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How Do I Tell My Crush How I Feel?

by Maura Banar, studioD

Perhaps one of the most challenging steps in creating a dating relationship is disclosing your attraction to the other person. You must put aside your fears, take an assertive stance and approach someone who, by his or her very presence, rattles your ability to control your emotions. Despite the obvious risk of rejection, you'll never know if the feeling is mutual unless you tell your crush how you feel. Fortunately, there are approaches to expressing how you feel to your crush without causing your crush to take a defensive stance.

Invite your crush to join you in a social activity that includes friends. Spending the day with a group of friends can give you and your crush the opportunity to get to know each other better without pressure. Pay attention to your crush's nonverbal cues that he might be interested in more than friendship. Nonverbal cues that indicate interest include sitting or standing close, prolonged eye contact and smiling, notes Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter for Louisiana Tech University. Follow suit by providing nonverbal cues to your crush, letting him know the feeling is mutual.

Communicate your feelings verbally to your crush. Dr. D. Wayne Matthews of North Carolina State University points out that most expressions of warmth are received positively. Expressing to your crush that you enjoy her company, love her sense of humor or think she's interesting can set the stage for a deeper friendship. That foundation can grow into something more. When communicating how you feel to your crush, use "I" statements such as "I enjoy spending time with you." This approach also helps reduce anxiety caused by unstated feelings between two people.

Avoid harboring unrealistic expectations when telling your crush how you feel. In many cases, your expectations may be tainted by what you want. Think about how you would feel and react in a variety of scenarios before approaching your crush. This gives you the opportunity to work through your feelings and prepare yourself for rejection. Keep in mind that if your crush does not reciprocate your interest, realistic expectations can allow you to pursue a friendship. At the least, realistic expectations can help you walk away with confidence after telling your crush how you feel.

Enlist the help of a close friend who knows your crush. Expressing your feelings to your crush can be difficult. Instead of reinforcing your anxiety, ask a friend to mediate or intervene between you and your crush. You might be able to find out discretely through your friend if your crush has mutual feelings. This method may be perceived by your crush as less aggressive than simply approaching him alone. Avoid asking a friend who tends to enjoy conflict or drama, because that could make an awkward situation even worse.

About the Author

Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.

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