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If you think your crush might like you but can’t really tell, it can be quite frustrating. Unfortunately, not all guys will be forthcoming, and we have to respect that.

After all, he’s likely not trying to upset you, but just trying to make the right moves at the right time.

Fortunately, there are some telltale signs he likes you but is playing it cool.

When a man likes you but remains nonchalant, he may still exhibit subtle cues that reveal his true feelings.

From his body language to his communication style, there are obvious signs to keep an eye out for.

I hope that my guidance can make it easier for you to identify these signals, enhancing your awareness and confidence in navigating this complex situation.

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Key Takeaways

  • Look for body language and communication cues to identify genuine interest
  • Be aware of signs that reveal his hidden emotions and intentions
  • Look to see if he’s making an active effort to protect you

Recommended: 17 Undercover Ways Guys Hint They Like You.

Do guys play it cool if they like you?

Yes, guys often play it cool when they like someone. This behavior can stem from various reasons such as fear of rejection, shyness, or a desire to protect their ego.

Playing it cool allows them to gauge your interest without risking too much themselves.

However, it’s essential to remember that not all guys will play it cool, and each individual’s approach to expressing interest might be different.

Signs of Interest From A Man

Let’s look first at the signs of interest from a man to get a good foundation understanding of male interest signals, and then move onto the signs he likes you but is playing it cool.


One of the first signs to notice is the level of attention he gives you.

Even if he’s trying to be nonchalant, he’ll often find a way to be around you or engage in conversations that interest you.

Keep an eye out for mixed signals as well, such as flirting with you one moment and then acting distant the next.

This could be an indication that he has a crush but is hesitant to show it.

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Body Language

Body language plays a major role in understanding someone’s feelings towards you.

When a man is attracted to you, he might angle his body towards yours or stand closer to you than necessary.

These subtle cues can show that he’s trying to be near you without drawing too much attention to himself.

Eye Contact

The way he maintains eye contact can also reveal his true emotions.

If he holds your gaze for longer than usual or frequently looks at you before quickly looking away when caught, it could be a sign that he’s interested but playing it cool.

He’s Listening Intently

A man who genuinely likes you will also be an attentive listener during conversations, even if he tries to hide his feelings.

This is because he’s genuinely interested in what you have to say and wants to connect with you on a deeper level.

When you notice him focusing intently on your words or asking follow-up questions, it’s a good indication that he cares about you.


Men who are attracted to you might also tend to fidget more when they’re around you.

They could play with their hair, touch their face, or adjust their clothing – a sign of nervousness, which could be a result of their hidden attraction.


And finally, look for expressions of happiness like genuine smiles. If he seems to light up when he sees you and enjoys making you smile, it’s a good sign that he has a crush on you but is choosing to be subtle in his approach.

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15 Sure Signs He Likes You But Is Playing It Cool

1: He Is Low-key Protective of You

The first of the signs he likes you but is playing it cool is that he’s subtly protective of you.

If he positions himself between you and potential danger, ensures you’re comfortable in social situations, or offers help without being overbearing, he’s demonstrating his care.

Remember, it’s not about control, but his desire to keep you safe, a sign of his affection.

If you have trouble telling the difference between genuine care and a controlling nature, see this article on the 17 Early Signs Of A Controlling Man.

2: He Gives You Sweet Compliments In A Subtle Way

Guys who like you but want to appear casual will often give you subtle compliments.

They may praise your outfit, hairstyle, or tell you how funny or smart you are. Watch for compliments that go beyond the surface and indicate genuine appreciation for your qualities.

If you’re the very feminine type, he will probably want to compliment you more, because guys sense that compliments raise women’s feminine energy and increase their radiance and happiness.

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3: He Invites You Out To Group Gatherings And Events

Another of the signs he likes you but is playing it cool is inviting you to group outings or events.

He wants to spend time with you and get to know you better, but doesn’t want to be too obvious about his feelings.

This way, he can spend time with you, learn more about you, and gauge your interest in him without putting pressure on both of you.

Isn’t that sweet of him?

4: He Tells You About What He’s Doing During The Day

When a guy is into you but wants to keep it cool, he might start sharing his daily activities with you.

He’ll tell you what he’s doing that day and why he’s doing it, or share with you who he’s hanging out with. He might even just share about his mundane activities like running to the post office or the grocery store.

This shows that he’s inviting you into his life and wants to be on your mind throughout the day. It’s an attempt to build a connection with you without being too forward.

signs he likes you but is playing it cool

5: He Doesn’t Seem To Like Other Guys Courting You

Jealousy can be a strong indicator of attraction, and you might notice that he doesn’t like when other guys court you or show interest.

This could be him subconsciously marking his territory or showing his disapproval when another guy gets close to you.

Remember, actions speak louder than words, so if he’s subtly discouraging other guys, he might be into you more than you think.

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6: He Is Starting To Care More About His Appearance Around You

If a guy starts caring about his appearance around you, it could be an indication that he’s trying to impress you.

This might include dressing up when he knows you’ll be around, grooming himself more than usual, or even working out to improve his physique.

If you notice any of these subtle signs he’s trying to look extra good for you, chances are that your guy friend likes you!

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7: He Remembers Small Details About You

If a guy genuinely likes you, he’s going to remember details about you. Paying attention to small details about you and your life is a sign that he’s interested.

If he remembers things you’ve mentioned in passing, your favorite coffee order, or personal anecdotes, it’s an indication that he’s thinking about you and values your conversations.

8: He Gets Nervous Around You

Guys can get nervous around someone they like, even if they’re playing it cool. Watch for signs like blushing, stammering, or fidgeting when talking to you.

These are subconscious reactions to the emotions they feel around you, and while they try to hide them, they can’t help but let these subtle things slip.

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9: He Tries To Make You Laugh

Humor is a powerful tool in flirting, and if he’s often trying to make you laugh, it’s a strong indication that he likes you.

This could be through witty remarks, teasing you playfully, or sharing funny stories. Laughter helps build connections, and if he’s focused on making you laugh, it’s a sign he wants to deepen that connection.

10: He Always Watches Your Social Media Stories

A shy guy who likes you will always be there quietly on your social media. Whether he just likes your stories or likes all your stories and the posts you put up, it’s a strong sign that he’s spending a lot of time sussing you out.

Though some guys may act more distant in person when they like you, you’ll be able to tell their true feelings by watching their interaction habits with you on social media.

11: He Makes An Effort to Be Around You

When someone likes you, they naturally want to be in your presence. He may show up at places where you usually hang out or suddenly share similar interests and hobbies with you.

By making the effort to be around you, he’s signaling his interest in spending time together, even if he’s not explicitly saying it.

12: He Asks For Your Opinion On Things

When a guy asks for your opinion on things, from personal matters to trivial topics, it shows that he values your thoughts and perspectives.

If he’s always eager to get your input, it’s a clear sign he respects your judgment and enjoys discussing ideas with you.

Not only that, but he likely wants to get closer to you, and test to see if you also want to get closer to him.

From his perspective, he may think that a girl who doesn’t like him wouldn’t bother giving her opinion because she wouldn’t care.

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13: He Tries to Impress You With His Knowledge Or Skills

Many guys want to impress the person they’re interested in. If he’s playing it cool, he may try to showcase his skills or knowledge in order to get your attention.

This could be through discussing his accomplishments, demonstrating his expertise, or even teaching you something new.

Look for his genuine desire to share and impress you without being overly boastful. But also look for whether he likes to do this with all people…because some guys are naturally generous and helpful.

If he’s just being generous and helpful like he normally would, then you’d see him also helping another girl (or girls) a lot.

But if it’s exclusive to you, then you really have to wonder…

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14: He Teases You In A Playful Way

Playful teasing is a classic sign of interest. This could include giving you a cute nickname, poking fun at your habits, or making light-hearted jokes about your quirks.

As long as it’s all done in good fun, teasing can be a fun way of showing affection without being too obvious.

Want to tease him back? Use some high value banter. High value banter helps to build emotional attraction with guys, which is crucial if you want to have a serious relationship with him in the future.

Here’s an example of high value banter:


Do you know what I love about you?




“Absolutely nothing!” (Remember this is always said in a joking, fun tone. It’s not a genuine dig at a guy and any normal, emotionally healthy guy will pick up on that playful vibe.)

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15: He Pays Attention To Your Body Language

Men who are interested in you will be attentive to your body language. They’ll notice your facial expressions, the way you hold yourself, and your gestures.

If you see him constantly reading your signals and adjusting his behavior accordingly, it’s an obvious sign that he’s trying to connect with you emotionally and physically.

Not only that – it is a clear sign that he cares!

16: He Asks You About Your Future Plans

Finally, a guy who likes you but is playing it cool may ask about your future plans.

This could range from your career goals to personal milestones you hope to achieve. If he’s showing a genuine interest in your dreams and ambitions, it’s a sign that he wants to be a part of your life moving forward.

QUIZ TIME: Is your man serious about committing to you? CLICK HERE to find out with this specially crafted quiz! (All the answers you seek about him lie within these 8 questions.)

Signs a Guy Likes You Over Text

When it comes to recognizing signs a guy likes you over text, there are some key indicators to watch out for.

As a dating and relationship coach, I know how important it is to understand these signs. Here are a few pointers to help you decode his messages:

1. Engaging Conversations: If he’s genuinely interested in getting to know you, he’ll ask questions that show he’s listening. He might also share personal details or stories to create deeper connections. This can be evident in his texting habits.

2. Playful and Flirty Texts: A guy who likes you but is playing it cool might use humor as a way to express his feelings without coming on too strong. He could send you cute emojis, jokes, or gifs to keep things lighthearted and playful while showing interest.

3. Consistent and Timely Responses: Though he might not respond immediately every time, a guy who likes you will make an effort to reply to your messages consistently. It’s a sign that he values your conversation and wants to keep it going, even if he’s trying to appear unattached.

Remember, while these pointers can help you gauge a guy’s interest level, they’re not guarantees. Trust your instincts and consider his behavior in a broader context.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you test if he secretly likes you?

To test if a guy secretly likes you, I recommend you say this one phrase to him in a playful way and see how he responds.

You can also pay attention to subtle indicators like if he tries to spend more time around you, finds excuses to talk to you, or seems genuinely interested in your life and opinions.

You can also observe his body language, like if he maintains eye contact or leans towards you during conversations.

Alternatively, you could try showing interest in him in a high value way and see if he responds positively.

MORE: 13 Hidden Signs He Secretly Loves You.

If you’d like to know how to tell a guy you like him (but in a low risk way), see these 3 high value and low risk ways to tell a guy you like him.

Signs he likes you but is scared to make a move?

If a guy likes you but is scared to make a move, he might exhibit signs like:

  • Excessive nervousness around you
  • Giving you compliments but then downplaying them, or
  • Frequently initiating conversations only to struggle in keeping them going

He might also avoid direct eye contact or show hesitation in physical contact. These signs indicate that he’s interested but holding back due to fear or uncertainty.

What are psychological signs someone likes you?

Psychological signs that someone likes you include:

  • Mirroring your body language
  • Maintaining extended eye contact
  • Giving you their full attention while you’re talking
  • Showing genuine concern for your well-being
  • Display subtle attempts at physical touch, like a light touch on the arm during conversation
  • Making an effort to keep the conversation going; and
  • Paying sincere compliments

He likes me but keeps his distance. Why would he do this?

A guy who likes you but keeps his distance might be doing so because he’s:

  • Not sure how you feel about him
  • Is afraid of rejection
  • Is trying to respect your personal boundaries, or
  • Has had experiences in past relationships that make him cautious

It’s important to pay attention to the signs he’s keeping his distance and try not to force anything upon him. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let things unfold gradually, it’ll be less likely to scare him away.

What are some weird signs a guy likes you?

Some uncommon signs that a guy likes you include:

  • Frequent and seemingly unintentional touches, like brushing against your arm, displaying nervous behaviors when around you, like fidgeting or stumbling over words, and
  • Making playful or teasing jokes about your future as a couple.

Keep in mind that these signs might not apply to everyone and could also be context-dependent; thus, looking out for a combination of these signs can be helpful.

Penny Hoffman

Penny is a writer and part time dating coach. She lives in Brisbane, Queensland with the love of her life, their two daughters and their three dogs. Penny is passionate about helping women realize their high value and harness the innate feminine energy that they were born with.

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