10 Signs He's Pretending Not to Like You and 10 Reasons Why

Updated on June 14, 2019
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Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. He's seen many people—including himself—get seduced and hurt by love.

If you're confused about whether or not he likes you, he may have other reasons for not telling you how he feels.
If you're confused about whether or not he likes you, he may have other reasons for not telling you how he feels. | Source

Why Does He Act Like He Doesn't Like Me?

In a world still awash in the "he's just not that into you" mentality, this article makes the case that sometimes people, even guys, may not always be what they seem. Indeed, trying to decipher a man's motivations and behavior can yield as much uncertainty as trying to understand the cryptic inner workings of the female mind.

More than what a guy does, we must take into consideration what he thinks. Two men may do the same thing, but it may mean something completely different in each case due to their differing motivations. Examining what a guy does and trying to figure out if that means he likes you is not as useful if you fail to take into consideration what kind of guy they are. If it's a guy who is slightly on the shyer side, things might be a little vaguer.

He may act like he does not like you to protect himself, though there are plenty of other similar reasons for his actions.

To this end, I present ten reasons a guy might like you even if he doesn't act like it and ten signs that he secretly likes you.

10 Signs a Guy Likes You but Doesn't Want You to Know

Despite all of his best efforts to act disinterested and push you away, there are some telltale signs to look for that show that he does in fact like you, even if he refuses to admit it.

  1. Body Language: If he displays open body language around you and leans in when talking with you, that is a sign that he is into you. If he has a relaxed posture, with his body pointed towards you, that is another sign of positive body language. While he may try to hide his feelings, his body will let you know that he does like you.
  2. He Asks You Personal Questions: If he asks you about past relationships or other personal questions of a similar nature, he is trying to figure out whether or not you are single and compatible with him. This is particularly true if you just met and you do not know each other very well.
  3. He Tries to Impress You: If he remembers specific details and pays attention to you, that means he is trying to impress you and show you that he cares about your well being. He may try other types of things to impress you, such as talking about his job, his car, his house, and his lifestyle. He is hoping that doing this will make you think of him as an interesting guy you would want to spend more time with.
  4. He Is Responsive to Your Calls and Texts: A guy who likes you will be unable to help himself when it comes to responding to you. He will make sure to reply to your texts, and he will try to extend your text conversations.
  5. He Follows You on Social Media and Likes Your Posts: While just being followed on social media does not mean much, if he likes your pictures and posts, that can be a big indicator of his interest in you.
  6. He Doesn't Talk to You About Other Girls: When you're talking with him, he will make sure not to bring up any other women in his life, and if you try to bring it up, he will deflect the question. He wants you to know that he is still single and he is not tied down to anyone else at the moment.
  7. He Notices When You Change Your Appearance: If you change up your appearance and he compliments you on it, that is a clear sign that he likes you on some level. It means he is paying attention to your appearance and that he sees you as an attractive person.
  8. He Teases You: Playful teasing is one of the easiest ways to show affection for someone without being too overt. It's the perfect move for a guy who doesn't want you to know how he feels about you. By teasing and messing around with you, he can show his affection in a discreet way.
  9. Physical Contact: Touching you, even if it's only lightly or giving you a bunch of hugs, is an indication that he is attracted to you. He might be trying to tell you otherwise, but his need for physical contact means that he's comfortable around you and he's trying to see how you respond to his touch.
  10. He Makes Time for You: If he is carving out time to hang out with you one-on-one, that is a sign that he is comfortable around you and he wants to get to know you on a deeper, personal level.

10 Reasons Why He Won't Tell You He Likes You

  1. He Thinks You Have Someone Already
  2. Insecurity
  3. Cowardness
  4. He Thinks He Isn't Worthy of You
  5. Emotional Unavailability
  6. He's Ashamed of Liking You
  7. Control
  8. He Thinks He Won't Be Able to Give You What You Want
  9. Immaturity
  10. He Is Not Ready for a Relationship

Don't waste your time wondering about his motives, you have to pay attention to his actions and his words as they will reveal to you his true intentions.
Don't waste your time wondering about his motives, you have to pay attention to his actions and his words as they will reveal to you his true intentions. | Source

1. He Thinks You Have Someone Already

Maybe he thinks you're already taken, or maybe he noticed another "shark in the water" circling around you and he doesn't feel like getting into a competition. Maybe he thinks some other guy you're close to would be a better fit. Maybe his best friend likes you more than he does and he wants to let the man have his shot.

All sorts of reasons. If he thinks you're in some kind of relationship already, even if it's only like a half-relationship or an "it's complicated" relationship or something equally vague, he'll usually see that as your being taken, unless he's the kind of guy who has no qualms about breaking up a relationship (or joining one).

So if you're available and he has any reason to think otherwise, make it clear. Sure, a lot of people like what they can't have, but you don't just want him to like you without having you, right? (Unless you do, in which case one would have to wonder why you care that he likes you or not.)

2. He Is Insecure

He may be struggling with some insecurities, and because of that, he does not feel like putting himself out there. If he is insecure, he will try to pull a bait and switch on you so he can feel better about himself and have the upper hand. Due to his insecurity and need to protect his ego, he will withdraw his attention from you the moment you show any interest.

3. He's a Coward

He could be scared sheetless of you. Maybe he's faking disinterest because he doesn't want you to know that he likes you.

It's arguable whether you would want to be with this kind of guy at all, but he might be nervous at the prospect of making his interest obvious because then he's in an emotionally vulnerable position. What if you notice his interest and reject him? What if he has a teeny tiny ego that does not easily recover from such things? Maybe he's afraid of humiliation, afraid that you'd make fun of him, afraid that others would think him a loser for being outwardly rejected.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's not arguable. If the guy is feigning disinterest to that degree and for those reasons, don't date him.

It's possible he is just not ready to date someone like you, so while he might like you, he will not act on it.
It's possible he is just not ready to date someone like you, so while he might like you, he will not act on it. | Source

4. He Thinks He Isn't Worthy of You

He might think you're out of his league somehow, and so he doesn't want to bother even trying because he's afraid he'll look pathetic. He's afraid it will be a futile effort. Maybe he's putting you on a pedestal that you weren't aware of and feels like he doesn't deserve you and that he'd be incredibly lucky if you didn't reject him, but he doesn't want to take his chances (because of reason number 3).

On the one hand, this is kind of a compliment because he sees you as someone so highly desirable, but on the other hand, if a guy really feels that way himself, he probably isn't worthy of you. Worthiness is largely a mindset, and if he doesn't have it, then he doesn't have it by his own choice.

5. He Is Emotionally Unavailable

If he is emotionally unavailable, then he is dealing with something in his past that he can't get over. Rather than put himself out there and risk the chance of getting hurt, he would rather hurt you instead by sabotaging the situation. Even if he seems like a great guy, if he acts in this way, then he is clearly not worth your time. An emotionally unavailable guy will close themselves off once you show any type of interest, so be careful if he suddenly freezes up all of a sudden.

6. He's Ashamed of Liking You

Uh-oh. It could be the whole backhanded compliment type of situation where he likes you personally, but can't help the barrage of thoughts: "What would my friends think?" / "What would my parents think?" / "What would my wife think?"

This is sort of the reverse of number 4, where he might see you as, on some superficial level, not being worthy of him, though he likes you in spite of this.

Maybe there's something about you that someone he knows or that society at large would blame him for. Maybe there's something about you he's afraid others wouldn't understand. Maybe there's something about you that goes against some kind of belief system he has. Maybe you're a Satanist, or an Atheist, or gay. It scares him what others will think of him when they see him with you.

But such is the mark of a weak man if he lets other's (perhaps baseless) opinions get in the way of his desires or judgment of your worth.

Try to avoid spending time thinking about whether or not he is interested in you. If he really is, he will let you know and he will stop messing around.
Try to avoid spending time thinking about whether or not he is interested in you. If he really is, he will let you know and he will stop messing around. | Source

7. He Does Not Want to Give Up Control

Some guys struggle with giving up control, so they would rather give you mixed signals and make things confusing for you. By remaining squarely in control and not letting you know their true feelings or intentions, this type of guy can control the situation and stay in power. These types of people are bad news, and having control issues is a sign of a deep character flaw.

8. He Thinks He Won't Be Able to Give You What You Want

Maybe it just seems to him that you want something that he can't provide. Maybe he thinks you have an image of him that isn't true and that you like him for things that don't exist and that he can't give you, like money, or a big intellectual capacity, or a world view that he just doesn't share with you.

Maybe he likes you but thinks that you like him for the wrong reasons. Maybe he's right. Check it out. Is he really the guy you think he is? Have you already voiced expectations you have for him, even without realizing it? Are you the kind to rattle off a list of specific, unrealistic things you want in a man? If he likes you, he's probably listening, and he'll probably pick up on these things.

9. He Is Immature

A man who is emotionally immature will not have his life together, and so he will be unwilling to get it together to the point where he would want to be in a serious relationship. He will feel that doing so would be asking too much as it would force him to grow up and start taking life more seriously. Therefore, he will try to mess things up and give you the cold shoulder if you try to get close, so you don't realize the extent of his immaturity and run away. Instead, he gets the jump on you by pushing you away, and then he doesn't have to deal with his lack of maturity.

10. He Is Not Ready for a Relationship

There are times where the simplest answer is the correct one, and it's entirely possible that he is just not ready to be in any type of relationship. He could have a variety of other things going on in his life and the idea of committing to someone, even casually, does not jive with him. Instead, he would rather save himself the trouble and remain noncommittal.

So think about it: Maybe he does like you. But . . . then again, if he's not being obvious for most of these reasons, maybe you shouldn't like him back.

Questions & Answers

  • I thought this guy had a crush on me. He talks about me a lot and gets embarrassed when people say they ship us. I told him I liked him, but he said he doesn’t like me, but he is still doing all the above. I’m confused; does he like me or not?

    He said he doesn't like you. Take him at his word. Worrying about whether he's telling the truth or not is kind of a waste of time.

  • What does it mean when he won't touch you?

    Probably that he doesn't want to touch you. Every situation is different, so without any context, it's hard to answer that.

© 2010 Jorge Vamos


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    That one 

    14 months ago

    Friends for ages, I had a thing for him like 2 years ago got over that quickly ( he never found out about it), continued being friends. We started talking more and he asked to hang out, HE LITERALLY TOLD ME HE LIKED ME! But ever since we hung out he doesn’t text or if we do it’s short or it’s just me trying to make convo. Completely confused because he literally said he liked me on his own but is not acting like it, however he did say he was busy but still he could shoot a text and see how I’m doing like once a day, if he knew he was busy with school, why would he tell me he liked me and get me all excited, urgh.

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    My crush didn't offically say that he doesn't like me but all my friends think I should get over him. He constantly stares at me and I also have many witnisses. He looks at me and smiles and I look back. He seems to talk to a lot of girls and acts completley normal. During a presentation in my class, he went to present abd he stared at me the whole time. I kinda leaned my head a little and he smiled. Everyone thinks we are perfect together. We have our moments but I had asked him if he liked me and he said why I was asking and I just said nothing. What is frickin going on?!?!?

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    I dont knw y he acts he doesnt lk me and he lks flirting which makes me very upset .when ever i send him messages he doesnt really reply to my happiness instead he says things dat will hurt me

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    he likes me but he acts like he doesnt care about me and is not interested n ignores me . however every once in a while somethings happen and he shows me he cares and is sweet and has a soft side too .

  • profile image

    Hunna Ferdinand 

    15 months ago

    A total stranger who likes me is mean to mean for no reason

  • profile image


    16 months ago

    So a guy who I have a chrush on seemed to like me but some times it doesn’t and I don’t know what it means and everybody kind of ships us and ya and he knows that I like him but doesn’t avoid me or is different he still talks to me a lot and does some inside jokes and flirts kind of with me and I would like to ask what does it mean does he or foe he not

  • profile image


    20 months ago

    one guy in my college .. i like him and he know that i like him but he say he don't have interest in love ...... whenever i see him he is noticing me and give smile ... i know that he likes me but why he don't accept that ????

  • profile image


    21 months ago

    There's this boy called Joe and i Love him but then his Best friend (who is a girl) is crushing on him but when the teacher put us toghther he has been flirting to me and keeps on making me laugh does he like me???? if he does somebody comment Yes and if he dosn't Comment No pls

  • profile image

    Hunna Ferdinand 

    22 months ago

    There's a guy who I saw a couple of times.he acts like he knows me he gives me an attitude when he sees me and I don't understand why

  • profile image


    23 months ago

    There's this guy in my school and all my friends say he's stalking me and he likes me but he always say bad words to me so I don't really know if he likes me.

  • profile image


    23 months ago

    Every day when I meet him call those numbers and things happen to me too

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    More blather from women trying to convince themselves that guys really do like them, to take the sting out of rejection

    Look: If he isn't asking you out, he doesn't like you. Period. Deal with it.

  • profile image

    Annie LeBlanc 

    2 years ago

    Number 3 for sure! Not saying names "cough" Hayden but he wouldn't ask me out for like ever because he thought that too. If you are one of my fans then yes hannies real the wink on live steam was too. Love yall

  • profile image

    Not too young 

    2 years ago

    He was drink, his girlfriend is around, he goes on his knees and proposes marriage, tells me he loves me, next day, he comes to sit next to me, but he won't talk to me, or look at me, then I ask him, guess what radio silence. They say he was drunk, I believe them. Stupid stupid stupid

  • profile image

    Black Canary 

    2 years ago

    #5 for me. He was flirting a lot until he found out that I was saving myself for marriage. We both drunkenly made out and then cuddled overnight a few weeks ago, but we've managed to move past that and remain good friends. It is without question that we are attracted to each other, but at the same time we both know without saying that a relationship would be doomed to fail since we have different values and expectations.

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    So on point

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    My crush knows I like him and stares at me all the time yesterday he fixed his hair copied. Me aliitle tried making me notice him and lots more but he still said he don’t like me and he deny all of it. And is mean to me he talks to my friend about me every day sometimes he is like I dont like her and other days he is like I like her tell her to hang out with me some time. I am pretty sure he cares about what his friends think more then what himself thinks of me

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    we are not together..we are best friends so we know everything about each other then suddenly he started acting weird..he kept calling me asking me where I am and whenever talk about any guy he gets mad so I asked him and then he told me that he likes me and I told him that I don't feel the same way so then he was fine with it and we went back to normal for like a week. after I was walking in school with my friend which is his best friend so then he called me and he was like "how could you do that to me" and "go date my best friend you sl*t" I was like what the hell is wrong with you and then he was like nothing never mind..and he apologized but then he started everyone over and somehow he made all his friends hate me..then I got mad at him for believing everyone over me so I blocked him on everything so then in school he came to me and took my phone..(when we were best friends he put his fingerprint on my phone) so he opened my phone and unblocked himself and whispered I need to talk to you its really important then he left..so he called me and he was like I fought with my friends for you and then I was like ok good for you and then he was like "listen I'm very sorry for what I did" and then I was like its hard to forgive toxic people and basically we argued and then I finally forgave him and we became good and then like he was flirting with me..saying things like "why can't I stop thinking about you?" and "what if I'm inlove with you?" but I pretended to not hear anything..then 3 hours later he was like "can we date?" and then i said no and he was like okay and then1 hour later he was like fu*k you then he blocked me..now in school he pretends like I don't exist and he never talks to me now...does it mean he hates me or likes me?

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    okay so....he often looking at me in class,before i sit far away...not that far and he always stare at me,everytime I catch him starring at me he quickly turnned away,now i was sitting behind him,he seemed like trying to look at me,today in thai class the teacher assign him to stick a sticker on folder,when its my turn he pulled my folder out ands say "come give me the folder let me do it for you",I was wondering if he is okay since he don't stick the sticker for the other but he do it only for me,to the other he just give the sticker,put on their table then say "do it yourself bye",after he done he put the folder on my hand and walk away blushing....,when I talk to him he always look into my eyes,I also look into his eye,today one of my friend told him I wanted to talk to him so he quickly turned to me and didn't care what pther is saying to him then say "yeah?" so I say "oh..nothing hehe" he smiled and turned away,idk if ti does mean he like me or not since my friend say he would just do it as normal,and some is also rude by saying he won't like me stop dreaming,but some say he do like me,which pne should i trust? does he actually like me?????

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    So far.. only three of them apply to me. Maybe its for the best, you can't date someone that thinks you are with another, is a coward cause he avoids you and specially is embarrassed of you because of what his friends say.

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    okay so i really don't know if he likes me because he blush a lot

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    So theres lots of truth in these, and my self-deprecative thoughts are building up hastily. But honestly, I really think like this, good observations.

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    I reckon that if he usually goes out with anyone in a heartbeat but he doesn't with you but still LIKES you, then he probably doesnt want you for a booty call but for an actual relationship

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    I hate number 5 how would they say that if they don't even know we want

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    he likes you and he just scared of telling you

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    These are all too hard to read

  • profile image

    Pearl Sepuya 

    4 years ago

    #6, he already has someone

  • nadinelopo profile image


    5 years ago from ohio

    Guys really are a lot different than girls. My boyfriend is such a simple guy, but thinks he is very open and I should know how he is feeling. Sometimes guys just don't know how to tell a girl they like her.

  • dashingscorpio profile image


    5 years ago from Chicago

    It's also possible that he's acting like he doesn't like you because he really doesn't like you! It's a mistake to believe a grown man is rude to you because he likes you. This type of thinking can be a gateway to accepting abuse later.

    One of the problems a lot of women have with men is trying too hard to "read signals" and look for "hidden meanings" behind words that are said or unsaid. If someone behaves like they're not interested in you don't bother wasting your time trying to "figure him out". Move on! One man's opinion! :)

    "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

    - Oscar Wilde

  • Kenneth Marshall profile image

    Kenneth Marshall 

    5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Great informative Read!

  • oosoom profile image


    5 years ago from new york

    There is a difference in liking a girl and thinking she's attractive. If he thinks you're attractive then this is good advice, but if he likes you then it's all crap. Try approaching him and asking him out. Women need to get over this fear of rejection.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    will why are guys scarde to talk to girls

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Im guilty of 1, 3 and 5. However, I would like to add a 6. He doesn't have time for a relationship.

  • jennshealthstore profile image

    Jennifer Maldonado 

    8 years ago from West Palm Beach

    You know it is so true. We all are guilty of it at times, trying to figure things out that we will really never know unless of course it is straight out told to us. Really how can we know how another feels unless they tell us. Everyone is different and feels and acts differently. I really like this hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • schoolgirlforreal profile image


    9 years ago

    Good insights. I especially like 1 and 2.

    Good hub :)


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