How To Know If You Like Someone: Ask Yourself These Five Questions

Medically reviewed by Arianna Williams, LPC, CCTP
Updated May 2, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Figuring out whether you like someone, whether platonically or romantically, may be challenging. As you age, you might stick with more comfortable social groups, and branching out to new connections may be confusing. Inviting healthy people into your life can be beneficial when looking for new friends or romantic partners. Therefore, there are several questions you can ask yourself to start considering whether you enjoy the company of another person.

Learn the signs of attraction, friendship, and love in therapy

Questions to ask yourself when determining your feelings for someone else 

The following questions may help you work through platonic or romantic feelings for someone you're unsure about. Your answers may offer insight into how to proceed regarding the depth of the relationship. If you struggle to answer these questions independently, you might also benefit from developing a pros and cons chart with a therapist's guidance. 

Does this individual cause positive feelings? 

Before you make anyone a regular part of your life, it can be beneficial to consider how often this individual makes you feel optimistic, joyful, or excited. Although everyone is human and may experience challenging emotions, if this individual constantly ignores you, treats you poorly, or shows red flags, it might not be beneficial to continue a connection with them. 

The first person you meet might not be a best friend or a perfect partner. However, try approaching each new person with an open and cautious mind. Explore your feelings about the relationship with the person and start with how they make you feel and what your initial instincts tell you about them.

Do you think about them often?

If you think about a person often, you might want to continue your connection, whether platonic or romantic. Studies show that love can cause an influx of positive neurotransmitters in the brain, like oxytocin and dopamine. These love chemicals may cause you to think often about the individual you're interested in. In addition, you might struggle to focus on work, school, or other relationships during this time. 

What do you like about this person? 

If you want to know whether you like someone, write down all the aspects you like about them. Developing a list of qualities you admire may feel effortless if you like someone. However, you might not like the person if you struggle to consider positive traits but can think of negative traits more efficiently. 

What do you dislike about them?

After considering what you like about this individual, take a moment to do the opposite. Write down every trait you dislike about the person. This list may help you decide if you like someone or have noticed many qualities you're uncomfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable with how they treat you or feel that your values and ideals don't align, it may be beneficial to consider other connections with other people. 

Do you want to come to them in challenging or joyful moments? 

As humans are social creatures, many people enjoy discussing their hardships and triumphs with those they care about. If this person frequently emerges in your mind soon after you experience an achievement or joyful moment, you may be attracted to their qualities, either platonically, romantically, or sexually. Consider what draws you to this person and why you enjoy talking to them about these events. Are they an active listener? Do they validate your feelings?


How to know if someone feels reciprocally toward you 

Some people take a direct approach to see if someone likes them back. However, for others, this approach is scary or off-putting. You might prefer to safeguard your emotions and feel the situation out first. There are a few signs someone might like you that you can try to tune into, including the following.  

Clear eye contact

Many people look at those they are attracted to and avoid eye contact with those they aren't. The neurotransmitter oxytocin may cause increased eye contact, as elevated oxytocin levels boost eye observation and offer a sense of well-being, enhancing mutual attraction. 

Oxytocin also increases pupil dilation, which signifies attraction. The wider the dilation, the more appeal people may feel toward one another. If you are on a date with someone and are wondering if they are interested, check if they're making eye contact. However, note that some people struggle with eye contact due to social anxiety, neurodivergence, or other potential challenges. 

Physical touch

People often touch those they enjoy the presence of. In romantic relationships, individuals may lightly touch the arm of the individual with whom they are chatting. This light touch may not be an invitation for a sexual encounter but can imply interest.  

Touching or proximity may be a sign as to whether a person likes or dislikes you. However, some people are more physically oriented. If you notice this individual being touchy with all their friends or acquaintances, it might not signify a romantic connection. 

Body language 

Body positioning is another indicator that someone likes you and is on the same page. People often lean toward another person they like and distance themselves from those they dislike. Inward leaning increases as a tighter bond is formed. However, note that some people may not showcase this type of body language if they are experiencing anxiety, shyness, or fear about the interaction. 

Copying your mannerisms

When you spend time with someone who likes you, they may copy your body positions. This behavior is called affective mimicry and might help determine affinity, put you on the same page, and identify whether the individual you are talking with likes you. 

Mirroring may send a subconscious signal to the individual that you are aligned with them. In turn, they might feel more attracted to you. Although attraction can be exciting, consider talking, listening, and looking for other examples before drawing a conclusion. 

Tearing down walls

Individuals who like each other may strive to remove obstacles between them. People who do not like each other often do the opposite. Barriers can be personal items such as purses, newspapers, backpacks, publications, cups, pillows, or other items. A barrier does not automatically mean that another person does not like you or is on the same page, but it could suggest that a connection has not yet been formed that can lead to physical intimacy.

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Learn the signs of attraction, friendship, and love in therapy

Counseling options 

Navigating the complexities of human attraction, friendship, socialization, and behavior can be challenging. If you're unsure how to proceed with someone you might like, consider contacting a therapist. With modern forms of therapy, many clients can also partake in counseling online. 

Discussing topics of attraction can feel embarrassing to some people, so meeting with an online counselor may reduce the desire to maintain barriers. You may be able to attend sessions with a nickname or choose between live phone, video, or chat messaging sessions with your therapist. In addition, online therapy through platforms like BetterHelp can be affordable. If you're looking for a convenient, flexible, and available form of treatment, an online therapist might be valuable. You are not required to have a diagnosis to receive support. 

Additionally, online therapy has proven effective in supporting people navigating challenges connected to attraction, relationships, and self-esteem. Many people may struggle with discerning if someone likes them due to poor self-esteem. In a systematic literature review of 12 randomized controlled trials inclusive of a self-esteem component, it was found that online interventions had positive effects on reducing self-aversion and increasing feelings of self-worth.  

Counselor reviews

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When considering whether you like someone, get curious about how you feel when they are around. If you are still confused about your feelings or want to explore research-backed methods for making difficult decisions, consider starting with an online or in-person counselor to discuss these concepts in further detail.
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