They may be lurking for a reason. 👀
One of my more private pleasures in life is waking up, scrolling through the people who have viewed my Instagram Story over the past 24 hours, and seeing the shiny handle of the person I have a crush on. Admit it — it feels so darn good when you realize, “OMG, my crush watches my Instagram Stories.” I know that in the grand scheme of things, it's a relatively small digital action. But it’s difficult to ignore the feeling you get every time I see their handle in plain sight — as if I've been panning for gold in a river and finally found a shiny nugget. “He watches all my Instagram Stories” is basically the equivalent of saying, “He’s definitely obsessed with me,” right?
I know from personal experience that looking at someone's Instagram Story is an action so commonplace that it's largely not a big deal. But somehow, I still hope to see my crush's name pop up on the list of those who have viewed my Story, even though I understand that it may not mean anything. In fact, I know plenty of people who I don't necessarily even like, but whose Instagram Stories I still watch. Still, it opens up the allure of possibility: Maybe, just maybe, my crush watching 30 consecutive Stories of me doing my makeup in the morning (it's kind of a performance art, IDK) means they like me. It's that morsel of hope that makes it all so mouthwateringly satisfying. But what does it all mean? Let’s discuss.
What Does It Mean When Your Crush Watches Your Instagram Stories?
According to dating expert, coach, and dating app ghostwriter Meredith Golden, someone consistently watching your Instagram Stories isn't necessarily meaningless — all communication can matter, regardless of how indirect it may be. Golden says Instagram engagement can be a good thing, as well as a potential sign of interest. Moreover, the act of someone watching your Instagram Story likely holds a mysterious power because it's so open to interpretation. "If someone is continuously clicking on a Story, there’s definitely an interest in seeing what a poster is up to," she says. "It doesn't mean that they’re in love necessarily, but they certainly aren’t skipping the posts."
It’s definitely easy to spiral into thinking something more is going on when your crush might just be really active on Instagram out of boredom, and this can be particularly significant for crushes or "situationships" that lack definition. In fact, when you're fostering a crush early on, Instagram may even be your only method of connection. Posting to your Instagram Stories can allow someone you're interested in to peek through a small window into your personal life, all in hopes that the object of your affection will see it and take notice. This is a phenomenon known as Gatsbying, and requires a certain amount of shared vulnerability. And it can be scary to hope your crush cares enough to watch along, in plain sight, but it can pay off.
Does It Matter When Your Crush Watches Your Instagram Stories?
No matter whether your crush watches your Stories right after you post or hours later, it usually feels great when you know your crush is watching, as the action could potentially mean your crush likes you back. "It’s always better to have someone engage with you — even if it’s as small as a social media Story — than ignore you," says Golden. However, she notes that patterns can be significant. Does your crush seemingly wait until the very end of the day to watch the Stories? Perhaps they were trying their best not to watch it and eventually caved or maybe they watch everyone's Stories before they fall asleep. Does your crush watch all your Stories the second that you post them? This suggests that they're interested in what you post and don't mind that you'll see their consistent views.
"It's such a weird feeling because I've never been one to pay attention to my Instagram Story views," Lauren, 24, tells Elite Daily. "But when I noticed that she consistently viewed them pretty quickly after I posted them, I found myself finding excuses to post stories. When I was younger, if I had a crush, I tried to dress nicer or look a certain way to impress them. Or later, in college, I'd try to impress them by seeming as though I had my sh*t together in a class. But now, with Instagram Stories, because my crush lives out of state, I find myself revisiting this same feeling of 'notice me,' but through Instagram Stories. It's wild."
What Does It Mean When Your Crush Watches Your Stories But Ignores You IRL?
It’s possible you find yourself thinking, “Wait... why is he ignoring me but looks at my Instagram Stories?” As Toronto-based sexologist and host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast Dr. Jess O’Reilly previously told Elite Daily, some people ignore their crushes because they’re either playing games or unsure how to make the first move. “Some people ignore crushes because they don’t know how to approach them,” she said. If someone is constantly watching your Stories but never reaches out to you IRL, then why not take charge of the situation? “If you think someone likes you and is ignoring you, if you like them too, go ahead and approach them,” Dr. O’Reilly added. React to one of their Stories, or perhaps even slide into their DMs to say hello.
According to Golden, it's totally normal to want to get your crush's attention, and as a result, checking in to see if that significant person has seen your Stories makes a ton of sense. Even though you know that it very well may be a small, meaningless action, you're also offering them a considerable glimpse into your life. However, Golden warns against putting too much hope into someone’s views, especially if you two never talk IRL. There's technically nothing wrong with getting excited when your crush watches your Stories, but don't forget that the most important connections are made through direct communication, in the DMs or IRL.
Meredith Golden, dating expert, coach, and dating app ghostwriter
Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist and host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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