This is a phrase that pops into my head a lot these days.
If you’ve ever sat at a coffee shop or bar and people watched, then you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. You’ll see a person and think they’re cute. You’ll watch them for a little while (discretely of course), see them do something nice like maybe help an old lady or two cross the street, and then you’ll think to yourself, “Hey, there. That’s so sweet. I don’t know you, but I kind of like you.”
The “I don’t know you, but I kind of like you” moment is a half-step in the direction of interest. It’s a pseudo moment before the moment that you decide you’re even curious, a little nagging feeling that makes you smile, but has no risk attached to it.
When I’ve been messaging with someone for a little while, this pseudo moment is what comes to mind. From our short exchanges, I know you like Game of Thrones, I know you’re attractive, and that you didn’t message me with a slightly pervy pick up line. That’s promising. So I think to myself, “I don’t know you, but I kind of like you.” I’m almost interested enough to say aloud that I’m Interested, but since I’ve exchanged all of about five messages with you, I’m not exactly there yet.
It’d be easy to mistake this feeling for the pleasure of another person’s admiration. To think that what I like isn’t the person, but the idea of being liked in return. Perhaps this is part of it, but it’s more than just the reaction to making a match.
It’s exciting to be in the “I don’t know you, but I kind of like you” phase – to be mildly aware, but not sucked into the “this could be a potential thing” moment yet. I don’t have to share you with my friends. I don’t have to ask for a second opinion. I can just keep typing and enjoying the small smiles your messages evoke in me, my curiosity slowly approaching interest, but still entirely separate from interest with a capital “I.”
I can’t properly be Interested until I’ve met you. I won’t allow myself to think that way of someone I’ve never seen in person. I don’t want to make up something in my head that in reality could never work. But even though I don’t know you yet, I still kind of like you.