Non-Obvious Signals To Tell If A Guy Likes You
Dating can be tricky. Between navigating the games some people play and knowing how to read signals, it can be confusing. While the easiest way to know for sure how someone feels about you is to simply come out and ask them yourself, this is often easier said than done.
It turns out that, contrary to what you may think, the different sexes are not all that different in how we communicate our romantic interest. As Myisha Battle, a sex and dating expert, explained to MindBodyGreen, "There are general behaviors that all genders engage in naturally when they are interested in someone else. We’re definitely more alike when it comes to showing romantic interest." Yet, it can also be said that men tend to communicate their interest in a more subtle way. For example, they may get easily embarrassed around you and blush. "If a man blushes, it’s very significant because it is a bodily reaction that he can’t control," Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist and author, said to Today. "He is unable to hide his attraction to you."
What else should you look for? Keep reading to learn the subtle signs to tell if he likes you.
He positions his body toward you in conversation or when he’s near
Body language can be a powerful indicator of how people feel toward one another. Both men and women, it turns out, use their body language — whether consciously or unconsciously — to give off subtle signs indicating their interest. For example, when a guy is interested in you, his body language may try to mirror yours to show that he’s following your lead, whether or not he even is aware of what he’s doing. He may do this by positioning his body in the same stance as you or imitating your hand gestures. "It may seem weird," said sex coach and author Amy Levine to Today, "but it’s his way of building rapport with you, and showing you he’s on the same wavelength."
Even if he doesn’t actually imitate your movements, guys will give off certain clues from their body language. If you’re in a group setting and he chooses to sit next to you, that’s a sign he’s into you. If he’s interested, he may also lean forward or stand closer to you during conversation. Additionally, he’ll open up his body language toward you when he’s interested. This may include turning his torso toward you, pointing his toes in your direction, or parting his lips slightly.
He finds subtle ways to compliment you
If a guy is interested in you, he’ll usually find ways — whether subtle or obvious — to compliment you. "He wants to make you feel good by highlighting what he appreciates about you, letting you know that he has taken notice," as Amy Levine, sex coach and author of "Ignite Your Pleasure," shared with Today.
Research even demonstrates how men’s use of compliments is often associated with women they are interested in romantically. In a study published to Frontiers in Psychology, researchers selected 69 men and tasked them with developing compliments to impress women they didn’t know in both a dating and a work context. The 114 participating women rated their perspective of the men’s intelligence level and whether they were open to a romantic relationship with the men. Overall, the findings showed that guys likely use compliments to signal their romantic interest in women and that compliments make a difference in a dating context. Interestingly, the women also perceived the men who complimented them to be more intelligent.
He makes direct eye contact with you
You can be sure that a guy who likes you will look at you directly. This can be while you two are engaged in conversation or if you happen to notice him glance at you from across the room. Interestingly, eye contact is said to communicate intent, focus, and attention more so than other forms of body language. In a dating setting, men often use eye contact to show they are attracted to you, and it’s said that locking eyes with someone directly will enable them to understand you better. Some even say that staring into someone’s eyes can make you fall in love.
However, if his eyes tend to move downward, don’t take this as a bad sign that he’s only interested in your body and not in you as a person. Or, you might catch him looking down at the ground when he’s really just trying to take a look at the rest of you. Studies such as one published to "Evolutionary Psychology" demonstrate that men often will do the "eye dip" when they like you.
He finds reasons to touch your arm or leg
One subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) sign that a guy is interested in you? He’ll find an excuse to touch you. For example, he might touch your arm during conversation as a way to show his interest and get closer to you. "If a man touches you while you are talking it is a sign that he is physically attracted to you," relationship expert Siggy Flicker told Today. "He needs and wants to be near you."
Similarly, he may whisper something in your ear when you’re with others — one physical sign that might mean someone’s into you — just another way for him to get close. "When a man comes close to whisper in your ear, it’s just an excuse to develop more intimacy with you," as psychiatrist and author Carole Lieberman shared with Today. "He wants to feel your body heat and to let you feel his (body heat, that is)."
His communication is generally prompt and consistent
If a guy likes you, he’ll want to connect with you often. "Are they attentive in between dates? Do you feel connected throughout the day? The amount of and type of communication is an indicator of how into you they are," as certified life coach and love life strategist Lisa Concepcion explained to Elite Daily. Perri Schneider, an online dating coach, emphasized to the Daily Mail that most people have "their phones near them" most of the time, so if a guy you’re interested in can’t get back to you in a reasonable amount of time, "they might not be a worthwhile person to date." How much time is a "reasonable amount of time"? "I would say a few hours is an understandable amount of time if not sooner, longer than that is not cool," she added.
However, emergencies do happen, and some days are busier than others, so you shouldn’t panic if he suddenly takes a bit longer to respond to your texts. "Not everyone will have the same style of communication that you do," Schneider added.
Additionally, Schneider explained that communicating too often too early can be a problem. Oftentimes, relationships that start off hot and heavy tend to fizzle out just as quickly. "Oftentimes people that act like boyfriend/girlfriend from day one have wounds they haven’t worked through yet – that are coming out in this constant need for validation or reassurance," she said. "Or they’re just filling a void."
He makes time for you and does what he says
Another good way to determine whether he’s into you? He does what he says. He makes time for you and doesn’t come up with excuses. "If it’s real, words and actions should sync up," as relationship expert, love coach, and author Susan Winter explained to Elite Daily. "Their words are in harmony with their behavior."
Following up with plans takes effort, and guys won’t feel like putting the effort in if their feelings aren’t legit. "When someone consistently makes plans to see you despite their busy schedule, it’s a good sign of what you really represent in their life," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, shared with the outlet. "Someone’s definitely into you when they plan to make more time for you. Their desire to spend time with you and wanting to be involved in your world and day is a good sign they’re constantly thinking of you." Lisa Concepcion, certified life coach, love life strategist, and love coach, echoed this sentiment. "If they’re into you, they want to be around you," she says. "It’s that simple."
He remembers small details about you
When a guy goes out of his way to show that he remembers small details you tell him, it shows that he’s listening to you and that he likes you. From taking notice of your idiosyncrasies to how you like your coffee, if he remembers these small details, you are definitely on his mind — in a good way. For example, he may show you he’s paying attention by putting time and effort into picking out a gift he’ll know you’ll like or sending you a link to an article he knows you’ll find interesting. Men tend to show their interest and their love in this subtle but significant way.
Additionally, when a guy talks often about your interests and shows an interest in them as well, this is an indicator that he likes you. "If a man takes an interest in something that you like—and he probably does not like—that is the ultimate sign that he is flirting with you," relationship expert Siggy Flicker said in an interview with Today. "No man wants to be doing something that he does not enjoy."
He makes the effort to impress you in small ways
If a guy is clearly putting in the effort to impress you, this is a surefire sign he’s interested. "If a man is fixing his clothing and hair that means that he wants to impress you," relationship expert Siggy Flicker informed Today. "A man will take the extra five minutes to put the finishes touches on his clothing and hair for any woman he likes." This could include adjusting his shirt, fixing his hair, or checking himself out in the mirror. While he could also just be into the way he looks, this is a good sign that he’s also interested in you.
Another less subtle act that could show he’s trying to impress you is if you see his place and find that it — especially the bathroom — is super clean. While he could just be clean and neat — never a bad thing! — it’s likely he put the time in to impress you.
He teases you or laughs a lot in your presence
You know what they say about guys from the time they are little boys — that if he’s teasing you, this means he likes you? Well, this happens to be true for adult men as well. "When a man feels attracted to you, but is insecure and fearful that he isn’t good enough, he regresses to boyhood," as psychiatrist and author Carole Lieberman pointed out to Today. "He becomes the little 6th grade kid who expresses his attraction by pulling a girl’s ponytail or throwing snowballs at her." Teasing — in a cute, not mean way — is also a tell-tale sign that "he is completely comfortable around you," relationship expert Siggy Flicker shared with the outlet. This means he’s also paid attention to "pick up on what you would be secure and insecure about."
Likewise, if he tends to laugh at your jokes or just laugh a lot while in your company, then this means he finds you funny — and that he’s listening to what you have to say. "If a man laughs at everything you say, it means that he is actually listening to you instead of pretending to listen to you," Flicker said. "This means that he finds your conversation engaging and worth a laugh or two."
He’s always willing to help or come to your aid
Guys don’t just try to impress you by checking themselves out in the mirror and working on their physical appearance. A guy who has a genuine interest in you will want to help you in some way and show you that you can rely on and trust him to help you out. In this way, he is also exerting his stereotypical masculinity to impress you. "When a man puffs himself up like this, it means that he is trying to impress you with what a beast he is," according to psychiatrist and author Carole Lieberman in an article for Today.
He may also be trying to show that he can take care of you. "He is exerting his masculinity in a stereotypical way — showing he is classic and confident and that he likes the finer things in life and wants to share them with you," added sex coach and author Amy Levine. "He’s demonstrating that he can and wants to take care of you."
He finds excuses to be in your company
If a guy tends to find a way to be where you are or makes excuses to have a reason to see you, this is a sure sign he likes you. "If a man asks to borrow a book or a movie that is a sign that he wants to be connected to you," as Siggy Flicker, a relationship expert, informed Today. "He wants to be able to speak to you again regarding that book or movie. It’s also a reason to see you again so he can return the borrowed item."
While you could interpret this behavior from a guy you’re not so into as clingy, you shouldn’t let these actions of his lead you to think he’s some kind of stalker. "He may seem overeager, but he’s simply coming up with creative ways to spend time with you in the hopes that he will become part of your life in a bigger way," explained sex coach Amy Levine. "You may even find that the situation and scenarios he infuses himself into to see you are a way to expresses true feelings about what you have in common."
He puts in extra effort to show he cares
When a guy likes you, he’s thinking about you all the time. However, most guys try to play it cool at least to some degree, so it’s likely he won’t come out and tell you this in so many words. How might he do it? By casually mentioning to you that he came across something that reminded him of you.
Additionally, someone genuinely interested in you will put in a bit more effort in conversation to show they care. The author of an article from Verily Magazine, Isaac Huss, sought his friend’s perspective on the topic. "He’s not only initiating a conversation, he’s sustaining it," said the author’s friend, Teddy. "It’s not just a hit and run to get some ego boost from the girl’s interest." If a guy likes you, he won’t just go on about himself. He’ll make sure to ask questions about you. "Guys who don’t ask questions aren’t worth going out with right now," Verily Magazine author Taylor Davies said. "…When it comes down to it, if he can’t message like an interested, engaging person, he certainly won’t date like one, either."