Why Would A Guy Reject You If He Likes You?

Dating experience | | , Journalist & Writer
Updated On: February 6, 2024
why would a guy reject you if he likes you

You’d think if two people like each other, they have hit the jackpot. Why would a guy reject you if he likes you, after all? But it is more common than you think. If you’re going through the same, let’s look at your story and help you find some answers.

So you’ve met this guy who seems to be charming, funny, caring, and the best part is, he actually understands you. You want an answer: Is he interested in you? You don’t want to ruin what you both share, but at the same time, you want to stop thinking about the mixed signals all day long. It gets in the way of your work, your sleep, and the possibility of a beautiful future with this person. So you muster the courage and just go for it one day. And bam! He rejects you. And you have no idea why.

Why Would A Guy Reject You If He Likes You?

All my friends who have faced rejection agree that this feeling is even worse than the period of wondering if a guy likes you at all. They thought they’d be at peace when they finally had the answer. But rejection is difficult to accept and naturally, you feel anxious, messy, or depressed. Or maybe you’re just confused. If he liked you so much, why on earth would he reject you? At this point, to give your mind some rest and figure out the next step, you need to understand why a guy would reject you even if he likes you. Here are a few points that explain this:

1. He was caught off guard and got confused

If you’re wondering, “He seemed interested but rejected me”, there are high chances that you approached him out of the blue. Maybe you both got along really well and you’re right, he did like you. But you never spoke about the idea of dating each other in the future or ever dropped hints about your feelings.

So he might have thought that you just wanted to be friends. And then, suddenly, when you ask him out on a date, he is caught off guard and doesn’t know what to say or how to react. He is overwhelmed or just perplexed. So if he seemed interested but rejected you, I suggest you have an honest conversation about it and if necessary, give him some time to figure it out.

Related Reading: 20 Brilliant Tips For Dating A Shy Guy

2. He thinks you love somebody else

Margo, a 23-year-old environmentalist, shares with us, “I had told Glen about this close friend I had a huge crush on. I told him how my heart skips a beat when I see that person, how deeply I am in love with him and miss him, and how important he is to me. But this was a year ago. I was over that guy by the time I developed feelings for Glen and asked him out. Glen said no because he thought I still love that other friend of mine. That was the whole confusion. One day, I realized that sure, he rejected me, but stares at me when I’m not looking? That’s when I went and talked to Glen to understand what’s going on.”

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Naturally, a guy who thinks you’re not over someone would wonder, am I going to be just a rebound? Is she trying to forget him by being in a relationship with me? With all these thoughts clouding his mind, he doesn’t think it’s the best idea to accept your proposal. So when a guy denies he likes you, clarify that you’ve moved on from your past relationship/crush to avoid these misconceptions.

3. He’s interested in you and someone else at the same time

If you’ve ever liked more than one person at the same time, you know this feeling. He likes you but he may be interested in another person as well. He is talking to someone else and he’s not ready to make a decision yet. Making a commitment to you would mean the end of any possible future with the other person he likes. He may want some time to figure out who he’s compatible with or who he really loves deep down.

If you’re wondering, “Why would a guy reject a pretty girl like me?”, the best way forward is to realize that you deserve someone who’s sure about you and loves you for who you are. Don’t try to convince him to let go of the other person and start dating you. It may not be the best start to a healthy and loving relationship and we all know why.

Related Reading: 11 Probable Reasons He Is Dating Someone Else – Even Though He Likes You

4. He’s still not over his last relationship

Do you remember what Charlotte from Sex and the City said about getting over someone you’ve dated? According to her, it takes half the time of a relationship’s duration to move on.

In a 2007 study by W. Lewandowski Jr. and Nicole M. Bizzoco, the majority of participants said that they started to feel better after 3 months from a breakup. So why would a guy reject you if he likes you? This is why. Look at the timing. If he has just got out of a relationship and you went and asked him out, hold on for a moment.

We all know breakups are hard. He’s still stalking his ex on social media, secretly trying to get them back, or even coping with depression or anxiety without letting the world know. Or he’s working on himself, keeping himself busy, and avoiding the whole relationship thing for a while. So, he doesn’t give you a reason and simply rejects you. I’d say, wait for a while and let him move on before you bring up the idea of dating him.

Would A Guy Reject You If He Likes You

5. He wanted to be friends with benefits and that’s it

You’ve watched that movie where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are friends with benefits, right? Set in New York, it portrays the story of two people who become friends and then decide to take it to the next level. By adding sex to the friendship. So now, they’re not just friends anymore and neither are they lovers in a committed relationship. They’re just friends, but with benefits! They think it’s all easy-peasy until complications arise. But finally, they fall in love and it’s a happy ending.

Even it you cringe at this fairy tale, we’re human beings and having sex with a person can evoke emotions in us. Maybe you have a FWB situation too, and maybe after being intimate with this person for a while, you saw that he’s into you. So you asked him out. He rejected you because he was happy with the sex, the fun, and the giggling. But did he expect a relationship out of it? Not really. In a 2020 study, it was found that only 15% of friends-with-benefits relationships transitioned into committed, long-term relationships. So, try to set boundaries and if you really want to maintain a casual relationship with no strings attached, avoid getting too close.

6. He has low self-esteem

If you’re sure that a guy likes you, wants to spend time with you, and looks forward to your good morning texts, it’s natural that his rejection has surprised you. You’re out there wondering, “Why would a guy reject you if he likes you?” Why would he run away from someone who’s so affectionate and warm? Why would he not want to date someone with such a bright career? Why would a guy reject such a pretty girl?

In all probability, it’s not you. It’s him. He’s struggling with self-esteem issues and he thinks he is not good enough for you. According to a study by Dr. Joe Rubino, about 85% of people all over the world have issues with self-esteem. So if you’re confused, try to talk to him so that he can open up about what’s bothering him and he can work on himself.

Related Reading: Why Do Guys Disappear When They Like You And Are Interested

7. You’re being too clingy

Sometimes when we like a person, we tend to get obsessed with them. Constant texting. Impulsive decisions to get their attention. Being needy all the time. Trying too hard to make them like us. If this sounds like you, these habits may not work in your favor. He wants his personal space and you may be constantly invading it. Give him space as that is one of the powerful ways to make a guy miss you.

So he’s scared that if he commits to you, he has to put up with all your sudden whims, be emotional support even on days he’s drained, and in the meantime, his mental health will hit rock bottom. When a guy rejects you but wants to be friends because of your clingy habits, give him some space and allow him to understand that you’re not an invasive friend or partner.

8. He’s playing with your feelings

He’s probably sending you texts that are playful and flirtatious. He doesn’t take it well when you talk about dating other people. He’s treating you like you’re his partner. But he’s giving out a lot of mixed signals too. In such a case, you’d probably get the idea that he is not asking you out because he is worried about what you might say. So you decide to go easy on him and ask him out instead. But when a guy rejects you, and you have no idea what just happened. Sounds familiar?

Claire, a consultant journalist, has gone through something similar and shares a friendly warning with our readers, “When such a guy rejects you but wants to be friends, when he rejects you but stares at you in a flirtatious way even after that, when he drops love bombs but denies he likes you, it’s all a big red flag. He’s playing with your emotions and leaving you anxious and confused. So do yourself a favor and just move on, that’s it.”

9. He’s actually not interested in you

And it’s as simple as it sounds. He may not be into you. Of course there are reasons that made you believe that he likes you, and that’s not your fault. But in reality, perhaps he just wants to stay friends with you. He loves to spend time with you and you’re an important person in his life. So he wishes to prioritise your friendship and doesn’t want to lose you over a short-lived romance.

That’s normal, but it may still be painful to accept. So the best thing to do now is, take your time and be gentle with your heart. Be friends with him if you are okay with it and respect his decision. If you think it hurts, you may consider taking a break.

How To Communicate With A Guy Who Rejected You

Now that you have an answer to the ‘why would a guy reject you if he likes you’ question, I hope you have some clarity in your mind. Now what? Are you thinking, “I should talk to him about this”? In some cases, you may think it’s better to close that chapter of your book, block him on Instagram, and just move on. But, sometimes, you may feel it’s better to sit with a cup of coffee and have a conversation with him about what happened. And if you want to do that, here are a few tips on how to communicate with a guy who rejected you. Read on!

1. Be honest and transparent

There’s no need to call him up and say that you asked him out as part of a prank. Or you were playing Truth and Dare with your friends and wanted some fun. Or you were terribly drunk and have no idea what happened after those shots. Try to be honest and acknowledge your feelings. Ask him if he’s ready to talk, and then discuss what happened with an open mind.

When you get into a loop of judging yourself or feeling guilty and embarrassed after a rejection, it’s difficult to communicate and find a solution. If you’re honest with him, he can also feel safe enough to open up and be honest about his feelings.

Related Reading: 10 Ways To Deal With Heartbreak

2. Don’t be hard on yourself

It’s not easy to face rejection, so handle this situation with maturity and try to communicate with the person who has rejected you. If you’re doing it, firstly, give a pat on your shoulder. Then try to remember how brave you are for choosing to deal with the rejection in this way.

Rejection anxiety isn’t easy to cope with and it often leads to abandonment issues and low self-esteem. Remember that your worth isn’t dependent on this one person and this rejection isn’t the end of the world. So, before you communicate with this guy, remember to assure yourself and communicate with your inner self as well.


3. Respect his decision and keep your calm

When you talk to him, he may confess what went wrong in his mind and may ask for a fresh start. If you are interested in dating him after what happened, go for it.

But there is also a chance that he sticks to his decision after rejecting you, and you need to be prepared for it. You may think it was the worst idea to bring this up again and loathe yourself, but isn’t it better to communicate and reach a clear decision than wondering what went wrong? So keep your calm and respect his decision if he doesn’t want to date you. And remember you’re worthy of being with someone who celebrates you.

Key Pointers

  • When you ask a guy out, he may reject you even if he likes you and that may lead to feelings of pain, low self-esteem, and confusion
  • Even if a guy likes you, he could reject you because he thinks you’re in love with someone else, he has got some self-esteem issues, or he’s still not over his last relationship
  • If you want to talk to him after the rejection, especially when you know he likes you, clear and honest communication will help you express your feelings and the guy will also find it easier to open up to you

If you are still struggling to cope with rejection and don’t know what to do next, remember to take it slow. In such a situation, therapy is really helpful. If you’re looking for help, you may approach our licensed counselors at Bonobology who can help you find the answers you’re seeking, build your self-worth again, and embark on a wonderful healing journey.

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