Dear Ernie: Advice on Crushes

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Dear Ernie,

At the beginning of this semester, I was really nervous to begin classes, but those nerves turned into butterflies when this beautiful girl walked into my first class of the semester. It turns out I have her in 3 of my classes this semester, but I struggle to strike conversations with her. I’m completely clueless when it comes to things I can talk about with her, and I want to try and get a good read on if she is into me before I ask her out on a date. What types of conversations should I start with her, and how can I tell if she likes me back?


The Hopeless Romantic

Dear Hopeless Romantic,

I completely understand your nerves. When I met my beautiful girlfriend Ernesta for the first time, I was star-struck and couldn’t even get a word out. Boy, she has the most bright and colorful feathers!

Anyways, when It comes to starting a conversation with her, if you run into her normally outside of the classes you share together, or even before or after one of your classes, a great first conversation would be to ask her for help on one of your assignments or see if she understands what is going on in the class. That way, if she hasn’t noticed you before, she will realize how often you see each other and this is a good way to get her phone number or Snapchat. Once you guys have had some good conversations talking about classes you have in common, try to find other things you also have in common with her! It’s more than likely that you may share the same major and you can talk about classes that you each have taken and maybe recommend ones you really enjoyed!

Once you have found a good base on what to talk to her about, start opening your horizons a bit and ask her more about herself and things that she enjoys outside of school (hobbies, if she plays any sports, if she has any pets, etc). You will find that conversations will be a lot easier to start and you would have begun the foundation of a friendship.

Now, when it comes to if she is mutually interested, there is no universal answer as everyone is different, but here are some common things to look for and do:

  1. Pay attention to her eyes: Is she avoiding eye contact? Some girls find it uncomfortable to look their crush in the eye or be caught looking at them.
  2. Context is key: If you are in a group setting and run into her, and she is talking to you more than anyone else, it can mean that she is interested.
  3. Body Language: the universal body language cues are something to look for. If she is leaning toward you while you are talking, this usually indicates that they are interested in what you have to say.
  4. Pay attention to clues from her friends: If her group of friends start to behave differently around you, or ask what you think of her, it may mean that they want to know more about you. If they start to giggle and smirk or watch you and your crush interact with one another: she may also have a crush on you.
  5. Ask her out: It will make you nervous, but it is the best way to find out if she likes you.

Remember, if the feeling is not mutual, it is not the end of the world. There are numerous reasons why someone might say no that have nothing to do with your qualities. There are many people out there and you will find the one for you. Sometimes you just need to give it time.

Good luck and keep on soaring,


(Note: The advice given is from Candor writers, student-to-student, and does not reflect the opinion of the university).