FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist committed to uplifting and educating others to be reach their full potential.
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.
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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 for moving your situation forward.
- This is a personal matter, so have a one-on-one with your crush. Don't wimp out and 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?").
- Going into the discussion, have confidence in yourself. Look and feel good about yourself. Be well-groomed but not dressed up, make sure your breath smells fresh, and think positive thoughts. Regardless of what your crush's response is, feel gratified that you are expressing your liking for another person and be proud that you are advocating for what you want.
- Keep your message simple. After some short chit chat to make your crush feel comfortable, thank them for talking with you. Relax, make direct eye contact, and get straight to the point with a statement such as:
- "There's no pressure, but I think you're a special guy, and I have feelings for you. I don't know if you feel the same."
- "I'm just putting it out there that I think you're super cute, and I'd like to go out if you're interested too."
- "I know we're just friends right now, but I was hoping we could be more. I wanted to let you know I have a crush on you."
- Don't confess mad and undying love. Just play it cool and let your crush clearly know you like them in a "more than friends" way. Then wait for their response.
- Have a goal in mind for the conversation in case your crush likes you back. What is the next logical step to take in this budding romance? Are you asking for a date, do you want to hang out? Do you want their social media contact information so you can chat them up online? If they like you too, have a request in mind.
- Create an out for them in case they do not feel the same. If your crush rejects you, respectfully respond along the lines of "I understand," "That's cool," or "No problem." There's no need to avoid them or feel awkward around them later on. Accept their answer and don't let rejection kill your confidence. Self-confidence attracts, so work on becoming the happiest, most interesting person possible. In the grand scheme, it's no big deal if they reject you. You'll get through it!
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!
Questions & Answers
Question: I really like my crush but we rarely see each other so how would I know if he likes me back?
Answer: You need to somehow find a way to increase contact, such as by joining the same group, passing notes, following one another on social media, etc. Becoming more acquainted will help you know whether he likes you back because you can interact. Otherwise, the crush is all in your head.
Question: So I really like this guy, and a few days ago he asked me if I had a crush on him. I kinda rejected the thought of it and said "No way!" However, I obviously have feelings for him. Since then, he has been ignoring me. What should I do now that I've lied about my crush?
Answer: If you really like him, you need to pull him aside, set the record straight and apologize. Don't overdo the apology, but you did hurt his feelings.
Confess that you were caught by surprise with the question and you just froze. Tell him the truth is you do have a crush on him and that you don't know how he feels about you, especially since you may have hurt his feelings, but he's a great guy and you do have a crush on him. Add whatever you like about him or whatever makes him special.
Why you need to apologize IN PERSON is that your exclamation of "No way!" conveyed both rejection and disgust. Think about it. You were saying, "Ewww. No! Are you kidding?" You need to set this right for reasons of his self-esteem, even if he now doesn't like you back. Don't rely on texting or go-betweens. Show that you have integrity. Do it in person, girl!
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