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

There are lots of articles on the Internet explaining how best to tell when someone has a crush on you. I know this because I have read all of those articles. I am not a particularly discerning person; if you are not saying “I desire you romantically” straight to my face, then I will never intuit this fact on my own. And so I peruse the Internet, trawling for tips and tricks, desperate as I am to know when people wouldn’t mind making out with me. 

Little did I know, all the information I needed was right under my nose this whole time. There’s much we can learn from Shakespeare, including how to write entire plays in blank verse, how NOT to get revenge on your uncle, and (of course) how to tell when someone likes you in a romantic sort of way.

Here’s how you know:

They make eye contact with you. This is usually followed by them pledging their life to you and then killing your cousin, but not always.

Watch their body language. Do they lean forward when you speak? Do they absentmindedly touch their lips? Do they throw themselves over your lifeless body, weeping inconsolably, when they believe you to be dead?

They make excuses to talk to you. For instance, they might ask you for homework help, or they might join a club that you are also part of, or they might murder your husband and father. That way they can strike up a conversation with you at the funeral.

They write you love letters. They may later deny that they ever did any such thing and denounce you as a harlot, but eventually they will remember how much they love you. They will also murder your father.

They do little things for you. Some will buy you inexpensive (but meaningful!) gifts when you’re having a bad day. Others will text you things that made them think of you. Still others will forsake the Roman Republic and eventually fall upon their sword once word of your suicide reaches their camp.

They tease you. Nothing says “I am attracted to you” quite like questioning your manhood because you’re too much of a coward to murder the king of Scotland.

They’re extremely polite to your parents. A person who has a crush on you will usually strive to make a good impression on your mom and dad. There are many ways to do this, but by far the most common is to answer your father’s riddle correctly on the first try, thereby winning the honor of your hand in marriage.

They openly flirt with you. In front of their mother and half the royal court in the middle of a performance, no less.

They listen as you tell them about your dreams. Particularly the one you keep having where they get murdered by all their friends on the 15th of March on the Senate floor.

They follow your lead. Whether you’re looking for seats at the movie theater or simply running away to the woodlands to escape persecution under Athenian law, they will stick with you wherever you go.

They match you wit for wit. Do the two of you often engage in clever banter, always striving to have the last word? Excellent. Then they probably like you, and will duel your enemy in the town square for calling into question the virtue of your innocent cousin.