15 early dating signs he likes you (complete guide)

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You’re getting butterflies. You can’t stop smiling. Every time you hear a ping on your phone you get excited.

Yep, you’re obviously into him and you know it. But you desperately want to know that he is feeling the same way.

When you’ve just started to date, he’s unlikely to gush about his growing feelings for you.

So how do you know if the guy you are dating likes you, especially when it’s still early days? Well, it’s all about reading the initial signs a guy will show when he is interested.

Here are the key early dating signs he likes you to watch out for.

What early signs does a guy show when he is interested?

1) He makes eye contact with you.

When you first meet someone new, they may not be able to hold your gaze for more than a few seconds. This is because eye contact is intense for us humans.

We use it in subtle ways to send signals. Research has shown that staring into someone’s eyes turns us on more compared to when they are looking away.

If a guy doesn’t really like you, eye contact will most likely be really uncomfortable for him, and he will quickly look away.

However, if he is interested, he will make eye contact with you. He may also try to keep his eyes locked onto yours as much as possible.

That’s why holding your gaze or giving you knowing looks is an early dating sign that he likes you.

2) He messages you in between dates

Checking in on you often in between dates is definitely one of those online dating signs he likes you.

Even when it seems like he doesn’t have a lot to say, sending a “hey, how was your day?” is his way of letting you know that he’s still interested.

Texting is a quick and convenient way of communicating. If he sends you text messages frequently, then he is clearly attracted to you.

Particularly in the early stages of getting to know someone, we tend to ramp up communication as a way of making it clear that we are keen.

So if he texts, calls, and messages you for other reasons than to specifically arrange another date, he wants you to know that he is keen.

3) He laughs at your jokes

If he is laughing along with you, then this means he finds you funny or at the very least wants to flatter you. Either way, both are good signs of interest.

When he laughs at your jokes, he is showing that he enjoys your company. It might seem like such a small signal to watch out for,  but studies suggest that having a good sense of humor is a really desirable quality in a partner.

Research has also shown that laughing together can make all the difference when it comes to creating a romantic connection.

As explained by Healthline:

“In “Sexual Selection and Humor in Courtship: A Case for Warmth and Extroversion,” Jeffrey Hall, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, studied that very topic.

“Hall concluded that when strangers meet, the more times a man tries to be funny and the more times a woman laughs at those attempts, the more likely it is for the woman to be interested in dating. An even better indicator of attraction is if the two are seen laughing together.”

4) He asks you questions about yourself

Men who ask lots of questions about you are usually genuinely interested in you.

Research has shown that asking questions has many social benefits in accelerating success and strengthening interpersonal relationships.

Probably because we like people more who allow us to talk about ourselves and show interest in us.

Does he ask you personal questions? Does he want to get to know you better? Does he seem excited by everything you say?

All of these things suggest that he is curious about you. Asking questions lets him get to know you better and understand your interests.

This could mean that he is intrigued about who you are. Or it could just be a way of making better conversation.

Regardless, if he is asking you questions about yourself, then he is clearly interested in you.

5) He tells you about himself

Not all guys will be forthcoming about revealing information about themselves.

Sometimes it’s because they are just quite shy. But other times it’s because they don’t really want you to get to know them.

If they see it as a casual connection that’s not really going anywhere, they may not see the point in sharing much.

That’s why it’s a good sign a man likes you when he starts to share information about himself.

He might tell you something about his family, where he grew up, why he moved to another city, etc.

These things give you insight into who he is. Plus, they let you know that he trusts you enough to open up to you.

6) He compliments you

He might say something like: “That dress looks great on you.” Or maybe he would simply say: “You look nice today.”

Compliments usually come with a subtext in dating. We use them as a clear signal of interest and attraction.

It can’t always be easy to gauge a man’s sincerity if you know he is a bit of a smooth talker who is prone to flattery.

But one thing is more clear, you’re unlikely to compliment the way a date looks if you aren’t attracted to them as it would send the wrong message.

Most of us don’t dish out compliments all the time. So, if he gives you a compliment, then it suggests that he must like you.

7) He makes an effort

Making an effort sounds a bit vague. But the basic equation when it comes to dating is, time + effort = how much someone likes you.

That effort can show up in many different ways.

Making an effort is offering to travel to you for a date. It’s texting someone after a date to say you had a great time. It’s putting time and thought into organizing a fun date.

A guy who is just killing time with you, or not really interested in things developing is less likely to make much of an effort when it comes to the whole dating process.

That’s why as a general rule the more effort a guy makes in the early stages of dating, the more he probably likes you.

8) He listens to you

Giving our attention to someone is a sign that we are interested in them and like them. And one of the most powerful ways we show someone we are paying attention to them is by really listening to what they have to say.

You’ll know if he genuinely has been listening to what you tell him as he won’t ask you something more than once.

If he’s constantly repeating the same questions it suggests he wasn’t really paying attention to the answers.

On the contrary, if he has been listening, he may remember little details you’ve told him about yourself, your life, and your interests (even if you don’t recall telling him).

9) He initiates dates

In this day and age, it’s totally normal for men and women to take the lead when it comes to doing the asking. You both need to put in the effort.

But if he has been taking a lot of the initiative — by asking you out, making suggestions about what you can do, and organizing the details — it’s a big sign of his interest.

Similarly, if he gets in touch very soon after a date and says he wants to do it again, he is being even clearer.

Compare that with a guy who you always have to message first, who never asks you out, and only agrees to see you when you’ve asked him. They are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to levels of interest.

So keep an eye on how much he is initiating your dates, rather than leaving it all up to you.

10) He flirts with you

Flirting is a form of courtship.

When two people start to date each other flirting is a really useful tool because it’s how two people express romantic interest towards each other.

In other words, it is a way of letting the person you like know that you like him/her. When you flirt with someone you are sending signals that you find them attractive.

Of course, not all guys are great at flirting. But it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Flirting is essentially about being warm and engaging with someone.

It’s not about laying the charm on thick or being slimy. Simply being attentive towards your date is a way of flirting.

As a general rule on a date, if he is flirting with you, then he probably likes you romantically. If he isn’t flirting with you, he probably doesn’t like you romantically.

11) He initiates physical contact but isn’t trying to jump straight into bed

Attraction to someone and liking them aren’t always the same thing.

Sadly, a guy can think you’re hot or want to have sex, but it doesn’t mean he likes you in the way you want him to.

Getting touchy-feely with someone is a great way we show our interest. That might be leaning in when he talks to you. Finding little excuses to touch you. Reaching over and gently touching your arm. Putting his arm around you when you walk.

Touching is a way of expressing affection. So, if he touches you or holds your hand, then he likes you. But trying to rush someone straight into bed isn’t the same.

Of course, there aren’t any rules about how soon you have sex with someone you are dating. It’s a personal choice.

But it’s also important to be aware that in a dating context, sleeping with someone is not a guarantee that a man wants to date you or be in a relationship.

If he respects you, he’ll be happy to take his time in getting to know you first.

12) He uses the word dates or dating

How to tell if a guy is interested in you or just being friendly?

A guy who likes you isn’t afraid to call it a date when you meet up. Neither will he be shy about saying that you’re dating.

After all, hanging out with someone you have romantic intentions over is a date. By using this language he is telling you that you’re clearly more than friends.

If he avoids using the word date or dating to describe what you’re doing, it suggests an overly casual approach to the whole thing.

13) He gives you all of his attention

Giving you his attention goes for when he’s with you and also, to a certain extent, when he’s not.

When he’s around you if he likes you his focus will be on you. He won’t be engrossed in his phone or checking out the cute waitstaff.

One of the strongest early signs that a guy really likes you is if he loses interest in other women.

For example, if you follow each other’s socials, you don’t see him liking and commenting on other women’s pictures. He isn’t eyeing up other girls. Maybe he even tells you that he’s deleted his profile on the dating apps.

If a guy’s energy is invested in you and you alone, he obviously likes you a lot.

14) He talks about plans for the future

I’m not suggesting he needs to start discussing wedding bells after just a couple of dates. But look out for cues that he’s planning on sticking around.

Men who aren’t interested tend to be way more non-committal about things, including when the next date might be.

But if he‘s talking about things you can do together and experiences you might have, that’s a good sign he’s interested.

For example, you might mention you love Italian food and he says you should go to that new restaurant that’s just opened up sometime.

These little details show that he sees things going somewhere.

15) He wants to spend more time with you.

Ultimately dating is about getting to know each other to see if you are compatible.

Spending time together is one of the best ways to see if there is any spark between you. So, if he wants to hang out with you more often, then he clearly likes you.

The more he tries to involve you in his life, the more he is interested.

If he is planning activities with you and wants to see you, take it as a green light that he likes you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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