17 reasons a guy denies he likes you (and how to change his mind)

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You have great chemistry and have an amazing time together, but he sends mixed messages.

He denied liking you, making you wonder why and what it means about the way he feels for you.

Could it be that “he’s just not that into you,” or maybe he’s attracted but doesn’t want the world to know about it?

Let’s get to the reasons why a guy denies liking you when the signs are all there – and what you can do to change his mind.

Why would a guy be in denial of his feelings? 17 reasons

Sometimes, people may not always be what they seem to be. That even when it comes to love, some hope that their feelings will vanish and pretend it doesn’t exist.

The thing is, there are several different reasons why he denies liking you.

1) He doesn’t understand what he feels

This may sound surreal, but that’s how things are. It’s just that falling in love with someone is complex – sometimes, it hits us with confusing emotions.

And this is one of the major reasons why most men hide their true feelings.

He may be having trouble identifying his feelings, or probably, he can’t explain why he feels that way towards you.

Probably, he gets too overwhelmed with what’s going on.

So it becomes natural for him to hide his feelings and retreat to his man cave.

When this happens, we women think that we should force them to open up. But the only thing they need is time to accept those emotions.

2) He’s scared of his feelings

Falling in love changes us completely, and most people (especially guys) fear what they can’t control

This is because when we fall in love, we can’t influence our hearts and our minds. The only thing we can do is to let those emotions rule over our world or hide from it.

There’s a possibility that he is too scared or even shy of all this. And you can’t blame him. After all, feelings can be scary.

Here are the most common reasons why men fear loving someone:

  • He’s been hurt too much from the past relationship
  • He experiences emotional trauma during his childhood
  • He thinks he’s unlovable
  • He can’t stand the idea of getting hurt or rejected
  • He thinks he doesn’t have time for love
  • Being vulnerable makes him uncomfortable

3) He thinks he’s not the one for you

Probably he believes that you already have someone in your life.

Or if you’re single, maybe he sees you dating other guys. And he doesn’t feel like getting into a competition with other guys.

It could also be that he thinks that the guy you’re closest to or maybe his best friend likes you more than he does.

There could be lots of reasons behind this.

If you like him more than the rest of the guys you’re dating, then make it clear that you’re not in a relationship with anyone.

Here’s the thing,

For men, it all boils down to triggering their inner hero.

This fascinating hero instinct concept is coined by relationship expert James Bauer, which explains how men think and feel in relationships.

And most women don’t know anything about it.

Men have innate drivers – and when a woman brings out his inner hero, it makes them into the heroes of their lives.

But how do you bring out this instinct in him?

There are words you can say and messages you can send to trigger this instinct naturally. And there’s no need to play the damsel in distress.

The best thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here.  In his video, he reveals the exact texts and phrases you can use straight away.

And that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.

It’s all a matter of saying the right words to make him realize that he wants you and only you.

Click here to watch the free video.

4) He doesn’t want his friends to know

He’s attracted to you, but he doesn’t want his friends to know about it.

Talking about his feelings to his friends can be a tricky situation.   He wants to be ready and secure enough before taking things public.

Probably his friends will pester him with questions, and he’s not prepared for that yet.  Or maybe one of his buddies is also into you – and he doesn’t want to risk that.

It could also be that he doesn’t know where things are going or because he’s got someone else on the side.

Maybe he’s also keeping his feelings as he wants to protect you (and him) from being judged or ridiculed.

For him, it’s better to play it safe and make it non-existent.

That’s why he preferred to keep the stuff that he’s feeling between you and him all to himself.

5) He thinks it will disrupt his life

He has planned his life and knows exactly where his career is heading. He enjoys Friday nights out or weekend games with the boys.

Everything about his life seems to be just the way he wants it to be. And then he feels something when you come along.

He gets attracted and possibly falls for you – but sees this as a disruption.

He thinks that his life will change when he lets his feelings known.

The truth is, loving someone will create a difference – but it’s for the better.

If you can find a way to make him realize that his feelings aren’t a disruption or that being in a relationship won’t ruin his life.

6) He doesn’t want to lose control

Guys are taught to exhibit their masculine traits – and they pretend to be rough and tough warriors free of emotions.

And that’s one of the biggest reasons why they deny their feelings.

Men don’t want to give up control and appear vulnerable in front of someone they like.

Most think that if they show their true feelings and confess their love, they will appear too sensitive. Instead, they develop their coping mechanisms.

Thus they give up mixed signals and make things confusing for you.

It’s only when a man feels safe from the woman he likes that he will open up and share his feelings.

7) He’s emotionally unavailable

For an emotionally unavailable man, feelings are too overwhelming.

Instead of putting himself out there, he would rather not hurt you than ruin the situation. He would even close himself off once you show that you’re interested.

Here are some traits of an emotionally unavailable man:

  • He feels he isn’t enough
  • He finds it difficult to engage in real-stuff conversations
  • His past emotional blockages are holding him back
  • He always finds excuses for not spending time with you
  • He has narcissistic traits and constantly seeks validation from others
  • He’s not interested in whatever you’re sharing with him
  • He’s keeping everything to himself

The harsh truth is that emotionally unavailable men are not in line with their own emotions, thus they won’t be comfortable when you share your emotions.

But when they see the right woman, that’s the time when they can reveal true feelings.

8) He’s struggling with insecurities

It could be that he doesn’t like putting himself out there because he has insecurity issues.

He would deny liking you to protect his ego. He chooses to ignore the truth about what he feels.

The moment you show any interest, he will withdraw his attention from you or even pull a bait and switch so he’ll have the upper hand.

According to Mary Lamia, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, and psychoanalyst, “We may want to deny the reality of our emotions because accepting a reality that is uncomfortable, painful, or incongruous to what we expect means we must also alter our perception of ourselves.”

9) He thinks he doesn’t have time for it

There could be a lot of excuses running through his mind, and his life is packed with too many obligations.

He could be telling himself repeatedly that he’s better off alone, and that he thinks he doesn’t have time to start a meaningful relationship.

He might deny liking you as he fears that he won’t get to give you the time and attention you need.

Come to think of it, we’re all busy as we all have things going on in our lives. There’s our family, jobs, friends, projects, business trips, hobbies, social media, and everything else that gets thrown at us.

But the thing is, how we spend our time says a lot about what we value most.

And no matter what, investing your time, efforts, and love into your relationship will always be worth it.

Hopefully, he’ll realize that.

10) He feels he isn’t worthy of you

This may be because of his past relationship or childhood issues, or even low self-esteem.

It could also be that he sees you as someone out of his league, that he chooses to deny he likes you. He’s afraid to look pathetic or get rejected.

When you come along, he doesn’t quite know what to do with the way he feels. He worries that if he opens up, he’ll get hurt again.

He also sees you as someone so desirable. But he doesn’t want to take any chances as he feels like he doesn’t deserve you.

This relates to the interesting concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct.

When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to open up and acknowledge the feelings he has for you.

And the best part is, just by knowing the right things to say to him, you’ll open a part of him that no woman has ever reached before.

You can learn exactly how to do that by watching this simple and genuine video by James Bauer.

11) He’s nervous

Either he’s scared of falling in love or nervous that you won’t like him back.

He’s afraid that you’d make fun of him or that others would think of him as a loser if you reject him.

He’s nervous to reveal his true self thinking that you would judge him or that you wouldn’t like him at all.

Being in this emotionally vulnerable position makes him deny liking you.

He’s likely showing you signs that he’s attracted to you and signs of being nervous around you.

When he’s nervous, you may notice:

  • He’s struggling to hold eye contact
  • He rubs his face, arms, or neck a lot
  • He keeps tapping his feet or fingers
  • He’s talking on a higher pitch than usual

12) He’s ashamed of liking you

He’s attracted to you but can’t help the thoughts running through his mind.

Maybe there’s something about you that he knows some people would blame him for or others wouldn’t understand.

Probably, you belong to different religious groups or you’re supporting conflicting political parties. He’s denying that he likes you as he’s scared of what others will think about him.

This could go something like, “Will my parents approve?” or “What would my friends think?”

That’s the reason why even if he likes you, he’s giving you the cold shoulder out of nowhere. He doesn’t even comment on your social media posts or ignore you when he sees you in public.

13) He doesn’t want to kill the thrill of the chase

He could feel good to be in pursuit and love the thrill and excitement of this whole chase-thing.

Probably, he thinks that the pursuit of the chase is more enticing and rewarding than the actual relationship.

Like us women, men also enjoy being chased. We love it when we know that someone likes us and is interested in us.

Whether we admit it or not, it builds up our self-esteem.

No wonder men choose to hide their feelings so that the chasing game will last longer.

14) He doesn’t want to be in a relationship

Most of the time, the simplest answer to why he denies liking you is that he’s not ready to be in any kind of relationship.

This could be the case wherein he likes you, but he doesn’t want to date or be in a relationship with you for some reason.

It’s just that a lot is going on in his life, that the idea of dating or committing to someone does not cross his mind yet.

But you don’t have to cut him off just because he’s not ready for a relationship. You can still hang out and enjoy each other’s company without strings attached.

Still, make sure not to expect or fall too hard.

15) He doesn’t want his feelings used against him

Men are aware that the moment they show their true feelings, things will be different.

It terrifies him that you’ll have more power over him, and you’ll use his feelings against him. This is the kind of scenario that most men who deny their feelings are scared of.

Probably, he’s terrified that you will do things to make him feel jealous, ask him to commit, or seek reassurance.

He wants to be in love, but it could be that his decision to show what he feels will backfire on him. And he doesn’t want that to happen.

He could have experienced that in the past, and he’s afraid that the same thing will happen again.

16) He’s waiting for you to make the move

When he’s too vulnerable and fears losing his power, he will probably wait and test the waters before showing how he feels.

The last thing he wants is to be ridiculed, get hurt, and be rejected.

Thus, he will deny that he likes you and keep his emotions bottled up until the right moment comes over the possibility of getting hurt.

It is only when he feels safe that he will finally get to show that he likes you.

While this sounds like a cowardly act, you can’t blame him. Sometimes, men are wired to act that way to protect themselves.

They would initially push their feelings aside and wait for the perfect moment to show them.

17) There’s too much hurt from his past

Some men choose to hide their feelings because they got their hearts broken in the past.

For instance, he exposed himself completely and emotionally in front of a woman he likes. He gave her his body, heart, and soul – expecting the same from her.

But he was wrong. He got hurt, and it damages him emotionally.

Maybe he just let the wrong girl in. But this made him shut down his feelings toward the world. He has to do something to protect himself.

Well, he could be going through a similar scenario.

And this is one of the most common reasons why men choose to deny and hide their feelings.

What to do to change his mind?

When a man is afraid to express his feelings, it’s a challenge to get him to open up.

Here are some ways you can try to get him to talk to you and fully express his deepest feelings without forcing him.

1) Be trustworthy

Show him genuinely that he can be vulnerable with you. Don’t use his feelings against him or play with them. It’s when he can trust you with his deepest emotions that he’ll get to embrace what he truly feels.

2) Appreciate him

Tell him the traits you admire about him. It could be his looks, his personality, or his talents. Allow him to talk about it as it will help boost his self-esteem. Appreciate his strengths, achievements, and what he’s doing for you.

3) Don’t judge him

For him to open up, let him say what’s on his mind. Accept his thoughts and opinions – and the person that he is. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything he says, but try not to be judgemental.

4) Understand his love language

Paying attention to this can help you in the process of making him open up about his emotions. His body language may show a lot! So smile and appreciate how he expresses his care for you and how he makes you feel special.

5) Be open as you can

He may be hesitant to show his feelings as you’ve been hiding too. It’s best to say your thoughts and feelings to him. So be yourself and exude an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance.

6) Make the conversation easy and natural

Take things lightly, and don’t be intimidating. You can encourage him to open up his feelings by lightening the atmosphere. Probably, talk about what he loves or fill your conversation with humor.

7) Don’t pressure him

Let everything flow naturally without stress. Don’t force him to talk or express his feelings – for it will only shut him down even more. Keep things as light and positive as possible.

8) Keep an open mind

Don’t assume what he is thinking and feeling. Most of the time, making assumptions invalidates a man’s feelings and makes them unheard. So instead of opening up, the opposite happens. Try to be patient without jumping to conclusions.

The bottom line

Think about everything from his perspective.

No matter what, the truth will always be in his eyes and his heart.

In the end, if you both have the desire to have an amazing relationship and when you’re destined to be with each other, the possibilities are endless.

And when that happens, you know for sure that what you have is love right from the start.

So by now, you should have a better idea of the different reasons why he’s in denial about his feelings for you even if he likes you.

The key here is getting through to your man in a way that empowers you both. And it’s all down to bring out his inner hero.

By appealing directly to his primal instincts, you won’t only solve this issue, but you’ll also motivate him to love, commit, and protect.

And since this free video reveals exactly how you can make him into the man he’s always wanted to be, you could make this change as early as today.

With James Bauer’s incredible hero instinct concept, he’ll see you as the only woman for him.

So if you’re ready to take your relationship, check out the video now.

Here’s a link to his excellent free video again.

Czaroma Roman

Czaroma is a content strategist and copywriter with a purposeful mindset. She finds fulfillment in crafting content for entrepreneurs and life coaches. In a place of love and growth, she's raising a tribe of three with her husband - and writes to inspire people to create impactful relationships.

Connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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