10 Signs He Is Pretending Not To Like You (Even Though He Does)

by April Maccario

I grew up watching ‘Hey Arnold,’ and I know a lot of us can relate to the goofy way Helga kept chiding and teasing him when she actually had a giant crush on him! 

Well, that show ended a long time ago, but for some reason, some grown-up guys still feel the need to hide their feelings, and instead project mixed signals that get many of us confused

So that guy at the office, or coffee shop that's ignoring you, may actually like you. This is just one of the signs he pretending not to like you. Now, this is not a game of probability; as women, we have this inner instinct that lets us see when someone is putting on that type of façade. If that's not enough, then there are some clear cut signs that he is interested in you, and is just pretending not to like you. 

So, if you're dying to know if that particular guy likes you, then keep reading for some of the most obvious signs to tell if he’s just pretending not to like you. 

Signs He Is Pretending Not To Like You

Some guys know how to hide their feelings so well that a crush could go on for years without anyone being able to tell. However, even with the best pretenders, there's always something, a glimmer in their eye, the stolen glances, something that gives them away. 

Below, I'll be outlining some of the most significant tell-tale indicators that should let you know if that man secretly likes you or not. 

1. He tries to get to know you

So here’s the thing, someone who isn’t fascinated by you wouldn’t spend the time of the day trying to learn personal things about you. Yes, they might be very subtle about it, asking follow up questions to a vague answer you gave, or merely asking questions that would naturally make any girl talk. He might also be prancing around with such confidence and poise, but if he's trying to dig deeper into the book, that's you, then he probably does like you. 

More so, if he’s asking more personal questions, asking some friends about you and the likes, except he’s a private investigator, girl, that man likes you. Anything could be stopping him from taking that bold step and asking you out; some guys like to protect their feelings and be 100% sure that things will work out before making a move. 

2. He gives mixed signals

The good old 'hot and cold' signals, you're no stranger to it, most people are guilty of sending mixed signals to someone they like for different reasons. When you've done something before, in this case, it's sending mixed signals to someone you like without being direct about your feelings, it's easy to tell when a guy is doing the same. One day, they are inviting you over for dinner; on the next, they are rejecting your calls and giving you the cold shoulder. 

‘Is he confused about his feelings, does he like me,’ you may ask, in my opinion, he probably does. People who have conflicted feelings would want to be with you deep down, but they need to keep pretending not to like you, so they’ll try to close that gap. He may not be sure about his feelings, and may even be trying to fight them for reasons best known to him.

3. He won't talk about other relationships

He won't talk about other relationships

A guy that really likes you won't want to talk about his love life, or your many suitors, in his head, there's just the two of you. You may also notice how tense he gets at the mention of another guy. The only reason he'd dare mention a girl is if he's trying to make you jealous. It can be a bit tricky finding out if such topics get to him, but if you pay attention to the signs, and how his facial expressions change, or his voice lowers, then bingo, that's a significant way of telling he is into you. 

A guy who doesn't like you wouldn't seem sad or disappointed if you tell him about a crush or the cute office dude who's making a move at you. So, if he tenses up every time you mention the name of another guy who may like you or even advises you to take your time or steer clear, then he's probably into you. 

4. He enjoys teasing you

This is an age-old behavior a lot of people subconsciously play into, instead of admitting they like you, they start teasing you, giving you weird nicknames, and would always be the ones to negate what you have said. Pay them no attention, because that's precisely what they're trying to get, your attention. Even though it’s all a facade, what they say might hurt your feeling if not careful. 

A guy who resorts to constant teasing may really like you a lot; the only way to mask his is through mean jokes, unnecessary teases, and a cold attitude when you're around. Yes, I know, it sounds dorky, but it's very true, the only way to be sure you don’t find out he’s crushing on you is through some weird reverse psychology

5. He reaches out frequently

Someone who doesn’t like you won’t drop everything just to be at your side during emergencies, or check on you frequently when you call into work sick. These are the few signs you can rely on to figure out if a guy is pretending not to like you. Maybe he'd be able to ignore you on regular occasions when he tries to make sure you’re fine anytime there's an issue with you, then that show she cares. 

Guys like that may be the most mysterious guys on earth, but one thing you can’t stop is a show of care. It could be a phone call when your sick, taking the fall for you, or even encouraging you on rough days. He doesn't have to come out and say he likes you; it shows in his pure intentions, caring spirit towards you and the support he unconsciously gives sometimes. 

6. He's always trying to spend time with you

Think, why would a random guy, who has no interest in you whatsoever, waste more than 30 minutes of his time shadowing you? Some guys are to shy to come out and say they like you, but you'll notice the efforts they make to spend time with you. He may even come up with the flimsiest excuses to escort you home, help you pick out a gift, or also carpool with you to work. 

Yes, I agree, anyone can do those things, but if he is doing any of these things and more inconveniently, then yeah, he probably likes you a lot. And if he suggests casual hangouts with friends, or continuously offers to keep you company during lunch or after work, he's figuring out ways to get to know you. 

He may still be pretending not to like you, but that won't stop him from trying to hang out as friends. No matter how subtle he tries to be, you'll notice some signs here and there, the way he stares at you and even how much fun he's having around you. 

Trust me; guys would rather spend time with their friends, play video games or even a sport than hang with someone who they haven't admitted feeling for. If he is spending that extra time with you, then he is interested in you and is merely trying to enjoy those warming moments while figuring out what to do about his feelings. 

7. Those friendly hugs linger a bit too long

If you're reading this, you probably suspect that a guy who's pretending not to like you does. And some more physical signs may give away his true feelings. Do you know that Chris Brown's song 'I should have kissed you'? It's an excellent explanation for what goes on in a guys’ head when he turns to hug you and doesn't break off immediately. 

For someone who acts as if he doesn’t fancy you, it would be strange if this happens, say, after a casual date or hangout. No doubt, hugs are casual and to some, a peck on the cheek is a suitable way to say bye; sometimes you can tell a man likes you by how long, or how intimately he 'says goodbye.' 

Just imagine it, he's been harboring these feelings, and maybe even doing a great job at it, but then he has the opportunity to get that close to you, he's going to need more than 5 seconds! If he feels that way, trust me, you'll be able to tell the signs from his goodbye handshakes, kisses, and hugs. 

8. He makes jokes about being your boyfriend

Remember when we talked about reverse psychology? Well, this is a bit different, in this case, he may throw in subtle jokes starting with ‘if I were your boyfriend…?’ You can’t blame him for bringing it up, he’s probably been thinking about it a lot. The plan may be to put the thought in your head, so then you'll start imagining what a life with him would be like. Or, he could just be innocently slipping up and being sloppy in his pretense game.

This could also go the other way, throwing jabs at other guys whose been on your case could also be his way of trying to tell you that guy isn't good enough for you. Of course, he can't come right out and say it directly, cause he's still pretending not to like you. It's just one of the signs that this guy is interested in you romantically, but is somewhat holding back on admitting it. 

9. His friends act weird around you

Men have this sort of 'guy code' that makes them more united when it comes to these types of things. Except his friends are very immature, they'll be ready to keep his secret and probably only encourage or discourage him from making a move. Hanging around them may seem a bit awkward, the extra space they are willing to give both of you, and the constant glances towards you to see your reaction to his jokes and comments.

Sometimes, he brings them along to hangouts for back up, to help him look cool, and maybe help patch up any blunder he makes. You may be rolling your eyes at this very moment, but hey, guys will be guys. Plus, girls do that too, bring a friend along to keep you in check, and maybe help 'sniff out the guy.' So it's understandable when he involves his pals, but if you observe them more, you'll be able to tell if they're hiding something as well. 

10. He gets jealous when people mention another guy that’s into you

He gets jealous when people mention another guy that’s into you

This guy may not be forward when it comes to his feelings, but that won’t stop him from getting uneasy at the mere mention of your love triangles or situationships. It could be that one guy who's also trying to get your attention, or even a celebrity crush, he won't sound too pleased hearing about it. Sometimes, it may even be jealousy towards your male best friend, cause at this point; everyone is a threat. 

He may be pretending not to like you, but he can’t fake jealousy, it’s an emotion that’s a bit hard to hide. So, if you look at him closely when another hot guy approaches, and feel like he’s jealous by reading his body language, then it may just be so. He doesn't have to say anything; the tense jawline, death stares, or uneasiness will tell it all. Figuring out if a guy is jealous is vital if you want to know how to tell if a guy likes you. 

FAQs 

How do you know if a guy is pretending to not like you?

The best bet is watching for his body language, those lips can lie, but the rest of his body might just be telling the truth. Try to focus on the way his body responds to yours, and it doesn’t even have to be in a sexual way, simply how he mirrors and behaves around you. 

How do you tell if a guy is confused about his feelings for you?

A guy would usually give mixed signals when he’s confused about his feeling, hot today, cold tomorrow. One day, he could be extra flirty, very touchy and incredibly helpful, the next day, he’d shrink in and downright ignore you. That means he isn’t yet sure how to act on his feelings, and if he should in the first place.

Will a guy avoid you if he is developing strong feelings?

Some guys will not talk to or relate with you, even if they have developed strong feelings for you. They want to be sure that you are also interested in them, and maybe even compatible as well. This could make them stay away from you and watch from afar, or relate with you very platonically to get a hang on their feeling before proceeding any further.

How do you tell if he is fighting his feelings?

A man who is fighting is feeling will try his best to conceal them; he'll fake it enough to convince you he isn't interested in anyway. A woman who knows a guy is on to her may try to 'encourage' him to ask her out, and at this point, he may not want that. For example, it will show how much he wants to say yes to spending time with you but painfully says no. 

How do you make him miss you like crazy?

It is believed that the absence of a thing would only make the heart fonder of it; the rules apply here as well. Try to be more mysterious, post less on social media platforms, and when you do, it should be a completely 'bomb picture.' Don't divulge much during calls and texts, keep conversations interesting but very straightforward, so he’ll want to hear more. 

Let’s Sum Things Up...

Go over the list one or two times, does anything click? Have you recognized any of these attributes in that special guy that’s trying so hard to hide his true feelings? Well, I'm glad I could help if you enjoyed this write up, and at least one of the signs was relatable. 

I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below and maybe even share this article with friends and family, it could help them as well. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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