5 Signs He’s Pretending Not to Like You (And Why)

lady and man outside taking a selfie with her looking for signs he's pretending not to like you

Mixed signals are the worst. How are you supposed to know if that cute guy from your favorite coffee shop is crushing on you, or just doing his job? What about that guy in your class who’s always poking fun at you, but you feel it might mean something more? If you want to know the signs he’s pretending not to like you, and why he would do this, we have the lowdown! 

There are a few reasons why a guy may be pretending not to like you or playing down his interest. He might think you’re taken, or you wouldn’t be interested in him. If you’re co-workers or classmates or even just really good friends, he may worry about potential awkwardness if his feelings got out. However, in most cases, if a guy can’t be upfront about his interest in you, he’s probably not worth your time. So let’s take a closer look. 

Here are some signs he might be pretending not to like you, but is secretly interested. Plus, reasons why he may be giving you these mixed signals.

How to tell if he’s pretending not to like you…

  1. He’s always teasing you

It’s the classic example dating all the way back to pre-school! The guy that always seems to give you attention but in the form of teasing or pranking, rather than telling you how great you are. If a guy seems to spend extra time teasing you specifically, this could be one of the signs he’s pretending not to like you, but secretly does

This type of behavior can make sense in a workplace, classroom, or another place where you may be casually hanging out and seeing each other regularly, so he doesn’t want to be overtly flirty.

Some guys simply flirt in this way rather than in the more romantic way of doing things, especially if he’s a natural goofball. Think about how you’re always teasing your close friends or family members because you feel comfortable with them. It can sometimes mean you like someone a lot! 

  1. He takes interest in your dating life (but never talks about his)

Do you have a guy friend who is always asking you about your dating life or significant other? This could be one of the signs he’s pretending not to like you as more than a friend. Chances are, he may be particularly interested in your love life because he wants to see if you’re single or going to be single anytime soon. 

He may also be taking notes about what you like and don’t like in your relationships for future reference. This is even more true if he never seems to want to talk about his dating life. If he says he’s not seeing anyone when you ask, or he finds another way to brush it off, it’s because he subtly wants you to know he’s available if you’re ever interested.

The only caveat would be: if he’s a player, he may not want you to know about his dating life, so you don’t think he’s a heartbreaker!

  1. He’s always checking up on you

Even if he’s not always asking you about your current boo; if he’s constantly asking you about your new job, your tough classes, how you’re adjusting to your new apartment, etc., it means he cares. Not only because he’s asking, but because he remembered the details and then remembered to ask! 

Of course, he could just be a really great friend, but most guys aren’t always this attentive, so it could definitely be a sign he’s secretly more into you than he lets on.

  1. He seems to always be around

Do you think it’s a coincidence that he’s always stopping into the restaurant you waitress at? Or that he always “happens to be in the neighborhood” when he texts you? This could certainly be a sign that he’s pretending not to like you, but actually can’t get enough.

This may be his way of getting to spend time with you while making it seem casual and not actually having to ask you on a proper date. However, unless there’s a circumstance in which he might want to avoid coming on too strong (for example you’re seeing someone), this might be a red flag depending on your preferences. Some women may prefer a guy who is direct with his intentions and makes purposeful plans, but that’s something you have to ask yourself!

  1. He jokes about you two being together

This sign  probably means the most. If he makes jokes such as, “if we were married, you’d probably nag me all the time about my cigar smoking,” or “too bad we aren’t just dating, would save us both the trouble of these dang dating apps,” he’s definitely into you at least a little bit, even if he’s not ready to admit it yet.

Okay, so I think he likes me. What now?

Okay, so you’ve read all the signs he’s pretending not to like you and they’re ringing true. Now, what do you do? Many dating experts would say things like if he’s giving you mixed signals, that’s a signal you should move on and they may be onto something. After all, do you really want to spend your time and effort on a guy who’s pretending not to like you instead of giving you the love and attention you really deserve from a relationship?

However, there are of course exceptions. He could think you’re in a relationship, want to avoid an awkward situation, or maybe he’s just really, really, really shy and not great with girls.

If you really think you’re into him, I would recommend making a move (even a small one) to see if he bites. If all goes well, maybe he’ll finally realize you’re feeling him too and you guys can both stop beating around the bush! Good luck!

Ashley Uzer

Ashley Uzer is a freelance writer who specializes in sex and dating. She has written for many international outlets including Bustle, VICE, & Galore. She’s currently doing the whole digital nomad thing, but you can find her in Washington D.C. or NYC every once in a while. Follow along with her adventures on TwitterInstagram, or on her blog.

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