Does He Like Me? How To Tell If A Guy Friend Is Interested

Medically reviewed by Jerry Crimmins, PsyD, LP
Updated January 25, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Sometimes, a relationship with a close male friend may seem ready to evolve into a romantic connection. Regardless of gender, considering making the transition from friends to romantic partners with someone you care for can bring about a variety of complex feelings. Let’s explore a few different ways to tell if your friend might be interested in exploring a romantic relationship with you, and what to do if so.

How To Tell If A Guy Friend May Be Interested

Everyone has different ways of expressing attraction. However, there are a few subtle signs that tend to be common among people. If you notice some of these in the behavior of your friend, it may be a sign that it’s a good time to talk to them about potentially changing the dynamic of your relationship. Remember that human behavior is complex, and that it’s best to only use the signs below as guideposts. Consent is important, and you should speak directly and honestly with your friend before doing something that could make them feel uncomfortable. That said, possible indicators of romantic interest in a guy friend include the following.

Increased Communication And Time Together

One common sign of romantic interest is wanting to spend more time with and open up emotionally to a person. A “craving” of emotional dependency is a characteristic of romantic interest or love, according to one paper on the topic, and this is often achieved through increased communication and time spent together. You may notice that your conversation topics with this person have shifted from superficial things like hobbies and likes or dislikes to a discussion of your past, your values, and your feelings, and you may talk frequently and/or for hours at a time. 

Note, however, that emotional intimacy characterizes many friendships too. That means that an increase in communication, time spent together, and emotional intimacy don’t necessarily mean your friend wants to become romantically involved with you. They could, though, especially if accompanied by other signs on this list.

Memory And Affiliation

The paper cited above also notes that romantic attraction can be characterized by someone “remembering tiny details” of the person they’re interested in. If your friend references a minor comment you made a week ago, remembers your favorite candy bar, or asks how an event, project, or challenge you were facing turned out, it may show a level of care that could indicate romantic interest. The paper also states that someone with romantic interest in another may show motivation to become “affiliated” with that person. This could manifest as your friend taking an interest in a band you like, a hobby you participate in, or a show you watch. 

Changes In Body Language

Someone who is romantically interested in you may exhibit their feelings through subtle changes in body language or an increase in physical affection. Some studies have found that a person who is showing romantic interest may lean in more while speaking to you, use prolonged eye contact, or even mirror some of your behaviors, such as adopting certain phrases you tend to use. 

Additionally, you may notice your guy friend being more affectionate with you. They may lightly touch your hand or shoulder while interacting. You might notice that their hugs become tighter or longer. When parting ways, they may linger in the doorway or show visible hesitation to leave. That said, if you do not wish to be touched, it’s important to communicate this boundary to your friend. Regardless of romantic interest or potential, you have the right to draw boundaries that will make you feel comfortable and safe. Plus, by respecting them, your friend can show you that they’re thoughtful and considerate—qualities that are generally found in a good partner.

What To Do If You Think Your Friend Is Interested

So you’ve read through the potential signs of romantic interest above and you feel that they line up with how your friend has been treating you lately. Now what? As mentioned, it’s usually best to have a straightforward conversation with them about how you feel and to gauge what their interest may be. It can be scary, since rejection is often painful. Or, you may worry that escalating your friendship into a romantic relationship could put your connection at risk if things don’t work out. However, there’s often no way to avoid these risks in a moment like this. If you feel strongly about this person, it may be worth it to let them know in a respectful, open-minded manner. 

If you find yourself having trouble recognizing or navigating your feelings for a friend, talking about the situation with an outside party can be helpful.

While it can be beneficial to reach out to trusted friends and family for guidance, a licensed therapist can assess your situation through a professional and unbiased lens. They can provide you with a safe, nonjudgmental space in which you can express and analyze your feelings. They may also be able to help you with other issues that might be contributing to nervousness or hesitation around romantic relationships, such as low self-esteem or a lack of strong communication skills. 

Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular—one of the most commonly used therapy methods today—can be effective in helping people improve their relationships. The study also suggests that online CBT may be equally effective as the in-person variety. If you’re looking for support as you navigate a potential new romantic relationship with a friend, help is available. If you’re interested in the online option, a virtual therapy platform like BetterHelp may be for you. After filling out a brief questionnaire about your needs and preferences, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat to address the challenges you may be facing.

Takeaway

Deciding whether to ask a friend if they might want to pursue a romantic relationship with you can be nerve-wracking. The tips on this list may give you more confidence going into this conversation with them, as can the support of a trained therapist.

For additional help & support with your concerns

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.
Get The Support You Need From One Of Our TherapistsGet Started