How to tell someone you like them without *actually* telling them

Ah, daydreams, blushes and butterflies—it’s crush season again.

Telling someone you like them can be *super* scary, and it’s never easy. In fact, sometimes it can be so terrifying, that you might want to avoid it altogether. If you want someone to know that you like them without *actually* saying it, we’ve got your back.

First, how do you feel?
Before you move forward, you need to be sure you actually *like* them. Yeah, *like* like.  Not one of those crushes that last a week. Think: Can you imagine yourself in a relationship with them, or do you just really like their hair? (#relatable)

You could also try the "do nothing" tactic. Consider how you’d feel if you didn’t do anything, your crush never found out how you felt and you never found out their reaction. Would you be devastated or pretty much unbothered? The answer will let you know if you should plow on.

Get closer!

Yes, we know, easier said than done. However, there are a lot of small steps you can take to make the top of that staircase seem a lot closer.

Remember the little details

Being attentive is *key,* not only with your crush but in all your relationships. It shows the other person that you truly care about what they say and think. Find out their birthday, and surprise them with a sweet card or gift, or even just an early-morning text. The next time your future bae mentions a fond childhood memory, pay attention. Later, you can casually bring up details from that story, and they’ll be touched you listened. No matter how tiny the detail may feel, the fact you remembered it goes a long way. 

Use social media

Social media makes it really easy to interact with your crush. You can like their photos and comment, respond to their stories and strike up a casual conversation or DM them funny TikToks or memes. They’ll catch on pretty quickly that you want to talk to them without you having to say anything of the sort. If you ever hang out together or in the same group, try to get pics of the two of you together to keep a physical memento of your budding friendship and possible relationship.

*Secret tip* 

Go through the (preferably more niche) bands, teams, influencers, etc. that your crush follows and follow those accounts too, making sure to press the notification bell. Next time the account posts you’ll be notified, so immediately hop on and send the post to your crush. Not only will they be impressed you like the same things, but also excited that you thought of them.

Your body talks, too

If you want to get closer to your crush, maybe it’s a sign to get *closer.*

Physically close

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. By showing you want to be physically closer to them, you’re suggesting you want to be emotionally and romantically closer as well. By gradually incorporating more light physical contact, they’ll subconsciously feel more uncomfortable around you and possibly catch on to your feelings. Remember, light. It’s necessary to make sure they're totally OK and comfortable with it as well.

*Secret tip* 

If you’re not a super touch-y person, try making a secret handshake instead! It’s a subtle way for more physical contact, plus the two of you will have your own special little thing

Mirror actions 

Chances are, you’re already doing this. When we like someone, we tend to mirror their actions meaning if they smile, you smile back; when they laugh, you laugh with them. Although it sounds a bit like playing copycat, it’s actually a natural way of building rapport.

Be confident

While you might find your crush endlessly interesting and amazing, don’t forget that you are too. Carry confidence with you in all your interactions, and it’ll clearly get your intentions across without sending mixed signals. If you need a reminder of how awesome you are, just ask your BFFs to shout out all of the things they love about you. 

Related Posts: 

8 ways to tell your crush you like them (and how to handle *any* response)

Is it a crush or an infatuation? How to tell the difference

Drop hints

By intentionally creating opportunities to be around them, you’re already letting your crush know that you like them. But, if you want to speed things up a notch, there are a couple of things you can try.


Everyone appreciates a genuine compliment, and your crush is no exception. The keyword here: genuine. Anything from “you have gorgeous eyes” to grinning at their jokes, with enough compliments, your crush will probs register your interest.

Nicknames and inside jokes

There’s no formula for this one, so it’s all up to how you want to do it. Nicknames and inside jokes come with spending time together and becoming close, so if you heed the advice from above, you should be on the right track!

Enlist the wingman (or woman)

For a little shortcut, try subtly mentioning you like them or find them interesting to your crush’s best friend. Saying something like, “they’re kinda cute” will perk up their bestie’s ears, and before you know it, your crush will be in the know too. The bonus of this trick is that you’ll be able to tell if your crush feels the same way based on their behavior In the next couple of weeks without facing actual rejection. If they start also dropping hints, shoot your shot! If they act awkward and distant, it’s probs time to move on.

Stay positive

The thought of your crush not returning your feelings might make you want to crawl into a hole and disappear. Sometimes, it’s important to zoom out and see the big picture. 

Although it may feel like it at the time, the sky will not come crashing down if the crushing isn’t mutual. We’ve all been rejected at some point, and cliche as it sounds, it makes you stronger.

Even though getting them to like you back is the goal, it’s important to remember to stay true to yourself, and not going to lie, that’s *scary.* There's a whole lot of risk that comes with putting your true self out there, but hey—high risk, high reward.

We believe in you!

Cover image: Taylor Swift


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by Sophia Zhang | 2/17/2021