How To Let Someone Know You’re Interested Without Being Too Obvious
If you've ever had a crush on someone, there comes a point when you start debating with yourself on whether or not you should say something. What if it all goes well and they like you back? What if they don't? Unless you're super confident and have a ton of experience in the matter, outwardly letting someone you know you're interested can be super intimidating. So what's the best way to let someone know you like them?
"I get this question a lot from my clients," Kac Young PhD, relationship coach and author, tells Bustle. "First thing I tell them to do is do a little research. Find out if they're single or not. If they're single, great. If not, it's probably best to keep it in at this time. If you see the coast is clear, then give them a genuine smile," she says. It may not seem like much, but it can create a spark if done authentically.
A 2018 study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that people put more effort into potential romantic partners when they feel like they have a chance. In other words, people like people who like them. But letting someone know you're interested in them is easier said than done. So here are some subtle ways to show someone you like them, according to experts.
1. Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact is one of the most subtle ways to show interest in someone. "They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so a little glance can go a long way," matchmaker Michelle Frankel, Founder & Chief Love Officer, of NYCity Matchmaking tells Bustle. If you're shy, the easiest thing you can do is just give someone a look. If it's someone you would like to meet at a supermarket, Target, or even a bar, just glance their way for a few seconds, she says. Chances are you will catch their eye. "If it's someone you already know, making eye contact with them when you are talking is showing them through body language how you feel," Frankel says.
2. Just Say "Hi"
OK look, giving someone a friendly "hello" may seem like an obvious thing to do. But some consider that making the first move. When you're taking that big step to say hello to an attractive stranger, that can be really scary. But as Frankel says, a friendly hello might be all it takes. "Everyone likes someone who is genuine," she says. "If you think the stranger next to you on the bus is cute, just say hi. If it's someone you know but you want to hint that you're interested, make an effort to engage in a conversation that they are a part of."
3. Ask Your Friends To Invite Them To A Group Event
Letting someone know you like them is all about creating opportunities to be around them so you can talk to them. According to Frankel, sometimes there is safety in numbers. "If you feel more comfortable in a group, get a group of mutual friends together," she says. "This is a way to take the pressure off a one-on-one situation. You will be more relaxed and can come across as the witty charming person you know you are!"
4. Make Light Physical Contact During Conversation
If you're a touchy-feely type, this may come natural for you. But if you're on the shy side, this may take a little more effort. According to relationship expert and psychotherapist, Emily Mendez, M.S., try making physical contact with your person of interest during conversation. "Try touching their arm lightly when talking. Or, make sure that your legs touch if you are sitting close together on a couch," she says. "If they don’t pull away when the two of you have physical contact, this is a pretty good indicator that they like you too." The keyword here is "light" touching. It's important to read their body language cues just to make sure they're OK and completely comfortable with it.
5. Mirror Their Body Language
When someone mirrors your actions, Alyssa Bunn, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle, they see you as something special. When you like someone, this may come naturally without you realizing it. So if they start laughing, laugh with them. When they smile, you should smile back. It's not about mimicking them in a childish way. It's about being responsive to them and building a rapport.
6. Be Attentive
"One of the easiest and best ways to let someone know you care is to simply listen," Frankel says. Be completely present when you're talking to them. Pay attention to what they're saying, ask follow-up questions, and just show genuine interest. Being interested in what they are saying lets them know you care. "This is an easy way to make someone feel important and let's them know that what they say matters," she says. "Everyone wants to feel important, and this might be the best route to their heart."
7. Be Your Lovely Warm And Inviting Self
Making eye contact, saying hi, and being attentive are great ways to show someone you're interested without being too obvious. But there's something a little more important that can possibly make them like you in return. "Your smile and genuine warmth are the main keys to attraction," Young says. "Let them see you glow with self-confidence and allow your natural qualities to attract them to you as much as your words."
There's a ton of risk involved in putting yourself out there and letting someone know you're interested. But without risk, there is no reward. You don't even have to outwardly ask someone out. Just hint at the possibilities. You never know what will happen unless you try. So don't be afraid to go for it! The more you do it, the more confident you'll be.