Because it?s not always as obvious as it should be
Photo by: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock
I?m always hearing that women are complicated and men are simple.
The people who say that have clearly never dated dudes.
I really do wish guys were simple. It would save us all a whole lot of trouble and heartache. But they have a weird way of making us feel like we?re not sure where we stand.
One day, they?re treating you like their girlfriend or acting like you?re soulmates. The next, it?s like you?re just some girl he kind of knew in high school.
So no, not simple.
And to make things worse, women have a way of overanalyzing things ? myself included. We?ll pick apart the things a guy says to us, how he treats us, and we?ll read a lot into what he?s doing online while ignoring our last text.
We think it over, wonder what it means, and run through our hypotheses. Does he like me or is he just playing me? Is he just shy or is he just not that interested? Did he mean those sweet things or did he just say them to get into my pants?
It should be obvious whether a guy likes you, but it isn?t always. Their behavior can be hard to decipher and sometimes it?s deliberately confusing (we see you, fuckboys). Sometimes, he?ll throw up a lot of signs that he likes you when he?s really just using you, stringing you along, or enjoying the attention he?s getting from you.
So, how do you know if a guy like likes you? Here are some signs you can look for.
You?re Not the Only One Reaching Out
Who?s been initiating the contact between you two? Who keeps sending the opening texts, making the calls, and trying to set up the next date?
If it?s never him, that?s not a good sign.
A guy who likes you isn?t just going to say he does ? it?s going to show in his actions, too. That means he?ll want to spend time with you and will make an effort to contact you. Not always, not constantly, but consistently enough that it demonstrates some interest in you.
If he barely reaches out to you unless you make the first move, it?s not because he?s chill or laid back. It?s because what you have with him is one-sided.
There?s one exception to watch out for here. If he does reach out to you but only at night, that could be a bad sign. Unless he works weird hours, chances are he?s just horny and wants some dirty talk or a booty call.
His Body Language Is Directed to You
What kind of non-verbal cues is he giving you? Does he turn his body to you when you?re talking to each other? Does he try to get closer to you? Does he find little excuses to touch you? Does he stare into your eyes and listen to you intently when you?re speaking?
A guy who genuinely likes you will.
If he?s not, you can test him and see if he really is just shy or a little intimidated by you. Step in closer to him, put your hand near his, or sit so your legs are touching. If he?s not into you, he?ll probably take a step back or pull away slightly.
There?s an exception to this one, too, and it?s called Kino.
Kino is a tactic used and promoted by pickup artists that basically involves finding excuses to touch a woman soon after you start talking to her. It?s supposed to subconsciously create intimacy and a physical bond so you find yourself liking and trusting him (even if you can?t figure out why).
It can be hard to tell the difference between a guy touching you because he likes you and a guy touching you because he thinks it will make you agree to a bad one-night stand. The best thing you can do is look for other signs that you?re dealing with someone who?s trouble. If he?s using other fuckboy tactics like negging or he seems to be lovebombing you, then the physical touch probably doesn?t mean what you want it to mean.
He Asks Questions About You
If a guy really likes you, he?ll want to know more about you than just the stuff you volunteer. He?ll want to dig deep and find out more. If he likes you, he?ll be endlessly fascinated by you and it will show in his curiosity.
A guy who?s less interested in you and more interested in what he can get out of you, though, is likely to like talking about himself a lot more than he likes talking about you. He?s going to act like he already knows everything he needs to know about you. If that?s the case, you already know everything you need to know, too ? he?s not serious about this.
He Remembers Little Details
If he likes you, he won?t just ask about you ? he?ll pay attention to your answers. He?ll love getting to know you. He?ll be invested in your conversations and remember a lot of the little details from it.
You?ll know he?s filing those things away in his memory if he brings things up that you?ve mentioned before. He might also make inside jokes based on the things you said. And if he?s really on the ball, he?ll follow up on things you?ve mentioned previously.
We remember things that matter to us. If you matter to him, he?ll remember the details. Maybe not all, but definitely more than none.
He Prioritizes Your Needs
I?m not talking about a guy who is going to be a martyr for you. Someone who bends over backwards to fulfill your every whim and is always ready to put his needs aside is its own red flag (he could be lovebombing, incredibly insecure, or playing the nice guy act and expecting a lot from you in return).
But a guy who likes you will put your needs above his wants. He?ll act like both of your needs matter, not just his. And he?ll be willing to compromise to make sure they?re met.
If he stops talking to you and disappears for days without an explanation, that?s not taking your needs seriously. A guy who?s serious would give you a heads up so you don?t spend your time waiting around for him when he?s not available.
A guy who likes you will also reassure you when you need it instead of disappearing or laughing it off when you have needs.
He?s also going to want you to be comfortable and feel safe with him.
And when things get physical, it?s going to be clear that he wants to give you pleasure and a great night, not just use you for a little relief.
Basically, he won?t treat your happiness as optional. He might not be able to solve your problems (and he shouldn?t try to) but he?ll at least make sure he?s not another one of them.
He Opens Up to You
If he likes you, he?ll want to give you a glimpse into his life. He?ll confide in you and let his guard down a bit.
Getting close to someone takes vulnerability. If he?s genuinely into you, that won?t bother him. You?re worth the risk.
He?ll tell you about his personal life, his friends, and his family. That doesn?t mean he?ll rush to introduce you to them, but he won?t go out of his way to keep you apart from them.
If you feel like his life is a big mystery and you have no clear idea of how he spends his time (or who he spends it with) when he?s not talking to you, that means he?s still got some walls up.
His Flirting Is Consistent
If you?re reading this, you?ve probably been in this situation. You?re talking to a guy who gets really flirty or even downright dirty ? but only sometimes. Then, it?s like you?re right back in the friend zone.
It feels confusing because it?s the most literal version of a guy going hot and cold.
It?s also a bad sign.
A guy who likes you likes you. Period. He doesn?t like you on and off or whenever it suits him.
If he keeps turning off the heat, it?s because he sees you less as someone he likes and more as someone who?s convenient to keep around. He?ll reach out for a booty call when he?s horny and lose interest when he?s not.
That, or he has a lot of women on the go at once and he doesn?t have the attention span to mack on all of you at the same time. But that?s another sign he?s not all that serious about you.
He Talks About the Future ? And His Future Includes You
If he wants to act like you two are just living in the moment, it means he doesn?t care if he doesn?t get to keep you around longer than that.
If he?s really into you, he?ll talk about the future once in a while and imply that you have a place in it.
I?m not talking anything crazy like making wedding plans on the first date or talking about how many kids you?ll have after the first time you sleep with him. But he shouldn?t shy away from telling you where he sees himself a few months down the road.
If he likes you, he won?t just talk about restaurants he likes, he?ll talk about taking you there sometime. He won?t just tell you about the concert he?s looking forward to seeing ? he?s going to see if you?d be game for it, too. If he?s thinking of traveling, he?s not going to speak as if he?ll necessarily be going alone.
At the very least, when he talks about the future it should sound like he assumes you two will still be a thing. He should feel optimistic about you staying close, not assuming you won?t be.
He Compliments You Often
A guy who likes you will be spending a lot of time thinking about the things he likes about you. And there?s no reason for him to keep that to himself.
It shouldn?t be over the top. Fawning is awkward and usually at least a little insincere. But you should still be hearing compliments from him often enough that you know he?s thinking positive things about you.
Compliments about your personality are an especially good sign. It shows that he?s into more than just your body and that he?s looking for something that isn?t just physical.
He Teases You Playfully
I consider teasing my love language. It?s something you only really do with people you like. It?s a way of building intimacy and make you more comfortable with each other. Sometimes it?s also used to escalate things a little.
But it?s got to be playful. If it?s mean-spirited or hurtful, he?s probably not teasing you ? he?s just an asshole.
He might also be negging you (which still makes him an asshole). You can usually tell when a guy is negging you by paying attention to how it makes you feel. It?s designed to undermine your confidence and make you question your value. But teasing should make you feel special, not make you feel worse about yourself.
And if he dishes it out but can?t take it, it?s probably because he?s highly insecure or he doesn?t want to be vulnerable with you. Either way, proceed with caution.
He Puts His Phone Away
If you don?t have his undivided attention, you know what that means.
Taking an important phone call or pulling out his phone to look up something quickly isn?t a big deal. But he should be a lot more interested in you than his notifications.
This also applies if you?re actually on the phone with him. He shouldn?t be distracted and multitasking the whole time. If he really likes you, he?ll want to talk to you ? not talk to you while texting someone else and dicking around on social media.
He Doesn?t Shy Away from a Fight
This one?s a little counter intuitive because fighting is a bad sign. And obviously if it?s happening too often, you should worry about whether you and this guy actually have a connection worth keeping or if it?s the start of something toxic.
What I mean is that if there is conflict, you should look at the way he handles it.
A guy who doesn?t care about you or what you?ve got going on together will want to avoid it. He?ll ignore those serious, heartfelt texts where you pour out your soul and bring up your concerns.
He?ll go right back to talking to you as if you never said anything, or he?ll say something like ?Wow, that gives me a lot to think about? and never really address it.
He might even disappear for a few days and only text you once he assumes things have blown over.
A guy who really likes you, though, will care enough to work through it. He?ll want to resolve the conflict because he wants you to stick around and he plans to stick around, too. He?ll want you to be on good terms and want you to be happy with him, so he?ll communicate and make sure you feel heard.
If you feel like you have to chase him down whenever you want to talk about something that bothers you, you?re putting too much effort into it. He?s just not serious about you and he?s not worth it.
Know the Difference
Are these signs fool proof? Sadly, no. Some guys have been fucking around for so long that they?ve basically become professional players. They?ve figured out how to show signs like these, even though their feelings for you are as hollow as a disappointing chocolate bunny.
And some guys just have a knack for faking it long enough to get what they want ? or at least give it a good try.
But most guys aren?t willing to invest that much energy into something they don?t consider serious. If you know what signs to look for, you?ll be able to tell what game they?re playing.
I wish we could rely on guys to be on their best behaviors, but we can?t. We?ve all been burned often enough to know that. So, learn the difference between a guy who pretends to like you and a guy who like likes you. You?ll be amazed at how many bullets you dodge.
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