How To Ask Someone If They Like You Without Embarrassing Yourself

You know how you feel about your crush but you’re not quite sure if your feelings are reciprocated. Our own emotions tend to skew how we read and interpret a situation because we’re biased. We collect all their kernels of affection over time and stitch them together as true love. That might not necessarily be the case, so it’s important to have a strategy. Here’s how to ask someone if they like you without embarrassing yourself or making things awkward.

  1. Ask about their interests. There’s one way to a person’s heart (not just a man’s!), and that’s through their stomach. Ask about their favorite foods or a place they traveled to where they had a great time. These questions will draw on their own sense of nostalgia and make them smile. You can also identify how well-suited you are to each other. Maybe these experiences will reveal a way in which you are particularly meant to be. Equally, it might tell you all you need to know about them to know that they’re not for you. Either way, at least you’ll know where you stand.
  2. Ask them out for coffee. One surefire and safe way of asking someone out is to start with coffee. First of all, the date can be exactly as long as they want. It’s not like a fancy dinner on a blind date where there’s loads of pressure from both parties. This way, both of you will be relaxed because you know there isn’t a huge expectation or expense built around the event. By suggesting coffee, you can focus on getting to know them and show your best side at the same time. You can build up to lunch and put the ball in their court for future dates. This way you aren’t being pushy and they can decide how to feel about you.
  3. See if they’re attracted to your friends. This is a little bit of a test. You can send pictures you’re hypothetically about to post to social media and see which pictures he suggests you post. Or, you can just ask them about which of your friends they like the best. They might not answer, but there’s a way to covertly ask these questions to see what they’re interested in. Our patterns of behavior reveal our preferences in a lot of ways.
  4. Ask what their type is. Beware of getting locked into the friend zone here by comparing dating histories too early. That can leave you high and dry. To avoid embarrassment and seeming like a teenager scouting out her crush, just be frank. Ask the question as if it doesn’t have a loaded implication behind it. You can see where you align with their expectations and identify where you can prove to be the exception.
  5. Be honest with them. If they seem particularly discerning, you might be better off just asking them if they like you outright. Better that than being caught snooping or trying to be subtle when they see right through you, right? They’ll be flattered either way, and people aren’t rude like they are in the movies. Don’t worry about being embarrassed even if they aren’t interested.¬†
  6. Ask their friends. If taking the mature high road isn’t for you, then draw on the useful tool that our primary school days taught us: ask their friends whether this person likes you or not. Or, at least get them to read between the lines if they aren’t entirely sure. Ask them if your crush ever talks about you. That will tell you all you need to know.
  7. Read their body language. One way to avoid embarrassing yourself when asking someone out is to read their body language. Do they lean in to talk to you, ask you follow-up questions, and approach you in the street on the way into work? Or, do they make a quick exit and keep answers short? If it seems like they aren’t interested, don’t chase them. You can preserve your dignity and move on.
  8. Don’t put them under pressure. There’s no reason to create a double standard here. If a guy continued to pursue you even though you weren’t interested, it would be an issue. The same would be true here if you did the same. Be mindful of that. Some things just aren’t meant to be, and it isn’t a matter of embarrassment, it’s more about respect.

However you go about it, conduct yourself with dignity and always respect your crush’s privacy. Find out what you can about them from conversations and dates, and take a leap and just ask when you feel ready.

If they don’t feel the same…

After sharing your feelings with your crush, you may find out that they don’t reciprocate your feelings. That sucks for sure, but it’s not the end of the world. If you find yourself in this position and you’re feeling really bummed out about it, here’s what you need to remember.

  1. It’s not a reflection of your worth. Just because they don’t feel the same about you doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of them or there’s something wrong with you. Everyone doesn’t like everyone else and that’s about them, not about you at all. After all, you don’t like every person who’s into you, do you?
  2. Put some distance between you. It’s possible that you and your crush were already friends or you hope to be friends one day. That’s great, but now is probably not the time to be asking them to hang out all the time and spending hours texting them. It’s vital that you put some distance between you so that you can process your feelings and get over them.
  3. Give yourself some time to grieve. It sounds weird to say that grieving a relationship that never even happened is totally normal, but it is. You genuinely liked this person and probably built up an idea in your head of what it would be like to be with them. Now that it’s never going to come to pass, you have to face and process that grief. It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed. It will pass.
  4. Spend time with great people. Just because your crush doesn’t like you doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other great people out there for you, and not just romantically. Make sure to get out of the house sometimes to spend time with your longtime friends and even meet some new ones. You never know who might be just around the corner.
  5. Try not to dwell. Just like you’re advised to stay busy after a breakup in order to keep your mind off the heartbreak, the same is true for how you should handle finding out your crush doesn’t feel the same way about you. Of course, staying busy and avoiding thinking about them at all is easier said than done, but making a concerted effort to keep your brain focused on literally anything but them will help you immensely.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.
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