Confused and want to know for sure if a guy likes you?
It’s probably simpler to just ask. But for some reason, you’re just not that confident yet. Perhaps you’re too shy or you feel like you don’t know him well enough yet.
That’s okay. Fortunately for you, there are a couple of things you can watch out for that can suggest if a guy likes you or not. In this guide, we’ll talk about the 18 totally subtle but completely obvious signs a guy is totally into you.
Let’s get started.
1. He’s always trying to catch your eye.
One obvious sign a guy likes you is if he just can’t stop looking at you.
Studies have shown that men are visual creatures. That means they can’t help but respond to people and things they find beautiful. So if you catch him looking at you, especially when you’re not paying attention—he’s definitely into you.
Furthermore, mutual eye contact is part of our biological mating ritual. We do this because it establishes stronger romantic connections. So it’s also a big bonus if he’s always trying to catch your eye and maintain eye contact.
Nothing says “I like you more” than prolonged eye contact.
2. He feels like a hero around you
In my experience, this is the biggest reason factor in a guy falling for a girl.
Feeling like a hero is something men crave from any relationship with a woman. More than love. And even more than sex.
Not an action hero like Thor, but an everyday hero he provides you something no other man can.
Simply put, men need to feel wanted, needed and essential by the woman in his life.
There’s a new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment that goes to the heart of why men fall in love with some women and not others.
It’s called the hero instinct.
According to the hero instinct, men have a biological drive to live a life full of meaning and to provide for those he cares about.
And this drive is amplified in their romantic relationships.
The interesting thing is that you can actually trigger the hero instinct in your guy.
There are words you can say, phrases you can use, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural instinct in him.
I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want your guy to throw himself into a relationship with you, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.
3. He’s grinning like an idiot when you’re around
Is he extremely happy when you’re around? Does he give you the biggest, goofiest smile?
There’s a reason why love makes us so giddy and happy. Studies show that when we’re at the earliest stages of attraction or “falling in love,” our bodies start producing “love chemicals” like serotonin and oxytocin. These are literally our body’s happy hormones.
It’s definitely a good sign if he acts excited to be with you. Even when you’re not really doing anything special. You know a guy likes you a lot when he’s happy simply by being near you.
4. His body language screams he’s into you
Experts suggest that body language makes up about 60% of communication. So don’t ignore what his body is trying to tell you. Not only that, but it’s also an essential part of how we establish attraction.
That being said, body language is a bit tricky to read—especially if you want to know if a guy likes you. The important thing to remember is that it’s not just one body language cue—it’s a series of physical displays that really tell if he’s into you.
According to organizational psychologist Ronald E. Riggio:
“When people try to be seductive, they typically display positive affect – a slight smile that accompanies direct eye contact, with a slow glance away, but still holding the smile. Interestingly, the seductive smile could be accompanied by submissive behavior (tilting the head downward), or dominant behavior (proudly and slowly glancing away).
Another thing to watch out for is something called “mirroring.” It’s when someone unconsciously imitates your speech, gestures, or body position to establish rapport.
Body language expert and behavioral analyst Jack Schafer explains:
“People who like one another mirror each other’s body positions. Mirroring can help establish rapport and can also be used to test whether the person you are talking with likes you. It sends a subconscious signal to the person you are with that you like them; in turn, they are predisposed to like you.”
The bottom line?
Reading his body language can tell you a minefield of information on whether or not he really likes you.
5. He’s curious to get to know you deeply
You can easily determine a guy’s intentions by his level of curiosity towards you. If he never asks you personal and intimate questions, it’s likely that he’s just not that into you.
However, if a guy truly wants to get to know you—not just about your day or your favorite cuisine—but about who you are, your past, the messy, unglamorous details of your life, then he really likes you. A lot.
According to dating expert Julie Krafchick:
“If they make an effort to bring up a minor detail or interaction you mentioned, it means they were paying attention and subconsciously investing in a future with you.”
You know he’s not playing around when he wants to know the real you—including the not-so-beautiful parts.
6. He pays attention
Men have a reputation for being oblivious. To some extent, that’s true. There’s a big trail of research suggesting that men’s brains are wired differently than women’s.
While women’s brains are more intuitive and perceptive, men’s brains are more logical and fact-based. So it’s safe to say that if he pays more attention to you than normal, it’s because he’s into you.
Men don’t just naturally retain information about your favorite flower or the name of your childhood pet. They choose to pay attention to significant details about you because they’re interested.
(If you want to capture the attention and long term devotion of a guy, you have to trigger his hero instinct. Read out full His Secret Obsession review for a break down of what this means).
7. He does thoughtful things for you
A guy definitely likes you if he exerts extra effort to make sure you’re happy.
As I mentioned earlier, our bodies produce “happy hormones” when we’re in love. But sweaty palms and butterflies-in-the-stomach are not the only physical consequences—these chemicals also affect our brain’s reward system.
According to a 2016 study, these chemicals drive us to “acquire and retain” emotions needed for “survival and reproduction.” This explains why we exert so much effort into making someone like us. Because it increases our chances to succeed romantically.
Try to notice how a guy treats you. Is he thoughtful and sweet? Does he go out of his way to make you feel happy, secure and comfortable? If so, chances are high that he likes you a lot.
8. He’s not afraid to open up
It’s difficult for anyone to allow themselves to be vulnerable to love. Especially for men who are culturally programmed to be strong and unemotional. Which is why it’s particularly telling when a guy shows his vulnerability to you.
According to Dr. Lisa Kaplin:
“When men are vulnerable they allow their partners into their lives. Their partner feels closer to them, which then leads to improvement in every aspect of the relationship.
“Vulnerable men teach women something about themselves that allows women to understand them better and to be available to them in a way that isn’t likely without that vulnerability.”
If he is completely open to you, it means he is prepared to be emotionally available. And that’s not something guys are willing to be unless you really mean something to them.
9. His friends/loved ones know about you
This is a no-brainer. If you want to know whether a guy likes you, just look at what—or how much—he tells his friends or family.
There’s a famous unspoken rule between men: “Don’t kiss and tell.” And although men may not share explicit details about their intimate relationships, recent research suggests that they like to share about “personal issues such as love, relationships, and health” to their male friends.
Have you met his friends or family? Has he told them about you before? Or do you feel like he’s keeping you as a secret? The answer will indicate the depth of his feelings.
10. He feels essential to you
Men and women are different and we want different things from a relationship.
If you want to know whether he likes you, then you need to think about what drives him as a man? What does he want from a relationship with you?
You may think that men are all about money, sex, food, sports, and power.
Sure, those things all come into play at times. But I think there is a deeper truth that few women are aware of.
Men are actually driven less by those external things above and more by how you make them feel about themselves.
Above all else men want to feel essential to the woman in his life.
This doesn’t mean you have to act clingy and overload him with attention. What it does mean is that you need to make him feel that he is providing you something that no other man can.
In other words, he needs to feel like your hero.
I mentioned the hero instinct above. It’s a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment.
The simple truth is men want to be your hero. And if you want your relationship to succeed, you need to let him be one.
How do you trigger the hero instinct in your guy?
The best thing you can do is watch this excellent free video by relationship psychologist James Bauer.
He outlines the things you can say or do to make him feel like he’s your hero.
Some ideas are game changes. When it comes to relationships, I think this is one of them.
If you want to know whether he really does like you, please take our new quiz below. Find what you can do to win his love and devotion for life:
11. He likes to be physically close to you
Have you ever heard of something called “Proxemics?”
According to experts:
“Proxemics is the study of personal space and the degree of separation that individuals maintain between each other in social situations.”
Simply put: it’s how we communicate to others through space. And it tells a lot about how someone feels about you.
If we like someone, we naturally try to close the “gap.” We lean in closer, we move our bodies to a more intimate space closer to our partners. However, when we don’t like someone, we tend to pull back or reel from their touch.
When a guy likes you, he will want to be physically close to you. Even when he is being a gentleman, he’ll still display proxemics by walking close to you or sitting beside you instead of in front of you.
12. He notices the slightest changes in you
Another clear sign a guy likes you is if he notices the slightest change in you—whether it’s the way you changed your hair or a sudden change in your mood.
Why is this a big deal? Because if he notices the smallest things, it’s because he exerts the effort to notice.
You see, even though our brains process about 4 billion bits of information a second, it costs a lot of energy to separate trivial information to what’s actually important. That’s why we don’t pay attention to details that don’t matter to us. It’s how we make space for memories and things that mean something.
We don’t notice what happens to people we don’t care about. But it’s so easy for us to notice when someone important undergoes even the slightest change.
13. He’s suddenly everywhere
He goes to your favorite hang-out place. He joins activities he knows you like. And you notice he definitely goes out of his way to spend as much time with you as he can—without being creepy of course. Because that’s something a stalker does—and you should know when he’s getting overboard.
But according to psychotherapist Dr. Kimberly Moffit, a guy likes you if he exerts an effort to be “physically available” to you.
“Physical distance means how much he goes out of his way to be near you in situations where he might be able to come up and talk to you. There’s almost a 100% guarantee that that a guy does not like you because he’s not making himself physically available to you.
“A guy that likes you want to be opened to, they want to be talked to but sometimes they’re a little bit too shy to come and talk to you. So they put themselves close to you so that you can then go talk to them.”
14. He makes time for you
When a guy likes you, you’ll know because you don’t have to keep convincing him to spend time with you. He’ll actually be the first to initiate dates. He’ll be the one making himself and his time available to you.
According to LoveWrite’s chief relationship strategist Venessa Marie Perry:
“Everyone is busy, but we make time for what’s important. Not responding timely or at all is usually a sign of disinterest.”
Try to notice how much time he actually allots for you. If you know he’s a busy guy but he still manages to see you a couple of times a week, he definitely likes you a lot.
15. He doesn’t talk to you about other girls
It’s a serious red flag if a guy talks to you about other girls they’re romantically linked to. A guy who’s into you won’t deliberately ruin their chances of being with you.
You might be thinking, “Oh, he just wants to make me jealous.” If that’s his reason, he’s definitely manipulating you—and that’s a sign he doesn’t genuinely like you.
According to relationship writer Jen Kim:
“It’s fine to bring up the ex once in a while under neutral contexts, e.g., “My ex has the kids this week.” But talking incessantly about prior relationships is tacky and might also imply that there are unresolved issues lingering in his head, whether it’s rage, resentment, or doubt.”
I’m not saying he should never talk about his ex or other girls. It’s just that a guy who likes you will focus on you, not other girls. If you notice that another girl’s name continually monopolizes the conversation, then you know which girl is actually on his mind.
16. He tries to make you laugh
It’s definitely a big sign if a guy tries his best to make you laugh.
Science shows that humor is an important aspect of romantic initiation. That’s why men use funny pick-up lines to get a girl’s attention. Or why we like to use jokes to iron out awkwardness on first dates.
As social psychologist Norman Li explains:
“Humor may serve many functions, but the “interest indicator” theory says that an important one is to indicate relationship interest, whether among potential or ongoing mates, friends, and allies, or among family members. In this way, a humorous exchange feels good because it indicates that the people who we like also like us.”
Guys use humor to impress a girl. And he also probably likes to see you smile or hear the sound of your laughter.
17. He’s awkward around you
Just because he acts clumsy and awkward with you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. In fact, it can be a big indicator that he does.
Psychologically, being awkward around someone you like makes sense.
Awkwardness happens when we’re trying so hard to make a good impression. People are prone to social blunders when they want to please others so much, that they try to “perform” a more perfect version of themselves.
According to certified love coach Tiya Cunningham-Sumter:
“Relationships are so awkward in the beginning because both partners are putting forth so much energy trying to impress one another. When two people first meet, they aren’t usually comfortable with being their total selves, so they put on facades and sometimes curb certain behaviors — and in some cases, suppress true feelings and opinions”
So cut him a little bit of slack. He just wants you to think about him as a great guy.
18. He tries to touch you a lot
You can tell a lot by how much a guy touches you. It’s our body’s universal language, after all.
Chemically, touch is how we establish emotional bonds. When we’re touched by people we love, it triggers the parts of our brain that produces happy chemicals. Touch also helps communicate affection, which is needed for stronger relationships. So it’s only natural for someone who likes you to want to touch you every chance he gets.
If he’s shy, he’ll probably be more subtle about it. He’ll try to brush his hands to yours as he walks by. Or he’ll make excuses to tuck your hair behind your ears.
If he’s a more confident guy, and he’s established that you’re not uncomfortable with him touching you, he’ll be more obvious. He’ll hold your hand a lot or put his arm around your waist when you’re crossing the street.
Trust your instincts. You’re not as clueless as you think. Just notice how often he touches and you’ll surely know if he’s into you or not.
Still unsure? Just ask him
I’m sure you’re reading this article because for some reason, you just don’t feel comfortable enough asking him if he likes you. And who can blame you?
We all fear rejection. Especially in the case of romantic uncertainty. But it’s actually not rejection itself that stops us from being honest about our feelings with someone. It’s our fear of vulnerability—the thought of opening ourselves up to the unknown, to actually allow someone the privilege to possibly hurt us.
According to clinical psychologist Leon Seltzer:
“In situations of frustration, misunderstanding, or conflict between you and your partner, the essential communication challenge facing both of you actually has less to do with fear or courage as it does vulnerability. “
“What’s involved here is the willingness to stick your neck out and express a need or desire—when the outcome, because it’s uncertain and might end up making you feel uncared for, dismissed, or even humiliated, might substantially raise your anxiety level … or catapult you into a depressive funk.”
So I’m going to give you a last piece of advice. And it’s going to go against all the walls you’ve put up and everything society has told you to be:
Be vulnerable. It’s actually the greatest act of courage you can ever do in your life. To say that you tried, that you took a shot at something important. To be able to entertain the possibility of rejection but doing it anyway because living with regret is better than being trapped in the unknown.
So dare yourself: ask him. I know it’s scary. But life is too short to keep looking for scattered clues when you can get a straight answer.
If he likes you, then you’ll know and you can start building the foundations of a good relationship. If he doesn’t, at least you’ll know you didn’t waste your time chasing for something that doesn’t exist.