SparkNotes Blog

How to Tell if Someone Has a Crush on You, According to Jane Austen

One time I went on a date with a guy without knowing it was a date, which is embarrassing enough on its own except it isn’t true—I actually went on TWO entire dates with this guy without realizing they were dates. We went to dinner and a movie, twice, and somehow by the end of each one it was not immediately clear to me that I had just dated.

I realize I’m a hopeless case. Attraction, for me, is a constantly moving target. Does this person have a crush on me? Furthermore, do I have a crush on them, or are they simply tall? I can’t help you with the second one (that’s between you and your personal foibles), but I can help you with the first. Or rather, Jane Austen can. Luckily for us, Miss Austen has equipped us with everything we need to gauge the interest level of potential suitors. Here are all the ways to know if someone has a crush on you:

1. They propose to you abruptly, despite the fact that the two of you can’t stand each other.

2. They show up at your estate out of nowhere and demand a tour of the grounds.

3. They carry you back to your family home after you sustain a sprained ankle. Later, they obtain a lock of your hair.

4. They appear to have little interest in your modest inheritance.

5. They tell you right to your face that your defects in personality, as well as your family’s lack of social grace, would make you an unsuitable bride for most men.

6. They discreetly pay off your sister’s kidnapper.

7. They accuse your father of murdering your mother with no proof other than the fact that they read about it in a novel one time.

8. They dance with you no more than twice, lest this hideous breach of conduct call your virtue into question.

9. They rebuff your advances on the word of the esteemed Lady Russell yet pine for you for the next several years.

10. They use their family connections to get your brother a promotion to the position of naval lieutenant.

11. They leave without notice in the middle of your burgeoning courtship and refuse to answer your letters for many months.

12. They seem sad a lot, which is likely because they are trapped in a loveless engagement to another woman yet secretly wish to marry you.

13. Having previously spurned you, they appear to have a change of heart when you become suddenly deathly ill.

14. They scold you for your foolishness and poor conduct, and are impressed by your attempts to make amends.

15. They describe to you, in detail, all the moral failings of your previous love interest, who is, as it turns out, nothing more than a rakish but incorrigible cad.