So there’s this awesome guy that you can’t stop thinking about.
Whether you’ve been friends for some time, you’re mildly acquainted, or you just met, there’s no denying the feelings growing inside you.
His presence excites and flusters you.
Your racing heart, churning stomach, and shaky legs confirm it: you have a full-blown crush.
When you’re crushing on a guy, and he doesn’t know, it can be scary to think about how to tell a guy you like him.
Should I Tell Him How I Feel?
It can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there, especially if a friendship is at risk or it’s with someone from work.
Not to mention the possibility of being rejected.
Sometimes flames should indeed be left to fizzle – like when he is already in a relationship. But sometimes taking a chance is well worth the risk.
You could end up with your soul mate. Or, at the very least, learn a little about yourself.
Here are a few reasons you should reveal your crush:
- You’re definitely into him. Before initiating romantic involvement, be sure you’re not just feeling lonely or trying to replace someone else.
- You owe it to yourself to go after what you want. Taking action affirms that your desires matter, and you deserve happiness.
- You can’t hold it in any longer. Your intense feelings have you bursting at the seams, and you have to know if he feels the same way.
- You sense he likes you too. If he shows genuine interest in you, frequently allows little physical distance between the two of you, and makes it clear that he’s available, chances are he likes you too and is too afraid to say something.
- It feels natural to be around him. You have meaningful conversations about things that matter.
- As long as he hasn’t given you clear signs that he’s not available or flat out said he’s not interested, it’s worth pursuing your feelings.
When to Tell a Guy You Like Him
Once you decide to tell a guy you like him, you should consider when.
The timing and delivery of your message can play a huge role in the outcome. Resist planning every detail, but do take time to think about the following:
- Tell him when it’s just the two of you, preferably in a quiet, relaxed setting where you’ll have a chance to talk without being interrupted.
- Consider life events. For example, right after a breakup, job loss, or death in the family is probably not the best time to reveal your feelings.
- Ideally, you both should be in good, generally stress-free moods.
- Give yourself a deadline. You want to wait for a good time, but steer clear of waiting for the “perfect” time because there will always be a reason not to put yourself out there. Applying a deadline allows you to wait for good timing without avoiding it forever.
How to Tell a Guy You Like Him: 11 of the Best Ways
Now you need to decide how to tell a guy you like him without scaring him off.
Remember that building it up in your mind makes it more difficult. It’s normal to feel a little nervous, but sharing your feelings doesn’t have to be awkward or scary.
Here are the 11 best ways to share, not scare.
1. Test the Waters
Use subtle hints to test the waters before full-on confessing your feelings.
Casually touch his arm while laughing at a joke he told (as long as it’s funny.) Let your eye contact linger a little while sending him a smile. Sit or stand a little closer to him.
2. Tell Him in Person
Face-to-face communication is the best way to tell him how you feel. It allows you to gauge his reaction on the spot. His facial expressions and body language can reveal a lot about whether he shares your sentiment.
Be honest and be yourself, but keep it light. There’s no need to bare your soul at this point.
Don’t trick or manipulate him, and avoid telling him you love him.
3. Or Tell Him Over the Phone
Over the phone. Less ideal than in person but still a good choice. While you won’t see his facial expressions or body language, his tone of voice can reveal a lot.
Keep it simple. Start with a casual conversation to determine his mood and ensure it’s a good time to chat.
4. Prepare What You’ll Say
Rehearse what you will say–with the understanding that it may not go exactly as planned. You don’t need a script necessarily.
Just know what general points you want to make and practice saying it a few different ways. Then use whichever words feel right and natural at that moment.
Don’t obsess, though. You’re doing this to feel confident and prepared.
5. Visualize Your Talk
Picture yourself in the situation as you rehearse what you will say. Visualization familiarizes you with the emotions you will likely feel, allowing you to practice your feelings and making it easier to manage them when they happen.
6. Give Him a Gift
Again, keep it simple–a sticker of his favorite band, a keychain that symbolizes a joke between the two of you, or just something small that made you think of him.
Don’t send flowers to his office or splurge on tickets to the big game.
7. Text Him If You Must
If telling him in person or over the phone isn’t possible or is too much to handle, send him a simple text.
(Be sure to read the next section for tips on texting him how you feel.)
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8. Show Him How You Feel
Do little things to show him he’s special. Nothing expensive or over the top, though.
Bring him his favorite kind of muffin from the new bakery by your office. Ask about his sick aunt he talked about last week. Put your phone away when you’re spending time together and focus your attention on him.
9. Find Common Ground
Take an interest in something he likes. Don’t force yourself to do something you hate, but listen to a podcast or read a book he mentioned. Then tell him what you thought.
You could also share with him when you come across something you think he’ll enjoy, like a new band that sounds similar to his favorite.
10. Offer Praise
Compliment him on something specific, like how respectfully he treats servers in restaurants or his ability to put a positive spin on crappy situations. Of course, only say it if you mean it and if it’s true. And don’t gush. Be honest and genuine.
11. Ask for His Advice
Maybe you have a work problem he can help you with. Or keep it light and ask him to recommend a new show to binge-watch. This shows you value his opinion and trust him.
How to Tell a Guy You Like Him Over Text
Texting your feelings is highly debated. Some relationship experts believe it’s okay, while others call it impersonal or even cowardly.
On the one hand, it gives you time to choose your words carefully and him time to form a meaningful response. And it can take some of the pressure off both of you.
Alternatively, the lack of non-verbal cues can make it more nerve-wracking.
But the truth is, only you know what’s best for you. If texting makes you feel most comfortable, then go for it–with a few considerations.
- Make sure he’s a texter. If he’s someone who despises texting and prefers phone calls or speaking in person, reconsider this option.
- Choose a time when he’s likely not distracted.
- Get his attention first. Rather than spilling it right off the bat, use general conversation starters.
- Wait for a response before sending follow-up texts. Sending too many messages in a row might overwhelm him.
- Prepare to be ghosted. If you choose to go the text route, you have to be prepared for no response at all. When you’re face to face with a guy, he has to respond. Even if he doesn’t use words, his facial expression and body language will say it all. With text, he can simply ignore your message if he’s uninterested.
What Happens When You Tell a Guy You Like Him?
Whichever way you choose to tell him, limit your expectations. Go into it to share that you like him without needing him to reply or share how he feels.
But make sure he knows he can respond honestly.
Sure, reciprocating your feelings is your ideal outcome, but you can’t control another’s feelings. No matter what happens, remain calm and smile. Seeing a graceful, mature reaction will make him respect you as a person, even if he doesn’t want to date you. It also shows you respect him.
Consider all the ways he could react and craft positive responses in advance.
- He has feelings for you, too, and wants to be in a relationship.
Express feelings of relief and happiness, but maintain your composure. Let your new status unfold naturally.
- He hadn’t considered it but is interested in dating you, getting to know you, and seeing where things go.
Set plans to spend time together soon, but don’t pressure him or force it. Suggest a day or activity and casually go from there.
- He doesn’t feel the same.
He might want to remain friends, or he might not.
Either way, his not liking you doesn’t in any way alter your worth or beauty. It just means he’s not the guy for you, and there’s somebody else out there better suited.
Feeling rejected might sting a little, and that’s okay. Feel your feelings and move on. Don’t make him feel guilty or try to change his mind.
- He wants time to process.
In this case, give him the time and space he needs to sort out his feelings.
Resist texting or calling, and wait for him to reach out to you. Behave normally if you run into him.
- He ghosts you.
He may freak out or feel uncomfortable and avoid you afterward.
- He’ll get a big head, tell everyone you know, and tease you about it whenever you see him.
A negative reaction like this is likely what has you fearful of telling a guy you like him in the first place.
Think of it like this: aren’t you glad you avoided wasting time with such an immature jerk?
It can be hard to gather the courage to share romantic feelings with someone. But the principles behind how to tell a boy you like him have remained the same since middle school: stay true to yourself and be honest.
Regardless of what happens, stepping out of your comfort zone leads to personal growth, and you will most definitely benefit from that.
Your turn! Which of these ideas helped your situation? What other tips do you have?