Relationships can change, so if you're thinking that you're getting those "I like you" vibes from a friend, you could definitely be on to something. Whether it's someone new, or an old pal, it's possible that someone secretly has feelings for you. If you're digging it, that's awesome. If not, that's cool, too. Either way, it's best to figure out your next steps in confronting the situation.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on feeling happy and satisfied in their relationships, as well as feeling open to meeting new people and making deeper connections. Sometimes, it might surprise you to get a new "crush" or to realize that someone has greater feelings for you than you expected. If this is the case, it's a good idea to not close off instantly, but to process how best to handle it. For instance, do you like this person back? Could you? Is this person close to you already? These factors can determine how best to communicate. Of course, you'll never want to hurt someone else's feelings if the love isn't reciprocated. Here are 9 ways to know that someone secretly has feelings for you. Whether you choose to to embark upon this new journey of love is totally up to you.
1. They Have Flirty Body Language
"Take a look at body language," says licensed marriage and family counselor, Erika Fay, LMFT, over email with Bustle. "Does this person maintain eye contact with you while you are talking? Does he or she lean in to you? Do they touch you, either on the arm or leg or back? If so, these can all be indicators that they are interested," Fay says.
2. They Mimic Your Actions & Posture
Fay says that mimicking your own body language, such as posture or smiling, can be common in those who secretly having feelings for you. If you notice these similarities, it could mean that he or she is trying to connect with you physically, as well as emotionally.
3. They Text You A Lot
If they're texting you to just see how you're doing (especially during the day, and not once midnight hits), it could mean they're into you. "Checking in on you just to say hi or see how you are doing can also be an indicator of interest," says explains Fay, where there's no excuse to talk, just a desire to.
4. They Remember Things You Say
It can be hard to pay attention to what people do and say all the time, but if someone secretly has feelings for you, he or she will be extra careful to pay attention and remember your thoughts and actions. If they're super sharp, it could be a clear sign that you matter to them.
5. They Use Humor A Lot
Yes, it's natural to make jokes in conversation, so of course, it might not be a guaranteed sign. Yet, if there's ample humor in the conversation, it could mean that they're trying to flirt and lighten the mood, says Fay. "Often times people use humor to gage how responsive someone else is to them," Fay explains.
6. They Compliment You A Ton
Stacy Kaiser, licensed psychotherapist, author, relationship expert and Editor at Large of Live Happy Magazine explains over email with Bustle that "often times a person who is having feelings for you will be appreciative and gracious." Kaiser adds, "You will find that you are getting lots of compliments, perhaps a thank you cup of coffee for some work you did with them or they often offer to return the favor if you have done something for them."
7. They're Shy & Awkward
And on the other end of the spectrum, someone might be shy and awkward when they secretly have feelings for you and are unsure how to act (for instance you might not reciprocate those feelings), explains Kaiser. If this is the case, try and ease them and make them feel more comfortable in conversation.
8. They Like Cuddling
People who are simply friends (or maybe just a benefits) don't usually cuddle, as cuddling can be associated with feelings. If someone is looking to cuddle with you, it is definitely a sign that there's deeper intimacy there, and he or she is interested in getting to know you better.
9. They Get Jealous
If they start to make faces or say snarky comments when you mention dating someone else, or when someone is staring at you in public, it's typically a sign that they're interested (and super jealous of all your other "suiters"). Look for those subtle signals as a way to gauge their emotions.
If you notice any of these signs, it could definitely mean that greater feelings exist. From that point on, decide for yourself how to approach it, and of course, be nice.