It can be difficult to tell if someone likes you more than just friends. However, there are some hints that may indicate something deeper going on in the person’s heart and mind.
Here are the subtle signs he likes you more than a friend, according to experts.
Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, ACS, LMFT
Licensed Couples & Sex Therapist | Co-Founder, ALL IN Therapy Clinic
He laughs at your jokes even when they are dumb
There is evidence to support the idea that if he is laughing at your jokes, he may find you attractive. A study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that laughing at a joke may be a sign of attraction, deeply rooted in our evolution.
Humor is a sign of intelligence, creativity, and advanced communication. These are certainly traits appealing to a potential mate. Attraction is more than just physical; there are also cognitive elements to attraction. If he is laughing at your jokes consistently, it may be the case that he finds you intellectually attractive as well.
The real test is to see if he is laughing at your jokes more than he laughs at others or if he is laughing at your jokes when they are not even that funny. In this instance, he may be subtlely signaling that he finds you pleasurable to be around and wants more.
If he laughs a lot around you, he likely finds you enjoyable, relaxing to be around, and intellectually stimulating.
He asks your opinion on things
Building on this, it may also be a sign that he is into you if he asks your opinion on things. There are types of people described as Sapiosexual, or people that are attracted to intelligence.
Attraction isn’t just limited to the visual but is also about the intellectual.
Suppose he is consistently asking your opinion on things, particularly things that he doesn’t really need your opinion on (such as what color socks he should wear or how he should style his hair). In that case, it may be a sign that he is valuing your opinion and appreciates your expertise.
On the other hand, he may also be growing co-dependent on you, so watch out for that.
He avoids revolting topics in texts
Another subtle sign that he may be into you can be found in how he texts. When communicating via text, does he talk about gross things, such as farting, puking, or scabs? When guys are into you, they tend to avoid revolting topics as they don’t associate themselves with something nasty.
However, when guys are talking to a friend, they may feel much more willing to be gross.
When men are trying to make a good first impression, they typically want to keep the conversation light, fun, and entertaining. One silly “gross” joke here or there is one thing, but if they are texting you about how much they were sick from Saturday’s kegger, then they are likely associating you more in the “friend-zone.”
While it is not always true, the vast majority of the time, you will know if a guy is into you. It will be obvious.
If you are hunting hard to find evidence that he is into you, you probably should consider that he is not. However, if a guy is sending signals, don’t overthink it. Take it as a good sign and have fun!
Erica Cramer, LCSW
Dating and Relationship Expert | Clinical Social Work/Therapist, Cobb Psychotherapy NYC
Dating is tough, especially in a digital world. For many of us, it’s a numbers game that can feel tireless, endless, and, let’s be real, confusing.
When we connect with someone, we immediately feel the butterflies, the endorphins start rushing through our bodies, and we’re filled with a need to dive in, invest and see where it goes. But, when you’ve been in the game, and things just don’t seem to pan out, it’s also very easy to start to self-doubt and, once bitten, become twice shy.
So how do we really know if someone thinks we’re special? Like they say—it’s a vibe.
If you’re questioning whether you’re the one or lingering in the endzone of the friend zone, here are my top 10 signs you may be more than friends:
They introduce you to their family and friends
Someone who shows you off is proud of you; they see a future with you, even undefined. No one is bringing you to their family and friends and dumping you the next day or investing time bringing you into their most intimate circles if they’re not remotely interested in you.
In conversation, they mention that they’ve talked about you:
- “I told my best friend about you. I’m excited for you to meet him” (see sign 4)
- “My mom loved the story about that spicy food we got at the Thai place on 3rd.”
Granted, this doesn’t always mean it’s going to work, but it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re a special someone.
They go out of their way for you
They make an effort to show that they care and you’re a priority. It’s not uncommon these days to be confused by those blurred lines of “Are we hanging out, or is it a date?”
Someone that’s happy to put effort into choosing an activity and is happy to pick a location that’s close to you, so you don’t have to travel after work, or is happy to pick you up at your front door probably sees you as more than a friend.
Remember that when you’re feeling out whether someone likes you and if there’s a future with them, it’s important to accept who they’re showing you they are. There’s a reason that jobs have a 90-day trial period; if someone can’t be on their best behavior this early, they suck.
Someone who can’t show you, right away, that you’re worth prioritizing does not see you as the rarest rose that you are.
They invest in you
It isn’t all about the Benjamin’s, but someone spending their money, time, and other resources on you values you. If they aren’t, it’s a sign they may not feel you’re worth their investment.
Generally, when someone spends time with a friend, you’re going dutch. They’re not making a monetary investment in bringing you flowers, taking you to meals, or covering that movie ticket.
If they’re showing you that they are treating you, it looks like they see you as more than just a friend.
They commit to future plans
If we wanted all talk, we’d get a parrot! Look for signs of interest by someone who walks the talk, literally. Skip the lip service and make sure they put the wheels in motion for the plans they make.
Friends say, “See you next weekend,” someone who wants to be more than friends is going to say, “What are we doing next Friday night? I’ll pick you up.”
They respond to your texts in a timely manner and they don’t just disappear
Ghosting was only romantic with Patrick Swayze, and when Devon Sawa was Casper. We’re living in 2021, and everyone is checking their phone at least once every few hours.
If they’re excited to hear from you, they’ll respond when they see it.
In the friend zone, it’s normal not to text each other back for a week and pick up where we left off, but if someone sees you as more than a friend, they’re waiting on that text and stopping what they’re doing to respond back. Anyone else is playing games or disinterested, and we are not here for either.
They make plans in advance
It’s so easy to see that text with rose-colored glasses even when the glasses are rose, and it says, “U Up?” but keep those eyes open and fresh!
Someone you’re special to wants to make sure they see you and those people make plans. Weekend plans are particularly important and a sign that someone is making you a priority in their life.
Someone waiting until the last minute to see you isn’t trying—they’re basically putting you on-call—that isn’t special. Sadly, being an on-call friend is a clear sign that you’re in the friend zone.
Related: Signs He’s Not into You
They don’t talk about previous partners
It signifies that they don’t put you in the same category and aren’t even thinking of them when they are with you. It also shows that they aren’t considering you just a friend or confidant, but a potential romantic partner, and they’re considering your feelings.
Someone talking about previous partners is basically bringing them on your dates, and that red flag screams baggage and doesn’t even whisper special. You can’t be someone special when the ghost of partners past is 3rd wheeling on your date.
They are fully present when you spend time with them
People who value their partners spend the time together, getting to know them and enjoying time with them. With a friend, we’re less formal and can get drinks or dinner and still be texting the person we want to see for the nightcap.
Even if it looks and feels like a date, it’s clear you are friend-zoned if someone can’t look up from their phone.
If someone is always glancing at their phone, texting, or preoccupied with work stress, they aren’t listening, and they aren’t appreciating you or what you’re trying to build—shut it down. That’s not a friend you want anyhow.
They remember things that you have told them and are mindful
People pay attention to what, and who, they’re interested in like it’s second nature. You shouldn’t have to try to remember the small stuff in a new relationship.
Look for signs like asking you follow-up questions from previous conversations, “Hey, how’s it going with that girl from work you told me about last week with that terrible client?”
If you tell your “friend” you’re allergic to shellfish, and they suggest going for seafood that weekend, you aren’t that special (and maybe also not that safe). If you ignore this red flag, bring an epi-pen, and don’t rely on them for airport pickups either.
They have “positive” body language
They’re not always looking to just get physical, but they’re engaged in your presence.
- They lean in towards you
- They make eye contact
- They touch you when they can
- They smile
These are all non-verbal signs that there’s a vibe and you’re someone special in your someone special’s eyes! We typically don’t get handsy with our friends, so if they’re using physical touch—it might be a love language.
At the end of the day, it can be hard to navigate whether you’re just friends Netflix and chilling, or ready for romance. The easiest thing to do is just be honest about your feelings. It will save you a lot of agonizing and worst-case scenarios, saves you heartache and wasted time.
In the best cases, your feelings are reciprocated, and you can skip the limbo and head forward to building a relationship. It can be scary to take that risk and ask someone how they’re feeling about you, so use the tips above, and you can even put a few of them out there yourself and see what develops.
Remember not to give more than you get and not wait forever to see what develops; great relationships are built on a foundation of friendship, but someone who cares about you won’t take months to know.
They’ll know that friendship is special and something more and will want to take the risk to see where it goes. Stay true to yourself and put your feelings first, be open to love and sometimes hurt, and you’ll be in the right place to grow something great!
Hala Abdul, MA, RCC
Psychotherapist, Hala Therapy & Consulting
Has this happened to you before?
All too often, you may find yourself feeling confused about how that special someone in your life feels about you. Most of us can’t help but wonder, “Does he like me? Is he romantically interested in me? Should I say something?”
Naturally, this confusion can stress you out and leave you feeling stuck and frustrated. So, how do you know if someone is being flirty with you or if they’re just friendly?
Here are a few tips to help you gain clarity and figure out what’s what:
He’s keeping in touch with you consistently
If he’s showing you that you’re on his mind by keeping in touch with you consistently, this might just mean he fancies you. Whether it means getting a “good morning!” message or even sharing with you about how his day is going and also asking about yours.
He’s putting in efforts to make future plans with you
Is he putting in an effort to make future plans and spend time with you? This could be an indicator that he is taking steps to move things from a friendship into something more.
He wants to learn more about you
If he is showing that he is curious to get to know you and learn more about you, this might mean that he is interested in you more than just a friend. This isn’t just about him asking questions, but more so about whether or not he is listening to the things you share with him and showing that he cares about your needs.
Pay attention to his body language
Does he try to be in close proximity to you? Maybe he smiles a lot when you’re around? Perhaps he often leans in when he’s talking to you? His body will also do part of the talking, so keep an eye out.
Related: The 12 Best Books on Body Language
Keep in mind that not all people are the same, and everyone has their own unique way of showing romantic interest. What’s more important than assessing if he’s into you or not is to take a step back and reflect on whether or not you’re into him.
If you are, it’s A-okay for you to do your own thing and show him that you’re interested and see where things go.
It can be very empowering to do what feels right for you and also skip the guessing game altogether! Even though it can feel intimidating, my go-to policy is to be honest and upfront about how you feel and to ask him how he feels as well.
At the end of the day, you want to go for someone who is a good communicator, so this can be a great opportunity to see for yourself what his communication style is like.
Clinical Psychologist | Speaker | Author, “Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and Love Fearlessly“
Elevated interest in your likes and dislikes
As a friendship transitions into “something more,” it can be difficult to pick up the subtle signs of romantic interest. And, as people often fear crossing boundaries or being rejected, indications of romantic interest are often cloaked.
A few key signs that someone who’s been your friend wants to move beyond friendship include:
- Gentle touches that could be construed as friendly but tend to linger just a bit longer than normal.
- Little friendship gifts that are beyond the ordinary—whether it’s a special box of chocolates or an extra latte.
- Nudges toward more alone time, such as taking a hike, having lunch, or finding a quiet corner at a party.
- Elevated interest in your likes and dislikes—he’s keen on knowing what is pleasing and what is not.
- Interest in whether or not new relationship possibilities are on the horizon with other men.
- A change in the tone of texts or messages—watch for subtle shifts that indicate greater affection and interest.
The best relationships are built of solid friendships, so the transition from buddies to romantic partners—as awkward as it might feel—can yield terrific results.
Dating Coach, Dating Transformation
He acts awkward and goofy
He starts acting awkward around you, stammering a bit, or stumbling over his words – like Hugh Grant in a romantic comedy. This is a sign he’s trying hard to be “cool” and say the right thing, and it’s a dead giveaway that he likes you as more than a friend.
He can’t stop giggling and gushing
If he laughs a little too hard and too long at your jokes and goes out of his way to pay you compliments, that’s a sign he has a crush on you. He’s trying to say, “You’re funny and amazing,” without coming right and admitting his romantic interest.
He initiates conversations and asks questions
If he likes you romantically, he may text you out-of-the-blue, asking you questions like:
- “What are you up to?”
- “How’s your day going?”
He also might text you updates on his life, especially if he’s doing cool things — on a boat, partying at the beach, or at a fancy restaurant. He’s hoping you’ll be impressed, which might make you like him in return.
He asks about your plans
He asks you about your weekend plans or your plans for that night. Odds are, he’s not just interested in your social life. He’s hoping you might take the bait and say, “I’m free. Wanna get together?”
He touches you (but not in a skeevy way)
When you’re together, he engages in G-rated physical contact with you – he touches you on the arm or leg or on your back. Most likely, he’s shy, and some small touches are his way of saying, “I like you!” And he’s hoping that you will touch him back in the same way.
Relationship and Style Editor, Galtelligence
Romantic relationships often start with mutual attraction. However, it’s not always easy to know for sure if a guy feels the same way about you—romantic or platonic? Just reading between the lines can be frustrating.
Here are signs to help you know if a guy likes you more than just friends:
He can’t take his eyes off of you
A man who likes you more than just friends will typically pay closer attention to you more than he does to anyone. If you find yourselves in a room full of people, and he still stands closer to you and caters to only you, then he must genuinely like you.
He asks about you
By you, I mean everything about you! Be it about your childhood, passions, or past relationships, a man who likes you more than a friend and is set on creating a deeper connection with you, would want to know important details about your life.
He finds ways to spend time with you
Actions speak louder than words. The effort a man puts into making time for you is a good indicator of how he feels about you. If he loves making plans so he could spend more time with you, your ‘friend’ must want more than just a friendship.
A man invested in you and sees you more than just friends will always show up for you. If he gives you unwavering attention and his affection for you is unchanging, then you are one lucky girl!
Relationships can be tricky, especially if you’re in that stage between liking someone and not knowing if they like you back.
Certified Life Transformation Coach, Online Divorce
He is constantly interested in your life and pays special attention to details
Not always, men can express their feelings directly. Sometimes they are too shy or not sure that you will reciprocate, so they do not take the initiative. But there are some sure signals that he has much deeper feelings for you than he says.
- He is constantly interested in your life and pays special attention to details.
- He is interested in what you did, how your day went, your hobbies, your favorite food, rock band, and so on.
- He is always in touch. A man who is in love always happy to hear his chosen one.
- He does not ignore your calls or SMS, and if he cannot answer, he always calls back. Moreover, many men in love are actively involved in the life of the one they like, and they are the first to get in touch.
- He tries to spend more time with you. Men who experience deep feelings find various reasons to stay together longer with the object of their love. With you, he is different. Observe how he behaves when you are around and how he is with friends. A man in love is softer, more attentive, and caring to the one whom they desire.
- He is always there to help. When a man is in love, he tries to be the strongest for his beloved. Therefore, he is always ready to fulfill your request and help in difficult situations.
- He supports you. If you’ve had a long day or are disappointed in something, he is always there to cheer you up. A man in love will do everything to make his beloved feel better.
Please note that if there is only one factor in your relationship, it is too early to talk about falling in love on his part, but if at least three or more, this may be a clear signal that he has deep feelings for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I show him that I’m interested too?
If you feel the same way, it’s only natural to want to show him that you’re interested too. Here are some things you can do:
Flirt back: If he teases you or makes jokes, play along! Flirting can be a fun way to show you’re interested without being too direct.
Initiate contact: If you’re comfortable with it, try touching him when he touches you. If you’re feeling brave, you can also hug him or lean closer when you talk to him.
Plan something fun: If he’s always the one asking you to do something with him, take the initiative and suggest something you can do together. This can be as simple as going out for coffee or going to the movies together.
Be honest: If you’re feeling brave, you can also just tell him how you feel! It can be scary to put yourself out there, but sometimes being direct is the best way to get what you want.
What if I’m not romantically interested in him but still want to maintain the friendship?
It’s important to be honest with him about your feelings and try to be gentle and understanding. Here are some things you can do:
Be clear: If he makes advances toward you and you’re not interested, it’s important to let him know. Be honest but kind, and try not to give mixed signals.
Respect his feelings: Rejection can be tough, so try to be understanding and empathetic. Let him know you value the friendship and want to continue spending time with him.
Set boundaries: If he continues to pursue you even though you have expressed disinterest, it may be necessary to set boundaries. Let him know what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not, and stick to those boundaries.
What if I’m not ready to take the relationship to the next level but still want to keep the possibility open?
It’s important to be honest with your feelings and say where you’re in the relationship. Here are some things you can do:
Communicate: Let him know you’re not ready for anything serious right now but are willing to explore the possibility in the future. Be clear about what you want from a relationship and your boundaries.
Take it slow: If you’re not ready for a committed relationship, try taking things slow and getting to know each other better as friends. This can set the stage for a more serious relationship later on.
Keep the lines of communication open: Make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to where you want the relationship to go. Check in regularly and be open to talking about your feelings and concerns.
What if I’m not sure how I feel about him?
It’s okay to take your time and be clear about your feelings. Here are some things you can do:
Give it time: If you’re unsure how you feel about him, try spending more time with him to see if your feelings develop.
Reflect on your feelings: Take some time to think about your feelings and figure out what you’re looking for in a relationship. This can help you figure out if you’re interested in a relationship with him or not.
Be honest: If you’re still not sure how you feel, it’s okay to let him know. Let him know that you’re not sure how you feel but that you value his friendship and want to get to know him more.
What if he’s giving me mixed signals?
Mixed signals can be confusing and frustrating, but here are some things to keep in mind:
Communicate: If you’re not sure what he’s feeling, try to communicate directly with him. Let him know you’re picking up on mixed signals, and ask him to clarify his intentions.
Trust your instincts: When you’re unsure, trust your instincts. If something seems strange, it’s okay to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.
Be prepared for the possibility of rejection: Sometimes, people send mixed signals because they aren’t sure about their own feelings. Be prepared for the possibility that he’s not interested in you romantically.
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