years ago

        wait are you serious?

      • profile image

        Murendeni 6 years ago

        I proposed a girl then she loved me bt she said that to me she already have a boy friend i tell her that i don't care about your boy friend i care about u, then i agree with her that i will dated u even if your dating to your boy friend then she agree bt we only dated one week then she dumped me she said she want to go back to her old boy friend so now i have no one i still love this girl. So how can i get her back?

      • profile image

        sarah123 6 years ago

        LMAO....Too good! Nearly fell off my chair laughing too hard :D

      • profile image

        Todd 6 years ago

        This works with anybody. I've always done this from time to time. Be VERY careful with it. You can really hurt and confuse the one you are in love with.

        It works best when you first give them a lot of attention for a period of time. Then suddenly pull it away. They will feel a void and get insecure and miss you. They will notice something has changed in their life. When you push away they will pull toward you trying to figure out what is going on or trying to get back what was lost. Perhaps they didn't even realize what they had until it was gone. This will help them to see that.

        Do not do it for very long. If you do it for to long they will eventually get used to it and forget you. And don't come off as mean. Be ready to give in and be very nice if/when they reach out to you.

        The object of your affections may also secretly love you and be unsure. They may already be really frustrated and unsure of your signals. This could really hurt, frustrate, and discourage them even more. Use it carefully and be observant of their reactions. Be ready to quickly accept attention and show appreciation again.

        Especially be careful with doing this with shy girls. A lot of them are already very insecure and would never pursue anyway even if they have strong feelings for you. If you do it at all with a shy girl be more subtle with it and a shorter amount of time (or maybe not at all and find another plan). The most you might get with a shy girl is to catch her staring. All the while she's left confused and hurt and feeling helpless.

      • profile image

        RookieGirl 6 years ago

        I'm kind of confused. Ignore the person you have crush on and than they will find you interesting. C'mon. It sounds rather impossible. I'll try it though. Desperation arose so suddenly. But what if it actually doesn't work?

      • profile image

        stefd 6 years ago

        It doesn't work. My crush ignores me like this to the letter. It has been going on for way too long (years) and I'm starting to really not like him. I could end up hating him even but I'll probably just move on once I find someone I like who makes me feel valued and makes me feel happier.

      • profile image

        Saso 6 years ago

        uffffffffff it is a horrible feeling

      • profile image

        tibs 6 years ago

        works until she finds out ur ignoring her, and accuses of why ur ignoring her, say ur busy with stuff, talk for a few days and reignore until she comes bak:P

      • profile image

        Angie 6 years ago

        I do all the time to guys I like, but I haven't been successful.....until recently. It's kinda obvious (to me at least) that I ignore this one guy and talk to everyone else. I laugh and act kinda flirty with everyone else, but with him I'm like (straight face and indifference). I've heard he thinks I hate him, but we do have our moments of friendliness and lately he's been coming up to me more trying to joke around....idk i think this work sometimes, we'll see, lol

      • profile image

        Dylan 6 years ago

        I never got the point of this, someone will only be interested for a very limited period of time if you are obviously ignoring them, that just gives the impression you don't even want to bother getting to know them.

        If someone likes you, acting like you dislike them is only going to cause them lots of worry and confusion, possibly pain if you keep it up too long. Become friends with them, but don't make it obvious you like them, maybe. Besides, how are you meant to like someone you don't even know/refuse to talk to?

      • profile image

        om,ie 6 years ago

        hear! i like it..

      • profile image

        harsh 6 years ago

        it doesn't work...

      • profile image

        dechunk 6 years ago

        Would this really work ? if not 100%, at least 50 + percent?

        I've done this to my crush even before I read this (and he had reactions like-felt dumb and wondering if i was angry - something like that - and such just like what is written in this hub)

        Would this really work? I wonder why he still doesn't show that much of like ... he cannot resist me or something close to that ... I've done almost everything stated here, suprisingly, even before I read this.

        By the way, really nice and very funny hub :)

      • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

        Anastasia Kingsley 6 years ago from Croatia, Europe

        Ingeniously written and hilariously explained! Thumbs up, voted up and followed.

      • profile image

        Slav 7 years ago

        To me, all these things are obvious when done to me. Might work for some, though...

      • profile image

        ILuvUKenton 7 years ago from The corner of Forever and Heartbreak

        Great work. I'll be sure to try some of these when I see my crush again. Thanks a bunch for the advice.


      • billrobinson profile image

        billrobinson 7 years ago from CA, USA

        Keep posting hub like this. Is very interesting and enjoyable read.

      • profile image

        betc 7 years ago

        hahahahah..i did love this..before i dint know how to handle such a situation but am grateful now i know..gud job there n thumb up!

      • chinemeremz profile image

        chinemeremz 7 years ago

        Thanks thehands for this wonderfully and well written piece of work. Your points are well noted, especially for the ladies, for the guys the steps can be even more powerful if you know how. I met this young lady recently, we both have a crush on each other, she's a snub, I'm a bigger snub. I used the steps above and I've lost the count of dates we've had. But one thing is that don't overdo things, or you might risk losing her or him, every thing in life needs moderation, this too.

      • profile image

        Alice_babeyy 7 years ago

        Ohhh no!! I do this stuff already by habit, it doesn't push guys away does it? I hope it doesn't have the opposite effect of what I want :(

      • loladukes profile image

        loladukes 7 years ago

        Ha ha, after reading your hub I've realised that the 'creepy' bloke at work probably thinks that the reason I try and avoid him at all costs is that I have a massive crush on him. Eurrrrgh, well I guess I know now why he won't leave me alone and seems to be getting more familiar the more I try to ignore him!

      • Mom Kat profile image

        Mom Kat 7 years ago from USA

        too funny. thanks for the laughs.

      • profile image

        Susan 7 years ago

        hahahhahahaha!!! @BennyTheWriter and @Wolfoflife I agree completely. And I could comment on this article, but this sounds advise you'd give to a fairy in a fairy tale, or a girl in a Disney movie.

      • profile image

        wolfoflife 7 years ago

        the staring of the eye is really crepy bcuz they r satring at u when u don't know. creeping!

      • BennyTheWriter profile image

        BennyTheWriter 7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

        Great, hilarious hub. (I don't really mean that.)

        : )

        Seriously, the "staring with the side of the eyeball" really cracked me up. I'm following and looking forward to more hubs!

      • stricktlydating profile image

        StricktlyDating 7 years ago from Australia

        Very funny!

      • profile image

        techno-hub 7 years ago

        Very impressive tips. I am already trying this unknowingly on my crush. But i will do it more properly. She will be in my arms surely. :)

      • thehands profile image

        Jorge Vamos 7 years ago

        @JenniferT: Yes, that would probably work, too! Independence is attractive no matter who you are.

      • profile image

        JenniferT 7 years ago

        I would like to add a #6, if you will permit me to do it, and it goes like this:

        talk about yourself (not arrogantly, of course), your future plans, aspirations, hopes, etc... in a lighthearted tone that shows your love interest that you really do have other things going on in your life besides him or her.

        Mention current events in your life that would draw crowds from miles around, just to listen to you. Be the alpha-male or female that makes no excuses, and needs no prompting from your OTHER to make life happen for you.

        People are drawn to leaders, not followers; so, if you want that special someone to perk up and pay attention... BE that person who is worthy of their attention, and accept no less as the vibrant, progressive, and fun-loving woman or man that you are.


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