How To Tell A Guy You Like Him (Without Actually Telling Him)
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Is there a man you’re attracted to in your life, but you’re not sure how to tell the guy you like him?
Maybe you and he have a friendship that spans years or even decades. Maybe he’s the guy who just moved into your apartment block. Or maybe it’s someone you recently matched with on a dating app. And although you’d like nothing more than to think it’s not a big deal to lay your heart on the line and risk rejection, it’s normal if it does feel like a big deal.
It was a big deal when you were 13 and crushing on the captain of the basketball team, and decades later, it can still feel epic—especially if the guy you liked didn’t feel the same way and you felt embarrassed or rejected. Rejection at a young age (or any age) can be traumatic, and it can take years of rewriting those stories (and therapy) to heal those wounds.
So it’s likely you found your way to this article because you want to figure out how to tell a guy you like him without freaking him out and without getting hurt in the process. If so, you’ve landed in the right place.
Here’s how to know if you truly like a guy
Let’s begin by clarifying whether this is just a fleeting wave of infatuation or if you really like this guy. Because you don’t want to waste your time reading this entire article and learning how to tell a guy you like him when your feelings aren’t the real deal.
If you genuinely like him, you might:
- Be constantly thinking about him
- Get excited about seeing him
- Get butterflies in your belly or feel your heart racing when you’re around him
- Feel jealous when he’s talking to or about other women
- Already have a strong friendship with them
- Want to share details of your life with them
- You smile and laugh a lot when you’re with him
- You can’t picture yourself with any other man right now
- Be attracted to more than his chiseled jaw or washboard abs.
And here’s how to know if he likes you too
Now we’re getting to the juicy part—you know that you like this guy, so how can you figure out if your feelings are mutual and he’s vibing on you too?
Here’s how to know if he’s interested. He might:
- Go out of his way to talk to you or spend time with you
- Make excuses to sit next to you or be around you
- Turn up to events where he knows you’ll be
- Stare at you a lot (he doesn’t mean to be creepy, you’re just on his mind)
- Position his body (particularly his chest and shoulders) toward you
- Start conversations with you over text out of the blue
- Start making more effort with his appearance (new hair cut, more aftershave, new clothes, etc.)
So, should I tell him I like him?
Okay, so you like this guy, and you have a strong feeling he likes you too, and you’re wondering, “should I tell him I like him?”
Generally, my motto is that men and women should be honest about how they feel and not play games. However, there are certain times when it might not (yet) be appropriate to tell a guy you’re romantically attracted to him:
- He has already told you he wants to be friends
- He has let you know he’s not attracted to you in that way
- You barely talk to each other
- He is already in a relationship with someone else
Apart from that, I encourage you to go for it.
Before I explain how to tell a guy you like him, remember to:
1. Check that he’s single!
This one primarily applies to a guy you meet in person, in a bar, at the gym, or on the bus. But make sure you know he’s single and actively looking to date before you even think about going there.
2. Don’t play games
Some dating “experts” will teach you specific techniques to “trick” a guy into going out with you or liking you back. But this is manipulation, which is why I NEVER do this with the women I coach. If you want this guy to genuinely like you back, then don’t play any games. Be honest, be authentic, and let that be enough.
3. Look and feel your best (for you)
I have 7 Little Love Steps that I teach women to follow to find the man and relationship of their dreams. Little Love Step #1: Build your sexy confidence is all about learning to love yourself and recognize your value before you start flirting with or dating anyone.
Because you will feel AMAZING, it will make you infinitely more attractive to men, and you will know that regardless of what happens with this guy, you will be okay.
4. Embrace your discomfort zone
If you don’t put yourself out there and pursue something you want, you will successfully avoid failure. But you’ll also avoid getting what you want… forever.
You could sit around for the next year wondering, is this guy into me? How do I tell him I like him? And you’ll be no closer to the thing that you want, which is him.
Rejection is a part of life and certainly a part of dating. Women in the past have rejected me, and I have learned not to take it personally because it’s not personal at all. When someone rejects you, it’s much more about them than it is about you.
5. Own your feelings
If you go through the steps in this article and the guy in question tells you he doesn’t feel the same way, resist the urge to say something like, “oh, I was only kidding!”
Own your feelings. Acknowledge them. Remember that it requires strength to tell someone you care for them. A woman who is open and honest about what she wants is sexy as hell.
6. Let go of the outcome
Chances are, the reason you’re putting off telling him you like him is you’re afraid he won’t feel the same way. And, of course, if he doesn’t, you will feel a little deflated.
The best way to avoid feeling hurt is to let go of the outcome from the start. Be indifferent to his answer, whether it’s the one you’re hoping for or not. Tell him how you feel for your own sake.
Why it’s important to learn how to tell a guy you like him
Best case scenario? He’s into you too. But there are other benefits to learning how to tell a guy you like him.
Telling a guy you like him can give you a confidence boost!
You gain confidence as you learn to read men and their interest in you. Confidence is a skill that will take you far in life and love.
Do you realize how much men find a confident woman attractive? It’s true. Just think about how you’re drawn to a super confident man. He seems to have his sh*t together. He’s not afraid of rejection. Hot, right?
The same goes for the way men see confident women.
The more you put yourself out there and learn how to tell a guy you like him, the better you’ll be able to read the signals that he is, indeed, interested in you in return. Also, you’ll be able to tell when a man isn’t necessarily interested but just being friendly.
You learn what works and what doesn’t and can improve your approach. Maybe playing with your hair feels unnatural and cliché, but you’re good at telling jokes and getting a guy to laugh. Work with what you’ve got and what feels the most natural regarding the tips below.
Just like you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t find your person if you’re not proactive about finding him. With every man you let know how you feel, you increase the odds of finding the guy that’s right for you.
Here’s how to tell a guy you like him without actually telling him
1. Talk to him
Wanna know how to tell a man you like him?
Begin by talking to him. So simple and old-school, I know. But you need to have a conversation first to figure out if the chemistry is there, get to know each other, and start building your connection.
Here are some tips for starting a friendly conversation with him:
- Make him feel good about himself (e.g., “Did you get a haircut? It looks good.”)
- Ask about something he has mentioned to you in a previous conversation (e.g., “How was your football game last weekend?”)
- Ask him for his advice (e.g., “I’m thinking of checking out X, have you been there?”)
2. How to tell a guy you like him through text
If you’ve connected with this guy through a dating site or you’re already friends who text, there are plenty of ways you can tell him you like him without explicitly saying it.
Here’s how to tell a guy you like him over text:
- Send him a funny GIF or meme.
- Take a picture of something fun or cute and tell him it made you think of him.
- Text him good luck right before an important meeting or interview
- Flirt subtly (e.g., “sorry I took ages to reply, I was enjoying some zen time in the bath.”)
3. Be playful
Teasing is always a good way to build a connection with a guy by getting him to feel more comfortable with you. So don’t be afraid to joke around with him, make fun of him (in a light-hearted way), make fun of yourself, and channel your inner-child energy.
4. Flirt a little
Flirting is an obvious indicator of interest, but realize that men and women have different preferences when it comes to flirting.
In a study published in the journal Sex Roles, researchers asked people to rate the effectiveness of three types of flirty lines:
“Pick-up” lines: “Are you tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all night long!”
Open-ended questions: “What do you recommend on the menu?”
Direct approaches: “You’re hot! Can I sit next to you?”
Interestingly, men liked the direct approaches, while women liked the open-ended questions. Nobody enjoyed the pick-up lines, to no one’s surprise.
So use this information to your advantage. Be brave! Be more forward than maybe you usually are and get your flirt on.
5. How to tell a guy you like him – smile
Smiling never got anyone into trouble. Studies show that people who smile come off as more likable, which comes in handy if you’re trying to learn how to tell a guy you like him. Smile at him from across the room. Smile while he’s talking. Smile when you meet him.
If you genuinely like this guy, it won’t be hard to show him you’re having a good time when you’re with him.
6. Find common ground
Find something that the two of you both enjoy, and suggest doing it together. It doesn’t matter what it is: running, hiking, shopping, cooking, playing video games—just make sure you do actually like whatever it is you do together!
Editor’s note: Ready to attract love with a proven strategy? Watch this free video to learn the 7 powerful steps
This is a great way to spend more quality time together, have fun, and remind him that you have shared interests.
7. Invite him to hang out as a group
If you’re too shy to outright ask him out on a date just the two of you, you might be more comfortable asking him to hang out with you and your crew (this assumes he’s not already part of it).
Let’s say you’re going on a bar crawl with ten friends, and you want a guy you occasionally talk to at the gym to go. It may be less intimidating for you both to spend time together in a larger crowd, and it takes the pressure off it being a date.
You could even have a friend talk to him when you’re not around to gauge his interest in you or let him know that you invited him along because you like him.
8. Tell a guy you like him by listening when he talks
Talking over coffee…or listening over coffee?
Think about how you feel in the two following scenarios:
Scenario 1: You’re talking to someone, and he keeps interrupting and interjecting. You don’t feel like he’s really listening.
Scenario 2: You’re talking, and he’s hanging on every word. Occasionally, he’ll ask a question about what you’re saying.
I bet you prefer the second scenario, right? We all do. When someone really listens to us, we feel validated and valued. So turn that around and use it as a way to tell a guy you like him. You should be interested in what he’s saying because you’re into him, so it should be easy to express interest in what he’s talking about.
9. Ask him questions
Whether you ask questions about what he’s talking about or other things, this is a great way to show that you’re interested in him.
If you already know the guy, think back to what he’s told you in the past (bonus points for going way back in time!). Maybe last week, he told you he had a root canal scheduled this week. Ask how it went. Maybe years ago, he told you he secretly wanted to learn to play the bagpipes. Ask if he ever took lessons. He’ll be blown away that you remembered.
10. Do something thoughtful
Show that you’re thinking of him by doing something sweet. Here are a few ideas:
- Bring him his favorite coffee drink order while he’s working.
- Bake him something delicious.
- Book tickets to see his favorite band.
- Buy him a book that made you think of him.
- Send him a text: “Thinking of you!”
The gesture doesn’t have to be grand or expensive; your goal here is to show him that you’re thinking of him (as more than a friend) so that maybe he’ll start thinking of you that way too.
11. How to tell a guy you like him? Ask for his help
Sure, you could stand on a chair, but why not let him help?
Men like to feel needed. Yes, I know you’re an independent woman who doesn’t need a man to open jars and catch spiders, but what’s the harm in letting him help?
I hear from women who are 40 or older that they’ve learned to be so independent after being single so long that sometimes it’s hard to ask for help or rely on someone else. If that rings true for you, this exercise will be helpful to you.
Helping one another is part of a healthy relationship, so why not start now?
You could ask him to reach something on a high shelf or ask him to help you change your tire. Whatever it is, be sure to express your gratitude afterward. If it was a bigger favor, you could return it by suggesting you cook him dinner sometime soon (hello candlelight and soft jazz).
12. Show him a different side of you
If you’re crushing on a male friend, he’s probably only seen one side of you—the chill, friend side of you, e.g., hair scraped back into a ponytail, wearing sweatpants, hungover, and eating leftover takeaway for breakfast.
It’s time to show him a different side of you. Make an effort to look nice when you see him. Flirt a little. He might be confused (“who’s this sexy, flirty woman who has replaced my friend?”), but seeing you in a new light will get his brain working overtime.
13. Open up to him
Sharing vulnerable moments is another lesson in how to tell a guy you like him. Maybe you’re friends but not super close, and now you’re interested in getting even closer. You could share something personal, like a story from your past, or just talk to him about your hopes and dreams.
No man is going to take you opening up to him lightly. He’ll feel honored for the opportunity and hopefully reciprocate by opening up to you.
14. How do I tell him I like him? Compliment him
If you’re thinking something nice about him, say it.
Everyone loves receiving a compliment, don’t they?
You can compliment a man on:
- His appearance
- His strength (carrying that heavy box for you)
- His personality
- His intelligence
- His decision-making
- How you feel around him
Don’t go overboard with the compliments, or it will come off as insincere. Instead, if you catch yourself thinking something like, “He looks really good in that blue shirt,” make a point of saying it out loud.
15. Avoid the friend zone!
You may be confused about this tip on how to tell a guy you like him. Wouldn’t becoming his friend be a good way to get closer to him? Yes and no. The problem with becoming closer as a friend is that it puts you at risk of being friend-zoned. He may become so used to you being there for him as a friend that he cannot see you in a romantic light.
So, yes, spend more time around him, but don’t start talking about dating other people or giving him advice about other women. It’s a habit you don’t want to start.
16. Be tactile
How to tell a guy you like them?
Don’t be afraid to touch him in subtle ways.
This one is only appropriate if you’ve already built up a connection because touching a total stranger is never not going to be WEIRD.
But if you do know him, next time you’re talking, gently brush his arm, playfully nudge him, touch his low back when you hug or brush something off his shoulder.
17. Tell a guy you like him by sending him a drink
Here’s another tip on how to tell a guy you like him if you’re drawn to a man in a bar who you haven’t yet met: buy him a drink.
How this works: tell your server that the next drink the man orders is on you. The server will know what he’s drinking, so it should be easy. When the server tells the guy that you just bought him a drink, he’ll look over at you. Smile and wave. If he smiles back, you can wait for him to come over and introduce himself, or you can be brave and walk over to him. It’s a rare move that’s sure to get his attention.
18. Show interest in his hobbies
Find out what his hobbies are and show interest. Ask questions about them.
If he rock climbs, how did he get started? Does he do it indoors or outdoors? Is it hard? What does it take to get started?
P.S. asking about his hobbies with interest is an excellent way to possibly be asked to try them out with him.
19. Let him teach you something
When a man teaches a woman how to do something, it somehow makes him feel more manly. This is because he gets to lean into his masculine energy and see you in your feminine energy.
You could follow up on the hobbies conversation by asking if he’ll teach you how to do his hobby. If he’s into cars, you could ask him to help you change your oil or a tire. If he speaks another language, you could ask for language lessons. Just be interested in learning whatever it is so that you come off as genuine.
20. Get solo time with him
Just like becoming friends with a guy can lessen your chance of dating him, so can hanging out with a larger group of friends. It will be hard to direct the conversation toward romantic interest if you’re constantly surrounded by eight other people.
So, if you’re out with friends, try to separate from the pack at some point. Walk slower or faster than the rest of the herd and start a conversation using one of the other tips in this article.
You could also ask him (when you’re one-on-one) to do something without everyone else, like grab tacos after going to the bar or getting coffee the next day. Just make sure no one else overhears and invites themselves!
21. How to tell a guy you like him without actually telling him? Ask him out
Although making the first move might feel extremely forward (FYI: it’s not), asking a guy out removes the need to bare your feelings to him. You don’t need to say, “Hey, I’m really into you. Are you into me?” You just need to say something like, “Wanna grab a cup of coffee sometime?”
Much less pressure, right?
And if things have been going well with all the tips above and it feels like he’s attracted to you, then there’s no reason he won’t want to go on a date.
22. Just tell him!
I know I’m being wild suggesting this: just tell him that you’re interested! I know it might seem crazy, but there’s no room for him to misunderstand, and you won’t waste any more time on him if he’s not interested.
When it’s just the two of you, slowly approach the subject.
“We have so much in common. We’d make a great couple!”
“Have you ever thought about us dating?”
“Honestly, you’re everything I’m looking for in a partner. How do you feel about that?”
He may have never considered you a possible romantic partner, so don’t be hurt if he isn’t sure how to respond. He may just need time to process.
Men are very direct creatures, so although it might feel terrifying baring your feelings to this man, he’ll appreciate your honesty, and if he’s a good guy, he’ll be kind about it whether he’s into you or not.
How to tell a guy you like him if you were friends first
Your friendship is the most important thing, so act accordingly.
Be aware that dating a male friend could end the friendship as you know it. Whether you end up dating and then breaking up a few months down the road, or whether he’s not interested in you from the start, trying to add in romance to this friendship could very likely destroy it, so be aware of that.
Ask yourself: would I be okay if our friendship ended because of this? You might wait it out a few weeks and see if you still have feelings for him or if they’ve faded. It’s normal to get crushes on the guys you spend a lot of time with, so sit on your feelings a while to make sure they’re genuine before acting on them.
If it turns out he doesn’t feel the same way, take some time to get over it and then get back to your friendship. Things may be awkward at first, but things should get back to normal once your heart heals and you start meeting and dating other people.
How to tell a guy you like him if he’s someone new
If you meet this guy through a dating app or in a bar, find out what you can about him before you get in too deep.
Google him to see what you can dig up. I don’t want to make you paranoid, but there are married men on dating apps. There are also a lot of creeps. If you could find out, for example, that a guy has a criminal record by finding out something online, you’ll save yourself the hassle of investing time and energy in him.
Reverse search his photo to ensure he is who he says he is and that he isn’t catfishing you. In a Google search, click the camera icon and upload your photo of the guy from a dating app. If that image has been used anywhere online, like social media, it will appear in the results. Just check to make sure the social profile matches who the guy says he is!
Also, look for any negative information (like a police record) in search results for his name (if you have his last name).
BUT don’t go deeper! You don’t want to find out things you have to pretend you don’t know on a future date!
So, now you know how to tell a guy you like him – what next?
Now you know how to tell your crush you like them; what happens next?
If you’ve not dated in a while, then building up the courage to tell this man how you feel may take some time. Just remember the steps I laid out above, embrace rejection, and trust that you’re taking a step closer to finding the man and relationship that is right for you.
No matter what happens, remember that it’s better to tell people how you feel rather than bottle it up. And you will be okay.
Have you ever tried to tell a guy you like him? What happened? Did he get the message? Was he totally clueless? Tell me about it in the comments below.
love all these good suggestions! Thank you
No they won’t …. be blown away after being asked out by a woman and automatically say yes.
I asked a man recently (twice actually in case I wasn’t clear the first time). He didn’t even reply
Well, I finally decided to put myself out there. And just tell that coworker – so much younger than me – that I liked him. A lot. Too much under the circumstances. He was shocked. But not too much. He admitted that, looking back, signs were there but he never realized. He didn’t turned me down, but didn’t told me he wasn’t interested either. What he DID say though was that it takes a lot of courage to say something like that. “I can’t lie to you, you know that.” But this afternoon, we were all out at lunch break,… Read more »
Yeah I told a guy I like him and he hasnt said whether he feels the same or not and this was 3 months ago. Now past week ove been seeing possible signs of interest so
i had my friend tell my love interest i like them. i found out he liked me back but never made a move or anything. i really dont know what to do. he shows all the signs. just wont make the move. i really dislike making the first move what do i do? please help.
I’m in the same situation too
Yea that’s basically me as well I’m just not absolutely positive that he likes me back.
But I also did not have my friend tell him
How do you tell your ex-boyfriend, who is back in your life (he reached out to me again), that you want to get back together?
Take it step by step, dont go in too fast learn about him again see if anything changes do things that he likes to do, and see if you guys like each other again.
i love this guy and he lives in missouri so do i but i have to go to oklahoma for the rest of the year and idk if he likes me.
So I have this crush that I didn’t realize I liked for the later half of the year but got a rather rude awakening this year’s beginning and I liked him a lot! Butttt we hung out and did everything together last year but this year he’s not in the country (pandemic) we hardly talk. Never call. I start the text convo 90% of the time. I don’t know if I pushed him away because when he was in the country. I hung and out and talked to some other guy(s) that people keep thinking I have a thing with.… Read more »
i got asked out from my crush and it was amazing and he is really nice and he is a good bf.
They is this guy we chatting he said he likes me that we should date but I have seen him face to face and he isn’t in my state and his inviting me over to his own state but my dad said it would be better he comes see me not me going… should I do what my dad said or what do you think
You need to do what you think is right make sure that he is not a perv tho.
When do I tell my boyfriend of 3 months that I love him?
Just tell him, or slightly say, “we’ve been dating for a while and I really need to tell you something. I love you.”
Hi, my name is Rita Jean and I’m having some difficulty. Four years ago our landscaper would come to the house and I would flirt with him. Then he started to show up where I was. He had my phone number as I suggested we meet for coffee. So he wanted to get massages together. I thought that was weird so I called him and I was upset and crying so he showed up where I was and had a pink teddy bear sitting on his dash so I got in my car and drove off. It’s been 4 years… Read more »
Hello my name is Sophia and I am 13 years old I have a huge crush on a 13 year old and I think he has been flirting with me but he is a grade ahead of me so he will be in high school and I will be in 8th grade next year . I need advice. I might tell him I like him soon should I do it on person. I like him so much. He has been figuring out my birthday asked questions about my life and said we broke the record of seeing each other and… Read more »
Sorry for the long comment I’ll update yall
Hi everyone. There’s this guy that I really like and he’s pretty shy. I think I’m going to have to make the first move, which I don’t want to do. He’s two grades ahed of me and goes to a different school. We do live in the same town and hang out sometimes, but we’re not really that close. This article was really helpful but I’m just scared that I would get rejected, even thought I’m like 80% sure he likes me back. Any advice?
Thank you for this article on how to tell a guy you like him. It’s a topic that can be challenging to navigate, and your tips and advice are practical and helpful. In addition to the tips you provided, I think it’s essential to practice active listening when having this kind of conversation. Active listening involves giving the other person your full attention, understanding their perspective, and responding in a way that shows you heard them. If you’re telling a guy you like him, it’s crucial to be open and honest, but also to listen to his response without interrupting… Read more »