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How to Know You Have a Crush: 10 Hidden Signs

Gabrielle Applebury
Teen girl and boy flirting outside school

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you actually have a romantic crush on someone, or if you admire them and want to spend time with them. Reflect on your behavior and thoughts to better understand if your crush is real.

How to Know if You Have a Crush

If you feel like you may have a crush on someone, it's important to figure out what type of crush you're dealing with.

  • A friendly or platonic crush means that you found someone you click with or think you'll get along with and want to spend more time with them in a non-romantic way.
  • An admiration crush is one where you look up to and respect an individual and may want to be around them often.
  • A romantic crush means that you are attracted to someone sexually, may fantasize about them, and want to be with them in an intimate way.

If you think you have a romantic crush on someone, there are several signs you can pay attention to.

You Feel Drawn to Them

You may feel this energetic pull towards them in person, or feel an underlying connection to them, even if you don't know them well or at all. You may find their personality and/or appearance very attractive and seek out ways to get to know them better.

Two teens at school flirting

You Seek Connection

If you have a romantic crush on someone, you may seek out ways to connect with them. You are likely going to spend extra time and energy getting to know them and their world as best as you can. You may:

  • Check out their social media
  • Try to find ways to run into them
  • Spend time getting to know their friends
  • Touch them and holding prolonged eye contact while flirting
  • Engaging in activities that you know they are interested in

You Feel Giddy

With a romantic crush, the thought of them may make you feel giddy, excited, and energized. From an evolutionary standpoint, these rewarding feelings can help propel you into taking action and potentially finding a mate.

You Feel Nervous

It's totally normal to feel nervous about spending time with your crush. You may feel preoccupied with making a good impression, or feel general nervousness about doing something embarrassing in front of them. Know that this is completely normal and you don't only get one shot to show them your many sides.

You Fantasize About Them

You may find yourself thinking about what it would be like to be with your crush on and off during the day. You may wonder what they're like sexually, what going on a date with them is like, and what it's like to be in a relationship with them. Fantasizing releases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which not only feels pleasurable, but can also intensify your crush on them.

You Feel Energized Thinking About Them

Just thinking about your crush may give you a rush of energy. You may feel jittery, nervous, and excited all at once when you think about them and upcoming interactions. Even on days when you feel tired or out of it, bringing up the thought of your crush can feel like a caffeine jolt.

You Want to Really Know Them

Not only do you find your crush attractive, but you want to get to know the real them, understand what makes them tick, and see what their life is really like. You may take an interest in their hobbies and want to spend time with their friends.

You Want to Make a Good Impression

You may feel pressure to make a solid impression on your crush every time you're with them. You may:

  • Dress and primp with more care before seeing them
  • Think about what you're going to say when you see them
  • Go through scenarios in your head regarding what you want the interactions with them to be like

You may also be extra hard on yourself if you feel like the interactions didn't go as well as you had hoped they would.

Your Pupils Dilate

Looking at images or thinking about your crush can lead to eye dilation. Next time you chat with your crush, check out your eyes afterwards to see if they've dilated a bit more than usual.

You Make Your Presence Known

When you're around your crush, notice if you act differently. You may become more extroverted, place yourself somewhere where you'll be seen by them, and try to be forward when you interact with them. Making your presence known is one way to attempt to connect with them and spark their interest in getting to know you.

Two teens flirting at mall food court

How to Tell if You Have a Crush Quiz

If you're still unsure if you romantically like someone, if you have a crush, or if you're obsessed with the idea of them, taking a quiz can help clarify a few questions that you may still be grappling with. Be honest with yourself and try to answer all questions as truthfully as possible to get the most accurate results.

Is it Normal to Have a Crush on Someone You Don't Know?

Yes, it is totally normal to have a crush on someone you don't know. For some, a significant aspect of their crush is the fantasy of what it would be like romantically with this specific person. Even with people you know, chances are if you have a crush on them, you're idealizing some or all aspects of them.

Can Someone Tell When You Have a Crush on Them?

Your crush may or may not know if you like them depending on how much you put yourself out there, and how aware they are of flirtatious behavior in general. While some people are totally attuned to knowing if someone else romantically likes them, others may have a more difficult time reading these signs.

Differences Between Crushing and Falling in Love

With a crush you experience an exciting fantasy about the what ifs with this person. You feel excited about spending time with them and getting to know them on a more intimate level. When you are falling in love, you know the individual well and can imagine your life with them in a more committed way. You don't fantasize about who they are as a person as you know them on an intimate level. Unlike having a crush, when you are in love or falling in love, you're able to be vulnerable with them and show them all aspects of yourself, rather than being on your best behavior.

How to Know if Your Crush Likes You

If you are curious if your crush likes you back, there are several signs to look out for including their behavior towards you, how often they attempt to connect with you, and if they take an interest in activities that you like.

What to Do When You Have a Crush

If you have a romantic crush on someone, think about if you want to act on it. If you do choose to let your crush know, try to go into the situation being as prepared as possible for their potential reactions. Know that it is brave to put yourself out there and it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable with someone without knowing what the outcome will be.

How to Know You Have a Crush: 10 Hidden Signs