From a shift in their emoji usage to the kinds of questions they ask, there are lots of ways to spot the difference between how people text when they like you versus how they text when they’re just chatting as a friend. It’s a subtle art, but it really does come in handy when deciphering messages from your crush.
Texting is, after all, not really the best way to communicate — especially when it comes to sharing one’s feelings. "In person, there are many factors you can use to
determine if someone likes you," Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and dating expert, tells Bustle. "This includes vocal tone, facial expressions, physical touch, and other body language indicators." Read more: 50 Example Sexting Ideas You Can Use Right Now
With texting, it’s so easy to
miss a joke, misunderstand someone’s intentions, or even miss the fact they’re flirting entirely. But if you know what to look for, the signs will be there. “When someone likes you, their texting habits will definitely change,” Dr. Holly Schiff, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle.
In fact, she says making an effort via text is often one of the first things people do when they catch feelings. Not only is it an easy way to begin the “talking” stage of a relationship, but it’s also a casual way to see if they like you back.
If you spot the signs and are feelin’ their heart emojis, that’s when you’ll want to ask if they’d like to meet up. Once you’re around each other you’ll be able to see if you have good chemistry. (If you’re brave, you could even straight up
ask if they like you!) Until that day comes, here are a few ways to tell if someone likes you over text, according to experts. 1 They Reply Quickly
While you can’t expect someone to text when they’re busy at work or traveling, it is a great sign if your possible-future-partner makes an effort to write back quickly as often as possible. In fact, Schiff says one of the surest
signs someone likes you over text is a rapid response. It’s a way for them to show that you’re a priority in their life. It’s also a sign they enjoy talking to you and want to keep the conversation going. 2 Their Texts Are Engaging
They won’t give one word answers like “yep” or “idk.” Instead, they’ll share how they feel, tell you all about their day, and — most importantly — ask questions about
your life. Basically, “your texting conversations will be deeper and meaningful,” Bennett says, and it’ll seem to be creating a greater bond.
This will be true even if the person isn’t a huge “fan” of texting. As Bennett says, they’ll still try to do more than pass along facts and information because they know it’s important to you. (Once you get past the talking stage, they might even admit they didn’t like texting, but did it anyway because they were excited to talk to you. Aww.)
3 They Let You Know When They’ll Be Busy
If someone likes you, they’ll make it clear when they’re going to be unavailable — maybe because they’re working, going to sleep, or seeing friends — instead of just leaving you to wonder why they stopped responding.
“This is an indicator of consideration for you and that again affirms that the connection is important,”
Virginia Williamson, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. “They may not want you to get the wrong impression if they are out of touch.” 4 They Apologize For Being Gone
While there’s no need to gravel after missing a text, it is a good sign if they offer a quick apology for missing your message. “This shows that they are considerate since they don’t want to leave you wondering why they stopped responding to your texts, and that the connection you share is important to them,” Schiff says.
5 They Start Saying “We” Giselleflissak/E+/Getty Images
Another giveaway that someone has a crush on you? They start saying “we” and “us.” As relationship expert
Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., PhD, tells Bustle, “Those pronouns suggest a greater sense of a couple or shared identity (or what researchers call cognitive interdependence). In relationships, individuals merge and share their identity to become one. Using pronouns like we and us is a subtle sign that the process has already started.” 6 They Dish Out The Compliments
Keep an eye out for compliments, which therapist
Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW says is yet another sign they like you. They’ll find ways to say you look great, that you’re funny, that they love talking to you — anything that makes it clear they’re interested in you as a person.
Compliments might also be their way of testing the waters to see if you like them back, so go ahead and respond in kind. It can be nerve-racking to
flirt via text, but this is a surefire way to start building a connection in the early talking stages of dating. 7 You Use Nicknames
If you’ve come up with cute or funny nicknames for each other, go ahead and be (mildly) thrilled. "Using pet names such as 'sweetie' or 'babe' are signs they are falling for you," Hershenson says. Or, at the very least, that they’re willing to flirt and see how things go.
While the person in question shouldn't be doing this
too early — you probably won't want a "hey babe" from a perfect stranger, for example — it can be a sweet sign, as you get to know each other better, that they like you. 8 They Find Ways To Prolong The Conversation
If your crush is giving you more than one-word answers or asking open-ended questions, you can probably bet that they’re interested. “Even chatty people run out of things to say,” says
Alexis Dent, founder of XO Juliet. “We’ve all had conversations that we could feel fizzling out — purely because we were out of things to talk about — even though we didn’t want to stop chatting. If the person with whom you’re texting finds fun ways to prolong your interactions, that can be a sign that they’re into you.” 9 They Start Using Heart Emojis
Since it can take a lot of guts to send someone a heart emoji — especially when you actually like them — receiving one should pique your interest,
Rori Sassoon, a matchmaker and dating expert, tells Bustle, as it “shows they are adding extra emphasis on sharing 'love.’”
Again, if they’ve acted like this from day one you might not want to read into it. But if you've been chatting for a few weeks and hearts start popping up with greater frequency, it may be their subtle way of
showing they care. 10 They Show Concern
Does this person text to make sure you’re home safely? Do they reply quickly when you’re going through a tough time? Do they want to know about your day? "Obviously you can’t see facial expressions or hear tone when texting,” Hershenson says, but these habits tend to indicate genuine care and concern. And who typically does that? Folks who have a crush.
11 They Start To Open Up Luke Chan/E+/Getty Images
Another way to spot mutual interest is if your text exchange moves past light-hearted chitchat and into more couple-y territory. You might share secrets, open up about worries and concerns, or text late into the night about your past.
As Sassoon says, these changes can point to a deeper level of closeness and trust. They
might even mean the other person has caught feelings, since it’s clear they feel comfortable and want you to know more about their life. 12 They Share Things That Make Them Smile
According to Dent, sharing things that bring them joy might demonstrate that your crush is into you. “Perhaps they saw a funny meme or are cracking up at a hilarious TikTok. If they take the time to send you something that’s making their day, it can be a sign that not only are they thinking of you, but that they want you to share in their joy as well,” she says.
13 They Text First Thing In The Morning & Last Thing At Night
“Take note of
when someone texts you,” certified coach Randi Levin, tells Bustle, especially if it’s first thing in the morning or right before bed. “If someone is beginning or ending their day with you or showing up repeatedly throughout the day to just say hello,” she says, “you are more significant to them than you may realize.”
It's meaningful because these texts are coming in at the most intimate moments of the day, Sassoon adds, like when you’re just waking up and still lying in bed. If you’re always saying “good morning” and “goodnight” — even if it's just via text — it’s clear you’re top of mind and becoming a priority in their life.
14 Their Texts Seem Personalized
It’s one thing to receive a generic “hope your day is going great” text. It’s something else entirely to receive a message that’s uniquely catered to you. It might show that they remembered an important date, like the fact you have a big meeting at work. And if it includes an inside joke? It’s possible that love is blooming. Not only do these texts show this person is invested in your life, Levin says, the banter-y language shows you’re starting to build a rapport.
15 They Actually Go To Bed When They Say They Are
When those late night chats have to come to an end, it’s always nice to get a “sweet dreams” text. Sometimes, however, it can be confusing to do a last minute scroll through social media and see that your crush is still up and active. “I don’t advocate driving yourself crazy or crossing boundaries, however, if the person says they’re hitting the hay, but is out with friends and posting on IG two hours later, that’s probably a sign they’re not being completely honest,” Dent says. “On the other hand, if they really are winding down when they say they are, it’s a sign that they’re building trust and also genuinely thinking of you before bed.”
16 The Conversation Flows
Another sign is it becomes easy to have texting convos. “If they are into you, they will love the constant flow of conversation,” Schiff says. It won’t feel like you’re running out of things to say or “bothering” them by sending a text. In fact, right when the convo starts to wind down, that’s when they’ll send a message to start up an entirely new topic. “No matter how busy they are, they want to demonstrate that answering you and talking to you is a priority,” she says.
17 They Always Remember To Check In
Even if you aren’t texting back-and-forth constantly, you’ll notice that they make an effort to check in at random times to ask about your day, relationship expert
Chloe Ballatore tells Bustle.
They might just want to know what you’re up to or see if you’re having a good afternoon, which is a cute way of showing that you’re on their mind. It’s also a good sign if they learn something big and reach out to tell you first, Ballatore says. This means they view you as an important person in their life.
18 They Want To Do More Than Text
All of that said, the most telling sign of all is a desire to move past texting,
Dr. Christie Tcharkhoutian Kederian, EdD, MA, MFT, a marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. Do they want to talk on the phone? Chat via FaceTime? Meet up in person? If so, you may have a budding romance on your hands as it shows they want to invest more time and energy.
Should you notice any of these texting habits, and if it seems like you're hitting it off, it very well may be true. Just try not to overthink it until you’ve had a chat to
define the relationship. Until then, enjoy the moment, text 'em back, and see where things go from there. Sources: Dr. Holly Schiff, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist Virginia Williamson, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist Jonathan Bennett, certified counselor and dating expert Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., PhD, relationship expert Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, therapist Rori Sassoon, matchmaker and dating expert Randi Levin, certified coach Chloe Ballatore, relationship expert Dr. Christie Tcharkhoutian Kederian, EdD, MA, MFT, marriage and family therapist Alexis Dent, founder of XO Juliet
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This article was originally published on
Dec. 21, 2017