Are you getting mixed signals from him?
You think he’s in love with you, but something seems to be holding him back.
Like he’s afraid of something.
Is he holding back because he’s afraid of commitment?
Because he’s just not that into you?
Or is it because he’s scared of getting hurt.
The good news is, men aren’t nearly as hard to read as their male counterparts.
With these 13 key tips, you’ll be able to work out exactly what he’s feeling and whether he loves you, but is scared of getting hurt.
1) He acts differently around you
Watching how he acts with you compared to other women is a good tell-tale sign of his feelings.
If he likes you, it’ll show.
But take a look at how he shows it.
Is he confident around you? When you’re out with friends? If he’s turning on his charm every chance he gets then this isn’t a guy who’s scared. He’s simply biding his time before committing to the relationship.
On the other hand, is he nervous and a little anxious around you? Is he the same way with your friends?
This guy also likes you, but he’s definitely scared.
He might go quiet when you’re in a big group, or struggle to get his words out when he’s put on the spot.
This nervousness is a manifestation of his fears.
Be gentle with him, as he’ll run away at the first hint of pressure.
2) He loves to stare at you
You’re in a group of friends and you glance up to catch him staring intensely at you from across the room.
Or he’s staring at you and holds his eye contact for that little bit longer.
But then he comes too, realises your catching on and quickly averts his gaze.
This is a clear sign he’s into you and has strong feelings for you.
Eye contact can communicate a lot in just a short space of time.
If he’s still holding back, then it’s safe to say there’s something else going on.
3) He’s ignoring you
Unlike the last sign, this one can be a little confusing.
Surely, if he’s ignoring you, there’s no interest there?
Well, some guys really (and I mean really) don’t want to appear desperate.
So, instead, they do the opposite and go to great lengths to ignore you.
Doesn’t make sense, right?
But it does in their heads!
It’s a way to protect their ego.
In this case, he’s scared of rejection. He’s just waiting for you to make the first move.
Once he knows you’re interested, that fear will likely slip right away and he’ll come around.
Go ahead and let him know you’re interested. You never know where it might lead…
4) He wants to be around you all the time
There’s this age-old debate about whether or not it’s possible to just be friends with a guy.
To be honest, it is possible. In the right circumstances. And this probably isn’t it.
If there’s a guy you think is into you, who just wants to be around you all the time. It’s because he likes you.
He’s not trying to just be friends. But he’s scared to make a move.
Instead, he’s just finding excuses to be around you as much as possible.
If you’re out to dinner with a group of friends, he finds a way to sit next to you.
Or when you leave, he makes an excuse to leave at the same time?
He loves being around you and wants to be there as much as possible, but something is holding him back from making a move.
5) He makes jokes about liking you
Did you know, there’s a grain of truth in every joke.
And when it comes to jokes about a relationship, there’s a fair few grains of truth in there.
He’s putting it out there and testing the waters.
This guy is scared of asking you out, because of his fear of rejection.
Instead, he’s putting the ball in your court to see how you feel.
If you reject his joke, he can laugh it off and just pretend it was nothing and spare his ego in the process.
If your reaction was encouraging and he thinks he’s in with a shot, then after a few attempts, he might make a move.
Once he’s certain he won’t be rejected, then he’ll happily make his move.
6) It feels right when you’re together
You’ve gone on a few dates and it feels so right.
Use your gut instinct for this one.
If you think it’s all going well and he seems to be into you, it’s probably because he is.
But then when he leaves, you barely hear a peep from him and it makes you question everything.
In this case, when he’s with you, he’s comfortable. He can’t help it.
It feels right to be near you, so he naturally lets his guard down.
Then as soon as he leaves, he gets that feeling of fear again. You message, and he is too scared to reply.
When you’re dating, if he starts getting hot and cold, it can leave you wondering whether or not he’s interested in the relationship.
It’s quite stressful when you have no idea what he’s thinking through it all.
He’s the first one to arrange and date and goes to so much effort. He picks the perfect place, gets dressed up, and goes to every effort to make the evening special.
Then when you suggest meeting up again, he puts you off and plays hard to get.
This is the battle of his emotions. He likes you, but he’s holding back. During this time apart he’s convinced himself that he doesn’t actually like you that much – or possibly that you don’t like him that much.
He’s scared of getting hurt and finds excuses when you’re apart.
7) He won’t talk about feelings
Sure, this could explain a lot of guys. Why is it that they always avoid the feelings conversations?
It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. He’s simply hesitant to share them with you.
After all, if he opens up and tells you he loves your or cares for you, this puts him in a vulnerable position.
If he avoids the feelings talk altogether, he can keep his guard up and won’t end up getting hurt.
If you’re finding your boyfriend is a little emotionally unavailable to you, try and get him to open up. At the moment, he’s feeling too scared about admitting his feelings. Be gentle on him.
Here are some tips you can follow:
- Open up to him to encourage him to do the same.
- Don’t force him to share his emotions.
- Let him know he can trust you and you’re not going to hurt him.
- Let him know you’re there for him when he needs it.
It can take time, so don’t feel like you need to rush the emotions talk. The trust will build over time and his fears will lessen.
8) You’ve ignited his hero instinct
When you achieve this, you know he likes you as much more than a friend.
The hero instinct is a biological drive in men have to provide and look after those he cares about. He will hold you back from crossing the street and check for oncoming traffic first. He’ll want to be the one to pay for those dinners out to look after you. He’s the one that shows up on your doorstep with chicken soup when you’re sick because he cares.
You’ve ignited his hero instinct – and he’s clearly into you. But something is holding him back. He’s yet to ask you on a date or hasn’t yet made the next move in the relationship.
It’s likely he recognises exactly how he feels about you and is worried about getting hurt. Whether he has been burned before or is naturally a more cautious person, he’s scared to commit because he doesn’t’ want to get hurt.
9) He remembers the little things
We’ve all heard it before – men simply don’t make the best listeners.
That is, of course, unless he loves you.
Men who are in love take in everything. They remember your favourite movie, your favourite flowers and your favourite treat.
They remember things you told them weeks and months ago.
Because they care.
When he’s listening to you and taking in every word, you know that he loves you.
So, if he’s still not committing the relationship, then it’s probably because he’s scared of getting hurt.
He’s showing all the signs of love, but holding back to protect his feelings. He knows that once he lets you in, there’s no going back and he’s just not ready.
10) He floods you with compliments
Who doesn’t like a compliment?
If he’s showering you with compliment after compliment, it’s because he’s looking to see how you react.
He wants to gauge whether or not you’re enjoying the attention from him, or if you dismiss the compliment and aren’t interested.
He’s trying to protect himself from getting hurt by finding out whether or not you like him first.
11) He laughs at your jokes
It’s what we all want in life, right?
Someone who’s there to laugh at our jokes and make us feel good about ourselves.
This is exactly what he’s trying to do. He’s too scared to share how he’s feeling – he doesn’t want to get hurt.
Instead, he’s showing he likes you in other ways and making you feel comfortable around him.
He may not be up to the stage of asking you out on a date, but with a little encouragement, he’ll get there.
12) Jealousy kicks in
He hasn’t mustered up the courage to ask you out, yet he is jealous when you’re receiving attention from another guy.
Talk about mixed signals. It can certainly feel very confusing.
His protective side has jumped out and he’s showing you that he cares deeply for you. He just doesn’t have the courage to put this in words.
He might simply need a little more time, with a little nudge from you in the process.
13) You just know
Your instincts have kicked in and they’re telling you that you’ve got something special in this relationship.
It feels right and you know that he deeply cares for you. Or possibly even loves you.
Yet, you can also feel that he’s holding back and seems to be scared of something.
If this is what your instincts are telling you, they’re probably right. Trust them.
Then use them to decide what to do next. Whether you want to openly talk to him about it, or are scared of pushing him away. It’s up to you.
Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself and not making up feelings that aren’t there.
Why is he scared of being in a relationship?
You’ve been through our 13 signs, and it’s clear. He’s definitely scared of getting hurt. It’s natural to want to know why.
The first thing you need to know is it likely has nothing to do with you.
Here are some of the signs he might be scared of getting into a relationship with you.
1) Past experience
That’s right. This guy has been jaded by a past relationship experience.
It’s making him hesitant this time around.
If he’s been burned before, which has scared him.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there and we’ve all had our hearts broken.
Now might be a good time to open to him about your past relationships. Times you’ve had your own heartbroken.
Sharing stories could encourage him to open up about how he’s feeling.
But don’t pressure him. These things can take time and he needs to rebuild back that confidence on his own.
He knows he has a good thing with you. That’s why he sticks around.
He’s just trying to work up the courage for commitment.
2) Fear of rejection
Another fear we can all empathise with.
It’s actually a fear a lot of men have – deep down.
Think about it, there’s a lot of pressure put on the man when it comes to relationships.
While you’re sitting back, hoping he’ll ask you out. He’s working up the courage to do just that, all the while scare you might say no.
You know you won’t say no – but does he?
Of course not!
The same goes in a relationship. You know you won’t hurt him, but does he?
He may need a bit of a confidence boost.
Let him know how much you care about him.
Knowing this will help ease his fear of rejection, allowing him to commit to the relationship.
3) Skeletons in his closet
That’s right, he might be hiding something big.
We all have things in our past that we would rather stay there. We all make mistakes, right?
But his secrets might be a little more than that drunken shenanigan that flashes into your mind. And he knows, the closer he gets to you, the harder it is to keep it in the closet.
If he’s not ready to share, then he’s going to avoid getting too close to you.
Once again, this might just take a little time and patience on your end.
If you push too hard, he’s going to go running for the hills.
Start by sharing some of your skeletons. It may make him feel more at ease with his own.
After all, we all have secrets – don’t we?
4) He’s just not ready
You might be ready for that next stage of the relationship – and he simply isn’t.
We all know that men mature at different rates to women.
He’s just not there yet.
As a result, he’s feeling scared about even just the idea of commitment.
This one isn’t really anybody’s fault (as much as you’d like to tell him to grow up).
He’ll eventually come around to the idea, once he has time to process and accept what he’s getting into.
He’s sticking around because he wants it too. He’s just manifesting his immaturity as a fear of commitment.
Give him time. He will get there!
5) Fear of commitment
This last one shouldn’t come as any surprise. Some guys are just scared to commit.
Whether they enjoy their freedom or are used to sleeping around. These are hard habits to break.
They like you. They might even love you. But they’re struggling to get past their fear of commitment and take on the relationship.
This can be extremely frustrating – especially when you know exactly how you feel.
It can help to take a hard line on this one.
Tell him if he wants you, then he needs to commit. After all, do you want to be sharing him?
He’s scared – what next?
The next part is up to you.
If you have the patience, then wait it out. He’ll overcome his fears in time and commit to the relationship. After all, if he’s showing all the signs above, you know he loves you.
If you’re not willing to wait, then you can try and push him along.
Determine exactly why you think he is scared. Which of our 5 signs above sounds most like him?
From there, you can work out a way to help him overcome his fears.
Remember, it’s important to be gentle in your approach, otherwise, you risk losing him for good.
If he does love you and you love him, it will work itself out in time.
Here are some things you can do to help:
- Show consistent and trustworthy behaviour: if you use open communication and are honest about your feelings and intentions, he will slowly let his guard down and let you into his life.
- Let him retreat when he needs to: it’s normal for people who are fearful to pull back after a nice experience together. If you go to a nice dinner out and have a great time and find he’s pulling away, it’s because he feels the same and is scared about what he’s feeling.
- Ask him what he needs: sometimes it helps to be as open and direct as possible. Ask him what he needs from you to make the relationship work between the two of you.
At the end of the day, you need to decide whether or not the relationship is worth it and if you’re willing to stick around to help him through it.
Fear isn’t something that will go away on its own – it needs to be worked on. So, you need to be willing to stick by his side and work on it with him.
The real reason why men pull away
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