You might even have found that you’ve inadvertently fallen head over heels in love with them, whilst they’re still, as far as you know, entirely unaware of your feelings.
Or, you might have tried to tell someone you like them in the past and had it all come crashing down around your ears. If that’s the case, you’ll be keen to make sure that doesn’t happen again the next time someone catches your eye.
Many of us shy away from telling the object of our affections 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.
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 go about it 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 make your feelings for someone crystal clear.
1. Don’t Make It Too Big A 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
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!
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. Do It ASAP
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.
You might be obsessing just a little, but try your best to do it inwardly. By all means, tell your closest friends, but perhaps avoid telling any mutual friends you have with the person in question.
Rather than just talking to anyone who’ll listen about how much you like this person, tell them!
6. Give Your Self-confidence A 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
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 communicate that 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
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.
Katie splits her time between writing and translation. She writes about travel and self-care and never stays in one place for too long. She’s currently based in beautiful Cornwall, England, after long stints in Brazil and Mexico. She spends her free time trail running, exploring and devouring vegan food.