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Signs He’s Pretending Not To Like You: 15 Dead Giveaways To Watch Out For

February 3, 2024

I remember when I was in 2nd grade, running home from school in tears. A boy had just pulled my hair and told me he hated me. I was shocked by my parents’ reaction. They just laughed. I couldn’t understand it. 

Then my mom took me to one side and told me the biggest secret I would ever learn about boys: she said ‘I bet he’s pretending not to like you.’ 

At the time I was confused. Why would a boy act like that? But then when you grow up you realize that young kids don’t know how to express their emotions. 

You would think that as we get older we become more open and honest about how we feel. Sadly, this is not always the case. I’m betting that if you asked men and women who are more likely to play mind games most guys would say women.

But here’s the thing, men still find it difficult to fess up about the stuff we women take for granted. 

So is your instinct telling you that the guy in the coffee shop likes you but he’s pretending not to? If your spidey senses tingle whenever a certain guy is around then check out the following signs below:

15 Signs He’s Pretending Not To Like You But He Does

1. He is a relentless tease

When I like someone I will tease them. And I don’t mean if I like them sexually. I do this with friends and family members. It’s my way of feeling connected to this person. If they ‘get’ my sense of humor it is our shared secret. 

If I tease you it means that you are special enough for me to single you out. Teasing a person means you’ve thought about them. You’ve considered what makes them tick and this is an indication that you are interested in them. 

2. You catch him looking at you 

you catch him looking at you

We can’t help but want to look at the things we like or find attractive. No matter how much we try, we will steal a glance at the person at the center of our affections. And if we really like that person the chances are we’ll be looking a lot.

So there’s every chance that you will catch him looking at you at some point. Think about it. You don’t look at an object that is not appealing.

3. He notices when you change your appearance

I’ve had wives and girlfriends come to me complaining that their partners never notice when they have a makeover or change their hairstyle. It’s just not a guy thing. You could stand in front of some guys and ask them to point to what is different about you and they would still have difficulty.

More to the point, even if guys do notice, they certainly won’t mention it. So it’s one of the strongest signs he’s pretending not to like you if a) he notices you’ve changed your appearance, and b) he compliments you on it. 

4. He’s always around but never talks to you

Is it a coincidence that this guy always seems to pop up at places you like to frequent but never comes over to chat? This happened to me years ago before I met my gorgeous partner. An acquaintance of mine would turn up at bars and clubs and sit or stand near me. However, he never spoke to me.

One night I started talking to him and he was as chatty as the next guy. We did end up dating for a couple of months but it fizzled out. When I asked him why he didn’t talk to me he said that he was too nervous but hoped I would get the hint. 

5. His friends seem to know something you don’t

Do you get the feeling when you are out that his friends are keeping a secret from you? Are there whispered conversations that stop dead when you appear? Do you hear embarrassed laughter when you enter a room?

If you happen to look over at him with his friends, are they already looking at you? Do they then look away quickly and act as if nothing is going on? When we like a person we want to tell our friends so it’s not surprising that this is one of the biggest signs on my list that a guy likes you but is pretending not to. 

6. His feet are pointing towards you

We can say whatever we want when we are pretending not to like someone, but our body language doesn’t lie. In particular, our feet are a dead giveaway.

Did you know, for instance, that if we feel trapped our feet will subconsciously point towards the door or an exit route? Similarly, our feet are like magnets when it comes to people we like. They can’t help but give us away and point to the object of our affections. 

7. He mirrors your body language

he mirrors your body language

Body language is an amazing tool at our disposal but one that is not frequently used. Yet, if we learn to pick up on subtle signals we can read what is really going on in a person’s mind. This is because body language happens on a subconscious level. 

So, if your instinct is telling you a guy is pretending that he doesn’t like you, start to manipulate the way you sit or stand. Then see if he copies you. Rest your hand on a wall, cross your legs or sit with your arm against the back of a chair. After a little while, switch it around. You’ll soon see if he starts mirroring your actions. This is a sign he likes you as we copy people we like.

8. He treats you badly in front of mutual friends

There’s a storyline in the UK film Love Actually that demonstrates this beautifully. A guy is in love with the girlfriend of his best friend. He doesn’t know how to stop his feelings from showing so he pretends not to like her by being rude and standoffish with her. 

He pulls this feat off so well that she is shocked when she finally finds out that he is desperately in love with her. She always thought he hated her. In fact, he acted oppositely so his friend would not suspect how he felt.

9. He suggests you should hook up with his mate

This seems to be at cross-purposes with his intentions, but lots of men will say things like this as a reason to test the situation. Pay attention to the way he reacts after his suggestion. This will indicate whether he’s pretending not to like you.

If you agree that it is a good idea, watch to see how his mood changes for the worst for the rest of the evening. If you reject the idea see if he cheers up and is happy. He may make sure he spends time being close to you. 

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10. He is physical with you in a boyish way

Does he get physical with you in a ‘one of the guys’ type of way? If he gets a little rough at times and you have to call him off, it’s a sign he wants to get close but not reveal his true feelings. Rather than be tender and affectionate, he is choosing to rough and tumble with you.

The reason is it still allows a certain degree of proximity to your body. He can get near enough to touch you, smell you and this allows him to be in contact with you without repercussions. He is still acting with the rules of society without letting everyone know that he likes you. 

11. He gets jealous around your male friends

Pay attention to his actions when he is around your male friends. Jealousy is a hard emotion to hide. Does he act differently when you spend time with them? Does he want to know where you have been? Does he say things he knows will make you jealous to retaliate?

Does he hate it when you talk about your old love life or an ex-boyfriend? Remember, no one gets jealous of a person they have no interest in. It’s a sign a guy likes you if you spending a night out with the boys upsets him. 

12. He is giving you mixed signals

The thing with pretending not to like someone is that you can’t hide your true feelings forever. At some point, they are bound to show up in your everyday behavior. So if a guy is giving you mixed signals it is one of the signs he does like you but he is pretending not to.

The problem with pretending is that it takes effort to maintain this charade. At some stage, he’ll forget and revert to how he is really feeling. His actions will give him away. 

13. His voice changes when he talks to you

This is one of the more subtle signs you should look out for, but it is worth the effort. We know that our bodies can be a dead giveaway, but so can our voices. Look out for him suddenly raising his voice when you are around to get your attention.

He may also lower the tone or speak softly so that you have to get closer to hear him. 

14. He remembers personal stuff about you

he remembers personal stuff about you

You know what guys are usually like. You tell them something and the next day they have forgotten all about it. So, does this guy continuously surprise you by bringing up stuff you’ve told him about yourself? 

If he does, no matter what he says to the contrary, it’s a pretty good sign that if he denies liking you the opposite is true. We only remember details of the people we like and are interested in forming connections with. 

15. He always answers your texts and calls

Finally, if this guy cannot help himself but respond to your messages then the pretense is up. He can’t fool you any longer. He’ll be anxious to remain in contact with you so that you don’t lose interest in him. 

He’ll want to appear willing and reliable, despite the fact he is pretending. Not only will he respond promptly, but he’ll try and keep the messaging going. 


How do you know if a guy is pretending to not like you?

Notice if he’s always hanging around or if he acts differently when he’s near you. He might tease you or get jealous when his friends are around. He’ll notice little things about you like a change in your appearance. He may remember the things you like or have said to him in the past. 

Why would someone pretend not to like you?

Guys can be insecure and want to hide how they feel, so they’ll pretend not to like you. Acting like this is a defense mechanism. They can keep their feelings a secret until they know how you feel about them. Meanwhile, they are testing the waters to get a reaction from you. 

How do you know if he's faking love?

Are you always instigating dates or making the initiative to call or text first? Do you get mundane presents such as vouchers that have little or no effort involved? Do meetups tend to end up in sex? Has it been months and you still haven’t met his friends or family yet? Then he’s a faker.

How do you test him to see if he cares?

You shouldn’t have to test a guy, you should know. But some do need prompting so perhaps don’t text as much. If you are always the one arranging dates or calling then let him miss you for a change. Stop doing stuff for him so that he doesn’t take you for granted

How do you tell if a guy has strong feelings for you?

He’ll be in constant contact with you and want to know all the personal nitty-gritty details about your life. He’ll suggest meeting your friends and family and show concern about your safety and welfare. He’ll be ultra-interested in your life.


They say women are mysterious but men can be just as difficult to work out at times. If you wondered whether a guy was pretending not to like you I hope this article helped you.

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