How can I tell if he likes me?

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“So there’s this guy. He keeps sending me mixed signals. We’ll talk for a few hours (over text and calls) and then I won’t hear from him for a while. He keeps making comments that lead me to believe that he lives me, but I’m not really sure. How can I tell if he likes me? How do I know if I like him?”

In college I had a guy friend named–well, let’s call him Sam.  Sam was doing just what you are talking about.  At some points, I was positive he liked me.  He called me, wanted to hang out just the two of us, said things that seemed like subtext to “I like you”, etc.  Then other times he was totally MIA.  I knew I didn’t like him that way and went to ask another guy friend his opinion.  I wasn’t 100% sure Sam liked me, but if he did, I didn’t want to be leading him on.  I asked this other guy friend, we’ll call him Joey, if he thought I needed to confront Sam and see what was going on in his head.

Joey was stunned.  While he agreed Sam was sending me mixed signals, he assured me I had zero responsibility in that game.  If Sam wanted to come out and tell me he had feelings for me, then I needed to tell him I only wanted to be friends.  But as far as Joey was concerned, it was Sam’s own fault.  He needed to step it up or walk away.

Now, I know that’s not exactly your question, but it’s similar.  You asked…

How can I tell if he likes me? 

Well, he needs to man up and come out and say it.  If he likes you enough, he’ll find the courage to do so.  But if he is being wishy-washy or passive-aggressive about it, it’s not your responsibility to decipher what he’s thinking.  Plus, it’s probably impossible.

That said, don’t be sending him mixed signals either.  Don’t flirt with him, don’t constantly initiate conversations and hang out times, etc.  If you’re friends–great, be friends.  But don’t treat him differently than any other guy friend you have.

How do I know if I like him?

Well, that’s harder for me to say.  How do you normally act or feel when you like a guy?  Does it look similar with this one?  That’s not always a sure-fire indicator, but it can be a pretty good one.

My philosophy has always been that I don’t need to decide if I like a guy until he decides to pursue me.  Now, I am a compartmentalizing master and don’t-think-about-your-feelings ninja, so it’s not hard for me to do that.  But for the most part, I don’t think we have to decide one way or another until the guy makes a move.  Of course, sometimes we just know.  You know you’re definitely not interested or you know you already think he’s a total stud and would love for him to ask you out, but it doesn’t always have to be that way.  You don’t have to make up your mind until after he asks you out.  And you can say “yes” to the first, second, third date until you decide one way or the other.  But usually–myself included–we try to make up our minds before we even really give the guy a chance to pursue us.

Bottom line: I wouldn’t worry about it.  There’s no need for you to decide if you have feelings for this guy if the homeboy hasn’t actually stepped up and made his intentions clear.  In fact, you probably can’t really know if you’re into him or not, until he starts to be consistent in the way he treats you.  Right now, you are confused because he is being confusing.  And I can’t say it enough times, he will pursue you if he decides that’s what he wants to do.

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