“Does he like me?” is by far the most oft-asked question amongst girls in the dating world.
They discuss with their girlfriends, they read articles about what “signs” to look for, they analyze every interaction, every text, every facial expression, all in the hopes of finding that elusive answer.
The sad fact is, this is a huge waste of time and energy because deciphering whether or not a guy likes you is incredibly simple. In fact, I can sum up this article in one sentence: when a guy likes you, it’s obvious!
Every day, on Facebook, in the comments section, in the forum, in my inbox … day in and day out I hear variations of the same question: Does he like me? How does he feel about me? Is he committed to me?
And really, when you get to the heart of it, if you have to ask … you already have your answer.
It really is as simple as that, but I know people love to look at signs, because that just makes it more tangible and easier to see. So I will give you a list of signs that a guy likes you, and then we’ll go a little deeper and talk about the number one thing to look for, the thing that matters more than anything, as well as why women get so confused by these situations. We’ll also look at ways we set ourselves up for heartbreak. Let’s begin.
The Biggest Signs a Guy Likes You
1. Body language cues
He might not be saying anything with his words, but his body language will let you know exactly where he stands.
The biggest sign he’s interested is that he stares at you, a lot. This makes sense. Men are visual creatures. When they see something they like, they look at it, and can’t stop. Another thing to look for is the “eyebrow flash.” If basically means he raises his eyebrows when he sees you. But this is one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sorts of things, so don’t get too hung up if you didn’t spot it.
Next, he makes eye contact and stares at your face when talking to you. His eyes may bounce for your eyes to your lips and back again. He will also lean in when talking to you and angle his body facing you.
He may also preen a bit when he sees you. He may fix his hair, straighten his tie, straightening his shirt. This is another reflexive thing we do because… well, he wants to look his best for you.
Another thing you might notice is he gets fidgety, almost like he forgot how to use his hands.
Make sure to read this article for the exact body language signs that mean he likes you.
2. Eye contact
The eyes are the window to the soul … and they’re also a window into knowing how a guy feels about you!
We covered this a bit in the section on body language cues, but it bears repeating and going into more depth.
When a guy likes you, he will look at you. When talking to him, he will most likely make eye contact. This is probably the most intimate you can be with a person without actually being intimate. If you want to do a test, try to hold his gaze for four seconds. If he stays engaged, he’s interested. If he looks away and starts scanning the room, he’s probably not interested.
And like I said, if his eyes wander to your mouth, well he’s definitely into you and attracted to you.
What if his eyes are shifty and all over the place? Well, it doesn’t always mean he doesn’t like you. It’s possible he’s just shy or nervous or insecure, so you have to look at everything in context. If he doesn’t show any signs that he like you and doesn’t make eye contact, then he probably doesn’t like you.
You can also pay attention to his pupils. Studies have found when people look at something or someone they like, their pupils will dilate. Don’t get too hung up on this one, it won’t work if you’re in a dark setting, and you’ll also look a little crazy if you try too hard to scrutinize the size of his pupils.
Finally, look at what he does after making a joke or telling a funny story. If a guy likes you, he’ll look in your direction to see if he made you laugh.
3. He talks himself up
If a guy likes you, he’ll want to present himself in the best light, and often, guys can’t help but trying to make their case via words.
Pay attention when he talks to you. Does he talk about himself? Does he tell you about his accomplishments or achievements? Is he doing a little of “humble bragging” (I only ran 8 miles today, no big deal). If so, he likes you and is trying to prove himself a worthy candidate.
Also, watch how he reacts when you say things. Does he lean in closer, maybe gently stroke your back? Or does he look away and shift uncomfortably as if looking for an excuse to exit the conversation?
A guy who doesn’t like you will feel uncomfortable if you encourage on his personal space. A guy who does like you will welcome all intrusions with open arms!
4. Speaking of touching … how does he react to being touched?
If a guy likes you, he will find ways to touch you, whether overtly or “accidentally.” And he will welcome any touches from you.
Pay attention to all signs of physical touch. It could be obvious, like an arm around your waist, or more subtle, like your legs accidentally touch while sitting and he doesn’t move his away. Or maybe it’s a high five that lingers a little too long. The point is, he will find ways to make your bodies meet.
Also, pay attention to how he reacts when you touch him. Does he tense up and back away, or is he warm an receptive?
The caveats here are he might be a shy, awkward type of guy and maybe feels extra nervous when touching a girl he likes. Or he might be a playboy who welcomes female physical affection in any form with wide open arms. Again, look at the full picture, not the tiny pieces.
5. He treats you differently
a guy likes you, you will have a different status in his life, and he will treat you differently. Maybe he’s the kind of guy who flirts with everyone, but he’ll flirt differently with you.
If he’s a macho guy, he might tone things down when he’s around you and show a softer, gentler side. He may act a little protective toward you, like holding your hand when walking down steep stairs, angling his body to almost shield you when walking through a crowd, and just looking out for you.
Pay attention to the way he acts with other people and compare that to the way he behaves around you. If there is a difference, it’s probably because he like you.
6. He gets nervous/fidgety around you
Even the most confident guy will get a little nervous around a woman he likes. Some signs of nervousness are sweating, blushing, fidgeting, stuttering, stumbling over his words, taking deep breaths, it’s one of those things you know when you see it.
Quick note: don’t call him out for it, this will just make him feel embarrassed and clam up even more. Just take silent comfort in the fact that you make him nervous.
If he’s nervous around you, it means he really wants to make a good impression and doesn’t want to say or do anything stupid to screw things up.
Again, take it into context. It’s also possible he’s just a nervous guy in general. So if that’s how he is all the time, it doesn’t mean much. But if the nervous guy gets extra nervous around you, then he probably likes you.
7. He shows interests in your interests
You tell him you just went to see a concert, he asks what band, how it was, what your favorite songs are, how long you’ve liked them, he basically wants to know everything.
He shows intrigue and interests in all the things you’re interested in. And he uses those interests as a means to get to know you better. He may dig a little deeper and ask more questions. This is another major sign he likes you. When we like someone, we want to know everything about them.
8. He Mirrors You
Mirroring is a subconscious thing we do when we like someone. It basically means he copies your actions. He may mirror your or the way you cross your arms. A good way to show reciprocal interest is to mirror him. Touch your face when he touches his, shift your stance when he angles left, cross your legs in the same direction as his, etc.
Him wanting to be in our close vicinity is another major sign. If you’re in a crowded place, you may find he always seems to swim your way through the sea of people. When he’s around, he always seems to make his way to you.
9. He playfully teases you
Remember in elementary school when a guy would pull your pigtails to show he liked you? Well, not much has changed except the ways of teasing have become a little more refined. But we never really grow up all that much!
If a guy likes you, he will playfully tease you. He might make fun of you (in a lighthearted way, hopefully, he won’t be exploiting your biggest insecurities and vulnerabilities!). He may playfully punch your arm or playfully tease you for a stain on your shirt or something else silly and innocuous like that.
Just beware of a guy who gets a little carried away with the teasing. If he crosses the line from teasing to being aggressive, then stay away.
10. His friends know all about you
If he likes you, he most likely told his friends about you. He may not have come out and said, “I really like this girl,” but he most likely would have told them stories about you, or something that happened when he was with you. The point is, your name has come up in conversation!
Pay attention to how his friends react to you. Is there recognition? Do they just seem to know a lot about you? Do they give you that special smile that says, “Ohh, so you’re so-and-so!”
11. He notices things about your appearance
A new haircut, a new sweater, a new makeup look, he notices any time you tweak your appearance. The reason is obvious, he stares at you a lot, he’s memorized every feature, so of course, he notices when something changes.
12. It’s obvious
Above all, when a guy likes you it’s obvious. You know, he knows, everyone around you knows. That is really the only sign you need. The sign that trumps all others. I talk about this a lot more later in the article, so keep going.
Why is it so confusing?
Okay, so if the signs are so clear and it’s so obvious, then why are so many women so confused in this area?
I don’t blame you – I have been through the exact same thing many times. You meet a guy and you feel chemistry, maybe he asks for your number, you send flirty messages, maybe you hang out a few times, but he doesn’t officially ask you on a date, and he gives you no indication of how he feels.
He seems into you, and you know that the chemistry you feel can’t possibly be one-sided, so what the heck is going on? Are you wasting your time on a dead end, or do you need to just wait it out a little longer before landing in relationship-ville?
The excuses I have come up with over the years when trying to figure out if a guy liked me and to explain away why he wasn’t asking me out are truly out of this world.
Maybe he’s afraid of ruining the friendship…maybe he likes me so much he’s scared … maybe he’s intimidated by me … maybe he thinks I’ll reject him. I would entertain every possible scenario except for the obvious … that maybe he was into me, but not enough for it to matter.
Where most women get confused is in that gray zone, the area where he shows interest but nothing really comes of it, and you just don’t know how he feels.
But here’s the thing: you do know. It’s obvious. He is somewhat into you, he has fun with you, but he doesn’t like you enough. Or maybe he does like you but just doesn’t think you would work out as a couple – and if that’s how he feels, then he probably isn’t the right guy for you.
I know how hard it is not to take such things personally. I mean, if you like him and he doesn’t like you in the same way, then there must be something wrong with you, right? Wrong. Not everyone is a match, not everyone is compatible, and sometimes the timing just isn’t right, and that is something that is totally beyond your control.
The Fantasy Future
Another reason a lot of us get so confused in this realm is that we cling to the vision of how we want things to be, rather than seeing what is. You want a relationship with him, so you cling to any sign that he wants the same thing.
You focus exclusively on tiny pieces of the puzzle instead of putting it all together to see the larger picture.
When looked at individually, a puzzle piece can be completely ambiguous, so you create your own interpretation of what it means.
This obsessive line of thinking is what Eric and I often refer to as playing “emotional detective.” Women will dig into their memories and observations and go through every detail, no matter how small and insignificant, to try to uncover a “hidden message” or “secret code” that the guy is sending. The reality is that by playing emotional detective, you usually only succeed in doing one thing: driving yourself absolutely crazy!
The problem is that it can feel like obsessing and analyzing will have some sort of payoff, like there will be a reward for all this time and energy spent attempting to figure out what’s what…but there won’t be.
Guys Don’t Hide Interest
Men, in general, are goal-oriented. They see something they want and they pursue it. It’s how they’re wired.
It goes against a man’s nature to like a girl, see an opportunity to pursue her, and turn the other way.
Men don’t typically play games or do things to intentionally mislead or manipulate you. When a guy likes you, he is drawn to you. He wants to be around you, he finds reasons to talk to you, he becomes a presence in your life, and he gives you a special kind of attention that no one else is given.
He lights up around you, he is excited to see you, he loves spending time with you, and he wants to get to know you more. Once he does, either a relationship will develop, or it won’t. (If it doesn’t, it’s probably because he realized you aren’t compatible.)
TAKE THE QUIZ: Does He Like Me?
When a guy likes you, you just know. You see it in the way he looks at you, in the way he talks to you, in the way he factors you into his life. You see it in everything.
When I first started dating my husband, like very early on, I remember that if he took a little while to text me back he would always give me an explanation as to why, something like, “I’m sorry, I’m at a noisy bar and didn’t feel my phone vibrate.”
I would never expect him to reply to my texts right away, and I would never expect or need an explanation. People get busy; sometimes I go hours without responding to texts. It happens. His explanations for his texting lag-time were his way of showing me I mattered, that I was important to him, that he would never read a text from me and not reply to him. It was a small thing that spoke volumes. And when a guy likes you, you will have countless examples like that. You don’t even have to ask, you just know.
You don’t worry about the relationship or stress over it and doing so would almost seem silly. Even if you’re just dating but you aren’t official, you don’t worry. You know how he feels. And the people around you know how he feels. Your friends will see it, your family will see it, the waitress will see it. It will just be obvious.
If he likes you, and wants to be in a relationship with you, he will make sure you know it and he will pursue it. If he likes you but doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, then …who cares? Why are you even thinking about him?
I have made the mistake of waiting around for some guy to get his act together, and those situations never end well. You have to live for yourself, you have to live according to your timetable, you can’t invest in what could be, and you need to see and appreciate the what is.
Where to Put Your Focus
Putting your focus on getting a guy to like you, or figuring out if he likes you, doesn’t serve you in any positive way. Where you should put your focus is on really liking yourself and on finding happiness in your own life. Trust me, I know it’s way easier said than done, but that’s what makes all the difference.
The fact is, you have to trust the timing of your life. Trust that things will unfold as they are meant to. We don’t have much control over anything in this life. You can’t control how a guy feels, or when, and if, certain things will happen to you and for you. All you can do is find a way to be at peace, to accept yourself as you are, and to love who you are.
I dated my husband in high school for a few short months and was absolutely crushed when it ended. While I have dated many, many guys over the years, none of them could quite measure up to him and I could never pinpoint why.
We didn’t stay in each other’s lives after our breakup but our paths would fortuitously cross every few years somewhere totally unexpected and every time this happened I would be filled with a renewed sense of optimism and hope. I would convince myself that now was our time, that this was it, the chemistry was so palpable, so how could he possibly not feel it too? After each run-in, we would maybe talk once or twice on Facebook, but then he would fade back into the abyss.
Last summer we ran into each other, yet again, in Central Park, but this time I didn’t do what I had done so many times before.
I didn’t analyze our interaction, I didn’t read into what was said during the brief Facebook chats we engaged in following the run-in, I didn’t question or try to figure it out. I lived my life, I focused on ANM, I spent time with friends, I went to Italy, and then on Labor Day weekend — I really can’t explain why — he reached out to me and asked me out.
From date number one it was obvious that this was it, that we were in it for the long haul. It was so, so obvious. And now we’re married.
You could say that I always knew, that I always felt it, and this is true, but there was no point in dwelling on any of it because he wasn’t there yet. In fact, I wasn’t even on his radar as someone to date for the entire decade we spent weaving in and out of each other’s lives. Yes, the raw potential was always there, but it couldn’t be manifested until he reached a certain point in his life.
There’s no point in figuring out if a guy likes you if he isn’t taking the steps to be with you. Fine, maybe it’s validating for like a minute, but if he can’t give you the relationship you want, then there is no point. Maybe someday it will work out, maybe it won’t. You can’t know such things, so don’t waste your energy trying to predict the future.
You can’t always explain why things happen and you definitely can’t make someone feel a certain way and want certain things. You just need to trust that it will all be OK and try not to panic in the middle of the sentence. Trust me, life has a way of really surprising you.
So in sum, stop asking if a guy likes you. Stop looking for the clues and the signs. If you have to wonder, you have your answer. When a guy likes you, it is obvious.
If you’re still not sure, take our super accurate “Does He Like Me?” quiz and then you can be 150% sure instead of just 100%!