One of the toughest parts about dating is investing your time and energy into a building a relationship with someone who’s not as committed as you. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell if your feelings for someone are being reciprocated. But experts say there are a few key things you can watch out for to see if your partner is being honest about how they feel.
“Pay twice as much attention to how someone treats you than what they say,” Christine Scott-Hudson, psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle. "Anybody can say they love you, but behavior doesn’t lie. If someone says they value you, but their actions indicate otherwise, trust their behavior."
For instance, someone who is serious about you will always make time for you no matter what. As Kate O'Connor, professional matchmaker and dating expert at It's Just Lunch D.C., tells Bustle, having a packed schedule and being busy is not really an excuse.
"They could be stringing you along while dating other people, or they're simply not interested in making room for you in their life," O'Connor says. "And don't be fooled by someone who takes the time to send you a quick text or DM throughout the day. Those two seconds of flirting may seem sweet on the surface, but it doesn't make up for the lack of real time spent together."
It's one thing to be with someone who's into you, and it's another to be with someone who actually has feelings for you. Here's how to tell if they’re genuinely into you — and how to tell someone how you feel about them.
How To Tell Someone How You Feel About Them
If you’re having a tough time trying to figure out how someone really feels about you, consider sharing your feelings first. Yes, rejection is scary. But as relationship counselor, Brittany Lashua, PhD, tells Bustle, there’s no need to overcomplicate it.
“Try something simple like, ‘I’m enjoying the time we spend together. I’d like to do this more,’” Lashua says. “You can focus on your attraction to the person by saying things like affirming how good they look. You can even be more direct if those feelings have grown and say something like, ‘Our time together has made me excited when I think about the future.’”
When and how you do it is also totally up to you. But if you need some general guidance, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle, consider expressing your feelings if you’ve been on a few dates or have been talking for a while. If you’re clear about how you feel and where you want the relationship to go, bring it up. If anything, you’ll get a good idea of your partner is at.
“Keep the conversation casual, but still special,” Trombetti says. “Don't say it over text or after a few drinks. Be open, honest, and remember this isn't telling someone you love them but instead telling them you like them and want to see where this goes. Approach it while hanging out and when the moment feels right.”