15 Hidden Signs He Is Pretending Not To Like You

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: 

  • They think you’re out of their league. 
  • They aren’t looking for a serious relationship. 
  • Or they’re already in one… 
  • They’re playing games to get you to like them more. 
  • They’re genuinely just shy!
  • They’re worried you aren’t into them. 

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. 

Learn the ONE thing you can say to ANY man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say!

#1: He’s Giving You Mixed Signals.

Let’s be honest, the mixed signals are probably the main reason you can’t figure out if he likes you or not! 

Men usually aren’t as in touch with their emotions as women, due to both biological differences and societal expectations, which helps explain this hot and cold behavior. 

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: 

  • They say they can’t wait to see you but can never hang out or frequently bail. 
  • You guys act like a couple but he won’t have the “what are we” conversation. 
  • He flirts with other people in front of you.

If his actions and words aren’t lining up, those mixed signals are a definite sign he pretending not to like you. 

QUIZ TIME: Do I have secure or insecure attachment patterns? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!

(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!) 

#2: He’s Exhibiting Positive Body Language Signs.

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:

  • Good eye contact. 
  • Dilated pupils. 
  • Blushing or flushed skin. 
  • Tone of voice - men tend to deepen their voice when talking to someone they are attracted to. 
  • Leaning in closer to you. 
  • Discrete gestures of fixing their appearance - such as fixing their hair or putting on chapstick.

#3: He’s Always Available For You.

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. 

Learn How to Become the World’s Most Attractive & Feminine Goddess (Even if you have no self esteem or no man has ever paid you any attention…)

#4: He Likes To Tease Or Make Fun Of 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.

CLICK here to discover why you as a woman need to use the dark art of “High Value Banter” in order to quickly weed out the wrong types of men and create emotional attraction with the "BEST of MEN"! 

(...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!)

#5: He Tries To Act Too Cool.

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: 

  • He’s trying to impress you but is taking it way too far. 
  • He wants and needs your attention.
  • He’s secretly pretty insecure and is overcompensating by trying to convince you that he’s super awesome (and in the process, maybe even convince himself too). 
  • He is trying to establish himself as the alpha male in the pack.
  • He’s nervous around you and doesn’t know how to act. 
  • He’s scared of his feelings for you. 

MORE: 13 Obvious Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You.

#6: He’s Protective.

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:

  • He tries to get you to eat well
  • He tries to encourage you to take care of your health in general
  • He is concerned about the quality of your friends and family (and whether they treat you well)
  • He offers to help you understand some assignment or topic at college or school
  • He rescues you when you’re the damsel in distress

So why are men like this when they like a woman? There are two possible reasons:

  1. The Hero Instinct.

    Some suggest that there’s an actual biological explanation for why men become protective over their partners, and they have labelled it the hero instinct.

    The hero instinct is a psychological need to protect the one he has feelings for.

    This concept is gaining a lot of ground in relationship psychology, and some are saying that triggering the hero instinct in your man is actually the key to a happy relationship. 
  2. One secret specific emotional trigger that all high value women exhibit.

    Let me explain: when a man genuinely likes a woman, he becomes emotionally connected to her, and is inspired to respond to her vulnerability.

    But it is only the women who exhibit a very specific type of vulnerability that trigger deep emotional commitment within a man.

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. 

What Is The One Specific Emotional Trigger Within Every Single Man in this World That Inspires Him to WANT to Commit to One Woman, Want to Take Care of Her, Worship Her and Only Her?

#7: He Tries To Impress You.

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. 

#8: He Gets Jealous About Other Guys.

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: 

  • He gets uncomfortable or changes the subject when you talk about other guys. 
  • He acts weird or distant after you hang out with other guys or talk to another guy in front of him. 
  • He starts flirting with or talking about other girls in response to your actions. 
  • He starts asking a lot more questions than usual, and seems to doubt your responses. 

#9: He Showers You With Compliments.

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. 

MORE: What Does It Mean When A Guy Calls You Cute? 17 Fascinating Meanings.

#10: He Cares About His Appearance When You’re Around.

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.

Bottom line: 

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. 

#11: He Can’t Stop Laughing When You’re Around.

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! 

Do You know the 17 attraction Triggers That Get A Man’s Blood Boiling Uncontrollably? CLICK Here to find out the 17 Attraction Triggers that are guaranteed to make almost any man you wish to never look at another woman ever again.

#12: His Friends Are Asking You If You Like Him.

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.

Recommended: 15 Insights Reveal How Guys Text When They Like You.

#13: He Notices The Little Things About You.

The honest truth is the men don’t notice details - at all - unless these details are:

  1. Important for his work
  2. Help him get a result or solve a problem; or
  3. They are becoming deeply invested in someone and want to make them feel special, or have some level of influence over them (ahem you!)

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. 

#14: He’s Very Interested In Your Dating Life.

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.

#15: He Has A History Of Bad Relationships.

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). 

CLICK Here to Learn how Kristin went from being completely burnt out with online dating, sick of getting ghosted & exhausted from giving her heart and soul with nothing in return... to having high value men begging for her attention & having the most "electric" date of her entire life. (...All by changing one simple thing.)

What To Do About A Guy Who’s Pretending Not To Like You?

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…

1: Use A Push & Pull Method Or Banter To Test How He Feels About You. 

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…

2: Be Upfront & Ask. 

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.

3: Take A Step Back & Give Him Some Space. 

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 Anderson

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.

Kyrsta Anderson

Author For National Council for Research on Women

Renée Shen

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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