So you’ve met a new guy. Better than that, you get along really well and when you spend time together, it’s nothing but enjoyable.
The conversations are good, you have good chemistry, you might even want to spend more time with him.
Maybe you’re looking for a relationship, and finding somebody you get along with is exciting and promising.
Or perhaps you’re just interested in him as a friend, someone who you can get along with and have a good time with, without all the emotional baggage of a relationship.
But suddenly he starts acting erratically. Maybe he’s really distant from you out of the blue, his body language changes. Does he switch from hot to cold all of a sudden, or does he act out in strange ways?
You might be thinking he’s catching feelings for you. Depending on if you’re looking for a friendship or a relationship, that can be either a good thing or a bad thing.
In both cases, it’s very important to figure it out. Does he or doesn’t he have feelings for you?
The good news is there are quite a few telltale signs that could be giveaways for you. Let’s take a look at 17 signs he is fighting his feelings for you, and then some advice regarding what to do about it.
1) He’s suddenly acting awkward
As a guy, getting along with a girl is easy if there’s no pressure for performance, no burden of feelings, nor the potential for a romantic relationship. A guy can feel comfortable being himself.
That can all change if he suddenly thinks he might have feelings for you.
If he’s fighting his feelings for you, things can get awkward. He’ll second guess his actions and what he says. He’ll be uncomfortable expressing himself naturally for fear of failing to impress you and missing out.
2) He tries too hard to ignore you
This one can hurt if you just take it at face value, or if you’re also starting to catch feelings for this guy.
If he’s fighting his feelings for you, he might try to ignore you. Obviously, he’s not going to be focusing all his attention on you all of the time.
But if it stands out that he’s being deliberate about trying to ignore you, it’s not that he doesn’t like you. There’s a strong chance that he’s been fighting his feelings for you.
3) He is protective
If a guy is protective of you, making sure you’re safe, taken care of, happy, et cetera, it’s a big sign that he has caught feelings for you.
He may not be very overt about it, in fact, it may be subtle the ways that he wants to protect you. Maybe it’s a sly comment about an ex, or a bad friend, or just good advice when he tells you to put yourself first.
He’s demonstrating to you that he wants you to be protected. He’s probably fighting his feelings for you if you see him being protective. So he protects you in little, non-obvious ways.
There’s actually a psychological concept that explains why men are so protective of the woman they care deeply about.
It’s called the hero instinct.
According to this theory, men have a thirst for admiration and respect. They want to protect and provide for the woman in their life.
This is deeply rooted in male biology.
In other words, men simply want to be your everyday hero.
I know it sounds a bit silly. In modern times, women don’t need someone to be their “hero” to save the day.
And I couldn’t agree more.
But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to feel like they are a hero. After all, it’s built into their DNA to seek out a relationship with a woman that makes them feel like one.
And the kicker?
A man won’t commit to a relationship with a woman when this thirst isn’t satisfied.
The best way to learn how to trigger the hero instinct in your guy is to watch this free online video.
James Bauer, a relationship psychologist, gives a brilliant introduction to this concept. You’ll learn the little things you can do right now to trigger this very natural instinct in your man.
I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want your guy to commit fully to a relationship, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.
4) He tries to impress you
This is a classic male response when a guy starts to have feelings for a girl. It’s a common phenomenon, seen in many animals in nature. It’s called a courtship display, and humans do it too.
Of course, some guys are better at it than others. But rest assured that he isn’t always like this, and his strange, showy, or prideful behavior is merely an outward sign that he’s catching feelings.
5) He finds fault with other guys in your life
Almost every guy you meet will have something negative to say about the other guys in your life.
This is especially true if he’s fighting his feelings for you. His basic instinct to be protective of you and to care for you will be heightened as his feelings grow.
It’s likely nothing personal, he just wants to show that he cares about you and that you are taken care of. Those “other guys” could never do it as good as he could.
Of course, this protective response very easily becomes jealousy, which is not very often a healthy emotion in any relationship.
6) You see his friends teasing him
Maybe you’ve met in groups several times and always get along, spending time together within the social group.
But then maybe you start to see his friends teasing him when he does give you attention or his focus.
This could be because they can tell he’s catching feelings for you. Or maybe he admitted to them that he’s starting to fight feelings for you (which he probably regrets).
In any case, it’s a pretty strong sign that he is fighting his feelings for you.
7) He finds silly excuses to spend time with you
When a guy has feelings for you, he’ll do basically anything to spend time with you.
No matter how silly it is. If he thinks it will get him more time with you, he’s bound to try it. He’ll offer to do things that you clearly don’t need help with, or go with you to places that you really don’t need a company for.
Anything to spend an extra minute with you. Of course, he’s fighting his feelings, so he’ll try to keep it cool, but it’s a pretty telltale sign.
8) He waits a long time to text back
If you’ve realized the two of you get along really well in the digital world, don’t be too alarmed if suddenly he stops texting back promptly.
It’s unlikely that he suddenly has no interest in you whatsoever. The opposite is likely true; he’s probably trying to play it cool because he’s fighting his feelings.
If he’s fighting feelings for you, he will try to downplay his interest in the effort to not reveal to you that he really likes you. It’s all part of the game.
9) He offers to help you with things
Most men have some sort of a savior complex; they love helping girls out. Especially if they have a romantic interest in them.
If the guy in question offers to help you out with chores, fix things around your place, work on your car, give you a ride somewhere, or is constantly offering solutions to problems that conveniently involve him, he’s probably got feelings for you.
Why are men so willing to help?
Because a man wants to feel essential. And if he is falling for you, he wants to be the first person you turn to when you genuinely need help.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls this the hero instinct. I mentioned this concept above.
When the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with a woman. He won’t invest his time into you if your relationship doesn’t give him the sense of meaning and purpose he craves.
So, how can you trigger this instinct in him?
In a completely authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to the plate to fulfill it.
In his latest video, Bauer breaks down several things you can do. He reveals the texts, phrases and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential.
By triggering his “hero instinct”, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction as a man, but it will also rocket your relationship to the next level.
10) He remembers details about you
Guys are often forgetful, and pretty regularly don’t listen very well. Caught up in their own worlds, burdens, responsibilities, sometimes they just don’t tune in.
But if your guy remembers all kinds of details about you, it shows that he was listening and attentive.
It’s also likely he knows those details because he asked you in the first place, which is a good indicator of his feelings.
His attention to you is a big sign that he cares, and therefore likely has been fighting feelings for you.
11) He stares at you
We’re not talking the creepy, never breaks eye contact, unsettling and rude kind of staring that some people are known to display.
We’re talking the kind of “always looking at you while you’re talking” kind of stare, that eager and sincere interest in what you’re saying or doing, which points to his true feelings.
If he doesn’t want to miss a single word you say or a single cue about you, it’s likely because he’s starting to develop feelings.
And if he’s developing feelings, he’s also probably fighting them a little bit.
12) He asks if you’re okay
When a guy has feelings for you, he’s going to display a keen interest in your well being. He’s going to want to make sure that you’re always okay and taken care of.
If he’s naturally a very caring guy, this may just be a normal thing for him. But, if he’s regularly checking in for status updates to make sure you’re alright, it’s probably because he cares about you.
Maybe he cares about you even more than a friend would. It’s a good sign that he’s fighting his feelings for you.
13) He enjoys listening to you
Most guys have a hard time listening to girls talk about their lives (which is a shame considering girl’s lives are far more interesting than men’s…) For whatever reason, they just don’t often find it interesting.
But if a guy is genuinely interested in your conversations and what you have to say, it’s clear that he really likes listening to you talk.
A guy that really likes listening to you talk really likes you. And if he really likes you, he’s probably already fighting his feelings for you.
14) Check his body language
A man’s body language is always a telltale indicator of his feelings. This is also true about all humans, regardless of gender. Understanding male body language, though, will help you deduce whether or not he’s fighting his feelings for you.
Maybe one minute he’s really attentive and earnest, all his body focused on you, pointed at you. He’s hanging off your every word and move.
But maybe the next he’s pointed away, breaking eye contact, and distant. He’s realized that he might be showing too much interest in you and doesn’t want to scare you off or ruin things.
If his body language is shifting from hot to cold, that’s because he’s fighting his feelings for you.
15) He compliments you a lot
Most guys are pretty nice, whether or not they have romantic feelings for you. If you’re in the same friend group, a friend of his buddy’s, or anything similar, he’s probably not going to be a jerk to you.
But, if he makes a point of complimenting you, or he does it every time he sees you, it’s a good sign that he’s probably fighting his feelings for you.
He might be telling you all the things that are making him fall for you by covertly complimenting you, under the guise of being nice.
If you notice him complimenting you more and more, it’s probably because he’s doing all he can to fight his feelings for you, and failing.
16) He asks you about your life
Any relationship, friendly or romantic, is based on getting to know each other. If you’ve been spending time with a guy whom you aren’t sure of his feelings, don’t jump to any conclusions just because he’s getting to know you.
But, if he’s showing a keen interest in your life, your past, all the things that make you who you are, he could be developing feelings for you.
Pair that with some of these other signs, or hot and cold behavior, and this is a strong sign that he’s fighting his feelings for you.
If he’s showing interest in your love life specifically, there’s no doubt he has feelings for you.
17) He admires your strengths
Admiration from guys is easy to get. They are easily smitten with women of all kinds, on a surface level and on a personality level.
But, if he’s expressing admiration for your character strengths, he might be catching feelings. Does he admire you for all the battles you’ve fought? Is he impressed by the things you’ve overcome, and how you’ve grown as a person?
This shows a deeper level of feelings, and if you catch him admiring you like this, he’s probably been fighting his feelings for you for a while.
So why is he scared to show his feelings?
Understanding why a guy is scared to show his feelings is important regardless of what kind of relationship you’re looking for with him.
He could be scared to show his feelings because he doesn’t want to mess things up and ruin a good thing.
The two of you already get along really well and enjoy each other’s company. Introducing a romantic aspect to that could change things, and that makes him nervous.
A big reason he might be fighting his feelings for you is because he enjoys the current friendship just as much as you do. He might only want to be friends, he might want things to stay the same, and is frustrated by the fact that he is starting to catch feelings.
Or maybe he’s just really shy.
Guys are complicated and often confusing, there could be any number of reasons why he is hesitant to display his true feelings for you.
What to do if he’s fighting his feelings for you
So he’s exhibiting a lot of the aforementioned signs, and it’s clear to you that he’s fighting his feelings.
What you should do about it depends entirely on what you want from the relationship, and what you want from him.
If you only want friendship, it’s a really good idea to make that clear to him. There’s nothing wrong with asking him if he has feelings for you or if he’s interested in more than a friendship.
If he does have feelings, it may be hard to tell him that you aren’t interested in anything romantic. There is the possibility that his feelings are already too strong for a friendship to be possible.
Being straightforward with him is the best thing you can do to ensure a friendship if it’s possible.
But what if you’re interested in him romantically, too? That means you’re probably pretty excited he’s been showing the aforementioned signs.
Depending on how long you’ve both been dancing around these feelings, you could be straightforward with him and tell him frankly that you have feelings.
Or you could up the stakes and express your feelings more.
By being more flirty, more capricious, and showing a deeper interest in him, he’ll likely be emboldened to make a move on you, to get closer to you. He might even stop fighting his feelings and give in to them.
Men can be quite the enigmas. Understanding why they act the way that they do can be almost impossible, even for the best of us.
That’s because some of the time men don’t even understand themselves. Or why they act the way that they do. Often men find their feelings to be terrifying.
But there is hope for that new guy you’ve recently met. These 17 signs are clear indicators that he’s fighting his feelings for you, and he probably knows it, too.
Once you know he’s caught the feels, what comes next is entirely up to you. Remember to ask yourself, “What do I want out of this relationship, friendship, or romance?”
By being clear and straightforward, that new relationship will be positive and healthy, whether you end up being friends or lovers.
The real reason why men pull away
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