Signs He is Fighting His Feelings for You (23 Tell-Tale Signs He Likes You)

Last updated on February 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Are you beginning to fall for a special guy and wondering if he’s feeling the same?

It’s common for men to fight their feelings at the beginning of a budding relationship, perhaps because they’ve been hurt in the past or maybe because they were really enjoying the single life. 

Either way, this is likely to put you in an awkward position, because you won’t know how your crush truly feels. 

Luckily, this guide is here to help you. It features 23 common signs that he is fighting his feelings for you.

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Scroll down for my list of 23 signs that he’s fighting his feelings for you.


23 Signs He is Fighting His Feelings For You

Boy likes girl, boy tells girl, she likes him back, and they lived happily ever after. Seems straightforward enough, doesn’t it? 

Yes, well, your being here looking for signs he is fighting his feelings for you says that’s not always the case.

Sometimes for a guy, catching the feelings is the easy part. Figuring out what to do with himself afterward? 

That’s the actual work, especially in complicated situations. So, if you get the sense that the man you like might be into you, too, but he’s fighting it, you’ve come to the right place.

Hopefully, these signs he is fighting his feelings for you help make head or tail of what I’m sure must be confusing.

1. There is undeniable chemistry between you

You can only ever be sure of how you feel and all of that, but there is no denying the mutual connection you guys share. You wouldn’t be out here finding signs he is fighting his feelings for you if you didn’t think there was something there.

You may not get many chances, but when you experience each other in unguarded moments, sparks fly. This is where it gets confusing, though, if all you’ve ever known are men who pursue you when they like you. You might even start to doubt your chemistry with this one if you can’t tell the signs he is fighting his feelings for you.

2. You catch him stealing glances at you

you catch him stealing glances at you

If a guy likes you, the usual thing is that he avoids making eye contact so as not to give the game away, especially one who’s fighting his feelings. He’d act like your eyes are these truth orbs that if he stares too long into, he may not be able to help himself.

However, no matter how hard he tries, there will be instances where you either catch him shifting his gaze to or away from you. Like in those unguarded moments I mentioned, just until he flips the switch again and goes back to pretending you two are regular friends.

3. He doesn’t talk a lot around you

You might also notice that your guy talks a lot less than usual when you are in the room. It’s not untypical for guys to do that when they catch feelings, but they may act even more guarded than usual when going out of their way to hide it.

Although it really could be that he is shy around girls generally, you may want to see if he acts that cool around other ladies, to be sure. If it turns out he doesn’t, and you are already too familiar with each other for it to be the stranger effect, then it’s probably what you think. 

4. He is attentive to you

There is another side to the previous point, two signs he is fighting his feelings for you that you may notice simultaneously. The guy may not talk much, but he will make up for that gap by being attentive to you. He may ask you questions that get you going or if you are not alone, just let you do your thing from afar while he watches intently.

The type of guy who holds on to the tiniest, most insignificant details he learns about you. The MG to your Lizzie (IYKYK). He’d be mindful of your feelings, so he might avoid discussing topics like his dating life with or around you.

5. You seem to make him nervous

You know how you can be this totally confident and chill person but somehow lose the ability to string a proper sentence together when your crush walks in? Or how you sometimes talk really fast when you have a hot guy in front of you and don’t know what to do with yourself? And how all of those functions only come rushing back after the encounter has passed?

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Boys have those too, and it may be why your guy is more fidgety than usual around you and why he turns to jelly when your eyes meet. Even more likely if his nervous tics are worse when you catch him unawares.

6. He gets more self-conscious than usual when you are involved

Still on the nervous note, he hasn’t said anything about love or feelings, but he gets more finicky about his appearance when he knows you’ll be there? The same thing that turns his conversational skills into borderline inexistent might compel him to change his shirts a few times before settling on one for a ‘casual’ hangout. 

Have there been instances where he has not just himself but also everyone else on their A-game just because you are coming over? Such preening behaviors that no one else but you seem to bring out in him are signs he’s lowkey fighting feelings.

7. You hang out sometimes but never call them dates

A boy fighting his feelings for you is literally at war with himself. On an emotional level, he wants to embrace what he’s feeling and bare his soul to you, whereas your situation might be such that logic has to lead, not the heart.

With that as his baseline, getting to spend time with you would be getting the best of both worlds, even if it happens under a platonic guise. So if you're meeting up with him and they look and feel a lot like dates, and you never call them that, someone might be hiding something indeed.

8. He’s different when you hang out in a group

Does his backbone only seem intact when he interacts with you with other people present? Maybe his friends, yours, or a mix of both. He can laugh and talk and generally relax more with familiar faces there to act as a buffer, but it gets awkward when they leave?

This might just indicate a need to take the pressure off at first. However, if you keep seeing signs he’s into you, but the trend of him being more relaxed when you have company continues, he’s definitely fighting his feelings.

9. He’s always there for you

he's always there for you

How often does your fellow swoop in to save the day? If you are pretty close, he might be the man that comes to mind when you need a listening ear or a broad shoulder to cry on.

It’s like his hero instinct is always on when it comes to you, you know that drive to serve, protect, and earn your respect? He’s protective of you and would volunteer his time and efforts for you even without you asking. He may be fighting his feelings for you, alright, but not even that would hold him back if he thinks you need him. 

10. You have his buttons

If there’s one thing the signs on the list have in common, it’s that they all draw from the central idea that he has a soft spot for you. He can’t say no to you, you make him make questionable decisions. Part of you knows that your opinion carries a lot of weight with him, and he cares a great deal about having you on his side.

It sure is no coincidence if you have this much effect on him, even if he is still in denial about his own feelings.

11. He switches up on you ‘out of nowhere’

Then there’s the tell-tale sign he’s definitely fighting something, running hot and cold, getting all mushy with you one day and withdrawing the next. Like with an FWB trying and failing to keep things strictly physical. 

Men who usually find excuses to leave right after might grow distant if they catch themselves acting out-of-character (e.g., staying for cuddles) to get their defenses back up. But it’s only a matter of time before they gravitate back to you again and restart the whole cycle.

12. He doesn’t think any guy is good enough for you

If captain mixed signals is anything other than your boyfriend, you dating someone else must not be easy for him. If your rapport is such that he gets to freely make his opinion of your relationships known, he may be overly critical of the men you date.

He might make it look like it’s not a jealousy thing, that he’s just looking out for you, most of which may be true. However, if it becomes a trend and not even one of your suitors makes the cut, there might be more to it than he’s letting on.

13. He can’t stand seeing you with the competition

He can rationalize all the reasons why fighting his feelings is the right thing to do all he wants, but we all know how tricky emotions can be. Men generally have a significantly low threshold for seeing another man’s hands on the woman they love.

If he gets physically uneasy when he sees you cozying up to his rivals (other men) or outrightly shows signs of jealousy, he’s into you. Seeing other guys circling around you might even force him to give up the fight entirely and just confess his feelings in a bid not to lose you. 

14. He constantly reminds you of your existing relationship

“We’re just friends.” “You are my girlfriend’s best friend.” “You are like a sister to me.” Sound familiar? If yes, does it come unprovoked, without you actually doing anything different, or maybe after those slip-up moments when he lets his guard down? He’s quite likely fighting his feelings for you.

Him harping on about it may be a little frustrating to hear, but it’s as much for him as it is for you. Partly to make you take a step back so he doesn’t have to, but it can also be that he is trying to bring his mind back to earth. Especially if your current dynamic is the reason he is fighting his feelings in the first place.

15. He feels the need to justify himself to you

Does he explain his relationship with other girls you see him with? That’s one of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you and losing. As nice as it might be to see you get jealous, you running with the idea of him being into another girl might be too great a risk for him.

Like I said earlier, what you think of him matters a great deal to a guy in love, which means he might subconsciously seek your approval, too, outside relationships.

16. He flaunts/flirts with girls in front of you

On the other hand, some guys might take the opposite direction, making you jealous to prove a point. Does he go out of his way to make you see him killing it with the babes? Despite all other signs he clearly has feelings for you, he goes about playing the field like he doesn’t care?

Notice how long he’s able to keep up the act before he finds some excuse to spend time with you again. If not long, then part of him wants to move on, but the romantic in him wants a fix of you. Other ladies can provide temporary succor, but he’ll never stop looking for a piece of you in them, which would ultimately render them not good enough.

17. He’s active on your social media

He interacts with your posts, sends you private jokes, you two share active mutual groups, and flows smoothly in the DMs. He asks personal questions when you chat, seems particularly interested in your dating/sex life. There’s more and more to suggest he wants more than just to be friends.

Yet despite all these, his energy is inconsistent at best. You have deep conversations sometimes, but you don’t know what he’s up to the rest of the time. That’s that hot and cold sign again, a classic tell he is holding back.

18. He follows you but doesn’t interact with your posts

On the flip side, some guys prefer to fly under the radar when they stalk their crush. Most people have their entire world online these days, if he wants in on every single platform you, he’s a fan at least.

On its own, this sign is a long shot at best. But if it’s consistent with how he’s been with you in real life (gets your number but doesn’t call, stares without saying hi, etc.), then that ups the odds.

19. He does random acts of love for you

he does random acts of love for you

He has a lot of sweet things to say about you, sends you flowers, gets the door, picks you up from work. You and this guy aren’t dating, but you might as well be. He, of course, puts it like something he’d do for anyone, but between the two of you, you know that’s not true.

These gestures feel a lot more romantic than platonic for a reason, and the lengths he would go to downplay them is enough sign he is fighting his feelings.

20. Others think you are an item

Neither of you is saying anything about dating, your relationship isn’t even like that, although you can’t really slap a straightforward definition on what you are. You are not seeing anyone else, but you’re not really with him either. It may be that he is still figuring out his feelings or that he’s just keeping it down on purpose. 

If he keeps coming and going and you continue taking him back, all that on-again-off-again will make people think you are a thing. Even you may still be unaware or unsure of your feelings for him by the time everyone else can already see the sign.

21. His friends use you to tease him

More specifically, if his friends always act like they have something on him in your presence, you might be the thing. How much they let you in on it depends on how big of a secret he wants his feelings for you to be.

If his guys know he’d kill them if they let it slip before he’s ready, they might be more careful with the shade. But if pretty much everyone already talks about you two, and he still goes red when they tease, it’s a sign he’s truly fighting his feelings for you.

22. You’ve had the “we shouldn’t be doing this” conversation

Now, a lot of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you aren’t standalone, though this one is close. Maybe you two almost make a mistake you can’t come back from and agree not to repeat it. We all know the conversation alone is like an aphrodisiac, just saying it doesn’t automatically mean he’ll stop pursuing a relationship with you.

However, if he started acting differently right after you had the talk, keeping his distance and limiting communication, for example, then it’s as clear-cut a sign as it’s gonna get.

23. His body language doesn’t match what he says (or doesn’t say)

As the last point implies, don’t just listen to what men say, pay attention to (non-verbal cues) to get the things they don’t, too. Even if he initiates the conversation about how dating or another kind of relationship wouldn’t be ideal, it doesn’t exclude him from struggling with his emotions.

If he’s fighting his feelings, his eyes will let you in on his little secret, if only in brief moments, before he catches himself again. And that’s just one part of his body. 


How do you know if someone is hiding their feelings for you?

Someone hiding their feelings for you won’t show an outright interest in dating you, but they will do everything but. They may pay you a whole lot more attention, treat you better than most other people, and their actions would generally show they have a weakness for you. 

How do you tell if a guy has strong feelings for you?

Depends on what you mean by strong. A man who has intense, passionate feelings for you may be bolder and more handsy in his manner than one coming from a less physical place. The latter might lean more towards dating you and pursuing a meaningful relationship, while the former might favor the fastest route to pleasure.

How does a man act when he is falling in love?

When a man starts to fall in love with you, he seeks to reinforce his relationship with you by making you a more prominent part of his life. He might introduce you to his loved ones or try to meet yours, pay you closer attention, and naturally want to spend all his time with you. He’ll also be more vulnerable with you, and his body language will be loaded with emotions.

How do you know if someone feels the same way about you?

While you can never know for sure how someone else truly feels about you, body language and your chemistry are key to telling the signs, in addition to hearing it from them. If what they say and do align, and they enjoy your company as much as you do theirs, those are good signs. Nothing feels forced, and you are both equally invested in each other and your relationship.

What are the signs of mutual attraction?

Mirroring, prolonged eye contact, and other flirty body language cues are promising signs of mutual attraction. You will also find that you are equally drawn to nurturing your connection, that is, you want to spend time with each other and talk as often as you can.

To Conclude

And there you have it, signs he is fighting his feelings for you. Men aren’t famed for being the most open with their emotions, but they are even harder to read when they make an effort to conceal them. If the man you like shows signs he’s fighting his feelings for you, the good news is the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, it also means facing the reason he is fighting it in the first place.

As always, let me know your thoughts on the list in the comments and share the post if you liked it. 

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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