“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 once 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. But let’s dig into this a little deeper…
Why is it so confusing?
Okay, so if 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 everything 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 because 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.)
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.