You can’t get over his beautiful eyes, athletic build or gorgeous smile. All you want to do is talk to him all the time and make him realize that you’re perfect for each other. That’s right: you have a crush and you’re falling hard.
We’ve been reading about flirting tips since middle school, and while having the confidence to express interest in someone is admirable, sometimes we get carried away. By coming on too strongly, you risk hurting chances with our crush instead of helping them! Here are four ways that you scare off our potential love interests and how to come off a little more subtly.
1. You bombard him with texts, messages, emails, etc.
You know your crush has a test today, so you shoot him a text wishing him luck. But then you see something on campus that reminds you of him, so obviously you send him a funny Snapchat. And then, your professor says something ridiculous in class so you decide to chat him on Facebook, even though he’s sitting a few seats away from you. And then you text him again, so he knows to check his Facebook chat. By the middle of the day, he has about 12 notifications blowing up his phone… all from you.
With the dozens of ways to stay connected, it’s tempting to want to keep constant communication with your crush. But over-communication, even across different platforms, can come off as smothering.
“It’s really common for collegiettes to over-text,” says Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirt, an online dating service. “Staying in communication is great, but checking in too often can be a turnoff.”
While it’s great that you want to get to know your crush and talk throughout the day, over-communicating might overwhelm your love interest. So instead of sending a FB message followed by a quick phone call, choose one form of communication for the day. “Make sure you’re not always the first one to text,” Davis says. “And stick to one platform. For example, texting and Snapchatting can seem like overload for your crush.”
Reaching out a few times with subtle messages will convey that you have some interest, but it won’t make you seem clingy. “Flirting is all about nuance,” Davis explains. “Digitally, you can do this by using emoticons more often – like winky faces [are more subtle than] hearts!” And if you find yourself always texting first, give your crush a chance to initiate the conversation first next time. It’s a good way to find out if your feelings are mutual! It’s totally okay to text your crush first sometimes (taking some initiative is a good thing!), but just make sure you’re not always the first one to reach out.
2. You involve your friends
Your friend knows his friend, and when you’re all out at a party, your friend badgers him about your crush and his feelings – while you watch from across the room, of course. Then it becomes a game of “he said she said,” and before you know it, your entire friend group is involved playing matchmaker.
Of course, we’re going to talk to our besties about our crushes, but that doesn’t mean that they have to get involved. No matter if they know our crush or his friends, your crush will eventually figure out that you’re trying to find out more about him via your friends. Awkward!
“It’s natural to want to gush to your friends,” Davis says. “But try not to put them in the middle. This is college, not middle school. No passing notes necessary.”
Instead of having your bestie pass along a message to his friend that you hope will reach your crush, be direct yourself. If you wan to talk to your crush at a party, start a casual conversation. You’ll realize quickly if he’s into it or not.
“If you prod him a few times and he doesn’t [seem like he wants to hang] as much, he may not be as into you as you think,” Davis says.
So save the gossiping for roomie wine nights and skip the go-between, mixed messages between friends. You can show interest all by yourself!
3. You’re constantly running into him or her “by accident”
You know that he gets out of class around 11:30, so you make sure you’re walking by as soon as he walks out the door. During your lunch break, you accidentally run into him in the dining hall and then again when he’s getting coffee. And, surprise! You see him at the gym later on and you can’t help but think, “What a coincidence!”
Let’s be real, we’ve all done it at least once: stalking our crushes in the most non-creepy way possible. While it’s nice to unintentionally run into your crush, once you start planning your day around where he or she will be, your crush will probably be a little freaked out that you keep finding each other.
“Once you’ve creeped someone out, you’re out of the game!” says Adam LoDolce, a dating confidence expert. “[Avoid] following them on Facebook and then creepily showing up to the same party. The best thing to do is give some space.”
If you’re running into your crush multiple times a day or consistently seeking them out every single day for a week or two, considering backing off. Instead of planning feigned coincidental meetings, see if you actually run into them accidentally! Focus on seeing other friends, and once you’ve given your crush a little more space (about a week), contact them again. Your crush will probably feel less overwhelmed, giving you a fresh start to pursue him or her!
4. You’re overly flirty
When he sends a “What’s up?” text, you immediately respond with “Nothing much, sexy ;).” And when you see him at the bar later, you seductively drag him to the dance floor when all he wanted to do was say quickly say hello. We all love to flirt, but there’s a difference between flirty and aggressive.
“Be subtle,” LoDolce says. “It’s a powerful way to show interest.” Instead of immediately turning a casual texting conversation into something suggestive, actually talk to your crush and include a couple of smiley faces here and there. If you’re talking in person, smile a lot and maybe tease him a little to see if you get a response.
“In person, try touching his arm when he makes you laugh and see how he responds,” Davis suggests. “Angle your body towards him more and make eye contact.”
When you’re subtle and not overbearing with your flirting, you can judge if your crush is into you or not. Keep him guessing instead of laying it all out there. Flirting doesn’t have to be over the top; sometimes the simplest gestures send the biggest messages.
Crushes are exciting, but sometimes we get a little too enthusiastic about them... Okay, try a lot enthusiastic. Instead of improving your chances with your love interest, you might be hurting them by coming off too strongly. Just keep these tips in mind and remember that a little subtlety can go a long way!