11 subtle signs someone is in love with you but won’t admit it, according to psychology

They say that love is in the details.

Because rather than grand gestures, intimacy and affection often shine through in the most humble and subtle of ways.

Maybe you’re trying to gauge how someone really feels about you, but they’re not giving much away.

Then you need to look at the details!

If someone is in love with you but won’t admit it there are some sneaky psychological signs you can watch out for.

1) They look at you weird

Sometimes we do try to hide our feelings.

We may be worried about rocking the boat and ruining a friendship. We could be terrified of being rejected and making a fool of ourselves.

Yet our emotions often shine through, without us consciously controlling it.

Eye contact gives a lot away, and psychologists have shown how significant it is in the role of attraction.

Research has highlighted how “eye-contact in particular improves trust, communicates closeness, and makes interactions richer and more efficient.”

You may catch them looking at you when they think you’re not looking.

There may be prolonged eye contact between you two, where you hold each other’s gaze for that little bit longer.

Or you may just sense a longing in their eyes.

These are all indicators of hidden attraction that they are yet to voice.

2) They always want to be around you

Perhaps you don’t need psychology to tell you this:

But it turns out, that romantic love is addictive.

That explains why we just can’t seem to get enough of someone in the early stages.

They’ll likely find plenty of reasons to hang around you, make plans, and spend quality time together.

They will frequently reach out and initiate contact. They not only make time to see you, but it is at the top of their to-do list.

It will give you a strong sense that they’re prioritizing you in their life.

3) They can be a bit possessive or jealous at times

When we want someone to be ours, it’s gut-wrenching to think of them with someone else.

That’s why, although it’s often touted as an ugly emotion, a little bit of jealousy is perfectly normal. In fact, neuroscientists say it’s hardwired into all of us.

According to research psychologist Joli Hamilton, those pangs of jealousy come because we want to preserve our most precious bonds. She says when jealousy arrives, it’s telling you something.

“That’s my clue that I am imagining that I’m going to lose my influence over this person who I care about. I’m imagining that there will be less love, less attention, less something.”

If someone is in love with you but won’t admit it, they may feel more guarded over your affection.

So they won’t want to hear about other potential love interests, and they may try to dissuade you from others who they see as love rivals.

4) They’re pretty touchy-feely

When we touch others it releases the hormone oxytocin. This so-called love hormone is what creates social bonding.

It’s instinctive and happens behind the scenes. But, as pointed out in Psych Central it makes touch a powerful tool:

“People utilize it in different ways for different occasions. It gives people a feeling of love, familiarity, and trust. Some people understand the effects of touch without really knowing the science behind it. I would be willing to bet that those who understand touch are not aware of why they do it. It is embedded into our genetic code.”

When we’re attracted to someone we feel drawn to be physically closer too.

So you may find that they make excuses to reach out and touch you in subtle ways.

Of course, not all touch is flirty. So how can you tell?

Well, psychologists devised a body map that explains how people tend to feel about touch in certain areas.

Generally speaking, the higher you go up the arm, the more intimate the touch.

Meanwhile, it works in reverse for the back. So the lower you go down someone’s back, the more intimate the touch.

5) They’re thoughtful and remember the little things you say

This sort of subtle consideration tells you something important:

They are attentive to you.

It’s very simple:

The more we are interested in something or someone, the more we focus on it.  

The fact that they have paid attention to something you causally told them makes it more likely that you are important to them.

6) They’re consistent

You can rely on them. They have got your back. They support you.

…But more than that, they do this on repeat.

What separates a superficial crush from love is the consistency of care, attention, and effort.

So they won’t just check in on you one week and then forget about you for the next month. They aren’t going anywhere and this gives you a safe and secure feeling.

Romantic love is often a mixture of those butterflies along with a sense of stability. It’s this that allows a bond to grow.

Chemistry is all very good, but without reliability, crushes aren’t ever stable enough to flourish into deeper feelings.

7) You can do no wrong in their eyes

It’s not always healthy, but plenty of idealization can go on in romantic connections.

Especially in the early stages, it’s tempting to project onto someone.

As you do so, you put on rose-tinted glasses.

Everything they do seems marvelous.

In psychology, we call this somewhat blind adoration ‘the halo effect’.

It’s actually a cognitive bias.

If their admiration for you is so great that you can seemingly do no wrong in their eyes, for sure they have strong feelings for you.

8) They act differently when you’re around

Here’s why attraction is so hard to pin down:

We’re all different.

That means how someone behaves when they’ve got a crush or are in love is going to be different from how someone else responds.

Some people feel shy and awkward, others will show off.

The inconvenient reality is that there isn’t only one way that desire shows up. Having a baseline for their behavior can help.

You need to watch out for them behaving strangely when you are around.

So, maybe they’re withdrawn or perhaps they are tongue-tied. But they could equally be flirty, playfully teasing, or extra chatty.

The key is that it’s something out of the ordinary for them. They treat you differently to how they treat others.

9) They go out of their way to please you

This can come in many forms. But it’s usually kind acts and thoughtful gestures.

Depending on their love language (aka, the way they prefer to give and receive love) they may:

  • Do acts of service by running errands or offering to help you out
  • Buy you little gifts or offer to pay for things
  • Pay you compliments and say nice things to you
  • Offer support whenever you need it

It may seem that they are super attentive to your feelings and needs.

How keen they are around you just makes you suspicious that there must be more to it.

10) They make a real effort to listen to you

Now call me cynical, but I can always spot a first date by how much a couple is intently nodding and listening to one another.

It’s a stark contrast to those who’ve been together a while and who sit in silence scrolling through their phones.

It’s as if they are doing this obvious facial expression that screams:

I am completely absorbed in everything you say, please tell me more. This is another way that we show attention and devotion to someone we’re interested in.

Of course, in an ideal world, we should all show this courtesy to one another. But let’s be real, active listening does not always happen.

The reason for their next level of devotion may well be the special status you have for them.

11) They open up to you

We share more information with people we’re romantically interested in.

So say psychologists who claim self-disclosure increases with attraction.

As Professor Jack Schafer Ph.D. explains in Psychology Today, “People feel a sense of closeness to others who reveal their vulnerabilities, innermost thoughts, and facts about themselves. The sense of closeness increases if the disclosures are emotional rather than factual.”

That’s why someone opening up to you is a sign of their feelings because it’s ultimately a sign of them trying to be intimate with you.

They choose to share the more vulnerable sides of themselves and bring you into their emotional inner circle.

Sometimes only time will tell

There is often a level of uncertainty when it comes to romance.

I’ll level with you, some of our signs also apply to all close relationships, including friendships.

Although we may wish we could pinpoint a magic formula to definitely confirm someone’s feelings for us, love doesn’t work like that.

That’s why putting your heart on the line is such a scary thing to do.

If someone won’t admit to their feelings, you have a few options.

You can up the flirting and put yourself out there to see if things escalate. You can encourage an honest conversation with them to find out where you stand. Or, you can give it more time and see what happens.

Sometimes, we have to wait to let things play out.

Sure, that can be nerve-wracking, but isn’t it also part of the buzz of falling in love?

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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