15 Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You

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Want to know if a guy likes you? If deep down he wants to be with you, but there’s just something holding him back? Here’s 15 key signs he is fighting his feelings for you, why he’s doing this, and what you should do. So let’s start from the top. It’s time to unravel it!

Why Is He Fighting His Feelings For You?

So before we look at the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, let’s first consider WHY he is fighting his feelings for you. What’s the point? 

Well, unless you or he are already in a relationship and this is therefore forbidden territory, it’s pretty similar to why he may like you but be hiding it. Click here tor read our article on that.

It could be that he’s not ready for a relationship and doesn’t want to mess you around. Perhaps you’ve been there before and it didn’t work out. Or maybe he unsure of where your head is at and is afraid of rejection.

See, there’s a lot of different things that could come into it and these, in turn, have an affect on his behaviour.

But typically, if he is fighting his feelings for you; if he’s consciously making an effort NOT to fall for you; it’s likely that he’s associated some sort of pain with falling for you, which is why he’s trying to battle it away. 

“People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure.”

So it could be that…

He’s scared of getting hurt, of opening his heart to you and that love not being returned.

Perhaps he’s had bad experiences in the past when he’s fallen for people before and he doesn’t want the same to happen again.

This could be to do with cheating, someone unexpectedly leaving, unrequited love, etc. The list is pretty endless. But it’s usually something that stirs up a lot of pain for him to then have an extreme reaction like this after. 

On this note, perhaps his upbringing comes into it…

If he grew up in a turbulent family, where his parents had difficult relationships, he may have picked up limiting beliefs about love from there.

These are difficult to break – especially if they’re not even fully recognised. He could therefore be fighting his feelings for you, without even fully realising or comprehending why.

Whats more, overall, if he’s emotionally immature or unable to deal with emotions, he’s also more likely to fight his feelings for you. Love after all, can be a pretty scary thing.

So there’s lots of different things that could be driving this behaviour.

Why Is He Fighting His Feelings For You?

For whatever reason, he thinks that falling for you is a bad idea – falling for anyone is a bad idea (see, it’s nothing to take personally.)

He thinks it’s risky: puts him in a vulnerable position. And he’s scared of it ending up badly. He’s scared of being out of control.

The thing is, if you can understand why he’s so concerned and where this worry comes from, then you can get him to reveal the true way that he feels…

Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You

So how do you know if he’s fighting his feelings for you? What are the key signs he is fighting his feelings for you? How is he likely to behave?

Well, as mentioned, different people can behave in different ways, depending on what their character fundamentally is, and what’s driving the behaviour.

You’re therefore unlikely to notice ALL of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, but if a few start to really stand out, it’s easier to then piece together.

So, if he’s fighting his feelings for you, you’ll probably notice…

1) There’s Something Between You Both

It could be that you’re dating / “seeing” each other and he’s acting like it’s something casual, when – really – you both know there’s more there than that.

Or perhaps you’re just friends, yet there’s this unspoken burning chemistry and deeper connection between you. 

How do you know? Well, it’s less about knowing and more about the feeling.

After all, the chances are – these feelings aren’t one-sided if you’re able to recognise there’s something more there too.

He acts differently with you, than he does with other people… and you know it.

It’s like you have this special bond, this different relationship. He’s got a soft spot for you and is often like “putty in your hands.”

He cares what you think and would do anything for you. That’s when you know you’re so much more than just friends.

Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You

2) There’s More Intensity

If he’s fighting his feelings for you, but he – undeniably – feels stronger than he lets on, you may pick up on more of an intensity, especially through the way that he looks at you.

  • Do you find yourselves locking eyes?
  • Does he stare at you intensely?
  • Are you sharing these little “moments” together?
  • Are you getting closer, both physically and emotionally?
  • And yet… it’s an unspoken thing?

This is because he’s unable to put it into words. He doesn’t want to acknowledge it. But you’ll feel it. It’s one of the biggest signs he’s fighting his feelings for you.

3) He Gets Awkward or Uncomfortable

Now if you’re not on the same level, another sign he is fighting his feelings for you is if he gets awkward, uncomfortable or embarrassed in situations where you wouldn’t imagine he needs to be.

So maybe you brush past each other or bump into each other by accident. Maybe you’re left in a room together – just the two of you. Or perhaps a strap of your dress slips down.

It could be anything, even small, but which ignites some sort of feeling within him.

He then acts uncomfortable because he’s uncomfortable with how he feels. He also gets embarrassed about it because he doesn’t want you to click on to how he feels.

4) He Plays It Cool

Now if he’s fighting his feelings to you, it’s likely that he’s not only fighting them externally but also internally too.

He doesn’t want to feel anything for you – not anything more than friends anyway.

As a result, you may find that it feels like he’s putting on an act and is not quite being himself. Maybe he tries to act cool when he’s around you, or play it cool with you. 

But often, it can be like he’s trying too hard and overcompensating. It’s not natural, not relaxed.

5) He Gets Frustrated

If he’s fighting his feelings for you, there’s going to be times when he’s frustrated. I mean, it’s not an ideal situation to be in, right?

He knows he likes you, he knows his feelings are starting to develop and he doesn’t want them to. 

Most of the time, there will be a lot happening “behind closed doors.” You won’t be aware of the internal battle that he’s going through and the impact that it’s having.

But every now and then… he’s likely to snap.

Maybe it’s something you say, something you do. Maybe it comes out in moments of jealousy. Or maybe when you feel the two of you getting closer, physically, he just suddenly pushes back.

But it’s little signs or emotion that you want to look out for. It’s little moments where what’s really happening, is revealed.

6) He Distances Himself From You

One of the biggest signs he is fighting his feelings for you now then, is if he reaches the point where he can’t even be around you. 

He’s doing what he can, but nothing seems to be working, so he removes himself from the “situation” to try to control it. He thinks he needs space and time to “get over you.”

So perhaps he avoids group events that you’ll be in. Maybe he stops seeing you as regularly. Or when you are together – he seems colder and more distant in himself.

He’s pulling away and it can be confusing. This leads me onto my next sign…

He's In Denial About His Feelings

7) He Blows Hot & Cold

Now, when a guys fighting his feelings for you, he’s not always going to be this emotionally-fuelled mess.

Sometimes his feelings won’t weigh so heavy on him, and sometimes he’ll perhaps consider that the two of you maybe could be together.

As a result, there are likely to be times where he shows – or even expresses – his feelings for you.

You’ll just find that if he’s fighting he’s feelings for you, he can often then backtrack on that, or pull away again. It becomes this constant back and forth cycle.

You may feel unsure of where you really stand, unsure of what to expect from one day to the next. It can be pretty draining, or frustrating for you!

8) He Tries To Impress You

Now this guy likes you, he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t feel comfortable with his feelings progressing – but he’s still got a thing for you.

Because of this, in most cases, you’ll find that he can’t help but try to impress you.

So maybe he flexes or preens. Maybe he goes to an extra effort to look good around you. Or perhaps he does wild, dangerous or comical things to try to get you noticing him.

He’ll also tell you things he thinks will impress you – just subtly dropping it in. And ask you questions or find things in common with you so he can better connect and relate to you.

See men actually love the chase (scientists say so too!) – so although he is fighting his feelings for you, his natural instinct is to still try to get you to want him. (Even if he doesn’t think he can have you!)

It’s not a game as such. He’s not playing you… Not intentionally anyway.

Although he may consider the fact that if he did win you over – perhaps liking you wouldn’t be as scary. (This will be especially true if he likes you but is scared of rejection.)

So it creates options and makes him feel more in control.

12) He Hates Seeing You With Other People

Another key sign he is fighting his feelings for you, is if he HATES seeing you with other people.

Has a guy started talking to you in a bar? He goes into protective “big brother” mode.

Are you start dating someone new? He has nothing nice to say about them. He just tries to knock them down, pick faults or is constantly suspicious of them. (And trying to put that doubt in your mind too!)

It’s like he doesn’t think that anyone is good enough for you, but if he’s being totally honest – he’s just getting jealous and wishes that he was the person you are with instead.

The thing is, he won’t want to admit it… Not if he’s fighting his feelings for you.

He also has “no leg to stand on.” After all, you’re not together, so he can’t really say a thing. But it doesn’t mean he likes it…

9) He Still Does Nice Things For You

Likewise, just because he’s fighting his feelings for you, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have feelings. 

He cares about you, he likes you as a person, he wants you to be happy, and so naturally, he’ll still do things to try to make you happy. These may be both big gestures and small.

It could also be that he’s comfortable liking you – but only to a certain degree.

So he’s able to act “relationshippy” with you, he just doesn’t let you FULLY in or take it to the next stage of being “officially dating”, let alone exclusive.

There’s this slight wall there, this thing stopping you from taking it to the next level. If this is the case, you may find…

He's In Denial About His Feelings

10) He Won’t Talk About His Feelings

Another of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, is if he purposely keeps things surface level.

He avoids having conversations that he’s not comfortable with, or speaking about the two of you, how you both feel and where the relationship is going. 

See, if love and relationships scare him, he won’t want to have these heavy talks. As a defence mechanism then, he may make jokes or try to keep things lighthearted.

On the flip side, he could get snappy, or feel overwhelmed by it all…

This isn’t always fair or reasonable and it may make you feel like you can’t broach certain topics or speak up. He’ll make you feel like you’re doing something wrong if you do this… But you’re not.

The thing is, overwhelm will make him switch off even more, so if you notice this starting to happen – try to slow down the relationship or take it slow from the get go, to make it easier for him.

It will also give you both a better chance of this actually leading somewhere.

(If of course, that’s what you want and what you definitely think is right! After all, you want to find someone who wants the same things as you and is in the same place as you. So really think it all through…)

11) He Hooks Up With Other People

So maybe you feel like you’re making progress with this guy. Things are going well and it’s starting to go somewhere now.

However, if he is fighting his feelings for you – even when the going is good – this may make him self-sabotage. He may run to someone else, to try to “get over” you.

If you’re not together and he’s uncomfortable with his feelings, he may also always be dating other people or speaking to other people.

But it’s usually always just meaningless and an attempt to distract himself from you…

You may also notice he flirts with others around you, tests your reaction.

  • But is he unable to get real feelings for other people?
  • Does he keep going from one person to the next and yet you know there is still something between the two of you? 

Although his behaviour says differently, he may actually have feelings deeper than you know – especially if you recognise the other signs he is fighting his feelings for you alongside this.

13) He Won’t Ask You Out

Depending on the situation that the two of you are in and the relationship that you already have, another of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, is if he won’t ask you out on a date.

Maybe you currently have a friendship, or a friends-with-benefit type of relationship. Maybe you do things together. But he’s reluctant to put any sort of label on it or directly do things that are relationship-like.

In fact, he’s likely to remind you of the relationship that you have – to make a point of stating it. You may hear things like:

  • “We’re just friends…”
  • “You’re like a sister to me…”
  • “You’re such a great mate aren’t you…”

This may be said completely unprovoked, without any necessity to state them. Or it may happen when he slips up, you have a “moment” and so he tries to regain control again.

The thing is, he’s in denial. It’s like, “who are you trying to kid?!”

Just because he SAYS something, doesn’t mean it’s true. And likewise, just because he won’t put a label on something, doesn’t mean there’s not more there.

The most important question you need to ask yourself in all of this however, is:

Do I deserve to be treated like this? Am I going to tolerate this? Wouldn’t I be better moving on, to find someone who does value me and is truly ready for a relationship with me?

14) He Tries To Gage How You Feel

What other behaviour are you likely to find if he is fighting his feelings for you? Well, he’ll probably ask you a lot of questions and take a particular interest in:

  1. Your love life.
  2. How you feel about the two of you.

This will especially be the case if he’s starting to give into his feelings. He’s tried to fight them, but they just don’t seem to go away. However – he is still wary…

So before jumping into anything or acting on them, he’ll try to assess where he stands with you.

This is why it’s important to make it easier for him by volunteering this information, even if he doesn’t ask.

Give him that reassurance, share those words of affirmation. And if you’re nervous about this, remember, there are ways to subtly tell a guy you like him.

Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You

15) He “Stalks” You On Social Media

What do you do when you like someone? Well, you can’t stop thinking about them! Especially if it’s in the early stages of infatuation.

You also can’t seem to get enough of them… So you’ll probably spend a little more time than you should, scrolling through their social media posts and ogling at their stories.

If he is fighting his feelings for you then, this will be no different. After all, the feelings are still there – whether he’s shown / told you, or admitted it to himself!

Now there are two different types of people on social media:

  1. The Obvious Ones.
  2. The Silent Stalkers.

So you’ll probably notice he’s one of the first to view your posts and stories. If he’s an open kind of person, you’ll notice he always gives you a “bit of love” – reacting and commenting.

He’ll also seize opportunities to “slide into your DM’s” and create conversation based on what you share.

On the flip side, it could be that no matter what you post (even if it was you with the cutest puppy in the world!), he will always watch but never react… no likes, no comments.

He’s always there, but hiding, and – I guess – thinks it’s safer that way, thinks you won’t click on.

The thing is, he probably won’t realise that you notice little things like these. It’s easy to hide behind a screen, but online behaviour on social media can still speak volumes.

What To Do If He Is Fighting His Feelings For You

So we’ve covered the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, and why he may be doing this. But what about what you should do if you notice that this is probably the case? Well:

1) Establish how you feel.

There’s no point acting on something unless your feelings are returned. So, do you like him? Do you feel the same way? And is there anything holding you back here? If so – what and why?

On a similar note – establishing how you feel is not just important in terms of whether you like him romantically in return. You also want to look at:

  • How do you feel about the way that he’s treating you?
  • Is this right? Is it fair? And is it what you really want or deserve?
  • Is he behaving the way that you would, if you were in his shoes?
  • And what does it say about him, as a person, and where he’s at / what he’s ready for, by behaving this way?
  • Would this be worth pursuing? Genuinely?

They’re all things to think about. Because there is such a thing as the right person “in theory” but the wrong time, and in those cases, it would save you an awful lot of time and heartache to walk away instead of pursuing it. So really think it through…

2) Express how you feel.

If you do have feelings for him and you realise now that, deep down, he feels something for you too – providing that it feels right to act on it, then – be brave, put yourself out there.

You don’t have to come across as intense or like you’re coming on too strong. Just drop it in. Make it easier for him like we mentioned above.

In most cases, it’s exactly what he and you needs, and will take things to the next level…

3) Address him.

If there’s a lot bubbling away beneath the surface, a lot of unspoken things – and you want this to go somewhere with him – speak to him about it. Call him out.

You don’t have to go to him with ALL the facts, like “this means this and this and this…”

But you can be straight, like “Look, I know there’s something there between us…”

At The End Of The Day…

You can’t control how he acts from there, and it’s not your job to heal his emotional wounds so that he is able to fully give himself to you.

You can encourage it. And you can certainly do the best on your side – be all that you can be.

But ultimately, if he’s not ready for something serious and he’s still shying away from his feelings for you after that, then you have to make a decision about how long you’re willing to wait. Otherwise, he could just end up wasting your time.

Just remember – you deserve all the love in the world. And there are plenty of people out there who would happily give it to you, if you let them.

Good luck! And don’t forget – things always have a habit of working out the way that they should.

Take care.


Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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