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How To Tell If a Man is Attracted To You but Hiding It

It’s super frustrating when a man seems like he is attracted to you but never asks you out! As a dating coach, many of my clients struggle with this. It usually happens with a friend or co-worker who is treating them a little nicer than usual.

If he is really nice, almost flirty, but lacks initiative, it makes you question if he has any romantic interest. Well, no need to wonder! Here’s exactly how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it.


First, Determine Flirtation Style

Scientists have been researching attraction and flirting for years, and they still keep finding new discoveries.

One recent discovery that has been made is very interesting. It showed that men have different “styles” of flirting. When you know each one, it really shows you how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it.

The different styles, highlighted by an article on Science American are as follows:


This style maintains traditional gender roles. The man will be the one to initiate and follow through with the next steps by asking a woman out or leading the next interaction.

This traditional way of flirting makes a man’s interest in you pretty obvious. So if you’re really unsure if a man is attracted to you, this traditional flirtation style is likely not the one that he is using.


Surprisingly, this one doesn’t necessarily mean that he touches you or brushes your arm. This one simply means that there is suggestive banter back and forth, hinting at a potentially sexual relationship.

This one is fueled by intense sexual chemistry so if he is attracted to you, but hiding it, this is another flirtation style that he wouldn’t use.


This one involves more obvious flirting in that he is trying to make jokes with you, tease you and impress you with his wit.

Men who are overly playful and flirtatious might be attracted to you, but be careful because these men also like the act of flirting just for the sake of it. According to the research highlighted in the article, men (or women) who use this flirting style often do this just to boost their self-esteem.

Alright, now onto the flirtation styles that a man who is hiding his interest would use…


As the article puts it, this style is:

“…marked by a desire to create an emotional connection with a potential romantic partner. These individuals look to develop intimacy by eliciting self-disclosure and showing personal interest in a partner, however, this style is not an effective means of communicating sexual interest.”

If you have a man who seems attracted to you but is hiding it, he could very well be using this style of flirtation. If he is, he’s likely asking you deeper and more personal questions to try and get to really know you. We’ll discuss more on this below.


This is another one that he might be using if he is attracted to you but hiding it. Men who flirt with this style are very “goody two-shoes” and may be more reserved.

If you’re wondering if your man is using this style, think about the type of person he is on a regular basis. Is he more reserved? Maybe you know that he has grown up in a more traditional family? Men who are crazy party people are less likely to use this style of flirtation.

Flirting with this style means that he will not make any sexual advances obvious and will just try to be the “nice” guy. It can be very difficult to tell if a man is using this style, so I have pointed out ways to spot it below.

Related: How To Attract a Man And Keep Him Interested

How To Spot A Man That Is Flirting vs. Just Being Nice

Now that we know the different flirting styles, we can use the following actions to see if a man is attracted but is too afraid to make things look more obvious. Here is how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it:

Wants To Keep The Conversation Going

If a man is attracted to you but hiding it, it’s likely that he feels he hasn’t built up enough rapport with you to ask you out.

He knows that if he tries to ask you on a date out of the blue, you might be caught off guard and could reject him. Then he has blown his shot.

So instead, he has to focus on warming you up to the idea of going out with him. He’ll need to make sure the two of you have some good, lengthy conversations in order to do this.

This is especially important if the two of you know each other from work. Sure, he can walk up to you and ask if you can help him with a tech issue, but once you’ve solved the issue, there is no need to continue the conversation – unless he keeps it going.

If he wants to continue chatting, that’s a huge sign that he’s trying to build up enough of a connection to potentially ask you out.

Touches You

This sign is very telling that he is interested in more than just being friends. In today’s modern culture, men are very aware that saying the wrong thing to a woman or touching her if she hasn’t asked for it could be perceived as hitting on her.

Since men know this, they are not about to do this to women that they don’t see as a potential romantic interest.

It is also in their natural instinct to want to bring a physical connection into your platonic relationship.

Not only is this something a man will naturally do in order to attract a woman, but studies have also shown that it works.

A study highlighted by Business Insider gives us the summary:

There’s no need for a full-on shoulder massage, but putting a hand on their arm might help.

In 2004, psychologist Nicolas Gueguen had 20-year-old men approach women pedestrians in a French city and ask for their phone number. Half the time, the men simply made the request; half the time they lightly touched the woman’s forearm for one second while asking.

Sure enough, the men were more successful in getting the woman’s digits when they’d touched her arm. 

So if he’s brushing your arm or patting your shoulder before he asks you a question, he’s likely very attracted to you, just hiding it!

A Lot Of Smiling

High-quality men know that coming across as safe and fun are essential to get a woman to like them.

Smiling subtly tells the woman “I am friendly, I am safe.”

Looking like a guy who is too eager is a huge “cock block” for men. So being friendly and inviting is a way to make sure they are giving off positive vibes.

Flirty Body Language

Men who are using the sincere or polite method of flirting won’t want to make sexual advances obvious. So, they will stick to more subtle clues.

Instead of grabbing your hand and kissing the top of it, he might give you prolonged eye contact while talking to you.

Here some other signs of flirtatious body language:

  • Point his body towards you
  • Mirror your positions (if you’re sitting with legs crossed, he will do the same)
  • He’ll raise his eyebrows
  • Keep his lips apart

Related: How To Flirt With A Man

Very Willing To Help

A man who uses the sincere or polite form of flirting wants to show you that he is going to be a good partner long-term. This kind of man is less interested in quick sex (or is too shy to go for it) so he wants to establish a connection. He wants to use his masculine energy of being a “provider” to show you that you need him in your life.

He will be very willing to help you with problems at work, give you advice or offer to take care of your cat while you’re on vacation.

If he’s offering to do things for you, it’s a very strong sign that he is attracted to you but is hiding it.

Positions Himself Close To You

A man will want to be near you if he is attracted to you. This means choosing the seat beside you at the company meeting or even slowing his walking pace to match yours if you go to grab coffee together.

Studies show that when a man is with a woman that he likes, he will walk slower for her to match her pace. If he’s walking with a woman he just sees as a friend, he will not slow his pace down to match hers. See this study from Plos One:

“Our findings show that males walk at a significantly slower pace to match the females’ paces (p = 0.009), when the female is their romantic partner. The paces of friends of either same or mixed sex walking together did not significantly change (p>0.05). Thus significant pace adjustment appears to be limited to romantic partners.”

Is Interested In Your Personal Life

If a man is attracted to you but hiding it, he thinks you’re physically attractive but might not be sure if he wants to date you.

In order to determine his true feelings for you, he will want to get to know a little more, so he will start asking a lot of questions.

He’ll want to know what you do for fun and what your passions are. He wants to know if he’s going to be able to fit his lifestyle into yours.

Sure, many people will ask what others do for fun just to make friendly conversation, but if he keeps asking and seems to be a little more interested than the average person, it could be a sign that he is attracted to you.

You Have Similar Backgrounds

If you and this man are similar in background and life status, it could be another reason for him to think you’re attractive. A study from Scientific American tells us:

Beyond physical characteristics, similarities like comparable education level, social environment, worldview, value systems and lifestyles tend to promote mutual attraction. Or, as the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” 

He Wants To Talk One on One

Another way to tell that he likes you is that he wants to have conversations with you, one on one.

Remember that a man who uses the sincere or polite flirtation styles is trying to go deeper. He wants to make sure that the two of you have a connection before he makes a move.

There is no way for him to establish a deeper connection if he’s constantly talking to you amongst a group of friends or co-workers.

If he wants to get you alone, he’s attracted to you.

His Voice Changes

The final way how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it is by the sound of his voice. Studies show that men will change the normal tone of their voice (usually lower-pitched) when talking to a romantic interest. They do it so that they attract the attention of their potential mate.

See excerpt:

“Men’s voices varied most in speech towards potential attractive versus unattractive mates… Men’s minimum pitch was lower when responding to attractive than unattractive women.”

Science Direct

So next time, pay attention to his voice when he’s talking to his friends and then see what it sounds like when he’s talking to you.

ow that we’ve discussed, in detail, what men will do when they are hiding their attraction, let’s answer a few commonly asked questions.

How do you tell if a man is hiding his feelings for you?

We’ve discussed many of the ways a man might hide his feelings, but to make it very clear here is a summary of the biggest signs:

  • He goes out of his way to spend time with you
  • He wants to know a lot about you
  • His body language is flirtatious

If you take anything away from this article, it should be the above three points.

How do you tell if a man is nervous around you?

Men feel nervous talking to women they are attracted to. Here are some signs of nervousness.


Fidgeting is a clear sign of nervousness. This is because being nervous is a lot of mental energy, so in order to get relief, he must release that energy physically.

If he’s playing with his hands or clothing or shaking his leg, you can tell he has a lot of pent-up energy.

A lot of laughing

Have you ever heard of nervous laughter? It may seem odd but it’s definitely a thing. People will laugh as a way to release nervous energy.

As discussed above, when a man is talking to a woman he likes, he will laugh and smile more often.

Sweating and Blushing

If you start seeing little droplets on his face, this. is a tell-tale sign he is nervous around you, as is his red face.

How do I get him to confess his feelings?

Now that you know how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it. it, the next step is to get him to ask you out.

The best way to do this is to create a friendly “safe space”. This will give him the freedom to open up because he knows that he is not being judged. You can do this easily by brushing up on your small talk or flirting skills. Feel free to click these articles for more information:

How To Small Talk Like A Pro

How To flirt with a Guy

How To Attract A Man That Is High Quality

Now that you know if he’s interested in you or not, it helps to know what you can do in order to increase your chances of attracting him, especially if he’s high quality. If you’re interested in learning what High-Quality men look for in a woman, check out my Free Guide “How To Attract Higher Quality Men”.


I hope you enjoyed my post on how to tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it. Be sure to check out the free checklist and good luck on your dating efforts.

Love, your favorite dating coach.


Lana Otoya

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