I got asked the question, “Hey Ryan, is there a way how to tell if a guy likes you?”
You’ve met the man of your dreams: he’s handsome, kind, smart, and everything you’ve ever hoped for. But he’s giving you mixed signals and you’re unsure as to whether he likes you as a friend or as a partner. You don’t want to get your hopes up, but you don’t want to completely stomp it down, either. So, what do you do?
Differentiating romantic interest from platonic interest isn’t as easy as the movies make them out to be. I should know—I’ve been in this position dozens of times!
My experience with this…
Firstly, well… I’m a guy! I’ve shown my interest to many women in my lifetime. And here’s the thing I have to say about this subject… A guy great isn’t going to play games with you. If he likes you, he’s going to tell you!
And that’s the first sign that I want to mention right away… A GREAT guy isn’t going to make you guess, second-guess, or question everything in life. They’ll tell you, straight to your face, “Hey, I really like you, you’re special to me. How do you feel about me?”
The wrong types of guys are going to play emotional games. Suggest they might be into you, then walk away, then suggest it some more.
Signs a Guy Likes You (Some You Know, Some You Don’t!)
—How to tell if a guy likes you!
Sign #1: He Acts Awkwardly Around You
When a guy realizes he likes you in a romantic way, he’ll begin to act differently around you.
The change in behavior manifests in different ways; some guys appear overconfident when you’re around, trying to establish their “alpha” nature.
Others become increasingly awkward as if they don’t know what to do with themselves in your presence. They’d stutter, avoid eye contact, clam up when talked to, and generally appear mealy-mouthed and shy around the girl they like.
That said, awkwardness isn’t always indicative of attraction. In many cases, social awkwardness comes from self-consciousness and anxiety. It also occurs in the event of discomfort. For this reason, it’s imperative to read his body language when he’s being awkward around you.
If he’s talkative or confident when you’re talking to him online, but awkward and shy in real life, this could mean that he likes you. The same is said if he initiates conversation despite being awkward.
Also, watch how he acts around his friends or other people. If he acts “normal” around them but turns into a stuttering, blushing mess around you, there’s a fair chance that he’s into you but too nervous to act upon it.
Sign # 2: He Leans Toward You During Conversation
—How to tell if a guy likes you: the lean
The “Forward Lean,” as some love experts call it, is another indication of attraction.
When a man leans towards you during the conversation, it’s often a sign of interest, compassion, and eagerness.
He’s physically drawn to you, subconsciously entering your personal bubble because he wants to be closer to you. He’d lean over the table to get as close as possible or move progressively closer when you’re sitting near each other.
If you suspect that he likes you, observe how he positions himself around other people and compare that to how he sets himself around you. The greater the difference, the higher the chance that he likes you.
Sign #3: He Maintains Eye Contact
—How to tell if a guy likes you: eye contact
Eye contact is one of the biggest nonverbal cues of attraction.
When a man is attracted to you, he’ll subconsciously engage in lots of eye contact because he’s interested in what you’re saying and finds you aesthetically pleasing.
He’s also reading your body language to see if the attraction is mutual. Eye contact helps him predict and respond to your actions accordingly.
“Gaze is a rich source of social information,” Psychology professor Dr. Michelle Jarick wrote in her study, Eye Contact Is a Two-Way Street. “It’s one of the most effective ways to deepen a relationship with someone.”
Sign #4: He Always Makes an Appearance on Your Social Media Accounts
—How to tell if a guy likes you: the stalk!
When you post a picture, he’s the first to leave a like and comment. He’s in your DMs, asking about your day or sharing something he’s interested in. He’s one of the first to watch your stories. He’s a constant in your notifications, no matter what.
Why? Because he likes you, of course!
I know what you’re thinking: what if he’s just being friendly? Maybe he’s like that with all his other friends.
That could very well be a possibility, but there are several ways to tell if he’s just being friendly or wanting to cross the friendship territory.
Notice if he comments on your old posts or pictures. If he does, there’s a chance he’s interested. He’s spent some time looking back through your old posts, probably because he wants to get to know you better. It could also be that he just likes looking at your pictures.
Next, check his activity. Is he commenting on other people’s posts as much as he does yours? If the answer is no, you could count that as an indication that he likes you—and not just as a friend.
Finally, browse through your message history. Is he using suggestive emojis—heart emojis, winky face emojis, kissy emojis—when talking to you? Is he always the first to initiate conversation? Does he reach out to you for advice or take interest in what you like, how your day went, and what you’re up to?
If he does, then that’s your answer—he’s into you.
Sign #5: He’s Actively Engaging in Conversation With You
—How to tell if a guy likes you: showing interest
Not everyone’s a great conversationalist. Some people always have interesting things to say, while others fall into the doom of awkward silences and short responses. However, things get a bit different when feelings are involved.
When a guy likes a girl, he makes an effort to reach out to her. He’ll visit her at work or “accidentally” cross paths just to say hi. He’ll talk to her on her socials or call her on his break at work. He’s consistent with communication, whether it’s through texts, phone calls, or in person. After all, who wouldn’t want to regularly talk to the person they like?
If that sounds a lot like what he’s doing, there’s a good chance that he’s crushing on you. It means that he wants to form a connection that goes beyond simple friendship. He’s making an effort not only because he wants to get to know you better but also because he genuinely likes your company.
Sign #6: His Voice Changes Around You—How to Tell If He Likes You With His Voice
According to studies, men unconsciously deepen their voice around the person they like to appear more masculine and thus more desirable to the opposite sex.
They’re doing the so-called “sex voice,” deep and sing-songy, to convey two messages at the same time: “I’d be a good partner and father,” and “I’m a masculine man, I can protect you.”
If you’re not adept in body language, pay attention to his voice. Does his voice sound different when he’s talking to his friends than when he does to you? If the answer is yes, he probably likes you.
Sign #7: He’s Making an Effort to Look Good When He Hasn’t Before
When a man likes a woman, it’s only natural for him to want to look his absolute best when she’s around, even on his harder days. He’d wear his best t-shirt, fix his hair, and generally maintain a clean, kept appearance. He’d “grooms” himself to not only feel better about himself (i.e., boost his self-confidence) but also to show the woman he likes that he’s attractive.
See also: The beta male
Sign #8: He Listens to You—How to Tell If a Guy Likes You by How He Is With Other People
He’s attentive to everything you say. When you talk, his attention is 100% on you and asks questions to make sure he fully understands you.
He remembers everything you say, even if it’s just in passing. He keeps the conversation going, asking follow-up questions or sharing his opinions about what you just said.
Sign #9: He Laughs at Your Jokes, Even When They’re Not Funny
When you’re around, you suddenly turn into the funniest girl he’s ever met. He’d laugh at all your jokes even when they’re not funny.
He’d also smile a lot around you—that big, goofy smile that reaches the eyes. When he does this, he’s subconsciously telling you that he appreciates your humor and that you’re wanted.
Sign #10: He’s Interested in Your Relationship Status—How To Tell If a Guy Likes You by His Interest In You
If he asks you, “do you have a boyfriend?” there’s a pretty good chance that he’s into you. He’s asking you to make sure you’re available so he can go all in with the flirting.
Some guys aren’t as straightforward and would slip it into an indirect question or comment. For example, he’d say, “Why would your boyfriend leave you here all by yourself?” or, “Your boyfriend must be lucky to have you.” hoping you’d answer, “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
See also: Should I text my ex
Sign #11: He’s “Peacocking”—How To Tell If a Guy Likes You by How He Acts
Peacocking is something men do to highlight their most significant points to stand out from the competition. They’d do grand, silly things to get a woman’s attention to convince her to become their “mate.”
For example, they’d wear trendy, expensive outfits and act overly casual about their look, as if it’s normal for them to be that dressed up. They’d also act like a “knight in shining armor,” being overly generous with their tips or helping an old lady cross the street in plain view.
Some women find this behavior a major turn-off, but it’s important to note that most men peacock without realizing it. It’s hardwired into a man’s genes, just like how it’s hardwired in peacocks and other animals. It happens on impulse when he spots a woman he’s interested in. So if he suddenly turns all macho and cool when you’re around, he’s likely into you.
Related: How soon is too soon to move in?
Sign #12: He’s Mirroring You—How to Tell If a Guy likes You by His Subtly
Mirroring, also known as the chameleon effect, is the behavior in which a person “mirrors” or imitates the gesture, speech, or action of another person. It’s usually done subconsciously and often indicates interest or attraction.
The next time he’s around, watch his actions. Does he take a sip of his drink whenever you do? Does he pick up on your mannerisms, adopting a similar speech pattern or turns of phrasing? Does he gesture when he talks, just the way you gesture when you talk? If the answer is yes, he’s crushing on you big time.
Whether it be through speech, actions, or even facial expressions, a person who’s attracted to another is more likely to mirror them.
Sign #13: He’s Emotionally Attentive—A Sure Way to Tell a Guy Likes You!
When a guy likes you, it’s natural for him to want to be attentive to your needs.
He’d offer you his jacket when you’re cold, ask how your day went, buy you gifts, and notice little changes about you, like when you cut your hair or when you’re looking a bit under the weather.
He’d also remember special events, even “meaningless” ones like your pet’s birthday or the last book you read.
Sign #14: He’s Finding Any Reason to Touch You—Very Strong Way to Tell a Guy Likes You!
If he’s constantly finding excuses to touch you—placing his hand on the small of your back, “accidentally” brushing against you while you walk, picking off “something” on your hair—it’s a pretty strong sign that he’s attracted to you. After all, who wouldn’t want to touch their crush, even briefly?
Sign #15: He Responds to Your Messages in Record Time (i.e., Within a Few Minutes)
If a guy replies to your texts quickly all the time, it’s a good sign that he’s interested. He’s eager to talk to you and doesn’t want to keep you waiting for too long. He’s happy that you replied and genuinely interested in having a conversation with you.
Sign #16: You’re the Center of His World
When you’re around, his focus is entirely on you. He doesn’t steal glances at other girls or check his phone in the middle of the conversation. He may even go out of his way to remove distractions when hanging out with you, like asking his friends to leave you two alone (subtly, of course) or inviting you to an intimate setting.
But it doesn’t stop there. Even when you’re in a group setting, he still finds a way to talk to you. When you share something with the group, he’s got his full attention to you. He’s always laughing at your jokes or responding to your questions. His body language, focus, and general energy seem to be directed entirely at you because he can’t get enough of you.
Sign #17: He Buys You Stuff All the Time—A Guy Likes You When He Thinks of You All the Time!
When a guy buys you gifts or pays for you, it’s a clear sign that he’s into you. It’s his way of telling you that he can give you whatever you want if you give him a chance. It could also be that he’s simply trying to be friendly to make a good impression.
Sign #18: You Catch Him Staring One Too Many Times
You always seem to catch him staring at you, even when you’re on the other side of the room. And when you look back, he’d quickly glance away.
This could mean many things; he could be staring at you without any ulterior motive (maybe he was staring blankly into space and your eyes met accidentally), or he’s curious about what you’re doing. It could also mean that he’s attracted to you and can’t help but stare a bit longer than he intended.
If you catch him staring again and he doesn’t look away, smile and see how he reacts. If he smiles back, you could wave him over and initiate a conversation to see how far his interest goes.
Sign #19: He’s Jealous When You Talk to Other Guys
If you notice him looking a bit displeased when another guy flirts with you, he probably has feelings for you. He feels threatened that someone is trying to win your approval and fears that you’ll give him a chance before he makes a move. He’s jealous, full stop.
Jealousy that comes from love can be sweet and healthy. However, jealousy can easily turn into possessiveness and obsession if you’re not careful. If a man shows signs of jealousy even when you’re not together, it might be an early sign of a red flag.
Sign #20: He’s Not Afraid to Be Vulnerable Around You
If a guy shares something personal about himself, it could be a sign that he likes you enough to open up to you.
He wants to form a connection with you, so he’s telling you about his family, future plans, past experiences, and troubles. By doing so, he’s hoping that you’ll trust him enough to do the same.
Sign #21: He Tells His Friends About You
You’ve not met his friends, but they seem to know you as though you’ve been hanging out forever. Why? Because he likes you so much that he can’t stop talking about you!
Take it as a good sign; he wants his friends to know who you are and give him their approval. It’s an even bigger step if he introduces you to his friends.
It means that he trusts you well enough to know that you won’t embarrass him in front of your friends. It also means that he wants to make you a regular part of his life and bring you into his inner circle.
Sign #22: He Asks Your Friends About You
When a guy asks your friends about you, it means that he’s interested and wants to know more about you. He’d ask them questions about you, such as your likes, dislikes, birthday, what you do on your weekend, and the like.
If one of your friends tells you, “He’s been asking me about you a lot lately,” it might be his subtle way of telling you he likes you.
Sign #23: He Takes Care of You
Men have a natural desire to protect the one they love. It’s like second nature to them, ingrained in their DNA. So if he likes you, he’ll be attentive to your needs even without you asking.
Whether it’s medicine for a minor cough, a bar of chocolate on a bad day, or a walk around the park to clear your head, he’d always try to make you feel better.
He’d also enjoy doing little favors for you. He may offer to fix your broken sink or install that shelf you recently ordered from Ikea. He’d offer to drive you home from work or school, or bring you dinner when you mention you’re hungry.
These little things show he’s interested in you as more than just a friend.
Sign #24: His Friends Leave You Two Alone
If you approach him while he’s around your friends and his friends make excuses to leave, there’s a good chance that he likes you. He’s probably told his friends about you and they’re being supportive by giving him some quality alone time with you.
Sign #25: He Asks Thoughtful Questions
Beyond the basic, “how was your day?” he’s asking questions like what your future plans are or what you’re passionate about.
By asking these questions, he’s trying to understand you on a deeper level. He’s interested in you as a person, not just for your looks or your smarts. He wants to know more about your friends, hobbies, careers, likes and dislikes, and other things that interest you.
Sign #26: He Finds Ways to Be Around You
Whether it’s at work, school, or in a casual setting, he always seems to find ways to be around you.
He’d be lingering before and after his shift to score a few minutes of quality time with you. When there’s an event, he’d ask you if you’re going before he accepts the invitation. He’d also try to realign his schedule with yours so he can hang out with you as much as possible.
A guy that makes this much effort to be around a girl is likely crushing on her.
Sign # 27: He Compliments You All the Time
He just can’t help it—to him, you’re perfect; or at least as close to perfect as a significant other can be. He finds nearly everything you do or says worth complimenting.
He likes your eyes, your handwriting, your intelligence, and everything in between. He notices subtle changes in your appearance and makes sure to tell you how much it suits you.
These compliments could be an indication that he’s harboring a little crush on you.
I hope this guide helped you determine if a guy likes you more than a friend!
Remember: feelings of attraction differ from person to person; some make it as obvious as a freight train while others make it as conspicuous as possible.
Learning how to read body language will help you detect cues of attraction more easily.
Additional questions and answers!
How can I tell if a guy likes me over text?
There will be many of the same signs. Although, one key way to tell if he likes you is the amount he’s texting. If he’s texting you good morning or goodnight… Then that’s a great way to tell that he’s really into you!
How can I tell if a guy likes me but is hiding it?
There are many signs that shows he likes you but is hiding it. Typically, the best way to tell is if he’s giving you “mixed signals.” For example, a long amount of time giving eye contact to you… While not saying nice words or nice things. Or giving you gifts but not texting you a lot. These are some signs that there might be something mixed up with his emotions or perspectives.
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Jarick, M., & Bencic, R. (2019, June 4). Eye contact is a two-way street: Arousal is elicited by the sending and receiving of eye gaze information. Frontiers in psychology. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6558178/
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McKenzie, S. K., Collings, S., Jenkin, G., & River, J. (2018, September). Masculinity, social connectedness, and mental health: Men’s diverse patterns of Practice. American journal of men’s health. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142169/
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.