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

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Sometimes, a relationship with a guy best friend may seem ready to evolve into a romantic connection, making you wonder, "Does my guy friend like me?" Regardless of gender, considering the transition from friends to romantic partners with someone you care for can bring about a variety of complex feelings and even sexual tension. 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.

Getty/AnnaStills
Struggling to get out of the friend zone?

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, which can serve as a surefire sign of romantic interest. If you notice some of these in the behavior of your guy friend, it may be a sign that it's a good time to start talking to them about potentially changing the dynamic of your relationship. Remember that human behavior is complex, and it's best to use the signs below as guideposts. Consent is important, and you should speak directly and honestly with your friends before doing something that could make them feel awkward. 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, particularly in one-on-one settings. 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 your friend have shifted from superficial things like hobbies and likes or dislikes to a discussion of your past, values, feelings, and even future plans. You may talk frequently and/or for hours at a time.

Note, however, that emotional intimacy characterizes many close friends too. That means that an increase in communication, time spent together, and emotional intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean your friend likes you romantically. They could, though, especially if accompanied by other signs on this list.

Memory and affiliation

Getty/Jordi Salas

According to the paper cited above, romantic attraction can be characterized by someone "remembering tiny details" of the person they're interested in. If your guy friend remembers your favorite candy bar or references a minor comment you made a week ago, it may show a level of care that could indicate romantic interest. The paper also states that someone with a romantic interest in another may show motivation to become "affiliated" with that person. This could manifest as your friend taking an interest in your hobbies, music preferences, or TV shows, showing a desire to spend time and have fun together.

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. 

If you have a good friend who is a guy, you may notice subtle signs that he likes you in a romantic way. He might be more affectionate with you, touching your hand or shoulder lightly during interactions, or giving you longer or tighter hugs. You might even notice that he hesitates to leave when you're saying goodbye. Of course, if you're not comfortable with physical touch, it's important to communicate that boundary to your friend. A good friend should always respect your wishes and make you feel safe and comfortable. And who knows, maybe your friend's romantic interest could turn into a cute couple scenario! But regardless of where your romantic life may lead, having a good friend who respects your boundaries and well-being is always a valuable thing.

What to do if you think your guy friend is interested

So you've noticed a big sign of romantic interest from the list above, and you feel that it lines up with how your guy friend has been treating you lately, especially in a group setting. Now what? 

As mentioned, it's usually best to have a straightforward conversation with them about your love life and how you feel, 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 moments 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.

For example, talk to other friends who know your guy friend and understand how much fun the two of you have together. Ask for their opinion about how he'll react, and if he feels the same way. If any of your guy friends have experienced similar situations, they may be able to give insight into how a guy starts talking about his feelings and what it means when a guy likes you.

Get dating advice in online therapy

While it can be beneficial to reach out to trusted friends and family for guidance, especially when you're unsure if a guy friend likes you or if it's just a friend-like connection, 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 with other guys, such as low self-esteem or a lack of strong communication skills.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Struggling to get out of the friend zone?

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.

Build healthy relationship habits with a professional

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