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How to Tell Someone You Like Them in a Non-Awkward Way

Having a crush sucks. It sucks even more when you don’t know how to tell them how you feel. If there are serious friendships at risk, mutual friends who you don’t want to involve, or any weird ex situations, telling someone you like them can put the weight of the world on your shoulders. But it shouldn’t have to. Telling a crush how you feel, dealing with possible rejection, or getting out of the friendzone can be tricky for everyone involved but it’s best to take a minute to strip the situation of any unnecessary dramatics and handle it properly for the best case scenario. Whether you end up with a date or an unsoiled friendship, addressing a crush can actually be painless.

Skip the lines

Nobody likes getting the dreaded “We need to talk” text, so don’t send one. You won’t enjoy writing it, and they won’t enjoy receiving it. The same goes for in-person conversation starters. Having a crush is not that serious, and the conversation will be way more relaxed and easy if you don’t exaggerate. Bringing up the subject can be as simple as “Is it weird that I kinda want to ask you out on a date?” or “I’ve been thinking about asking you out, as more than friends.” It sounds scary, but it’s way more comfortable than unexpectedly pouring out your feelings and they’ll appreciate the casualness. Whether you opt for a quick text or an IRL moment, simplicity is key.

Related: What It’s Like to Text Your Crush

Ask them out instead of dancing around it

Sitting someone down and laying your heart out in front of them will probably come off a little too intimidating than how you’d like. Instead of planning any sort of dramatic conversation with a big emotional reveal at the end, just ask them to come out with you. If you’re already friends with this person, why not make plans as per usual and simply suggest that you treat it like a regular date? If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. When my girlfriend asked me out for the first time, I barely knew her and she was already deep in her feelings. I accepted her offer and, oops! Now I’m in a committed relationship. Just shoot your shot; the worst they can say is “No.”

Don’t get anyone else involved

It’s likely that you two have some mutual friends or maybe some sticky ex situations. We know you’re dying to talk to someone about how you feel and ask for advice from as many people as possible, but, on the off-chance that things get a bit awkward, you really don’t want too many people involved. You’re free to confide in anyone if you want to, but this is your business and it’s best to keep the rumor mill at bay. Read some think-pieces (kind of like this one!), do some reflection, maybe confer with your closest confidant, but don’t blow the situation out of proportion. The whole thing will go much more smoothly.

Related: 17 Reasons Why Having a Crush is Absolute Torture

Prepare yourself

We’re sure you’ve spent many nights imagining the excitement and romance of the best case scenario, but it’s also smart to stay humble and prepare for what’ll come next if your person of interest is… not interested. If you two have already got a working friendship, remind yourself of how much you value that friendship and prioritize that over anything. Let them know that your platonic relationship means more to you than your crush and that staying friends (if they don’t share your feelings) is more important than endless awkwardness. Remember that rejection is not the end of the world and that you’ll encounter many, many great loves in your lifetime. Don’t sweat it. And, if they do reciprocate your feelings, pour yourself a tall drink and celebrate.

Junior queer linguistics major at Hunter College whose hair is brown on the left and some color or another on the right.