How to Drop Hints That He Will Understand

When you find yourself with a fat crush on a guy, dropping hints can be a frustrating experience.

“He’s not reciprocating how I expected him to.”

“Is it that he doesn’t like me, or is he just not picking up on my hints?”

“What can I do to make it clear that I like him?”

When dropping hints, many women feel it is enough to smile, look pretty, and laugh at his jokes. Here is why that’s not enough:

If you want to show interest, you need to drop subtle greens – not yellows.

The colors yellow and green refer to a traffic light where red means “stop,” yellow means “pick a side,” and green means “go.” When you interact with men, you are a walking traffic light – giving off colors as signals.

When you smile and laugh, it shows that you like him, but it doesn’t clarify how you like him. There is a possibility in his mind that you are just being friendly in a non-romantic way, and he is right to understand that possibility. So if you want to show that you like him, you’ll have to do better than yellows.

On the other hand, you don’t want to radiate bright greens and run the risk of looking desperate. If you’re overwhelmingly flirty, he’ll be turned off. That’s why we go with subtle greens.

Sometimes, there is a discrepancy between your understanding of dropping hints and a guy’s understanding. This discrepancy can leave you confused about his intentions and him utterly oblivious to what’s going on. Today, we will fill that gap and get everyone on the same page.

Here are five things to keep in mind when dropping hints:

Risk vs. Reward

Putting yourself out there is a risk.

However, the risk associated with girls for flirting is, arguably, less than that of a guy.

If a guy makes a straightforward pursuit of a girl who is not interested, he is often seen as “creepy” or “aggressive.”

Girls don’t carry the same negative associations with flirting. Even if a guy isn’t interested, he’ll feel great that someone found him attractive enough to pursue.

The risk/reward ratio is considerably better for girls, so take advantage of it! If you’re interested enough in a guy that you’re even thinking about putting yourself out there, do it!

Proximity Changes Flirting

For example, a smile from across the room is a subtle green – perfect. But a smile during a conversation suddenly doesn’t cut it.

Similarly, maintaining eye contact from across the room is a lovely green, but maintaining eye contact while talking to him is yellow – it’s not enough to be considered a dropped hint. You probably maintain eye contact while talking to your female coworker, too.

The closer you stand to him, the more prominent your hints need to be.

A subtle green during a conversation might be a touch on the arm, a wink, or wanting to compare hand sizes.

If he’s standing just outside your group of friends, you might invite him to join the conversation: “Come over here, Mark, I have something to show you”. Then, to show him the funny meme, you put your phone near his face and your hand on his shoulder. Outstanding.

Find Out What He is Investing Time Into

The quickest way to a man’s heart is to compliment him on something he cares about sincerely.

Ask him about his routine and if he makes it a priority to hit the gym daily. Find out which muscle groups he does on specific days of the week. Next time you see him, remember which muscle group he did that day, and say something like, “your shoulders look so good today” or “wow, I can see your calf muscles through your pants.”

Ask about his job, and tell him you’re impressed by how hard he works.

If he posts photography on his Instagram, mention one of his photos and tell him how great it looks. “I saw you posted a new landscape, and the contrast is stunning.”

It’s a special day for anyone when someone compliments them on something they care about, and guys receive so few compliments that it will be an extra memorable experience for them. They will remember what you said forever.

Tell Your Mutual Friends

If he catches wind from other people you’re interested in, it adds another layer to the blanket of hints you’ve been dropping. Hopefully, he can solidify his confidence in your interest and make a move.

This strategy, however, does not stand alone. You have to diversify your flirting like you diversify your investment portfolio. If you tell your friends that you like him but refuse to talk to him when he’s around, he”ll be confused.

Furthermore, there is a right way to drop hints via other people, and a wrong way:

The wrong way is to announce to everyone in your social circle how crazy you are about him.

This strategy is too green and can come off as desperate – especially if your “friends” exaggerate the story to him.

Instead, pick a few trustworthy friends who won’t run right up to him and make him uncomfortable. Friends that will mention your interest without overwhelming him.

And don’t confess your undying love for him to these friends. Say, “Mark has been looking excellent these days,” or “I wonder if Mark is seeing anyone right now.” As I said, sometimes friends exaggerate. Don’t give them a reason to.

You want him to be aware of your interest without laying all your cards on the table—subtle greens.

Some Solid Phrases

There are a lot of ways to show interest via words. But it can be tricky to stay in the realm of subtle greens with your comments.

When in doubt, these lines are great subtle greens (and each has been guy-approved):

“I’m so happy you’re here!”

“I just feel safe when you’re around.”

“This thing made me think of you.”

“I missed you at that last event.”

“Come see me again before you leave.”


It’s no secret that guys have a different perspective than girls – they process things differently. Sometimes we need to improve our communication strategy to send the message home. Your new and improved hints should change with proximity, address what he cares about, involve some trusted friends, and utilize guy-approved phrases.

The hint-dropping worked? Now he’s into you? Check out our our top guide on the pros and cons of having an S.O. in college

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