The Most Obvious Signs He Loves You But Is Afraid To Catch Feelings

By Abigail Boyd|Updated April 20, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Guilbeault, LMHC

Have you been seeing someone and you're not sure how they feel? Do they pursue you relentlessly for a while, initiating dates and get-togethers, only to pull back and act distant a few days later? If this distance continues to grow, these can be signs that a guy has lost their love or are having mixed feelings on whether or not they love you, they may just be afraid or fears your feelings. Continue reading to learn about what different behaviors may mean when it comes to relationships, love, and attraction.

Need Guidance On How To Navigate And Deal With Mixed Signals?

Signs A Guy Has Fallen In Love But He's Scared

It can be frustrating having feelings for someone you're dating but not being sure if they reciprocate those feelings. It's rarely appropriate to confront the man you're seeing to make him confess his feelings. Still, not knowing can be stressful and cause a lot of anguish and sleepless nights. You may find yourself caught up in your thoughts, trying to untangle the truth. You could agonize over whether or not you notice some signs he's catching feelings.

Of course, every man is different in their unique ways, but there are a few signs that may suggest what he's feeling: is he afraid of rejection, is he afraid, is he into you? Looking for the following signs, he's falling in love but scared to admit it to gauge where your relationship is headed.

He Is Hesitant

Before we discuss the common signs that a man displays when he has conflicted feelings, let's talk about the potential reasons behind this ambivalence. Research supports the theory that love and fears can become connected when we go through negative experiences. While you may not have that much information about your guy's dating history, whatever you do know may give you insight into why he would be hesitant to embrace his romantic feelings. He may be afraid or reserved, or he just might not know the next move to make. 

He Is Afraid of Rejection

Maybe he's been hurt by a past relationship and is afraid of rejection. Men, just like women, can feel very vulnerable when it comes to loving someone, especially if their heart has been broken in the past, it may make them afraid of the future. Unless you're the first person he's been involved with; he's likely had difficult experiences involving rejection and heartache, he fears this will happen again. Maybe he likes you, but doesn't want to show signs he's catching feelings for you.

He Went Through A Break-Up

If he's been through a significant break-up or divorce, he may be guarding his heart carefully from experiencing the same pain. This is completely normal, it is just his past making him afraid of what is next to come. No matter how much you care about him, you can't force him to rush into things. This kind of attitude will usually only push him away. It is best to give him space and be understanding as he copes with his fears of what is to come. 

How To Know He Has Feelings

To get an insight into how your guy feels, observe his behavior without confronting him on what they mean, which may put him on the defensive. There may be signs he's interested in you but is afraid of rejection. The following patterns generally occur due to intensely conflicting feelings, a clash between how much he cares about you and want to run away from the intensity of the relationship, so he doesn't end up getting hurt, he may be afraid of rejection. Be on the lookout for the following signs that may clue you into how he feels.

He Stares Then He Looks Away

You may see him staring at you from across the room or notice that he's holding eye contact longer than he did before, but then he averts his gaze when he realizes you're on to him. In any case, increased visual attention is a clear sign that he has feelings for and is very attracted to you. The fact that he's looking away is an indicator that the feeling is overwhelming to him, it may be a case where he's afraid of rejection or he's afraid of how you feel. 

The particular way he looks at you can also give you insight into how he feels and if he likes you. There's a different vibe to how he'll look at you when it comes from a place of love, versus a place of attraction. It's a softness in his eyes, a longing that's deeper than lust which is yet another of the signs he caught feelings.

He Is Eager Then He Is Distant

This is one of the clearest signs he caught feelings but is scared of getting closer. See if you recognize this pattern: He's acting interested and initiates a few dates in a row. Everything goes well, and you feel good about the relationship. Suddenly, his level of communication plummets, and he's busier than normal. Maybe he's not returning your messages like he did before or avoids your phone calls. If the distance continued to grow, you would probably assume that he's losing interest or lost interest. However, just when you begin to make the distance of your own, he contacts you, and the cycle begins anew.

This common pattern is a telltale sign of a man who is scared to commit, he may be afraid of rejection. When you notice him pulling away, give him space. Don't chase after him, which will only encourage him to start running. Instead, even if it's difficult, focus on your own life and keep busy. The more space he's given and the more independent he sees you, the more likely he will feel comfortable getting closer on his own time. You can stop looking out for signs he's catching feelings, and let him come to a decision about you and whether or not he's afraid of rejection with you. 

Need Guidance On How To Navigate And Deal With Mixed Signals?

He Listens And He Remembers

Have you ever been talking to someone and had the unpleasant experience of realizing they do not hear a word you say? In our distraction-laden society, it's an unfortunately common experience. If the guy you see actually pays attention to what you're saying when you're telling him about your day at work or the plot of your favorite movie, it's a sign he's truly interested in what goes on in your head and your life. If he brings these things up in future conversations, you can be sure you're on his mind often, and it's one of the signs he's catching feelings. If he has still yet to take the relationship to the next level he may be nervous or afraid of rejection from you. 

He Seems Genuinely Happy

If your guy seems truly happy around you and seems to view you as his respite, that's a clear indication of how much you mean to him. When he laughs at your jokes (even the cheesy ones), tries to make you smile, and relaxes when he's in your presence, he's showing you how he feels without speaking it aloud, and yet another of the signs he's catching feelings.

He Goes Out Of His Way For You

Many men are conditioned not to talk about or acknowledge their emotions, especially those that make them feel vulnerable. That's why to know what a man is feeling and thinking; it helps to pay attention to how he acts. There may be physical actions he takes to let you know if he is afraid of rejection, falling for you, or just nervous around you. If he cares about you, you may notice him making an effort to do things for you. Pay attention if he goes out of his way to help you out with errands or responsibilities.

He Introduces You

If the guy you're dating has taken the initiative to introduce you to his family, friends, and other people close to him, you can be sure that he wants you in his life, even if he's keeping his emotions vague. He may discuss feelings and hesitations he's reluctant to bring up with you directly with other people he's close to in his life. If you get the indication that you're a frequent topic of conversation among your guy and his inner circle, it can be a strong sign of your importance to him and another of the signs he's catching feelings for you.

He Talks About A Future With You

This one is a little tricky, but if it's present along with the other behaviors listed above, then it could be a sign he's falling for you. If you notice him talking about the potential of a future with you, but not committing to any solid plans, he might be testing out the idea to become comfortable with it.

He Acts Hot Then He Acts Cold

Dealing with mixed signals can be stressful and emotionally draining. You may find yourself preoccupied with thoughts of the relationship or wondering if you should break it off to spare yourself heartache down the line. If you notice the types of behavior listed above and you genuinely care for the guy, then try to give him some time and space.

Instead of confronting a guy or trying to talk endlessly about his feelings, give him enough space to work his feelings out on his own. He might feel scared at first, though putting the focus back on yourself will protect your own mental and emotional health. This attitude may give him the security needed to commit to love once and for all.

A word of caution: some men can get stuck in a holding pattern where they seem permanently unwilling to commit, they may be afraid of rejection, or maybe it's something else. If you've been dating for a long time and you're looking to settle down, but the guy you're with is still hesitant about admitting his true feelings and committing to you, you should give a lot of thought on whether or not to continue the relationship. Research shows that this kind of love avoidance persists unless treatment is sought by the person displaying it.

signs he's afraid of love

Conclusion

Being on the receiving end of mixed signs or signals can make even the most confident person question themselves, especially if you care about the person you are dating. Getting advice from a third party with professional relationship counseling experience can give you a clear picture of the situation.

A therapist can work with you to identify any negative emotional or behavioral patterns that may be holding you back or making you or someone you know afraid to commit. Turn to BetterHelp for affordable, convenient online therapy.

Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.