Dating

12 Subtle Signs Someone Is Crushing Hard On You

It might be time to make your move.

The signs someone has a crush on you aren't always obvious.
Shutterstock
Updated: 
Originally Published: 

In elementary school, having a crush meant you whispered to all your friends about how cute they were and never, ever actually spoke to the object of your affection. This would continue over and over as you moved on and found someone new you liked. As adults, it'd be great to say we've moved on from this and are 100% open about how we feel when we’re attracted to someone. Unfortunately, being upfront about who you have feelings for can still feel as scary as it did back on the playground — especially if you’re not sure they feel the same. Hey, telling your crush how you feel takes a lot of guts, and sometimes it feels easier to just play it cool and see how it goes.

Fortunately, Reddit users are here to help you figure out exactly how to tell if someone has a crush on you. An AskReddit thread asked, "What screams, 'I have a crush on you'?" and users responded with everything from personal anecdotes to simple signs of crushes to take note of. All of these examples, as behavioral scientist and relationship coach Clarissa Silva tells Bustle, come down to the science of what’s happening in our brains when we develop feelings toward someone.

“Brain and behavior give it away all the time!” Silva says. “There are a few neurochemical processes that are occurring for both men and women when they are into each other: Your body is releasing adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, in addition to testosterone and estrogen. When you’re into someone, your body speeds up to process them all.”

It can be tricky to spot the signs someone has a crush on you. It's good to know what to look out for if you think somebody likes you — and what little hints you can convey if you're into someone, too. Here are the signs someone has a crush on you, according to both Reddit users and experts.

1

They Always Want To Be Near You

Shutterstock

"When they wanna sit by you all the time"

Djdanny90999

Just being around your crush can be exciting. “Someone is definitely into you when they plan to make more time for you,” Silva says. “Their desire to spend time and be involved in your world and day is a good sign they are constantly thinking of you.” If you find someone making excuses to be near you, it's a good sign they're crushing hard.

2

They Bring You Extra Food

“Bringing you extra food or small little gifts to see your reaction”

Doctordoomduck

For many people, food is a great way to connect with someone. “When someone is going above and beyond to make you aware of their interest, like bringing you gifts, [or] focusing on your favorite foods and music, it’s a sign they are studying you,” says Silva.

3

They Look At You

“Eye contact. Specifically when they are far away.”

marcuswalker15_2_0

Eye contact is an amazing way to show you're interested in someone. When someone locks eyes with you, it's a great way for them to send a signal that they're interested. Silva chalks up this kind of behavior to the neurochemical brain reactions, too. “The intensity of these reactions are euphoric and is what makes you ‘addicted’ to a potential partner,” Silva says.

4

They Laugh At Everything You Say

“Little things like when that person is asking others about you & you hear about it, when you can tell they keep looking at you when you're near each other, laughing at all of your jokes even if they're bad, trying to get their attention in little ways”

lenerz

Let's be real, not everything you say will be funny. But if you find them acting like it is, it looks like someone's got a crush. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, responsive laughter is strongly associated with dating interest. Simultaneous laughter is an even bigger indicator.

5

They Look At You Like You're Art

“Personally, the way you look at them. I was unaware, but one of my friends could tell I had a crush on this girl solely based on how I looked at her during a conversation. Apparently I looked at her like she was “art”. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul for a reason i guess”

PM_ME_SKYLINES

Another way of saying this is they have major heart eyes when they look at you — more scientifically known as having dilated pupils. Clinical psychologist Holly Schiff previously told Bustle that “physiological responses like sexual excitement or attraction release oxytocin and dopamine into your brain, which affect your pupil size.”

6

They Give You Thoughtful Gifts

“Making them a mixtape”

Cyka_McBlyat

Romantic gift-giving, in general, is motivated by wanting to elicit the most enthusiastic emotional responses from the receiver, according to a 2018 study. So, you better believe someone likes you if they're paying attention to your interests and giving you something thoughtful. While we've pretty much left mixtapes and CDs in elementary school, a modern-day take on this might be sharing a playlist with someone on Spotify or sending them a YouTube or TikTok link to a song they might like — still pretty cute.

7

They're Nervous Around You

Shutterstock

“Nervousness. When I used to "crush", I'd stutter or trip over my words. They thought it was cute. I was mortified.”

MrsSpeller

If you find them to be nervous or drifting off when they talk to you, it may just mean they're timid about their feelings. In fact, it’s very common that someone will have nerves and other anxiety-related physiological and behavioral reactions during a first encounter with an individual they find highly attractive, according to a 2020 study published in the journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology.

8

They Borrow Something From You

“Pretending to ask help on text? Like getting asked by the said person for notes or pencil even though they have it covered?”

Chungter5576

We've all been there where we need something to talk about with our crush, but nothing comes to mind. Asking for something as simple as a pencil is the perfect excuse. "Many times when we like someone we look for ways to make them feel needed, as well as swoop in and show how we can 'save the day' and how 'nice' we are," relationship expert Brenda Della Casa previously told Bustle.

9

They Show You Lots Of Love On Social Media

“Liking/commenting on EVERYTHING I post on Facebook.”

AbstractActa

When someone is too scared to tell you they like you in person, liking your social posts is a great start. Throwing likes your way is a pretty good indication that they're into you. "If someone is constantly liking or commenting on your social media, they're probably interested in you," author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra previously told Bustle. "With all the content flying around nowadays, if someone takes the time to check out everything you post, you know there is more to it than meets the eye."

10

They Blush When You Talk

“Blushing”

Bigleonard

Blushing may be the biggest giveaway that someone is interested in you. It's uncontrollable and seems to get worse when we try to stop. “Increased adrenaline levels [are] what make you start to sweat, your heart race, ‘butterflies in your stomach,’ blushing, and/or your mouth going dry whenever you are around the person,” says Silva. “If you notice these things, there is no doubt about what they are feeling for you.”

11

They Angle Their Body Toward You

“Talking to a group, but always addressing and angling your body towards one person. Great trick for pairing off in bars.”

ImUglyandDumb

Body language is a great way to detect crushes. If you find someone angling their body toward you while in a group conversation, they may be ensuring you're aware of their interest, as certified relationship coach Susan Golicic previously told Bustle. “If their knees are pointed in your direction under the table, then they are interested," said Golicic. "Their body is giving you their attention even if their brain is having trouble engaging because of nervousness."

12

They Communicate Nonverbally With You

“They always look to you first when something funny happens.”

Batticon

Your crush will want you to be a part of their life in every way. When something funny happens, you'll be the first one they want to tell. “You may notice that you both begin to have more constant communication and they are super responsive to your messages,” Silva says. And if communication goes beyond just talking (maybe you’re also flirting over text), that’s when you’ll really know the connection is growing.

Having a crush is a fun, exciting thing that makes you constantly feel just a bit giddy and as if you’re on the edge of your seat. It’s important, though, to remember not to get too caught up in trying to read and interpret signs that someone may (or may not) be giving you, according to Silva.

“Intuition does offer quick appraisal of a person and how they make us feel, but that might not always be reliable,” says Silva. “Our brain is constantly comparing our current situation with our memories of previous situations. So, when trying to read someone’s behavior, it might be based on past experiences and our desire for us to confirm that we’re reading it right.”

Of course, it's always best to be upfront about how you're feeling, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Whether you're trying to find out if someone likes you back or show someone you're into them, these little signs can be huge hints in most situations. Here's to hoping they blush back.

Studies referenced:

Hall, J. A. (2015). Sexual Selection and Humor in Courtship: A Case for Warmth and Extroversion. Evolutionary Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704915598918

Hughes, S.M., Harrison, M.A. & de Haan, K.M. (2020). Perceived Nervous Reactions during Initial Attraction and Their Potential Adaptive Value. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology 6, 30–56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-019-00127-y

Leknes, S., Wessberg, J., Ellingsen, D.-M., Chelnokova, O., Olausson, H., & Laeng, B. (2012). Oxytocin enhances pupil dilation and sensitivity to ‘hidden’ emotional expressions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(7), 741–749. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nss062

Yang, A. X., & Urminsky, O. (2018). The smile-seeking hypothesis: How immediate affective reactions motivate and reward gift giving. Psychological Science, 29(8), 1221–1233., https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0956797618761373

Experts:

Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method

Holly Schiff, clinical psychologist

Brenda Della Casa, relationship expert

Jaya Jaya Myra, author and life coach

Susan Golicic, certified relationship coach