There isn’t a more beautiful, warm feeling than loving someone deeply. Until, of course, you realize it’s one-sided. And no matter how far away we wish to run from unrequited love, the truth is, sometimes we’re not everyone’s cup of tea. When we try to get close to someone who doesn’t like us back they might just think they’re imagining that we like them, and hope we aren’t. When that happens, realizing where you stand can be helpful for both of you – it can avoid awkward conversations and free you of false hope. Keep reading to learn about some signs they might not be into you!
The Missing Rulebook
Trying to figure out if someone likes us often ends in uncertainty. Deep down, you might feel they don’t like you, but then they smile at you and your heart just melts! And once again you don’t know what to think. Even though some would say that playing it cool is a sign of affection, sometimes the meaning of this confusing behavior actually means the opposite. Professor of Psychology and neuroscience Mark Leary explains how being the one who rejects someone is a tough job. Love songs and romantic movies give us guidelines on how to act when we’re in love, but nobody said anything about how to reject someone nicely! That’s why, if your crush hopes you don’t like them romantically, they might send mixed signals. Maybe they act cold and uninterested to spare you false hope. But later, they don’t want to seem rude or cruel, so they soften up a bit. The best way to tell for sure is to watch out for some other tell-tale signs they’re not interested.
Are you constantly wracking your brain to come up with the perfect text to send their way? A meme to make them laugh, a romantic soundtrack to sweep them off their feet, or a thought-provoking news article to show off your intellect? You wait with bated breath for their reply, but all you get is the sound of crickets. No response, no explanation, just radio silence. Friend, it seems you’ve been ghosted. In a 2021 study, psychologists asked dating app users why they ghost other users. The reason for their unresponsiveness was pretty clear – they didn’t like something about their potential dates, and ghosting was a strategy to signal they were uninterested. So if you’ve been left on read for a long time, it’s probably a sign they’re just not that into you. To get some support, share with us your worst ghost story in the comments!
And even if they do reply, if they hope you don’t like them, their texts might sound plain and dry. Usually, according to the psychological theory of self-disclosure, we tend to share about ourselves with the ones we like. We tell them all about our favorite bands, YouTubers and hobbies, and even some deeper stuff like our hopes and fears. Dr. Jack Schafer, a retired FBI agent with a Ph.D. in psychology, says that these kinds of deep conversations often increase attraction. But, do you feel like your conversations actually lack this? If talking about the weather is the most interesting topic you two had in a while, they might be trying to keep their distance.
But let’s not forget about non-digital communication! If you see your crush face to face, like at school or work, you might still have a chance, right? Well, it depends. International consultant, speaker, and best-selling author Ali Craig talked to Insider and revealed some non-verbal signs that might tell you if they don’t feel the same way. For example, do they rarely stand or sit near you? Do they avoid looking your way for more than just a few seconds? Or maybe they cross their arms when talking to you, while trying to force a fake smile. Even if they don’t say it with their words, their body will tell you what you need to know.
Do you think your crush shows some of these signs? If so, we’re sorry to hear that! We truly hope that learning about this can help you move on, because it’s what you deserve. They may not like you, but somewhere, there is someone who will! We hope you’ll meet them soon! Thanks for reading and see you next time! And remember: you matter.
Leary, M. R. (2006). Interpersonal rejection. Oxford University Press.
Pannell, N. (2018, June 27). 10 subtle signs someone doesn’t like you. Insider. https://www.insider.com/body-language-signs-that-someone-doesnt-like-you-2018-6
Ph.D., J. S. (2015, March 18). Self-Disclosures increase attraction. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/let-their-words-do-the-talking/201503/self-disclosures-increase-attraction
Timmermans, E., Hermans, A.-M., & Opree, S. J. (2020). Gone with the wind: Exploring mobile daters’ ghosting experiences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(2), 783–801. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520970287