So you have a Snapchat crush. What happens now?

Tori G., 16, remembers the moment she connected with her very first crush on Snapchat. "He didn't go to my school, but I knew him through my bestie and thought he was cute," she explains. "He added me on Snap and we started talking pretty much constantly." 

As their back-and-forth banter became the highlight of each day, Tori found herself daydreaming her crush would take her to his spring dance or ask to be exclusive. The only problem? Their love story had never left the Snap Map. 

Soon, she learned the hard way what was "really" going on behind the screens: Her crush was Snapping with a bunch of other girls from her school. "I was totally heartbroken," Tori shares. "It seemed so real." 

Crushing has always been complicated, but finding love in the time of Snapchat? Downright daunting. So we rounded up experts (and GL girls who've been there) to prove that, yes, you *can* upgrade your Snap situationship to a real-life relationship. 

DO: Start your story right. 

Sorry to break it to ya, but a mass add on Snap is *not* the meet-cute you deserve. When you get that magic message from your could-be crush, make sure it's meant for you—not just any girl who responds. "You really killed it on the bio presentation today" = strong signal. "Wyd" = not so much. PSA: Make sure you're Snapping with someone you've met before, and never give out any personal info (like your school or address). 

DON'T: Stage who you are. 

Sure, you Snap your crush on the daily...but let's be real, you've been known to blow-dry your hair for a "casual doing HW" selfie or pretend you're at the party of the year when it's a low-key BFF sleepover.

My crush is super into horror and that's not my thing," says Isabelle K., 15. "So I'd start a scary movie on Netflix, press pause and post it to my Story. Then I'd have to keep Googling the plot of the movie since I wasn't actually watching it. So embarrassing!" 

Your Snaps should reflect who you actually are—not who you think your crush wants you to be. After all, if things work out, they're going to be dating you...and you don't want to have to keep up a lie. 

DO: Take your time. 

The ambiguity of Snap conversations can be super confusing, like when you try to start the "I kinda like you" convo...and your crush replies with a pic of their new shoes. Did the messages send out of order? Or are they blowing you off? 

Save your deeper emotions for in-person meetups, FaceTime or even text. Snap has its upsides when it comes to connecting with your crush: You can have fun with quick banter or silly pics. But when it comes to getting in your feels, it's not really the right place. 


DON'T: Focus on filters. 

Look at you with the glam makeup and glitter background...when you're really in your mom's minivan. Relationship expert Dr. Amy Rollo advises against curating that perf pic in order to impress a crush. "It's easy to spend time editing, reflecting on what to send, considering if you want them to see it," she says. "But overly edited photos won't look, or feel, like you." 

Of course, you want your crush to think you're cute...but anyone worth your time is invested in your life, not your lighting. So send a pic of your mom's cringey car tunes instead. Way better conversation starter. 

DO: Make memories. 

Keep your Snap spark alive by creating fun moments of connection: Try a lighthearted game ("send a pic of the cutest animal you can find") or go for a chance to get to know each other better ("guess my fave color"). 

If your crush listens when you share details of your life and makes you laugh when you're down, go ahead and make them more than a name on a screen. Getting an endless stream of "what's up" and "nm"? Then it likely means, um, nothing much. 


DON'T: Obsess over numbers. 

It's normal to wonder if your crush is secretly swooning over someone else...especially when you can check their Snap score every hour/minute/second. 

Sure, it's tempting, but try to take a step back from the streaks and scores, advises therapist Dr. Courtney Conley: "Good relationships are about mutual respect, trust and open communication." Fixating on how many Snaps they send vs. who they are? The opposite of a strong 'ship, tbh.

DO: Ditch response time rules. 

No one loves being left on read. Over text, you might shrug it off, but when their Snap score is going up as you're being ignored? It's a full-on crush crisis. 

"If I'm being left on delivered, but their score is going up, I can't help but think they'd rather be talking to someone else," says Chaela P., 14. What to do when you're worried your crush doesn't like you the way you like them? Just ask. You might not like the answer, but you *will* like the fact that you don't have to do math every time they stop replying. 


DON'T: Forget your boundaries. 

Before jumping into any romance—but especially when it comes to social media—be clear about your values. Write a list of boundaries: How often do you want to Snap? Can they take screenshots? What happens if they keep up that 407-day streak with their ex? 

Revisit the list often so you can speak up and set limits as your relationship progresses. Remember, you always have the right to step away from a convo that's making you uncomfy. You don't owe anyone an explanation. 

DO: Get your 'ship on the map. 

The real-world map, that is. Been Snapping for nearly three months with no date in sight? Take the leap to ask your crush to something casual: "Hey, my friends and I are grabbing pizza then watching the game Sunday afternoon. Want to join?" An enthusiastic yes or an immediate raincheck ("Ugh, I have work Sunday, how's next weekend?") gives good vibes. If they suddenly get shady? Take notice. "When I invited my crush to hang out, she asked who else was going to be there," says Kylee R., 15. "Turns out she was two-timing me and didn't want to get caught." 

And if you hang out and the flirty energy isn't there IRL? Say goodbye to your streak. shed an (unfiltered) tear, then look up from your phone. There are plenty of amazing people in your world. Just start talking. 


Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our April/May 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Top image: @shayrudolph
Slider image: @parisbamberg


by Katherine Hammer and Laila Mayfield | 5/19/2024