Is He Interested Or Just Being Nice? (7 Obvious Signs)

You’ve just started seeing a guy and you’re a little nervous. He seems interested but you know, full well, that guys often show interest at the beginning and then do the slow fade, breadcrumb, random text thing. Next thing you know, you feel like you’re being strung along and as long as you hear from him occasionally, you can’t break free. In this Love U Podcast, I’m going to share with you 7 obvious signs, that yes, he’s into you, and yes, you can relax now.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Trying To Come Out Of Hiding - AGAIN

    And if he does phase you out, speed that process up for him. He’s not the one. Move on.

  2. 2
    Malika With an L

    All these tips, if they appear consistently, are a sure sign he’s interested and he is also boyfriend material. I have had crushes that always flirted but never asked me out. It took me years to realize that quite often men will flirt with you but don’t have any plans of moving things forward. They like the attention, but for whatever reason aren’t that interested in you. You can also date someone and he likes you enough he’ll occasionally text you. If you are keen you can take this as a sign of budding promise, but nearly always the contact peters out sooner or later. The advice here is pretty rock solid. You can give him a tiny bit of leeway if he is not meeting all of the signs, but over time try to be honest to yourself as to whether his interest is a reliable stream, instead of willy-nilly breadcrumbs.

    I am the type of person that when I dated and I met someone I was interested in, my feelings blocked anyone else ot of being in the running. This was rather a hazard. I could seize on breadcrumbs and pretend they meant a level of interest that wasn’t really there. It’s not really a male/female thing, I am sure women are guilty of this too. If you are a black or white interested/not interested person it can be quite to suss out who is really taking dating with you seriously.

  3. 3
    SparklingEmerald

    I wish the comments section had a “like” button so I could like TTCOOH-A’s comment.

    These things seem so obvious, it seems so weird that they had to be said

    “So, we’ve got seven things. He makes plans for the next date on the date. He compliments you
    frequently. He calls you. He asks you out. He’s in touch with you every day. He talks about your
    future. And he wants to know if you’re seeing anybody else. If the guy you like and you’re
    seeing is doing all these things, that’s a great sign. He’s really into you. And if he’s not doing all
    these things, it may be time to look for a different guy. ”

    My hubby did all of the above EXCEPT for phone calls, he told me he doesn’t like to talk on the phone. But he did everything else in spades. Never finished one date without a solid plan to see each other again, and back and forth e-mails a day, just sharing our thoughts on life, each other, etc.

    One thing he did, that’s not on the list, but made me feel very secure that he was definitely “into me”, is he started taking pix of me and asked strangers to take couple shots of us, starting on our 3rd date. He tagged me in all of the pix, and always captioned it with how much fun we had. I considered this the digital form of introducing me to his friends, who mostly lived out of state. His friends all responded very positively to his posts, saying how happy they were for us, how happy we looked, how cute I was etc. Even tho’ we met in early December, he proudly showed me Christmas cards addressed to BOTH of us.

    Since Social Media is a fact of life now, I think early on in the relationship, how much a part you are of their online life, can be an indicator of whether or not they are “really into you”. JM2C, YMMV.

  4. 4
    Emily, to

    H Malika,
    “The advice here is pretty rock solid. You can give him a tiny bit of leeway if he is not meeting all of the signs, but over time try to be honest to yourself as to whether his interest is a reliable stream, instead of willy-nilly breadcrumbs.”
    What is a good timeline to watch for these signs? I mean, is there expected to be daily contact after the first date? I’m assuming all of this evolves over time?

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Ever enroll in Love U, Emily, instead of asking a Love U grad for advice?

  5. 5
    Malika

    You make a very good point. It depends on how whether he is into social media and how much of his private life he puts online. My boyfriend and i keep out private life off it, and it comes as a surprise to acquaintances that i am now a semi-stepmother, years into the relationship. Your additional sign points to a larger attitude. Is he ‘out and proud’ when dating you? Does he put his arm around you, introduce you enthusiastically to people you bump into, state he is with you when someone calls him, etc? Also a sign he’s taking you seriously instead of seeing you as Ms She’ll Do For Now.

  6. 6
    Malika

    Hi Emily,

    I quite like Evan’s theory of having a two-month get to know period. Try before you buy, let both sides see if they want to move forward into a relationship. My experience is that you know if he’s keen within 3-4 weeks. If the effort feels middling after that he is probably about to tell you he’s seeing other people, doesn’t see a future or start the petering out process.

    Recently I bumped into an old schoolmate, a posh boy, and found out he was a great example of when a man wants a woman he goes for it. He always dated posh law or medicine career women with middling enthusiasm. He was known for being non-comittal. A bit snobby, maybe he was being picky? His dates accepted it as just the way he was. One day, on holiday, he met a fisherwoman who lives on the coast at a distance from our capital, is not interested in his last name and family background and holds political views at a stark contrast to his own. To everyone’s surprise, he dropped the non-commital attitude, displays all signs described above, commutes to coastal town and is going to marry her after four years of dating. I am sure pearl necklaces are being clutched in certain circles. I see it as an example that if he is showing middling interest, just drop it. Don’t think he’ll change his mind. Don’t attempt to bend yourself like a pretzel to meet ‘standards’. Let him loose so he can find the fisherwoman of the dreams he never thought he had! And you can be free to find yours.

  7. 7
    jo

    Malika, what an interesting story. While I agree with you, Evan, and Sparkling Emerald on looking for the obvious signs of a man’s interest (we women really are too hopeful in the face of non-committal behaviour), maybe this fisherwoman was also more attractive to your posh friend because she didn’t care about his name and family background.

    Men have a weird way of being more interested in women who are not ‘fan-girls’ of them, if you know what I mean: not overly impressed, or not caring about some aspect of the man that makes every other woman ga-ga. If he’s rich, and women are all over him because of that, he’s likely to be drawn to a woman who couldn’t care less about that. Or if he’s prestigious at work, he falls for a woman who doesn’t care about his prestige. He wants the woman who is more of a challenge to impress. It’s very strange. Anyway, I have observed that trait in men, and don’t know if it’s also true in women.

  8. 8
    Emily, to

    Malika
    “My experience is that you know if he’s keen within 3-4 weeks.”
    I agree with you. I just think that things should take a bit of time to build. By a bit, I mean the 3 to 4 weeks you mentioned, not necessarily months. But some guys will move into the sphere of a woman’s daily life right away. It feels like that amount of rapport hasn’t been built yet.

  9. 9
    Emily, to

    Jo,
    “Men have a weird way of being more interested in women who are not ‘fan-girls’ of them,”
    Really? I find the opposite to be true.

  10. 10
    jo

    Emily, we must be surrounded by very different men. So, how do you relate to them? I never TRY to be any man’s fan-girl and am not most of the time, but sometimes, TBH, I can’t help it. 😉

  11. 11
    Emily, to

    Jo,
    “So, how do you relate to them?”
    I feel like I become a drooling, obvious, blithering idiot around people I like, but I had a male friend/co-worker at one job tell me I was “mysterious” compared to the other women, who were so obvious in their flirtation. I had a female friend tell me I didn’t show enough interest, but idk. The last person I was interested in was playing hot and cold, so I’m sure I wasn’t demonstrative enough, but why would I be after a couple of rounds of the disappearance/reappearance? It usually takes a couple of rounds before it finally sinks in you are wasting your time. You feel guarded around the person because you don’t trust him.

  12. 12
    Malika With an L

    Emily, one of the things I have learnt with great difficulty is that they have the right to want to have daily contact with me, but I also have the right to want to take things slowly at the beginning. Being a recovering people pleaser, this was VERY challenging, but was a huge help. Daily texting and even phone calls were fine by me if they were keen. Spacing out dates helped calm things down, creating a situation where we could see whether we really liked each other, or were being swept up in the moment.

    As I live in a city where there are more women than men on the dating scene, I usually had the opposite problem. Trying to determine whether he was breadcrumbing, or taking things slowly. I learnt that they have the right to intermittently stay in touch with me and dither unenthusiastically, and I had the right to cut the cord after a couple of months because I wanted more out of dating than hopeful waiting and feeling emotionally underfed from the experience.

  13. 13
    Malika With an L

    Hi Jo,

    *Disclaimer: What I am saying applies to men who date high social value women too.*

    Sorry for this novel of an answer. The fan-girling is something I have been thinking about in the last while as i review my life and what i need to work on.

    It depends on the man. Men who have prestige jobs, a high net-worth or are good looking are not used to women being unimpressed with their credentials (men with average credentials probably see fan-girling as a foreign concept). What they are used to is women who have very high expectations. These gals can have drawbacks you only experience when you have been dating them for a while. They can have inflated expectations of him as a partner. He is a 10 in one department, and therefore will be a 10 in all departments. When they find out he is not, because he is human, that can lead to a disappointed attitude that permeates throughout the relationship. They can also expect him to always be a 10 in that department, into perpetuity. Brad Pitt will not look the way he does forever, prestige jobs can be lost, high incomes can fizzle out. Smart men know that they might not always have the ace up their sleeve, and would like a partner who loves them even if it all goes away. They are difficult to find.

    The fisherwoman does not want posh boy to follow the stranglehold that are the social conventions of his background. She wants him to be happy. So no being nagged to accept prestige job he finds boring, but support to follow an alternative route that will make him happier. This sounds way better than the fan-girls. She is incidentally also the source of legendary quotes. On being introduced to the ancestral home she said ‘This is really nice, but too far away from the coast. Do you mind if we nix the plans of living in a castle?’

    I would love to say that I am like the fisherwoman, but unfortunately I am more of an unhealthy fan girl. I struggle with self-esteem, and only now am I getting help for this issue. When I was younger I wanted a boyfriend who had the credentials I felt I could never achieve on my own. I therefore put men with high social value on a pedestal, and sought approval I was never going to get. I now seek to develop myself so I can be happy with me and can look after myself. Maybe i am fan girling the fisherwoman, but i feel i would have lead a fuller life if i had not sought externally what i needed to develop internally.

  14. 14
    Emily, to

    Malika,
    “One of the things I have learnt with great difficulty is that they have the right to want to have daily contact with me, but I also have the right to want to take things slowly at the beginning. … Daily texting and even phone calls were fine by me if they were keen.”
    I agree that everyone has the right to want what they want, but IMO — and that’s just me — it’s too much to meet me at a party, talk to me for 15 minutes, and then text and/or call every day after that. I had one guy do that, and we hadn’t even gone on a date yet. I think things can develop into daily contact, but it feels weird to have it immediately. (And I agree with what you said earlier about it taking 3 to 4 weeks to gel — tops 2 months — or it will always stay at that intermittent level). But I compare it to the very beginning of getting to know anyone. If I met you at meetup event and we hit it off, and you messaged me through the site and asked if I wanted to get lunch a week later, would you then contact me every day prior to the lunch? I may be in the minority on this issue. Idk. I have a friend who likes the immediate, daily contact.

  15. 15
    jo

    Malika, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You needn’t be hard on yourself re: self-esteem issues or looking for a bf who had the credentials you thought you could never achieve. Society and media have played a huge role in our beliefs of dependence on men from the time we were little girls: all the stories of princesses or poor girls getting saved by big strong men who have everything – title, wealth, strength, etc. One can hardly NOT be affected by such messages, which were a constant bombardment since age 0. We end up thinking we need a man to survive. We didn’t get nearly as many messages as little boys did about independence and striving for strength, cunning, and resources.

    While things are changing for the younger generation of girls, we older women can still take a page from what men are learning, reading, and doing. We’re not stuck reading romance novels and thinking we’re nothing without men. We can still want men, but not feel dependent on them. What healthy things are they encouraged to pursue? It’s not just relationships, relationships, relationships… it’s everything from rock climbing to camping to financial success to gadgets. And so much more.

    Your Fisherwoman was a sexy outlier in that she knew she loved water and wanted to live on the coast – and she didn’t love your friend for reasons that would make her dependent on him. We women all need to find that healthy something to love and live by, outside of a man.

  16. 16
    Yet Another Guy

    @Jo

    “f he’s rich, and women are all over him because of that, he’s likely to be drawn to a woman who couldn’t care less about that. Or if he’s prestigious at work, he falls for a woman who doesn’t care about his prestige. He wants the woman who is more of a challenge to impress. It’s very strange. Anyway, I have observed that trait in men, and don’t know if it’s also true in women.”

    Please examine the attributes you listed. What do they all have in common? They are status attributes. A lot of men, me included, want to be wanted for who were are, not our place in the male social hierarchy or what we can provide for a woman because our status can change at a moment’s notice. How is this desire any different than woman wanting to be wanted for more than her beauty and the sexual pleasure she gives a man? It is not about impressing a woman as much as it is being able to interact with a woman without the pressure of maintaining status. It is about being able to deal with a woman on a human-to-human basis without dealing with female hypergamy. Nothing is as unattractive to a man with functioning gray matter and self-confidence as a hypergamous woman. I have yet to meet a high-society woman who was not hypergamous.

    The female version of this situation are men who do not pay attention to beautiful women. Beautiful women are so used to having their way with men that men who do not trip over themselves attempting to get their attention are attractive. Is it a challenge, or is it that these women have the ability to interact with these men on a human-to-human basis without their beauty clouding the situation?

    In the end, people wanted to be wanted for who they are, not their status or beauty. A man’s status is volatile in that it can evaporate at any moment and a woman’s beauty fades with time. A man who has a partner who chose him not for what he could give her and a woman who has a partner who chose her not for her beauty both have a better shot a long-term relationship stability than vice versa.

  17. 17
    Emily, to

    YAG,
    “In the end, people wanted to be wanted for who they are, not their status ..”
    Do they? There are plenty of men who lead with their status, who must know that a 25-year-old woman doesn’t mind the 25-year age gap because of his status and money. He can’t possibly think she wants him for who his is. And they don’t seem to mind. They are ok with that tradeoff. Their status is how they define themselves, so they have no problem with a woman responding to it.

  18. 18
    jo

    YAG, it seems that you wrote your comment before reading my last one (perhaps it was not yet posted). In any case, if you read my last comment, you will see that I agree with you in spirit. Fundamentally, I think that if women were not raised since girlhood to believe ourselves dependent upon men of status, then we would not have such mindsets, but would pursue our own livelihoods and value lovers for their true selves.

  19. 19
    Jeremy

    I think that, as regards the question of whether men want fan-girls or not, the answer largely depends on the history of the man. I think that those men who have not had many (or any) fan-girls will often crave a fan-girl. And those men who have had abundance of fan-girls in their youth might get past that want and look for other things.

    Look at most of the men who’ve been caught harassing women or using their power/status to coerce women in the MeToo era. These are not the former Calvin Klein models, not the former football jocks who had their pick of cheerleaders in high school. These were the guys who were largely physically unimpressive, who later used their intelligence or wit to accrue power and status, and have come to be attractive to women because of it. They want women who value them for their status, firstly because they’ve not had women be attracted to them before (and certainly not the calibre of women that they can now draw), and secondly because their status is what they ego-invest their value into (the same way a body builder invests in the muscles he’s worked so hard to build, in order to be more attractive). These men who had a history of powerlessness when it came to the opposite gender now find themselves powerful…and sometimes want to exert their power too far over those whom they once thought of as having power over them.

    But one need not look so far as abusers of power. Look at regular non-criminal philanderers. Look at Tiger Woods. Look at his ex-wife. If you’d seen them together and knew nothing about either of them, you’d wonder at the SMV mis-match there. But discover that Woods was a world-famous golf-pro millionaire and all is explained. All…including his lack of satisfaction and his desire to continue philandering with other fan-girls.

    Perhaps the man in Malika’s example has always been popular with women. Not just as a successful adult, but maybe also as a teenager and young adult. Maybe even before he became successful. If so, his coming to de-value fan-girls would be much the same as the way a child of a rich person comes to de-value money, having always had so much of it.

  20. 20
    Jeremy

    Jo and Malika,
    I’d agree that societal messaging to women has been problematic, with all the Cinderella-type stories about being rescued by a rich, handsome prince. However, I’d very much disagree that the messaging to men has been better or more functional, and that we should try to mimic men’s historic messaging so as to solve the problems of women. All that would accomplish is giving women a whole new set of problems. As any man could and would tell you. Recall my story of the anthias fish, the fish that is always born female and can choose to become male at any time….and usually doesn’t. Because it knows, on some level, that becoming a man will not solve its problems, but will more likely make them worse.

    There was a post a few months ago by a man who’d asked how to develop self-esteem. He’d lost lots of weight and had plastic surgeries and noticed that women were going after him where they never had before, but he couldn’t shake his low self-esteem and wondered how one develops it. My suggestion to him at the time was that one develops true self-esteem through a combination of meeting one’s goals while being true to one’s personality. If one’s personality dictates that one be authentic, one must meet goals while being authentic. Similarly, meeting goals while being altruistic or ingenious or audacious, if those are the personalities involved. And more than that, the goals we should meet are the goals dictated by our personalities, not by others’. My father-in-law met his parents’ goal of becoming a successful lawyer….but was miserable because he had not met his own goal of doing work he considered meaningful while remaining authentic to himself.

    Advice that men receive has historically been the same as advice to women – in the abstract if not in the concrete. Advice to women – achieve a goal that might not be yours, but is the goal of society for you (marrying, having kids), with no mention of how to achieve it or in what state of being. Advice to men – achieve a goal that might not be yours, but is the goal of society for you (get a job, make an income, provide and protect), with no mention of how to achieve it or in what state of being.

    Equally bad. Equally blind. The way to rescue women is not to give them the problems of men.

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