He likes me, he likes me not…. now that is the real question.
Eric and I say over and over again that when a man likes you, it’s obvious. (That phrase was even the title of the first chapter of our book “10 Things every Woman Needs to Know About Men.”) However, given the high volume of questions we receive from readers asking us to decipher whether a guy likes them or not (and the fact that “Does He Like Me?” is the most popular article on the site), it obviously isn’t so obvious to you when a guy likes you.
Even though I write about relationships for a living, I also used to get tripped up back when I was single and would catch myself spinning into analysis mode while trying to figure out how guys felt. You analyze the texts, you replay your interactions with him over and over in your mind, you cling tightly to the compliments and kisses…and are more quick to part with some of the red flags and bad signs. When you add emotions (and a bit of ego) into the mix, it can be hard to see things clearly. Instead, you’re seeing the situation through a lens of wishful thinking and sometimes a bit of self-deception.
Trust me, I know how confusing and frustrating it can be at times but the fact remains that when a guy likes you, it is obvious … especially when you know what signs to look for.
Read on for exactly how to tell if a guy likes you:
1. He initiates.
If you’re at a party, he comes up to you and strikes up a conversation. If you’re not in the same immediate vicinity, he reaches out to you. Finding an excuse to talk to you doesn’t require much creativity. If he wants to get your attention, he’ll think of something.
If a guy likes you, he might ask you for things he didn’t necessarily need to ask you, or start a conversation he didn’t need to have with you. Maybe his company is hiring and he asks if you know anyone looking for a job, or he knows someone looking for a roommate and he asks if you know anyone, or he asks if you have any recommendations for a place to take his parents for dinner. When he wants to get your attention, he’ll think of something, even if he just makes it up.
If he doesn’t demonstrate and interest in talking to you–he doesn’t initiate or maybe he cuts the conversation short and makes an exit–then it’s a clear sign he probably doesn’t like you in that way.
Initiating is only phase one, though. If a guy likes you, he will take it beyond that and actually ask you out. If he doesn’t, then he may just see you as a friend, or maybe he’s interested in hooking up with you but he’s not interested in dating you. If a guy likes you, he will usually ask you out and make an effort to be with you. (For more on this, read The Only Way to Know if a Guy Likes You For Sure.)
2. He listens to what you say and remembers the details.
When we like someone, we can’t get enough. We want to know every detail, every story, even the insignificant ones. If a guy asks you a lot of questions about yourself and your life and shows a genuine interest in who you are and what you like, he is investing in you.
You’ll get further confirmation of this if he remembers the things you told him: where you went to high-school, your major in college, the name of your first pet. He will also want to share himself with you. You may notice he talks about himself a lot (especially the good parts, like areas where he is succeeding). This is because when a guy likes you he wants to impress you, he wants you to think highly of him.
Now some guys might just do this because they have fragile egos and something to prove. So watch out for guys who only talk themselves up. But if a guy shows a serious and genuine interest in learning all about you, then that is a big sign he likes you.
QUIZ: Does He Like Me?
3. Body language cues.
A guy might come across all slick, but his body language can tell you a lot about how he really feels. Mirroring is one way to assess if he’s into you. If you notice that he mimics your body language, it means he’s trying to connect to you and is completely focused on you. Other body language cues to look out for is if he leans in when talking to you, points his feet towards you, and maintains eye contact. Usually when guy likes you he’ll give you that deep penetrating stare, it’s the kind of thing that you just know when you see it.
Also, notice if he looks at you after he makes a joke or does something funny. If he likes you, he’ll look to see your reaction right away. Many experts claim that a guy’s pupils will dilate if he’s interested but this can be kind of tricky to assess. Another strong tell is if he finds ways to touch you. It could be “accidental” like brushing against your arm, seemingly innocent like a high-five that lingers a little longer that it usually would, or intentional like putting his hand on your when you’re telling a story.
If he avoids eye contact, positions his body away from you, doesn’t encourage conversation or volunteer anything about himself, or maintains distance from you, he’s not feeling it.
4. Acts different around you.
If a guy likes you, he’ll act a little different when he’s around you. He might seem a bit nervous and fidgety, or maybe he tones down his usual “macho” attitude. You may notice he seems a little flustered or maybe even blushes a bit when you talk to him. If he behaves differently with you than other people in his life it’s a sign that he holds you in a different regard. Pay attention to the way he is with his friends and other people to get a baseline for how he usually acts.
For example, if he flirts with everyone or is super friendly and attentive when he talks to anyone then it won’t necessarily mean as much if he acts that way with you.
Some guys just have flirty personalities, it’s who they are. This is where a lot of girls get confused. They get all wound up because some guy totally swept them off their feet. He got their number, they had a flirty conversation, she texts him and…Nothing! Where did he go?
The problem is, that particular guy flirts with every girl. That’s just his way of being.
Flirting doesn’t always mean anything; he might just be working on his flirting skills. Also, flirting can be exciting and fun.
If he likes you, then the way he is with you will be different than his normal state. A guy who is usually pretty flirty may become shy and reserved in your presence. Or maybe he’ll be even more flirty than his baseline level of flirtiness.
Personal Confession: Way back in my single days I met a guy who seemed perfect for me in every way. He was funny, kind, successful, not to mention, almost uncomfortably attractive. We have mutual friends so I’d run into him here and there and he was always pretty flirty with me and would say really sweet things that led me to believe the interest was reciprocal…that I was beautiful, cool, great to talk to, stuff like that. It drove me absolutely crazy because it seemed like he liked me but he wasn’t asking me out, or even asking for my number.
I knew conventional wisdom would say that he just wasn’t into me, but it didn’t feel that way! I would obsess over this endlessly and would always draw different conclusions: maybe he didn’t think I was interested in him and he was afraid of being rejected, maybe he’s intimidated by me, maybe he’s worried about it being weird because we have so many mutual friends, maybe, maybe, maybe. One night I brought a girlfriend to a birthday party that he was also at. When he saw my friend, I noticed a look in his eye that he never had with me.