12 Signs He’s Actually Flirting & Not Just Being Nice

Decoding guy behavior is an art that takes patience and practice to master. Still, it pays off — eventually, you’ll be able to immediately figure out what’s up with any man you come across. There’s one gray area, though, and that’s when you can’t figure out whether or not a guy likes you, or whether he’s just being friendly. If he’s doing any of the following, he’s flirting and clearly has feelings that are veering towards the romantic. What you do about that is up to you.

  1. He makes eye contact that regularly lingers. Looking someone in the eye when you’re talking to them is only polite, but if his gazes linger long enough for you to notice but just short of being creepy, he’s probably flirting with you. If he looks at you as if you’re the only woman in the room, you can pretty much guarantee he’s feeling you.
  2. He can’t stop smiling whenever you’re around. Even the most confident guy will show hints of nervousness when a woman they’re into catches him looking intently at her. Notice how he can’t help but grin the moment you see him checking you out? If he smiles and maybe even blushes a little, that’s a positive. He probably doesn’t consider smiling to be his top flirting move, he just can’t help himself when he’s around you.
  3. He goes out of his way to talk to you. It’s 2022, which means we’re all “busy” 24/7 and like to pretend we have no time for people/things that don’t hold our attention. It might not always be convenient for a guy to sit down for a deep and meaningful convo with you, but if he’s determined to have a little chat whenever possible, even if it’s short, then he’s obviously interested in getting to know you better and is laying his flirting skills on thick.
  4. He seems pretty interested in your relationship status. Why would he even be trying to find out if you’ve got a boyfriend if he’s not even remotely interested in possibly being yours? Wake up, girl! It’s his not-so-subtle way of saying “I’m into you!” There’s no way he’d care about who you’re dating or not dating if he wasn’t flirting with you.
  5. He avoids talking about other women around you. Generally speaking, a guy who has no romantic interest in you and is just being friendly won’t have an issue talking about other women he’s interested in/dating when you’re chatting. Why would he? It’s not like you guys are ever going to get together, so what’s the harm? However, you can pretty much guarantee that he’s flirting with you when he refuses to talk about other women in your presence and plays down any suggestion that he likes anyone.
  6. He constantly teases you, but never in a mean way. Guys have carried on the whole “make fun of girls we actually really like” playground game well into adulthood. It’s kind of annoying, but there’s no bite behind it, and you can tell that he’s not actually trying to be rude about it. Being able to laugh at yourself and your S.O. is a good thing, so this could be a good sign.
  7. He kind of loses it when he finds out how much your hobbies and life goals mesh. Hearing how you’ve seen Jay-Z live more times than you can remember and how long-distance running is your way of life makes him way too happy. You’ve just confirmed to him that you’ve got even more in common than he initially thought, which makes you super compatible.
  8. He’s obviously trying to impress youGuys have been hardwired to do everything in their power to impress women who catch their eye in the hopes of getting their attention. He might seem like an egomaniac if he starts bragging about his car, how much he can bench press, or how quickly he’s climbing the ladder at work. While that’s possible, it’s also super likely that he’s just trying to guarantee your interest by using his better qualities as part of his flirting strategy.
  9. He treats you completely differently than he does anyone else. Notice how he immediately loses his composure and becomes a nervous wreck when you’re around? It’s probably because he’s aware of your presence and doesn’t want to screw up in front of you. Aw, isn’t that cute? He’s obviously flirting!
  10. He gives you those light, flirty touches here and there. He may lean in, touch your arm while you’re engaged in a convo, give you bear hugs, or let his hand touch yours longer than usual. Any of this is a guaranteed sign that he’s not just being nice but actually flirting with you, so keep your eyes (and your heart) open!
  11. He asks you to hang out a lot. Yes, friends hang out, even friends of another sex, but at a certain point, we start to prioritize romantic relationships (or at least potential romantic relationships), so you don’t really spend a ton of time with people you’re not dating or hoping to date. If a guy is asking you to hang out pretty much all the time and you spend a lot of your off-hours or weekends together, he’s definitely flirting.
  12. He makes small, thoughtful gestures that show he’s paying attention. Does he bring you your iced coffee just the way you like it before work in the morning? Does he ask if you want to grab tacos from the new spot around the corner because he remembered how much you love Mexican food? If he’s making random little thoughtful gestures like this, you can pretty much guarantee that he’s flirting rather than just being polite.
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus. Find her broken, honest, and brave musings at mainebelonio.com.