Having a crush can be a vulnerable-making and completely nerve-wracking experience. You like this person but you don’t know if they like you back but you think they like you and you sit around and dream up scenarios whereby they do like you back or maybe they just make the first, extremely romantic move, and then WHEW. All of this is really just about fear of rejection, and though you totally need to be yourself, you’re less likely to be rejected if you play it cool. But playing it cool doesn’t have to mean waiting around for someone else to make the first move. You can be bold, but in our socially awkward world, sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right, especially if you have a history of embarrassing yourself in social situations (guilty). Here’s a guide to letting someone know you like them without worrying you’re going to freak them out.
General Tip: If you start a sentence with, “I don’t mean to be creepy,” you’re being creepy.
1. Actually just tell the person you like them
The Non-Creepy Way: Well this is pretty obvious. Just say it! It’s scary but you can do it! Text your love interest something like, “Hey! I like you. Want to go out sometime?” If the feeling isn’t mutual, move on. You WILL be okay.
The Creepy Way: That same text but your crush never gave you their number. . . and you hunted it down for like a week and now it seems like a horror movie.
2. Show this person extra support
The Non-Creepy Way: Your crush plays a sport, or plays in a band, or does open mic stand-up, or even does Trivia Night at a bar every Monday. As long as this has been mentioned to you (or you’ve been invited via Facebook), why not go support and then wait around afterwards to tell the person they were really great and/or you enjoyed that XYZ thing they do (which of course you did because right now you are a swoony, in-crush, starry-eyed human).
The Creepy Way: Your crush never mentioned this event to you. You just saw their Facebook check-in and showed up. You never said, “Hi,” you just smiled at him from across the room hoping he’d approach you. He didn’t. So you lingered a bit too long. . .
3. Buy them a drink
The Non-Creepy Way: You’re at a bar, and you think that person across from you is cute. Tell the bartender you want to buy him a drink. Romance ensues.
The Creepy Way: He’s with another girl who could or could not be his girlfriend, but why are you going to take that kind of chance?
4. Spell it out the old-fashioned way
The Non-Creepy Way: Write an email or even pass along a quick note in class. Make it short and sweet and to the point, saying you’d like to hang out sometime.
The Creepy Way: Your “love letter” looks more like a ransom note, you’ve tried to get clever and make it from a “secret admirer” and you never signed your name thinking he’d just know, or at least guess correctly.
5. Lend them something, like a book
The Non-Creepy Way: Okay so this is a little Fault In Our Stars, but it still works: Pick a book you absolutely love that you think they will too. Talk to them about said book later. Tell them you lent it to them because you like them and you want to share more things like this with them. Wait with sweaty everything to hear what they say back.
The Creepy Way: Choosing something loaded-with-romance and over-the-top obvious.
Basically be confident and be yourself, unless yourself is creepy. We’re kidding, of course you’re not creepy. But hopefully this helped.