Is he in denial about his feelings for me? 20 ways to tell

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Dating and romance can be confusing as hell. I get it, I really do.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

In some ways, I’m still there.

But if you have a guy who’s sending more mixed signals than a broken-down radio then you may be wondering: is he just after sex and not into me, or is he in denial about his feelings for me?

It can be genuinely hard to tell.

I’m here to decode his mixed signals for you.

There won’t be any more nights of missed sleep wondering is he in denial about his feelings for me?

You’ll either be missing sleep from all the sweet loving that’s going down or because you’re busy getting on with your life working or having fun instead of throwing your heart after a guy who doesn’t want you.

So here it is: never wonder is he in denial about his feelings for me?

Here’s how to tell if that’s the case or if he really just isn’t into you.

Let’s get to it.

1) You have an amazing time together but he sends mixed messages

If you’re wondering “is he in denial about his feelings for me?” then one of the biggest signs you should look for is mixed messages.

When you have the time of your lives together but then he seems to always pull back afterward it’s a classic sign.

This is because he gets caught up in the moments and the feelings he has for you, but then after he has second thoughts and retreats.

This hot-cold pattern is a defining feature of a guy who’s into you but trying to keep it in check.

As relationship writer Charlene Eckstein notes:

“Some days he seems like he cannot get enough of you, and other days you feel like he is ignoring you. When a guy is fighting feelings for you, his behavior can seem inconsistent and seem to be all over the place.”

2) He listens to what you say and notices details

When a guy’s really interested in you he hears what you say.

And he remembers details:

About what you say,

About what you’re wearing,

About what’s going on in your life.

When he’s trying to hide his feelings for you he will generally present this interest and attention to detail as “just a friend” feeling.

But if you think about how you feel around him you’ll be able to tell that his ongoing interest in your life is a little more than what a typical friend would be showing.

That’s his underlying attraction showing through.

3) He acts like a hero

An obvious giveaway that a guy has feelings for you is when he acts like an everyday hero.

Does he step up to the plate for you? Protect you against little and big things? Go out of his way to help you just because he wants to?

Then not only does he have feelings for you, but you’ve also triggered his hero instinct.

The hero instinct is a new concept in relationship psychology that goes to the heart of what men really need from a woman.

What it boils down to is that men crave the feeling of being a hero in a relationship. More than love. And even more than sex. 

Not an action hero like Thor, but an everyday hero who provides you something no other man can. Simply put, men need to feel wanted, needed and appreciated by the woman he cares about.  

This is deeply rooted in male biology.

The best part is that there are simple things you can do to actually trigger the hero instinct in your guy.

To learn exactly what they are, watch this excellent free video.

I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want to develop a loving relationship with a guy, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.

Here’s a link to his video again.

4) He cares about your story and who you are

Is he in denial about his feelings for me?

Ask yourself if he cares who you really are. This means that he invests in in-depth conversations and asks you questions.

He remembers details and what’s going on in your life like I wrote above, but he also wants to dig deeper.

He wants to know what makes you tick, the formative experiences that made you who you are and that drive you.

He’s not judging, though.

You’ll notice that he always tries to see your point of view and appreciate the events and influences that made you into the person you are today.

Marriage and relationship expert Brittanie Futrell-Davis puts it very well when she writes that:

“Often, men are not as into long conversations as we are. Most men politely zone out when a woman says something to him that either bores him or annoys him. However, if he happens to like the girl talking to him, he will take an extra initiative to listen to what she has to say. The reason for this? Quite simply, you are someone of interest to him. Anytime someone exciting starts talking to you, you would be all ears too!”

5) He hopes you like his friends and his interests

When we like someone we value their opinion of us and those we care about.

We also care a lot about what they think of our interests and passions.

If he’s into you then you will notice that he’s very interested in what you think of his friends, his life, his interests, and his beliefs.

Depending on how enthusiastic of a guy he is, he will also want to introduce you to his friends and his hobbies and let you join his social circle and take part in activities he likes if you want.

If he’s a confident guy he won’t shift just to please you or to try to get you attracted.

But he will definitely care.

6) He’s single and he lets you know

If you ask about his dating life he’s going to dodge around a bit, but he’ll find a way to let you know he’s available.

In one way or another, this guy wants to let you know he’s on the market, he just is having issues about asking you out or making his intentions clear.

Or he may have other reservations from his family, influences, or own issues that are holding him back from acting on his attraction toward you.

If he’s in denial of his feelings for you then he’ll generally downplay the importance of dating and romance.

But you’ll be able to tell by the way he looks and talks that underneath he’s looking for love.

And that he’s hoping it will be with you.

7) He looks at you as much as possible

Eyes are the window to the soul and they also hold the code for a man’s deeper feelings.

If he’s making extended eye contact with you and checking you out frequently there’s a very good chance it’s because he has feelings for you.

Even if he’s not feeling ready to act on those feelings his eyes will shine through.

And they’ll be sending out a message that’s hard to miss.

8) He’s always there for you

When he’s into you he’s there for you. Simple as that.

A guy who has feelings for you will be there for you.

On paper it’s going to be “as a friend,” but under the surface, you’ll sense that he’s wanting to be more than a friend and that he has a deep-felt need to protect and care for you.

There’s actually a concept in relationship psychology that explains why men will always be there for the women they care about.

It’s called the hero instinct. I mentioned this above.

According to hero instinct, a man will only fall for a woman when he feels like he is providing her something no other man can. 

In other words, men simply want to be your hero.

I know it sounds a bit silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to be their “hero”.

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.

So, if you want your guy to commit to a relationship with you, then you need to trigger his hero instinct.


By finding ways to make him feel like your hero. There’s an art to doing this which can be a lot of fun when you know exactly what to do.

The best way to learn how to trigger the hero instinct in your guy is to watch this free online video. James Bauer, the relationship psychologist who first coined this term, reveals exactly what you need to do.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

9) He’s envious of other men in your life

As much as he may try to hide it, a guy who has feelings for you is going to be a little jealous of other men in your life.

Even if you have other guy friends who are just friends, you’ll be able to sense that he’s a little insecure or annoyed about it.

If he’s a mature guy then he’ll keep this in check and relax, but sometimes just a comment or two will give it away.

Or even the way his eyes fade out a little when you mention you’re busy with your other friend or seeing a guy.

Talk about dating will make him a little uncomfortable and you may notice him fidget or look down.

That’s because he wants you for himself, but for some reason – usually insecurity – he’s afraid to take the plunge.

Recommended reading: 17 unmistakable signs your boss likes you romantically

10) He hopes you want him

If you are into this guy and compliment him on his appearance you will notice that he looks really pumped.

That’s because he hopes you want him, but is too shy to flirt directly or just ask you or make a move.

He may also notice movie stars or celebrities you find attractive and emulate their style or even begin to joke about his appearance compared to theirs.

Things like this are classic signs of a guy who is in denial of his feelings for you but still trying his best to flirt and disguise it as a joke.

The only joke is that all this time you’re wasting could be an epic love story.

11) He texts a lot and interacts with you frequently on social media

Even if he’s not making his move in person and not making his intentions clear, his behavior in texts and on social media will be obvious.

If he’s interested in you as more than friends then he’s going to be commenting, liking and sharing like crazy.

He’ll interact with you all the time.

You may even notice him writing and then deleting comments.

That’s the whole hot-cold thing playing out online where his attraction to you starts to overflow and then he pulls back before he can let it all out.

His texts will tend to be a bit more flirtatious than he is in person since it is a forum where he feels more comfortable to be a bit more open about his attraction and test the waters.

Now it’s time to tap into the attention he’s giving you. And make him want you even more.

Do you know how Hollywood screenwriters are famous for using “attention hooks” to draw audiences into their TV shows and movies?

Something at the end of each episode made you click “Watch Next Episode”. Almost as if you couldn’t help yourself.

Relationship expert Amy North has adapted the same Hollywood techniques for texting men.

As she explains in her simple and genuine video here, text messages with attention hooks tap directly into the focus system of a man’s brain.

When you send these texts to a guy, you’ll pop into his head again and again throughout his day. He won’t be able to shake you from his mind. No matter how far away he is or how long since you’ve seen each other.

If you want to learn more about these text messages, watch this free video by Amy North.

12) He says nice things about you frequently

When he’s in denial about his feelings for you his rational mind or some part of him will be saying to stop.

But his heart will be saying go.

And this will often come out through his mouth in the form of lovely compliments and supportive comments.

He just can’t seem to stop saying enough nice things about how you look, how you are, and how much he appreciates you.

In many cases it’s not a tactic or him flirting, it’s just his attraction for you overflowing and coming out before he can hold himself back.

13) He comes bearing gifts

It’s a tale as old as time, but it’s true.

A man in love buys gifts for the one he loves.

This guy may not be coming right out with his heart on his sleeve, but he will often purchase you thoughtful and heartwarming little gifts on a frequent basis.

This could even include tickets to a concert you really wanted to go to, or gift certificates, small knick-knacks and things that only someone who really knows you would know to buy.

Michelle Devani has the goods on how a guy who has feelings behaves and in many cases small gifts are a telltale sign.

“He may not shower you with expensive and massive gifts, but when he does give you something it’s usually well thought of. Be it a bracelet you once said was cute or a deluxe version of your favorite band’s newest album, he makes sure it’s something you’ll keep close to heart.”

14) He wants to touch and be close

Even if he doesn’t always act on it, you’ll be able to tell if this guy wants to be close and in touch.

He’ll sidle up next to you, maybe even drape an arm over your shoulder if he’s feeling brave.

That’s his version of making a move.

Friend cuddles can also count in this category.

He clearly wants to touch and be close.

If you get a cut or any injury he will also be very gentle and attentive, stroking and caressing your injury and promising to fix it as soon as possible while you get medical help.

Sentence this guy to love in the first degree.

15) Learn to read his body language

Body language is an entire world of its own.

If he’s in denial about his feelings for you then you need to learn to read his body language.

He’ll often be a little shy and awkward around you, but still steadily work to stand close, hold your hand a few seconds more than normal, and seem invigorated and blissful in your presence.

He will usually orient his feet towards you and want to look at you as much as possible, kind of “trailing” behind you like a puppy dog in many cases.

A confident guy won’t let his attraction for a woman turn him into a sap, but the signs that he’s into you will definitely show in how he holds himself and wants to get in your zone whenever possible.

16) Your chemistry is off the charts

Even though this guy won’t make his feelings clear, you will notice your chemistry is off the charts.

I’m talking about a shared sense of humor, amazing times together, crackling energy of attraction when you get close.

You may find yourself just getting goosebumps when he comes into the room.

If he’s in denial about his feelings for you then you can be sure he’s feeling something like the same.

And it’s driving him wild.

Because great chemistry is rarer than many people realize.

17) He’s nervous and awkward around you

When one of my best friends recently asked me “is he in denial about his feelings for me?” this was the first thing I asked her.

“Does he act nervous and awkward around you?”

She just laughed. It was a definite yes. In fact, he’d been acting so awkward she was beginning to think he was on drugs or something.

It turned out he was just high on loving her.

Luckily she was pretty into that goofball, too.

When he’s nervous and awkward around you it’s usually because he’s attracted to you and feels unsure about how to act on it.

18) He doesn’t like to talk about his romantic past

When you get to topics about dating and romantic history he’s going to tend to clam up.

That’s because he doesn’t usually feel comfortable telling you about things that went wrong before when he’s hoping that things will go right with you in the future.

He’ll often be quite fascinated by your dating situation and history, but not be as comfortable sharing.

This is also because the kind of guy who denies his feelings for you will usually be a guy who is insecure or who has been burned badly in the past and is scared of it happening again.

19) He values your opinion of him highly

Like I wrote, he’s going to care a lot what you think of his friends, family and interests.

He’ll also be more than just a bit interested in what you think of him.

If there’s any kind of disagreement between you it’s likely to darken his mood quite a lot, even lasting for days.

He won’t be responding to you like he would to just a friend who disagrees.

He’ll be getting down because he has feelings for you and your opinion of him means much more than it would if you were just another friend.

By contrast, when you boost him up or express admiration you’ll notice him glow.

If this is the case then you’ve got a case of love on your hands.

20) He cleans up for you

A man who’s in love likes to look his best.

If you notice that he’s looking a little spiffed up when you see him or wearing some cool new styles keep in mind that it could be for your benefit.

Some guys like to look their best wherever they are, and that could be him.

But if you’re used to this guy being a fairly casual dresser or even sloppy and he’s now looking like Tom Cruise then you can make a good bet he’s got his sights set on you.

Relationship expert Leah Lee has sage advice, noting that:

“He wants you to see only the best of him so he will make an effort to do just that. So, don’t fail to notice if he changes his appearance a bit or starts using new perfume. He will also talk a lot about his strong points, his work success and all the things he is proud of—not because he wants to brag but because he consciously or unconsciously wants to impress you.”

The bottom line: is he in denial about his feelings for me?

The bottom line for finding out if he is in denial about his feelings for you is to think about it from his perspective.

How would you act if you were a guy who had feelings for a girl but didn’t know how to express it and was scared of rejection?

Would you act the way he is or something completely different?

Are the behaviors I described above showing up for you in what he does or is he acting a lot less interested in you and indifferent?

There’s a huge difference between him trying to play it cool and being genuinely indifferent.

Read between the lines and listen to your heart.

The truth will be in his eyes and in his smile.

And if you really want to know, then go in for a kiss and see what happens.

The real reason why men pull away

Want to learn the real reason why men pull away from emotionally committing in a relationship?

It’s not what most people think.

We reveal all in our free eBook Attraction Triggers.

This eBook has everything you need to know about the predictable patterns that make a man fall in love.

Most importantly, it will teach you practical techniques to activate those triggers in your man so you can build a successful long-lasting relationship.

Check it out here.