You’re always up for grabbing lunch with him, you always reply to his texts, and you’ve been trying to flirt subtly for weeks. He’s responsive but you’re not exactly clear on his real feelings for you. Does he want to date you or would he prefer if you just stayed buds? Is he flirting with you or simply being nice? It can be hard to read his body language or his actions, and while it would be so much easier if he just came out and said what’s on his mind, that’s unlikely to ever happen. Instead, it’s up to you to figure out where he stands. Here are 17 signs a guy only likes you as a friend rather than a potential girlfriend.
You’re his confidante. One of the biggest signs that he’d prefer having you as his friend instead of a flame is that he confides in you about his life. You might think the fact that he’s opening up to you is a good thing, but there’s such a thing as TMI, especially in the early stages of getting to know someone. If he has no shame about telling you how he’s hit it and split it with some other women, for instance, he’s not trying to make a good first impression. He’s letting all his secrets hang out because he can’t threaten your relationship, which is totally platonic.
He looks scruffy around you. A guy who likes you will want to show you that he takes care of himself because he wants to look sexy for you. If he’s showing up to your hangouts with a scruffy beard and looking like he’s been wearing the same t-shirt for days, this guy only likes you as a friend. It’s as simple as that. He wouldn’t look like a slob if he was trying to reel you in.
He doesn’t call it dating. He’ll invite you out for pizza or drinks, but he never calls these outings “dates.” He’ll say you’re hanging out, perhaps, which is a far cry from dating. Sure, he could just be playing it cool, but chances are, he means exactly what he says. He doesn’t call it a date because he doesn’t consider it one.
He doesn’t schedule you into his life. He doesn’t make plans to see you. He’s always spontaneous, probably using the excuse that he was driving through your ‘hood and thought of seeing you. Whatever. The guy was bored and thought it’d be good to have your company—that’s how it goes with friends. If he was serious about dating, he’d make plans ahead of time and show you that you’re a priority in his life.
You have long convos that never go anywhere. You guys text a lot, which might make you think he’s super interested in you. Unfortunately, if those long conversations don’t enter relationship territory, like by talking to each other about your feelings or where you see things going, the texts are leading you nowhere.
He talks to you about his weekend. He’ll call or text you to tell you all about his amazing weekend—he saw a cool live band, he went white-water rafting, and so on. It’s cool that he lets you in on his life, but not as much as it would be for him to invite you to those outings. What the hell? If he was into you, you’d be part of his Saturdays and Sundays.
You know all his friends really well. It’s great when he suggests you meet his friends, yes, but it’s not a date if he’s always inviting you along with his group and you don’t feel like he treats you any differently than he treats them. It’s not a date, it’s just an outing with loads of friends, you being one of them.
He’s laid-back about your absences. When you’re really busy and don’t get in touch with him for a few days, he doesn’t even flinch or ask you why you’ve been silent. When you’re around, he’s happy to chat with you, but when you’re not there, it’s like he hardly notices or cares. He’s way too much of a mellow friend to be anything more.
You never hang out for dinner. You spend lots of time with the guy, but doing what? If you’re always going to clubs and pubs but never having a real dinner together in a candlelit restaurant, you have to wonder why. He’s avoiding date activities because he’d rather keep things on a casual, friendly level.
His house is a no-go zone. He never invites you to his place. You’ve heard about it and maybe even looked up his address on Google Maps during a low moment, but he never suggests that you head back to his place after a night of dancing at the club. That’s really shady because it’s like he’s keeping you at arm’s length.
You’ve had sex but it didn’t jumpstart a relationship. On the other hand, maybe you’ve seen his place many times, and specifically his bedroom. This FWB setup is just that: you’re friends and sometimes you please each other in the sack. If you’ve been sleeping with him for weeks and he still hasn’t said that he’d like to date you, he’s not going to. It’s hard to believe the guy only likes you as a friend when you’ve slept together, but sadly, it can still be true.
He calls you “cute.” Sorry, but this guy clearly only likes you as a friend. Being called “cute” by a guy can be sweet, but it can also be a sign that he’s not interested in dating you. So how can you tell? Basically, if he’s calling you “cute” in a way that makes you feel like you’re his little sister, the guy’s not keen to date you. On the other hand, if he also calls you “hot” or “sexy,” he’s probably feeling you on a deeper level.
He makes it clear he’s enjoying the single life. When you try to talk to him about relationships in general, he doesn’t give you any indication that he’s even looking for a relationship. Now, if the guy was interested in you, he certainly wouldn’t be going on and on about how much he loves being free and single.
He actively dates other people and talks to you about it. It’s not just that he’s enjoying not being in a relationship, but he’s loving getting to know other women and he’s not shy about telling you about it. He might even give you details of a night out he had with another woman, totally oblivious to the fact that you really don’t want to hear it.
He’s a bit too comfortable around you. If he feels like it’s totally cool to fart, burp, and throw decorum out the window around you, it’s clear this guy only likes you as a friend. Otherwise, he would be on his best behavior in an attempt to win you over and make you think he’s super courteous. If he lets rip around you, you’re purely platonic.
He tries to set you up with other guys or gives you dating advice. This one is really the nail in the coffin. If he liked you and wanted to date you, why on earth would this guy try to set you up with other people or encourage you to seek the company of other men? He wouldn’t.
He says the “f” word a lot. He calls you his “best friend” or says, “We’re still friends, right?” after you’ve had a tiff. That’s the final piece of evidence you need that he’s really not seeing you in romantic terms. But you know what? It’s his loss because he has a great friend in you, but he could have an even more amazing girlfriend.
What to do when it’s clear he only sees you as a friend
If you relate way too much to the above signs, it’s clear that at this point, the guy only sees you as a friend rather than a potential girlfriend. The next step is to decide how you’re going to handle the situation.
Consider whether or not to share your feelings. Here’s the thing: there’s always a chance that he put you in the friend zone because he thinks that’s where you’ve put him and he wants to save his ego. It could be that if he knew you were into him, he would start to see you in a whole new light. Of course, you don’t want to make a move and end up embarrassing yourself, so it’s really important that you do a vibe check and see if your friendship has any real potential of being anything else. If you think that telling him how you feel about him could change things, let yourself be vulnerable and give it a go. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Accept the fact that you’ll never be a romantic item. It’s tempting to try and convince yourself that if you just stick around and keep showing him how funny/smart/hot/brilliant you are, he’ll eventually come around and see you the same way you do him, but don’t do it. If it’s meant to be with a guy, you wouldn’t have to chase him or wear him down. He should see what he has in you immediately, and if he doesn’t, it’s not right. It’s important that you accept the fact that you’ll never be boyfriend and girlfriend so that you can begin to let those feelings fade.
Decide whether or not you can be “just friends” with the guy. If you know in your gut that you’ll never be anything more than friends with this guy, now you need to decide whether that’s something you can be okay with. If your feelings weren’t all that deep and you’re someone who’s able to process and move on quickly, by all means, enjoy the friendship. If, however, you’re in deep and you’re struggling to deal with the fact that he doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, it’s likely that you’ll need to end things to give yourself the space you need to move on.
It sucks to realize that a guy you’re invested in only sees you as a friend and has no romantic interest in you, but that just means he’s not right for you. There’s someone out there whose feelings will mirror your own. You just have to be patient until you meet them. You will, I promise.
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