Andrea has been an online writer for over five years. She's a dating consultant who gives advice on relationships and couples' issues.
Signs He Doesn't Like You
So, you want to know if the guy you have your eye on likes you back. One of the best ways to tell if someone likes you is by reading their body language when they're around you. From the head down to the toes, there are many subtle (and often unconscious) gestures that indicate whether a person likes you or thinks you are nothing but milquetoast.
Sometimes, it can be tricky to figure out whether a guy likes you or not, especially because having a crush on a guy might prevent you from seeing things as they really are. The signs might all be there, but you just don't want to accept them. Well, a reality check won't hurt you! (Well, it actually might, but sometimes a harsh wake-up call is necessary.) If you need to move on and find somebody else, the best time to figure it out is early on, and well before you've invested a lot of your time and emotions.
In this article, we will discuss the body language and actions that prove he just isn't that into you, as well as some ways to get a shy guy's attention. So, sit back, relax, and try not to take yourself too seriously. Drink some wine or eat some chocolate if you need to tend to the wounds of your unrequited sorrows. We've all been there! (No really, we have.)
Near the end of the article, there is a quiz you can take to see if your crush's body language indicates interest.
29 Actions and Body Language Clues That Show He Isn't Interested in You
If you're not sure how a guy feels about you and you don't want to ask him straight up, you should watch his body language. When a man likes you, his body language will be open, but when he is uninterested, he will likely show it via negative body language and actions.
Many of these nonverbal clues are unconscious and can teach you a lot about how someone really sees you. At the end of the day, it should be fairly easy to tell if he is interested. Here are 29 signs to watch out for.
1. He's Distracted When You Talk.
If he isn't engaged in conversation and seems like he is focused elsewhere, this could mean he just isn't that interested. You talk, he is on his phone. You smile, he is clearly daydreaming. You ask about his plans, he says he doesn't know.
When guys are trying to impress you, they'll make sure to pay close attention to what you're saying, especially in the early stages. It should be pretty easy to tell if he isn't paying attention or doesn't care about the interaction. Look for the following cues:
- Does he only respond with one-word answers and comments?
- Are his facial expressions neutral to negative?
- Does he look at your lips and eyes, or does he look at anything but you (including his wristwatch)?
- Does he seem distracted or dumbfounded?
- Does he shift around in his seat a lot?
- Does he act uncomfortable and overly fidgety?
Note: He might check out mentally if he is really nervous and your presence intimidates him, so again, don't take this one signal as a sure sign he isn't into you.
2. His Eyes Are on Someone Else.
If he was trying to impress you, he wouldn't constantly be checking someone else out in front of you and not giving you attention. Talking about the other person or saying out loud that he has feelings for someone else means he doesn't care about your romantic feelings. That's just plain stupid to do to a gal. He isn't trying to make you jealous. He is interested in someone else.
Note: This doesn't only apply to people. If his gaze is on everything but you, person and object alike, that's a bad sign.
3. He's Visibly Bored.
His gestures will reveal that he is bored. He might yawn, stretch, respond with the same minimal answers (yeah, mhm, sure, right, uh-uh,etc.), or he never asks questions beyond "when?" "where?" and so on. These gestures indicate boredom and should be your cue to either try to steer the conversation in another direction or abandon ship.
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- Start asking more random questions to see if he'll engage more. Ask him if he could travel anywhere, where would it be? If he could own any animal, what would it be?
- If he isn't engaging in conversation this is a bad sign. Someone who likes you will be interested in talking with you.
4. He's Constantly Watching the Clock.
Talk about showing signs of boredom! If he's always asking about the time, staring at his watch, or talking about time constraints, it's pretty clear that he'd rather be anywhere else. (He might be too busy for a relationship anyway.)
5. He Can't Wait to Leave.
He's always preparing to leave, uncrossing his legs, picking up his bags, straightening his clothing, etc. Someone who is engaged in conversation and excited to be around you will try to make it last, so if he's always on the edge of his seat (and not in a good way), he's less than interested in you.
6. He Doesn't Face You.
This sign goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Angling himself away from you while you're talking prevents him from fully entering into the conversation. Whether he's checking the clock or his surroundings, his attention isn't 100% on you, as it should be. A guy who is into you will face your direction when you talk together. He'll smile. He'll give you eye contact. He might be a little nervous.
7. He Doesn't Pay the Bill.
If you go out to eat on a first date or hang out, usually the guy tries to signal something by buying your meal. He might be keeping it platonic by splitting the check . . . or he is a cheapskate and you don't want to spend time with him anyway. Most guys reach for the bill when interested.
If he doesn't pay for the meal, he will up his flirting to make sure you know he likes you. He wouldn't want you to feel insecure because he didn't pay.
8. He's Physically Closed Off.
When a guy isn't interested in you, he'll cross his arms, legs, and anything there is to cross. This closed-off body language is often paired with other signals, but it can be pretty telling even on its own. Remember open, attentive, and engaged body language shows more interest.
9. He Keeps His Distance.
When you are sitting on the couch together, there is a noticeable amount of space between the two of you. In fact, it's almost as though a force is pushing the two of you away from each other.
A guy who is interested will do what he can to close the gap. And touch you. He will find a way to touch you. If you come into his personal bubble and he steps away to readjust the parameters, that isn't a good sign.
10. He Never Touches You and He Doesn't Like It When You Touch Him.
If he never, ever finds an excuse to touch you—not even for a high five—then most likely he isn't interested. Whether it's a hug, holding your hand, or giving you a playful shove, a guy who's interested in you will find a creative way to interact with you.
If the most romantic gesture he has ever made is shaking your hand, there clearly isn't a lot of room for romance. You're more likely friends or acquaintances. And if he recoils when you touch him? That is a very clear sign that he isn't into you.
Note: If he used to give you hugs, and that has now stopped and he goes from A to B without talking to you or touching you, he has lost interest.
11. He Acts Differently Around Other Women.
You notice that he has more open body language and is more comfortable with other women. This should be a clear sign that he isn't interested. Clearly, he can have open body language, so if he is shutting down around you, I wouldn't take that as him being shy. He may be socially awkward, but he does seem to be able to open up to others.
12. His Feet Point Away From You.
This sign goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Our feet point in the direction of what we desire—so if his feet are pointing at anywhere but you, that's not a great sign. Also, we don't tend to consciously think about where our feet are pointing.
13. He Doesn't Walk in Step With You.
When guys are interested and caught up in what you have to say, they walk at the same pace. They don't fall behind or walk too fast. If this is consistently out of sync, it's more than him just having a busy mind one day.
14. He Never Sits By You or Near You.
Guys who like someone want to be around that person, meaning they'll choose to sit or stand by them in a group—anything they can do to stay nearby. If he never sits next to you or chooses to hang out around you, he probably isn't interested.
Consider the proximity he has with you. Is there always a distance between you, even when it would be easy for him to close the gap? As hard as it might be to accept, he probably doesn't like you.
15. He Never Approaches You.
Let's say you two are in the same room at a party. Does he make a point to come over and talk to you or does the whole evening go by without him saying a word to you? If he's interested, he'll come over and talk to you. A guy who's interested in you wouldn't pass up an opportunity to chat you up.
Note: If he notices you're there and walks in the other direction, you should take that as a clear signal that he isn't interested in you and move on.
16. He Doesn't Seem to Notice You.
Let's keep with the idea of the two of you in the same room at a party. Does he even notice you're there? Unless he's extremely shy, if his eyes never meet yours and he makes no move in your direction, it's possible that you're just a blip on his radar.
17. He Avoids Making Eye Contact.
There are two main reasons a guy will avoid making eye contact with you: he's intimidated by you or he's trying to avoid you. In the case of the former, a little time should help him get over his nervousness around you. But if he consistently fails to make eye contact, and he displays some of the other negative body language in this article, it's probably the latter, and you should move on to someone better.
18. He Doesn't Stick Around to Chat.
When he talks to you, he never lingers. Sticking around gives him the chance to build a romance, so if he doesn't linger, then it is all business. I've said it before, and I'll say it again—if a guy is interested in you, he will take every opportunity to be around you. If he's interested, he'll work hard to make a good impression.
19. He's Won't Stop Looking at His Phone.
He is way, way more into his cellphone than the date. You really shouldn't bring out a cellphone during a date, to begin with. It's rude, and if it's all he seems to care about when he's with you, that's a bad sign. You deserve better!
Be bold. Ask him straight up what he's doing on his phone. He might not realize that he's on his phone so much. You might be surprised by his response.
20. He Doesn't Dress to Impress.
Instead of taking the time to spruce himself up and look nice for you, he wears whatever he wore to bed, smelling of last year's old laundry. If he wanted to impress you, he would dress nicer.
The following clothes indicate a lack of interest:
- Jeans with lots of holes or grass stains
- Shoes more appropriate for mowing the lawn
- Unfitting clothes
- Shirts with stains (he would apologize if just recently got coffee on himself)
- Shirts with inappropriate words
- Clothes his last girlfriend gave him (he tells you she got him the clothes)
- His work uniform
- No shirt or no shoes (end the date immediately)
- A really preposterous hat
21. He Doesn't Adjust His Appearance.
From smoothing down his shirt to running his hand through his hair for the umpteenth time, a guy who's interested in you romantically will make lots of these little adjustments. This attention to his physical appearance shows that he cares what you think and wants you to find him attractive, so if a guy is content to go through an entire interaction with spinach in his teeth, he probably doesn't see you as a romantic prospect.
22. He Doesn't Open Any Doors for You.
This includes car doors. When a guy likes you as more than a friend, he'll try to show you in any way he can. Little things like opening the door for you show that he's polite and is thinking of you.
23. He Never Calls or Texts.
If a guy likes you, he won't hesitate to reach out about seeing you again. If, on the other hand, you only get radio silence from him, that's a strong indicator that he isn't interested in you. In fact, I've never been on a date and then didn't receive a goodbye or follow-up text of some sort.
24. He's Gross Around You.
He feels comfortable burping, farting, and saying crude things around you. His gestures come off as stiff and lazy. He doesn't take care of his breath. He eats garlic.
While it's great to be comfortable around the person you like, the burping-and-farting level of comfortable usually comes once you've been dating for a while. None of these moves scream that he is trying to romance you, so beware if he's hitting you with them straight out of the gate.
25. He Doesn't Do Anything to Make You Feel Special.
If this guy treats you exactly the same way he treats everyone else, I can guarantee you that he doesn't think of you as a romantic prospect. When a guy likes you, he'll treat you differently than he treats other people.
26. He Shows No Emotion.
Facial cues can tell you a lot about how a person sees you, and if he has blank or neutral facial expressions, that's a bad sign. He should smile and his eyes should show emotion if he likes you. When his expression fails to indicate any interest in you and what you're saying, that's basically the facial equivalent of answering every question with "Mhm." He's mentally checked out of the interaction.
When a man is attracted to you, he will try his hardest to be engaging and look engaged. This means moving through a range of expressions, from smiling and laughing to looking curious about what you'll say next.
If he maintains a straight face the whole time you two are together, you should cut your losses and move on. Besides, who would want to be with someone like that anyway?
27. He Interrupts You.
He doesn't let you speak. He is more concentrated on his own thoughts and looks mad or irritated. A guy who won't let you get a word in edgewise is a guy who doesn't care about you (and a guy you really don't want to be with).
Being interested in you means asking questions and listening to what you have to say. If he shows no desire to learn about you and would rather hear the sound of his own voice, get out of there, stat. The only person he's interested in is himself.
28. He Leaves You Alone for Long Periods of Time.
He separates from you for hours at a time with no explanation. For example, you might go to a party together and leave separately several hours later. One more time—if a guy is interested in you, he will want to be around you. So if he makes no effort to stay near you, you should probably set your sights elsewhere.
29. He Doesn't Like It When You Are in His Space.
He always readjusts when you are too much in his personal bubble. If you notice that instead of leaning toward you when you're talking, he leans away, that's a fairly strong indicator that he isn't into you. He's not interested in getting close to you, and he doesn't like when you try to close the gap.
Body Language Is Easy to Misinterpret.
Did he cross his arms because he doesn't like you, or is he just cold? Did he lean away from you because he's not interested, or is he just worried his breath is funky? It is dangerously easy to misinterpret body language, so it's important to look at multiple gestures rather than a single one.
So before you write a guy off completely for the direction his feet are pointing, consider this excerpt from The Definitive Book of Body Language.
One of the most serious errors a novice in body language can make is to interpret a solitary gesture in isolation of other gestures or circumstances. [...] Gestures come in 'sentences' called clusters and invariably reveal the truth about a person's feelings or attitudes. A body language cluster, just like a verbal sentence, needs at least three words in it before you can accurately define each of the words. The 'perceptive' person is the one who can read the body language sentences and accurately match them against the person's verbal sentences. (Pease 21)
Obvious Signs That He Doesn't Like You
Most of the signals above aren't damning on their own; he might be distracted during a conversation because he's got a lot going on at work, and so on, but there are a few sure signs that shouldn't be ignored.
Red Flags That He Isn't Into You
If you're just getting to know a guy, and you see any of the following signs, that's an immediate signal to cut your losses and move on.
- When you enter a room, he gets out as quickly as possible.
- He doesn't know or remember your name, even though you've met quite a few times.
- He doesn't laugh at your jokes. In fact, he actually says your jokes are terrible and would like for you to never use them again.
- When you touch him, he asks you to stop. He is disgusted by the presence of your hands on his body.
- He has no capacity for staying more than 30 minutes around you.
- He always looks angry and annoyed when he sees you.
Definite Signs That He's Losing Interest in Your Relationship
If you're already dating, heavily invested, or even married, and any of the following are true, you may need to seriously reconsider your relationship or seek out counseling. All relationships have ups and downs, but if you are feeling unappreciated or feel like the "spark" has faded, consider outside support.
Are you wondering if your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband is not that into you? Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- There's no physical spark. When he kisses you, it is short, brief, and lacks passion.
- He never cuddles with you. Men do, in fact, like to cuddle. Instead, he pushes you away and says you are too clingy.
- He's always looking at his feet. This could be a really bad sign that he is hiding something or is feeling beyond insecure.
- He cuts people off and tries to prevent them from sharing details about him. He makes gestures for people to keep quiet. He could be cheating or up to no good.
What If I Still Can't Tell Whether He Likes Me?
If it seems like it is taking forever to figure out whether a guy likes you, ask him what's up and do it in a way that would make you feel comfortable if it were the other way around. Ask him if he sees you as a mere acquaintance, a friend, or more than a friend. Don't be afraid to ask, but also be prepared for a less-than-satisfactory answer.
You can also take the body language quiz below to see if that might give you a clear answer.
Is He Uninterested or Just Shy?
A lot of men will take charge and pursue you, but there are some shy guys who would rather not put themselves out there. From being introverted to being afraid of rejection, there are a lot of reasons a guy might be shy or hesitant about approaching you (and you may well empathize with some of them!).
So if you suspect that the guy you have your eye on might just be shy, here are a few ways to get his attention.
Ways to Get a Shy Guy's Attention
- Find a Common Interest. Sometimes that initial icebreaker is all it takes to get a guy's attention. Ask questions about what he did in school, his job, if he has a big family, his hobbies, his favorite foods, etc. One of those questions should trigger a full-on conversation. He'll get more excited and interested if he knows what to talk about with you.
- Meet Him in the Middle. Create an atmosphere where he feels in his element. This might be a more private environment or a place where he feels comfortable. This will help boost his confidence and make it more likely that you two will hit it off.
- Use His Name in Conversation. This will make it clear that you've noticed him and want to keep him engaged.
- Compliment Him. This will make it clear to him that he shouldn't be afraid to return the favor.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions. Showing curiosity and genuine interest in him should inspire the same feelings in him.
- Initiate Physical Contact. A subtle touch to his elbow or friendly punch on the shoulder will invite him to reciprocate. Note that this should only be done after you've been chatting for a while and you've gotten some signs that he is into you.
Don't be afraid to start a random conversation. You never know how it might turn out!
At the End of the Day, Just Be Yourself
Most guys are looking for someone they can really enjoy. That's when they're wanting a long-term relationship. You can't force love, so don't try too hard. Just be yourself. Love will find a way. There are lots of people you'll get to meet in this lifetime, so don't settle on someone who isn't interested in you.
Questions & Answers
Question: I go to his room, we talk. He holds my hand and kisses me, touching me. I had started liking him four years ago. But after that, he doesn't say anything. He looks cold, and we take pictures, but he asks me to save it to private. I don't know how he actually feels. It's stressing me out. What does it all mean?
Answer: It sounds like he likes you. He may want some amount of privacy. Do you know if he is seeing anyone else? Tell him how you feel. Ask him what you want to know. Feeling comfortable communicating is important.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence