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19 Secrets to Tell Someone You Like Them Over Text & Not Sound Desperate

Saying “I like you” = scary. In person = scarier. Instead of sweating it, learn how to tell someone you like them over text.

how to tell someone you like them over text

Admitting to someone that you like them is not an easy thing. There is a risk of being rejected, and that is terrifying. And you never know what might happen, so how can you prepare for it? This is why many people, probably including you, prefer to know how to tell someone you like them over text. This can soften the blow of rejection and make the anticipation of a response a little less brutal. 

But at the same time, texting leaves a lot open to interpretation. There are a number of ways to tell someone you like them, but when you’re doing it via text, you want to make sure you’re saying what you mean. [Read: 20 flirty ways to text your crush and get them interested over text]

Why tell someone you like them over text?

Sure, telling someone you like them over text may not be the most romantic. You aren’t chasing after them in the rain or through an airport like in a movie, but that doesn’t make it any less true or meaningful.

Texting is a common way to communicate nowadays. People break up, make up, and even probably propose via text.

This is not an obscure or even impersonal way to share your feelings. If you are texting and have the urge to tell someone how you feel, don’t be turned off by the method. It can actually make the whole thing a lot easier.

Of course, some things can go wrong over text, just like any other way of telling someone how you feel, but we can take care of those so it all goes smoothly.

How to tell someone you like them over text without confusion

If you haven’t learned, sarcasm is a big thing nowadays. But it doesn’t always come across unless you’re face to face. Jokes, confessions, and more follow the same rule.

Texting is not as clear-cut as speaking. So when you are saying something as serious as confessing your feelings to someone, you want to make sure you are not leaving any room for misinterpretation.

1. Shut down the abbreviations

Using proper grammar is not only attractive, but it also makes everything that much clearer. So avoid using “u” and “r,” and stick with “you” and “are.” And leave out all that text language, like BTW, ROFL, OTP, SMH, and more.

These may be totally obvious to you, but not everyone, even your crush, may not be up to date on the latest lingo. [Read: 20 fun, flirty texting facts that’ll help you have a great love life]

2. Make sure they’re focused

You don’t want to randomly send an “I like you” text in the middle of the day when they could be busy doing other things. You want to make sure they are in the conversation. So maybe after talking about work or the latest episode of a TV show you both watch, you can bring it up.

Just be sure you have a decent back-and-forth going so you know they are paying attention. [Read: Clever messages to use when flirting with your crush]

3. Be careful

Before you figure out how to tell someone you like them over text, make sure you sent the text to the right person. And if you are venting to your friend about it, make sure you’re sending those to the right person too. 

Back in the day, you would have passed your crush a note in class, and if the teacher picked it up and read it to the class, it would be mortifying.

This is the same thing but in the digital dating world. So just do a quick double-check before hitting send. You’re nervous enough already. There is no need to make it worse.

How to tell someone you like them over text without sounding desperate

This is something we are all a little scared of. If you admit how you feel, are you coming across as desperate or needy?

No, not at all, especially if you do it with confidence. And this is how to be sure you are coming across with pride, not paranoia.

1. Don’t double text

So, they didn’t answer right away. But do NOT double text. This is one of the most desperate and, frankly, annoying things you can do. No matter how much you say it was a phone glitch, no one will believe you.

So just wait it out. You don’t want to ruin the chances you may have had by being a stage five clinger. [Read: Play it cool by following these double texting rules]

2. Don’t confess your love

This is someone you like and want to get to know better, not someone you want to marry. And if you do, they do not need to know that right now.

So don’t share everything you have ever thought about them. There is no need to describe the first time you saw them, or how you always think about them, or how you love how they smell. That is more personal and sort of creepy, so that can wait.

3. Keep it simple

Along the same lines as holding back too much intensity, keep things short and sweet. Say, “I know we’re just friends, but I was hoping we could go out sometime. What do you think?” Or even simpler, “Would you want to go out with me on Friday?”

This makes it clear what you want and gives them only about two ways to respond. It is less complicated and shows confidence. [Read: How to ask someone out over text and get that satisfying yes]

How to tell someone you like them over text without too much risk

There is always a bit of risk in this situation. Rejection is always a possibility, but if you are wildly concerned about that, there are a few ways you can protect yourself from that risk.

1. Text when you know they are available

One of the worst parts of texting someone that you like them is waiting for the response. That is almost worse than outright rejection because you just want to know one way or another.

If you just text them randomly, you could be waiting hours for a response, and that would drive anyone crazy. Instead, be sure to text them when they are free. After their work shift is done or on the weekend might be best. [Read: Texting etiquette – 20 unwritten rules of savvy flirting]

2. Ask them out

You can ask someone out without outright saying you like them. That can be a bit overwhelming for someone to hear because they are afraid they won’t live up to your expectations.

Instead, ask them to go out on a date. This way, you have more time to think about how you want to tell them you like them.

Plus, you are making it clear you’re interested without being too forward. Just be sure to say the word date, not hang out. That is where things can get confusing.

3. Have a backup plan

In the case you do get rejected and want to save face, have a plan. You can come across as confident and nonchalant by saying, “okay, no worries, it was just a thought.”

You could even go for the old classic of saying, “oops, wrong person.” Although it’s incredibly transparent that you, in fact, didn’t text the wrong person, it’s less embarrassing than getting rejected… maybe.

Although that sounds like a lie that anyone can see through, it is a good idea to play it off as though you weren’t too invested anyway if you are worried about rejection. [Read: How to handle rejection without making a fool of yourself]

How to make telling someone you like them over text easier

On top of the previous tips, these can make the whole process, from deciding what to say to getting a response, a bit less nerve-racking and a bit calmer.

1. Talk to your friends first

If you’re wondering how to tell someone you like them over text, chat with your friends about your plan first.

Good friends will give you a pep talk so you know you’re awesome no matter the response. They will help boost your confidence, so you are less nervous and more excited too.

2. Realize there is nothing to lose

Before admitting you like this person, you were friends or acquaintances. So telling them you like them, no matter the outcome, won’t be too bad.

You’re taking a risk on your feelings, but you won’t lose anything else. Really, what is the worst that could happen? They say sorry and that there aren’t interested? Now you can move on and stop obsessing.

3. Lead into it

Taking your time will help you and your crush. Instead of just blurting it out, lead into your confession. Let them know you have something to tell them, but there is no pressure. 

At this moment, you are so focused on how you feel but take a minute to think about them. This may be a huge shock for them, so give them the time they need to process it. [Read: 15 subtle cues to tell if your crush likes you back too]

4. Flirt

Keep things light. Tell them they are cute or mention you liked their outfit the other day. Keeping things on the surface will relax you and them, so the vibe isn’t too serious, but there is still some chemistry.

5. Don’t play games

Be mature about the whole thing. You can flirt, but don’t push it. This can get out of hand and become confusing. 

Also, if they take five minutes to answer your text, please do not wait six minutes to respond back. That is just juvenile. [Read: Why playing games of playing hard to get is just pointless]

What to expect when you tell someone you like them over text

Now, telling someone you like them over text isn’t something you just do and it is over with. You have to wait for their response and talk a bit afterward. It is best to be prepared for this part too.

1. Give them time to think about what to say

Their answer most likely won’t be instantaneous. It shouldn’t take hours, but it could take upwards of 10 minutes. And those 10 minutes can feel like an eternity. So don’t fret too much. 

They aren’t necessarily trying to let you down easily. Maybe they are trying to tell you they like you too. Try to keep busy while you’re waiting so you don’t overthink.

2. They might not return the feelings

Try not to have any expectations one way or another. Focus on being proud of yourself for telling the truth. They might return your feelings, and they might not. So be aware that anything could happen.

3. If they do like you, stay cool

Having the person you’ve been crushing on like you back is amazing. And feel free to brag to your friends! But in front of your crush, try to keep your cool. You can be excited and say something like, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that response, but I couldn’t be happier.”

Just don’t take it too far with the excitement. That can be a turn-off.

4. Don’t expect a relationship ASAP

Whether your crush said they like you too or agreed to a date, don’t assume a relationship starts there. Take things slow and see how it goes. Just because you like someone doesn’t mean you’ll live happily ever after.

Let things take their natural course. There is no need to rush. [Read: How to keep from moving too fast in your new relationship]

5. Use this as a learning experience

No matter the outcome, don’t overanalyze the conversation. Don’t think, “what if I said this” or “I should have said that.” You did not blow it. If they don’t like you back, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Use this to help you move forward.

[Read: The step-by-step guide to texting your crush the right way]

Hopefully, you now know how to tell someone you like them over text with less confusion, fear, and nerves. Good luck!

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...