Relationships are complicated, and they’re only getting more so as time goes on. With the introduction of the internet, online dating, texting, and other forms of communication, men and women are getting together in a lot of new, exciting, and mildly-intimidating ways. As face-to-face interaction dwindles, more and more men are unsure of how, when, and where to make their move.
Chances are, you’ve suspected one or more of your male acquaintances might like you. If there’s any connection, you might like them back. What’s frustrating, however, is that many guys will keep their feelings secret for a long time, leaving you confused, frustrated, and unsure whether they’ll ever get around to asking you out.
In the following article, we’ll expose some signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it. We’ll also explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, and explain how you – the girl – can take the reins when the guy won’t spill the beans.
Why Would a Guy Try to Hide His Feelings?
There are literally thousands of reasons why a man might not want a girl to know he likes them, ranging from the adorable to the respectable to the deplorable. In this section, we’ll try to expose some of the motivations behind guys who keep their feelings a (not so) secret.
He’s Just Shy
The first main reason why a guy might keep his feelings like is the most innocent: he’s shy. Whether he isn’t the most socially confident person in the world or your staggering beauty intimidates him, for one reason or another, he simply can’t work up the nerve to tell you how he feels. It’s also worth noting that shyness is something that guys can overcome with work, patience, and a little time.
He’s Trying to Find Out if You Like Him First
No girl likes to bare her heart and soul only to find out that someone isn’t interested in either, and guys are no different. If a guy likes you, he might try his best to find out whether or not you like him back before confessing his feelings. Though sneaky, it’s not as if his intentions are bad – he wants just to avoid an awkward situation.
He’s Afraid of Rejection
Rejection can be a difficult thing for any person to handle, especially younger people that don’t have a lot of experience in dating. If a guy isn’t sure that you like him back, he might try inserting himself into your friend group to get a feel for how you perceive him. While most girls would prefer a guy to be honest and upfront about their intentions, the fear of rejection is something to which we all can relate.
He’s in a Relationship
Just because a guy likes you doesn’t necessarily mean that he should. It’s entirely possible that a guy is attracted to you despite being taken. The worst part of this potential scenario is, however, that if you’re getting hints or signs that he likes you, he might still be considering pursuing you despite being committed to someone else.
He Might Be Trying to Date Multiple Girls
If a guy is hiding his feelings, it might be because you’re not the only girl he’s crushing on. While he certainly likes you, he might also like a few other girls, and he’s looking for the situation that will work out best for him. If you get the idea that this is the type of game your potential guy is playing, you’d be better off kicking him to the curb before he even gets started.
Signs a Guy Likes You But is Trying Not to Show It
In the following section, we’ll address a bunch of different signs a guy is into you but is trying not to show it. Not only will we give you the knowledge you need to identify whether or not a guy is secretly into you, but we’ll also give you some tips on how to indicate that you are (or aren’t) into him as well.
He’s Frequently Around
The most obvious sign that a guy likes you but is trying not to show it is that there suddenly around you a lot more. When a guy likes a girl, he also enjoys being around her as much as possible. If a guy that previously was never around or only showed up once in a while starts becoming a regular in your social circle, it’s a good bet he has a crush on somebody.
If you start noticing a guy is suddenly around you a lot more, you first need to start looking for other signs that he might be into you. Depending on how you feel about him, it could be a bad or good idea to find out a little bit about him from your mutual friends.
He Looks Good When You’re Near
Guys who aren’t well-known for keeping a clean appearance will almost always step their game up if they like someone in their social circle. If you always knew him to wear a backward cap and hoodie, but he’s suddenly rocking some fantastic hair and clothes, it might just be you that he’s currently interested in.
Feelings can grow over time regardless of your age or what sort of friends you were in the past. Even a close guy friend can find themselves developing a romantic interest in you. Because of this fact, you don’t just want to keep an eye out for new arrivals that suddenly start looking good, but established friends as well. If you’re interested, you can dress up a bit yourself and see how he reacts.
He Sneaks a Peek (or Two) at You
For many men, a beautiful girl is like a work of art – they can’t resist looking. Of course, it’s hardly polite to stare at someone for hours at a time simply, nor is this a great way to keep your feelings a secret. Instead, if a guy likes you but is trying not to show it, you might catch him looking at you a lot more. In some cases, he’ll look a little longer than the situation dictates.
If you suspect a guy is trying to hide his feelings for you, and you get the impression he is gazing at you more and more, you can try many different techniques to signal him back. If you aren’t interested, you can try making a disapproving or confused face. If you are, you might consider meeting his gaze and locking eyes. This approach lets him know that you’re aware of what he’s doing, and you approve.
He Asks a Lot of Questions
When a guy is into a girl, it’s in his best interest to know as much about her as possible. One way that a guy might accomplish this is to ask her a lot of questions. Depending on how well you know this person, these questions can be intimate or mundane. No matter what type of questions they are, you’re sure to get the feeling that he’s collecting information about you.
If you do happen to get the impression that a guy’s sudden interest in you is driven by romantic feelings, the way you answer those questions can serve as major hints to him about how you feel in return. In particular, if you do find yourself attracted to them in some way, you might want to introduce some questioning of your own to see what all you have in common.
He Remembers a Lot About Your Likes and Interests
If a guy is showing any signs that he likes you, one of the most significant flags to look for is that he remembers everything you tell him. For many men, building confidence for approaching women is about doing a lot of reconnaissance. If you’re important to him, or he sees you as a potential mate, he’ll remember what Netflix show you’re currently binging and whether you prefer mustard or ketchup.
When a guy remembers details about you, it’s his not-so-subtle way of signaling that what you say and do matters to him. If you want to signal that he matters to you as well, try to return the favor. This goes along with asking questions back when he does the same. It is almost like a “pre-date,” in which you get to know each other without the pressure of actually confessing one’s feelings.
He Faces You or Keeps a Close Proximity
There are several physical signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it. For instance, if you’re in a group together, he’ll often find a way to face you. He may, in some cases, find a way to end up next to you or walk alongside you. While we tend to think of guys as less strategic in their pursuit of us, they often put a lot of thought and effort into making sure we notice them.
If a guy is trying to hide his feelings for one reason or another, but you find him making seemingly-deliberate attempts to face you or be near you, you need to immediately start scanning for some of the other signs on this list. The more you see, the more comfortable you’ll be with pushing him toward making a move.
He Never Leaves You Hanging
If there’s one thing that’s true of modern friendship, it’s that many people don’t follow through with plans, promises, and events. If your guy likes you but is trying not to show it, however, he always does – without failure. When a guy likes you, you become a major priority in his life. He needs to be around you, so he’s not going to flake on that get-together or leave you hanging on that ride home.
Another component of this is that you many notice him dropping previous plans in favor of plans that include you. This behavior is, again, one of the significant signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it. If he’s shy or just feeling the situation out, you can indicate how you feel back to help him build the necessary confidence to ask you to hang out solo.
He Asks About Your Romantic Life
Some signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it are much more obvious than others. For instance, very few men will take an interest in your romantic life if they don’t see the potential for them to be a part of it. If he comes right out and asks if you have a boyfriend, there’s an excellent chance that he’s into you (or he knows somebody else who is and is doing the dirty work for them).
Since this is a rather obvious play, chances are this guy is rather bad at hiding his feelings, or he’s much more confident than the average guy and just wants to make sure you’re available before making his move. If this happens, you better figure out whether you like him back or not fast, because chances are he’s going to ask you out very soon.
He Makes Excuses to Touch You
As we women know, when you like someone, physical contact can be positively amazing. If a guy finds excuses to touch you on the shoulder, help you out of a car, or brushes hair out of your face, he’s almost certainly into you – and doing a lousy job of hiding it.
If you do notice a guy is making excuses to touch you, it’s essential that you first decide whether his behavior is crossing any lines. Regardless of whether or not you like him back, unwanted physical contact is never OK. If it’s just some innocent flirting and he seems genuinely into you, you can rest assured that he wants more from you than your friendship.
He Might Completely Ignore You
For all the obvious signs we listed above, there are a few signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it that is a lot harder to spot. Some guy, particularly those on the shy side of the spectrum, will try to mask their feelings by doing the exact opposite of what you’d expect. They talk to you less than they did before, they tend not to address you in groups, or they become distant all of a sudden.
This type of situation arises when a guy is unsure of his feelings or your feelings or hasn’t quite sorted out how he feels about you. Chances are there’s definitely an attraction – he just doesn’t know what he should do about it – yet. If you notice a formerly close guy friend is starting to keep their distance, they might just be crushing hard and trying to figure out what his next move should be.
You Get a Friend Request Online
As we mentioned, technology has made the pursuit of romantic partners more difficult and easier at the same time. By this, we mean that, while it’s easier than ever to interact with someone you like without the pressure of a real date, it can also be harder for a man to gain the confidence he needs actually to ask for that date.
If you notice you get a friend request from a guy you know (or don’t know), or he starts following you on social media, the chances that he’s at least attracted to you are quite good. If you’re interested, you could return the favor or use social media as a low-key way of interacting with him. As most initial flirting is done through text or online chat nowadays, this can be a safe way to explore your potential.
He Agrees With You a Lot
Men who are less experienced with dating and romance, in general, will often attempt to be overly-nice or agreeable when interacting with a woman they like. Out of fear that you might not like him back, he will simply start agreeing with you on nearly every point you make. That show he hates, that band he loathes, that food he’s just not a fan of? If you like it, he might do a quick 180 on his opinion.
One thing to remember about men who behave this way is that they’re not necessarily weak-minded or overly eager to please – they simply want to interact with you and think that agreeing with everything you say is the best way. Over time, as they become more comfortable with you, their opinions will almost certainly return to normal.
He Attempts to Impress You
In guy culture, showing off is a way to show off your prowess and attract attention from people. If a guy wants your attention, he may start doing things that he thinks will impress you. From trying to win a game at the state fair to popping wheelies on his brand-new dirt bike to getting competitive in the bowling alley – if he wants to show you he’s good at something, there’s usually a reason for it.
If you notice that a guy is suddenly doing things to impress you, you can express your interest or disinterest in him through your reaction. One thing to take note of, however, is who else is present when the guy begins showing off. After all, as men are naturally competitive, it might not just be you he’s trying to impress.
You Start Getting Invited on Fake Dates
If a guy likes you, he’ll try to find a reason to be around you as often as possible. However, if he lacks the confidence to admit his feelings, he might first take you on “pseudo-dates” before confessing his feelings. These are sometimes group activities, but can also be one-on-one as well. In the guy’s mind, he is getting to know you in a safe way that keeps him insulated from rejection.
Fake dates include instances where guys want you around but make excuses to keep it unromantic. He might have an “accidental” ticket to see a show by a band you both like, or he might need a “girl’s input” on what to buy his sister for her birthday. Though this type of behavior is designed to keep you guessing, it shouldn’t take you long to figure out he has an ulterior motive for hanging out.
He Stops Trying to Hide It
As we mentioned repeatedly, there are many reasons why a guy might want to hide the fact that he likes you. If his intentions are sincere, however, he will eventually become so overwhelmed with emotion or frustration that he stops trying to hide his feelings altogether. This is especially true if a man has spent enough time around you to be fairly confident that you feel the same way in return.
As you might expect, the signs that your guy is no longer trying to hide his feelings are pretty hard to ignore. You might catch him blatantly staring at you, he might tell you how beautiful you look today, or he might just work up the courage to ask you out on a date. If you feel the same way he does, this type of behavior could be the beginning of a satisfying romance.
What to Do Next
If you’re confident you’ve identified several signs a guy likes you but is trying not to show it, you’re probably wondering what you should do next. After all, just because a guy likes you doesn’t mean that you’re equally interested or even interested at all. However, if you do find yourself attracted to your new admirer, chances are you’re showing some of the same signs he is!
What defines love, romance, and dating is unique to every individual as well as every couple. If a guy likes you, don’t panic, he’ll tell you eventually. Or, if you feel confident enough in yourself, you can change the whole game by confessing your feelings first.