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How to Tell a Guy You Like Him: 7 Steps to Do It

gorgeous woman with long hair making eye contact with the guy she likes

How should I tell my crush I like him? Should I just tell him?

These are questions we have all asked ourselves at least once. In today’s post we will talk about how to tell a guy you like him and some important steps you should follow.

Confessing your true feelings isn’t easy. In an ideal scenario, your confession leads to discovering his mutual feelings. You tell yourself this could happen.

You have to shoot your shot, right?

Yet, your overthinking brain reminds you of all that you risk by letting him know that you like him. You’ll risk rejection, embarrassment, and vulnerability.

If he’s a friend, it could hurt the friendship. If he’s a colleague, you could make work awkward. 

Suddenly, you’re wondering how anyone ever confesses feelings at all.

It’s certainly easier in some ways not to say anything. You could just keep your crush to yourself — a harmless fantasy, a daydream that will never be anything else. 

Or you could just tell him. 

How to Tell Him I Like Him: 7 Steps

What follows are seven steps to tell a guy you like him.

Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and individuals and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships, self-improvement, and psychology. My work has been featured in large publications such as Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, and Mamamia.

1. Clarify His Relationship Status

Before you go any further, you need to clarify his relationship status. If he’s in a relationship, you have no business telling him that you like him. None. Leave it.

You’ll need to set up some healthy boundaries so that your feelings don’t cross any ethical lines. 

If he’s single, you’ve got a green light. You can tell him you like him without all the mess. Of course, you might want to verify what he’s telling you with a quick check on social media later.

There are a lot of married people out there throwing the word “single” around, all evidence to the contrary.

If he’s polyamorous and you’re cool with that, be sure that you check in with the other people involved if you do end up dating him. 

Asking about his relationship status will be a pretty big hint that you like him, by the way. It’s not all that subtle. But that’s good. Let’s talk about why.

2. Be Direct

Subtle doesn’t work with most men. It really doesn’t. If he’s attracted to you, he might be more willing to see the signs that you like him back, but he has doubts and insecurities like anyone else.

You’re not doing either one of you any favors by dropping subtle hints.

Just be direct.

You can, of course, do this by text if you chicken out of saying it in person. Keep it simple. Tell him you like him in a romantic way and see if he feels the same way.

You can hint around and send memes all day, but it might not actually hit him that you’re being serious until you use the words.

If he’s a kind person — and why would you even like him if he’s not — he’s going to be kind in his response even if he’s not interested. But he might be into you. There’s only one way to find out. 

Even if you’re not interested in a relationship and just want to sleep with him, spell it out for him. Let him know what you want.

I don’t recommend doing that in a workplace or to someone who is subordinate to you, but if you’re going to make your move, make sure you are clear about what you want. Then, communicate that to him.

3. Compliment Him

One of the ways to tell a guy you like him is to give him a genuine compliment.

Men like to get compliments, too.

In fact, they love compliments.

Tell him you like his new haircut or that the shirt he’s wearing does great things for his eyes. Don’t be corny or do a Google search for something to say. Be authentic.

Tell him what you like about him. After all, you probably have a list of all the things you like. Let him know you notice. 

It doesn’t have to be physical either. Look for the things he does well and point that out.

Even if he doesn’t like you back in the same way you like him, compliments are likely going to be appreciated and make him feel good. 

4. Ask Him Out

If you really want to tell him you like him, ask him out. You don’t have to wait around for him to ask you.

Ask if he’d like to get coffee or meet for drinks or even suggest something fun that suits both of your interests. 

Generally, if you’re asking, you need to come prepared to pay. That’s just a general rule of thumb.

Make sure he knows you’re not asking to hang out as friends. In fact, don’t use the words “hang out” when it comes to dating. It muddles the message. 

If you’re really interested, suggest something you know he’d like.

If you know he’s not a coffee drinker, asking to meet for coffee isn’t a great start. And if you know he’s sober, asking to meet up at a bar is in poor taste.

Know a little about what he likes and ask him out. 

5. Flirt with Him

Flirting is a fun way to let a guy know you like him.

However, if you’re naturally flirtatious, don’t expect him to magically know when you mean what you’re saying.

If you aren’t naturally flirtatious, don’t assume he’s going to realize that the awkward thing you’re doing is meant to be flirting with him. 

Flirting is more art than science.

If this isn’t something you’re good at doing, don’t try it out for the first time when you want to tell a man you like him.

Practice a little first. If you’re really great at flirting, you might want to bring your A-game so there can be no mistake that you’re into him and want him to know it. 

Recommended read: 10 Things to Talk About With Your Crush

6. Buy Him a Drink

Men buy romantic interests drinks when they’re interested. It works both ways.

If you see a man hanging out at a bar and want to make a move, buying his drink could be a good way to determine if he’s interested.

Just don’t get mad if he’s not.

For the cost of a drink, you just bought yourself some clarity. Plus, it’s a nice gesture.

Even if he doesn’t feel the same, he’ll probably feel flattered. You might have made his day. Just don’t take any rejection personally.

Just because he isn’t wearing a ring doesn’t mean he’s not married, in a relationship, or has different dating preferences than you.

Know that buying him a drink isn’t a guarantee of reciprocity any more than a man buying a woman dinner is a guarantee of sex. It’s just a sweet thing to do that might really pay off if he’s interested. 

7. Be Brave

If you want to tell him you like him, you’ll need to be brave.

Bravery is going to be behind any method, and you’ll need all the courage you can get to stand your ground if you end up rejected.

Don’t try to say you were just joking or gaslight him into thinking you didn’t really mean what you said. Even if he’s not into you, stand by your feelings.

It takes real bravery to do that when it feels uncomfortable and even embarrassing.

Plus, bravery will give you a dash of confidence that makes you seem naturally more attractive. Maybe he’s been into you all this time but didn’t know you felt the same way.

In the words of Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Recommended read: Signs a Guy Really Likes You – 22 Ways to Know if He’s Into You

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A Few Reminders 

You can make yourself look your best, wear your favorite outfit, and bring your best flirty A-game…and he might still reject you.

You’ll be tempted to take it personally because it does feel personal. Rejection always does. 

Believe me when I say that it’s not actually personal. Here are just a few valid, completely understandable reasons he might reject you that have nothing to do with you. 

  • He’s in a relationship already or is interested in someone else.
  • You’re just not his type (and we all have one).
  • He just came out of a relationship and is healing.
  • He doesn’t think you have common interests or goals.
  • He just likes you as a friend. 

You can feel hurt and rejected, but there’s no point in getting mad about it.

If he’s honest with you, you can move on and start getting over him so you can be available for someone else who will reciprocate your feelings.

And the first step to move on is actually face the fact you’re being rejected and remind yourself that it’s not personal.

Just know that it takes so much courage to be vulnerable enough to say that you’re interested in him. That makes you pretty amazing.

Final Thoughts

If you want to tell a guy you like him, remember to be confident no matter what happens.

You deserve love. You deserve to have someone in your life who thinks you’re wonderful and likes you for exactly who you are.

Rejection happens.

It doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It just might close out that chapter so you can start a new one. 

Plus, he might really be into you and was just waiting for a sign. It could all work out.

You get to choose between the potential regret of telling him and not knowing which way it’s going to go, or you can live with the regret of never telling him and always wondering what might have happened if you’d been brave. 

Keep it simple. Say it directly. Let him in on the secret. It will either help you move on and get over him, or it could be a part of your truly epic love story. 

The Truly Charming