Author: Paul R. Brian
If a guy likes you it’s generally easy to tell, right?
Well actually that’s not always the case!
Here’s how to tell if a shy or avoidant man likes you but is trying not to let it show.
These are the most important signs he likes you but is hiding it.
If he’s showing more than half of these signs then you can be absolutely sure he’s attracted to you even if it’s not obvious on the surface.
Apps like Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook show you who watches your stories.
This gives you a nice insight into who is interested in your life and what kind of things they are watching out for about you.
This can go too far into spending all your time staring at a screen, but it’s a very useful tool if you’re trying to look for signs he likes you but is hiding it.
If he’s watching what you’re posting on a regular basis then you can definitely say he’s curious about you and hot on your trail.
Does he want to date you?
That remains to be seen, but this is definitely a guaranteed precursor sign.
No guy is watching everything you post when he doesn’t give a hoot about you.
You can be sure of that.
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Eye contact is the spark that lights the fuse, so to speak.
But when a guy wants to pretend the spark isn’t even there, he’ll tend to try to duck and avoid eye contact once you catch him looking.
His eyes seek you out and he wants to look at you, but when you catch him with his hand in the cookie jar he withdraws in embarrassment…
A common example would be at a public event if a man seems to be checking you out, but when you look his way he kind of does the “looking past you” thing…
“What me? No I was just admiring that wallpaper behind you. Amazing details.”
Likely story, Sherlock.
This guy is either just really socially awkward and wanted to talk with you about a business opportunity or he’s got the hots for you.
My money’s on option two!
If you want to try to catch his attention, we have one specific phrase you can say to him!
Body language often tells the story that our lips are afraid to speak about.
If he’s nervously fidgeting and shuffling around you, there’s a good chance that he’s interested in you but trying to hide it.
His palms are sweaty, knees weak and he’s looking at you and avoiding eye contact?
That’s the classic combination of a guy who’s really into you but doesn’t want to show it for whatever reason.
Common reasons that a guy really likes you but want to hide it include:
Regardless of his personal reasons, you’ll often notice him fidgeting and acting weird.
That’s his desire to ask you out and make a move competing with the issues that are holding him back.
Another of the most important signs he likes you but is hiding it is when he asks your friends about you.
He’s probably going to be pretty low-key with them too, so don’t expect him to just straight up ask if you’re single or about your dating history.
It’s likely to be a lot subtler than that…
Something like mentioning to your friends that you’re “interesting” or that he noticed you’re really into some activity that he also likes.
He’s most likely to pass this off as an offhand comment in the context of a bigger conversation with a friend of yours.
Say your name is Jenny.
For example, this guy and a friend of yours might be talking about fitness and dieting and he’ll casually mention you:
“Yeah, I saw that Jenny is really into that Crossfit stuff! It looks super tough but I was also thinking about trying it out someday. Don’t know if I’m as hardcore as her though!”
Hint: fully dropped, if you ask me.
Another of the important physical signs he likes you but is hiding it is that he starts blushing and getting short of breath around you.
Along with nervous fidgeting and body language, our heart rate and breathing don’t lie.
Now, a guy who likes you is going to do what all biological creatures do when they see something that attracts them:
Look at it and then feel a flood of dopamine, adrenaline and blood, leading to increased heart rate, a dry mouth and strong breathing.
However, because he’s trying to hide his attraction for whatever reason, he’s going to pull his eye contact away, lower his head and often try to “over-correct” the physical symptoms of his interest.
However there’s a trick if you’re trying to see below the surface of his attempts to cover up his excitement…
Even if it’s subtle, he’s going to show signs of his interest, especially in his speech.
His voice may crack, he will sound a bit gravelly and he may stumble over words or feel like he’s trying overly hard to speak casually.
That’s him trying to hide the physical signs of his clear interest in you!
Are you really into art and going to art museums? It’s not the first thing that would spring to mind as being an interest shared by a typical guy, right?
But one of the signs he likes you but is hiding it is that he starts subtly picking up and sharing some of your interests.
But wait, that doesn’t sound very subtle…
Well, the subtle part is this:
Whether it’s through his actions or during a conversation, he will often branch out from your interests in small ways that make it seem unique but actually just circle back to meeting you in the middle so you can have that “oh wow, I love that stuff!” moment…
Take the art example:
Say you are passionate about the work of Van Gogh and always talk about his genius no matter who you’re with among friends and colleagues.
This guy hears you expressing your passion and smiles and nods a bit, acting cool about it.
Then a few weeks later you see him posting online about what he’s been up to.
It turns out he’s super into rewriting pages from the Book of Kells as an artistic project.
(It’s not that good frankly, but he has a lot of heart).
He downplays it, but what he doesn’t want to tell anyone is that his profound interest in medieval iconography and calligraphy actually started about an hour after hearing you wax poetic about van Gogh and art.
What are the chances…
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These days cellphones are like an extra limb. Who can even live without one?
(Hey, don’t look at me, I’m just as addicted as anyone…)
But one of the signs he likes you but is hiding it is that he stays away from his cell when you’re around.
No furtive glances to answer texts in between talking to you…
No video calls when he’s at the table…
No checking the latest on his stocks or sports when you’re nearby.
He’s all eyes and ears for you.
Now he may be hiding it in various ways, but if he wasn’t interested in you at all, then why would he be so alert and phone-free?
This is the behavior of a guy who’s either Amish or amazingly into you without wanting to come out and say it yet.
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Depending on how you know this guy, you may notice that he seems to keep popping up around you.
He’s cruising the same grocery store, showing up at the same gym, or working overtime to be around you on the same file at work.
Some might call this stalking, others might call it romance.
One thing you can be sure of is that it’s one of the top signs he likes you but is hiding it.
For whatever reason, he’s choosing not to play his cards yet. But he’s definitely got you on his mind.
Unless there’s someone else who he also seems to be gravitating towards as well, you should take this one seriously.
He wouldn’t be trying to spend extra time around someone he’s indifferent about.
How does this guy act when you talk to other guys or even joke around a little with them?
If he’s into you, then you’ll notice that he tries very hard to look casual or even subtly grimaces or turns away.
This is jealousy at work, and it’s one of the clearest signs he likes you but is hiding it.
If you’re not dating or involved and he hasn’t stated his feelings for you, what’s he supposed to do?
Every guy knows it’s creepy to get jealous over a girl you’re not even together with.
So he grins and bears it, but if you look for the subtle vibes you’ll see that he’s low-key jealous about you having fun with other guys.
Another of the important signs he likes you but is hiding it is that he’s very curious about you.
I mean everything about you…
Where you grew up, your favorite color, what your spiritual beliefs are, even what kind of food you like.
Why so curious?
Well, he’s probably quite into you but not yet ready to say it and he’s finding out what he can before he makes a move.
One caveat here:
In the early stages of getting to know someone it can be hard to tell if they want to be just friends or more than friends.
After all, a friend also is curious to know more about you.
Either way, you can be sure that he likes you at least as a friend if he’s curious about what makes you tick.
Our memories store information that’s crucial to our survival, or our pleasure and gain.
If he remembers everything you tell him, it’s one of the most crucial signs he likes you but is hiding it.
This guy isn’t Data from Star Trek, right?
If he’s remembering all the details you tell him then it’s probably because he is interested in you.
Also note that guys don’t tend to remember little details about people they don’t care about or like!
Many men read dating advice about not responding too fast to messages and not being over-eager.
But the thing about good advice is it tends to go out the window when reality peeks its head in.
That’s why this is one of the top signs he likes you but is hiding it:
He usually responds quite quickly when you text or message.
Thinking about it from your point of view it’s clear how this works: we always seem to find time to shoot back a quick message to someone we’re interested in, even in the thick of work…
Safety reminder: don’t text and drive!
Another of the key signs he likes you is that you notice he always looks very good around you.
Maybe he’s got on a hot new shirt or some really well-fitting jeans.
That’s probably not random.
If he always dresses like that, ignore this sign.
But if you see a guy who normally dresses pretty average suddenly start looking great whenever he’s around you, it’s time to start taking a closer look.
Guys are like peacocks around women they are attracted to.
They find ways to demonstrate their prowess and beauty in various forms.
Women respond to these signs that are authentic and unforced and are repelled by the obvious and showy ones like a guy bragging about his salary or talking about how he’s met famous people.
Still, one of the signs he likes you but is hiding it is that he’ll find subtle ways to brag around you.
An example would be the calligraphy story I used earlier, or a guy who suggests going to a restaurant that’s known for all-organic vegan food, in the hopes that this will impress you.
You may not be aware of it, but if a guy is really going all out to show you that he wants to please you, impress you and take care of you, these could be early signs that he will commit to a long term relationship with you.
We don’t want to jump the gun of course, but if you’re curious about how commitment-friendly this guy is, we have a special quiz that will give you the answer!
If he tries to help you out and be there for you, it’s another important clue to his intentions.
Maybe he’s a very helpful guy who just sees a girl in need of a hand?
Sure. And maybe he has the hots for you but wants to play it cool.
I report, you decide…
The clues are always there if you know where to look.
If he’s showing the signs above you can be sure he likes you!
As I went through above, there are many reasons he may be doing this, but don’t worry about that.
Instead, just focus on showing him that you feel the same or letting him down gently and informing him that you’re taken or not interested, if that’s the case.
My advice? If you really like the guy, then learn to banter with him, because banter is the most high value way to let a guy know you like him indirectly and without risking anything.
Renée has some ways you can tell a guy you like him with playful, high value banter.
Good luck, and may you get the guy you like sooner rather than later.
Paul R. Brian
Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.
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