5 subtle signs a man is trying hard to hide his attraction towards you

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If a man is attracted to you, why would he want to hide it from you?

Why can’t he just be straightforward and let you know he’s interested? Why do there have to be mind games in matters of love?

This is one of the conundrums of the dating life, many women will tell you. 

Relationship advice expert Sylvia Smith from Marriage.com says there are many reasons why a man might want to hide his romantic feelings for you.

For one thing, he might have a fear of rejection. “They might worry that if they express their true emotions, the other person might not feel the same way,” she says. This could lead to potential embarrassment or awkwardness. 

Many men also don’t like to feel vulnerable, says Smith. “They might worry that opening up about their emotions could lead to getting hurt if feelings aren’t reciprocated or if the friendship doesn’t work out.”

Of course, he might also be taken. Existing commitments or relationships might prevent them from openly acknowledging their feelings for someone else. “They might be in a complicated situation, such as being in a relationship already, and feel torn between their emotions and loyalty.”

There could also be an element of uncertainty, says Smith. “People might not be entirely sure about their own feelings. They might be in the process of sorting out their emotions and want to be certain before they reveal anything to their other person.”

Past experiences can also prevent them from revealing their attraction. If a man has been hurt or rejected before when expressing his feelings, he might be reluctant to go through that potential experience again, and decide to keep their attraction to themselves. 

So while all the reasons a man might want to hide his feelings for you might be understandable and even valid, there are some telltale signs that he’s attracted to you.

Here are five signs he’s into you—even if he is trying his best to hide it. 

1) He is always viewing your social media stories but won’t “like” your posts 

Now you might not think this one is a big deal. Lots of people view your Instagram stories on the regular, right? 

But still. You can’t shake that feeling that he’s got the hots for you, even if he isn’t coming out and saying it. 

Dating expert and coach Meredith Golden (she also happens to be a dating app ghostwriter) says that when someone consistently watches your Instagram stories, that we shouldn’t automatically chalk it up as meaningless. “Instagram engagement can be a potential sign of interest,” she says. 

“If someone is continuously clicking on a Story, there’s definitely an interest in seeing what a poster is up to,” she continues. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re in love, but they certainly aren’t skipping the posts.”

“When a man looks at your stories, this is what it means: he is curious,” adds dating coach Esther Sarphatie. “You would probably look at his stories if you were interested in him.”

You might be left wondering, why is he looking at my Instagram stories but ignoring me?

Sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly says that people ignore their crushes because they’re either playing games or they’re unsure how to make the first move. 

2) His body language shows he’s interested but he makes no moves towards you 

I remember being at a party years ago, and one of my brother’s friends was always close by on the dance floor. I would feel like he was watching me dance, but whenever I looked in his direction, he would quickly look away and it would seem like his attention was on something—or someone—else entirely. 

Some time later, I remember meeting up with a friend of mine at a restaurant. We talked about the party we were both at and she told me that she had been sitting at the same table as my brother’s friend. 

She said he knew that she and I were friends and that he casually asked about me. “I’m pretty sure he has a thing for you,” she said. 

But I wondered why he didn’t approach me or reach out to me somehow on social media. We weren’t Facebook “friends” or following one other on Instagram, but he still could have “DM’ed” me. 

I realized that he probably wasn’t sure if my brother would “approve” and because they were friends he decided not to approach me.

Other body language signs can include mirroring your body language or holding prolonged eye contact with you, says the team at Body Language Central

He might also stand closer to you than he normally stands to other people. He might also position himself so that he is standing near you in a group of people. 

3) He makes no advances towards you even though he is always around you 

If a man likes you and he happens to be an acquaintance (like the friend of a friend, or a friend of a relative, for instance), chances are he has heard about where you like to hang out. 

So if you have a favorite pub downtown and are there Friday and Saturday nights, he might know this and so he tends to “coincidentally” be there whenever you are. 

He might not talk to you; he might just be at the bar sipping his beer and “watching the game”. Sure, he might be a regular at this bar too, but you just can’t shake the distinct feeling that he is keeping tabs on you (pun intended). 

“If you’re out with a group of friends and notice that every time you turn around, he’s right there, then it’s a sign that he has a crush on you,” says Vin Serai from LovePanky

4) He won’t talk to you but you hear through the grapevine that he is asking about you 

If a guy has a crush on you, he will most definitely be curious about you. 

People have their own ways of showing interest, says Destiny Femi from Attraction Diary

“For some it’s asking mutual friends or sneaking questions to find out more about the person they like.”

He might find you so magnetic and he just has to know more about you. 

“In his eyes, you might be that captivating novel or that unforgettable melody.”

5) He acts like he could care less about you but then seems strangely jealous when he sees you talking to other men

He might become anxious when you’re talking to other men, says the staff at Body Language. Or he’ll “stick around while you are with other men.”

He might indirectly try to get you to notice him when he sees you talking to other men. This could be something like deliberately—and slowly—walking past you. 

He might laugh a little too loudly when talking to someone so as to divert your attention to him

Men can get jealous even over women they aren’t in a relationship with, says Prakash Bowda from Bonobology

“Even if you are not committed to a man, he could get jealous on account of all the stares you get when you walk into a room.”

At the end of the day, communication is key 

If you think someone likes you and is ignoring you, and you happen to like them too, then go ahead and approach them, says Dr. O’Reilly. 

“React to one of their stories or slide into their DMs to say hello.”

If they don’t want to take you up on it, then well, that’s their loss. At least you had the guts to try.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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