Signs He is Pretending Not to Like You

22 Obvious Signs He is Pretending Not to Like You

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Have you ever gotten the feeling a guy is playing hard to get? Maybe he acts disinterested when you’re around, but his eyes linger a little too long when you catch him looking. Or perhaps he throws out teasing remarks that feel oddly contradictory.

If you’re wondering what’s going on in his head, you’re not alone! This confusing behavior can leave us feeling frustrated and unsure.

I am going to tell you reasons why a guy might hide his true feelings, and unveil 22 clear signs that point towards him secretly liking you, even if his words say otherwise.

Why does a guy pretend not to like you?

There are a few reasons why a guy might act like he’s not interested, even if he secretly has a crush on you:

  • Fear of Rejection: This is a big one. Guys can be just as nervous as girls about putting themselves out there and facing the possibility of being shot down. By acting aloof, he might be trying to protect himself from getting hurt.
  • Lack of Confidence: Maybe he feels like he’s not good enough for you, or doesn’t have the smoothest moves. This lack of confidence can lead him to downplay his interest, even though he’d love to ask you out.
  • Playing it Cool: In some social circles, acting nonchalant is seen as attractive. He might be trying to appear mysterious or unbothered, hoping to pique your interest by playing a little hard to get.
  • Misreading Signals: Sometimes, mixed messages go both ways. Maybe he’s genuinely unsure if you like him back, so he holds back on showing his own feelings.
  • The Friend Zone: If you’ve known him for a while and have a strong friendship, he might be worried that making a move could jeopardize that bond.

20 Obvious Signs He is Pretending Not to Like You(Even Though He Plays it Cool)

Guys can be complicated creatures, especially when it comes to expressing their feelings. They might act disinterested, tease you mercilessly, or even seem unavailable – all while secretly harboring a major crush. Here are 22 signs that he might be pretending not to like you:

1. He Always Finds Excuses to Talk to You

Does he seem to magically appear whenever you’re around? Maybe he strikes up conversations about seemingly random topics, or goes out of his way to ask your opinion on things. This constant need to chat could be his way of staying connected and learning more about you.

2. He Tries to Make You Laugh

 He Tries to Make You Laugh-signs he is pretending not to like you
Source: Pexels

Laughter is a great way to build connection, and if he’s constantly cracking jokes or trying to make you smile, it might be more than just friendly humor. He could be using humor to impress you, lighten the mood around you, or gauge your interest through your reaction to his attempts at being funny.

3. He Compliments and Flatters You

A steady stream of compliments, whether about your looks, personality, or achievements, can be a clear sign he’s smitten. By highlighting your positive qualities, he’s hoping to boost your confidence and make a good impression. While genuine compliments are always nice, be mindful of excessive flattery that feels inauthentic.

Read: When a Guy Calls You Gorgeous: 10 Possible Reasons

4. He Remembers Little Details About You

Does he casually mention that movie you mentioned liking weeks ago, or recall a detail from your conversation about your favorite band? Remembering little things you’ve shared shows he’s actually paying attention and interested in getting to know you as a person. It’s a subtle way of letting you know you’ve made an impression.

5. He Mirrors Your Body Language and Motions

Mirroring is a subconscious way of building rapport and connection. If he unconsciously starts mimicking your posture, gestures, or even speech patterns, it could be a sign he’s drawn to you and trying to build a sense of closeness. However, be aware that mirroring can also happen unintentionally, so it’s best to look for this behavior alongside other signs.

6. He Finds Opportunities to Touch You

A playful touch on the arm, a gentle brush of the hand, or finding excuses for physical contact can all be ways of gauging your interest and creating a sense of intimacy. Of course, pay attention to the context and your comfort level. Friendly touches are one thing, but unwanted advances are another.

7. He Maintains Eye Contact With You

Does he hold your gaze a beat too long, or seem to lock eyes with you across the room? Extended eye contact can be a powerful way to create a connection and signal interest. Notice if his pupils dilate slightly when he looks at you – that can be a physiological response to attraction.

8. He Shows Interest in Your Life and Asks Questions

Someone who genuinely likes you will want to know more about you as a person. If he asks thoughtful questions about your hobbies, interests, or dreams, it shows he’s invested in getting to know you on a deeper level. Pay attention to whether he actively listens to your answers and asks follow-up questions.

9. He Acts Differently Around You Than Others

Does he become more animated or outgoing when you’re around, even if he’s usually more reserved? Maybe he tries to act a bit cooler or funnier to impress you. A noticeable shift in his behavior around you can be a sign he’s putting on his best self and trying to capture your attention.

10. He Gets Nervous and Awkward Around You

Butterflies in his stomach? If he seems to stumble over his words, fidget, or act a little awkward when you’re near, it could be a sign of nervousness around someone he likes. This is especially true if he’s usually confident and composed in other situations.

11. He Subtly Brags to Impress You

Does he weave accomplishments or impressive details into conversation in a seemingly casual way? This subtle bragging could be his attempt to appear attractive and catch your eye. Pay attention to whether these bragging moments feel genuine or forced – a genuine desire to share successes is different from boasting to inflate his image.

12. He Always Notices and Acknowledges You

Even in a crowded room, does his gaze find you? Maybe he offers a greeting or a small smile in your direction. This constant awareness of your presence shows he’s interested and makes sure you know he sees you.

13. He Tries Extra Hard to Get Your Attention

Does he go out of his way to be noticed, perhaps cracking a joke a little too loudly or making a grand entrance? This attention-seeking behavior could be his way of standing out from the crowd and making sure you register his presence.

14. He Subtly Observes and Watches You

Ever feel a gaze linger a little too long? He might not approach you directly, but you catch him stealing glances or observing you from a distance. This subtle observation could be his way of admiring you from afar and gauging your interest without being overly forward.

15. He Always Turns Conversations Back to You

Even if the conversation starts about something else, does it somehow always circle back to you? This could be his way of keeping the focus on you, learning more about you, and ensuring the conversation stays engaging for you.

16. He Seeks Approval and Reassurance From You

Does he seem to value your opinion and subtly seek your approval on things? Maybe he fishes for compliments or looks to you for reassurance on his decisions. This behavior can indicate that he finds your opinion important and wants to impress you.

17. He Acts Protective and Caring Towards You

Does he offer you his jacket when it’s chilly, or walk you to your car at night? These chivalrous acts can be his way of showing he cares about your well-being and wants to protect you. It’s a subtle way of demonstrating his potential as someone who can look after you.

18. He Finds Excuses to Be Around You

Notice him conveniently “forgetting” something near where you are, or volunteering for tasks that involve you? These fabricated reasons to be around you could be his way of creating opportunities to interact and spend more time in your presence.

19. He Subtly Tests Your Interest and Feelings

Does he playfully tease you about other guys, or casually mention being single? These subtle tests might be his way of gauging your interest in him without directly asking you out. He might be looking for a hint of jealousy or a reaction that reveals your feelings.

20. He Lights Up When You Are Around

 He Lights Up When You Are Around-signs is pretending not to like you
Source: Pexels

There’s a shift in his entire demeanor when you enter the room. His energy level rises, his smile becomes more genuine, and his overall mood seems to brighten in your presence. This positive change could be a sign that you bring him joy and he genuinely enjoys being around you.

21. He Subtly Praises and Admires You

Beyond compliments, he might express subtle admiration through his actions and words. Perhaps he mentions finding a certain quality you possess to be impressive, or respects your achievements. This goes beyond simple flattery and shows a deeper appreciation for who you are.

22. He Tries to Make You Jealous

This tactic can be a bit risky, but sometimes a guy might try to make you jealous by talking about other women or flirting with someone else in front of you. While not the healthiest approach, it could be his way of getting a reaction and subtly testing if you have any feelings for him.

Read: 15 Subtle Signs He Sees You as Someone Special

Signs he pretending not to like you through text 

Sometimes when a guy likes you but is playing it cool, it can be hard to tell through texting alone. However, there are some subtle signs in his texting behavior that can reveal his true feelings. A few signs that he may be pretending not to like you when texting include:

He texts back quickly – He replies to your messages as soon as he can to continue talking to you.

He consistently carries on the conversation – He puts effort into keeping the conversation flowing and engages with what you say.

He uses flirty emojis and language – He incorporates flirty emojis, compliments, or suggestive language to subtly flirt over text.

He checks in with you frequently – He finds excuses to text or contact you more often than just casual friends to stay on your mind.

He sends longer, thought-out replies – He takes more time to craft meaningful responses that show he’s invested in texting you.

He double/triple texts when you don’t reply – He becomes impatient or anxious if you don’t reply right away and will send additional texts.

He finds excuses to text or contact you – He looks for reasons to have a reason to text you, even if it’s just to check in.

He subtly brings up meeting up in person – He hints at or casually mentions getting together one-on-one, seeking opportunity for real-life interaction.

He mirrors your texting pattern and energy – He matches your texting volume, pace, and tone to create synchronization and ease of communication.

How do you test if a guy really like you?

How do you test if a guy really like you?
Source: Pexels

It’s not always easy to know for sure if a guy really likes you or is just casually interested. Sometimes a guy’s actions may be confusing and you can’t tell what he’s really thinking. But there are some simple things you can do to test how he really feels.

Pay attention to how much effort he puts in. Does he consistently initiate plans and conversations? Or is it mostly you initiating? The more effort on his part is a good sign.

Note how he acts around other girls. If he pays more attention to you and seems less engaged with other females, it shows you’re a priority.

Test his devotion by temporarily withdrawing attention. See how impatient or anxious he gets when you’re slow to return texts or cancel a date last minute. An anxious reaction is a good sign.

Observe subtle touches and body language cues when you’re together – things like eye contact, smiling, open posture toward you. Comfortable touch is a big signal.

Take note if he remembers little details about you or your conversations that most “just friends” wouldn’t retain.

See if he gets jealous or protective when other guys are around you. Jealousy implies strong emotional investment.

Check if he brings you around his friends and proudly introduces you. Involving you socially means you matter.

Give mixed signals and see if he perseveres in pursuing you. Guy who likes you won’t give up easily after setbacks.

Look for consistency over time – not just bursts of interest here and there. Real feelings last, not just fleeting attractions.

Read: 15 Signs a Man Loves You Deeply, According to Psychology


So, the next time a guy leaves you confused, don’t worry! This article has given you the tools to decode his mixed signals. From lingering glances to mysterious texts, be on the lookout for the signs that he might be secretly into you.

Remember, his actions and how he makes you feel are key. And if you’re still unsure, a genuine conversation might be the best way to unveil his true interest.

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