22 Signs He Is Fighting His Feelings For You & Holding Himself Back

Guys aren’t easy to read. Learn the signs he is fighting his feelings for you – sometimes guys just need a little nudge in the right direction!

Signs He is Fighting His Feelings For You

Men can be stubborn creatures. This is especially true when it comes to showing their true feelings. In most situations, they will try to keep it cool when they’re in the immediate presence of the girl they’re enamored with, even if they’re struggling deep inside to maintain their composure. However, a boiling kettle will surely leak out steam at some point. When that happens, there will be obvious signs he is fighting his feelings for you. He can’t hide it forever!

When men fight their feelings, they will say one thing but their behavior will tell you the complete opposite. Therefore, determining his true intentions is possible by careful observation of his actions and body language. Don’t expect him to verbally reveal these feelings to you from the get-go, you’ll have to do some digging first!

[Read: 16 signs a guy really likes you but is scared and unsure what to do]

Signs he is fighting his feelings for you when he’s fallen hard already

By knowing how to read the signs he is fighting his feelings for you, you’ll surely know that something is up. Then, and you’ll be able to address it with him later on. You might even want to make it easier on him and just tell him how you feel instead! How many of these signs can you tick off the list?

1. He seems awkward or stiff when you bump into him unexpectedly

Chance meetings will be a nightmare for him. It will be like an ambush happening at a time when he’s unprepared.

A quick assessment of how he looks, who he’s with, what he’s currently doing will make him jittery. He might raise his voice a pitch higher, and his conversational skills turn into a stuttering mess. You’re left to wonder why he’s so anxious, like he’s being questioned by the cops. This is especially the case if on an average day he’s very poised and calm. [Read: Is he shy or just not interested? 15 signs to decode his behavior]

2. Obsessive “preening” behaviors

Like a bird with a potential mating partner in the immediate vicinity, he’s constantly adjusting his appearance. He messed with his clothes, checking if every lock of hair is in its rightful place, and taking one final mirror selfie. He needs to look and act his best if he knows that you’ll be around him in a few minutes. He’s like an actor about to exit the backstage curtain.

3. He’s more relaxed around you if he’s backed up by his friends

A man fighting his feelings for a girl will be a bit uncomfortable without a backup, if the target of his affections is near. Know that he does want to talk to you but is afraid to make the first approach. He’s fearful of screwing up or he wants to avoid making his intentions obvious. His guy friends will provide a comfortable retreat from which he’ll plan the best time to approach you to strike up a conversation. [Read: How to tell if someone likes you without asking them directly]

4. He tends to downplay his connections with other women

He’s afraid to give the impression that he’s pursuing other women. He wants you to think that he’s single and available. He will make sure to emphasize that a girl he was seen with the other day is just a friend, a co-worker, or a relative. [Read: Is he attracted to you? 16 signs that’ll tell the truth instantly]

5. He’s quite the active fan on your social media

For him, watching you over the relative anonymity of social media is a safer option, compared to interacting with you in person. However, it still won’t escape your attention due to the volume of “likes” and comments he’ll throw into your every post or photo.

6. He will have small bouts of jealousy when you hang out with unfamiliar guys

If you’re looking for signs he’s fighting his feelings for you, especially if he tries to act indifferent in person, pay attention to his behavior when he sees you with other guys.

He won’t show or say anything about it but he’ll sure feel the pangs of jealousy if he learns that you’re spending some time with an unfamiliar guy. He’ll be overthinking the kind of relationship you have with said guy and may even discreetly ask around about who he is. Men can be territorial creatures and are alarmed if another male entertains the target of his affections. [Read: 30 wicked ways to make a guy jealous and win his attention]

7. You’ll notice a bout of boldness after a fit of jealousy

Surprisingly, he’ll have this phase of boldness and will show some rare initiative if he learns that there’s another man around. Think of it as the competitiveness of rival males for their chosen mate!

He’ll probably step up on his dressing and grooming game, show up in your social space more often, be extra sweet and thoughtful. Don’t be surprised if he’s also much more present in your life. [Read: How to get a shy guy to feel courageous and ask you out]

8. He will blow hot and cold

Hot and cold behavior is something you would expect women to do more than men. But, it’s one of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you too.

When faced with conflicting feelings, especially involving romantic attraction, men retreat for some time alone. Then, they try to rationalize and process their feelings. Your presence just derails his thoughts and emotions, so he might cut communication and lie low for a while. Expect him to return when he has a clear understanding of his own feelings. [Read: 15 obvious flirting signs between a guy and girl]

9. He’s very observant and takes note of the tiny details about you

Maybe it’s the result of his constant monitoring of your social media or it’s just his unconscious attraction clearing up space in his brain, but one of the signs he’s fighting his feelings for you is his ability to remember the tiniest details. You might not even remember these details yourself!

He will recall things as minor as cravings you had for a specific snack two weeks ago or even the serious stuff that you shared in confidence. Remember, men who are attracted to someone will pay attention to every little thing about their crush. [Read: 15 baby steps to help a shy guy open up and start flirting with you]

10. He is very interested in what you think of him

After showing all of these signs he is fighting his feelings for you, he still needs to know if there is a chance you noticed. A slight mention of his efforts or the mere mention of his name in your conversations is anticipated and appreciated. He’s like a student who constantly seeks the approval of his favorite teacher. This is a dead giveaway of his true feelings towards you.

11. He’s visibly happy if he hears you mentioned him in front of your friends

For him, you bringing up his name or anything he did in front of your common friends will be interpreted as a sign of your interest in him. It may even give him hope that he has a chance with you. Know that he’ll be smiling ear to ear and will have a good night’s sleep if he learns that you mentioned him in any of your social interactions. [Read: 16 signs he wants you bad and is irresistibly attracted to you]

12. He unconsciously mentions you in conversations

In any given topic, at any given time, your name will pop up if he’s the one talking. Without him noticing or realizing, he acts like that annoying proud Dad at work who provides all his co-workers with live updates of what his daughter is up to at the moment.

13. He is extremely protective of you

He shadows you like a bodyguard, constantly checks how you’re doing, and makes himself available in case you need him. At first, you’ll appreciate this sweet gesture but he may overdo it to the point of annoyance. Don’t hold it against him though, it’s just his way of expressing those feelings he’s doing his best to ignore. [Read: 18 signs to know if he’s overprotective and dominating]

14. He can’t say “no” if you’re the one asking

In short, one of the clearest signs he is fighting his feelings for you is if you are his weakness. Even if he’s the most uptight and humorless guy you know, he’ll agree to the silliest thing you’ll ask of him. He wants to be useful but at the same time, it’s his way of showing that he cares and that you can rely on him. [Read: 12 science-backed clues to know if a guy is starting to fall for you]

15. He tends to give out sweet gestures and words without realizing

From sweet nothings, small presents that never fail to delight, to commendable displays of effort at his own expense, he sometimes acts like an honorary boyfriend. He doesn’t even realize it! As mentioned, he will take his feelings to the grave but it will show through his actions and behavior towards you.

Men may seem impaired when it comes to verbally expressing their emotions. But when they start to feel genuine affection towards a woman, their silence is often inconsistent with their actions. Observing this can give you a true glimpse into what is really going on. The likelihood is that he’s just crushing on you very hard!

16. He sticks up for you even when you’re not around

One of the signs he is fighting his feelings for you is that he sticks up for you, even if you’re not there to protect yourself. Basically, he’s acting as your protector and guardian and he doesn’t want to hear anyone bad-mouthing you. [Read: Damsel in distress: Why men and them so irresistible!]

17. You catch him looking at you a lot more often

He might be hiding his feelings, but he can’t help but gaze at you occasionally. You’ll probably catch his eye a lot more than you normally would. The reason? He can’t keep his eyes off you, even if he’s desperately trying not to tell you how he feels.

18. His body language is fidgety around you

Does he often fidget when he’s around you? Perhaps he looks at you and then quickly looks away, like he’s been burnt? This is his body language speaking for him. Unless you’re very aware of body language in general, it’s hard to control it, especially when you’re around someone you like. Look for signs that his body is speaking for him! [Read: 10 clearly noticeable signs of body language attraction]

19. You feel like he’s flirting with you, but he only does enough to hint at it

He won’t be able to help himself. He’ll flirt because that’s a natural reaction to being around someone you like. It’s one of the big signs he is fighting his feelings for you if you feel very strongly that he’s flirting, but just not quite too. He might look at you and then look away like he’s been burned. Or, he might reach out to move a lock of hair from your face and then catch himself and panic.

20. He tries to make you jealous

He gets jealous when a new guy appears on your radar. So, it makes sense that he’s going to try and make you jealous, to see how you react. It’s like he’s testing the waters, trying to figure out how you’ll react. On the one hand, he wants you to know he’s single, but he also can’t help wondering if you’ll become just as jealous as he does. Men are confusing, right? [Read: Why am I so jealous? How to recognize the hidden reasons & fix it]

21. He’s a lot bolder when he’s drunk

If you get an unexpected call in the evening, don’t be surprised if he’s calling “just because”. When someone has been drinking, they’re a lot braver and that could lead him to reach out to you. He might say the most cryptic things, but the next day he’ll deny it or just laugh it off. It’s a major pointer towards the signs he is fighting his feelings for you!

22. He just always seems to be around

Doe she seem to be popping up a lot more than normal? There’s a reason for that. He can’t stay away from you. If he’s not usually at a particular gathering but he starts to make it a regular occurrence, you can put that one down to him crushing on someone, and probably you!

[Read: Does he have a crush on me? 20 signs to know the truth instantly]

If you see a few of these signs he is fighting his feelings for you, the key is to give him time to process his feelings until such a time that he’s ready to make his move.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Paul_Mangay
Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
Follow Paul on