How To Tell If A Guy Likes You But Is Hiding It?

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How To Tell If A Guy Likes You But Is Hiding It?

You’re getting some signals, but they aren’t super clear. Are you imagining them? Did he mean to graze your arm oh-so-sensually when reaching for the salt just now? Or does he have no idea what happened?

Most guys are difficult to read. If they’re not open about their interest in you or their desires, then how in the world are you supposed to know what they want or feel? 

And if he’s hiding his attraction to you, what’s the reason?

In a perfect world, we’d all be having great dates, vibing with new people, and maintaining healthy relationships. 

In reality, though, we’re all struggling to navigate the rapidly changing dating scene and trying to decode mixed messages. 

So, how do you tell if a guy likes you but is hiding it? We’re going to pinpoint some things to look for when trying to decipher whether the vibes you’re getting are real or just wishful thinking. 

Does he like you?

Man making advances on a woman
Man making advances on a woman.

You could resort back to “daisy science” and just start plucking petals to see if he loves you or if he loves you not. But, rest assured, there are other, more tangible ways to figure out if this guy is into you or not. 

Are you dying to know if he’s interested in more than he’s letting on? Here’s what to look out for. 

He asks about you

Does this guy go out of his way to see how you’re doing and what you’re up to? Does he remember that big presentation you were nervous about? 

If he’s checking in on you, then that’s a good signal that he’s interested. He could just be a good friend, but that could also tell you more. 

He remembers things that most of your other friends don’t, and then he follows up on those things. If this is happening, then he’s a caring and considerate guy. 

He may be that way with everyone, or maybe he has a special interest in you. 

Either way, this guy is a nice one to have in your life – as a friend or more. 

He’s reliable

Young man helps woman with training
Young man helps woman with training.

It’s moving day. He said he’d be there at 8 a.m. to help you, and there he is, with your insanely specific, preferred coffee order and donuts from your favorite bakery in hand. 

When he tells you he’s going to do something, he follows through. He’s not flaky about the plans he has with you. If he has to cancel, it’s very occasional and with good cause. 

He wants to be there for you, so he sticks to his word. He’s been one of the most dependable people in your life. You know that if you ever need something, he’s the guy to call. 

He’s flirtatious

He gives you butterflies when you’re talking. There are sexual undertones to your interactions, unnecessary touches, and witty banter. 

How does he talk to other people? Is it the same way? Or do you notice that there’s something that changes when he’s with you specifically?

You probably know how to flirt. If not, I’m sure you’ve seen it happening in the movies and on television at the very least. Is he trying that out with you? How does he respond if you flirt back?

If he’s being flirtatious and openly and eagerly receives your flirtatious banter, then he could very well be interested in more. 

The woman grins while the man whispers something
The woman grins while the man whispers something.

He confides in you

Do you know all about his family? Did you hear about his traumatic sixth-grade talent show where he ambitiously tried to perform Thriller solo on stage but froze up?

You know a good deal about him, and it’s not because you’ve done an internet deep dive. It’s because he’s opened up to you. He feels comfortable sharing things with you that he wouldn’t with most other people. 

When big things happen in his life, you’re one of the first people he goes to. You have a special comfort and connection with each other. 

There’s a physical attraction

This one may seem superficial, and certainly physical attraction alone isn’t a great indicator of relationship potential or quality. However, it is a good sign to see if there’s a possibility of taking a friendship to the next level. 

You may have always had a physical attraction to one another, but have never acted on it. Or sometimes, attraction changes as you get to know someone.

Maybe you weren’t initially his type, but as he gets to know you, he’s more interested. 

Physical attraction is most likely what’s going to push a relationship out of the friend zone and into something more – whether it’s friends with benefits, casual dating, or a full-on relationship. 

He wants to see you

Seems obvious, right? If a guy likes you, he should want to see you. If he’s indifferent to seeing you, then he’s probably not that interested. 

Does he make plans to see you? Is he unwilling to leave your meetings to chance? That’s a great indicator that this guy likes you. 

We’re all busy with work, friendships, family, and making time for ourselves. The time and energy you choose to give to other people are valuable. If he’s deciding to provide you with both, then he likes you.

He admires you 

A young man is gazing admiringly at a young woman.
A young man is gazing admiringly at a young woman.

This is a big one if you’re hoping this guy likes you AND is interested in having a relationship with you. What is it that he gets from the relationship with you that he likely won’t find elsewhere?

Talent, intellect, and passion are sexy and admirable qualities. Does he admire the way you built your business? Or your dedication to the environment? 

Or maybe it’s the little things that he admires in you: your witty humor, your positive attitude, your spontaneity, or maybe even your organizational skills. The saying “opposites attract” exists for a reason. 

If someone has a quality that we admire, it’s easy for sparks to fly and relationships to develop. In relationships, we learn from each other and hopefully grow together. Admiration for a potential partner is key. 

Why isn’t he acting on his feelings?

This is the important part. A guy can be absolutely head-over-heels in love with you, but if he doesn’t want to act on those feelings, then nothing will ever happen. 

Of course, you can make the first move, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be well received, even if he does like you. There’s probably a reason why he’s not taking the next step with you. 

So, what could the reason be? 

He’s not ready to commit

Whether he’s just not a relationship guy or he’s just come out of one and is not ready to dive into another, this is an important reason to be respected. 

You cannot convince or force someone to commit to a relationship with you. He may like you a lot, but know that he’s just not ready for a relationship right now. Good on him. 

It can be hard to listen to that voice of reason when you are attracted to someone. However, no good will come from ignoring your gut. Sometimes, even though you like someone, it just isn’t the right moment. 

He leads a busy life

Busy man working in the office
Busy man working in the office.

I mean, he’s super busy, so busy that you cannot and will not be a priority for him. 

Depending on what’s going on in our lives, we prioritize different things. If dating or a relationship isn’t one of his priorities, he’s decided it’s best not to act on his feelings. 

Again, better to not start something than to feel like you are not good enough to slot yourself into this guy’s jam-packed schedule. 

He’s in the friend zone

Have you known this guy forever? Or did you just immediately have friend chemistry that’s so rare to find he doesn’t want to mess it up?

This guy may have feelings for you, but he might also feel like you are too good of a friend to risk anything more. 

Or maybe he’s unsure of what you think of him. He’s probably known all the guys you’ve dated and could be thinking he’s not your type. 

If you think the only reason he’s hiding his feelings is that you’ve got him in the friend zone, but you share his hidden feelings, then make a move. You want your partner to be your best friend. If you’ve already got that, and there’s a hidden spark, then this match could be amazing. 

The words love and friendzone in a jigsaw puzzle
The words love and friendzone in a jigsaw puzzle.

He’s got no game

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means you’re going to have to make the first move. 

Maybe he doesn’t have much experience with dating or relationships. Or maybe he’s just really shy. Whatever it is, he’s not likely to take things to the next step. 

Who cares? The days of men having to make the first move are long gone. I love making the first move on a guy. I think it’s sexy. And guess what? A lot of them do as well. 

If he likes you, he’s going to be thrilled that you made a move. 

He’s still feeling it out 

There’s a physical attraction and an emotional comfort level, but he’s still on the fence. Maybe he’s got past relationship issues that he’s still dealing with, or he’s just working on himself. Either way, he’s not ready to put his feelings out there. 

Don’t press the issue. While some people work well under pressure, the beginning stages of a new relationship usually don’t. 

He’s still deciphering what he feels and if he wants to act on those feelings. You do you while he figures things out. 

You’ve got a complicated history

Is he your ex? Did he date one of your friends? Did you date one of his friends? Is either of you ever single at the same time?

Whatever it is, it may seem like the stars just aren’t aligning for you guys. He may think too much has happened to give it another try, or that things are just too messy. 

Everyone brings baggage to a relationship. Maybe you two share some baggage or know too much about each other’s pasts. For the right person, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Feel out if the complications are things worth working past.  

You just don’t seem into him

Woman feeling awkward realizing that the guy likes her
Woman feeling awkward realizing that the guy likes her.

Are you giving this guy no vibes at all? Are you interested in him? Or maybe you’re unsure of how you feel about his suspected hidden feelings.

If you can pick up that he likes you, he can probably pick up that you don’t. He doesn’t want to ruin what you have by making it awkward. Face it, sometimes things get weird when confessed feelings aren’t reciprocated. 

Think about why you want to know how this guy feels about you. Is it freaking you out and sending you running? Or are you debating the idea of starting something up with him? 

It’s best to understand what you’re feeling before addressing the issue. 

What to do?

You’ve been vigorously checking off items from our “does he like you” list and now you’re convinced that he’s got some hidden feelings for you. Where to go from here?

Check in with yourself. Do you have genuine feelings for this guy, or do you just like the special attention he gives you? 

Don’t toy around with his feelings. If you prefer to leave things as they are, then that’s fine. Until he addresses the issue, just leave the situation alone. 

If he ever admits his feelings to you, be sensitive and caring. Remember, you like this person, you just don’t like-like him. Hopefully, you two can continue the friendship that you already have. 

If you have feelings for him and want to explore the relationship further, then talk with him about it. There’s no reason you need to wait for him to make the first move. 

If he has not acted on his feelings for a specific reason, he should be able to tell you that.

Together, you can decide how to proceed. Don’t try to force the situation or the relationship. If it’s not the right time and you both know that, then move on. 

Hidden Love

Remember, we’ve all been fed the movie line that hidden and forbidden love is sexy. And, maybe it is, in a toxic relationship way. It’s most likely not long-lasting nor healthy. 

Be honest about your feelings, with yourself and the people you have relationships with. 

In the end, there’s no point in obsessing over a guy who has feelings for you but is hiding them. They’re probably hidden for a reason. 

Live your life without overanalyzing, as hard as it may be. If you have feelings for this guy, shout it from the rooftops. Okay, don’t get that carried away with it. But you, definitely, have to share those feelings. 

It’s scary to be vulnerable with someone, but it’s the only way to grow and get the most out of your relationship. Sometimes the best moves to make are the ones that make you nervous. After all, who doesn’t love the butterfly feeling?

Photo of author


Sarah is a writer at While she enjoys writing on a variety of topics, her favorite is dating and relationships. She’s curious about dating trends and how they continuously evolve. When dating gets hard, she likes to find humor and reason in the situations that she affronts. Through a combination of personal experience and research, Sarah loves connecting with readers through her pieces on their shared dating experiences.