15 Clear Signs He Is Pretending Not To Like You

Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by Alexander Burgemeester

Not sure if this guy likes you? Your friends may have told you that your guy friend likes you, but you don’t see it. Or you might not want to make the first move out of fear of rejection.

How can you tell if a guy likes you but is trying not to? Why would a guy even pretend not to like you? These are questions that a lot of women find themselves asking.

Men can be hard to understand at times. Men differ from women, although we are all human. That difference can cause a lot of confusion in the minds of each gender.

Take a look at some clear signs he is pretending not to like you.

How Do You Tell If a Guy is Pretending Not To Like You?

How Do You Tell If a Guy is Pretending Not To Like You

Are you getting a tugging feeling that a guy likes you, but he has been giving you mixed signals? So now, you have no idea what is going on.

How would you know that a guy likes you when he pretends not to? How do you know if he is faking or doesn’t like you in that way?

Reading Suggestion: 99 Text Messages to make him obsess over you

Some guys would straight up ask you out and tell you how they feel towards you. Yet, others are not into this approach. Sometimes their behaviors can get confusing and mysterious.

To help you get more clarity, here are fifteen signs that he likes you but pretends not to.

15 Signs He is Pretending Not To Like You

15 Signs He is Pretending Not To Like You

#1 You are getting mixed signals from him

He sends you signals where you are not sure if he likes you or not. Today, he would act all in love with you, but he would pretend that nothing happened the next day.

For example, you may be down, and he is there for support. The next day he is casual and shrugs off any meaning to the day before. He may use the excuse that you needed someone instead of expressing his true feelings.

When a guy is trying to hide his feelings, he could be nice to you some days and other days the complete opposite. Deep down on the inside, it could be that he doesn’t know what he wants with you. His heart and his brain are not in sync. When a guy gives off mixed signals, women usually interpret it wrong.

Mixed signals can mean he’s not interested, and he’s stringing you along. It also can signify that he is trying to hold back his feelings for you. He is afraid of showing too much interest in you, only for you to reject him.

Reading Suggestion: What does it mean when a guy texts you every day?

He would give you the hot and cold treatment. For example, he might start by texting you all day. Then, without any warning, he ignores you completely. This behavior will have you wondering if he likes you or if you’re overthinking.

It could very well be that he like you a lot but feels unsure of what he wants. The feelings he has for you scare him. He thinks it will be tough if things won’t work out between you both, so he’s playing it super safe.

#2 His friends call you his girl.

It’s easy to know if a guy’s interested based on how his friends relate to you. Have you overheard his friends calling you his girl? Do they reference you and him as being together or in love? It is most likely because he has been talking to them about you.

If you ask him what his friends are saying, he denies it. Or he might pretend that his friends are playing and what they say doesn’t matter. Shrugging it off as if they are trying to embarrass him.

This is one of the most obvious signs that he likes you. That is because usually, friends only say what they know or what they’ve been told. So what his friends may hint to you could very well be a free ticket to his mind.

Another way his male friends can show that he likes you is if they keep boundaries. Do his friends hit on you when you hang out with him? No? That’s a clear sign that he’s into you. His friends respect boundaries.

Note that this is not the case with everyone as some guys’ friends don’t care about the bro code and would hit on the girl he likes. Yet if you notice that his friends are not flirting with you, it is most likely because they know that he likes you.

He may have already expressed his interest in you to his friends. Creating this awareness is also a way for him to keep his friends from making a move on you.

#3 He teases you

He makes fun of you, not to hurt you, but in a joking, playful way. The jokes he makes about you leave you feeling embarrassed. Yet you find yourself laughing too. For him to even do this to you is a sign that he feels comfortable enough with you. He may call you funny names like ugly or goofy when in reality, he thinks that you are the prettiest girl in his eyes.

How do you know the difference between a guy who teases you because they like you and who teases because they don’t? It all depends on how they make fun of you and their reaction after responding to their teasing. It also depends on the tone in which you are being teased. 

If a guy is teasing and you get even a little bit upset, he would laugh in a way that you would know he is playing. For example, he makes a joke about the lettuce on your teeth. After you give him a look, he gives you the side eye and then starts to laugh.

A little teasing is one of the most obvious signs that a guy likes you. Many guys do this to girls they pretend not to like. It confuses the girls and makes them less of a simp by giving them balance. Especially if you usually get compliments from them.

“Simp” is a slang term used among the guys to degrade manhood. “Simp” means being soft by caring. So, a simp will show a lot of interest in someone they like or are with. Guys usually don’t want to show that side of themselves. Often it’s because of the fear of their friends ridiculing them.

#4 He is protective of you.

You notice that he is very concerned about the male figures in your life. Who you go on dates with or hang out with tends to interest him.

If you are with someone, he wants to know that you are being treated right. If he pretends not to like you, he may not point out his concerns or opinions. But he might ask questions or bring it up as a joke. It all depends on his personality.

#5 Cares about the friendship

He puts effort into the friendship. Talks to you often and remembers the little things. He may not tell you that he wants to go everywhere with you but would invite you to outings where he needs a plus one.

Reading Suggestion: What his kiss says about how he feels

He degrades the real reason he chose to ask you out of all his female friends. When the only reason he is going is to spend time with you. 

#6 He resents boyfriends and dates

He acts like he is not hurt when you mention other guys or your dating life. Depending on his personality, the reactions may differ. If he is an outgoing comedic person, he might laugh it off and make noisy comments in the form of jokes. This way, it would not sound like he is inquiring because he is jealous or upset.

You may notice that he is uncomfortable with guys talking to you. He may even dislike you talking about your love life with other guys. Women rant to their friends about these things.

Because you consider him a friend, you may tell him about something that happened to get a male’s opinion on it. For some guys, this is where their pretending cover gets discovered. 

#7 He’s there when you need him.

Although he may act like he doesn’t like you, he is always there when you need him. He is the first to drop everything to help you in a challenging situation.

Whether you’re stranded on the side of the road, and you need a ride, or you need a tire change, he is there to help. This is one of the signs that he is into you. Even though he tries to pretend by acting a little hesitant, he still comes through for you.

Reading Suggestion: 246 Flirty Questions to ask your crush

He is there to give you advice when you tell him about things in your life. Although he may not know how to help, he finds a way to.

#8 He is always nearby

As creepy as this may sound, this is a possible sign that he likes you. If this guy is always in your vicinity, whether school or work, he is into you.

If he seems to always be near you and tries to find ways to see you, then he is most likely into you. You’ll see this sign depicted in a lot of movies. It often shows the person like a crazy stalker, but that may not be the case in reality.

He likes being around you but is afraid to ask you out. Still, you should be careful if he is everywhere you go, especially if you don’t know him too well.

Either way, whether he is crazy or not, this is a sign that he likes you and is pretending not to. He may have found out where you are or where you will be from social media. He is also usually the first to watch your social media stories and like your posts.

#9 He Knows everything about you

He shows interest in getting to know you by asking you questions about yourself. Why? Because he wants to learn more about you. Even more of a telling sign, he picks up things about you by observation. He may even know more about you than you even know about yourself.

For your birthday, his gifts are always meaningful and never last minute. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be something that he knows you would love or need and appreciate.

He might buy you an art set because he knows you like painting or even gets you a basket of your favorite foods and candy.

He might shrug off his thoughtfulness by saying you mentioned you liked this in the past. Or he might say he thought you might like it when in reality he knows you very well.

Reading Suggestion: 31 Signs he wants to make love to you

Talking to you about your life is more interesting for him than talking to you about his. Being self-centered isn’t in his mind when it comes to you. He may keep the conversation about you. That way, he doesn’t say something that may make you think he is into you.

So, has he ever surprised you by recalling details about those not-so-obvious habits of yours? Or does he remember something you mentioned sometime back? Then he likes you enough to care. It could have been something important.

Or it may have been something you said at that moment. If he has done this, it means he is paying attention to you. He listens to you when you talk, showing that he cares about you. If someone has no interest in you, they will not waste time getting to know you.

#10 His body language

His words don’t match up to his body language. He may have said that he doesn’t like you, but his actions and body language tell different stories. A person’s body language can be very telling in almost all circumstances. It shows if a person is happy, sad, and many other emotions.

Body language is a significant indicator of what a person feels. When he is around, you observe his demeanor. Is he happy to see you? How does he look at you?

These little things could be an indicator that he has feelings for you. If he is into you, his body language signs will be positive. You may have noticed that eye contact between you is sometimes prolonged.

Positive body language is a big sign that they like you. Although he may try to pretend, there is no playacting with body language – it can be a dead giveaway.

#11 He tries to make you laugh

When he is goofy with you, he does and says stuff to make you laugh. He wants to see you smiling and being happy. Even more of a sign is if he makes a joke about the idea of you two together.

If he has no interest in you, he won’t joke about this. Unless he is an unfeeling bastard, he won’t try to create false hope. Ever heard of the saying, “Every joke has a meaning behind it?” His comments may mean that he thinks about the idea of you and him together.

#12 He tests you or makes snide remarks

“This girl on Instagram messaged me, and we hit it off. Did I mention that she is so cute?” He makes slick comments to draw your emotion.

He wants to know how you feel about him. So he may mention a girl he is seeing or talking to because he wants to know if you would get mad at the idea of him with someone.

Reading Suggestion: How to tell if a guy likes kissing you?

He believes he would know how you feel about him based on your reaction. He might be planning on telling you his feelings for you but wants to make sure that it is mutual first.

#13 He shows off

He makes it his duty for you to notice him in some way. He makes an effort to look and smell good when he is around you. Bragging about his accomplishments to try and impress you is also a sign. Guys can be cunning, and sometimes when he’s showing off, it’s hard to notice because of how casual he does it.

If he makes an effort to look good around you is a sign that he is trying to impress you. If a guy doesn’t care about his physical appearance or hygiene when he is around you is not a good sign.

He doesn’t care about impressing you or making you like him. It is most likely because he doesn’t like you in that way.

Also, does he tell you about what he wants to do in life or talk to you about what he wants to be in the future? Even if he only tells you what his plans for college are, it could be a way of trying to impress you. Women like men with ambition, and men know this.

#14 He acts unbothered or weird

When others mention your name, he pretends not to pay attention to the conversation. In fact, he is trying to take in all the information he can. He doesn’t want people to suspect that he likes you.

He tries his best to not show his feelings for you which might make him appear weird around you. For instance, he might feel awkward about hugging you.

He doesn’t want any physical contact with you because he likes you. Regardless of how small, physical contact may arouse his sexual feelings for you. 

If you ask him if he is into you, he may avoid answering the question. He might change the subject or call you weird for asking that. He tries to avoid situations with you that would give you a glimpse of how he feels. Particularly if he loves you and doesn’t want to handle rejection.

#15 He makes time for you

One of the most obvious ways to know if someone likes you is the amount of time with you. The best thing you can invest in others is time.

If your guy makes time to hang out with you, it is most likely because he likes you and being around you. Your company makes him happy, so he makes time for you. It could be that he has a busy week and yet found the time to go bowling with you or talk to you over the phone.

No matter how pretentious a guy tries to be, he will likely slip up if he loves you. Yet, women usually want affirmation. We do not want to guess, especially when it involves mixed signals.

Men have their reasons for doing this, though, and some reasons are pretty valid. Let’s look at some of them.

Reading Suggestion: What are the signs a guy is hiding his true feelings from you?

Why Would a Guy Pretend Not To Like You?

Why would a guy pretend not to like you when he could tell you? He shows all the signs mentioned above, but why doesn’t he tell me how he feels.

Men are not as expressive as women. Their parents socialize them to be tough and to hide their emotions. So it may be hard for men to express interest in you because of this.

Many women have an issue with their boyfriends’ lack of feeling in relationships. Men usually do this to portray themselves as macho.

8 Reasons Why a Guy Pretends Not To Like You

8 Reasons Why a Guy Pretends Not To Like You

#1 You are not interested in him.

It could be because of the way you act with him. Or it might be something you may have said to him in the past, indicating that you are not interested in him.

Although he has feelings for you, he may hide it because you do not feel the same way. Your guy doesn’t want to get you upset, so he won’t tell you that he likes you, especially if he has a great friendship with you.

#2 Doesn’t want to ruin the friendship

You and this guy have a great friend relationship, and he doesn’t want to ruin that over a potential breakup. So he doesn’t want you to get into a relationship with him. Despite his love for you, he hides it because of this. 

Many breakups don’t end well. They can result in a lack of communication or friendship because of hurt feelings. Your guy doesn’t want to lose you as a friend, especially if he thinks the relationship wouldn’t last.

Reading Suggestion: How to make your friends with benefits fall for you?

This feeling didn’t come from nowhere. It’s based on conversations and disagreements you two may have had. He feels this way because of what you’ve told him about relationship stuff he feels this way.

#3 Ex-boyfriend

He dated you before, and things didn’t work out, but he still loves you. You may have broken it off with him, but you two are still friends.

As crazy as it may seem, this happens way too often. You and your ex may have broken up, but it doesn’t mean that the feelings are gone. People in relationships choose to end it for all kinds of reasons, and sometimes the result isn’t as messy.

Many people keep in contact with their ex-boyfriends. It may be because he has a child with you. Or you may still consider each other as friends even if the relationship didn’t work out.

#4 He is in a relationship.

It could be that he is in a relationship but likes you. “Then why is he in a relationship with that girl? Why doesn’t he leave her for me?” I am sure this is the common thought in your head.

Well, people get into relationships for all types of reasons. Love is not always the main factor. It could be that he has a child with the girl he is with or many other factors. Still, you should not settle for less.

#5 He is shy

He could be a shy person. Thus, expressing how he feels for you might be a bold step that his personality doesn’t agree with. The thought of telling you that he likes you makes him nervous.

It’s even worse if he is unsure of your feelings towards him.

#6 Had a rough past breakup

A person’s past can affect their future. He may like you, but he isn’t ready to get into a relationship because of his past breakup trauma.

It is not mainly because he is afraid you would break up with him or break his heart. It’s because he went through it in the past. So he is not ready to get back into a relationship with anyone at the moment because of this.

Although he has feelings for you, he keeps them hidden because of the past hurt or trauma.

#7 Doesn’t want to commit

Yes, it can happen. Your guy could like you a lot and doesn’t want to enter a relationship because of his commitment issues. He wants to be free and have all a single man’s liberties.

So he pretends not to like you because, in reality, he wouldn’t want you to see his true colors if he gets together with you.

He may have had trouble with committing in the past or still does. Because he likes you, he doesn’t want you to go through that with him.

#8 You are in a relationship.

He likes you very much, but you are with someone already. So he pretends not to like you in fear of your boyfriend beating him up or many other reasons.

It could also be because he is reluctant to overstep his boundaries out of respect for you and your partner. Men like these are rare. Many guys who have feelings for you do not care about the man you are with. They only care about the love felt for you.

Also, if the guy you are with is his friend, this could be a reason. Even if you and his friend are not together, but he knows that his friend likes you, he might back off.

Signs He is Really Not Interested

Signs He is Really Not Interested

Afraid that your intuition may be wrong? What if he is not interested in you? How do you know the difference? According to Dating Coach Ryan Patrick, if he is into you, there would be no doubt in your mind that he likes you. A guy with no interest in you tends to have an off vibe with you.

If a guy has no interest in seeing you, he will be selfish with his time. He would hardly make time to see you or even to talk to you.

You would notice that he is inconsistent in communication. You may also notice that his texts are short and bland. He is never flirtatious, and sometimes you may feel like a bother to him.

Reading Suggestion: 25 Bad Signs He Doesn’t want a relationship with you

If he shows no interest in you, he might not be as available and reliable as if he is. He is always busy and doesn’t make time to hang out with you. He doesn’t remember the small things about you, like your favorite color. Your life doesn’t interest him, and he doesn’t know anything about you because he doesn’t care. 

He hardly asks you any questions about yourself and doesn’t inquire about how your day went. For example, you tell him that you’re nervous because of a job interview. Later that day, he wouldn’t even message you to ask how it went.

Your dating life doesn’t affect him. He doesn’t care about the people you talk to or date. If you ever bring up a guy’s name, he wouldn’t care.

For instance, you may tell him you saw Mark yesterday and then. If you list attractive attributes about Mark, he wouldn’t be the slightest bothered by it.

Final Words

The whole energy of a person around you can tell you how they feel for you. Women usually overthink it as something else.

Women like to be sure about what a man feels, and it’s within their rights. Imagine thinking that a guy likes you only for him to disappoint you.

It’s hard to tell the difference between whether a guy likes you or not. Every guy is different, and what may be a clear sign that he likes you from one guy can be the opposite for another. The truth is that if he likes you, you would know.

Reading Suggestion: Why do guys act like they don’t care after a breakup?

Photo of author

Astrid Mitchell

I am, above all else, a writer. I am also part of the Caribbean Freedom Fighters Movement, and I’ve performed in several of their monthly virtual events. Since I started telling stories, I have been enjoying my new adventures. It has allowed me to embrace a new reality, and I love it!  But I am also a writer of creative nonfiction. I have certifications in Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction, and Storytelling from the University of the West Indies. I also have an associate degree in Social Sciences from T.A. Marryshow Community College.  I was born and grew up in St. George’s, Grenada. I am married with one daughter. I attended St. Joseph’s Convent, where I learned the crafts of writing and drama. I still have a passion for acting.  I also manage a freelance agency, which provides writing and data entry services to clients worldwide. Find out more info about my pursuits on www.astridmitchell.com. 

Leave a Comment