Does she like me?

Dear Alice,

There is a girl in class who I think likes me, but I'm not sure... if she doesn't, what can I do to make her like me (if I can) and how should I go about asking her if she does like me or not? I am pretty sure she does, but I want her to tell me.

Dear Reader,

It sounds as though you’re a real smitten kitten — how exciting! It might also be a bit scary — what if she doesn't like you back, right? It would certainly be less daunting if you knew whether or not she was into you, too, or if you were able to "make" her like you, if she doesn't already. Here's the thing, though: that scary feeling is part of forming new friendships or romantic relationships. New relationships can make you feel vulnerable because you’re attempting to make your feelings known in the hopes that another person feels the same way. When you do that though, you run the risk that your feelings will get hurt if the other person rejects you or doesn't like you as much as you like her/him. Just like everyone else, that's a fear that you just have to learn to face. But, the good news is: if you practice facing that fear, you’ll likely become more confident and it’ll feel less scary in the future!

It might be helpful to anticipate the types of reactions you could get if you were to tell her your feelings. In one scenario, it’s possible that she’ll tell you she's not interested or that she only likes you as a friend. Getting that response might hurt your feelings and make you feel embarrassed. Rest assured, those feelings won’t last forever. Eventually, you'll likely come to realize that, if she's not interested in you, it doesn't mean you're not likeable; it just means she's not the one for you. Whether it's with this person or another, taking a risk to share how you feel can pay off and, in time, you might just find a person that’s into you, too — and, that feels great. The gamble of it all is there is just no way to get to that great feeling unless you’re willing to risk the possibility of hurt feelings and rejection.

As for how to "make" someone like you: there is really just no way to do that. If you start trying to do or say things that will "make" someone like you, chances are you will be doing and saying things that aren’t representative of the real you. If that happens, you’ll either have to keep pretending to be someone you aren’t, or the person you like may be surprised when you stop pretending and start acting like yourself after some time. So, the best thing to do is just be you from the start. That way, if someone likes you, they'll like you for the real you — and that is just the greatest feeling in the world.

So, in the end, you could take a few approaches. If you're feeling bold and brave, go ahead and tell her that you like her. You don't have to just march up and say it (although you could). You could strike up a conversation about anything you might have in common and let it come out naturally. If spilling your heart’s desires in person seems overwhelming, you could also write her a note. However, if being direct isn’t your jam, perhaps you could just see if she wants to hang out. Check out Woman wants to initiate date in the Go Ask Alice! archives for more tips on how to ask her out. If she’s into it and you spend some quality one-on-one time together, it may become easier and more comfortable for you to tell her anything, including that you like her.

Good luck!

Last updated Mar 04, 2016
Originally published Nov 01, 1996

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