I love giving relationship advice to others and solving problems in their love lives.
Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You
There are plenty of reasons why a guy might be acting distant, even though you think he might be interested in you.
He's Not Sure
It's possible that he's not really sure if he likes you yet. Feelings and relationships are complicated and have the potential to be painful, so it makes sense that he might be keeping you at a distance before he's certain about how he feels.
He's Afraid of Rejection
Yes, guys can be afraid of rejection, too. Nobody likes rejection. And, as I mentioned above, since the beginning of a new relationship or liaison is an uncertain time, he might not be sure about how you feel about him. Maybe he's afraid of taking a risk and opening himself up to you.
He's Trying to Play It Cool
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what girls and guys want in each other. Lots of guys are taught from a young age that girls are only interested in a certain type of man, and so they try to personify that stereotype. Often, this leads to guys trying to "play it cool," and acting like they don't really care because they want you to think they are "cool."
He Seems Interested but Doesn't Text Me
A lot of the time, women want the man to text or call her first because it makes her feel wanted. It means that he thought of you and missed you or wanted to talk to you. But what if he starts to never text or call you first? What if you're always the one initiating the conversation, and it's starting to feel like he doesn't care anymore? This might mean nothing, but a lot of the time, it can mean something very important.
If he isn't texting or calling you, he may be busy or may not use his phone that much, but normally, these are just excuses. He might not want to contact you or he may not be interested. You may be coming on too fast if you are not already dating and this may be intimidating. He may be interested in someone else at the moment and only texts you when he's available. These are all bad signs. Unfortunately, this happens all the time.
Before you accuse someone of not texting or calling you because they like someone else, realize that these situations do not always occur. Accusing him of something is not a good way to solve this.
He Seems Interested in Person but Not Over Text
Maybe he sends one-word responses or takes hours to respond to every message. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you really feel like you really hit it off in person. So, what does it mean?
He's Just a Bad Texter
It's entirely possible that the guy you're interested in is just a bad texter. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who rarely look at their phones, or keep them on silent and only check them once every few hours. Studies have found that women are better at multitasking, so it's possible that a guy, even if he likes you, is fixated on some other objective while you're texting him, so he's not 100% focused on getting back to you right away.
You can tell if that's the problem by spending time with him. Is he focused on you, or doing some concrete task and not looking at his phone? Or is he scrolling through his phone 24/7? If it's the latter and he takes forever to text you back, he's probably not that interested in you.
He's Playing Hard to Get
All relationship advice should be taken with a grain of salt, especially the advice you get from your peers. It's possible that he's trying to create intrigue and play "hard to get" because it's something he was told to do to make you like him. Maybe his friend told him it "wasn't cool" to text someone back in under 30 minutes. While this may be confusing and frustrating for you, he might think he's doing something that's going to make you even more interested in him.
Signs He Likes You
Normally, when a guy likes you, he tends to try to be as desirable as possible to the woman that he finds attractive. Examples of this include:
- Dressing extra nice.
- Straightening their clothing.
- Fixing their hair.
- Puffing up their chest to try to seem bigger and manlier.
If he is interested, he may make eye contact that lasts longer than a friend's eye contact would. If he's "checking you out" while you talk, this may be a sign that he's interested. If he sits with his legs crossed towards you, it may mean that he likes the closeness.
Some guys just want a fling or a quick relationship that involves no attachment. If a guy is touching you or smiling too much or getting too close to you when he hardly knows you, this may mean that he's not interested in an actual relationship.
Most guys will "accidentally" touch you, brushing your fingers against his when he hands you an object, or nudging you, jokingly, after telling a joke. These acts are not accidents, most of the time. He wants to be near you and the best way of doing that is getting as close to you as possible. This is another way that men show their affection.
Teasing is another possible sign of attraction. If a man teases you or jokes with you a lot more than other girls, he may feel something for you. This may vary depending on the man, but it's a very popular sign.
All Men Are Different
Many women think that a guy's secrets are revealed just by knowing these signs of interest. This is obviously very false. Men are very different and have different motives and ways of expressing interest. A confident man may make eye contact and smile to show that he's interested, but a shy man might not feel comfortable enough to make eye contact. That does not mean he doesn't like you.
It's very hard to know for sure whether a man likes you, but a simple solution is to just ask. If you do not feel comfortable, that is totally your choice. Women who want a direct answer and do not want to be led on may ask right away. Yes, this is intimidating for the men sometimes, but at least the question is out there.
Lastly, it is not the end of the world if this man does not like you. Trust me, it's not. Even though it may feel like he is your only option and that your life may be ruined if he doesn't, you will move on.
A Note From the Author
I think that I wrote this article because I needed some sort of help, too. There's this guy that I've liked for a while now and I recently had the opportunity to tell him of my affections for him.
He began to send me text messages telling me that I am beautiful and that I'm smart and funny. I took this as a sign. Wouldn't it make sense that he likes me? Of course I am a woman, so I notice immediately that I am sending the first text every day. What does this mean? Am I just out of my mind, or what?
I feel vulnerable and I'm not sure what to do. I have already questioned him about whether he likes me and his response was very positive. He wants to hang out with me this weekend. But last night, I went to Youth at my church and he had said that he was going to be there. An hour or so before it started, he texted me, telling me that he wasn't going to be there because he was in bed with a fever.
How do I read that? My first response was extreme disappointment, but I texted back with a "That's okay! Feel better!" I'm not sure whether he was actually sick or if he was blowing me off. I'm almost scared to know. My feelings tell me to stop judging him and to believe that he was sick, but a major part of my intuition tells me that he was lying.
But the thing is, my life will not be over if this guy tells me that he's not interested. Even though my heart will sink and I'll probably never want to see him again. Even though I may want to start crying and hide in the dark of my room forever.
I can't think that he is my only option. I must realize that even though he seems like the perfect person, there are many other "perfect" guys out there. He is just one of them. I can't give up or act needy. I can't let my emotions control me and take me over. I have to be positive and just hope for the best.
Nitanurse on August 01, 2019:
I've been seeing this guy for the past 3 weeks. The 1st week of dating we spent a lot of time together. It seemed like he would do anything he could to keep me around. Every time I would try to leave, he begged me to stay. He said he wanted us to wait 30 days to have sex so we could get to know each other better & I agreed. The 2nd week of dating he was out of town for 10 days with his kids & messaged me only once without me messaging him first. He has hardly spoken to me since he got back into town, I had to message him to find out when he was coming back only to find out he had been back for a couple days. I've seen him once since he returned which I felt like was only because I asked him what he was doing and he told me to come on by because he was having a bbq. When I got there everyone had already eaten, it was like I was an afterthought. He was affectionate with me that day when I saw him, to me it didn't seem like in his mind anything was off. But now, he has family coming to town & I haven't heard from him in 4 days. He said they fly in today yet, he made no effort to see me or talk to me prior to their arrival. Not to mention, I have met a lot of his family already and so I'm not sure why it feels like he's trying to keep me a secret from the family coming to town. The way he talks to me & looks at me when we are together, makes me feel like there could be something really great between us. But his lack of communication when we aren't together is confusing, especially since we are abstaining from sex. Things definitely get very passionate between us. The last two times I've seen him, (the last time before he went out of town & the only time since he's been back) he seems like he's pushing a little harder each time for us to have sex which I don't know if I should take to mean he likes me more and wants us to take it to the next stage or he wants to do it & move on from me. I’m not one to get this hung up on a guy so quickly but, that first week together was so amazing, it seemed like I had finally met someone who I could see myself with long term. I’m so lost! Is he still interested or should I walk away?
Nita on August 01, 2019:
I've been seeing a guy for the past 3 weeks. The 1st week of dating we spent a lot of time together. It seemed like he would do anything he could to keep me around. He wanted to wait 30 days to have sex so we could get to know each other & I agreed. The 2nd week he was out of town for 10 days with his kids and messaged me maybe 4 times, only one of those times without me messaging him first. He has hardly spoken to me since he got back into town, I had to message him to find out when he was coming back only to find out he had been back for a couple days. I've seen him once since he returned. He was affectionate with me the last time I saw him, it didn't seem like in his mind anything was off. But now, he has family coming to town and I haven't heard from him in 4 days. They didn't get in till today and yet, he made no effort to see me or talk to me. The way he talks to me and looks at me when we are together, makes me feel like there could be something really great between us. But his lack of communication when we aren't together is confusing, especially since we are abstaining from sex. Things definitely get very passionate between us, we have a hard time keeping our hands off each other and the last two times I've seen him, (the last time before he went out of town and the only time since he's been back) he seems like he's pushing a little harder each time for us to go ahead and have sex which I don't know if I should take to mean he likes me more or he wants to do it and move on from me. I am not one to get this hung up on a guy so quickly but, that first week together was so amazing, it seemed like I had finally met someone who I could see myself with long term. I feel so confused by this relationship! Is he still interested or should I walk away?
Angelica on July 15, 2019:
Hello, I’m a 30 year old single mother of two. I’ve Been dating a 26 year old guy who also has one child. We have been some what dating since January 2019 and during the first few months everything was perfect we texted all day long and he mad e me feel wanted. But that slowly gaffed and I felt disappointing so I called things off with him. And now we’re just in this heart breaking cycle of trying to make things work. We have both admitted we love each other. But every time we start talking again he still remains distant he used to text me every morning and now he never texts me. I feel so confused and don’t know what to do l. I want him to be the way he was at the beginning or our relationship but he makes it very clear that, that’s just not going to happen I’m not sure if I should just move on n let things go or If I should keep trying to make things work.
Lisa Marie Hunt on April 09, 2013:
Very interesting article. I always wondered this when I was in high school. Their was a boy in high school that I really liked and admired. He and I shared so much personal and intimate information. I did ask him at one point if he liked me and he told me honestly that he only liked me as a friend. It was hard but I am glad he had the decency to tell me the truth and not lead me on. We stayed close all throughout high school. And I know he cared for me. I agree that as women, we should not take it too personally if the guy doesn't show the same intimacy or desire for a relationship as us. We should just let them go if that is the wish. I would rather be loved and desired than be with a man who leads me on. I have a great husband now, though, and he has a wife. I am so glad that everything works out in the end despite what we feel in the moment!
Hope Garza (author) from Florida on November 28, 2012:
MasculistFeminist- I really do appreciate you taking time to reply. I agree with you- there are technically no "rules" involved in dating, if you consider the differences between every human being. It's just easier to comprehend everything when you have some sort of "guidelines," if that's even the right word. I've just recently had issues with guys using me and acting as if they care about me, and then acting as if I never existed. This, I know, is not the way that all guys are. I've met many a guy that are the complete opposite. I guess I'm just trying to understand what's going on in my life as well as help others that are in need some sort of assistance in their lives. Again, thank you again for posting:)
Hope Garza (author) from Florida on November 28, 2012:
I know exactly what you mean, abbykorinnelee. I'm going through something like this and I figured I might as well write about it. I hope everything works out for you and your friend :)
Abigayle Malchow-Rourk from Wisconsin on November 22, 2012:
We met a year after high school. Still friends and I am in my thirteis. You know I can have a certain kind of inimacy with him:) and I am not shy at all, but make me say I have feelings for you (duh) and I will have a heart attack. I acutally after reading this decided to email it but at the end of an email that was detailing our one sided argument...lol now I don' tknow if there is a way to pretend it didn't happen and I have to see the man tomorrow. I hope we make it out of this funk despite it all
Ryan from Australia on November 21, 2012:
I wanted to respond to this article as I am quite touched by it. From what I have read I would not be surprised if this guy is actually quite shy. I am taking a guess as I do not know him, but there were a number of tell-tale signs in what you described. Firstly he told you how he felt initially by text rather than face to face (Which is a more confronting and higher context form of communication). However when you later questioned him he did not deny his feelings. So he meant what he said but yet again he did not initiate the face to face communication, you did. Then he says he wants to go out with you on the weekend but when the time comes his nerves overtake him and he bails. Don't be mistaken, just because a guy might appear settled around you, does not mean he feels that way in side.
I am certainly not picking on you, but women need to understand that not every guy is a hunter and not every girl is meant to be the hunted. There are a lot of shy guys out there and many get quite nervous or simply don't make the first move even when we are starstruck in love. It is only natural for you to want the guy to make the first text or call. That is what we have been socialised to expect in dating. However many men (and women) have personalities that simply don't conform to these social norms and expectations. Men and women need to be aware that people are far more diverse than the dating rules/stereotypes we have been raised believe in. Sometimes women are better suited to playing role of the hunter in dating and men the hunted. It differs from one individual to the next and there is no one size fits all. Again I don't blame you, in the modern age the rules of dating need serious revision. We could all learn something (Me included!).
The reason I responded was because I myself am a fairly shy guy and it sounded to me like this guy might be a bit afraid. Generally the more afraid a shy guy is, the more he likes you. Often in the past I have been very nervous around girls when we have first gone out. I have not bailed, but once I had to go to the bathroom to catch my breath. I was pretty in love at the time! I have also really had to work myself up to ask them out and make the first move. I have found that I get way more relaxed when the girl takes the lead. I have also discovered when things happen more slowly I relax a lot more too. This notion that guys want to get into bed with women as fast as possible is often very untrue.
Rather than this guy being a tool (not saying that you think that way about him), I suspect he might be a really nice but shy guy. If I could offer a suggestion it would for you to continue to take the lead a bit. What will happen after a while is he will start to come out of his shell. Ask him how he is going and encourage him to talk. Show interest and attention when he does talk and he will be feel more and more at ease with you. Perhaps do an activity with him that acts as an icebreaker or meet up with friends first and later on have one on one time. I am certainly no expert on dating, they are just suggestions.
Thank you for sharing this online. It is good to know how the other gender experiences things like this. I can learn from you and we can learn from each other. All I can say is how you feel is not mutually exclusive to women. We worry about whether girls like us as much we hope they do all the time! Both genders seriously do need to move beyond guys always making the first move. I can't begin to tell you how many relationships girls miss out on because they don't make the first move themselves. Just because we don't call you first or are not the first to ask you out does not mean we are not into you. We might be shy, unsure, think you already have a boyfriend or think you are not interested in us.
abbykorinnelee-Hear, hear! Happened to me too. I was too shy and I just couldn't bring myself to tell her how I felt. I was in high school and have long lost contact with her. I am still pretty shy around girls but I have come out of my shell a bit since then. It happens to us guys too.
hoperene-I could be wrong but I 'd say he is interested you. Judging from what I have read, you seem like a really nice girl and if the worst happens trust me there are plenty of guys that would love to go out with someone like you. So don't lose hope.
Abigayle Malchow-Rourk from Wisconsin on November 20, 2012:
There is a guy that stole my heart and I didn't realize it until after he had moved away. We remained close friends but I didn't tell him the truth about how I felt. I assumed he hadn't felt it about me or he would have told me. Do you know that is the only thing in my life I can say I regret...not telling him. Because I don't think it ever truly stopped and I think that we missed out on something great and now there is tension and its not making sense as to why its this bickering and its always different and not what its really about I don't think. I assumed I wasn't good enough for him. I still assume I am not good enough that there is no way he could ever want me...but I might have been really wrong for not telling him. It needs to stop mattering what we thnk we see and it needs to be we say it because we feel it and it won't affect our dynamics