12 Signs He’s Being Polite, Not Flirting—There’s A Difference

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not that guy you like is flirting or if it’s all in your head. If you can’t quite figure it out, don’t misread these 12 signs. In reality, they mean that he’s probably just being polite and may not be interested in you romantically at all.

  1. He’s especially chivalrous. It makes you feel special when he opens car doors for you and lets you enter a restaurant first, but it doesn’t mean he’s into you. He could just be a chivalrous guy who does chivalrous things with other women, such as his female co-workers and his mother.
  2. He’s charming. He tells you your hairstyle looks pretty or he gives you a smile when you walk by his desk on your way to lunch. Again, this doesn’t mean that he’s reserving the charm just for you. He might be like that with the waitress and his female friends. The guy’s just being super nice to women in general.
  3. He emails you a lot. Yeah, that’s really nice… but it’s not as flirty as if he had to be texting or calling you. Emails are super casual and a quick way to get in touch when you want to say something. He has to want your digits and use them to show that he’s taking real interest. Otherwise, you’re basically just pen pals.
  4. He invites you out… with his friends. If you’re officially dating and he invites you to meet his friends, that shows he’s keen to include you in his life. If you’re not together and he keeps inviting you out with other people present, it’s not a date. You’re just hanging out.
  5. He laughs with you all the time. Maybe you’re friends or co-workers who keep each other in stitches with humor. When a guy makes you laugh a lot, it can make you think he’s flirting. But a guy who is will know how to be serious sometimes and ask you deep questions too. Anyone can laugh together. Friends do it all the time! It’s no biggie.
  6. He becomes quiet around you. You try to make conversation with the guy and he gets really quiet. He must be nervous around you because he really likes you, right? Not necessarily. He might not want to make the effort to be charming and flirtatious or he’s just not interested. It’s time we stopped making excuses for why guys aren’t flirting. If they want to, they will.
  7. He teases you. Admit it: you’ve been teased by lots of guys who were just being friendly. Although teasing can feel like you’re bonding with the guy, he could be that way with everyone. He might be the class clown or the office joker. It doesn’t mean anything. Besides, a grown man will know that if he wants to flirt, he’ll have to do more than play the fool.
  8. He’s physical with other women but not you. You might think that a guy who behaves differently with you compared to other women is showing you that he likes you. If he hugs and touches other women but keeps a physical distance from you, you might think that means he’s shy around you. Total BS. A guy who’s flirting with you will show you that he likes you with his body language and by how he gives you affection.
  9. He jokes about sex. Um, have you not noticed how many guys do this? It’s like they’re either trying their luck or just have sex on the mind a lot, but it doesn’t mean that he wants to have sex with you specifically or that he’s flirting. A guy who is will be more direct than making general jokes and comments about sex in the way buddies do.
  10. He accepts your invitations. If you’re interested in a guy and decide to ask him out to dinner or drinks, just because he says he’s keen doesn’t mean that he’s into you. When he responds, “Sure, that sounds like fun” it doesn’t mean it’s a date. He’s just going with the flow and seeing what happens. He could also just think it’s a nice thing to do with someone whose company he enjoys, as a friend. When a guy is flirting with you, he’ll be the one to initiate plans or at least show more enthusiasm for spending time with you.
  11. He replies to your texts. Whenever you send the guy a message, he always replies. You might even have enjoyable conversations. But that means nothing. Anyone can chat to someone because it’s fun, they have nothing else going on at the moment, they’re bored or lonely, whatever. When a guy’s being friendly, you’ll notice how the conversation won’t involve flirtatious compliments and an interest in getting to know you better. It’ll mostly be light conversation that doesn’t really go anywhere.
  12. He pays attention. Yes, a guy who pays attention to you and really listens to what you have to say is usually showing interest, but watch for the kind of attention he gives you. If he’s just smiling and nodding, he could be pretending to listen. That’s not exactly showing much interest in you. On the other hand, a guy who flirts with you will listen and then ask you questions about what you’ve just said. He’s engaging with you, not just going through the motions! That’s the difference.
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.