Got a crush on someone special? That’s one of the sweetest feelings in the world, right? You see them, your eyes shift downward, you try and contain your smile, you feel your cheeks burning. Oh, you want SO much to talk to them but you are way too shy. Guess what? We are here to help! Keep reading for some tips on how to open up and approach your crush. Ready? Take a deep breath because it’s going to be a wonderful ride.
Start small, start safe
OK, we know you are an introvert and it’s painful to be the first one to say hello. So let’s start this off with some practice.
You are going to say hello to one person a day, but not your crush.
It can be a classmate, a co-worker, someone you see each day on the subway or bus, your neighbor. Anyone that won’t be creeped out by you saying hello to them.
The purpose of this exercise is to show you that the world doesn’t come crashing in when you take the initiative and say “hello” first to someone you are familiar with. Once you have done this for two weeks, you’ll have built enough confidence up to say “hello” (or “hi” or “How’s it going?”) to your crush.
Remind yourself of your inherent worthiness
Often shy people have low self-esteem which contributes to their fear of reaching out to others. “They won’t be interested in me,” they might tell themselves.
Now’s the time for working on your affirmations.
Practice this every day for life. This has been proven to help enhance feelings of self-esteem and well-being. The better you feel about yourself, the easier it is to take those risks and start a conversation with everyone around you, including your crush!
Create a mental list of conversation topics
OK, so you’ve managed a “Hi how’s it going?” and your crush has responded “Great? And you?”. You’ve got some traction! How do you keep things going? Fortunately for you, you’ve got a list of casual conversation topics in your head. Pull one of these out to keep your crush interested:
1. Comment on something you notice about your crush
A tattoo, their hairstyle or color, something they are wearing (“nice earring!”) or their perfume (“That smells great! What perfume are you wearing?”)
2. Comment on what’s around you
If you are at school, say something about your next class or ask your crush about theirs. If you are at work, comment on how crazy your morning has been and ask your crush if they are as overworked as everyone else.
3. Comment on a current event
“Did you watch the game last night?” is always a good conversation starter, unless you aren’t a sports fan. In that case, pick politics, the morning commute, or any hot topic that’s been in the news lately.
You’ve got your crush engaged, so keep it going
Now you and your crush are talking. You sense they are interested; they aren’t making excuses to try and end your discussion. Their body language suggests they want to keep it going: their feet are pointing towards you and they are “mirroring” what you are doing—perhaps crossing hands across the chest, or pushing a stray hair back behind their ear when you do the same. All good signs!
At this point, you can suggest going to grab a coffee or a soft drink, and moving the conversation to a place where you can keep talking while sipping on a beverage.
You’ve got a connection
Your crush has agreed to go have some coffee with you. Nervous?
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your crush wants to keep talking to you.
You are an interesting, kind and good person. At the coffee place, offer to pay for this “date.” It will show that you are a generous person and send a message to your crush that you like them more than just as a friend.
Now’s also the time to go back into your mental list of conversation topics just in case you “freeze” and lose the discussion thread. Here are some additional ways to keep up the verbal back and forth:
- Open up your phones and comment on some of your funny pictures.
- Show each other some hilarious memes
- Cue up some of your favorite youtube videos—cold opens for SNL, for example.
- Share your music playlists and talk about your favorite bands. (Invite your crush to an upcoming musical event if you have one in mind.)
Be authentically “you”
If you are a shy person, you might think it better to adopt a “persona”, imitating someone that you admire or see as more-extroverted than you. Don’t do this. You want your crush to like you for who you truly are, not someone you are projecting onto them.
Be yourself, it’s all you’ve got.
And if your crush is not receptive to you —if you sense them losing interest—that’s ok. Remind yourself that this isn’t rejection. It’s just that you aren’t as good a match for each other as you initially thought.
This happens all the time and doesn’t mean you aren’t a great person. Keep putting yourself out there. You’ll have other crushes in life, thankfully. And one day, that little “hello, how’s it going?” It will be the beginning of a beautiful, loving relationship.