13+ Signs He Likes You But Is Afraid of Rejection: The Subtle Clues

According to research, it’s not uncommon for a man to believe he is unattractive even if girls think the opposite. 

This can be bad news for you. He might really like you – but because he’s underestimating his own attractiveness, he hasn’t asked you out yet.


Because he’s scared of being rejected.

Naturally, it could also be the case that he hasn’t asked you out because he simply doesn’t have feelings for you. 

How do you know for sure? 

Fortunately, there are a few signs he likes you but he’s holding back because he doesn’t want to be rejected. In this article, we’ll be exploring exactly what these are. 

Signs He Likes You But Is Afraid of Rejection:

1. He Makes An Effort To Impress You 

If a guy really doesn’t care about you, you’ll barely hear from him.If you ask him for help, he’s nowhere to be found. 

And if he does help, he gives the minimum amount of effort. He’s a waste of time! 

On the other hand, if a guy is into you (but hasn’t asked you out yet), he will make a lot of effort to assist you. When you ask him for help, he responds promptly and he always puts in 100%. 

Sometimes, he’ll put 110% in – just to impress you. 

2. His Friend Asks You About Him 

If one of his friends, work colleagues or general acquaintances has been in touch to ask you about him, you have to wonder why

The real reason is probably because he’s talked to his friend about you – and now his friend is curious.

For example, his friend might contact you on social media or in real life and ask you what you think about him.

Or, he might say something casual like “he’s a really great guy, isn’t he?”

His friend is doing this to gauge how you feel about him. And while he might not have asked his friend to inquire about him to you, it’s obvious that he’s confided in him about you.

And this is a super strong sign that he has strong feelings for you but hasn’t the confidence just yet to talk to you about it.

3. He Acts Awkwardly Around You 

It doesn’t seem fair for a guy who is normally so calm, composed and confident around people to suddenly turn to jelly when he’s around you.

Why does this happen?

It almost always happens because a man fancies you.

In truth, even the most confident guys can start to act awkwardly around women they like. They don’t mean to act this way but their attraction for you knocks them out of their stride.

The sad thing is that, while some girls find this endearing and know instinctively that it means a guy likes them, others might not get the clue.

So if you notice that this man who is normally so composed suddenly becomes awkward around you, it could mean that he likes you. 

4. He’s Familiar With Your Preferences 

Imagine he sends you a song and says “I think you’ll really like this one.”

Wow – he was correct. You love it!

Or imagine if you buy ice cream together and he says, “I figured you’d go for strawberry.”

How’d he guess?!

Whilst it can be a tad creepy if a guy who’s apparently not interested in you knows your preferences, it really isn’t creepy at all if a man is dropping subtle hints that he likes you.

After all, what woman wouldn’t like it when a guy has taken the time to get to know her interests? 

So if you notice that he has a knack of getting things right about you, it means he’s been paying a lot of attention. And that usually only means one thing. 

5. He Opens Up and Reveals His True Self To You 

Some guys are like open books. But most guys are like closed books.

And this is especially true if a man is just getting to know you. He’ll be guarded about his past, he for sure won’t reveal his vulnerabilities and insecurities and he’ll be as inscrutable as a well-defended castle! 

So what happens if he suddenly starts to reveal things to you about his inner self? 

This means he’s started to talk about his biggest fears, his dreams, as well as his past and his hopes for the future.

Maybe he’s even shared anecdotes about his life that make him vulnerable to you. 

What gives?

Well, if a man starts to open his heart, it means he trusts you, feels safe around you … and he possibly also likes you. 

6. He Does Silly Things To Impress You 

This could literally be anything from writing a funny song about you, to recording himself on guitar (and sending it to you) to making a playlist for you.

Or, it could mean that he showcases his talents for you to see. If he’s a good writer, he’ll share a short story he wrote with you. 

If he’s a talented chef, he’ll cook a meal and show it to you. 

In short, when a man likes you he’ll serve up his resume for you so that you can see what helps him to stand out from everyone else.

Will some of these things he does be a bit silly? 

You bet! 

But that’s all part of the appeal. The main thing to look out for is how much effort he’s putting in and how much time he’s dedicating to you.

Remember, his actions speak louder than words.

7. He Has Never Brought Up His Love Life

If he likes you but is scared of rejection, there’s a strong chance he’ll avoid talking about his love life. He won’t tell you if he’s single or in a relationship or what his thoughts on dating are.

Why not? 

Because he’s keeping his guard up. If he lets it slip that he’s single, he’ll be looking for a reaction from you. 

And if he doesn’t get the reaction he wants, he’ll be hurt. It will already feel like he’s been rejected.

Not just that but it might be the case that he’s been hurt/rejected in the past and doesn’t want to go through it all again. 

What’s more, at this stage he’s so nervous that he probably doesn’t want to know what your love life currently looks like. And so, instead of sharing things with you, he keeps it all close to his chest. 

8. He Engages In Frequent Flirtatious Behaviour With You 

Perhaps the biggest giveaway that a man likes you is when he starts flirting with you. 

Of course, it doesn’t always mean that a man likes you when he flirts with you. Some guys are naturally flirty, after all, who simply can’t help themselves.

But if a guy who has already displayed a few other signs that he likes you but is afraid of recognition is also flirting with you, this is a pretty big sign.

Look out for flirtatious remarks. If you say something that’s meant to be serious but he spins it around and turns it into a joke, it’s flirting. 

For example, let’s say he asks you for your favourite book and you answer “The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.”

If he then asks “did you pass the test?” it means he’s flirting with you.

Flirting is a way for a man to connect with a woman and inject a bit of harmful – but suggestive – fun into the conversation that could lead to other things. Look out for it. 

9. He Supports Your Perspective 

Imagine you’re having a group debate and you put forward your arguments. No one else agrees with them – except this guy.

Not only does he agree with them but he vehemently defends them. 

It happens all the time, too. Whenever you chat to him and put forward your views, he says “yea, I totally agree. I feel the same way.” 

It’s a pattern – and it usually means he likes you. 

I also want to add here that even if a guy doesn’t always support your perspective, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. Some guys are naturally argumentative and will always stick up for their own viewpoint no matter what. 

But some guys will make sure to always support a woman’s perspective if they’re really into her, at least at the beginning. 

This is generally because they want to please her at the start and they want her to believe that the two of them have a lot of things in common. They’re also worried that if they don’t share her perspective, the girl might lose interest in them. 

10. He Laughs At Your Jokes (Even When They’re Not Funny)

Laughter is an awesome way for two people to bond. When a guy and a girl laugh together, it can create a deeper emotional connection that can lead to other things, such as a relationship.

A guy knows this, which is why if he likes you he will always laugh at your jokes.

And those jokes you drop that aren’t really funny? He’ll still laugh at them! 

When a guy likes a girl, he will do all he can at the beginning to make her feel good. This will include siding with her perspective (see above) and laughing at her jokes. 

Does this mean if you guys get together, he will stop laughing at your unfunny jokes? 

Um, maybe. You’ve been warned! 

11. He Remembers Things You’ve Talked About 

Studies have shown that rather than remembering an actual event itself, we remember the last time we talked about said event.

In other words, if you’ve spoken to him about the things that you’ve been up to and he remembers them, there’s a chance that he remembers them because he enjoys talking to you so much. He listens to what you have to say.

What this means is that a bond has developed between the two of you (at least on his part). So even if he hasn’t asked you out yet, he thinks about you a lot – and he really enjoys the conversations that the two of you share. 

12. He Looks Anxious If You Bring Up Other Guys 

He won’t say out loud that he hates it when you talk about other guys (because that would make him jealous) but he feels really insecure when you do it.

The end result? He looks anxious. 

You can usually test a guy to see how they feel about you by talking about other men. If you start to talk about a guy you were hanging out with recently and he starts to appear upset, it’s a huge sign that he’s jealous.

Which itself means he likes you. 

13. He Acts and Looks Excited During Conversations 

Look at how he behaves when you’re chatting with him. 

  • Do his eyes light up?
  • Does he lean forward? 
  • Does he speak with enthusiasm and at length about things? 
  • Does he smile a lot? 

These are all indications that he’s enjoying the conversation, which shows that he enjoys your company. The happier he is around you, the more your conversations stimulate him, the more you can take it as read that he really likes you. 

14. He Thanks You Even for Small Things 

Lastly, if you notice that he thanks you a lot (and even for small things), it can be another sign that he likes you. 

There are a few reasons why a guy might do this and it’s usually because he doesn’t want to upset you in any way or do anything that might cause you to lose interest in him.

For example, he thinks that if he doesn’t thank you for everything, you might think that he’s rude or insulting. 

What’s more, by saying “thank you” he’s showing that he respects you and thinks a lot of you. And that’s another big sign that he’s interested in you.

About Will Titterington

Will Titterington is a highly sought-after relationship coach and author, with a passion for helping individuals and couples build and maintain healthy, thriving relationships. Will loves connecting with new people from all around the world and is always up for a good laugh, and takes joy in making others smile.

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