It can be one of the most infuriating feelings not knowing if your crush likes you back. You’ve gotten to know him a little bit better and he’s all you can think about. All you want is to get even closer to him, maybe start a relationship with him.
But knowing if your crush likes you back isn’t always the most straightforward thing.
There’s the occasional time where it’s readily apparent you like each other and works out plainly and simply. The two of you start dating without any guesswork.
But, what if he’s hiding his feelings? How can you know whether or not he’s into you, or if he’s just not interested at all?
The last thing you want to do is make a wrong move and turn things awkward between the two of you.
Fortunately, while guys are pretty much walking riddles, there are some definitive signs to tell if he does like you, but is trying to hide his feelings.
It’s also important to note that these signs are the same whether or not you have a crush on him. You might not be interested in him at all, but want to know so you don’t lead him on.
After I run through these 16 indicators, let’s talk about some of the reasons why he might be hiding those feelings from you.
1) He tries to impress you
One of the biggest ways to tell if a guy likes a girl is to study how he behaves around her.
Does he change the way he acts when she’s around to try to impress her? If he likes you, he’s going to try to show off.
Depending on the guy, it might be in ways that are bold and attention-grabbing. Or if he is a shy guy and he likes you, it might be in more modest ways, proving that he’s capable, knowledgeable, things like that.
He’ll tell you stories about his life, where he’s traveled, the things he’s accomplished. Or he’ll brag and puff out his chest to prove to you he’s the best.
The good news is, though, that his personality probably isn’t like that all the time, and once he has your attention, this kind of behavior should for the most part go away.
If he’s trying to impress you, it’s probably because he likes you.
2) He has flashes of jealousy
If you’re talking about an ex or one of your other guy friends, don’t be too caught off guard if your crush is suddenly really jealous.
Men have ingrained protection instincts that tend to show themselves in behaviors like jealousy. Women do, too. It’s a natural emotion that has always been a part of our psychology.
Men, in most cases, tend to display it more outwardly than women. Especially when it comes to other guys that are around the girl he’s interested in. He may feel slightly threatened by them, or upset that an ex mistreated her.
It’s only a normal reaction, and if your crush is acting like this, it’s pretty definitive proof that he has feelings for you.
3) He keeps strong eye contact
If he watches you like a hawk (not in a creepy, unsettling way), he’s demonstrating that he is very interested in whatever it is you’re doing or saying.
He doesn’t want to miss a beat, for fear of missing out on that perfect smile of yours. He’s keeping a sharp lookout for an opportunity to grab your attention, or a chance to make you laugh.
When you’re unsure if the guy you like has feelings for you, watch him to see if he’s watching you. He may be hiding his feelings, but his gaze gives him away.
And if you pay closer attention to him, he might just get the hint and be inspired to make the first move.
4) He gives you mixed signals
It’s going to be confusing to see your crush act so differently around you each time you hang out, but it’s a good sign that he likes you back.
One time he’s with you he might be sweet, kind, funny, and charming. But then the next time you see him he’s just the opposite: closed off, rude, defensive, or just can’t be bothered.
This is a great sign that he is struggling with his own feelings for you, and wants to hide the fact that he likes you.
He wants to play it cool, not seem too into you too early. He wants to play hard to get, to keep you guessing and trying to figure him out.
It’s probably working, too.
Just remember that his hot and cold swings are a huge sign that he really likes you but is trying to hide it.
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5) He slyly asks if your single
Asking somebody if they’re single is a pretty loud way to announce that you’re interested in them. Once a guy asks you this question, it’s clear that he wants to know if you’re available to date.
So if a guy is trying to hide the fact that he likes you, he’s going to do his best to get the information via other means.
He might try to deduce if you’re dating anyone by asking related questions. He’ll sleuth around the topic to see if you volunteer the information without him having to ask it.
If you get the feeling that he’s fishing for information about your relationship status, he’s probably into you. He’s trying to hide his feelings, but now you know that he likes you.
6) He’s always asking questions (and listening)
If a guy is asking you questions about details in your life, the way you feel about things, how you’re doing on a day to day basis, or anything that has to do with you, it’s because he’s interested in you.
Now maybe he’s just being nice, or has a gregarious personality.
But maybe it’s because he really likes you and is hiding it.
How much does he remember about what you say? If he remembers a lot, it shows that he’s been listening to the answers you give him.
A man who listens is a man who cares, so he probably has feelings for you.
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8) He pushes against your personal space bubble
Maybe he tries really hard to sit next to you in group situations, or goes out of his way to hug you when you meet up or say goodbye.
If he laughs at your joke and touches your arm, or brushes your hand accidentally, he probably likes you.
Paying attention to these casual moments of physical contact can quickly reveal the feelings that he’s trying to hide.
If he’s pushing against your personal space bubble, he should be doing it in a respectful and appropriate way that never makes you uncomfortable. Grabbing, invasive, or groping hands that go too far without your consent are a big red flag.
This kind of behavior is far from okay and you should call him out on it. Avoid him if need be for you to feel comfortable and safe.
9) He’s always giving you compliments and doing nice things
Kind acts and compliments are a big way to tell if a guy likes you but is hiding it.
Some guys are just plain nice and will compliment every girl for something they appreciate about her. (More guys should definitely be doing this.) But if he’s giving you sincere, thoughtful compliments every time he sees you, he might just like you.
A guy who likes a girl is likely to go out of his way to do anything he can to help her out. If the guy you like is constantly offering his help and talents for you, he probably likes you back.
Even if he’s doing everything he can to hide that he likes you, he may give away his secret with his compliments and kind acts.
10) He jokes and teases with you
One of the reasons you like this guy so much might be because he’s so funny. He makes you laugh and giggle all the time, his humor and memes are always on point.
Teasing and flirting are very similar. A lot of guys flirt with girls by trying to make them laugh and being funny.
If he’s joking with you, it could be because he’s flirting with you. If he’s giving you a hard time and always teasing with you, he could be giving away the fact that he likes you.
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11) He’s active with your social media
After the two of you have linked up online, you notice him liking all of your photos as you post them, replying to comments you make, or sending you memes out of the blue.
If he’s doing these things, it’s because he’s interested in you, and wants to participate in your online life as much as he does your day to day life. He’s showing you that he likes you.
Even if he’s trying to hide it in all kinds of other ways, this is a big giveaway. He likes you.
12) What would Sigmund Freud say?
Let’s be real: sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a guy likes you or is playing games.
So why not enlist the help of the most famous psychologist of all, Sigmund Freud?
Yes, the grand master at understanding sex and attraction can give you a personal love diagnosis.
I recently came across this extraordinarily fun “does he like me” quiz based on Freud’s most famous theories.
Simply answer a few personal questions and let Freud himself dig deep down into your man’s subconscious to reveal what’s really motivating him in your relationship.
I know that might sound a bit…clinical, and you’re not here to get a psychology lesson. But before you get spooked let me be clear:
Taking this quiz was the most fun I’ve had on the internet in years!
13) He doesn’t use his phone around you
Giving somebody your full attention shows respect and sincere interest. When a group of friends are all hanging out though, it’s normal to be on your phone, bouncing around between conversations, having laid back interactions.
If you notice the guy you’re into put his phone away when you spend time together, he’s giving you his full attention. He doesn’t want to be distracted from anything you have to say.
He may be trying to hide his feelings, but if he isn’t using his phone, it’s because you’re the most important thing to him at the moment, and he probably likes you.
14) Check his body language
Body language is a huge indicator of true feelings. No matter how hard he’s trying to hide the fact that he likes you, his body language is going to give him away.
Eye contact is a big way to tell if he likes you, which we already talked about. But he might also lean in towards you and keep his body focused on you. Or he might seem nervous, twiddling his thumbs or fiddling with things.
If he’s nervous around you, it’s probably because he has a pretty big crush on you.
15) He remembers everything you told him
Even when you don’t think he’s paying attention, or when you say things while talking to someone else, he might just be remembering everything you say.
He hangs off your every word, remembering every detail about you. If you catch him revealing that he remembers something obscure about you, even if you didn’t think he was listening, he’s giving away the fact that he likes you.
Even if he’s trying to hide his feelings for you, this is a surefire way to tell if he likes you.
16) He lingers when saying goodbye
Maybe he’s the last to leave, or you catch him saying goodbye for the third time without actually leaving.
He enjoys your company and doesn’t want to leave your presence. He soaks up every second of it and doesn’t want it to end. That’s probably because he really likes you and doesn’t want to say goodbye.
He could be a stone wall otherwise, an expert at hiding the fact that he likes you, but if you notice him lingering when saying goodbye, it’s a big giveaway of his true feelings for you.
So Why Is He Hiding His Feelings?
The reasons a guy is hiding that fact that he likes you could be because of any number of factors. Why a guy thinks he needs to hide his feelings is something personal, and has to do with what’s going on in his head.
It also has to do with what the circumstances are between the two of you and what’s going on in his life at the time.
That being said, there are some pretty common reasons why he might be hiding his feelings.
1. He shies away from commitment
A lot of guys are afraid of commitment. The idea of commitment can be scary and intimidating for him.
It’s a big reason why he might be hiding his feelings from you when he likes you.
If he reveals to you that he likes you, and you do like him back, there’s pressure for him to keep the ball rolling, to get to know you better. What comes next is a relationship, more responsibilities, marriage, kids, and the whole avalanche.
Of course, you know that having a crush on somebody doesn’t imply that any of those things have to happen, but maybe his brain can’t help but run down that long list of fears.
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2. He’s intimidated
He might think you’re the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, inside and out. This might be intimidating to him.
Your prowess, independence, and irresistible allure could make him hesitate to make a move or even hesitate to show his feelings for you at all. It’s a strong reason to hide those feelings, at least until he’s ready to make a move.
If you’re impatient to get the ball rolling, you could try putting him at ease. Flatter him, flirt back a little bit, even make the first move if you think it’s something he could be into. (Hint, he’ll probably love it.)
3. He’s confused about how he feels
The two of you could be really close friends. Your current relationship could be mutually enjoyable and perfect the way that it is.
But maybe he’s afraid that if it’s so perfect–if he reveals his true feelings for you–the relationship will be ruined and you’ll be scared off.
He doesn’t want to ruin a good thing by giving away the fact that he likes you.
If his feelings keep developing and he keeps hiding them, it might be a good idea to bring it up with him. You can already tell that there’s something between the two of you, so why skirt around the subject?
Doing so in a kind, gentle, and non-confrontative way could lead to a mutual understanding and perhaps an even closer friendship.
4. He’s afraid of rejection
This is a pretty big one. Almost everybody is afraid of being rejected. It’s never a pleasant experience.
It’s that much more unpleasant when the rejection comes from a girl that you really like or a guy.
For him, the idea of being rejected by you is too painful to confront. He’d rather hide his feelings for you and love you from afar than deal with striking out and losing you. It’s an understandable feeling, especially if he’s naturally shy.
It’s possible that he also has been through a lot of trauma already, and is still trying to heal from a bad rejection, loss, or breakup. He just isn’t ready to make that first move, and so instead hides his feelings from you.
Understanding the reasons why a guy likes you but is hiding it is important to help you know what to do next.
If you see your crush clearly displaying one or more of the previous 14 signs, you can be pretty confident that he likes you back. But knowing he likes you back is half the battle.
Knowing what to do about it starts with understanding why he’s hiding his feelings. The previous 4 reasons why are a good starting point to help you understand your crush’s motivations for hiding his true feelings.
The only way you can really know for sure, though, is to bring it up directly. As you spend more time together, the two of you may naturally get closer, and those barriers will come down on their own.
Your natural attraction will bring out his feelings, and yours, and before you know it you might be dating your crush.
But if it seems like that wall just isn’t coming down, finding a good time to ask him about his feelings directly might be a good idea.
If you catch him off guard or seem confrontational, he might be embarrassed and scared off. But if you ask it in a kind way and explain to him why you want to know, it can clear up any confusion and reservations.
There’s a lot of different ways to tell if your crush likes you even if he’s hiding it, but if you want to take all the guesswork out of it, make the first move. You might just be surprised at how he responds.
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