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He May Like You, but Won't Say It

Updated on March 9, 2022
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Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

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First things first, get rid of any bad advice you might have accumulated on dating. Try to come at this problem with a clean slate. There are a lot of reasons why someone may like you but doesn’t want to pursue anything.

Get rid of any advice that:

  1. Turns you into a manipulative person.
  2. Promises or guarantees a relationship, as if by magic.
  3. Dumps all the work on you.

I’ve had men who had crushes on me for several years suddenly blurt out that they were in love with me, so just because he hasn’t asked you out in a week, two weeks, or three years doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not into you. Some people are just unsure how to test the waters. If you think they like you, and you like them, maybe you should bring it up.

Also, if it’s the right person, communication should be natural. It should be easy to talk about how you like each other, not forced.

Keep in mind: each person is different with a completely different dating book in their head. Some people know they’re not ready for a relationship, even if they do have feelings for someone.

He May Not Be Ready… or Ever Will Be

There are a thousand different reasons he may not say anything. He might like you, but he’s dating someone else, he might think it wouldn’t pan out with you, or he is worried about a gigantic age gap.

Sure, broaching him with the topic may help — then again, maybe he’s not pursuing you because he seriously isn’t ready whether he doesn’t feel mature enough, doesn’t have enough money to support you, or doesn’t have enough time to invest in you properly. Will these things change? Only maybe.

Should you wait for him? You should weigh the pros and cons of waiting for someone to get their crap together. You could be putting your life on hold by waiting for them to come around. You should probably see if there are other people who are available and would be interested in dating you.

If you feel waiting is the best option know that you could be waiting for a long time. And you might not like the end result. There is also no guarantee that waiting will result in the two of you finally getting together.

You deserve a stable and clearly defined relationship, not one that’s poorly defined, has no momentum, and feels stuck.

I get it. Some people are so swoon-worthy that feeding a crush or infatuation is preferable to acquainting yourself with the dating pool. Regardless of whether you decide to pine over this person or go on dates with other suitors, I would suggest getting to know yourself better.

If you’re in the single landscape, then you don’t necessarily need to spend all your free time dating — that can drive you nuts. Your single life has value, and you should maximize it. Enjoy your alone time, learn new things, make friends, and travel to distant places.

You shouldn’t give up your singleness until you find someone that you feel like your life would be better with them than without.

You’ve got to negotiate for the best deal. If your singleness has more value than dating Mr. Handsome or Princess Lovely then stay single.

What's the longest you've liked someone before being in a relationship (or not) with them?

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He’ll Know When He is Ready for Dating

Only he can decide when he is ready to date. He also gets to decide who he spends his time with when he finally decides to date… and that might not be you.

If you want to tell him that you have feelings for him — go ahead! I have found that when they are ready, they will definitely come around and be upfront with you.

If you want to test the waters, ask them to go to something simple that doesn’t have strings attached, like a movie, a museum, a concert, a book signing of your favorite author. Perhaps you just want someone to accompany you. Make your invitation friendly, that doesn’t mean things are going in the friend zone — it’s just that friendliness is a key to getting the ball rolling for dating. (I’m also not a big fan of the term "friend zone" but that is a tale for another day.)

If you want to go see a movie, go to a concert, or a ball game then just ask someone to go with you. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or a romantic deal. You should be allowed to go to things without it having to be under the guise of pursuing a relationship.

Just go and have fun and don’t worry about the pressure of it being a date or not, if you want it to be, then so be it, but seriously… not everything has to be about asking out hotties or being in a steady relationship.

Make sure you enjoy his company, and you're not just hanging around because you think he has a pretty face.
Make sure you enjoy his company, and you're not just hanging around because you think he has a pretty face. | Source

Enjoy People Anyway

If you enjoy his company, then spend time with him. When you’re young, it may seem like you have an endless amount of connections. You take for granted the people you meet. One day, you’ll likely find that your friend circle has shrunk. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Friendships that last are usually deeper. But the real point I’m trying to make is that a good friendship is rare and precious, so don't scoff at having a crush on someone and it landing somewhere in friendship town (kind of the same as friendship zone, but maybe sweeter?).

Make positive impressions everywhere you go because you have no idea what is in store for your future. You may end up finding yourself in a relationship with someone you spent a random spontaneous night with three years ago. When the timing is right, you’ll find yourself with the right one, especially if you’ve been putting positive vibes into the universe and being your consistent sweet, funny, adorable, and intelligent self.

Personal anecdote: Ten years after I met someone in grad school, I married him. It took seven years before we went on a date. I had no idea this person I was sitting by in a composition and rhetoric class would eventually be the person I put on a fancy white gown for... and we'd select chicken and waffles as one of the appetizers for our reception.

But Isn’t Unrequited Love Annoying?

Unrequited love is quite the journey… many of us will go through its haunted halls. In the meantime, don’t be shocked if someone else comes knocking on your door before your favored suitor realizes what a jackpot you are.

Love should feel natural. Things should fall into place. You won’t have to force things. Sometimes unrequited love is an indication that you’re falling for the wrong person.

Your unrequited love experience will not last forever. This is only temporary and as odd as it may sound — enjoy it. Learn what you can from it. If your brain is trying to tell you that there are red flags, don’t dismiss those. Your heart wants what’s best for you.

Romance Often Blooms From Friendship

More often than not, romantic relationships develop out of friendships. In fact, maybe friendships are like plants and romance is the flower that blooms from them.

Try being friends, then best friends, then applying romance. By then you’ll have a steady foundation to build upon, and you’ll know each other’s history… especially emotional history. Shared history is great for dating — it’s like having a whole stack of cards at your disposal rather than having only mystery to work with.

Look for Your Best

The best is someone who cares about you as a whole package. They care about your mind and emotions. You want someone who will be there when you are sick, someone who will stand by your side even when you are not your best, and for moms-to-be… someone who will be with you despite your crazy pregnancy hormones.

He’ll support you through and through; he’ll make sacrifices on your behalf. He’ll be invested in your children’s lives, and he’ll provide what he can. (Of course, this is if you want kids and this is in your vision for your life.)

Why marry yourself to someone who doesn’t treat you right? If he isn’t being the right man for you — then cut him lose. If he’s more hindrance than help… just tell him to leave. You cannot fix people! Men/women/people are not old trucks that can be renovated. That’s not how things work.

What do you think is the most common reason guys will not get in a relationship with you?

See results

He Likes You, and He Is Also Scared of You

You might be super gorgeous, and he thinks he isn’t good enough for you. He might also worry that you attract lots of suitors, and he doesn’t have a fighting chance to win over your affections.

He might not feel he is mature enough (or old enough). Are you in high school or college? Most high school and college romances don’t last. You’re a lot more mature at 25 than 18. You’re also a lot more mature at 30 than 25.

Abandon Ship

If your guy is seeing someone else and is giving you some attention and he tells you he is going to break up with the other lady or get a divorce, run away and never turn back. This is always a recipe for disaster, not romance. If he is willing to cut off his current partner for you, what makes you so certain he won’t eventually do the same thing to you?

Is he still in love with his ex-girlfriend? Then back off. There’s no amount of red lipstick and short black skirts that will be able to command any attention till he is over the first girl — if he actually will one day get over her.

© 2013 Andrea Lawrence

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