Is he playing hard to get or not interested? 15 ways to tell

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Dating can seem so complicated at times, especially when the rules keep on changing.

It gets even more complex when you keep getting mixed signals from the guy you’re interested in.

You’re not sure where you stand and whether he even likes you.

Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

From assessing his body language to asking him direct questions, these 16 signals will help you determine whether he’s playing hard to get or just not interested in you.

Let’s get started:

16 ways to tell he is playing hard to get or not interested

1) He takes his time texting/calling you back

He isn’t quick to reply to your texts or phone calls. He’ll make you wait for hours, sometimes he won’t even get back to you until the next day!

What does that mean for you?

That depends.

On the one hand, if he takes his sweet time to get back to you but once he does he’s very attentive and caring, then he’s probably just playing hard to get.

He doesn’t want to seem too eager to get back to you. He doesn’t want you to think that he has nothing better to do than sit by the phone waiting to hear from you.

On the other hand, if he takes a long time to get back to you and responds with a one or two-word message, or calls you briefly without saying much or showing any enthusiasm, then unfortunately this means that he’s only calling because he feels obliged and not because he’s interested in you.

2) He doesn’t call you after a date

He doesn’t call you the day after a date.

You went to a lovely restaurant for dinner. You laughed a lot. Afterward, you went to the cinema and then he walked you home like a real gentleman.

All in all, you had a great time and thought he did too. But he stays silent and doesn’t follow up.


It could mean that he’s having a hell of a day at work and doesn’t have time to think about anything but work.

Or, maybe he had a really good time but doesn’t want to show it and wants to wait a bit before calling you. Maybe he’s even hoping that you’ll be the first to call. This means that he’s playing hard to get.

Finally, if he doesn’t call for a few days, well, this probably means that he’s not interested in you.

Maybe he didn’t enjoy your date, maybe you had too much to drink and it ended up being more of a headache than anything else. Maybe he doesn’t think you have much in common and doesn’t see it going anywhere.

3) He’s hot and cold

Is he sweet and caring one day and mean and grumpy the next?


It’s normal for people to have good days followed by bad days.

Everyone has a right to be in a bad mood from time to time.

If he’s had a rough day at work or has some personal issues that mean he’s moody for a day, try to cheer him up and don’t hold it against him.

But if he is constantly playing the hot and cold game with you, it’s probably a sign that he’s not ready for a relationship.

In short:

It’s not even that he’s playing hard to get or that he’s not interested in you, it’s actually that he doesn’t know what he wants, so I advise that you stay away from him and find someone who knows what he wants and will treat you nicely all the time.

4) He cancels on you without explanation


If he cancels on you without giving you any explanation, but then he calls to reschedule, don’t read too much into it.

Maybe something came up, maybe he’s playing hard to get and wants you to wonder what on earth he could be doing instead of going on a date with you.

It’s no big deal.

However, if he keeps canceling on you without giving you an explanation, well then he’s obviously not interested in you.

There’s simply no excuse for such behavior. He doesn’t know how to come out and tell you straight out that he’s not interested, so he agrees to dates that he then cancels.

5) He says he’s busy when you ask him out

He says he’s busy whenever you want to go out.


On the one hand, if he says he’s busy on the day that you suggested but offers another day when he’s free, then he’s obviously interested but he’s playing hard to get and wants everything on his terms.

On the other hand, if he’s always busy when you ask him out and he doesn’t suggest an alternative time when he’s free, it’s a clear sign that he’s not interested and you should stop asking.

6) He keeps saying you’re friends

Despite any flirting that goes on between the two of you, you often hear him say, “You’re such a great friend!”

What does that mean?

It means that he likes to cross the line and flirt with you because it feeds his ego. It also means that he doesn’t want to take it any further than that.

He wants to make sure that you don’t misunderstand his flirtations for something more. That’s why he keeps on insisting on pointing out that you’re his “friend”.


I know that his flirtatious behavior can be a bit confusing and it certainly isn’t nice. He’s sending mixed signals and I don’t blame you for being confused.

But let’s face it, if he were interested, he wouldn’t keep calling you his “friend”.

7) He’s always late

This is a guy who likes to make an entrance.

He’s not that big of a douche to keep you waiting more than 10-15 minutes, but he’s never on time.


It’s not that he’s not interested in you or that he doesn’t respect you.

He just wants you to think that he’s special because he’s so busy with so many things that he’s never on time.

It’s as simple as that.

Next time, feel free to come a few minutes late yourself rather than wait for him.

The truth is, understanding men is much easier than most women realize – we tend to overcomplicate things a lot.

I learned this from relationship expert Carlos Cavallo. He’s one of the world’s leading experts on relationship psychology and what men want from a relationship.

In this free video, he’ll explain everything you need to know about how to get through to your man.

8) He talks about other girls

He has no problem looking at other girls and commenting on how attractive they are when you’re together.

He’ll even tell you that he has a new fling every week.


If he’s talking about other women he finds attractive and telling you about his love life – while at the same time he’s flirting with you – this is no guy for you.

He likes the attention that he’s getting from you, it makes him feel good about himself.

He enjoys making you jealous.

He’s not interested in you, he’s too busy being in a relationship with his ego.

9) He flirts with you even though he’s got a girlfriend

Do you have a guy friend that is constantly making you feel like he’s in love with you – by the way he looks at you, the way he sits close to you, the way he puts his hand on your knee and brushes away your hair?

Does he then go on and talk about his girlfriend? Maybe he’s even introduced you to her.

If you’re wondering what’s going on, I don’t blame you.


In my experience, this is a guy who loves the attention of women.

He likes to make them fall in love with him, to make them feel as if there might be more than friendship, but he doesn’t follow through.

In fact, he has a girlfriend that he loves and he isn’t leaving any time soon.

In a nutshell:

He’s a jerk who pretends to be interested in order to feed his ego.

Cut him off and find someone who will really be into you and who will treat you right.

10) He teases you

He teases you

Does he like to tease you? Do you sometimes feel like you were back in primary school?

You’re probably wondering whether he likes you or not, what does his teasing mean?

You see:

Sometimes boys will be boys, no matter how old they get. If he’s teasing you (and I don’t mean being rude and insulting), then it’s a sign that he likes you.

He doesn’t want to come right out and say it, he wants to play hard to get. Teasing you is a way to get your attention.

11) He doesn’t call for days but follows you on social media


You haven’t heard from him in days. He doesn’t call or text.

You don’t want to seem pushy so you give him some space.

You notice that he’s liking a lot of your pictures on social media and that he’s commenting on your posts.

What does that mean?

It means that he doesn’t want to appear too eager by getting in touch directly.

But he’s definitely into you because he’s showing an interest in you online.

It’s his way of playing hard to get – showing you he likes you but in a roundabout way.

Next time:

Don’t worry about being too eager. If he’s reaching out on social media, be the one to text or call him. Don’t wait for him to do it.

12) He doesn’t introduce you to his friends


You’ve been dating for a few weeks but you still haven’t met any of his friends.

You ask him to introduce you to his friends, and it’s just like he doesn’t hear you.

You discuss plans for the weekend as a couple but there’s no mention of him introducing you to any of his friends.

In a nutshell:

If after all this time he’s not introducing you to his friends, it means that he isn’t very interested in being involved with you.

13) His body language is a dead giveaway

He may act all coy and try to hide how he feels about you, but if you pay close attention to his body language, you’ll be able to figure out whether he is playing hard to get or if he’s just not interested.

Here are some of the giveaways:

  • Eye contact: If his eyes often meet yours and he doesn’t look away, it’s a sign that he really likes you. However, if he is constantly breaking eye contact with you and looking down at his phone or anywhere else, it means that he doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with you right now.
  • He faces you: If his body turns to face you when you are talking, it means that he is attracted to you. He’s not even aware that he’s doing it, but it’s a gesture that means he’s interested.
  • He can’t resist touching you: It’s little things like finding an eyelash on your cheek or brushing away your hair. He’s obviously looking for excuses to touch you because he’s into you.

In short: He may play hard to get by not calling you often or whatever it is he does, but when you’re together, look at his body language to know what he truly feels.

14) He always makes an effort to look good

Now, if he wasn’t interested in you, he probably wouldn’t make such an effort to look good.

So if he’s a bit of a puzzle and you’re wondering whether he’s playing hard to get or he’s not interested – look at his appearance.

  • Is he making an effort to look good for you?
  • Has he gelled his hair? Is every hair on his beard in place?
  • Did he clip his nails? Does he put a lot of thought into what he wears?
  • And most importantly, is he wearing cologne?

If he’s making an effort, it’s because he likes you and wants you to notice him.

15) Ask him

If there’s a guy that you really like and he’s been giving you mixed signals for a while now, it’s time to take some action.

If not knowing whether he’s playing hard to get or he doesn’t like you is driving you insane, then you need to confront him.


I know it’s not easy and you’re scared of getting hurt or embarrassing yourself, but trust me, you don’t want this to drag on forever.

What you need to do is straight up ask him – does he actually like you or are you wasting your time?

If he admits that he likes you, great! You can now do something about it.

If however, he says that no, he’s not interested in you, that’s ok too. It’s much better than not knowing what’s going on and constantly questioning his motives. Now you can move on and find someone who’s interested in you.

Why do guys play hard to get?

1) He wants to test the waters. If you’re new to the dating scene and you haven’t had much experience, then it’s understandable that you might be a bit nervous about meeting new people.

So if he doesn’t call or text you immediately, it doesn’t mean that he’s not interested in you.

He just wants to see if there’s any chemistry between the two of you and whether or not he wants to pursue something more serious with you.

2) He may play hard to get because he doesn’t want to take a risk by making himself vulnerable by asking out girls he’s just met.

He’s afraid that if he asks you out, you might say no. So he plays hard to get until he sees that you’re interested. Then he’ll ask you out.

3) He’s not interested in you. He just wants to see how long you can hang around before you leave.

He wants to see how far he can push you before you give up on him and walk away.

He knows that if he really likes you, he’ll eventually have to make a move.

4) He doesn’t want to be seen as desperate or needy.

So while he may like you, he doesn’t want to be seen as the person who needs constant reassurance by making a move too soon.

He doesn’t want people thinking that he is desperate for love or validation from others or that he is the needy one here.

5) He wants to act cool and not show how much he likes you so that you come chasing him.

6) He feels that if he acts too interested in you, then you will think that he’s just after sex.

7) He wants to get to know you better to be sure that you are the one for him before he makes a move.

8) He wants to make sure that his friends won’t try and steal you from him.

If guys play hard to get, it’s because they don’t want any competition.

9) He might be too shy and not know how to approach you.

10) He might have been hurt in the past and is trying to avoid getting hurt again.

He plays hard to get because he refuses to admit to himself that he likes you.

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If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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