What To Do When You Like Someone
By Frank Kermit
It happened. Despite your efforts to stay alone and uncomplicated, it happened. When you were not looking for it, you actually started to like someone. You actually found someone that you like. Now what?
When you like someone, the big question is always what do you do? Do you tell that person directly and see what happens? Do you try to get your friends involved in the match making process? Do you approach the target of your heart’s desire in a non-direct way, just to gauge that person’s interest? What if you do not know what signs to look for? What if, that person actually likes you back, but you are not socially aware enough to know?
Calibration is called for when you like someone and want to see about taking your interest a step further to see if the two of you can connect. There are a number of factors to consider such as do you work together (which may put you in a legal predicament if he or she does not return your feelings), or do you see each other at the same social circles (which may make it awkward if either of you are not mature enough to handle it), or perhaps there is a friend connection that makes this a little more complicated (that person is the ex of one of your friends).
First question to ask is if there are any consequences of dating, or just asking out, this person. The second question to ask is if you are willing to accept those potential consequences. If you can get a yes to that second question, then here are some tips.
Telling someone directly and right away works if the person you like already likes you back or is open-minded enough to give you a chance. If you do not know if that person likes you, you may want to take a more subtle approach. The rule to follow is the longer you have known each other, the more indirect you should be. If you just met the person, telling that person you like him or her enough to want to get to know them better is non-threatening and can actually be a welcome invitation. There is no friendship to risk.
If the person has been a friend for a long time, and you do not know if that person likes you back, being direct may put too much pressure and the person you like may not want to risk the friendship by succumbing to the pressures. Ironically, the friendship is likely over anyways given that the romantic feelings involved turn any friendship lopsided. In those cases, it is just best to isolate that friend to a one-on-one activity and see about making a romantic move. Better to try to hold a hand, or lean in for a good night kiss to sexualize the context of the dynamic. If you get rejected, well at least you know and you tried.
Involving your friends has its pros and cons. Usually, it is a bad idea, unless you have a solid friendship with someone that is socially clued in. In the case of having a good friend that is a mutual friend of the target of your heart’s affection, you can enlist that person’s help by asking them to help you set a time for you all to meet and that friend can politely excuse him or her self from the activity. A friend may also be able to give you information about whether or not that person is emotionally available. Again, make sure you are dealing with a solid friend and not someone that will inform you incorrectly. A friend that can actually work like a matchmaker may be in your best interest if that friend knows where the two of you are compatible.
With all that said, being very direct does have advantages. You need not involve anyone else into your private love life and good or bad, you get an answer much quicker about where you stand. Either way, the best thing you can do when you find you like someone is to take some kind of action listed above. People tend to regret the things that they did not do, more so than the things that they did do.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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