When you casually like someone, seeing their name on your phone will send butterflies to your stomach and bring a smile to your face, but you will forget about them as soon as the conversation trails off. You might even be the one to forget to answer back because you are busy with work or are out with your friends and unable to focus all of your attention onto your phone.
However, when you actively like someone, the texts they sent are the only thing you will think about for the rest of the day. You will keep rereading their words. You will guess whether there was any secret meaning behind what they said. You will check the timestamp in the corner and count how long it has been since they sent their last message. You will spend hours overthinking, wondering whether you came across as funny and cute or awkward and clingy. The next day, you will probably still be overthinking.
When you casually like someone, you will hang out if your schedules happen to align. If they have other plans, then you will be disappointed, but you won’t dwell on it for long. You will tell them you’ll see them some other time. You will find something else to do. You will stop thinking about them as soon as your chances of seeing them are off the table.
However, when you actively like someone, you will go out of your way to set plans with them. You will come up with ways to work the movies you want to see and the restaurants you want to visit into the conversation in the hopes they will ask you out. Any day you don’t get to see them is a bad one. You miss them the second they leave the room.
When you casually like someone, you will flirt with them whenever you are left alone together. You will compliment them on their outfits and haircuts. You will find excuses to sit close to them and touch them. You will be all over each other when you are in the same room together, but you won’t miss them or analyze the little things they said to you once you are home.
However, when you actively like someone, you will replay your most flirtatious moments in your head again and again. You will tell your friends the details. You will write the story in your diary so you never forget it. You will obsess over the little things they said because you hope it means they feel the same way you feel.
When you casually like someone, you are excited to spend time with them, but you would be perfectly fine if you never saw them again. They mean something to you, but they don’t mean everything to you.
However, when you actively like someone, one night with them is never enough. You always want to spend more time around them. You want more texts from them. You want more attention from them. You want to be more than a friend. You want to be their person. You want to make them yours.