You sit close to each other and exchange looks. Before butterflies start giggling in your stomach, he’s looked away.
But there was something intense about that look. It’s not the first time it happens.
Is he hiding intimate feelings toward you?
Beneath the calm person you see daily, there might be an internal battle where love and reason clash. You’ve could’ve sensed that in the way he behaves, speaks, or approaches you.
It’s not unusual for men to hide and even suppress their feelings toward someone they like. In recent research, it was found that 10% of men never cried or showed a glimpse of their emotions in front of others.
Why do we do this? Well, let’s delve a little bit deeper into the matter.
Three Main Reasons Why Guys Fight Their Feelings Instead Of Being Honest
There are a dozen reasons why guys keep their feelings to themselves most of the time, whether it is about love or pain. Reasons range from implied rules of manhood to self-doubt, and even insecurities. Three main ones are:
1. They are Confined By Societal Construct
In every part of the world, society has set different norms that several generations have passed down. In most of them, man is seen as the resilient provider who makes calculated decisions and rarely sheds a tear.
Research for the past 40 years shows that while women have started adopting masculine traits like assertiveness, men are less likely to embody feminine traits like expressiveness, or displaying sadness and empathy.
That’s because they face an instant backlash from society. Furthermore, a survey by Gillette found that over 45% of men feel as if they’re not permitted to share their feelings. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t entirely straightforward with you about his feelings.
2. They Think You’re Out Of Their League
A guy who hasn’t expressed his feelings to you could be insecure but not because he isn’t sure of his feelings. Another source of his insecurities could be the fear he doesn’t meet the standards a woman like you would have.
Guys don’t pay much attention to details but when it comes to their crush, they’ll carefully observe how you speak and behave. Those are enough to get a glimpse of the man you’d want besides. And in a society where men are ridiculed for being vulnerable, he wouldn’t risk being the rejected one.
Thinking you’re out of his league, he will try to forget you and suppress his feelings, which leads to an inner battle. Signs of this “battle” will show in his behavior in the form of forced eye-contact avoidance and mood swings.
3. They Don’t Completely Trust You
Trust is hard to build. And no matter how much you feel for someone, it is hard to trust a person who doesn’t know your intentions yet. Plus, what if you’ve never seen him as something more than a friend?
He might not trust you to open up about his feelings. He could have been hurt before and doesn’t want the past to repeat itself. Even if you’ve never shown signs of distrust, his experience blinds him from seeing the truth.
Lastly, don’t forget that building an emotional connection of any kind takes time. Maybe you’ve known each other for a little less than enough to build a solid level of trust so he can express his feelings to you.
With these said, now let’s see some of the signs which reveal there’s a battle of feelings going on inside his heart because of what he feels for you.
14 Undisputable Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings for You
These research-backed signs are easy to spot. The only thing you need to do is be more attentive and observe his behavior more closely.
1. Your Gut Feeling is Telling You There’s Something
We’ll go with the first one. The gut feeling. The primary instinct to help us better understand the relationships in our life.
Our gut feeling can guide us toward the truth with unbelievable accuracy. Take, for instance, the last time you were together, and examine it.
- Did he make you feel safe, loved, and understood?
- Would you have felt differently if he didn’t behave in this way?
- Did you feel any excitement before meeting him?
Think about those feelings.
Our gut feeling is nothing but careful processing of the signals around us from subconsciousness. A positive gut feeling is the accumulation of all the conscious or unconscious hints from him showing affection towards you.
So, never ignore your gut, especially when it comes to love. If he’s fighting his feelings for you, your gut will show the first signs. And if he doesn’t feel anything special toward you, there won’t be an intense gut feeling.
2. He Acts Nervous and Awkward Around You
Have you ever wanted him to be straightforward about his feelings? Well, it’s normal. The thing is that he can’t do that. We all have an ego that keeps us from being vulnerable and he is no exception.
But his body language will betray him often as long as he truly feels something for you. No matter how hard he tries to pretend he doesn’t like you, we don’t have complete control of our body language.
So, keep an open eye for signs like this:
- His body posture points at you when you chat.
- His slight smiles and prolonged eye contact.
- His ‘accidental’ touches, etc.
His behavior will strike you as odd, especially when you bump into each other unexpectedly. For a minute he might be fumbling nervously, forget where he was going, and maybe change his way to start walking with you.
3. You Catch Him Secretly Glancing At You
Normally, he would want to look at you as often as he possibly can. But since staring at you whenever he wants would be creepy, he acts cautiously and waits for you to turn your head so he can stare at you without worrying.
When you turn your head unexpectedly, he’ll glance away, but that’s enough to understand that he was staring at you intensely. Which is a surefire sign that he feels something for you. Other suspicious signs that would suggest he feels for you when you catch him staring include:
- Instant blushing and looking down.
- Ignoring that he was looking at you if you ask him.
- Locked eye contact and then him making a funny face just to get rid of the awkwardness.
He’s trying to avoid getting caught while looking at you because he doesn’t want yet to give you any hints. Since he’s fighting his feelings for you, he’s not yet sure about the next step, so he stays discreet instead.
4. He Looks Jealous When You Are Around Other Guys
How much jealousy can he contain without showing it? It’s difficult to know. But his behavior will change when you interact with other guys, and he’s around there.
And that’s a surefire sign that he feels something for you, but isn’t ready yet, to be honest about his feelings. Pay attention to his reaction when you:
- Start telling him about a guy who did you a favour.
- Another guy compliments you on the new dress.
- Other guys approach to chat with you and crack jokes.
Someone who isn’t attracted to you won’t be bothered but he will behave differently. How could he act cool when you talk about other guys when he’s fighting his feelings for you?
5. He Is Constantly Giving You Mixed Signals
Mixed signals are signs of indecisiveness. One moment he wants to show his feelings toward you and the next, he backs off and goes cold. Emotions have gotten the better of him, that’s why he acts this way.
Switching between cold and hot often is a direct sign of insecurity. Why would he feel insecure if he likes you? Well, there are two main reasons why:
- He’s afraid you don’t like him as much as he does.
- He’s afraid he’s unable to maintain a relationship with you.
Mixed signals might go too far sometimes to the point he starts flirting with others in front of you even if he’s shown affection towards you before.
That’s nothing more than an attempt for him to forget about you (or make you notice him and be jealous so he knows you feel for him too.)
6. He Gets Frustrated So Easily
When feelings start building up, it’s challenging to keep them under control all the time. There will be moments when he bursts with intense emotions even though the situation might not require such a reaction.
He’s living a lie by trying to convince himself that he doesn’t like you when he has fallen for you. And lying to yourself means denying reality, and such an attempt often backfires on you, causing frustration.
Moments, when he’s about to explode, could be times when you say something that makes him jealous, or when you talk about love in general. For instance:
- He gets frustrated when you smile at your phone, blaming you for not paying attention to the conversation.
- He’ll get frustrated when others talk about honesty, truth, and feelings.
- He’ll get frustrated when you talk about the courage to love, or mention friends who are in a relationship and their love story.
Actually, when you try to bring a fictional scenario about love into the conversation, he’s likely to show a perspective that matches his actions. For instance, he’ll say that love is complicated and life puts you in situations when you can’t fully be explicit about it.
When he speaks with frustration, you’ll know that it happens because he’s not sure of himself and neither of the words he’s speaking.
7. He Distances Himself Despite The Chemistry
Why would he back off even when he sees that there is chemistry between you too? There’s definitely something brewing, so why stop?
Well, chemistry is often not strong enough for a rational man to take the next step and open up about his feelings. So, when he goes from hot to cold suddenly, know that it’s because he’s fighting his feelings for you. For instance:
- One moment you could be cracking jokes together, and the other he turns around to chat with friends.
- Often, your conversations end with awkward pauses which explain that there’s something more he’s not saying.
- He completely disappears on socials and doesn’t text you for several days.
Feelings are clouding his actions, and the battle between his heart and his mind continues relentlessly. When his mind wins, he’ll back off despite the chemistry.
8. He Pays Close Attention To You
At one of the points above we mentioned that he’s likely to look at you secretly because he has feelings for you and can’t help it.
Well, a similar less-creepy proof of his feelings is his undivided attention towards you. Some common examples would be:
- You’re explaining to him a recent incident or whining about a friend’s behaviour, and he listens and responds quickly.
- Never loses the trail of the conversation, and brings subtle details from previous ones.
- Always keeps eye contact and has a strong memory, recalling perfectly events in your life.
The fact he pays close attention to you becomes clearer when you’re with a group of friends. He’s likely to pay attention when no one from the group is. That’s completely normal because he has feelings for you.
Others will notice this as well if they’re aware. They have a better perspective from a third-person’s view. So, don’t be surprised if your besties tell you: “Girl, he was mooning over you all the time!”
9. He Always Shows Up When You Need Him
It’s a no-brainer for him to stay as close to you as possible whenever he can. Even though his mind tells him to stay away and forget you, there will be plenty of cases when the mind losses the battle, and he’ll come to help you.
Being present to help you whenever he can is a surefire sign of attraction towards you. We can agree that it’s the bare minimum someone who’s into you can do.
But how can it be a sign that he’s fighting his feelings for you?
Well, while helping you, he might display all the other signs we’ve mentioned.
- He’s likely to send mixed signals and throw provocative questions.
- He might play hot and cold, and get frustrated easily.
- He is extremely nervous to the point of blushing and stuttering.
But the ultimate sign in this situation is that of affection for showing up to help you. While a good friend would do the same thing, a guy who likes you will help you more frequently and show signs of affection during this time.
10. He’s Monitoring You On Social Media
We can’t talk about love without mentioning the most common venue where relationships grow: social media. Someone who’s developing feelings for you or simply checking you out will monitor your socials for sure.
Alright, that’s fair. But how can you prove this hunch? Can we slap the label “potentially fallen for me” on any guy who’s liked your Instagram posts?
Definitely not. That would be a long list (especially if your social media accounts are public). So, you should look for a combination of clues that not every random male social media follower is giving away:
- Is he the first to view and like your posts and stories?
- Does he reply promptly and always forward you content?
- Is he the first to reply and provide comments on your posts?
Someone who’s at the phrase of fighting his feelings for you will display almost all the signs of a guy who wants you to be his girlfriend.
11. His Friends Subtly Drop Hints
Our friends are the first people we talk to when we’re in love, confused, or both. Chances are that he’s spoken to his friends about you already to ask them for advice. Which means they’re aware of his feelings.
As much as it is challenging for him to contain his little secret, the same goes for them. And when it comes to friends, no matter how loyal they could be to each other, they have nothing to lose if they spill the beans somehow.
Sure, you can’t expect them to come and tell you all about his confession of feelings (even though it’s not entirely uncommon). But they might willingly or unwillingly drop hints that he feels attracted to you.
So the next time you are with him and his friends are around, look at how they interact with you. For instance:
- They tease him into talking about his crush and he’ll get angry and blush.
- Or, they’ve stopped teasing him about liking other girls because they know the truth.
- They always make space for you to sit near each other, etc.
- They talk about the great things about him and how much they appreciate his positive qualities.
- They also bring up specific things he has said about you in conversation, showing that he values and cares about you.
- They might propose hanging out with both of you, or making plans that include both of you, which shows their intention to strengthen the bond between you two.
Also, whenever they notice you together, they’re likely to observe you with close attention from afar to see what happens between you.
12. He Acts Defensive Or Shows Discomfort When You Mention Other Potential Partners
If you’re making jokes with him about going on a date with the hottest guy in your school, or a colleague from the marketing department, and he feels frustrated, there’s something in there. Observe carefully.
He can’t stand to imagine you being with someone else because he feels for you. So it’s normal for him to feel in such a way. And since he’s fighting his feelings for you, that makes him even madder.
He can’t decide if he wants to be with you or not but he doesn’t want to see you with others either. This discomfort could even lead him to hate all the other guys who could be your potential partners. Some other clues regarding this include:
- He stops helping other guys who might be your potential partners.
- He’s frustrated when your friends talk about you being with another guy.
- He’ll act moody when you meet him after walking/chatting with another guy.
You’ll be able to notice this because he will suddenly start behaving differently towards them when he has the chance. He’ll see them as enemies, and that’s a clear sign of his developing intimate feelings for you.
13. He Tries To Make You Jealous
Do you feel something for him? He would naturally want to know the answer to this question that’s weighing on his heart.
And what’s the easiest way to discover this answer? Obviously by making you jealous. Your reaction when you see him dating or flirting with another woman would tell him if you’ve ever felt something for him.
So, he’ll try to make you jealous. Hopefully, he does hurt other people in the process. But to make you jealous he has to pretend he’s dating someone else. What are some of the most common ways for him to do this?
- He’ll flirt with other women in your presence.
- He’ll bring up his ex while chatting (and use her gifts).
- He’ll avoid looking you in the eye and act as if you’re not there, etc.
14. He ‘Drunk Dials’ You
We take calculated decisions when we’re sober, but when we empty a few shots, our vision starts to get blurry and we might cross a few lines.
If you’re the one he calls whenever he’s drunk, that’s not a random call. He picks your contact because you’ve been in his mind for a long time.
Even though you can’t trust all his words when he drunk dials you, the major hint is this: you’ve been on his mind. Don’t take each of his words as true but don’t ignore them altogether either.
Drunkenness often gives guys that extra confidence to speak from their heart.
- He can go as far as to confess his feelings for you in that call.
- When you ask his friends what happened when he drunk dialled you, they’ll tell you how much he spoke about you.
- Except dialling, he could take the courage to come to your place and share his feelings for you.
At that moment it’s not the right time to have an honest conversation, but let what he says stay in the back of your mind for when you chat together.
I hope these fourteen signs were of some help. They’re not undeniable signs that he’s fighting his feelings for you, but they’re clues that shouldn’t be ignored. More importantly, this article aims to make you more aware of the subtle hints he could be giving away.
With these said, be a silent observer before making a decision on how to respond to his hints. It’s the best way to avoid unnecessary drama.