Author: Kyrsta Anderson & Renée Shen.
Ladies, we’ve all had that crush who we just can’t figure out. Or that fling we’ve been hanging out with for awhile now, but can’t tell where it’s actually going. Or even a longtime guy friend we started to have feelings for.
One second he’s giving you allll the flirty vibes, the next he can’t seem less interested.
So does he like you? Does he not like you? Or is it that he’s pretending not to like you…
Guys who pretend not to like someone do so because:
There can be a lot of reasons why a guy is pretending not to like you, some of them worse than others. So how can you really tell? Let’s get into the fifteen signs he is pretending not to like you.
Let’s be honest, the mixed signals are probably the main reason you can’t figure out if he likes you or not!
Men also send mixed signals when they aren’t really sure what they want or how they feel.
They can also send mixed signals when they’re in the phase of calibrating their behavior to how you show up.
What does that mean?
It means that he may be in the process of learning how to respond to your preferences and your behavior.
If you’re not giving him clear signals and easy to understand, responsive feedback to his actions, then he may seem to give off mixed signals or inconsistent behavior.
So what are mixed signals?
Mixed signals, generally, are when he appears super interested in you at one moment, but then engages in self-sabotaging behaviors that cause distance between you two - both emotional and physical.
Mixed signals are pretty self-explanatory, but here are some examples of mixed signals just in case:
If his actions and words aren’t lining up, those mixed signals are a definite sign he pretending not to like you.
(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)
Positive body language is essentially a type of non-verbal communication that presents feelings of likability, openness, and comfort.
Examples of positive body language include:
If this guy is literally always available, anytime you’ve asked, for anything… he totally likes you.
He’s there when you need help moving, when you need help with an assignment or work, when you just need someone to talk to, and he even just offers up his time without you even asking.
Guys don't just offer up their help for any woman all the time.
Especially if this guy has a busy life with work and other commitments and still makes time for you whenever, this is a huge sign he likes you but is pretending not to like you.
You know how when you were a kid and boys used to make fun of you on the playground, and everyone says it’s because he has a crush on you?
Yeah, well, they never really grow out of that (it’s a way in which they test out their boundaries with you).
So if your guy is often teasing or making fun of you (but you can tell he’s not deliberately trying to harm you), this is definitely a sign he likes you and is pretending not to.
Men are more likely to see teasing as a sign of affection than women. And without women realising, men are often being playful, even if women tend to feel offended by their teasing easily.
I recommend you bat the ball right back at him using the dark feminine art of high value banter.
Because this is how you will easily build emotional attraction and emotional connection with him and make him fall more in love with you.
(...Even if no man has ever given you any love and all you've encountered so far are pen pals, ghosts, booty calls, and incredible duds!)
Unfortunately this is a tactic that men turn to a lot.
If the guy you’re into is trying to act way too cool and it’s coming off a bit cocky, this could be because:
If he won’t admit that he likes you, a good sign to look for is how protective he is over you.
This can look like worry if you’re going somewhere dangerous, or even making sure to go with you if you go somewhere sketchy.
Here are some more ways this protectiveness can manifest:
So why are men like this when they like a woman? There are two possible reasons:
You can capitalise on this one emotional trigger and inspire him to step up and commit to you and only you by learning the one emotional trigger that inspires all men to want to commit.
Got the feeling that he’s trying to impress you even while denying that he's into you? There are a lot of ways guys try to impress girls, besides trying to act super cool.
He may ask a lot of questions and try to find things you guys have in common.
If he’s looking for common ground for something you guys can relate about, he’s definitely trying to impress you and show you have similar interests.
He may always somehow always show up with helpful suggestions when you have a problem, or literally solve your problems for you (some really devoted guys will even do this before you knew you had the problem).
He also might tell you a lot of his best stories to try to create a certain impression in your mind about how high status and cool he is.
It can be hard to tell when a guy is jealous, especially if the relationship isn’t fully established and you guys are still getting to know each other.
A lot of guys actually hide their jealousy very well, because they don’t want to be the guy who ‘starts’ something.
And then there are the guys whose behaviour makes their jealousy so conspicuous that they could not deny their own jealousy even if they tried.
Some signs of jealousy are:
If this guy showers you with the most flattering compliments but hasn’t told you he likes you…it can feel SO confusing.
Is he just being nice? Does he just want to be friends? Is he testing the waters?
Well, what if it’s because he is really attracted to you, but is scared to express that in such blatant terms?
Most often, if a guy is taking the time to compliment you, it’s his way of saying he likes you without having to actually say it.
It’s even more telling if his compliments are accompanied by a gentle fixation on your face with his eyes, or him outright staring at you.
It’s also important to think about what kind of compliments he gives you.
If it’s mostly about your appearance, his feelings may not go that deep and you need to make sure you don’t jump the gun and assume he has feelings.
If he’s complimenting you on your personality, your work ethic, your kindness - these are sure signs he is pretending not to like you.
Men don’t naturally care as much as we do about making themselves look good or having perfect hygiene (unless of course, he was raised to always dress up or to be a clean freak). They actually start to care more due to the women around them.
Thus, the more a guy likes you, the more he’ll care about putting effort into his appearance.
Does this guy always look dressed to the nines around you?
You’ve never seen him look bad, even though his friends claim he’s actually a messy slob.
Or remember those positive body language signs - like if he fixes his hair while talking to you.
Guys won’t care much about their appearance for people they don’t have feelings for. So if his attempts to look and smell lovely are always there, but they’re accompanied by a lack of confession of his feelings for you, then this is one of the big signs he is pretending not to like you.
Are you suddenly the funniest person in the room when you’re with him?
I mean hey, you can crack some good jokes every once in awhile but you're no comedic genius.
Well, perhaps your joy of being around him is rubbing off on him, making him respond extra positively to your jokes.
When a guy likes a woman, he would naturally be extra happy around her (yes, even if you’re not that funny). This elevated level of happiness will make him more likely to let out some gleeful chuckles.
People also tend to laugh more when they’re nervous, and he definitely could be nervous because he likes you so much!
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They’ll try to act nonchalant and casual about this, but let’s be real - if his friends are asking you about your feelings for him, he totally likes you and this is one of the definite signs he is pretending not to like you.
He either recruited his friends to get information out of you, or his friends are doing their buddy a solid because he’s too shy.
The honest truth is the men don’t notice details - at all - unless these details are:
So, does he notice the little things you do that you haven’t even noticed?
Maybe it’s the way you laugh or a face you make when you’re concentrating really hard.
Well, if he noticed these things, then he’s definitely paying close attention. He’s invested in more than just your looks, and he definitely cares about you a lot.
While some guys that like you may completely shut down and go all tense when hearing about other guys in your life, sometimes they may want to know more.
If he likes you but is actively pretending not to, he might deny it to the death (and make it hard for you to deduce his real feelings about you).
But there’s one thing you can count on that will “reveal” his true feelings, and that is the fact that he won’t be able to help wanting to know the important details about your dating life.
Most guys won’t just let a good woman slide away from them if indeed they sense that she is going to get picked up by another man.
So if he’s prompting you with dating questions in your conversations, it could be because he’s trying to find out if you have feelings for someone else or are interested in dating.
Overall, he’s trying to get the 411 on where your head is at in regards to love - and he sure does care, a lot.
If he’s giving you all of the above signals and still hasn’t made his feelings clear, it may be important to think about his past.
Did he have relationships where he got cheated on, or that were generally toxic?
If so, this could definitely be a reason why he’s holding back his feelings, and it could be an explanation for why he’s pretending not to like you.
Don’t forget that guys generally go for the kill (so to speak) when they really like a woman. So if it has been a while and he is still sending you mixed signals, then perhaps he is struggling with low self esteem (here are 5 Telltale Signs He Has Crippling Low Self Esteem).
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Now that we’ve covered the signs he is pretending not to like you, what the heck should you do about it?!
Here are three good options for you to choose from…
If you would like to tell him you like him without actually telling him, you can use a push and pull method to tell him in a way that tests where he’s at but also gives you a more definitive answer about whether he likes you or not.
For examples on how to do that, I recommend you read this article by The Feminine Woman on 3 low risk but high value ways to tell a guy you like him.
If you’re more game, then…
This one sure can feel scary! And it’s only reserved for the guys you already know enough to take that risk with (for example, perhaps if he’s a long time friend).
If you really like this guy and want answers, this approach is more for your own sake to try to get some honesty out of him.
You may get to a point where you're tired of the questioning, tired of looking for the signs he is pretending not to like you, and tired of wondering if he even likes you at all.
Whether or not he means well, pretending not to like someone does come with a level of manipulation and confusion which can be really hard on you!
So if things aren’t progressing, it may be best to take some time apart and let him decide what he really wants.
If he likes you enough, then the time apart will be a good opportunity for him to miss you.
Kyrsta is a graduate from Chapman University, where she majored in Business Marketing. She resides in Los Angeles with her boyfriend. In addition to blog writing, she is currently working as an agency signed model and a nanny. Her passions are fashion, health and fitness (especially yoga) writing, reading, and spending time in nature.
Author For National Council for Research on Women
Author and Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of The popular women's dating and relationship website, The Feminine Woman.
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