16 Real Signs A Guy Is Flirting WIth You (& What To Do About It When It’s Unwanted)

Ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation and suddenly thought, “Wait, is this guy flirting?” Sometimes it’s as clear as day, and other times it’s like trying to read the fine print without your glasses. Guys can be subtle, mysterious creatures when they want to be, especially when they’re throwing out those flirty vibes. Whether it’s the extra laugh at your not-so-funny jokes or finding them always popping up in your notifications — it can leave you second-guessing what’s really going on.

1. He seems easily embarrassed around you.

When a guy is flirting, his nerves might get the better of him, leading to some easy blushing or embarrassment in your presence. It’s like he’s suddenly aware that every move he makes is under scrutiny, and he wants to make a good impression. This can result in him tripping over his words, laughing nervously, or even getting a bit clumsy.

It’s those high school crush vibes – when the stakes of interaction feel sky-high because you really like someone. So if you notice his cheeks get a touch redder during your chats or if he’s flustered by the small things around you, take it as a sign that he’s got more than a casual interest and his body’s reactions are betraying his cool exterior.

2. He repeats the things you say back to you.

This subtle tactic is actually a psychological one – it’s a way of showing attentiveness and creating a connection. When he echoes your words, he’s not just showing he’s listening, but also that he’s engaged in the conversation and wants to keep it going. It’s his way of subconsciously saying, “I’m on the same wavelength as you.” By reflecting your own language, he’s building rapport and subtly reinforcing the bond between you. It’s a flirtatious parroting that’s less about mimicry and more about demonstrating that he’s tuned into what you’re saying and, by extension, tuned into you.

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4. He’s showboating because he’s trying to impress you.

The classic move of trying to catch someone’s attention by showcasing one’s best qualities is as old as time. If he’s flexing his figurative muscles – be it by sharing stories of his accomplishments, casually displaying his talents, or going out of his way to demonstrate his skills – he’s likely doing it with the intention of getting your admiration.

It’s not just about bragging; it’s about wanting to be seen in a certain light by someone whose opinion he values – in this case, you. He’s not just showing off for the sake of it; he’s trying to differentiate himself from the crowd and capture your interest.

5. He’s always teasing you playfully.

If he’s constantly engaging in light-hearted banter or playfully teasing you, it’s a strong sign he’s flirting. This behavior is a means of stirring up a rapport and inducing mutual laughter, creating a shared moment of connection. When it’s done in a fun, gentle manner, it shows he’s comfortable enough with you to joke around, and he’s trying to provoke a response that will bring you closer together.

It’s the adult equivalent of the playground flirt where the aim is to connect through laughter and shared jokes. Just be sure that his teasing is respectful and fun – if it is, it’s a good sign he’s into you.

6. He talks to you differently than he talks to your friends.

When a guy is flirting, he’ll often change his tone or even his whole demeanor when speaking to you as opposed to when he’s talking to others. It’s like he has a special channel just for you. You might catch a softer tone, a more playful inflection, or he might choose his words more carefully.

He’s signaling that his interactions with you are different because his feelings are different. This isn’t about being inauthentic; it’s about him instinctively adjusting his communication style to create a more personal and intimate vibe with you. He’s setting you apart from the crowd, making sure you know that your conversations are special, not just run-of-the-mill chatter.

7. He’s always complimenting you.

Flirting often involves a fair amount of compliments. If he’s constantly pointing out what he likes about you – and not just the obvious like your appearance, but also your wit, your laugh, your ideas – then he’s putting in the effort to make sure you feel good about yourself.

But this isn’t just about doling out flattery. Genuine compliments are his way of showing he’s paying attention to who you are and what you do. He’s trying to create a positive connection, making it clear he’s noticed you and what makes you unique.

8. He’s always standing in your line of vision.

If you notice that wherever you are in a room, he’s positioned himself somewhere in your sightline, it’s likely intentional. It’s a non-verbal way of saying, “Here I am, notice me.” He wants to be on your radar and is subtly ensuring he’s part of your visual space. He may be hoping for eye contact or just making sure he’s in the right place at the right time for an opportunity to interact. It’s not about crowding your space, but about cleverly positioning himself so that you’re aware of his presence and potentially thinking about him.

9. He asks you for a hug or is eager for physical affection.

This one’s pretty straightforward. If he’s seeking out hugs more often than normal or is keen on any form of physical contact, it’s a clear sign he wants to be close to you. Flirting can be very tactile, and by engaging in innocent touches like hugs, he’s testing the waters of physical affection and expressing his fondness for you.

It’s his way of creating a connection that’s a little more personal than just friends chatting. Plus, physical touch releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which subconsciously builds a bond and increases mutual feelings of attachment.

10. He gets moody when you talk about or date other guys.

Jealousy can be a telltale sign of someone who’s not just into you, but is also flirting with you. If his mood takes a nosedive whenever you mention another guy or share that you’re dating someone, he’s showing his hand. It’s a clear signal that the thought of you with someone else isn’t sitting well with him.

He might try to play it cool, but the shift in his mood — maybe he becomes quieter, less jokey, or even a bit sarcastic — reveals his true feelings. It’s a reaction driven by the fear of missing out on the chance to be with you himself.

11. He goes out of his way to get your attention.

If a guy is going the extra mile to make sure you notice him, it’s a strong indicator he’s flirting. This could range from loud antics when he knows you’re watching, to crossing a room to tell you something “important,” or even making some changes in his lifestyle to align more closely with yours.

He’s essentially putting up a billboard in your sightline that says, “Hey, think about me!” It’s about creating opportunities for interaction, hoping that these moments lead to something more between the two of you.

12. He seems desperate for your praise and validation.

When a guy is into you, your opinion of him can suddenly become the gold standard. He may seek your approval, hanging on your feedback eagerly. Whether it’s asking for your thoughts on a decision he’s made or looking to you for reassurance after he’s accomplished something, he’s showing that your perspective holds significant value to him. This search for validation is a form of flirting because it opens up an intimate channel of communication, where he’s showing vulnerability and a desire to impress you.

13. He jokes about liking you romantically.

Sometimes humor is used as a soft launch for true feelings. If he’s making quips about dating you or how you’d make a great couple, he could be floating a trial balloon to gauge your reaction. It’s a safer way to express his interest because if he senses disinterest, he can brush it off as a joke. Yet, these kinds of jokes often have a kernel of truth to them. He’s dipping his toe into the waters of romance, seeing if the temperature is right for a swim. It’s flirting in one of its most playful forms, using wit as a way to explore the possibility of something more.

14. He’s all over your social media — likes, comments, you name it.

In the digital age, one of the clearest signs a guy is flirting is his activity on your social media. If your notifications are brimming with his likes, comments, and perhaps the occasional direct message, consider these the modern equivalent of love notes. He’s essentially waving at you from across the virtual room every chance he gets.

This kind of engagement shows he’s not only interested in your life but also wants to make his presence in it known. It’s a public display of affection and interest that says he’s paying attention and wants you to know it.

15. He tries hard to make you laugh.

Laughter is a powerful tool for connection, and if he’s always cracking jokes, playfully teasing, or bringing up funny stories whenever you’re around, he’s clearly into you. He wants to see you smile and hear your laugh because it’s a sound that brings him joy. Plus, laughter creates a bond. If he can consistently make you laugh, it creates a shared moment that only the two of you have, a little inside universe where it’s all jokes and giggles.

16. He seems to be staring deep into your eyes sometimes.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and if he’s gazing into yours, it’s often because he’s trying to connect on a deeper level. Eye contact can be a potent form of non-verbal communication, and when he holds your gaze, it’s an intimate gesture. He might be trying to read your emotions, communicate his feelings, or just get lost in the moment with you. If these stares happen often and feel comfortable or intense, it’s a sign of his attraction to you.

17. He probes you about your dating life.

Curiosity about your love life goes beyond casual chit-chat; it’s personal. If he’s asking whether you’re single, who you’re seeing, or what your type is, he’s not just making conversation — he’s gathering intel. He wants to know where he stands and whether he has a chance. This probing is a subtle way of figuring out if you’re available and what your preferences are, to see if he fits into the picture you paint of your ideal partner. It’s a sign that he’s considering the possibility of dating you and wants to know if he should pursue it further.

What to do when a guy is flirting with you and you’re not feeling it

1. Be honest and direct with him.

If you notice the signs and you’re not interested, it’s usually best to be upfront about it. You don’t have to be harsh; just clear. A simple, “I think you’re great, but I’m not interested in anything romantic,” should send a clear message. Being direct prevents any mixed signals that could lead him on. It’s like if someone offers you a drink you don’t want — you just say no thanks, rather than taking it and letting it sit untouched.

2. Use body language to get your message across. 

Sometimes, words can fail us, or we’re not in a position to spell things out. That’s where body language comes in handy. Keep your distance, avoid prolonged eye contact, and steer clear of physical contact. Body language can be incredibly effective in signaling your feelings without having to articulate them. It’s about being aware of the signals you’re sending through your actions and ensuring they align with your feelings.

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4. Set clear boundaries.

Don’t engage in flirtatious banter or behavior that could be misinterpreted. Setting boundaries is crucial in maintaining the type of relationship you’re comfortable with. If he crosses a line, be firm in letting him know that it’s not okay. It’s like setting your privacy settings on social media — you control who gets access and how much.

4. Limit your interactions if necessary.

If his flirting continues despite your efforts to dissuade him, you might need to cut back on how much you interact with him. This isn’t about being rude; it’s about prioritizing your comfort. Think of it as unfollowing someone online whose posts you don’t want to see — not out of malice, but because they just don’t align with what you’re looking for.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.