How to Tell Someone How You Feel About Them

Telling someone how you feel about them is not about them, it’s about you. Choose the right moment and use the right words, be yourself. You have no control of how they react, even when you can predict it, remain open to any reaction. In case it doesn’t turn out the way you expect it, don’t hate yourself for it. It’s not your fault.

When you want to tell someone how you feel about them, try to establish how they feel about you first. Observe how they respond to your words and actions. If they are not responsive, it could be too early to speak but if they are, plan for the means to pass the message. This could be a poem, a song, a collection of memories together, a gift pack, or a simple chat over coffee. Ensure the mood is right and you are in an ideal place. Look into their eyes and pour out your feelings.

5 ways (that actually work) to tell someone how you feel about them

1.    Share a list of your memories

You can’t be into someone yet you don’t enjoy your time together, that’s given. Maybe the other person has not started feeling the way you do but still enjoys your company. Create a list of the things you have done together which you both enjoyed.

You can write them down or make a collection of pictures and share with them. Explain what each memory means to you and what makes them stand out. Summon your courage, look into their eyes, and tell them they are the reason those memories are so special to you.

If they are attentive, they will have picked it by now. But assuming they don’t, tell them exactly how you feel in plain words. You can say, for instance, “these memories make me realize how deeply I care about you. I am in love with you.”

2.    Write a poem

Even though not everyone can express themselves clearly in writing, where feelings come into play, we all become artists. Write what you feel, as if you are saying it face to face. Do not edit anything, let it be. After all, it’s not a competition. 

During one of those late-night calls, request to read it to him or her, read it out with all the emotions it carries. Release every ounce of the energy and let it flow. When you are done, remain silent and wait for feedback.

Alternatively, record yourself reading the poem, avoid the temptation to self-criticize, once you are done, send it, and wait for them to respond. I must warn you though, the level of anxiety you’ll experience is unfathomable. It’s easier if you are pretty busy; if you are not, distract yourself as you await the response.

3.    Send a gift package with a card

Sometimes feelings are better shown than said especially when someone is far or you are not sure of their reaction. I need to remind you this is a risky affair. It’s even harder if this is someone you consider your senior, for instance, your boss or someone in authority.

Consider buying something they like but a bit suggestive. The French introduced us to chocolates and they never go out of fashion. Flowers speak volumes too. Get a bottle of wine or some jewelry. On the package, add a card with your message on it. Make it brief and leave the details for when they call to say thank you.

4.    Invite them over for dinner

I’m assuming you haven’t made this a ritual yet so it will be a surprise to them. When you open up and let someone come to your house for dinner, it already sends a message. However, it would be even better if you can prepare their favorite meal.

Make the dinner about them, seek to know them more deeply, maintain eye contact as you talk. If you are comfortable, reach out and hold their hand once in a while. Let them know how special having dinner with them is. You can say “having you here for dinner means a lot to me” or “I feel honored to have you over for dinner, this is priceless.”

5.    Take advantage of a special moment in their life

Birthdays, graduation ceremonies, new appointments create a good environment for expressing yourself. Although psychologists suggest that sharing a big secret during transition is not ideal, you can risk and ride on the excitement. Just be prepared for the results.

How to tell someone how you feel about them spontaneously

Maybe you are reading all this and wondering, “This is so unlike me. I am a spontaneous person. I don’t usually plan for things; I act at the heat of the moment. How can I do it?” Well, you said it. You don’t like protocol. Just say it whenever you feel the moment is right.

Tell him or her “since I met you, there’s nothing I look forward to like spending time with you. I’m totally smitten.” Or “I haven’t felt this happy in a long time, you complete me.” There are many words you can use to tell someone how you feel about them, just make sure they are from the heart.

In conclusion

Telling someone how you feel about them is a risk. One, even if they have been making advances, you don’t know if they feel the same way. Two, you may scare them away because telling them sends a message of different expectations. Three, they can’t read your mind so they may interpret it the wrong way. Some people are not mature enough to handle this level of openness so they would rather play hide and seek. They will grab and embrace you tightly when emotions run high but act indifferent the next moment. Some have been through torturing experiences and are afraid of commitment. This makes it difficult for you to open up but if you are decided, there are some crafty ways to go about it. As Michael Jackson would put it, you got a good thing going but they don’t know what they kicking away.

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Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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