We've covered all the dating basics: Cute things to do for your boyfriend, cute things to say to your boyfriend, and cute things to talk about with your boyfriend. But how the eff do you navigate a situation with someone you’re just crushing on?
Sure, you want to embody some totally chill girl energy like, "Oh, no, I totally don't care that you left me on read for two hours," but at the same time, you also want to make it known that you'd like to eat pizza with them. In your bed. Naked.
To help, we spoke with seven experts who provided some super slick ways to get your crush to like you that aren’t so obvious—and yup, that Starbucks latte they see you with all the time is def doing you a favor.
- Ask them to do you a small favor. If they perform a minor act of service for you, they will unconsciously associate feelings of approval and positivity with you, says Mario Sinelmann, CEO and Dating Coach at Up Your Dating Game. "It's sneaky but harmless." Don't make 'em stand in line for you at Panda Express, but it’d be okay to ask them to read over an important email you have to send to your boss, ya feel?
- Laugh at their jokes (if they're actually funny 'cause we don't advocate for faking your laughs for anybody here). “The more we laugh with someone, the more we are drawn to them,” says Wyatt Fisher, PsyD, licensed psychologist and host of marriage podcast, Marriage Steps.
- Share your flaws and imperfections. Okay, you don’t have to mention that one time you threw up from eating too much pancit canton, but you can totally talk about that weird dimple that pops up when you smile. Sharing your flaws and imperfections makes people feel humble and safe, says Fisher, “which will encourage them to open up more about their shortcomings, which breeds emotional intimacy.”
- Be present on Instagram. "Post quirky photos of your outings or hobbies. To capture your crush's attention, devote some of your Stories to the things—activities, music, or memes—they love," says Celia Schweyer, dating expert at Dating Relationships Advice. "Live and feature your authentic self, while adding a few posts that tell them you totally get their passion."
- Watch a scary movie with them. Adrenaline sometimes = attraction. “Putting your crush in fear-enhancing situations has the potential to make them like you because they attribute their adrenaline rush and increased heart rate to you, rather than the situation,” says Adina Mahalli, relationship expert at Maple Holistics.
- Carry a warm drink in your hand. “According to research, people tend to view those around them with more warmth when they have a hot drink in their hand,” says Mahalli. (Remember when I told you earlier that your Starbucks latte was def doing you favors?) Oh, and avoid colds drink too if you really want to play this up.
- Mimic what your crush is doing. Yup, it's a thing called the Chameleon effect. “When you mimic someone’s behavior, they think more favorably of you. It creates a connection,” says licensed sex therapist Cheryl Cyr. You see someone smile, you smile. They rub their face, you rub your face. They move their hair, you move your hair. “Follow it up with eye contact to seal the deal,” says Cyr.
- Wear the same colors they do. “Notice what color clothes they wear most often, and then add some of those colors to your wardrobe,” says Cyr. Pro Tip: Your crush is totally going to notice that you’re wearing the colors they’re attracted to.
- Pull tricks on them. Ah, my personal favorite. No need to be mean or send them to the hospital with a broken arm, but why not scare them every time they walk into your apt? Totally fair game. “This is a good way to stoke a sense of mystery and curiosity,” says Brooke Sprowl, LCSW, clinical director at My LA Therapy.
- Find unusual similarities. “We are attracted to people we perceive as similar to ourselves, and research suggests that attraction will increase if we perceive our commonalities are rare or unusual,” says Rachel Kerr, writer and representative of dating agency, The Vida Consultancy. So yeah, it’s def a big deal if your parents went to the same high school or you’re both Scorpios (it's okay to geek out).
- Don’t be afraid to get a lil touchy-feely. “The occasional subtle touch enhances our feelings toward each other, whether it be picking up an imaginary hair off a shoulder or a gentle pat on the arm as you laugh at a joke,” says Kerr. This applies especially for all of you physical touch love languagers.
- Spend lots of time with them. This may be the more obvious one of the mix, but quality time is everything. I mean, how are you going to get to know someone unless you spend time with them? It’s a thing called "The mere exposure effect" and it "refers to the fact that simply being around someone often and long enough will increase their liking of you," says Kerr.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.