How to Tell a Guy You Like Him (Even If You’re Scared)

A girl who is trying to learn how to tell a guy you like him, laughing nervously and playing with her hair as she talks to a guy.

When you catch feelings for someone, it can happen in an instant or over the course of a long friendship, but one day you wake up feeling different. You get giddy and excited every time you think about him, you look forward to hanging out together, you make excuses to run into him places… In a nutshell, you’ve got it bad. But after weeks or even months of silently longing for a guy, there’s comes a time when your longing should be silent no more. That’s right, it’s time to tell this guy you like him.  

We all fear rejection, and that fear always rears up when you care about someone and are putting yourself out there. But fear not, here are a few of our favorite tips for getting over your hesitations so you can tell a guy how you really feel.

1. Gauge how he feels.
Pay attention to how he behaves towards you. If he texts you often, smiles at you when you’re in groups, or makes frequent physical contact, then he’s either interested or feels close to you platonically. Either case can be a good launching pad for something more, so they’re good signs. On the other hand, if he’s unresponsive when you reach out, talks through you, or is otherwise inconsiderate, it’s unlikely that he reciprocates your feelings. In this case, you may want to reevaluate whether or not your feelings are a product of chemistry between the two of you or if you’re projecting what you want to see onto him.

2. Imagine your ideal outcome and tailor your approach.
Usually, when you’re interested in a guy and need to tell him you like him it’s because you’re in one of two situations: either you’ve been seeing him casually for a while, or you’ve been friends and you’re looking to take things further.

If you’ve been seeing a guy casually, you’re probably looking to to take things to the next level and be in a committed relationship with him. If so, tell him that you really enjoy your time with him and you want to take things to the next step. In other words, have the define the relationship (DTR) talk.

Alternatively, if you’ve been friends up until now, ask him to meet with you one-on-one and get ready to share your feelings. When you open up to him, it doesn’t need to be dramatic. Just tell him you’ve been thinking about him as more than a friend and you’d like to go on a date. If he agrees and the moment feels right, you may want to go in for the kiss right there. That sexual contact changes the dynamic of the relationship and smooths the transition from friends into something more.

3. Change your mindset.
This is a big one. Often, the hardest part about sharing your feelings with someone is the worry that they won’t like you back—that you’ll be exposed because you said it first and when they don’t reciprocate you look dumb for it or you’re worth less, somehow. While it never feels good to be rejected, remember that it doesn’t mean anything other than he wasn’t interested. Don’t let it devastate you, and remember you always bring value to the table—that hasn’t changed.  

4. Be bold.
When you’re finally ready to tell a guy how you feel, be brave. After all the pep talking, it’ll still be scary, but you have to say something or you’re back at square one. Text him and ask for a one-on-one meeting. Say there’s something you want to tell him. Pro tip: don’t let on that you’re nervous over text. When you meet up, tell him how you feel honestly and openly. Whether he feels the same or is considering your feelings for the first time, an impassioned appeal is your best bet at getting what you want. When you’ve said your piece, give him time to respond. If he feels the same, have a DTR talk or schedule a date.

5. Accept rejection if it comes.
Unfortunately, just like the Rolling Stones song you can’t always get what you want. When that happens, all that’s left to do is be civil and tell him that you want to keep being friends and mean it. Tell him that you feel better for getting everything off your chest, and you’re ready for whatever comes after. These things only really get weird when you get upset for not receiving the response you’re hoping for. Remember love requires two, and if he’s not feeling it, it isn’t meant to be.

Being candid with our feelings is something we’re told to do, but we’re never taught how. Even once you get the hang of it, it’s not easy. The best you can do is share how you feel and hope for the best. And when things don’t work out try again next time.

Alex Bocknek

Alex Bocknek is the senior editor of The Date Mix and works at Zoosk, the online dating service. He’s also a recovering music critic and an aspiring fiction writer (probably lost) on the way to an independent bookstore near you. He can be found occasionally musing about politics, philosophy, and love in the modern world.

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