We’ve all been there: You feel drawn to a person. You think they’re drawn to you. You can barely think about anything else, as in you might even have trouble focusing, sleeping, or eating. Yes, you have a crush. What a fun and excruciating time for you! Please accept my sincerest congratulations and my condolences.
Since a crush comes with the petal-plucking mental exercise of “they love me, they love me not,” you may find yourself examining every move this lucky person makes. Although the signs below may help you move toward clarity, you might want to try something novel until you can be (more) sure crush likes you: Assume they do.
“It’s always better to assume someone likes you for confidence purposes, because hey, you’re awesome and a gift,” says Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting. “Put yourself on a pedestal prior to putting anyone else on one. All this means is that you verbally put yourself out there and give someone the opportunity to say ‘yes.’ Listen when someone says ‘no,’ but first give them the opportunity to say it.”
Now that you’re ready to “yes, and,” look out for these signals your crush likes you.
1. They make eye contact with you.
Eye contact is one of the tried-and-true signs a person is intrigued, even captivated, by you, especially if you don’t know them well. “When you’re thinking of approaching a stranger, eye contact is usually a green light to approach,” says Ritter. “It implies they are interested in what you have to say during a conversation — maybe not a date, but that’s at least a starting point.”
2. They smile at you, a lot.
It may sound like a given, but the road to accurately reading a crush’s body language is paved with self-doubt and second-guessing. Yet life coach Stacy Caprio says it’s just about impossible to misinterpret frequent smiling. “If someone smiles every time they look at you, even when you haven’t smiled first or said anything funny, it’s a pretty sure sign they have a crush on you.”
3. They go out of their way to be noticed by you.
If you keep running into your crush — and not because you’ve memorized their schedule — they might be running into you. When you spot them in the wild, note if they seem to be showing off (talking or laughing louder than is necessary) for further evidence to support your suspicion. “They might like a bunch of old Instagram photos or ‘randomly’ show up as a customer every time you’re working,” says David Bennett, co-owner of Double Trust Dating. And if you’re coworkers? “They may even find odd reasons to walk by your desk.”
4. They ask questions about you.
Sure, most people are polite and ask a few perfunctory questions about your life; however, if you get the sense your crush genuinely wants to know you better, it’s a safe bet they like you, at the very least as a friend. “One of the clearest indications of interest can be direct, open-ended questions,” says dating coach Emily Hammel-Shaver. Why did you move to LA? What made you want to go to law school? Would you ever live in another country? “These questions are signs someone is interested in getting to know you on a deeper level — your feelings, opinions, values, and motivations. If we don’t care about someone, we don’t tend to ask probing questions like these.”
Whether the interest is romantic or platonic can be harder to discern, but someone who’s crushing on you will be a little more intense and likely ask questions in addition to one of the other signs on this list.
5. They say your name, often.
When someone likes you, they will find reasons to do this. Psychotherapist Christine Scott-Hudson, LMFT, says this is not only a sign they like you, but also one that they are not looking to explore tons of options. “Players tend to not care so much about the details of your life, including your name — people are merely objects, conquests. One is no more special than another and no more compelling than the next,” says Scott-Hudson.
6. They give you their undivided attention.
“If someone is crushing on you, they will engage you in a way that is above and beyond how they engage other people. They will message you back quickly, respond with a lot more information, and show a real interest in your life,” says Bennett. This is something that may also come through in body language: A crush may stand closer than is necessary or gently touch your arm.
7. Their friends leave the two of you alone.
Your crush’s friends probably know a lot about their feelings toward you, so if they quietly disappear every time the two of you talk, it’s probably not an accident. Your crush may use a moment like this to suggest more one-on-one time. “In a group setting, someone who likes you may try to create a ‘spinoff plan’ for the two of you to do something you mentioned as an interest (like hiking or seeing a new movie),” says Scott-Hudson. Consider this a flashing red heart.
On the flip side, here’s one sign you should move on already.
You feel like you’re vying for their attention.
Just like someone who is crushing on you will give you all the attention, someone who doesn’t may offer little of it. This can take the shape of one-word replies, delayed responses over text, or conversations where they seem unengaged and distracted. In the case that your friendship or relationship is more developed, you may notice them prioritizing other things and people over you. “A crush will typically drop everything to give their crush attention,” says Bennett. “If someone is always flaking on you or choosing to do other things rather than see you, then I would guess they just don’t like you on a crush level.”