Love and romance are always a risk, but it’s nice to know that you’re on the same page as someone.
When you start dating a new guy there’s a lot you don’t know.
It can be especially hard when you are confused about how this guy feels.
Is he wishy-washy on his feelings for you, and if so what can you do?
17 signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you (& what to do about it)
1) He’s on fire one minute and ice-cold the next
One of the strongest signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you is that he burns red hot one day and is ice cold the next.
You feel on top of the world when he’s romancing you and into it, and you feel in the depths of depression when he becomes distant and removed.
The reason he’s acting so weird is that he himself is not sure how he feels about you.
He may love some things about you and find other aspects of you unattractive or off-putting.
“When a man is confused about his feelings, his behavior might be erratic. He might make you feel desired and give you all his attention during the ‘hot’ phase.
“Then he may pull away just like that and act cold when he feels like he’s catching feelings for you,” writes relationship expert Sylvia Smith.
2) Chats with him are unpredictable and random
When a guy is unsure how he feels about you, it’s reflected in how he talks to you.
Whether it’s by text and phone calls or in person, he is either fully switched on and into it or vague, detached and emotionally absent.
It’s highly confusing for you – clearly – and it’s because he himself is confused.
He’s attracted to you but also pulling away for his own reasons.
He may even “zombie” you where he ghosts you on a date or two and then shows back up like nothing happened.
3) He’s recently been through a bad breakup and is still shook
One of the biggest signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you is that he’s preoccupied about the end of a past relationship.
He may seem moody, worried and sad and admit that it’s because of his ex.
Or you may even catch him scrolling through her photos on his phone.
Even if your guy doesn’t admit that his moodiness is due to his ex, just think about how long ago he broke up.
If it’s fairly recent then there’s a good chance it’s still weighing on his mind.
“If he’s been through a significant break-up or divorce, he may be guarding his heart carefully from experiencing the same pain.
“This is completely normal, it is just his past making him afraid of what is next to come,” writes Abigail Boyd at Better Help.
4) He avoids talking about the future with you
The future might as well be the radioactive exclusion zone around Chernobyl, because this uncertain guy avoids it completely.
He won’t even go near it and gets all flushed in the face and weird when the topic comes up in any way.
If he was sure about you then the future would excite and intrigue him.
But he’s not sure about you so it freaks him out and makes him sweat.
Even going on a trip six months from now makes him squirm? Not good.
“If he’s confused about his feelings, he’ll always find a way to wriggle out of committing to any event in the distant future with you.
That’s because he’s unsure if you’ll be together for that long.”
5) He’s emotionally disconnected from you
Guys are famous for being lacking in the emotional expressiveness department.
But the truth is that a guy who’s sure how he feels about you will generally succeed in at least being fairly affectionate and intimate.
There will likely be some highlights and times of close connection, depending on how long you’ve been dating.
But overall you may feel a real lack of emotional connection.
No matter what you put in and how you open up, this guy remains unattached and seemingly uninvested emotionally.
It’s an uphill climb.
6) He seems really into spending time together then ghosts you or cancels
This is closely related to him blowing hot and cold.
One week he’s totally into you, the next week he’s Mr. Cool and has no time to even text back.
In his up phase he’s meeting you on time and asking you out on wonderful dates, then this turns into him standing you up or canceling at the last minute.
It sucks and it’s definitely one of those clear signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you.
7) He’s fighting his feelings for you because love scares him
Sometimes a guy is sure about how he feels for you, but he doesn’t like it.
Who doesn’t like falling in love?
Well, a guy who’s been burned by love or had it turn out in disappointing, confusing and hurtful ways, that’s who.
And if this fits his profile then he may well be doing all he can to slam the doors of his heart shut on love.
So you’ll see his feelings peek out and then suddenly vanish.
“Believe it or not, some guys are just not open to love. The thought of being in a relationship and in love scares some men.
“He may have been hurt in the past, or dreads the idea of being tied down.
“Whatever his reasons, he is guarding his heart, and fighting his feelings for you.”
8) What you tell him just doesn’t seem to matter much to him
One of the worst signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you is that he doesn’t care much what you do say and forgets it a lot.
When a man is sure how he feels he pays attention to what a woman says.
He hangs on her every word and her every smile.
When a man isn’t sure how he feels, he’s preoccupied and distracted, lost in his own thoughts and confusion.
He listens to you on the surface but isn’t paying much attention beyond that.
Therefore he often turns out to barely be hearing what you tell him and forget things you mentioned multiple times.
9) He’s scoping out other chicks even when he’s with you
This is just rude.
A guy you like is out on a date with you in public and he’s checking out other women.
I know it happens a lot, even to married women, but it’s definitely not something that a man would do if he was sure how he felt about you.
Let me clarify, however:
Momentarily noticing an attractive woman walking across his field of vision is one thing, and nobody can fault a guy for that.
Actually, scoping her out and mentally masturbating as a woman walks by in this year’s latest edition of Lululemon yoga pants while you’re literally standing right next to him?
Not cool, dude.
“A man who is into you never checks out other women when you are out together as a couple. If we’re obviously looking around at other women, we’re looking to upgrade.
“Get out while you can!” advises Julia McCurley at UpJourney.
10) He doesn’t like people thinking you’re a couple in public
When you’re dating someone you’re sure about, you feel pride.
You want others to know about it, and you want to validate your partner and their status with you.
There’s nothing about them or your partnership that makes you insecure, embarrassed or covert.
You just want to show your love and be open about it.
When a guy is very shy or clandestine about the fact that he’s dating you it’s a warning sign that he’s not sure if he’s into it.
“It goes without saying that some people aren’t comfortable with public displays of affection, this is totally natural.
“But one thing to pay attention to is whether or not it looks like he’s trying to still appear single even when he’s with you,” notes James Sama of the Good Men Project.
11) He gets uncomfy about defining your relationship
This is related to the last point.
One of the most upsetting signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you is that he doesn’t like to “define” his status with you.
Is he your boyfriend? A friend with benefits? A guy you occasionally kiss and snuggle with? A future husband? A serious partner?
Hell if he knows, and he certainly doesn’t like to discuss it.
Even your tasteful and sensitive attempts to get him to open up are met with a blank stare and fidgets.
He wants to avoid the subject altogether because he’s not sure how he feels about you.
12) He avoids meeting your friends and family
When a guy knows he wants you to be his girlfriend then meeting your friends and family is no issue.
Even if he’s pretty shy and not overly into socializing, he’ll go through the motions and meet those who are closest to you.
When he’s overly resistant to this it’s often because he just doesn’t know how far he wants this thing to go.
This “thing” in this case, meaning your dating and his connection to you.
It may hurt to hear that, but it’s better than feeling you’ve been led on and let down after months of investing your love.
13) He’s an undependable and unenthusiastic texter
Texting can be a pretty frivolous subject.
After all, not everyone is a Generation Z phone zombie who wants to play phone tag all day.
But simple texts back or even voice messages are not too much for a girl to ask for in the 21st century.
If he won’t do that or is very irregular in his communications with you, then he’s either on a secret mission for Her Majesty the Queen in unknown parts of the world, or he’s sort of freezing you out.
If he was sure he was into you, why wouldn’t he text back?
The options are pretty slim.
“In a world where the majority of us are glued to our phones at all times, it’s hard to miss a text.
“Sure, you can ignore it, but it’s hard not to see it and at least subconsciously acknowledge it. If a guy is unsure of you, that’s exactly what he’ll do: ignore it.
“Well, at least for a little while, and far longer than any of your friends would dare to ignore a text.”
14) You’re just not his priority
One of the most disappointing signs a guy is unsure of his feelings for you is that you’re just not his priority.
Examples include: patchy texting, unreliable behavior, blowing hot and cold, keeping the future undefined, and not paying much attention to what you say or feel.
He puts his job ahead of you in almost every case and cancels dates on the drop of a hat in order to hang out with his friends or do hobbies he enjoys.
He might even just tell he’s “tired.” And maybe he really is (because he partied all night with his buddies the night before).
If he’s doing these kinds of things to you, then you’re not his priority and he’s not sure how much he likes you.
15) Dates leave you with a weird and confusing feeling
Pay attention to your intuition and how time with him leaves you feeling.
After a date out at a restaurant, do you feel amazing or kind of confused and sad?
Vibes are real, and the energy he’s putting out will have its effect.
All the subtle words he says and doesn’t say add up.
How do they make you feel?
Is this guy your man or is he someone you’re just spending time with at the moment?
I hope for your sake that it’s the former…
“You should be feeling good when you drive home after a date with the guy, but you’re feeling confused.
“You find yourself picking through things he said for evidence that he likes you and wants to see you again, but they never add up. That’s because he’s not giving you clear messages,” writes Jessica Blake.
16) His life and past is a closed book
Men are known for being reticent. They often have trouble opening up to the woman in their lives.
Maybe it’s partly cultural conditioning, but it’s also something hardwired into male biology to some extent.
There are a growing number of modern men who are actually the opposite and overshare and fall in love immediately.
These “nice guys” are usually best to avoid as they’re highly codependent and unstable.
But guys who also push down all their feelings and never open up to you should also be on your red flag list.
What you want is something more in the middle.
A guy who’s strong and capable of managing his emotions but also has no problem opening up about them now and then.
17) He directly told you he’s unsure how he feels about you
This is self-explanatory.
If he told you he’s not sure, then he likely means it.
Unless he’s playing a mind game to manipulate you, he’s opening up and telling you that he’s not sure about the strength of his feelings for you.
“Obviously, this is the clearest indicator that he’s either unsure or actually stringing you along. If he can’t make up his mind within a reasonable amount of time, it’s time to move on,” notes dating advice writer Ossiana Tepfenhart.
5 actions steps to take if a guy is unsure about you
Here are five action steps you can take if a guy is unsure of his feelings for you.
1) Break the touch barrier
If you’ve been dating a guy and you’re unsure how he feels, words can only go so far.
You have to break the touch barrier.
Even if it’s just a light touch on his shoulder or holding hands, see how it feels to have a physical connection of some kind with him.
You don’t need to sleep together on date two to see if he fancies you.
But try to at least establish some physical contact so that you can allow him to open up intimately as well.
“When you touch him, you’re letting him know you’re comfortable around him – and that you want to touch him. To any guy who’s into women, that’s a huge sign that he should perk up and reciprocate,” writes dating advice columnist Nick Bastion.
2) Trigger his ‘hero instinct’
Every man has a deep-seated need to be a protector and provider.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer coined a term for this evolutionary drive: he calls it the “hero instinct.”
The hero instinct is hardwired into all men to some degree: it determines whether they fall in love with a woman or hit the highway.
One of the best ways to trigger the hero instinct is to ask your man to help you out.
“As 1950s as this sounds, men really like being helpful. Open up about a challenging situation at work or ask him for an app recommendation,” advises Christina Butan.
3) Play a little bit hard-to-get
Playing hard-to-get has a bad reputation these days, because it’s seen as a sort of mind game or manipulative tactic.
In some cases, it definitely can be that.
But playing a little hard-to-get can also be an effective and perfectly humane way to pump up a guy’s interest.
Think of it as you just giving him a gentle nudge to realize how he really feels about you.
By being a little less eager, responding less often and being less available, you make him chase you and earn it (which also is another way to trigger the hero instinct).
“Be slightly out of reach—so act flirty towards him, but not like you’re ready to lock it down.
You want to make it clear you’re interested while letting him know he’s still got some work to do to snag you.”
4) Live your own life first
Far too often, we think of love as someone who will complete us in every way and make our life perfect.
If only it were so!
Actually, love is as much an internal process as it is an external one.
You have to live and love your own life before someone else can really be a meaningful and positive part of your life romantically.
We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true.
You have to love yourself first.
If you want to find true love and intimacy, you have to learn about the way real love works and how to avoid toxic and codependent patterns that you can otherwise easily fall into.
5) Stare into his soul windows
The eyes really are the window to the soul, and if you want to draw this guy into your web of love then try making longer eye contact.
If he looks away a lot then he’s probably shy or unsure about you.
Try to hold it a few seconds longer each time and “smile with your eyes.”
If his eyes start lighting up around you then you’re on the right track.
And it all starts in the eyes.
“It’s true. Studies have found that prolonged eye contact increases the likelihood that two people will fall in love,” writes Ossiana Tepfenhart.
Final verdict: is he in or not?
If he’s checking the box on more than half the items above then he’s definitely not sure of his feelings for you.
However, if things overall are going pretty well, try not to stress or second-guess everything.
Let the relationship flow where it will.
However, if these warning signs are all popping up and this guy is super iffy on his commitment to you, then it’s time to put your high-heeled foot down.
Like Jessica Blake says, lukewarm isn’t good enough!
“You want to date a guy who’s crazy about you.
“You want him to be a little nervous about asking you out and going on a first date with you.
“You want a guy who blurts out how he feels about you and takes a chance, instead of hesitating or making you second-guess him constantly.
“You deserve a guy who knows what he wants and that you’re the one for him.”
Yes, you do.
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