How Do I Know if He Really Likes Me?

"How Do I Know if He Really Likes Me?"

Did he stare at me from across the class? Did she giggle at my jokes more than last time? Why does my heart beat so fast when he’s around? Is this a crush or is it something more? Here are some tips to chat about crushes, infatuation and love with our kids.

By Focus on the Family Singapore | 16 February 2022

The Primary Years (Ages 7-9)

Crushes are normal. But what exactly is a crush? A crush is a fleeting liking for a member of the opposite sex that goes beyond just liking him or her as a friend. You may want to see them more often, or write them little notes or give small snacks.

Crushes at this stage usually develops quickly and fades. They tend to be short.

In primary school, such feelings may come and go as you make new friends and your social circle expands. Since everyone comes from a different family with different cultural norms and expectations, friends may tease you when they sense you like somebody.

You may feel embarrassed but also drawn to the idea of being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s natural since we all want to be liked and in relationships where we feel loved.

Besides Boy-Girl-Relationships (BGR), we need to remember that we also feel loved in other relationships, like parent-child relationships, sibling-hood and also good friendships. All these, especially familial ties, tend to be relationships that will stand the test of time and continue well into the future.

So if you are getting teased about BGR or if you are having unfamiliar feelings about someone at school, you can always consider talking to your family about it. They do have the benefit of experience so when they give you advice, it’s based on what they have learnt and walked through themselves!

Tween Years (Ages 10-12)

How do you know if someone really likes you? Everyone communicates feelings differently. Someone shy may avoid interaction while someone with a more outgoing personality may decide to engage in more interaction.

Instead of trying to guess the intention behind another person’s actions, the best thing to do is to not overthink. Overthinking causes you to read into every interaction. When that happens, it’s like putting on a pair of magnifying glass as spectacles... everything you see is magnified and this may not always be good!

In a crush, the feelings normally fade away after a while as you choose not to focus on it. Another sign of whether it is a crush – Infatuation usually values aspects we can observe easily from the outside, e.g., good looks or talents.

If the other party is obviously declaring they have a special interest in you, e.g., admitting they like you, sending you gifts or letters or overt actions along this line, it’s better to try to take a step back and relate to this person as a regular friend first. Don’t build up a relationship in your head... it could be only an illusion.

Every great relationship is built on a strong friendship so focus on being a friend. A good friend is someone we can trust, be honest with, laugh with, and who has our interests at heart.

You can also have the talk with your parents on when you can have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The Teen Years (Ages 13-15)

At this age, some of your friends may be in romantic relationships and you may feel some peer pressure to be in one. However, the best thing you can do is not to get in one just to be in one!

Romantic relationships are special and it’s special because it’s with a great person who reciprocates. So if you are not sure if your feelings are reciprocated in the same way, it’s good not to commit to a relationship since you will have different expectations.

When you are unsure if the other person feels the same way, it’s always good to hold on and hold off.

Unless you want to confront them and ask them about their feelings, there is probably no way to avoid the “unknown” stage of a relationship.

But because this stage is ambiguous, you probably don’t want to obsess over it. Choosing to take a step back helps you avoid emotionally committing yourself especially since the romantic relationship you will like to have actually does not exist yet! It is also a good time to assess if the feelings are based on outward traits like appearances and gifts rather than inward traits like strength of character and values.

If a person really likes you, as long as you remain your usual friendly self, you are leaving them space to get to know you. Until they do give a clear signal, put your focus on developing yourself to grow in your full potential and confidence to be uniquely you.

As a teenager, you would probably have seen kissing or other acts of physical affection on screen and maybe even in real life at home, in public spaces or amongst your friends.

It’s good to remember that everyone has different expectations on physical boundaries in a romantic relationship. You can also ask yourself how your family and personal values line up with different expectations in this area and what you personally want.

Remember that you don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to feel valued or loved. Build great friendships and enjoy your family. Think of these as gems you are gathering and one day when you are in a great romantic relationship, you can also share these gems with your significant other and both your lives will be enriched.

© 2022 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.


Does the mere thought of talking with your kids about sex make you break out in cold sweat? Join us for our Relational Health and Sexual Intelligence webinar on Sat, 9 April 2022, and be equipped with science-based techniques and tools to overcome that fear and start having open conversations!

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