When a guy says he ‘likes’ you, it can be difficult to know precisely what that means or how to respond if you don’t feel the same way but want to avoid causing embarrassment or hurt.
However, it might also be exciting, especially if you’ve spent ages working out how to ask a guy if he likes you over the phone and have received the clarity you were looking for!
I’ll explain how to gauge your response, depending on whether you reciprocate those feelings, and how to ask what someone is looking for without being too pushy to help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing further.
Scenario One: You Like Him, Too
There isn’t one universal answer here because a lot depends on personality. You might dive right in, tell him you feel the same, and start arranging your first date!
On the other hand, you might need some space to think it through or evaluate whether you’re prepared to potentially sacrifice a valued friendship if you date and things don’t work out. Knowing how to explain feelings to a guy can be complex, so I’d suggest taking a breather before you respond if you need some time.
Potential answers could include the following:
- “Thank you for being so honest. I have feelings for you, too, but I wasn’t sure how to approach it! Let’s get together and talk to see if we’re on the same page.”
- “I appreciate your message and would love to arrange a date sometime. However, I’m looking for a long-term relationship, so if that isn’t something you might be interested in, I’d rather be honest from the start.”
- “I’ve been wondering whether we might have a connection and was happy to receive your message! A date would be great, but let’s take it slowly, as I’m not ready to jump into anything serious right now.”
Stating your interest, intentions, and appreciation of his message or conversation is a good baseline because it eliminates doubts if he’s looking for something casual and you aren’t, or vice versa.
It also protects you from hurt if you have different relationship aspirations. You won’t end up investing time and emotional energy in dating someone who wants alternative things.
Scenario Two: You Don’t Like Him Back
When a guy says he likes you, he’s putting his emotions out there, and risking rejection to communicate his feelings, so it’s wise to tread carefully with your response if you aren’t interested. However, honesty is key because leading someone on to save hurting them will cause greater upset and possibly embarrassment down the road.
Here are some of the responses I might suggest, assuming you’re already friends or colleagues and want to continue to get along well:
- “It’s honest of you to let me know, but unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way and feel you deserve a truthful response. I really hope we can continue being friends and value you in my life, but I’m not interested in anything romantic.”
- “Thanks for your message, and I hate to disappoint you, but I am not looking for a relationship right now, or I am already dating somebody and won’t jeopardize that. I’ll keep this to myself and hope it doesn’t get in the way of our friendship.”
- “I feel like you’re an amazing person and friend, but I don’t think we are romantically compatible. I know there is a great person out there for you who is a perfect match for your personality.”
Finding out a trusted friend likes you can be tricky. Still, if you want to preserve a platonic relationship, try to focus on the positives, take time to be emotionally mature, and respect the courage it takes to make the first move.