How to Make the First Move with Someone you Like

If you like someone, and feel attracted to them, you don't have to wait for them to make the first move. Take a risk. It's better than asking yourself what might've been.
How to Make the First Move with Someone you Like
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

How do you make the first move with someone you like? This is the classic question you no doubt asked yourself when you were a teenager. However, even as an adult, you might continue to have doubts about the art of love and how to win someone over, as well as how the mechanisms of attraction between two people work. This is usually because you’re afraid of taking a chance and you might end up being rejected.

However, as has been said many times, in this life those who don’t take risks stand the chance of forever wondering what might’ve been. In fact, let’s face it, there are few things more disappointing than staring into your existential rear-view mirror and regretting all the things you haven’t done. Furthermore, that you didn’t try or even intend to try.

For this reason, you should combine your self-confidence and charm and take the first step whenever you feel attracted to someone. It’s only natural that there may be certain difficulties. For example, maybe you’re extremely shy. Or, you might just be uncertain that the person you like will feel any attraction towards you.

“I’m drawn, Icarus to the sun. I’ve been burned already, and yet here I am again.”

-E.L. James-

couple eating and acting out how to take the first step with someone you like

Keys to making the first move

Although it seems superficial, much of the attraction you feel for someone in the initial phases of getting to know them is due to their physical attractiveness. In fact, in 2008, Swami and Furnham conducted research that suggested that physical attributes are almost always the most important initial element in the process of physical attraction.

Obviously, when it comes to falling in love with someone there are many more factors at play. For this reason, if you want to take the first step with someone you like, you should at least ensure that there are other variables in existence beyond the mere physical attraction you feel. For example, an intellectual connection, shared values and interests, and the kind of complicity that makes everything simple and fun between you.

Sometimes, initial attraction is orchestrated by chemicals like oxytocin, phenethylamine, and dopamine. These make you act out of sheer desire and impulse. Therefore, it’s advisable to try and be objective and ask yourself what you actually really like about the person. Furthermore, are these the kind of attributes you think you can build a solid relationship on?

Let’s look at a few more hints to help you take the first step when you like someone.

1. Learn to handle the fear of being rejected

Sometimes, when it comes to taking that first step with someone, the fear of rejection stops you. It might even be the case that you’re actually good friends and you’re afraid that revealing your true feelings will spoll that friendship. However, there’s something you need to remember.

It’s extremely difficult to maintain a friendship when you harbor deep feelings for the person concerned. Consequently, it’s always better to be honest with them. Then, depending on the reply, you can decide whether you’re able to maintain the friendship. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to learn how to handle your fears of rejection.

Living with doubts or simply waiting for the other person to take the next step isn’t always the right thing to do. In fact, you’ll feel far better about yourself if you take the plunge.

2. Don’t wait for the ideal moment, create it

When you want to take the first step with someone you like, you might find yourself waiting for the “right moment”. For a moment of greater physical closeness, intimacy, or complicity. However, the truth is, that instead of waiting, it’s far better to “seize” the moment.

For instance, you could suggest a romantic dinner or a short weekend getaway. With this kind of invitation, you’re already implying that it’s a pretty “special” occasion. Hence, if they say yes, that’s an obvious clue to the fact that they’re interested in you.

3. What should you say?

What should you say? How do you accurately and assertively express what you feel, without hesitation and without making a fool of yourself?  Without a doubt, this is one of the most classic questions you might ask yourself.

However, instead of obsessing over what to say or what not to say, it’s far more appropriate to focus on your feelings and emotions. In this way, you’ll act in a more sincere and effective manner. Indeed, if you speak calmly and from the heart, the words will come on their own.

  • Don’t obsess over your nerves. Just tell yourself that this kind of stress, the butterflies in your tummy, and your trembling hands are perfectly normal.
  • Look the other person in the eye, seek their attention, and connect with them openly and sincerely.
  • Give them all your attention. Get closer to them.
  • Let yourself go. Be honest. Use simple and direct phrases. “I’d really like a serious relationship with you”; “I really like you, You’re so special to me”.
Couple looking at each other holding hands representing how to take the first step with someone you like

4. Past experiences matter, but we’re all unique

When it comes to taking the first step with someone you like, it’s common to think about your past relationships. For example, you might think about what you did previously in similar situations. Of course, every romantic experience you’ve ever had counts to a certain extent. However, you should always remember one thing.

This is the fact that we’re all unique and every relationship is inimitable. Therefore, the best thing to do is to focus on getting to know that person you like and are attracted to. Take care of them. Treat them like someone new, like an undiscovered treasure.

Always act naturally and humbly. Be yourself, and leave aside any kind of pretense. Then, that first step will be a beautiful experience that’s well worth taking.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Marazziti D, Canale D. Hormonal changes when falling in love. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004 Aug;29(7):931-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2003.08.006. PMID: 15177709.
  • Miller, R., Perlman, D., y Brehm, S.S. (2014). Intimate Relationships. McGrawHill Companies.
  • Torras-Gómez E, Puigvert L, Aiello E, Khalfaoui A. Our Right to the Pleasure of Falling in Love. Front Psychol. 2020 Jan 22;10:3068. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03068. PMID: 32038418; PMCID: PMC6987459.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.