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July 30, 2009 7:36 AM   Subscribe

What are ways of saying "I like you" that don't sound so... clinical?

"I like you" and "I'm attracted to you" sound so dry, and un-romantic. "I fancy you" is not bad, but it lacks a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. "I love you" is right out, since, well, I don't.

This is intended to be in a letter, so physical displays of attraction won't really work.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (60 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
The letter that I got said "I just had to tell you that I like you. I mean LIKE you like you" and I think it got its message across perfectly.
posted by jessamyn at 7:36 AM on July 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Flesh out the declaration a bit by explaining why you like the person and the effect she or he has on you.
posted by orange swan at 7:39 AM on July 30, 2009


Well, if this is a letter then by all means, tell it don't show it. "I think about you all the time. I wonder what you are doing and if you're having fun. When something strange or funny happens to me, I think that I should remember the moment so I can tell it to you...." and so on, or whatever you're actually feeling.

Of, if it's not too corny, you could steal a line from a movie and say something like, "I like all of you, just the way you are."
posted by muddgirl at 7:41 AM on July 30, 2009


using lines from movies is ALWAYS too corny in my book. LOL

I would just say something along the lines of "I am drawn to you."
posted by gwenlister at 7:43 AM on July 30, 2009


One of my exes once first declared himself by saying "I think that you are neat people", and I've always thought that was kind of charming.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know why you think saying "I like you" is too clinical. I think it's charming in its simplicity.
posted by Phire at 7:48 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This isn't a relationship question, it's a communication question.

To do it 'right', IMO, means you have to look at the entire letter, and it has to fit. A well engineered turn of phrase will fit and flow. Sometimes, you can get the point across with subtext (unwritten, but suggested content.)

We'd have to see more of it to do justice to your query. What have you got in mind? Why must it all be in one letter?

There are a million ways to get any point across and this one has billions of lines of poetry and prose you can just STEAL if you can't come up with your own.

Fun question, though. Can't wait to read more answers.
posted by FauxScot at 7:50 AM on July 30, 2009


Talk about how what they do acts on you, what they do that makes you want to get in the car, drive right over there, and deliver the letter by hand. Active verbs!

Your smile keeps me in a good mood for weeks. I'd like to see more of it.

posted by mdonley at 7:53 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I'm taken with you."
posted by escabeche at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2009


Similar to EmpressCallipygos story: My current boyfriend would say "I think you're neat" and I too found that charming. Should come across okay in a letter.

You could write about fun things you had done together or a short list of the things you like about the person and then write, "to sum up, I think you're neat."
posted by ephemerista at 7:56 AM on July 30, 2009


"Doesn't this feel like magic?"
posted by The Straightener at 7:57 AM on July 30, 2009


I agree that "I like you" doesn't have to be clinical. "I LIKElike you" has some cuteness factor. Or you could describe how you like this person: "I like you more than I like [some food he/she knows you like a lot]. I like you as much as I like sunny afternoons." Etc.

For what it's worth, my boyfriend continues to tell me that he likes me almost as frequently as he tells me he loves me. They have different meanings, and it's nice to hear both.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:57 AM on July 30, 2009


"I'm very interested in you," maybe?
posted by miratime at 7:58 AM on July 30, 2009


Rubber Ducky, I am awfully fond of you.
posted by bz at 8:07 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I think you're the cat's pajamas" (or "bee's knees"). Technically mean "best," but inter-personally . . .
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:16 AM on July 30, 2009


I LIKE YOU. DO YOU LIKE ME? CHECK ONE.

◻ YES

◻ NO


red crayola would be a nice touch
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:17 AM on July 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


"I think I'm in like with you"
posted by ydontusteponit at 8:17 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also I sent my now-boyfriend a postcard after secretly/illicitly getting his address from the work database that had a crudely done cartoon of him on it and the words "You remind me of an anachronistic admiral, quite admirable."

He says he didn't know that I wanted to be more than friends, so apparently, don't call her an admiral. He was impressed I used words he didn't know, though.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:19 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"You're real pretty." Or, "You smell good."

One of the two always work for me.
posted by elder18 at 8:23 AM on July 30, 2009


He says he didn't know that I wanted to be more than friends

This is a very important point. Expressions, however sincere, that do not in some way get the point across "I like you in a way that means I would like to see you naked, if that's okay with you" may not work. If you just want to tell the guy you think he's terrific and you're not hoping to maybe get something started, then by all means say whatever you want. If you want to drive the point home that you like him in that toe-tingling way, I'd be a little more explicit so that he can't just say "Oh anonymous thinks I am wonderful, well that's nice..."

Think about whether this is a clue-by-four sort of message or just a non-reciprocal expression of "yay" as you phrase this.
posted by jessamyn at 8:24 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I once wrote a guy that I had a crush on a letter that said something like "When I'm around you, I want to eat my own hands. I don't know what to do with them, and I don't know what to say, so self-cannibalism seems like the only reasonable option."

It worked. Then again, I was an 18-year-old girl with a mohawk, so I could get away with that sort of crazy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:26 AM on July 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Please don't say anything too theatrical or cutesy, unless you're 100% certain she likes you back. You run the risk of her being intensely weirded out.

I find the act of writing letters is an intimate thing in itself, so if you have some sort of long-term correspondence going on, she probably already knows. If you're long-distance and want to start a relationship, you need to visit her in person. And then kiss her. She'll get the point.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:28 AM on July 30, 2009


I once used "I like the cut of your jib, sailor".
It actually worked out. It may also help that I can put on a southern drawl at will.
posted by fnord at 8:39 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I know exactly what you are.

You are smitten.

'Smitten' has the following advantages:

- It sounds kinda cutesy, but avoids the childishness of 'I've got a crush on you'.

- It implies not only that you like him, but that you LIKE like him.

- It sounds like mitten.

This word's natural habitat is something like this:

"Dear Person I LIKE like:

I am smitten by you. You have smited me. I am a smitee. Now that I have been smote, I seek to further develop our correspondence in the hope that I can smite you too.

Yours sincerely,

Anonymous"
posted by twirlypen at 8:39 AM on July 30, 2009 [26 favorites]


Oh, "smitten!" Yeah, I forgot that -- my last ex told me after we'd been dating a month that he was "half-past smitten [with me]", which was also way adorable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:46 AM on July 30, 2009


You are the peanut of my shell.
posted by applemeat at 8:54 AM on July 30, 2009


I think you're swell.
posted by purephase at 8:55 AM on July 30, 2009


The song "I like you" by Morrissey.
posted by useyourmachinegunarm at 8:56 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just quote a song lyric:

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on, sugar, let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on, honey, tell me so

– Roderick David Stewart

But, in all seriousness, I agree with others that it really depends on how you've written the other parts of the letter.

However, you've got the problem that anything that doesn't leave any room for ambiguity can also be interpreted as too forward. I don't know if your intended is female or male, but it's been my experience that coming on too strong is one of the worst things you can do, if your intended is a woman.

If you've met the person before and spent time with them, were I in your situation, I'd probably say something like "I really enjoyed [last event], and would love to spend a little more time with you." That's really not that ambiguous but (to me, at least) doesn't seem as unsubtle as a ton of bricks.
posted by WCityMike at 9:01 AM on July 30, 2009


We would work well
posted by wheelieman at 9:01 AM on July 30, 2009


I'm glad you exist.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:03 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


You really know how to brighten my day.
You make me smile.
I'm so glad I met you.
You're so interesting and unique.
I can't believe how well we fit together.
Thanks for sharing part of your life with me.
posted by aquafortis at 9:11 AM on July 30, 2009


"I like your style"
"I am digging your chili"
"I think your a babe"
"I think I have a little crush on you"
posted by jasondigitized at 9:15 AM on July 30, 2009


I told a girl once that she made me feel like Spiderman (because Superman would have been too sappy, imo).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:30 AM on July 30, 2009


I once had a thing for a German researcher who was in the States for research while getting her doctorate in History. I sent her an E-mail in German which stated that my heart beat faster when she was around. She sent back a reply in German stating Ich bin verschmieden (or something like that) a verb I didn't know. I looked it up and the translation was "flattered." My heart sank.

On the off chance that the idomatic meaning wasn't getting across, I showed the response to my German roommate. She said "that's very good, no?" It was good and it all worked out for the best.

For you, I'd just say "I'm getting a bit of a thing for you."
posted by Ironmouth at 9:51 AM on July 30, 2009


I am certain a strong affinity exists between us.
posted by bz at 10:05 AM on July 30, 2009


"Seriously, you got me feenin."
"I'm all squirrelled up over you."
posted by 23skidoo at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2009


You're really keen. I like you better than my genuine Yogi Berra catcher's mitt.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:12 AM on July 30, 2009


you're good people
posted by omnigut at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2009


'I think about you when I go to the bathroom.'
posted by steef at 10:23 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


For me, you're the bees knees.
posted by Free word order! at 10:31 AM on July 30, 2009


"I want to tie you up and do naughty things to you."

Data point: This one did not work for me.
posted by LordSludge at 10:46 AM on July 30, 2009


On the one hand, you're over thinking this. You like X, and want to get to know them better, so say it in as clear and unambiguous language that you can. Trying to find the absolutely perfect thin to say can be overkill in these situations. If don't like, then whatever you say won't work and you'll feel like a fool for having spent so much time working on something the person doesn't appreciate. However if they like you, then pretty much anything you say, whether you fuck it up or say the words they've always wanted to hear, because they like you. I told a girl once "I like you and would like to kiss you someday soon." She liked me and thought it was hawt and completely adorable, going so far as to reminisce about it several time while we were dating. If they like you, they like you and if you like them it's just important to say it, get it out there, so both of you know it and can then act on it.

On the other hand, saying the perfect thing to the person you like can be pretty hawt and make both of you feel good. Since no description of the person you're attracted was included, I'd advise that you compare your attraction to them to something that they like a lot, to signal that you not only like them but get them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


You're a gem.
posted by np312 at 10:48 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you."
posted by the foreground at 10:52 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I remember being completely charmed by, of all things, an episode of the West Wing when Josh was flirting with a girl, and he sat down opposite a co-worker and said, "I am utterly...ensorcelled by this woman."

What a great word. Ensorcelled. Smitten. Enchanted. Dazed. Bewitched, bothered and bewildered. Even charmed, for that matter.

You can get away with a lot more in writing than you can face to face--but then you miss the look on her face.

I'd want to say it face-to-face, for just that reason. And maybe you can use that

If writing each other is the sum total of your relationship thus far, all you need to put on paper is, "I need to see you. Soon."
posted by misha at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like this thread. I'm smitten, and I LIKe like you have always been effective for me. I'm a little too into the boy I'm dating and it scares him, so sometimes I just say "Hey, you're kinda cute y'know." Or, "For a boy, you're not so bad to hang out with." He tends to respond well and reciprocate without being overwhelmed by how I feel about him. But this also tends to happen in person.

On the other hand, letter writing in more intense relationships I've received lots of Neruda poems. This is only appropriate if you're both into poetry and your relationship is already strongly established, me'thinks.

Good Luck!!
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 11:43 AM on July 30, 2009


I would probably write it in a narrative form with footnotes, because I love footnotes, like

The other day I was purchasing a banana* and I thought about you**! This kind of thing happens a lot.***


*Not so important
**Very important!
***Because I like you and you're hot
posted by kathrineg at 11:44 AM on July 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


"I can't stop thinking about you."

And along the lines of misha's suggestions, there's "enthrall" too.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:53 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't stop thinking about you. I may have [name]-itis. The symptoms are getting quite severe. :)
posted by darkshade at 4:24 PM on July 30, 2009


"You curl my toes."
posted by dancinglamb at 5:14 PM on July 30, 2009


How about [brackets part is optional]

I've become deeply enamored with your personality [and I want to lick your mind]
posted by markovitch at 7:23 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think you are alluring, intruiging, enticing.

You are all kinds of awesome.
posted by Admira at 8:33 PM on July 30, 2009


I've gotten "I like you more than a fat kid likes cake." which was pretty delightful.
posted by honestamalia at 10:50 PM on July 30, 2009


I am smitten by you. You have smited me. I am a smitee. Now that I have been smote, I seek to further develop our correspondence in the hope that I can smite you too.

I am in deep smit.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:06 AM on July 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


honestamalia: "I've gotten "I like you more than a fat kid likes cake." which was pretty delightful."

Although honestamalia might've found it delightful, personally, I'd advocate against revealing your attraction by using an allegory that insults a demographic group using a stereotype; it's not exactly the stuff of romance.
posted by WCityMike at 10:10 AM on July 31, 2009


Plus, it's pretty much lifted from a 50 cent song.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:10 AM on July 31, 2009


Recently, I received a message that said:

"I am thrilled that I met you."

Just that one line. By itself. In reply to a long, rambly e-mail which itself was a reply to a long, rambly e-mail. As if he wanted me to chew on just that ONE thought. And I did.
posted by Lush at 12:18 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd be pretty chuffed to get a real life letter. That would say a lot to me, unless of course, you already send real life letters to this person, who might already be a friend. I'd personally hesitate to go over the top, or be charmingly childish (but I suspect that's my old age). Perhaps I would say something like "when we're together, I feel happier". I might say things like, "I'm attracted to you".

If someone wrote me a letter that said things like "You make me smile", "I can't wait to see you again", "when you touch me, I can't think of anything to say", "I want to know you better, more intimately", "I can't stop thinking about you", that would be pretty damn fine.

Does anyone want my snail mail address?
posted by b33j at 3:34 PM on July 31, 2009


"You fluster me. I like it!"
posted by phonebia at 1:37 AM on August 9, 2009


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