It’s probably no surprise that the internet is teeming with bad advice, and some of it you find on WikiHow.
Let’s look at their article, How to Tell Your Crush You Like Him Without Words. (EDIT 23 Jan 2015: The page has since been rewritten, so the advice is no longer as hilariously bad as it was before. The analysis in this post is of the old version of the article. If anyone has access to the old version of the article, a link in the comments section would be appreciated.)
My first problem with this article is in the title: the author insists on not using words. What’s wrong with using words? It becomes apparent shortly that this article is intended for some seriously shy girls. If that’s a problem, WikiHow probably has a few articles on overcoming shyness.
If one were to attempt a psychoanalysis based only on the contents of this article, one may guess that it’s author has an unusual and unrealistic expectation of people’s ability to read minds. If such a person has anger issues or allows little things to upset them, that person probably does have some relationship problems.
Let’s break these tips down one at a time:
1. From afar (about ten feet) look into his eyes (do not stare). When he catches your gaze give him a dazzling smile he won’t forget and wave or wink.
The items on this list are highly situational. The advice here is to stand from afar, about ten feet. Ten feet isn’t very far, but the author of this list seems to think so. Once the distance requirement is met, then “give a dazzling smile.” The author also reminds us to wave or wink, so apparently this expert on crushes thinks it’s a serious omission not to do so.
Notice how it says “about” ten feet. WikiHow is giving a little bit of leeway here, so there’s no need to break out the tape measure in an attempt to set up the moment you’d otherwise probably be waiting a while for.
2. Do you know where he sits in class? If so, leave a note on his desk saying “Something is waiting for you on the school steps at 3 o’clock sharp”. Leave a little gift and note at 3 o’clock sharp on the school steps saying, “Hi so-and-so. Thought you might like this : ). From your friend, so-and-so.”
If I sat down at my typical spot and found something like this, I’d probably find it seriously creepy. One may even consider it a threat. There’s too much room in this tip for something to go wrong. What if your crush decided to sit somewhere else? Or what if Chuck from the football team decided to sit in his favorite spot?
Also, the title of WikiHow’s list insists on not using words, and writing notes does qualify as using words.
3. Grab a group of friends (including your crush) and invite them to play basketball, soccer, etc. When playing, make sure you’re on your crush’s team and pass the ball to him a lot. After the game go up and give him a high five and smile. If you’re feeling daring and need to say something say, “Great job! You’re an awesome —– (fill in the blank with the sport you played) player.”
This tip makes the assumption that your crush is interested in sports. What if he, like myself, is one of the many men out there that don’t care about sports? This tip does little more than support the notion that the ideal boyfriend is a jock, while nerds would be avoided. This is a notion that is turned on it’s face once one advances beyond high school, and the nerds generally have much better careers.
4. Pass by him and then turn your head around to look at him. If he’s doing the same thing, that’s a good sign.
There’s actually such a thing as a female creep, just as there is such a thing as female stalkers. If he’s looking back at you, it might be a good sign. Or it might be a bad sign.
Looking through this article’s art, I noticed that the female is almost always the only one blushing, and in the one where the guy might be, his face doesn’t turn pink. Notice how when girls blush or have a crush, it’s considered cute, but if it’s a guy, he’s often seen as a pervert? Feminists like to complain that women are “objectified” and portrayed as being obsessed with love in media, but men seem afraid to complain that women are usually the ones that can get away with expressing their sexuality. Much of the male gender is in a pretty submissive state these days, resigned to the notion that when something in a relationship goes bad, they’re seen as the bad guys.
5. If he likes you back he will ask you out, but just be patient.
This tip doesn’t belong on the list. The idea is to tell your crush you like him, and somehow do so without words. Waiting for him to decide to initiate the relationship (and possible suffering in silence in the meantime) is not a step in this process.
6. Don’t kiss him, have him kiss you first!
As with the previous tip, the problem with this one is that it insists on waiting for the male to take initiative. Kissing him would communicate pretty well that you like him without using words, so to accomplish the objective, it would be more effective to not take the list’s advice.
7. Never force a guy to like you, just let time do that and be nice. Try to talk and if he does not want to talk then so what? Try next week and then he’ll finally ask you out.
This list asserts pretty confidently that if a guy doesn’t want to go out with you, then he’ll do it if you ask him again next week. It actually doesn’t work that way. But, again, this list breaks it’s own rule by saying “try to talk,” which, yes, does qualify as “using words.”
8. If he asks to borrow a pencil, give him one with a message on it.
First, giving someone a pencil with a message on it counts as using words. Second, this depends on the object of affection asking for a pencil, which if he does, he’s probably not very dependable. If such a thing were to happen, the exchange would probably go something like this:
Boy: Hi, I forgot my pencil. May I borrow one of yours?
Girl: Oh, yeah. Just a minute. (proceeds to etch something on the pencil)
Boy: Um, will this take very long?
Girl: No, wait just a minute. (scribbles furiously)
Boy: The pencil looked okay. It didn’t look like it needed anything done with it.
Girl: I’m almost done! (scribbles faster)
Boy: Look, I’ll just borrow a pencil from some other girl.
This situation could probably be averted by having a pencil with a message already on it, but then you’d probably end up hanging onto it until the theoretical moment occurs that he asks for a pencil (and doesn’t ask someone else). Another way to avert this situation is with the following tip:
Ask him out.
A date is a small amount of time spent with someone to attempt to determine their character as a potential suitor. A person goes on a date to determine whether they would prefer to be in a relationship with them, and it is sometimes a recreational activity between a couple already in a relationship. If a person takes the advice in the WikiHow article mentioned above, a date isn’t likely to happen, and an infatuation from afar is likely to continue for a long time, with the person continuing to have a crush based on assumptions that they’ve made about that person.