10 Different Things A Guy Could Mean When He Says “I Like You”

When a guy tells you that he likes you, it’s easy to assume that it’s a done deal and you’re going to get together, but that might not be the case. There are many different things he could mean by saying those words, and not all of those meanings are immediately obvious. Before you make your next move, consider these possibilities for what he might mean.

  1. He likes spending time with you. When he tells you that he likes you, he might really mean that he enjoys spending time with you. Since you guys always have fun together and enjoy yourselves, he’s going to like that — and you. While that’s definitely a positive sign, it’s not necessarily an indication of romantic potential. Maybe he only sees you as a friend. Not ideal, but also not the end of the world.
  2. He likes that you’re so similar. It’s sometimes been said that we see our best qualities in others and that’s what we’re drawn to. So, when he says that he likes you, like when you make a witty comment, he could really be saying that he likes that you share his wit, humor, and other traits.
  3. He wants to spend more time with you. It makes sense that if he likes you, he’s going to want to spend more time with you to get to know you better. He’s already impressed by what he sees and wants to know you more. There could be romantic potential there. He says likes you, so maybe he could grow to love you.
  4. He likes how you look. It would be so easy if he would say exactly what he likes about you. You’re not asking for much! If he tells you he likes you but he’s always complimenting your physical appearance or being sexually flirtatious, then maybe he just likes the idea of getting to know you physically, not emotionally. Ultimately, you want a guy who can see all that you have to offer.
  5. He’s grateful for you. If you do something nice for him like send him a text to wish him a good day at work when you know he’ll be stressed and he tells you he likes you, that could be his way of saying that he values the goodness you bring to his life. You make him feel good, and that’s why he’s so drawn to you. Bottom line: he sees the value you bring to the table.
  6. He wants to see you again. If you guys have been on one date and he tells you he likes you, that’s a good sign and you should be happy about it. The date has gone really well and he’s basically saying that he sees potential for you both to have an awesome relationship. While it’s best not to have any expectations, a second date is definitely on the cards.
  7. He’s got a crush. If, on the other hand, he tells you he likes you when you guys haven’t even been on a date yet, such as if you met online or have been platonic friends until now, that could mean he’s crushing on you. He’s excited to see what could happen when you guys get to go on a real-life date. Of course, you may have no chemistry with the guy in person, so it’s important to find out ASAP.
  8. He’s testing the waters. He might tell you that he likes you so that he can gauge if you feel for him and how much. He might be too scared to say he loves you so he’s starting small. It’s possible he’s shy or inexperienced, giving him pause. Give him a chance. It’s all about those baby steps! (Just don’t wait around too long. Nobody has time for that!)
  9. He’s not so sure about you yet. He likes what you’re about, he likes how you look, he likes that you’re both similar in important ways, and so on. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to ask you out. He might just like you but not enough to want to date you yet. Yeah, we know, it’s a tad confusing and frustrating. He needs to make up his mind!
  10. He’s trying to sweeten you up. Don’t just focus on the fact that he’s telling you he likes you. When is he choosing to share these words? This can tell you a lot about his intentions. If he tells you he likes you when you confront him about how you don’t know where you stand with him or when you express how you want to DTR, that could be his way of trying to make you feel better because he’s totally cornered. So, don’t take the words too seriously until he shows you that he really, really likes you. After all, his actions mean so much more than his words.
  11. He wants to let you down gently. When a guy says he likes you, there’s always the possibility that he’s not into you at all. He could be friend-zoning you and trying to put distance between you. If his declaration of like seems like there’s an invisible “but…” at the end, this is likely the case. It sucks, especially if you were hoping for more. However, it’s better to know the truth now rather than kid yourself. You’ll only end up being more hurt later.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.