Do I like him or not? 16 ways to know if your feelings are the real deal

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So, there’s a new man in your life…

…but you’re not sure whether you really do like him, or whether you’re just kidding yourself.

Maybe your feelings have betrayed you in the past.

Have there been times when you were convinced you liked someone? You were sure that, this time around, it was real.

And then, suddenly, your feelings changed, or you realized that you were never that into him in the first place…

…and you found yourself in a situation that it was tricky to get out of.

You don’t want that to happen again.

Are you worried that you’re just lonely, or that it’s the attention you like, not the man?

Are you concerned by the idea of having a man in your life that you like?

Are you unsure that you like him for who he really is?

Do you blow hot and cold?

Do you feel like you’re head over heels one day, and then indifferent the next?

Are you confused about your feelings, and searching for some clarity in your romantic life?

The signs below will help you figure out whether, deep down, your feelings for this guy are real or not.

1. It feels natural to be around him.

When you first spend time with him, when the sexual tension is running high, you’ll probably feel more than a bit flustered in his presence.

But if you like a guy, it should also feel natural to be with him.

Conversation should flow, and you shouldn’t need to search around for topics to discuss or try to fill awkward silences.

You should feel able to be yourself around him and enjoy a connection that goes beyond the purely physical.

Nothing about the time you spend with him should feel forced.

2. You’ve had conversations that go beyond the superficial.

If you don’t know his surname and haven’t discussed your pasts, your jobs, your dreams, or your families, it’ll be pretty hard to know who he really is.

But if you’ve found that the two of you have naturally started to open up to each other about deeper things and you like what you’ve discovered about him so far, that’s an excellent sign that your feelings could be genuine.

3. You think about him all the time.

If you’re only with someone because you don’t like the idea of being alone or because you’re bored, then when you’ve got other company, are occupied doing fun things, or are getting attention from other men, he’ll probably be the last thing you’re thinking about.

On the other hand, if you find that even he occupies your mind when you’re out and about and socializing, that’s an excellent sign that you really do like this guy.

If you really like him, you’ll be thinking about him. All. The. Time.

You’ll get distracted at work and find that your friends have started telling you off for daydreaming when they’re trying to talk to you or tell you a story.

You’ll be constantly waiting for him to text you back, wanting him to be the one to comfort you when you’re upset, and you’ll be thinking about him first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

He’ll never be far from your thoughts, no matter how often you actually see him.

4. You mention him.

When you’re chatting to your mates, you bring him up.

You tell stories about that funny thing he said or did.

You just can’t help mentioning him, and they’ve started noticing.

5. This hasn’t happened overnight.

You didn’t meet this guy last week.

If you’ve been on quite a few dates and known him for a while now and things are gradually building, that’s an excellent sign that this could develop into a healthy relationship.

If he’s only just come into your life, you need to give things a chance to blossom and grow, and give your feelings a chance to mature.

6. You’ve been getting jealous.

Much as you hate to admit it, you’ve been getting twinges of jealousy.

If you didn’t like him, you wouldn’t notice him mentioning or speaking to other women, let alone get jealous about it.

But if you find yourself on high alert whenever he’s around other women and have your ears pricked for mentions of his exes or female friends, that’s a very good sign you like him.

We should never allow jealousy to rule us or get out of hand, but a pang of jealousy here and there is only natural.

7. You struggle to picture your life without him.

You don’t know how it happened, but you struggle to picture what life would look like if he wasn’t in it.

You can’t quite remember what it was like when he wasn’t around because you’ve shared so many fun memories already.

He’s become a big part of your life, and if you really like him, you want it to stay that way.

8. You’ve started to picture a future together.

You can imagine a shared future with this guy.

From what you know of him so far, you think the two of you have complimentary life goals, that you’d make a good team, and that you could bring out the best in each other.

You’ve found yourself dreaming about where you might live, or the adventures you might go on together.

Or, in the less distant future, you’re thinking about fun things you could do together at Christmas, or a few months from now.

You’ll know how much you like him by how excited you get about making plans with him.

9. Your friends can see how smitten you are.

Your friends can tell how much you like this guy, even if you’re still unsure.

They’ve seen the way you’ve been behaving and the way you talk about him, and they know that you’re totally head over heels.

10. You’re interested in more than just his body.

The sex, if you’ve gotten that far, is great. But you’re not ringing him up or messaging him just for more of the same.

You like his mind, as well as his body.

You could spend hours talking to him. You like hearing about his take on the world and you’re genuinely interested in his opinions on things.

You want to spend time with him, even if that time doesn’t include getting physical.

11. You’re making a real effort.

You’re going out of your way for this guy, and this is an excellent sign that you truly like him.

You make a real effort with your outfits for dates. You’ve been suggesting some quirky, imaginative dates for the two of you.

You might have bought him a little gift you thought he might like, or maybe you’ve made him dinner.

You’d happily travel quite a distance to see him.

You think about what he likes or needs, and put him first.

You’re not just going out with him because he’s there and because it’s easy. You’re genuinely willing to put your time and energy into seeing him and making him smile.

12. You’re taking the risk of getting hurt.

You’ve put yourself out there for him. You’ve opened up, and told him intimate things about yourself. You’ve let your guard down.

You’re willing to take the risk of getting hurt if it means you get to spend time with this guy and opens up the potential for a future together.

You simply wouldn’t expose your heart to potential hurt and pain if you weren’t sure that you like this guy a lot.

13. You’re not thinking about an ex.

Your thoughts aren’t constantly drifting to the last guy you were with.

In fact, you rarely think about them at all, you’re so busy dreaming about your new love interest.

You’re not doing this just to make the last guy jealous. You no longer really care about what the other guy thinks at all.

14. You’ve stopped looking for anyone else.

In the very early days of dating this guy, you may have continued to message other people on the various apps and sites out there.

You may have even gone on dates with other people at the same time.

But you’ve put a stop to all of this now. Firstly, you don’t want to put what you have with this man at risk. Secondly, you just don’t feel the need to check out other options.

You know why? Because you like him and it goes beyond a little crush – you really like him.

15. You want his friends to like you.

It might still be too early to have met his family, but perhaps he has introduced you to some of his closest friends.

You’ve made a real effort to engage with them and being friendly beyond just the surface-level pleasantries.

You want his friends to think positively about you because you know that will be good for your potential future relationship with this guy.

The fact that you’re going out of your way like this is a good sign that you like someone more than a little bit.

16. You don’t want to play games.

Sometimes, when we start seeing someone, we play things in a certain way.

This could mean saying you’re busy when you’re not just to make them want you more, or talking about another person to make them jealous.

But you don’t do that with this guy. You reply promptly to his texts, you make time for him, and you don’t try to make him feel unsure or insecure in any way.

This shows that your feelings for him are real and that you’re keen to take your relationship to the next level.

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About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.