#Asking for a friend: What does it mean when your crush likes all your Instagram stories but doesn’t interact with you?

An expert weighs in.

26 December, 2023
#Asking for a friend: What does it mean when your crush likes all your Instagram stories but doesn’t interact with you?

Last week, at an annual Christmas gathering, when the party had transitioned to the “guilty confession” phase (after a few beverages, of course), a half-sober young adult started a conversation that almost turned us into part-time investigators. “He likes all my Instagram stories but doesn’t interact with me beyond that. He is cute though,” confessed the 23-year-old. “Why don’t you message him then,” said another. She continues, “You think it means anything?”. “You wouldn’t know without texting him” the charade went on. “If he likes my stories, why won’t he message me?” she said, almost hoping to find an answer. “Maybe, he’s too shy to make the first move,” popped another gen-zer from the kitchen. “Or he could just be friendly towards everyone,” said a friend, who is more keen on keeping the circle free from delusion. “Just text him to find out” two voices synced in one. However, what I couldn’t stop wondering is how we, as a generation, have changed the language of dating altogether. 

Liking stories has now replaced stolen glances across the room, sliding into DMs has become the new bumping into each other, writing handwritten letters has somehow transitioned into sharing memes, changing your relationship status on Facebook has progressed to ‘soft launching’ a partner on Instagram, the list is never-ending. (Ugh, RIP rom-com)

Although there is no telling if we’ve done more damage to the dating scene or repaired most of it, what’s evident is the inability to communicate and a deep-rooted fear of confrontation are the culprits that birthed terms like situationship, benching, love bombing, ghosting, zombieing, simping, and others. “A term like situationship might be new but the problems it stems from—insecurity and indecisiveness—have existed forever,” said Divija Bhasin, a Delhi-based counseling psychologist and content creator.  

How do you navigate the dating world with poor communication skills? 


First things first: stop asking your friends “What does it mean when they (a crush) like my Instagram stories but doesn't engage with me?”. Maybe introspect and make a move. 

And if you’re having a hard time doing both, there is a chance that you might be struggling with the two Cs: communication and confrontation. “Usually the primary fear stems from the fact that they don’t want to get hurt,” says Bhasin. “More often than not, people make a situation seem more painful than it actually is and underestimate their ability to cope with rejection. It's crucial to build this coping skill by starting with less challenging situations and gradually facing more serious ones,” she continues. 

Here are four tips on how to deal with (and overcome) communication issues

Be assertive

Incorporating assertive communication into your daily life and relationships is crucial, according to Bhasin. Being assertive means expressing your thoughts and disagreements clearly without being rude. When you actively listen, it not only promotes collaborative solutions but also improves your ability to think clearly. Practicing assertiveness essentially helps you communicate more effectively, which eventually reflects in your romantic relationships, too. 

Build boundaries (and say no to ghosting)

Establishing clear boundaries, as recommended by Bhasin, is one of the key factors in communication. To be a good communicator, one has to build healthy boundaries, and for that one needs to focus on being self-aware, expressing discomfort clearly, practicing active listening, maintaining consistency, and approaching conversations with respect. 

Don’t make assumptions 

Stop thinking of the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘whys’. To be a better communicator, refrain from making assumptions about others' thoughts or intentions. Instead, encourage open dialogue and ask questions for clarification.  

Ask for clarifications

Think about it. Asking for clarity will save you quite a few sleepless nights and 4:00 am phone calls to your best friend. It will probably also save your time; and you know what they say these days: Time is money. So, save it. 

Circling back to the question of the hour, if you’re still wondering “What does it mean when a crush likes all my Instagram stories but doesn’t interact with me?”, here’s what Bhasin has to say, "It is important to not jump to conclusions based on one action. To understand a person and their behavioural patterns, we need to view them in different situations. It could be that they are afraid of making the first move, it could also be that they like everyone’s stories because they are just a friendly person on the Internet as some people feel more “social” online vs offline." 

In conclusion, working on your communication and overcoming your fears is what will make dating a smooth ride for you in 2024. So, for starters, make this your New Year's resolution and say it with me: "Delulu is not the solulu."