21 subtle signs a guy likes you – how to tell if a guy likes you

Are you trying to figure out whether a man likes you or not?

You can’t quite tell if he’s playing games with you or not?

If you want to be sure, then this is the ultimate guide for you.

Remember, men aren’t as complex as you might think. It’s just a matter of knowing what signs to look for.

Here are the top signs that a guy likes you, let’s jump right in:

1) He smiles at you

Is he always smiling at you? If so, there’s a good chance that he’s picking up what you’re putting down.

However, many people naturally smile, so here’s what to look out for to find out if he likes you or not:

Does his smile last longer? Typically when a person is interested in you, their smile will be prolonged or even wider.

Does he smile for no reason? You don’t have to tell a joke or funny story for them to smile, he will smile because you’re in his proximity, or you make eye contact.

Smiling is a huge sign that he’s just feeling good and trying to make a good impression when you’re speaking together.

2) He ignores you

This sounds like a strange subtle sign, but if a man is ignoring you, he might have a crush on you.

Some guys think that if they ignore a particular girl, then that girl will notice them and wonder why they’re disinterested. She’ll then like him because humans tend to chase what they can’t have.

Sometimes, it might work for the guy, but it also could backfire on him. He might think that you don’t like him, so that’s why he is trying this technique.

The problem is, it can be difficult to figure out whether he is ignoring you because he is trying to get you interested in him, or if he is ignoring you because he doesn’t have feelings for you.

Here’s what you can do:

Approach him and start a conversation. If you show him that you’re interested in talking to him, he’ll likely open up and show his true personality.

He’ll answer your questions with a bright smile. He’ll think that his ignoring has worked. If he reacts this way, he obviously likes you.

Keep in mind that if you approach him in a cold manner, then he might continue to ignore you and give you one-word answers.

So make sure you’re somewhat friendly when you talk to him.

Now if he doesn’t like you, he’ll probably be polite and act like a normal human being in the conversation. He won’t smile too much, and he’ll get out of the conversation fairly quickly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some guys who like you will ignore you to avoid getting nervous when they speak to you. After all, they don’t want to make a bad impression.

This is easy to figure out. When you’re in a conversation, see if they’re nervous or shy when they’re speaking to you. If they are, then there’s a good chance they like you.

3) He wants to know if you have a boyfriend

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Now obviously if he directly asks you, “do you have a boyfriend?”, he likes you.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

What I’m referring to is whether he indirectly tries to figure out if you have a boyfriend already.

It’s rare for anybody to ask whether you have a boyfriend directly.

So look out for whether he starts talking about his relationship status. He might say things like “ah life is more boring when you’re single” or “I’m single so I went to the wedding on the weekend by myself”.

The reason he is revealing his status is that he wants you to reveal yours.

If you mention that you went to a party at the weekend, he might ask you if you went alone.

There will be little subtle signs like this that will tell you whether he is trying to figure out if you have a boyfriend or not.

If you’re pretty sure that’s what he is trying to do, then he definitely likes you and might see a future with you.

4) He asks you many personal questions

If he can’t stop asking questions about your personal life and what makes you tick, then it’s a surefire yet subtle sign that he likes you.

You can tell that someone has real feelings for you if they seem to appreciate everything you say and do.

It might feel like they’re clinging to every word you speak. This is a great sign.

He’s curious about you because he’s interested in you. He wants to keep the conversation going and develop rapport.

He also might be trying to work out whether you’d be a good fit for him in the future. So, he might ask you what your purpose in life is. 

But do you actually have the answer to this question?

I totally get how awkward and unsettling it can be when someone you’re into asks you a deep question like, “What’s your purpose in life?” and you find yourself stumbling for an answer.

Trust me, I’ve been there. My crush once asked me the same question, and my mind went blank.

It made me realize that I hadn’t given it enough thought myself.

That’s when I decided to take the Find Your Purpose Masterclass by Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown.

This free masterclass really resonated with me because it debunked a lot of myths about finding your purpose.

The best part is that Justin didn’t talk about lofty visions or complicated formulas.

Instead, he inspired me to reflect on two simple yet profound questions in a meaningful way.

Going through the masterclass gave me a sense of clarity and empowerment I hadn’t felt before.

So, if you ever find yourself speechless when faced with a question about your life’s purpose—especially from someone you care about—I can’t recommend this masterclass enough. 

Click here to access the free masterclass.

5) He finds excuses to touch you

This is a huge indicator that he likes you, especially if he is a direct and forward guy.

According to national bestselling author and behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards:

“When you are in the same environment as others, the space between you and them can tell you a lot about the relationship. The fancy word for space is called proxemics.

“Does this person find subtle ways to touch your arm or hand? We use touch to signal connection.”

Humans tend to touch what they like.

Is he giving you an extra long hug? Or is touching your arm lightly when he is talking to you? Does he put his arms around your shoulder?

Guys who are confident and don’t have hang-ups about touching females will touch you in any these kinds of ways if they like you. After all, they like you and they get a thrill when they touch you.

It’s also a way for them to develop a rapport with you so that you feel comfortable with them.

Keep in mind though that if a guy isn’t touching you, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. Some guys just aren’t very good at touching without looking sleazy or awkward. They might also be shy.

Also, it’s important to make sure that he isn’t a touchy-feely guy with other people as well. That might just indicate that he is comfortable touching people.

But if it seems that he is touching you more than other people, then you can put it in the bank that he likes you.

6) He is always chatting to you on social media

If he is reaching out to you on many forms of social media, it’s a clear sign that he likes you.

When you think about it, we use social media in our free time. This is a time when we can literally do whatever we want. It’s the Internet after all!

So if he is using that free time to talk to you, then that’s a great sign that he likes you.

In fact, he might like you but is scared to admit it in person he chats to you on social media.

But take note, his response time actually matters

According to certified counselor Jonathan Bennet:

“One of the surest signs someone likes you over text is a rapid response. “This shows that the other person is excited to receive your messages and wants to keep the conversation going. It demonstrates that answering you is a priority, even above and beyond other commitments.”

However, if he is chatting to you, but taking time to respond and giving you one-word answers, then he might not be interested in you.

Make sure that he is engaged in the conversation, giving you thoughtful responses, and responds fairly quickly. If he is, then he’s definitely into you.

Also, interacting with you through social media by liking and commenting on your photos is a great sign that he likes you.

Most social media platforms use algorithms to show users’ content, so if he is seeing your posts, it means that he has been interacting with your profile before.

This is obviously a great sign.

7) He asks for your number

This is a tried and true sign that a guy is into you. Asking for your number means that he wants to be able to connect with you and possibly organize a date with you.

Once he gets your number, then you can analyze how he responds to your texts to see if he truly likes you or not.

If he is unable to meet you at all times except late on Saturday night, then he would not be interested in you. He may only want a booty call.

But if he is actively trying to set up a meeting with you, and is quickly responding to your texts with thoughtful answers, then he is probably into you.

8) He wants to know what your future plans are

Is talking about his future plans with you? Is he asking you about your future plans?

Then there’s a good chance that he is thinking about a future with you. Do you fit in? Are you going to be compatible together?

Furthermore, he might be trying to impress you by sharing his plans for the future. He wants to show that he is a man with ambition unlike a lot of the other guys.

He’s not just thinking about the short-term. He is thinking about the long-term and that’s a great sign that he might want to have a relationship with you.

But to build a future with someone, it’s essential to know your own path and purpose in life, right?

If you’re unsure about what your life’s purpose is, then this could be the perfect time to discover it.

As I mentioned above, I found immense value in Justin Brown’s free masterclass about finding your purpose in life. It was an eye-opener for me, and I think it could be for you too.

So before you dive into future plans with him, make sure you’ve got your own figured out.

Check out the Free Your Mind Masterclass to gain the clarity you need for life’s big questions.

9) He remembers every little detail of what you tell him

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Did you mention to him that it was your sister’s birthday on the weekend? And the next week he is asking you how the party went? Then he probably likes you.

According to professional matchmaker Coree Schmitz:

“In today’s society where being present in a conversation is one of the hardest things to do, giving a new person full attention during [a conversation] is one of the highest compliments.”

If a guy likes you, he’ll remember the little things like your birthday, your friend’s name, your dog’s number and when you’re getting a haircut!

He’s interested in you and is consuming all the information he can to find out more about you.

This is also a reason why guys who like you will ask you personal questions. They know enough about your life that they can get down to the nitty-gritty of what truly makes you tick.

10) He teases you

Teasing is one of the clearest signs that a guy likes you.

Do you remember in Kindergarten when the boy pulled your hair? Yeah, he liked you.

It’s normal for guys to tease girls to get their attention. Teasing is the grown-up way of pulling your hair.

Teasing is also a great way to initiate flirting. Usually, it will be playful teasing, and they might even give a slight punch on the arm as they do it.

But don’t mistake it for insults. They just trying to increase the playful vibe, get your attention and make you laugh.

So if they’re constantly teasing you (playfully) then they definitely like you.

11) His eyes are focused on YOU, not your assets

When you’re having a conversation, is he getting lost in your eyes? Can he not stop looking?

According to former FBI behavioral analyst Jack Schafer:

“People look at people they like and avoid looking at people they don’t like. The neurochemical oxytocin may be responsible for increased eye contact. Elevated oxytocin levels increase mutual eye gaze and provide a sense of well-being, which increases mutual attraction.”

The reason he can’t take his eyes off your face is that he genuinely likes you AND your personality.

If he doesn’t seem distracted at all when you’re talking, then it’s pretty clear that he’s focused on you and only you. That’s a great sign.

However, it’s important to watch out for the guys who are looking at your ass and breasts, instead of your face.

That’s a bad sign that they might like you sexually, but they’re not interested in your personality.

They’re the type of guys that I recommend you stay away from.

12) He stopped flirting with other girls

Has he put the back burner on flirting with other girls? Is he being especially careful around you about how close he gets to other girls?

He might be conscious that you’re watching him and he doesn’t want to make a bad impression.

If he genuinely likes you, he wants you to know that his focus is only on you, and he hasn’t got time for other girls.

Marriage therapist Kimberly Hershenson says:

“They don’t want to talk to anyone else. If they were around you the entire time and didn’t bother to meet other people or strike up a conversation with anyone else, it’s a sign they think you’re special.”

How can you tell? Well, he’ll likely give you eye contact every now and then to see if you’re watching him.

He’ll make sure to not be stuck in one-on-one conversations with other girls as he knows you might be jealous – and he doesn’t want that.

He’ll also be extra polite around other girls so he can appear like a gentleman in front of you, and not like a playboy.

It’s also worth thinking about the way he has begun prioritizing you.

Dating expert Stef Safran explains:

“When someone follows through consistently with their promises — they contact you when they say they will, and if they forget, they actually acknowledge you — this can show that they really care about you and your feelings.”

13) He wants to help you in any way he can

A guy who likes you wants to make a good impression on you. They want you to know that they’ll look after you and that they’re able to protect you.

According to psychotherapist Christine Scott-Hudson:

“Pay twice as much attention to how someone treats you than what they say. Anybody can say they love you, but behavior doesn’t lie. If someone says they value you, but their actions indicate otherwise, trust their behavior.”

When someone likes you, they’ll do more than is usually required. Sure, most friends will help you out, but will they go above and beyond? Because that’s what a guy that likes you will do.

Is he offering to lift all your new furniture in your new place? Because most friends wouldn’t do that. Guys love to be the “hero” for the girl, especially when they have a crush on the girl.

14) After he makes a joke or tells a story, he looks straight at you for your reaction

This is one of the easiest and best ways to figure out if he likes you or not. If you’re in a group and he is telling a joke and once he finishes telling it, he looks to you first for your reaction, then clearly you’re on his mind and he’s trying to impress you.

If you smile back, and then he smiles or shows relief, then clearly he’s interested in you.

Humor and laughter are also major signs that someone is interested in you.

According to University of Texas psychology professor Norman Li:

“You are more likely to be interested in some kind of relationship with a person if you initiate any kind of humor towards them. If the other person is also interested, they should be more likely to perceive you as humorous and respond favorably (laugh), even if you’re objectively not all that funny.

“However, if they’re really not interested, then they probably won’t find humor in what you say, even if it’s your best material.”

15) His friends know about you

If he is truly interested in you, then it’s almost certain that he has told his friends.

So if they are trying to engineer you two being stuck together in a conversation, then clearly they are trying to help out their buddy.

They might leave the conversation when you arrive, or they might even giggle a little bit.

Also, if your man is introducing you to his friends, then that’s a clear sign that he likes you. He wants you to meet your friends and for your friends to assess if you’re a good fit for him.

Don’t be nervous, Just be yourself. After all, he definitely likes you!

16) His eyebrow lifts when he is watching you

When a man raises one eyebrow (or both eyebrows) it’s a sign that he is fascinated by what he is looking at. So if his stare is directed at you, then that’s a great sign that he is fascinated by you!

Not only should you watch his eyebrow, but pay attention to his eyes as well. If they widen or his pupils widen, then that’s a clear sign of attraction.

However, just like above, it’s important to make sure that he is looking at you for you, and not at your ass/breasts. That means that he is genuinely fascinated by you, not fascinated by you sexually – which is what you want to avoid.

Remember, his eyes will usually tell you what his body is thinking.

Relationship expert and author Cindee Bartholomew adds:

“When you’re introduced, they’ll look directly into your eyes with a level of intensity that makes your heart aware. They will often continue to stare at you even after you look away and when you look again at them they will smile again.”

17) He acts nervously around you

Everyone can relate to this. When the person you like comes along, you start feeling nervous in the stomach. Guys are no different.

Therefore, if he really likes you, he won’t help but act nervous around you.

In fact, when we like someone, it creates havoc in our bodies.

According to neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen:

“Falling in love — or rather falling in lust — activates those pleasure centers housed in [the basal ganglia] which causes an immediate physiological response. The heart beats fast, your hands will get cold and sweaty and you’re super-focused on that person.”

But here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Nervousness can be portrayed in different ways. Some guys will talk faster and seem almost hyper (like nervous excitement).

Other guys will tell weird jokes or start teasing you. And finally, some guys will be incredibly nervous on the inside but will do their best to portray a calm demeanor.

However, they’ll probably still present some signs of nerves, like fidgeting hands or legs.

So if you think that your guy is nervous around you, there’s a good chance he likes you.

And if you’re getting a little annoyed by some of his nervous behaviors, just give him time. He’ll eventually be comfortable and you’ll be able to get him to know for who he is.

18) He gets jealous when you talk to other guys

Is he intensely looking over when you’re talking to another guy? Does he look a little angry about it?

If he so, he might be jealous and jealousy is a tried and true sign that a guy likes you.

Relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch says:

“Jealousy is among the most human of all emotions. You feel jealous when you think you are going to lose a relationship you really value.”

Some guys might try to “act” like they’re okay with it, but as soon as you turn around, they’re pissed off and wondering whether that guy is legitimate competition for them.

How can you tell if he is jealous?

When you’re talking to another guy, have a quick glance over at him and work out if he can’t stop looking.

If his eyes are darting at you constantly, then he’s probably jealous and is trying to figure out how the conversation is going with the other guy.

What might also happen is that he will come and interrupt the conversation.

If he does that, then he clearly likes you and is making a move. Sometimes jealousy can spur a guy into action.

This could be a technique you can use if you want to get him to approach you, but be careful, as he might also think that you’re not interested in him if you’re continually talking to other guys.

19) He starts grooming himself

This is a telltale sign that he likes you that not many people know about. If you notice that he is readjusting his clothes, or fixing his hair when he is around you, he probably likes you.

This is actually something called preening, which basically means fixing oneself to appear better.

It tends to happen subconsciously. However, it’s important to make sure that he is fixing himself for you, and not for someone else.

But if you’re the only girl in his vicinity, or he is looking at you as he preens himself, then there’s a good chance that he’s into you.

20) He starts using “alpha” body language around you

What’s an alpha male? An alpha male is a guy who is the leader of the pack. You can usually tell who is alpha just by looking at body language.

Alphas tend to spread their body out, push their shoulders back, move slowly, and be very direct and open with their body language.

So if you find that your man pulls his stomach in and his shoulders back and tries to almost “stand taller” when he is around you, then he could be trying to appear like an alpha in front of you.

When he is sitting down, he may also try to use as much room as possible by spreading his arms and legs.

Why would he do this? Because he wants to show you that he is a leader that can take care of you.

The easiest way to look for this is to have a look at how his body language changes when he walks past you.

Does he pull his shoulders back and puff his chest out? If that’s noticeable and he does that as he walks past you, then he is almost certainly into you.

21) He’s “mirroring” you

According to Van Edwards, mirroring is “someone subtly is copying/mimicking your speech or speech patterns and nonverbal behavior.”

She says the verbal and non-verbal cues of mirroring are:

  • Does this person face you with their entire body? When someone’s top, torso, and toes are angled toward you, this is known as fronting.
  • Do they mimic your standing or seated posture?
  • Or do they copy your vocal volume and cadence?
  • Do they use the same words or language as you?

Try to notice the way he acts when you’re together. If you notice him doing any of the physical cues above, he is surely interested in you.

Want to really know how he feels? Ask him!

YouTube video

Remember, sometimes the best way to find out if he likes you is to ask him, or let him know that you like him. There really is no reason to play games.

However, the confusing thing can be that he may not even know the answer…

You see, men are wired differently from women. And they’re driven by different things when it comes to relationships.

I know this because I watched Justin Brown’s video above. In it, he talks about how important it was for him to discover the hero instinct and finally understand why he is an emotionally unavailable man.

His conclusion?

“I realize that I’ve always been emotionally unavailable because the hero instinct was never triggered in me.

My relationships with women involved everything from “best friends with benefits” to being “partners in crime”.

In hindsight, I’ve always needed more. I needed to feel that I was providing something to my partner that no one else could.

Learning about the hero instinct was my “aha” moment.”

So, if you’d like to trigger the hero instinct in your guy, watch this excellent free video.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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