12 signs a guy secretly likes you, according to psychology

Figuring out whether a guy is romantically interested in you can be a challenge, especially if you’ve just met him and don’t have much information to go on.

Or, if you’ve been friendly for a while, but you’re unsure if he’s keen on taking the relationship to the next level.

Luckily, certain patterns of behavior hint at underlying attraction.

You just need to learn where to look. 

Here are 12 signs a guy secretly likes you, according to psychology.

Turns out, men aren’t that mysterious after all.  

1) He makes prolonged eye contact

Girls generally use eye contact to signal to a guy that he should approach them.

If the guy holds said eye contact?

It’s a great start!

According to psychology, prolonged eye contact signals interest and plays a crucial role in flirting.  

Imagine talking to a guy wearing sunglasses. 

The conversation might be on point, but without gazing into his eyes, it can be hard to decipher his true intentions.

You can also use eye contact to tell whether someone you’ve known for a while is interested in more than being just friends.

Does he steal glances at you when he thinks you’re not looking?


2) He mirrors your body language

Mirroring is the (usually subconscious) replication of gestures, expressions, or speech patterns of the person you’re talking to.

Think of it as a nonverbal way of building a connection with someone else.

According to psychology, mirroring is something we do with people we are interested in.

So, if you notice that a guy adopts a posture or gestures similar to yours, you’re on the right track.

You lean in during the conversation, he also leans in to indicate his engagement.

You smile, he smiles.

You tilt your head, he tilts his head.

You get the idea.

3) His own body language speaks volumes

Besides mirroring, his body language can further clue you in as to whether he’s interested in extending your interaction.

Psychologists identify several body language cues you should pay attention to. For example:

  • He positions himself close to you whenever possible
  • He finds reasons to touch you (like to remove a fallen eyelash)
  • His arms are relaxed and he has a relaxed posture
  • He nods, gestures, and responds affirmatively to what you’re saying
  • He fidgets, flushes, or blushes
  • He licks or parts his lips

The more of these cues you notice, the better.

4) He engages with your social media content

We spend a ridiculous amount of time online nowadays, so you may be able to tell whether a guy secretly likes you by how he engages with your online content.

If I have a crush on a guy, liking his selfie story on Instagram is the closest I get to suggesting I want to spend approximately three hours gazing into his eyes and listening to him talk about his PC setup.

It’s more intimate than liking a post but not as direct as DMing him or sending an emoji reaction.

(Welcome to my convoluted mind, I don’t much like it here either.)

A guy who is into you and uses social media will probably follow you and like your posts and stories.

If you’re on friendly terms, he might send you cute videos and DMs throughout the day, plus the occasional flirty emoji.

Aren’t you lucky?

5) He regularly checks in

Speaking of sending DMs – if a guy secretly likes you, he’ll find reasons to talk to you time after time.

According to psychology, texting makes the receiver feel closer to you, especially if it’s a positive comment or a funny meme.

It’s a big indicator that you’re thinking about the person you’re reaching out to.

While it can be tricky to discern between flirting and friendship, getting regular updates from your crush can only be a good thing.

6) He teases you

When a guy teases you, it’s often a sign that he’s interested in you romantically, according to psychology.

Teasing allows him to playfully engage with you and gauge your reaction to see if you’re receptive to his advances.

If you’re passionate about a certain TV show or sports team, for instance, he might tease you about it by pretending to support a rival team or making light-hearted jokes about your favorite characters.

Teasing builds an emotional connection by creating shared experiences and inside jokes.

It’s also a great way to assess compatibility. 

When your banter is next-level, your chemistry might also be off-the-charts.

At worst, teasing demonstrates that the guy feels comfortable enough around you to let his guard down.

Still a win. 

7) He remembers details

someone is secretly in love behaviors 12 signs a guy secretly likes you, according to psychology

Psychologists emphasize time and time again that active, deep listening is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.

Case and point: if a guy secretly likes you, he won’t only hear what you’re saying but also make you feel heard.

He’ll ask pertinent questions, nod along when he agrees, and encourage you to elaborate.

He will also remember details about what you shared days after your initial interaction, showing that he was giving you his undivided attention.

Let’s say you tell him you have to do an important presentation at work in a few days.

On the evening after the presentation, he sends you a text asking you how it went.  

That’s hot.

8) He performs small acts of service

Acts of service are one of the five languages of love, according to psychology.

So, if a guy is secretly into you, he might suddenly offer to assist you in various ways:

  • He volunteers to help with tasks or chores (helping you move furniture, lending a hand with household projects, etc.)
  • He remembers your coffee order and already has it for you when you meet up
  • He takes proactive steps to meet your needs (offers you his jacket if it’s cold, carries a heavy bag for you)
  • He acts as a protector (walking you home at night, making sure you get into your car safely, that type of thing)

A small act of service may seem minor on its own.

Put all of the above together, though, and you really have something.

9) He seeks your approval

When a man is secretly interested in a woman, he might seek her approval as a way to gauge her interest.

He might mention an accomplishment like a hobby he’s passionate about or a fitness goal, hoping to receive her validation.  

Or, he might ask for her opinion on a decision he’s struggling with, showing that he values her judgment.

He might also show off when he’s around her by making a lot of jokes or babbling about his knowledge on a certain subject to impress her.

Does that sound like anyone you know?

10) His compliments are genuine

Compliments help us like one another, according to psychology.

While people offer compliments for various reasons, including social etiquette, if a guy secretly likes you, his compliments will stand out from the crowd.

In other words, they will be moving and genuine.  

They might be about attributes that not a lot of people notice, they will be tailored to you (“you’re so great” isn’t very specific), and he will deliver them with sincerity and warmth.

Think “Your hairstyle looks so intricate and cool” rather than “Your hair looks good today.”

If you ask me, he sounds like a keeper.

11) He gets jealous

If a guy gets jealous, he probably has feelings for you.

When a man wants to date you, he’ll find it hard not to get upset when someone else distracts you or lures you away from him, according to psychology.

If you’ve just met, he’ll do his best to recapture your attention from any other men who might approach you.

And if you’ve been friendly for a while, you might notice him sulking if you mention other men or go on dates with other people.

However, keep in mind that while a little jealousy can be endearing, a lot is usually the opposite.

If a guy demands all of your time and wants to know where you are 24/7, it’s not sweet.

It’s a red flag.

12) He is vulnerable around you

Finally, a guy who secretly likes you will be vulnerable with you.

He’ll open up about his fears, his aspirations, his past experiences.

It’s because he feels you have a strong emotional connection and he wants to share more of himself with you.

He sees you as someone he can trust and confide in, and he’s trying to deepen the intimacy the two of you share.

Granted, if he talks excessively about how much his crazy ex hurt him, he’s probably not quite ready to move on.

But if his vulnerability extends to all areas of his life, you are probably heading towards romantic territory.

Bottom line

If the guy you have a crush on exhibits the signs above, he’s likely smitten.

In fact, there’s a good chance he’ll ask you out on a date sometime soon.

Now, for the truly puzzling question: what are you going to wear?

Picture of Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Pleșa is a freelance writer obsessed with television, self-development, and thriller books. Former journalist, current pop culture junkie. Follow her on Twitter: @alexandraplesa

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