SHARE

Hey there, single people. I know my entries usually talk about marriage, couples, and breakups, but I’m dedicating this entry to you fine folks! It is not uncommon to meet, during stints of “singleness,” a person that gives you butterflies and makes you feel warm and happy inside – a crush. There are some pretty easy ways to tell if your crush likes you: if they flirt with you, if they sit near you, if they make plans with you, etc. But in 2019 many people are keen to the overt signs of romantic desire and may express their interest in using new methods. I’m going to show you five uncommon ways to tell if your crush is into you – and how to differentiate them from a coincidence. If you can catch these behaviors, it may be time to take the leap and ask them out!

1. If they start using your sayings/catch phrases

People will tend to mimic the catch phrases, accents, speech rate, or even tone of someone who they want to like them. Communication accommodation theory1 tells us that we alter our speech to match the tone and vibe of a person who we care about. And hey, if they’re trying so hard to make you to like them, it may mean that they already like you.

What if it’s just a coincidence?

Try this: come up with something new. Some weird little verbal “ism” that you can try out on them. Maybe a terrible dad joke, or a turn of phrase. Say it a few times here and there and then…watch and be amazed as they pick it up. It may take a week or two, but if they like you, they may try and use that phrase to show you that they enjoy your company.

2. If they purposefully distinguish their speech pattern from yours

People will purposefully alter their own speech patterns in an attempt to make themselves seem more unique or desirable2. This line of thought comes from the principle of scarcity, which explains that if someone possesses a rare quality (e.g., red hair, an accent, green eyes) it makes them more desirable. If your crush highlights their rare qualities around you, it might mean they’re trying to make themselves seem unique!

What if it’s just a coincidence?

That question can be answered very quickly. All you have to do is watch them when they’re around other people. Does the same “accent” that they so boldly present around you fade? Do they downplay their unique qualities when they don’t think you’re looking? Do these behaviors pick up again when they think you’re around? These are telltale signs that your crush is into you.

3. They mirror your actions

What is mirroring? It’s a nonverbal tendency that people do both consciously and unconsciously. Like accommodation, we mirror people to put them at ease – specifically by replicating their nonverbal movements3. This is not mimicking, which happens when someone copies your actions. Mirroring is more like a complimentary behavior. You get up from your seat, and they cross their legs. You brush your hair back, and he/she clears his/her throat. It’s a bit of a long-shot, but it happens!

What if it’s just a coincidence?

Okay, I’ll admit that this one is a little harder to distinguish from the others, especially since it’s often done instinctively3. One way that you can respond to this is by doing some mirroring of your own. Pay close attention to your crush when talking with him/her, and purposely react to his/her nonverbal actions. If he/she crosses his/her arms, you scratch your head; if he/she stands, you lean back. I know that sounds odd, but it may go a surprisingly long way.

4. His/her friends think you’re cool

This one is a bit more obvious but try to pay attention to your crush’s friends when you’re around them. Do they “push” you on him/her? Do they ask you if you’re single, or who you’re interested in? Take note, because if your crush’s friends like you, a relationship with this person is much more likely to happen.4

What if it’s just a coincidence?

Who cares? When did having more friends ever hurt anyone? If you must test this theory, try and make plans with your crush’s friends, purposely excluding him/her. If they try and get your crush involved, it’s a good sign. Bottom line: if everyone around your crush seems to like you, he/she may see you as a potential person of interest as well!

5. They try to develop a routine with you

When it comes to initiating or developing relationships, people like predictability. Only once a relationship is established do people strive for something new or unique5. You are unique enough on your own in the beginning of a relationship because there is likely a great deal of information that your crush doesn’t know about you. If they look to have a regular day of the week where they see you, it could be an excuse to get close to you.

What if it’s just a coincidence?

Test it out! Try and see if this person aims to associate the two of you with some “thing.” Maybe it’s watching a new show every Sunday; maybe it’s meeting up to workout, or going to the dog park every Wednesday. The point is you should watch out for acts like these that attempt to establish routine; they might be trying to create a connection!

A word of caution here: Whatever you do…do NOT ask this person if the reason they’re acting this way is because they like you. I don’t need a scholarly source to tell you that’s a bad idea. If you’re going to talk about your relationship with this person, be direct about how YOU feel, don’t put it all on them. The point of this article is to let you know some of the more unorthodox ways that people may intentionally or unintentionally making their feelings known. The next step is for you to make the first move!

 

1Giles, H., Coupland, N., & Coupland, I. U. S. T. I. N. E. (1991). 1. Accommodation theory: Communication, context, and. Contexts of accommodation: Developments in applied sociolinguistics, 1.

2 Lynn, M. (1991). Scarcity effects on value: A quantitative review of the commodity theory literature. Psychology & Marketing, 8(1), 43-57.

3 Van Swol, L. M. (2003). The effects of nonverbal mirroring on perceived persuasiveness, agreement with an imitator, and reciprocity in a group discussion. Communication Research, 30(4), 461-480.

4 Parks, M. R., & Adelman, M. B. (1983). Communication networks and the development of romantic relationships: An expansion of uncertainty reduction theory. Human Communication Research, 10(1), 55-79.

5 Prentice, C. M., & Kramer, M. W. (2006). Dialectical tensions in the classroom: Managing tensions through communication. Southern Communication Journal, 71(4), 339-361.

 

Dr. james stein authorDr. James Stein – Articles | Website/CV

James’ primary area of research is the study of uncertainty and how it influences close relationships. So, what behaviors make us the most uncertain about our relationships? And, more importantly, how do those uncertainties affect our relationships? James also studies friends with benefits relationships in great detail, and how they differ from/overlap with more traditional close relationships.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here