Did you know that men and women process rejection differently? I bet that’s one of the reasons you’ve been holding off on telling the guy you like you’re interested in him.
According to Dr. Suzanne Degges-White, men see it as a challenge to their masculinity, while we women tend to think we deserved it because we’re not good enough.
Another culturally-normative way for a guy to process rejection is to see it as an insult to how he’s perceived in terms of social hierarchy and lash out. On the other hand, we might blame the person who rejected us but try to get over the insult with grace. What I’m trying to say here is that liking someone and getting rejected by them has been a thing since forever.
Unlike guys who have had generations of practice in asking ladies out and are thus better equipped for handling the dreaded ‘no,’ we are relatively new to the process. Therefore, you want to be absolutely sure of doing it right if you plan to make the first move. As usual, I’m here to take the edge off by walking you through how to tell a guy you like him.
If you are into business, then you are probably familiar with this particular method. It’s okay if you aren’t, I’ll explain, I can be a bit shy, so this is one thing I usually employ when I like a guy. Strategic Positioning, as I like to call it, is basically telling a guy I like him without using words.
It is mostly you placing yourself in his direct environment, not too often, just enough for him to be aware that you are there. What you aim for here is to plant a seed of interest in Mr. Charming and let him do the pursuing, thinking it’s his idea.
That means if your location of choice is at work or in class, you could choose to sit near him or not too far from him. However, you do not move in when he’s engrossed in an assignment. No one can ignore a pretty girl strategically in their way, even if he’s with his friends, he’ll notice you if you play your cards well.
Target the period when he’s free, like when his workload for the day is starting to decrease or when he usually takes his break, and casually hang around being your pretty self. The chances of him breaking the silence are higher if you’ve picked up a few signs that he might be into you as well.
Here’s a little secret about men, they like to feel needed. A shortcut to how to tell a guy you like him is to use this secret to your advantage. I don’t know if it’s internalized patriarchy, but making a guy feel smart or strong or as they like to call it, masculine, really gets their juices flowing.
I assume you already know a thing or two about the guy you like, even if from afar. Get to know his core strength and enter through there. If he is a macho man, you could appeal to the gentleman in him by enlisting his help in getting something heavy or ask his advice on how to help your younger brother look more like him. Ridiculous? Maybe, but it’s an icebreaker that works.
If he is more of a nerd than a bodybuilder, ask to collaborate on a project, or pick his brain on a tough subject. Being genuine earns you bonus points, but so does good acting. If you already know the answer to what you are asking, he doesn’t need to know that, so he doesn’t feel like you’re wasting his time.
While he is helping, you get to spend more time with him, maybe learn something in the process, and most importantly, you are indebted to him. You can seize the opportunity of expressing your gratitude as an opening to show interest, perhaps invite him for dinner, or a drink, for starters.
Say something like, "thanks so much, now I owe drinks right?" you’ll know if he also has feelings for you or just considers you as one of his friends.
Converting a platonic relationship to a romantic one can sometimes be so complicated that many think it’s not worth the effort until they develop a crush for one of their friends. If the guy friend you like has been close for a while and you can’t bear being just part of the squad anymore, this is one way to go.
Get to know what he likes, and tell him some of the things relating to those things that interest him. For example, if he’s favorite club one the game last night you could say something like “so someone’s team one the game last night, how are we celebrating?”
This light flirtation would take him by surprise, but it would ignite the thought in his head, and if he likes you, he might be pushed to tell you his true feelings. The good thing is the initial awkwardness of speaking to a crush for the first time is no longer there.
Unfortunately, that can also be the catch, he has seen you in your most relaxed state, with other friends. So much that he probably sees you less as an eligible person to date than a bro with boobs.
So how do you break through that barrier? Pull back a little, don’t stop being yourself entirely but do it more appealingly. Even more than your looks, a sure way to reel him in is by making him feel special, like a chosen one out of your cohort.
Take your closeness with him up a notch by making him a confidant. Get his trust by sharing information about yourself that you’ve never told the group with him. If he asks why tell him, it’s because you feel you can talk to him without getting judged.
He wouldn’t take this level of vulnerability for granted, and if all goes well, he’d be sharing personal stuff with you too in no time.
Too chicken to do the needful? Be thankful if you have friends that can double as a wingman. In every squad, there is always a fearless one that is carefree enough to do the job, and a backup person in case the other one is incapacitated. If you are usually the bold one in your crew, the job goes to your sub this time.
If it feels a little juvenile, that’s only because it is, it mostly worked in high school, who is to say it wouldn’t work now? It helps if your messenger is already friends with the guy, say they are on the same team or live on the same street. He/she can leverage the established connection to slide you into the mind of your crush and get your love life started.
If he is a stranger to all of your friends, you could go through his. Your wingman can invite him, and his crew on a group hang with yours, for I don’t know, make up an excuse. During the hangout, your job is to be yourself while your assistant puts you on his radar. You could also ask his buddies a bunch of curious questions about him when he’s not there and be sure they’ll get back to him.
I wouldn’t recommend this though because a lot could go wrong, especially if your friend isn’t particularly experienced. Or you know, they could have chemistry, and he becomes interested in her instead of you, making you lose on two ends.
Whether you go with strategic positioning or a bit more direct approach, body language is a vital tool on how to tell a guy you like him. People respond to the energy you give off when you are with them, and in this case, like charges attract. A smile could go a long way when you are trying to get someone to like you back.
Make sure to hold his gaze when he makes eye contact and smile at him, you may not be verbally expressing your feelings for him, but he gets the message. Giving off positive vibes makes him see you as approachable, even without having to say anything. When you do happen to be in the same space, put a little more effort into batting those eyelashes, and sway those hips a little extra as you walk towards or away from him.
A bit of flirting never hurt anyone, you just have to make sure he realizes that’s what you are doing, while you at the same time try not to be too overt. Unlike opening lines that happen to work differently on both genders, body gestures are less ambiguous. So, while your crush may not recognize that you are trying to flirt if your chosen words aren’t direct enough, a sexy hair flip or an electric touch could do the trick.
By electric touch, I don’t mean something necessarily sexual. You could make it a point to graze his arm ever-so-lightly while reaching for something between you two. If he’s even the least bit interested, he’ll read this as you make the first move and take it from there.
There is something called the similarity-attraction effect, whereby people tend to be attracted to those who share their interests and values. It’s a handy phenomenon if you’re trying to get someone to like you back. It may not be enough to get him in your bed or make him your life partner, but it’s a good premise.
You may say, "the guy I like may not have feelings for me", but there’s no sure way to tell except you give things a chance.
Figure out what the person you like enjoys doing, and pick them up too, if you can. At the very least, this gives you common ground, something in which you are both interested in. If his hobbies aren’t something you can pick up, you can still show interest by asking him about them.
We all like to talk about what we love, so broaching the subject shouldn’t be much of an issue. Ask him why he does it, and follow up, you can also tell him about some of your interests, who knows what feeling could spark up from a nice conversation talking about things that interest you both.
Being genuinely interested makes it easier for you, then again, that shouldn’t be an issue if you really like him. He will find your curiosity intriguing, maybe even flattering, and will gradually loosen his defenses around you.
You can now ride on that common ground to make your questions more personal. Ask about what it’s like being him, other things he enjoys doing if he’s seeing someone, his near-future plans, and so on. If your intentions weren’t clear to him before, he’d definitely know you’re into him now, and his reaction will tell you which way to go.
One trick I’ve learned on how to tell a guy you like him is to treat him the way you want someone who likes you to treat you. Have you ever been approached by an admirer and been completely put off, not by his appearance but his style? Maybe a tacky pickup line, an egotistical manner of speaking, or something equally off-putting?
The trick is to not be that person, luckily, we have the upper hand in this kind of situation as every woman has seen a variety of styles from lines to action. All that’s left is for you to get creative and convert those ideas you laugh at with your friends into something actionable.
You think you might have appreciated your last suitor better if he put a little more thought into his method? Adopt that. Speaking of thinking, you can also extend gestures that tell him he’s on your mind.
If you are not sure of what you can do to pass that message across, refer to some of the conversations you’ve had with him, and do something for him that shows you’ve been paying attention.
Is his birthday coming up? Get him a sentimental gift a casual friend wouldn’t even remember him mentioning. If you haven’t had the chance to talk that deep with him, arrange for that to happen, and hang on every word.
Another way to tell him about your feelings is to compliment him now and then. We all love to hear something nice about ourselves. It may not be a big deal to you because, as a lady, you probably get it all the time. However, since guys are usually the ones who actively go after their love interest, they don’t get complimented quite as much.
It means a lot to them when they get a little bit of that love back, and you can use this to your advantage. Words of affirmation take nothing away from you, but it can improve your relationship with the recipient significantly. Are you enthralled by the way his mind works? Tell him.
Is it his looks you like? Tell him. His voice, his personality, his ability to make people feel good just by breathing? Tell him. You don’t necessarily need to have feelings for someone before you pay them a compliment, but it can be a way to let that person know you’re interested.
It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it, someone you like gets to feel good about himself, and at the very least, it puts you on his mind too. Just remember not to go over the top with your praise, we don’t want him to register you in his mind as the creepy lady with the fake compliments.
This one is straight out of the movies, I know, but these feelings won’t get themselves out there, will they? Remember what I said about giving men a taste of their own medicine when it comes to wooing? Although I’m not sure this phrase applies as it is typically used for something unpleasant but let’s say it does.
If I had a dollar for every time a man has sent drinks over to my friends and me at a bar just to get us to look at his side, or when a random guy has asked that your tab be put on his at a café.
Men enjoy doing that because having the means to put a smile on the face of a hot girl they dig is something many of them live for. They feel comfortable spending on women when they can, even those for whom they have no feelings whatsoever, although they might expect something else in return.
Just like compliments, guys usually don’t get pampered financially by women they are not dating, and this makes it mean even more than the money’s worth when someone does.
Hence, if you ‘accidentally’ run into your crush at a bar or café, show him you care by getting his tab if you can afford it. It is also a good, if not the best way to break the ice if you’ve never spoken to the guy you have feelings for before then.
No offense to men, but they can be clueless on the subject of feelings and whatnot, especially when they are not expecting it. You know how you can tell if a guy likes you without him having to do half of the things on this list? I can’t be sure, but I don’t think it works for men that way. Either that or they like to feign ignorance to keep the attention coming.
Anyhow, a way to cut through the bull crap of wondering if he got the message or wasting time planning a love life that may not happen is to hit the nail on the head. Ask him to go on a date with you, if he says yes, that’s one thing out of the way, and one step towards getting your man.
While you guys are there, you can talk about whatever, it might be a little awkward if you’re the excellent conversationalist between the two of you as you will most likely be ridden with nerves. However, if you can get past that, and tell him you like him, he’ll probably appreciate you making the first move.
Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, says we’re much more inclined to like someone if we know they have feelings for us as well. Tell him you like him today, the feelings might be mutual. Worst case scenario, he is taken or simply isn’t interested, so what? If you can survive bleeding for days every month, you can handle whatever he says.
Flirting with him is always a way to go if you don’t want to be direct. It works whether you are in the same physical space or only get to talk over the phone, but if you have the guts, you can just approach him directly and tell him how you feel.
Keep it simple and unambiguous, if you guys have been chatting before, you can embed your confession in humor, especially if you both find the same things funny. Timing is essential, so target when he’s in a good mood, like after he’s had a good laugh, then ask if he’d like to go out with you sometime.
You can pay extra attention to the things he likes, learn all you can about those things, start a conversation with him about them, and use the additional info you gather to do something thoughtful for him. You can also tell him you like him without actually having to say something by showing an interest in his life in general.
When you see, smile at him, compliment him occasionally, and laugh at his jokes, even when they are not really funny. You can also flirt with him in such a way that you can easily take back if you notice he is not buying it. That’s how to know if you like a guy, you’re willing to try other ways to get him to know that you have feelings for him.
Some guys try to act like their regular selves around their crush but end up doing the exact opposite. Some may have perfected the art of 'acting normal' around someone they have feelings for but won’t be able to stop thinking or talking about them when they are not around.
In the business of feelings, rejection is inevitable. However, its effect can be minimized if you leave nothing to chance, and that’s where this list comes in. If you have other insights on how to tell a guy that you like him that I didn’t mention, feel free to drop them in the comments and share the article if you enjoyed it.