Having a crush on someone can be both thrilling and terrifying, often at the same time. That's because attraction feels amazing, but it can also make you vulnerable. Naturally, you'll want to keep an eye out for any hints or clues that your feelings are being returned, as well as behaviors mean someone sees you as just a friend. The good news is that, according to Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, the way someone feels about you isn't some big, unsolvable mystery. The answers are in how they act toward you. "When someone likes you in a romantic way, there will be flirting involved, the person will pay attention to you, they will want to spend time with you, they will exude positive energy in your presence," she explains.
Brenda Della Casa, a relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was A Liar, tells Elite Daily that you should look for the universal signs of interest. "Are they making extended eye-contact or looking for reasons to connect either physically, touching your arm as an example, or finding ways to communicate more frequently? Do they try to include you in their life by actually introducing you to friends and family (instead of just talking about them)? Do you feel included in their life or on the sidelines hearing about what's going on? If the answer is 'no' or 'sort of,' then leave it alone," she says.
If you're attracted to someone, but aren't sure if the feeling's reciprocal, here are the signs the experts say to be on the lookout for.
There's no touching or affection.
One of the clearest signs of interest is when someone finds any excuse to make physical contact. Whether that’s hugs, or just touching your arm or hand while talking to you. On the other hand, if they don't get touchy-feely, Leckie says it could be a sign that you're just destined to be friends. This is particularly true, she adds, if they seem awkward or uncomfortable if you get that way with them. “Someone who likes you will be receptive towards your affection,” says Leckie.
They're uncomfortable with your compliments.
Someone who's attracted to you is likely to enjoy hearing the things you like about them. After all, a compliment is a great way to flirt and show your interest. This is why Della Casa says to pay close attention to how they react to your flattery. “Is it with a polite ‘thank you’ or an awkward ‘haha’ in a text, or do they light up and return the favor?” she asks. If it's the former, chances are good that they aren’t feeling the same way.
They’re interested in other people.
How open is your crush about their other romantic options? Does it feel like they're always talking about the people they like and yet none of those people are you? “Talking about other romantic interests is a telltale sign they're not giving you their full attention, or are immature enough to want to make you jealous. Either way, it's a no,” says Della Casa.
They’re dating other people.
Along the same lines of talking about other people, if your crush is actively and openly dating other people, Leckie says the two of you are probably not on the same emotional page. That's especially true if they tell you about their dates. “If someone's really into you, they wouldn’t want you to think that they're into someone else or dating around,” she explains.
They’re not dating you.
Have you asked them out only to have them make an excuse why they can’t go? Does it seem like they never make any special effort to spend time with you? Leckie says these are both very clear signs that they aren't feeling that romantic vibe with you, and that you're better off as just friends.
It never feels great to have your feelings for someone go unreturned, but as disappointing as that may be, Leckie says it's important to not try and force something that's not meant to be. "If someone tells you or shows through their actions that they aren’t into you in a romantic way, you need to respect that and not be pushy. If you become pushy, you will start to irritate them and they could stop talking to you altogether. It’s a turnoff and not attractive," she concludes. The good news is that crushes do fade and there'll be more people who catch your fancy who are worth your time and effort.
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast