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How To Tell Someone You Like Them (And NOT Ruin The Friendship)

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Have you got a crush on someone?

Have you fallen head over heels in love with them, whilst they’re still, as far as you know, entirely unaware of your feelings.

Many of us shy away from telling someone how we feel about them as we’re not sure how to go about it.

We convince ourselves that they’ll figure it out of their own accord or that they’re actually already fully aware but just aren’t interested.

In the age of social media and internet dating, many of us are even more reluctant to be upfront about how we feel.

But, unfortunately, this approach can often mean that amazing people pass us by, being snapped up by those who are willing to be honest about their feelings.

Cliché though it might be, life is too short, and if you’re always waiting for things to come to you rather than going out and grabbing them for yourself, you’re almost definitely missing out.

In other words, the answer to the question “Should I tell someone I like them?” is a resonding YES!

If you’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and give it a shot, you may well be wondering what the right way to confess to your crush is.

If you’re worried about making it awkward or are convinced you’ll come across as creepy, you needn’t be.

Read on for a few simple tips on how to let someone know you have feelings for them.

How To Tell Someone You Like Them: 11 Steps To Take

If you are nervous or scared of revealing your feelings and want someone to walk you through things, chat to a compassionate and experienced relationship expert now to ease your concerns and help you get it right.

1. Don’t make it a big deal.

Every situation is different, and there are all kinds of reasons why you might think that coming clean about your feelings is complex.

You might be worried about ruining an important friendship, there might be exes involved, you might work together… these things are rarely straightforward.

But if you keep building it up in your head and focusing on what might go wrong, something probably will go wrong.

Remember, if you go about it the right way and don’t make a drama out of it, you’ll either carry on as you were, as friends, or get a date out of it.

If you build it up too much, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. If, that is, you ever get the guts to actually do it having freaked yourself out about it.

Remind yourself that, whatever happens, the world will keep turning, and your life will go on with or without this person in it.

2. Decide whether to do it in person or via text.

When deciding how to tell your crush you like them, doing it in person or sending them a message is entirely your choice, as both ways have their advantages.

If the very thought of asking them out terrifies you and face-to-face is a step too far, doing it by text is absolutely fine.

It might feel like a cop-out, but an advantage of this approach is that they don’t need to respond instantaneously.

If your feelings are coming as a total surprise to them, receiving a message means that they have a little time to think, which might increase your chances of a yes.

On the other hand, if you know that sending a message will have you glued to your phone and going slightly crazy until you finally get a response… don’t put yourself through that!

There’s also a strong argument for doing it in person. When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s important to be able to read someone’s reaction and body language, and for them to be able to read yours.

Saying it to their face also means that, once you get up the courage to do it, you’ll know one way or the other.

You’ll know deep down which way is best for you.

3. Pick your moment.

If you decide to text them, then (without being too stalker-esque) make sure you do so at a moment when they’re likely to be free, rather than out and about.

Ask them how they are first, and if the answer is that they’re super stressed or tired, leave it for another time.

If you do it in person, do it when it’s just the two of you and you’re sitting or strolling somewhere quiet. A café or a park is ideal.

4. Confess your feelings ASAP.

When to tell someone you like them? It’s an important question with a very simple answer.

You may have already been crushing on this person for a long time. However, if it’s a new thing, do yourself a favor and put yourself out of your misery!

Doing it as soon as possible means that, if they don’t reciprocate, you can nip your feelings in the bud before they develop further.

And if they say yes, it means you’ll be able to get on with enjoying their company sooner rather than later.

You never know what fate has got in store for you, so don’t let precious time slip through your fingers.

5. Keep it to yourself.

You might be obsessing just a little, but try your best to do it inwardly.

By all means, tell your closest friends, but if you’re trying to figure out how to tell a friend you like them, perhaps avoid telling any mutual friends you have.

Rather than just talking to anyone who’ll listen about how much you like this person, tell them!

6. Give yourself a confidence boost.

If you’re still reluctant to make your feelings clear, it might be that what you need is a little ego boost.

We’re all generally far more critical of ourselves than we are of other people, so why not tell your best friends that your self-esteem is suffering a little and get them to tell you all the things they love about you.

Remind yourself that, whether or not this particular person is attracted to you, you’re an incredible person who’s worthy of – and will find – love.

7. Just ask them out on a date first.

Unless the situation between you is ultra-complicated, the good news is that there’s probably no need for you to pour your heart out to them with any kind of romantic declaration.

Laying out how you feel might just scare them off, especially if it’s coming totally out of the blue for them.

A date, however, is far less intimidating.

Remember, you’ve been developing these feelings for a while now, but they may have never thought of you in that way until the moment you suggest going for a drink.

If things go well then there’s more than enough time for you to confess your love further down the line, when they might be more prepared for it, receptive to it or even reciprocate it.

At this stage, all you need from them is a simple yes or no.

A relaxed invitation that makes it clear you’re asking them out on a date – perhaps after you’ve been having a casual chat – is all that’s required.

Something along the lines of, “Do you fancy grabbing dinner sometime, as more than friends?”

This is more than enough to show someone you like them without you needing to actually spell it out.

It also means that they can easily and casually say no and laugh it off, if they prefer, and you can both move on and stay friends without any awkwardness.

8. Make things clear, but don’t obsess over the precise words.

Wondering what to say to someone you like?

There are two things to remember here. Firstly, ensure that the language you choose makes it clear that you aren’t just asking them out for coffee for a friendly chat. You want to avoid them accepting your invitation under the wrong impression.

If they do misunderstand your intentions, things will get awkward when they finally realize that the two of you are on completely different pages. Using the word ‘date’ always helps.

On the other hand, don’t obsess over what you’re going to say and don’t try to come up with some fancy line. What sounds good in the movies rarely works in real life. The simpler the better.

9. Give yourself a deadline.

If you’ve been putting off asking them out for a while now and keep making excuses, give yourself a nudge by actually setting a deadline.

Let’s be honest, that ‘perfect’ moment you’ve been waiting for is probably never going to present itself, so you’re just going to have to pick your moment and go for it.

Whether it’s the end of the week, the end of the month, or before your birthday, don’t allow yourself to keep wasting time.

10. Then, give them a little space.

If they’ve said yes and you’ve agreed on a date, give them a little space to digest what’s happened.

By all means send them a text to firm up on the details of your date, but let them process the fact that you’ve told them you like them, and give them a chance to get excited about your encounter!

11. Prepare for rejection.

Whilst it’s always good to be optimistic, in situations such as these, it’s always sensible to be prepared for the knock back.

If you’re friends with them, make it clear that your friendship matters a lot to you, and that the last thing you want to do is make it awkward.

Things may well be a little strained over the following weeks if they do say no, but if you’re careful not to change the way you behave toward them, you should both soon slip back into the relationship you had before.

Try to make sure that you’re not the one who’s making things awkward, even if you’re doing it unconsciously.

There are, after all, plenty more fish in the sea and many great loves that you’re yet to meet, and friendship should be treasured.

Much as it might seem like it when you’re in the thick of it, rejection is most definitely not the end of the world, so do your best to keep things in perspective.

Sometimes it can help to speak to someone about your fears and get a game plan of how to approach the person you like. That’s where Relationship Hero comes in. Connect with one of their coaches now to get empathetic, specific, and genuinely insightful advice.


How can you tell someone you like them without saying it?

Whilst saying it clearly is probably the best approach, you could always use a different phrase to suggest to the other person that you really enjoy their company. In fact, simply saying, “I really enjoy your company” is a good place to start.

Other phrases you could try include, “I like hanging out with you,” “I always enjoy myself when you’re around,” “You’re such good fun to be around,” and “I feel so at ease around you.”

How can you hint that you like someone?

If you’re not yet ready to say how you feel, there are other ways you can give this person clues that you like them. One of the best ways is to give them genuine compliments. These can be as simple as telling them they look nice today.

Or you can focus on something specific like their new shoes or the way their hair is styled. Just throw these casually into conversation and don’t make a big deal out of it.

Should you tell someone you like them when they are in a relationship?

If you have a crush on someone who is already coupled up, it’s generally better not to reveal your feelings. It’s unlikely to lead anywhere and you really do risk losing them as a friend because they might feel very uncomfortable being around you knowing how you feel and yet also having a partner. It might feel like a betrayal to them or like they are leading you on.

How can you tell someone you like them without getting rejected?

Sorry, but rejection is a possibility whenever you tell someone how you feel about them. Sure, you can try to wait until you are almost certain they like you back, but that day may never come either because you don’t read the signs or because you doubt your instincts.

It’s best to just come out and say it even if it does mean rejection, because at least then you can begin to move on.

How can you tell your crush you like them over text?

Coming out and just stating how you feel is one option – and a good one at that. Otherwise, you can always indirectly tell them by saying how much you’re looking forward to seeing them, or how much fun you had with them recently.

Text conversations are never as clear as face-to-face, so the meaning of your messages might get misunderstood by the other person.

How can you secretly tell someone you like them?

Well, you have to ask yourself why you would even want to secretly tell someone that you like them. What do you think you’d gain from that? Sure, you could send a bunch of flowers with a card saying it’s from ‘a secret admirer,’ but if they don’t know who it is, they won’t know how to feel.

Even if they suspect you like them, if they don’t know for sure who sent them a gift, they won’t be able to act upon it, if that’s what you’re hoping they’ll do.

How can you ask someone if they like you without being obvious?

If you want to find out how someone feels about you before telling them how you feel, you could always try saying something like, “It’s nice to hang out just the two of us, isn’t it?”

They will probably say yes one way or another because they don’t want to upset you, but it’s the way they say it and the look on their face that tells you what they really feel.

If they have a big smile on their face and their eyes look bright, it’s a good sign that they do like you at least a little bit. If they blush, it’s an even better sign that they like you.

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About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.