When it comes to tell if a guy likes you, there are signs you can learn to recognize and that can help you understand whether there is attraction or not.
Whether we’re talking about men, women, or gender-fluid people, human beings in general tend to get their wires crossed. And when it comes to men, they’re not always as direct as everyone says.
They can often be mysterious and enigmatic, especially when they really like you. Because they can become nervous around the woman they like.
How to Tell if a Guy Likes You: 22 Clear Signs, According to Experts
What follows is an extensive and detailed list of signs a guy is into you.
In order to provide you with the best possible information, we have either interviewed relationship experts such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals, or based our claims on research.
Why listen to me? I’m Aymes Cottreau, I’m a relationship and dating expert and I write about psychology, self-improvement and love. My work has been published on large publications such as Medium, Start Up, The Ascent and MUO.
1. He stares at you a lot
When a man is attracted to a woman, he is usually not very subtle. And he can’t help but looking at her – a lot.
According to research, men tend to value more than women the physical characteristics of their prospective romantic partners.
As a result, one of the signs he probably likes you is he will look at your face (a lot), watch your reactions to different situations, and maybe even lock eyes with you during a group conversation.
If you find yourself exchanging knowing looks or having “secret conversations” with your eyes, chances are, he is very interested in you. In fact, this is usually a clear sign he likes you.
However, keep in mind there is a difference between staring and ogling.
When a man is crushing on you, they will stare at you—but not just at your breasts or butt. If a man is ogling your body, he may only be interested in a hookup.
2. He may act awkwardly around you
When a guy likes you or suddenly realizes he has feelings for you, he may begin to act differently around you.
One of the signs a guy likes you is if he starts stuttering, avoiding eye contact, or being shy all of a sudden.
Sometimes people don’t know how to act when they like someone and they clam up or get nervous. This is pretty common.
What you can do
If you have noticed the guy you like is acting weird, try to make him feel at ease with you.
For example, ask him how life is going, and make the conversation easy for him. Be a friend. Remember this: you don’t have to be easy, you have to be easy to talk to.
Don’t be easy. Be easy to talk to.
Recommended read: 19 Signs He Genuinely Loves You, According to a Former Therapist
3. He pokes fun at guys you are dating or have dated
When a man likes you but you’re just friends, you may notice him gently poke fun at the guys you are dating or have dated in the past.
This won’t be in an emotionally abusive way, it’ll be just a little “jab” here and there. “Oh, you’re still dating Chad, the man of many plaid shirts?”.
This is usually one of the signs a guy probably likes you.
At this stage, he may not even realize he likes you romantically yet, but seeing you with someone else somehow bothers him.
Recommended read: 5 Clear Signs He’s Not Into You (Can You Spot Them?)
4. He is interested in you as a person
When someone is interested in you romantically, they will want to know as much as they can about you.
Especially if they are interested in a long-term relationship. Men who are genuinely interested in your passions, career, friends, family, likes, and dislikes are sending a clear message that you are important to them.
When a man is into you, he wants to learn as much about you as possible. And since he is asking about you, if you are interested in him as well, you should ask him questions as well.
Otherwise, he may think you aren’t interested or self-absorbed.
5. He goes out of his way to make you happy
When a guy really likes you, he will probably do little things just to see you smile.
He may pick up your favorite coffee in the morning and drop it off to you. He may request your favorite song when you’re out dancing with your friend group.
Or he may simply send you memes he knows you love or even give you a gift.
A good, high-quality man will want to make you happy, and not cause drama or unhappiness in your life right from the “get-go”.
He will keep things lighthearted at the beginning with small gestures.
From my experience, guy friends won’t do this—unless they are interested in you.
Recommended read: How to Tell if Someone Likes You: 9 Signs of Attraction
6. He asks your friends about you
This is a big one.
If one of your friends tells you, “John was asking about how you’re doing,” it might be he has been waiting to see this friend to ask about you because you have been on his mind.
This is usually one of the clearest signs a guy likes you.
If he asks your guy friends about you, he might see you as more than a friend. Usually, guys can read other guys and will call each other out on a crush openly.
If he risks this happening, he is risking a bit of ribbing from your guy friends, which means he is very interested.
When we really like someone, we can’t help ourselves but trying to gather information about them.
We want to know where they are. And we want to know what they’ve been up to, if they are seeing someone else, and for how long.
However, keep in mind, some men are just shy, and they may not ask your friends anything.
However, if they do, it’s a great sign.
Recommended read: What Type of Woman Is An Alpha Male Attracted to?
7. He gives you genuine compliments
If you make a subtle change to your appearance and he notices it and compliments you, he is probably harboring a little crush on you.
As psychiatrist Ketan Parmar mentions, “When someone likes you, they’ll often go out of their way to give compliments to show how much they appreciate who you are. If your man is making lots of sincere compliments about your looks, personality, style, or talents, then there’s a good chance he likes you.”
Most men who like a woman, like to let her know that she looks or smells nice.
If a guy is really into you, he may also give you compliments for your character or intelligence, he might say something like: “You’re so kind/sweet/caring/smart.”
If he notices the good things about you, and compliments you, chances are, he is letting you know that he is interested in you romantically.
8. He remembers details about you and your life
As Craig Miller, psychologist & co-founder of Academia Labs, explains, when a guy consistently remembers what you tell him, he probably has a genuine interest in you.
“Whether you like whipped cream on top of your iced coffee or you love hawaiian pizza, he’ll remember that. Or he’ll remember things like not to put a straw in your coffee drink because he knows you have a reusable one you always bring. Or that you like the car air conditioner at 75F so he keeps it at that specific temperature,” says Miller.
To give you another example, years ago, I liked a guy, and I told him that I had never received flowers from a man before.
A week later, we were hanging out, having a beer, and he left my house suddenly, saying he had to go out for a few minutes.
He showed up at my place twenty minutes later. He had gone around the neighborhood, picking wildflowers (and some from gardens, hehe), and presented me with a bouquet.
Even though I am happily married now, this is a nice memory of a time when a man remembered something about me and used that detail to make me happy. It was a sweet gesture.
When a man remembers your favorite candy and gets you a bag, or even sends you a meme that relates to something you told him, he is taking mental notes on you.
And he is remembering the little things to woo you. That’s nice.
Recommended read: 34 Signs a Male Coworker Likes You But Is Hiding It
9. His actions speak louder than words
This is one of the best ways to tell if a guy likes you. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words.
If a guy likes you, he will do something about it, always – unless he’s extremely shy. He will be there for you, he won’t flake on you, and you won’t be doing all the work.
It boggles my mind that so many people allow someone they are crushing on to treat them like an option. Just because they feel alone.
If a guy is consistently flaking on you and you aren’t even dating or in a relationship with him yet, he’s not going to change. Believe me, he’s destined to disappoint you.
Men sometimes say whatever they can to get you into bed. So if you hardly know a guy and he’s already sweet-talking you without even knowing you – especially if he wants something – it may be a bad sign.
Men are direct, if they like you and are serious about committing to you, they will consistently be there for you.
They will often initiate contact and always reply to your messages.
They won’t just ghost you and pop up days later for sex and without an explanation. This is the calling card of a man who only wants you when it’s convenient for him.
Recommended read: 17 Signs He Wants You Badly Sexually
10. He calls you just to chat
One of the signs a guy probably likes you is he calls you for a casual conversation.
Especially nowadays that we have easier options to use for communication, such as text and direct messaging. Keep in mind that most younger people prefer to text so if he isn’t calling you yet, don’t take it personally.
He may not like to talk on the phone, like most of us. However, if he calls you on his break at work, or calls you after a night out with friends to chat aimlessly, he is calling for a reason. Maybe he misses talking to you or wants to get to know you better, one-on-one.
11. He consistently makes plans with you
As Tammer Malaty, MS, LPC-S explains, when a man likes you, he will make an effort to hang out with you.
In fact, you’ll feel he spends a lot of his free time with you. And the fact that he loves to spend quality time with you is a clear sign he is interested in you.
“This behavior is a sign of interest because it shows that the man values the woman’s company and is interested in forming a deeper connection with her. It also indicates that he is willing to devote his time and energy to building a relationship with her. Furthermore, this behavior can be considered an implicit compliment to the woman, as it implies that the man finds her company enjoyable and worthy of his time,” says Malaty.
He will initiate plans with you, and invite you to chill with him one-on-one. Keep in mind, if he is only initiating plans that he knows will end in sex, this is not the best sign.
However, if he’s doing many other things that indicate he’s interested in more than sex – like calling you during the day, making an effort, and being consistent – it’s generally a telltale sign he likes you as a person.
Remember this: if he’s truly into you and sees you as his potential partner, you’ll never be his booty call.
12. He enjoys doing favors for you
This is one of the nicest parts about finding a guy who really cares about you. When a man likes you as more than a friend, he will offer to do things to help you out – and you will do the same for him. For example, he may offer to help you install that shelf you got for Christmas or give you a lift home from work.
My parents have been married for over thirty years and when they got together, mom knew dad liked her when he started to come over and help her fix things in her home.
These little gestures show empathy and compassion, as well as a willingness to make an effort. And when they are frequent, they represent one of the most important signs a man likes you.
Recommended read: 15 Undeniable Signs Someone Secretly Loves You
13. He shows up for you
When a man has a genuine interest in you, he may do most of the things we have listed already, but these things aren’t enough to build a solid foundation if he is not reliable.
A good man will show up for you, sometimes even when you don’t ask him to.
For example, if you are playing in a band, showing at an art gallery, or acting in a play, he will come to see you in your shining moment.
He will want to be a part of anything that is important to you. Then there are the really small but important moments to be there, like when you have plans, even loose ones.
When a guy really likes you, he won’t ghost you or not show up. He will be there for you.
If he is already flaking on you and you haven’t started dating yet, consider it might be a sign that maybe he’s not that into you – and not worth your time.
14. He tells you
When a man likes you, he will tell you and he will back up his word with actions.
It won’t all be talking because talk only takes you so far.
But he will make an effort, show up for you, and reciprocate your actions to lead to a balanced relationship.
However, when a man is willing to put himself out there by verbally telling you he cares for you, he is giving you a clear message that he is willing to risk rejection to be with you.
When a man does this, it’s one of the clearest signs he genuinely likes you.
Recommended read: How to Tell a Guy You Like Him: 7 Clever Ways to Do It
15. He talks about the future and includes you in it
If a man is serious about having you in his life, he will talk about the future and include you in his plans.
Not big future plans like children or marriage, but plans for the near future.
For example, he may talk about how he went skiing in Colorado and how awesome it is. And he will tell you “We should go sometime!”
Or he may talk about wanting to try a new restaurant when it opens and suggest that you go together.
This is not only one of the signs a guy likes you, but it also shows that he wants you in his life in the near future and wants to make memories with you.
And making these memories together could possibly lead to true love.
Recommended read: The Law of Polarity: How to Apply It to Increase Attraction
16. When he’s with you, he forgets he has a phone
Another important sign a guy is into you is this: He forgets to check his phone when he’s with you.
And this happens for several reasons. To begin with, he values his time with you and he wants to spend quality time with you.
Also, a guy who really likes you automatically respects you, so he would never keep his eyes on his phone while you’re talking to him.
Recommended read: 12 Signs a Guy Enjoyed the First Date with You
17. He doesn’t hide you on social media
If he publicly interacts with you on social media, it’s generally a good sign. If he publishes content tagging you – or even posts photos or videos with you – it’s an obvious sign he’s into you.
Obviously, this is true if he does it only with you.
18. He befriends your friends
If he’s genuinely interested, he may try to befriend your friends. Especially your guy friends.
If a guy does this and also shows many of the other signs we mentioned already, it’s usually because he wants to get closer to you (and doesn’t see you only as a friend). And he wants your friends to like him as well.
A guy who doesn’t like you probably won’t waste time and energy trying to win your friends’ approval.
Recommended read: 23 Undeniable Signs a Guy Has Fallen Hard for You
19. Inward leaning
You probably noticed this almost every time you were talking to a guy who liked you. A guy who is into you will lean towards you without even realizing it.
And guy do this a lot.
20. He tries to impress you
If a person is not genuinely into you, they’ll not even bother to influence your opinion about them.
Because they don’t feel the need to impress you.
When a guy likes you instead, he’ll want you to have a good opinion about him.
So he might start making an effort to impress you.
He might start to tell you about his accomplishments at work or school, or show you pictures of him spending time doing what he loves.
21. He tries to hide he likes you
Ok, this may sound counterintuitive, but it’s probably one of the most important points here.
Many guys out there are way shier than they seem or want you to think. And when it comes to the woman they really like, they may not show many bold signs of interest.
Think about it: when you’re truly into someone, rejection hurts, a lot. So a guy who likes you a lot but who’s also a bit shy may send you mixed signals.
This is the type of situation in which he may show some interest, then playing it cool, then show some interest again.
When you’re in front of a covert shy, what you have to do is pay attention to their behavioral pattern.
Even if he doesn’t boldly hug you or ask you out, does he consistently initiate conversations with you when you’re hanging out with other people?
Does he consistently remember small details about you? Does he always smile a lot around you?
Remember: focus on the pattern. Always.
22. He finds excuses to touch you
As psychologist and mental health first aid trainer Katie Adam mentions, one of the signs a guy likes you is he will touch you often – probably without even realizing it.
“If a guy is always willing to give you a hug, frequently touches your arm or shoulder, or searches for opportunities to be physically near to you, he may like you. However, he may just be a sensitive person, so observe how he interacts with other individuals. If he only behaves in that way with you, he presumably has a crush on you,” says Adam.
Also, as licensed psychologist David Helfand explains,
“Socially speaking, this is a good sign that he is interested in your because he wants to be physically close. Biologically speaking, we are wired to assess the pheromones of potential mate as well as the overall chemistry of those we might procreate with.”
“When you have physical contact with a potential partner, you are close enough to smell some pheromones as well as sense their biochemical shifts as you make contact. It’s an historically helpful way to determine compatibility, although it has become more complicated in an era where men have to be more respectful of boundaries with woman than they were previously doing over the last few centuries,” explains Helfand.
Recommended read: 34 Signs a Male Coworker Likes You But Is Hiding It
When you recognize these signs and have determined that a guy friend or acquaintance likes you, make sure not to ignore his feelings.
If you don’t feel interested in him romantically, you may want to have a conversation with him about his feelings when you’re both ready.
If you are already having sex but he is not being there for you when you need him or is not making an effort to get to know you, take this as a clear sign he’s not into you. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, he probably isn’t the one.
And if you continue to pick emotionally unavailable men, you may want to learn to love yourself more and be more confident.
When the signs are there and you’re vibin’, go for it! But always make sure he is pulling his weight as you are.
Relationships aren’t always perfect, however, a balanced relationship typically has a balanced beginning.
If you realize the guy you’re interested in likes you back, you can send him some direct clues to let him know you’re into him too. The best thing you can do is make things easier for him, especially if he’s shy, but let him pursue you.
Don’t obsess over him. Focus on your life, your career and your hobbies. Have an interesting and exciting life, and be warm, open and happy to see him when he comes to you.
You know a guy truly likes you when you see a consistent effort in pursuing you, and you realize he behaves like that only with you and not with other women.
Also, if you see many of (if not all) the signs mentioned in this article, he probably likes you.
When a guy often shows up when he knows he can find you, it probably means he’s into you and wants to see you. If he wasn’t that into you, he wouldn’t even bother to hang out where you usually spend time with your friends.
To understand if a guy you barely know likes you, you have to focus on two things: his body language and on how he behaves with you vs how he behaves with other women.
If when you’re around he consistently points his chest and feet towards you, he’s probably interested.
Also, if he tries to interact with you and getting to know you more than he does with other women, he probably likes you.
If you want to know if a guy truly likes you and is not using you, pay attention on how much he invests in you.
Ask yourself these questions: Does he consistently do things for you? Does he want you to meet his friend and family? Or even better, has he introduced you to his friends and family? Does he take real pleasure in helping you?
If he has been doing nice things for you for a long time and has shown he clearly wants you to be a part of his life, he probably genuinely likes you and is not using you.
Here’s a quick recap of the signs a guy truly likes you:
- He stares at you, a lot;
- He may act awkwardly around you;
- You may notice him poking fun at the guys you are dating or have dated in the past;
- He’s interested in you as a person;
- You see him going out of his way to make you happy;
- He asks your friends about you;
- Remembers a lot of details about you;
- His actions speak louder than words;
- He calls you to chat;
- He consistently makes plans with you;
- You feels he enjoys doing favors for you;
- He shows up for you;
- He tells you he likes you;
- Talks about the future and include you in his plans;
- When he’s with you, he forgets he has a phone;
- He doesn’t hide you on social media;
- He befriends your friends – especially your guy friends;
- Inward leaning;
- He tries to impress you;
- He tries not to show too much interest,
- He finds excuses to touch you.
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