You can’t stop thinking about them, you blush every time they talk to you, you’re fantasizing about your future together… what you have here is a crush. Once you’ve admitted to that, your next step is to tell them how you feel. Telling someone you like them can sound like a daunting experience, and TBH, it is not easy.
That’s why Seventeen spoke with Maria Sullivan, dating expert and vice president of Dating.com, for advice on how to tell someone you like them in the least awkward way possible. Here are her best tips to make this confession as painless as possible. And hey, maybe the next time you’ll be back here will be for first date ideas!
Drop A Few Hints
If you’re feeling extra nervous about revealing your feelings, try hinting at your crush and see how they respond. Make eye contact, tease them playfully, or send a flirty text. “It can help diffuse any associated pressure and motivate your crush to consider a relationship with you,” says Sullivan.
Give Yourself a Deadline
Hold yourself accountable, Sullivan says. And setting a deadline for yourself to talk to your crush will do just that. Sometimes, your nerves can get the best of you and you might push it off for way too long. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to pick a date on your calendar and set that personal deadline. The longer you wait, the more time you give yourself to completely overthink the situation and make things even more awks!
This one is obviously easier said than done, but confidence and clarity will make a complete difference in your convo with your crush. “No one is born an expert at this,” Sullivan says. “Even the most seasoned daters have to brace themselves for the potential of rejection.”
Make It Easy for Them
Keep in mind that although you want to hope for the best, it’s possible that your crush might not reciprocate your feelings. TBH, rejection sucks, but it’s also a risk that comes with being vulnerable. So when you’re sharing your feelings, make sure that you don’t make them feel like they have to respond.
“Be mindful that the person you are telling has an obligation to their own feelings,” says Sullivan. “Set up the conversation in a way where he or she knows they have the choice to do what’s right for them as well.”
But Also Make Sure You’re Comfortable
You’re probably too busy thinking about how you don’t want to make them feel weird, but it’s super important that you’re comfortable, too. And if texting is comfortable for you, do that! You might think texting something so personal is thoughtless or weird, but Sullivan actually thinks sending a text is totally fine.
“Declaring your feelings via text can remove any immediate shock from the situation, making it easier for the recipient to provide a meaningful response,” she says. “There is no single right way to go about telling someone how you feel and nothing should be ruled out.”
Consider How You Would Feel If You Didn’t Tell Them
Sullivan refers to this tactic as testing the “do nothing” scenario to evaluate if you should even confess your crush. Consider how you’d feel if your crush moved away and never find out how you felt about them, Sullivan says. “Does the missed opportunity upset you? If so, you are likely already too invested not to find out what could be.” Remember that doing nothing could lead to even more regret!
Look At The Big Picture
The thought of your crush admitting they don’t feel the same way about you can feel AWFUL. But also remember that it is not the end of the world if you face rejection or indifference — life will go on. “Try to see the big picture and scale the problem down to actual size,” Sullivan says.
You have your BFFs, family, dog, cat… so many companions to love and be loved by. On to the next!
While it’s important to consider the realistic possibilities, you should also keep a positive outlook. Your crush could totally reciprocate and you could live happily ever after (OK, probably not, but it could happen!).
If you don’t feel super confident, fake it! Smile, stay calm, and say everything you need to say. “Whether you make the move online or offline, smiling can trick your brain into lowering your heart rate, reducing stress, and boosting your mood,” says Sullivan.