Obvious Signs He Is Pretending To Like You (43 Things To Look For)

Last updated on April 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Are you worried that your partner is only pretending to like you?

Do you fear that he’s showering you with fake affection, just to keep you around?  

Can you not shake the feeling that he’ll be off chasing some other woman soon enough? 

If the answer is yes, let me tell you I’ve been in that position and it’s horrible. At the same time, these feelings can often stem from paranoia.

That’s why I was keen to write this list of the biggest telltale signs that a man is pretending to like you. There are six giveaway signs listed in total. 

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Below, you’ll find my full list of signs that he’s not serious about you.


Top Signs He’s Just Pretending To Be Into You

Men will pretend to like you for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s a game to get in your pants. They want to get closer to you, get what they want, and then bounce. 

Other times it’s a huge ego boost that a pretty girl like yourself likes them back. Financial reasons are another common reason for this crap. Whatever the reason, it’s not cool to mislead people. 

If he doesn’t really like you, he’ll exhibit quite a few of these signs he’s pretending. While you’re bound to wonder why, the reason that he’s only pretending isn’t always important. Instead, you need to be aware of what he’s doing so that you don’t fall for his game. Keep an eye out for these behaviors. 

1. You’re just not on the priority list

You guys go from hot to cold. He showers on the affection and says that he really likes you, but asking about your day or actually going out with you just isn’t high on his list of things to do. 

2. He likes everything you do

It’s a classic case of me too. If you like concerts, he loves them. Everything you like, he’s always been a fan of. If you think he’s doing this, try it out. When you say you like Marvel, and he agrees, ask him who his favorite superhero is. Everyone has a favorite if they really like superhero movies. 

3. He shows you affection during key moments

He’ll only show you affection in public if you're a status symbol. Don’t expect affection unless you’re in front of his friends or someone important either. He’ll use holding hands and kisses to let the world know that the two of you are together. In private, he isn’t very affectionate if at all. 

4. He only compliments your looks

Let’s face it: guys like girls they think are pretty. However, you’re going to pick up on whether that is the only thing he likes pretty quickly. He’ll constantly compliment your looks. He doesn’t seem to understand that there is a lot more to you than your exterior beauty. 

5. You get a lot of mixed signals

Not only is he hot and cold with his affection, but that also seems to be the way he is. When he’s pretending to like you, he’ll want to spend time with you when it benefits him. For example, in front of his male friends. If he wants some booty, it’ll be when the two of you can be alone. Outside of that, you can barely get a text back. 

6. He tells people you’re just friends

A guy likes you and you like him, so why is he telling people that you’re only friends? It’s because he has no intention of dating you exclusively or moving into a serious relationship. Instead, he’ll lead you on as long as you let him. 

7. His pupils don’t dilate

The things that we do with our body are something that we don’t mean to do most of the time. One thing that a person can’t control is that their pupils dilate when they like you. If you want to know the truth, look into his eyes. Keep in mind that light can also affect the size of pupils, though. 

8. He has closed body language

When people aren’t really opening up, you’ll notice that their body is closed as well. They have their arms crossed. Legs are crossed. These guys don’t look you in the eye as often. It’s because they aren’t being completely honest. Guys that pretend to like you won’t completely open up, and you’ll see that through the way they sit. 

9. He doesn’t show he’s listening

When a guy is really into you, he’ll hang onto every word that you say. You’ll see this in the way he sits too. Men that are listening show it with their bodies. They lean forward. They make eye contact. His feet will point towards you too. If your guy isn’t doing any of these things, he’s not really listening. 

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10. You’re always calling him first

youre always calling him first

If you find that you’re usually the one to pick up the phone first, that’s a sign that he doesn’t want to call you. 

11. He's always spending time with his friends

It’s normal in a relationship, and when you like someone, to spend time with friends. However, if this man is making time for his friends but doesn’t have the time of day to text you back, that says something. It more than likely says that he’s only pretending to like you. 

12. It’s not a big deal if the two of you don’t talk

It is a big deal when you genuinely like someone and want to get to know them. 

13. He asks financial questions early on

Once again, this is normal in a relationship. However, people that are interested in the financial benefits of dating you will ask these questions so early on that it’s uncomfortable. They’ll be more concerned about your bank account than they are getting to know you as a person. 

14. They show too much affection in public

If he shows affection in both public and private but really ramps it up in public, that isn’t a good sign. It is the same as him only showing affection in public

15. He doesn’t ask personal questions

The reason he’s not asking personal questions is because he isn’t really interested. I’m sorry if that is a bit harsh, but it’s one of the biggest signs he’s pretending to be interested. 

16. There’s no interest in your personal life

It’s not just that he doesn’t ask questions, he also isn’t interested when you speak up about personal things going on. 

17. No talking about the future

When you do bring up the future, he’ll notice and change the subject. 

18. He says lame things like labels aren’t important

When it comes to your dating life, the two of you are good friends. It’s because he doesn’t want to be official. This is a classic line from men that are playing games

19. Toxic love bombing

When a guy just wants you to like them, it can be hard to catch at first. That’s because he’ll call you in the beginning. He’ll accidentally go overboard, which can be the same as the beginning of a toxic relationship. (Then, he’ll suddenly stop so that you start calling him all of the time.)

20. He’s pressuring you

hes pressuring you

A man that is using you wants to hurry up and get what he’s after. He might wait a few weeks, but he’ll start to pressure you soon. Whether it be spending more time in public around other people or finally dropping your pants, start paying attention to what he’s hinting at to see what he really wants. 

21. He doesn’t do relationships

Guys might not avoid conversations about the future in more obvious ways. Instead, they could be full of excuses. For example, he’s just not good at relationships so it’s best if the two of you don’t use a label like that. 

22. There are no voice changes

Men that are interested in a woman, particularly when they want a relationship, do certain things. You can pay attention to things he doesn’t do to tell if he’s playing you. For example, when a guy likes a girl his voice will change when he talks to her. Listen to him talk to his friends and then talk to you. If there is no change, he might not be into you. 

23. He wants everything to be perfect

Not only have you noticed that he plays hot and cold, he also avoids real conversations about things. He doesn’t hold you accountable. There is no conflict. Normal relationships of every kind have disagreements. It’s simply a part of life. He’s just trying to keep everything calm and perfect until he gets what he wants. It’s because he has no intention of growing with you. 

24. He’s slightly insecure

This might not be one of the clear signs, but it’s a red flag. Let me tell you why. An insecure guy is more likely to use a relationship to boost their ego. They want a pretty girlfriend. She should be the best of the best. If that’s already you, then he’ll want to ride that wave and enjoy the boost in self-confidence that it gives him. Don’t fall for it. 

25. There aren’t genuine compliments

He tells you the same thing over and over. His compliments sound like he heard them from a movie. He doesn’t look you in the eye when he says them. In fact, there’s nothing there that makes them genuine. 

26. He acts casual at certain times

If you’re just friends, you can’t really complain about this and actually get the issue addressed. However, you can’t help but notice that he only holds your hand around certain people, and it’s a bit disturbing. Something is just off. It’s because he’s not really into you but he’s really good at pretending. Listen to your gut. 

27. There’s not a deep connection

As you spend more time getting to know someone, you slowly start to feel a deeper connection. You can’t help but notice that this isn’t happening. That’s because he’s not asking those personal questions or truly opening up to you. Instead, it’s all superficial. This won’t correct itself as time goes on because he doesn’t want it to. 

28. He doesn’t have his own opinion

He doesn’t just like the same bands that you do. He doesn’t seem to have an opinion about anything. Bring up controversial topics and he’ll downplay things or agree with you. He doesn’t care if you two have a difference of opinion because he’s not looking for a future. 

29. Guys that don’t go after you might not like you

When a man wants something, he’ll go after it. Shy guys might not be as bold, but they will at least stare at you. One way or another, you know that the guy likes you. Not this guy, though. He says he likes you, but there is zero effort. 

30. He doesn’t remember anything you say

he doesnt remember anything you say

If he does show body language that he’s listening, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s listening to you. Our brain edits out the things that aren’t important to us. If he doesn’t remember anything that you say, it’s because it’s not important. For example, I don’t remember a single thing from my statistics class. 

31. Your other relationships with men don’t matter

When a guy is really into you, he’ll care about your relationship with other men. He might not be the jealous type, but he’ll at least ask. This is common in most relationships. When he’s not into you, he won’t even care to acknowledge them. 

32. You can’t tell that he likes you

If you find yourself wondering whether he likes you, he might not. Guys usually aren’t very subtle about things like that. They’ll reach out. You’ll notice that he’s always around. He makes an effort. He consistently acts like he likes you. You can tell by listening to your gut. 

33. You never discuss his true feelings

You’ll find this a lot in guys that are pretending not to like you, but this is also common in men that are pretending to like you. Ironically, guys that are pretending not to like you and men that are pretending to want you have some of the same signs. 

If you notice that he shies away from discussing his true feelings, it could be because he doesn’t have them like you do. He’s not going to tell you that. Instead, he’ll avoid the conversation. Hence why it’s easy to minsterpret this as him pretending not to like you. Watch for other signs, like mixed signals, to determine what’s really going on. 

34. There are no sacrifices for you

Even if a guy is pretending not to like you, he’ll still make sacrifices for you. He’ll say no to hanging out with friends for you. He’ll put other things on hold so that you are a priority. Guys that are pretending to like you won’t do that. 

35. He doesn’t help you unless he has to

If you’re working on a class project and are a team, he might help. However, if you’re stranded with a flat tire, he’s not going to drop everything to give you a hand. When a guy is pretending not to like you, he’ll come to the rescue. Men that definitely want you will too. Boys that are ghosting you or pretending to like you will be too busy. 

This doesn’t just apply to situations that require him to put forth a lot of effort like changing a tire. If you’re struggling financially he won’t be willing to pitch in. He does nothing when you’re struggling. 

36. Little physical touch

Guys are always finding reasons to touch girls that they like. This is a big sign that he likes you. Men will do this if they simply find you attractive. If he’s not touching you, it’s one of the signs he’s pretending to like you because he’s using you. 

37. He is not protective

When a guy likes a girl, he will feel protective towards her. He’ll touch her back to guide her across the street or insist that she walk on the side of the sidewalk away from the cars. If he does things like this, it’s a really good sign. When he doesn’t, it’s one of the signs he’s pretending to like you. 

Other signs that he isn’t protective include him not sticking up for you. If something does happen to you, he’ll walk away before helping you out. When you need him to be there, he won’t be. 

38. He never starts talking

It’s normal for guys with a slow-to-warm-up personality to take a while to start talking to you first. Then, they never stop smiling. They do those cute little things that you find attractive because you give them that special feeling. 

When a man is pretending to like you, he doesn’t open up. You’ll notice that his personality never seems to lighten up. He doesn’t start smiling or turn into a hopeless romantic. You start to wonder if he really likes you. That’s one of the big signs that he’s pretending to like you. 

39. He’s really boring when he’s with you

He’ll pretend to like you or as though he’s having a good time. However, he definitely isn’t as happy as he normally is. When he’s with his friends, he can’t stop laughing. With you, he barely smiles but still says he’s having fun. If he’s not having a good time no matter what day it is or what you’re doing, it’s another of the big signs he’s pretending to like you. 

40. He never does anything wrong

he never does anything wrong

This might seem like a dream come true, but it’s not. I was with a guy for over two years. The communication was amazing. Everything I had an issue with was instantly solved. Coincidentally, I had a job that helped me have a really fat bank account and I’m super hot. He also had low self-esteem. Lots of these signs were in the relationship, but I didn’t realize them. 

You see, in relationships, we all do wrong things. We all do things that offend our partners. Sometimes, they’re so deeply rooted that we have a hard time changing them. Then, we have conversations about them. Couples argue. That’s normal. If he seems like he’s perfect, it’s not normal. 

41. He’s obviously not dressed to impress

When men like someone, they instantly try to look better. Even if he doesn’t know that you’ll be there, you’ll see him smooth down his hair or his beard. He’s grooming himself real quick to make sure that he looks his best. It’s one of the subtle signs that a man likes you. 

Him not caring about his appearance is one of the signs he’s pretending to be into you. He might not look like total crap, but he’s not dressing better than he normally does, either. Guys won’t bother wearing cologne for a girl they aren’t really into. They won’t do anything they don’t normally do. 

It’s important to keep in mind that this is different for everyone. You might think he’s not making an effort, but you need to compare how he used to dress before you two started getting more serious and how he does now. Did he make some minor changes, such as suddenly knowing how to color coordinate or wearing body spray? Or is there really no effort

42. He doesn’t care about your success

Start a new work project? He doesn’t even want to hear about it. Enjoying your successful career? All he cares about is the money it brings in. Land a new job, second interview or suddenly hosting a big event? He doesn’t care and won’t show up. It’s not even possible to be as unsupportive as a guy that doesn’t really like you. 

Keep in mind that he might be stressed too. While this is a major sign, I don’t want you to instantly assume he’s pretending because he isn’t enthusiastic. You need to watch for other signs he doesn’t really like you too. 

43. Texting is pointless

When a guy doesn’t really like you, it doesn’t take long to figure out that texting him is a waste of your time. He either doesn’t respond or gives short responses to your well-thought-out paragraphs. 

It’s important to keep in mind that one of these is not enough to tell whether a guy is pretending to be into you. For example, he might be a bad texter. Men that really don’t think your work is interesting will have a hard time being enthusiastic about it. Guys that are shy won’t always initiate conversations at first. Girls that are really pretty can be intimidating to men! 

That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for several signs that he’s pretending to like you. If he’s a bad texter, doesn’t listen when you talk, isn’t interested in your life, and doesn’t make you a priority, it’s more than obvious. Keeping an eye out for at least four signs from the list above can help you figure it out. 

Looking at his body language is a more obvious way to tell. We often do certain things subconsciously. Think about it. Do you always make sure that you point your feet towards someone when you’re listening to them? No. None of us do. However, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you do it just like other people do. Likewise, men do the same thing. He won’t notice that he has closed body language, points his feet away from you, or that his pupils aren’t dilated. 


How do you know if a guy is pretending to not like you?

When guys are pretending not to like you, they give mixed signals. He’ll accidentally touch you and then tell you why he doesn’t like you. He won’t reach out to you, and if he does he’ll say there’s a reason for it. However, you’ll also catch him staring at you, smiling more, and accidentally touching you. 

Do guys pretend not to like you?

Yes, guys are always pretending not to like girls. This is really common if a guy doesn’t know if a girl likes him. You can tell if he’s pretending not to like you by his actions. He’ll smile more around you. He might talk more too. When guys like a girl, they spread their legs too. 

Why does he pretend not to be interested?

Guys might be pretending not to like you if they are scared of rejection. Another common reason for pretending not to like you is because they don’t want to be made fun of. It’s common for men with low self-esteem. Pretending not to like a girl can spare them the heartbreak

How do you test him to see if he cares?

You don’t have to. Watch how he acts. When he cares, he’ll be protective over you. He won’t want anyone or anything to hurt you. Men who care listen to you and respect you. They want to hear about your dreams and visions. They strive to create a future with you. 

Will a guy avoid you if he is developing strong feelings for you?

Yes, this is surprisingly common when he first develops feelings. It might scare him. He’ll need some time to sort through his feelings and make sure that he wants to continue a relationship with you. He could also ghost you while he figures things out in his mind. 

In Conclusion

It can be hard to tell whether a guy is pretending to like you. You can easily mistake it for him ghosting you, being potentially toxic, or something else. The more of these signs that he shows, the more likely it is he’s pretending. What else would you add to the list?

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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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