Why do guys act rude when they like you? A very paradoxical question but a significant one. It happens. You get the feeling in your heart that this guy likes you but then he is rude to you. He will be nice to others around you but he will give you the cold shoulder.

Why? It’s not like he thinks of himself as an alpha male or that he thinks he is superior to others. Perhaps he is feeling a dozen emotions and just doesn’t know how to emote them. Or he is insecure. There could be many reasons as to why a guy is suddenly rude to you. We will talk about it all in this article.

Do Guys Act Rude When They Like You? 

There is a wide belief that men and women differ in their emotional responses. There has always been a stereotype that women feel more emotions than men. However, this is complete hogwash. 

New research shows that men are just as emotional as women. The only difference here, according to another study, is that women are more expressive than men. That’s why guys act weird when they fall in love. They don’t know how to express their love. 

Why Do Guys Act Weird When They Like You?

You met this guy a while ago and you hit it off instantly. You’ve met in a public setting and the infatuation vibes were mutual. You want to spend time with him but he is acting weird.

Now, why would a guy who was usually nice suddenly become rude to you with absolutely no reason to do so? Well.. he has his reasons and we shall discuss them below: 

1. He is shy/reserved/introverted 

When guys start to like you, they become very nervous around you, especially shy and reserved guys who don’t know how to overcome their lack of self-confidence.

Yes, research has confirmed that shy people have lower self-esteem and self-presentation, and display higher self-deprecation.

Here are some obvious signs a shy guy is falling in love with you but is acting weird because he is too scared to admit his feelings:

  • He will stare at you all the time 
  • He will blush when you talk to him
  • He might change the way he looks for you
  • He will always smile at you

Furthermore, he will show his interest in you in unusual ways. Sometimes he will be rude to you and sometimes he will completely ignore you. Your presence will leave him speechless.

But because he does not have it in him to tell you how he feels, he is rude with you.

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2. He is confused about his feelings

“Do I like her enough to be in a committed relationship? Am I just using her as a way to get over my former girlfriend?” This is what he is thinking at the moment.

He is at sixes and sevens which is making you wonder why he is giving you mixed signals. Don’t worry. He is not playing mind games or anything. He just doesn’t know what to do with his feelings and has decided to ignore you till he is sure.

“If a guy is confused about his feelings for you, it means you’re not the only option he has most of the time. Perhaps he’s talking to other women you may or may not know about. (This isn’t all men but the general amount)”, writes a Quora user on men who act rude when they are confused. 

3. He doesn’t want to look desperate 

He rolls his eyes when you are alone but he isn’t rude to you in front of everyone else. That’s because he likes you but doesn’t want to shed his alpha male image.

He is afraid of appearing desperate and eager. But how to know exactly whether he is interested in you but is hiding his desperation? Here are some signs:

  • He compliments you in a very monotonous way. For example, “You look good” or a plain old “Nice”. He won’t use flattering words to compliment you 
  • He rushes to be by your side when something goes wrong in your life 
  • He will pass sarcastic comments to make you laugh 

A man who likes you and has strong feelings for you may not want to look desperate. Therefore, he will give you clues through his behavior. You just have to be sharp and catch those signs. 

4. He wants you to chase him 

Gone are the days when men used to chase women. Women were the prize back then but now times have changed.

Men want to be chased because it boosts their ego. Plus, he will see how intense you are with your chasing. Is it just one text a week? He will swipe left on you.

Such guys want women who will throw themselves at them. Otherwise, he will go radio silence to show his disappointment in you. This is one of the biggest reasons guys ignore the girl they like because they want to play hard to get. It makes them feel validated. 

If you’ve been picking up on his clues and chasing him, here are some reasons you shouldn’t:

  • It will affect your self-esteem 
  • It will put you on an emotional rollercoaster 
  • It’s high time you stop stroking his ego
  • You are missing out on other men who will never treat you so poorly 

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5. He is going through tough times 

Each one of us goes through difficult times in our lives. He could also be going through the same. Perhaps a family emergency, work crisis, or mental health issues, or he could also be battling addiction. That’s why he wants some mental peace.

Even though he likes you, he thinks involving a girl in his life at this time won’t be favorable for him. He does not want a relationship, though you are all he wanted in a woman. He wants to deal with his problems first and then hopefully he will ask you out on a date. Till then, he will use rudeness as his coping mechanism to hide his feelings for you. 

why is he mean to me but nice to everyone else

6. He thinks it’s not masculine to make the first move  

Toxic masculinity isn’t just thinking nail paints are for women. It’s men thinking that making the first move will reduce their machoism. According to studies, toxic masculinity is when men act tough and refuse to show their vulnerable side. That’s precisely what he is doing. 

Jenna, a 24-year-old journalism student, writes, “Why is he mean to me but nice to everyone else? He wasn’t like this when we first met. I thought he was falling in love with me but he is acting rudely all of a sudden.” 

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7. He is afraid of commitment 

This is one of the main reasons guys act rude after showing interest in you. He is afraid of commitment and doesn’t want to lead you on anymore. He doesn’t want you to feel betrayed later. This shows that he cares for your mental well-being. 

If you don’t know what a commitment-phobic man looks like, here are some signs: 

  • He has never been in a long-term relationship 
  • He talks about being free all the time 
  • He jokes that being single is better than being in a relationship 
  • He has cheated on his ex-girlfriend 
  • He likes the idea of polygamy 
  • He runs hot and cold with the woman he likes 

Such behavior indicates his hesitation in committing to a person. It could be coming from his own insecurities or he must have closely observed a failed relationship like his parents’ marriage which has scarred him for life. 

8. He assumes you don’t like him 

When a guy roasts you and teases you, it’s because he is trying to make you feel comfortable with him. Do you know why he is choosing the roasting way?

A study has confirmed that couples who poke fun at each other and use humor every day are more likely to enjoy a happy and long-lasting relationship. If he has done all this but then goes back to acting like a stranger, it could mean that he is questioning your feelings for him.

Perhaps he heard from his friends that you don’t like him or that you have a crush on someone else. This has caused him to withdraw his affection for you.

If you don’t have anyone else in your life, then talk to him about it and let him know that you would like to officially date him. 

9. He already has a girlfriend 

Why is he mean to me but nice to everyone else? It’s because he has a girlfriend and he is worried that he will fall in love with you. He doesn’t want to hurt his girlfriend and he doesn’t want to hurt you by leading you on.

Here’s how you can tell if your guy is already seeing someone else:

  • He will be vague about where he spends his time or with whom he spends time with
  • He never spends holidays with you 
  • He is inconsistent 
  • He always insists on meeting at your place 
  • Your conversations are always at the surface level. There is no depth in them 

Call it self-protection or unrequited love, he is just playing safe here by not acting on his feelings for you. So, his defense mechanism is to be rude to you. You can blame his actions but not his intentions in such situations. The timing is off. But don’t sulk. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. The universe will manifest it no matter what. 

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10. He is still battling past traumas 

Maybe he got cheated on by his ex and hasn’t recovered from that betrayal yet. Research states that a person who has been cheated on could experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, and decreased self-esteem, and they may also run low on self-confidence. That’s why he is still finding it difficult to trust new people.

Perhaps he is still figuring things out outside of his breakup but he has fallen for you. Sadly, he is afraid of being hurt again.

Talk to his friends and find out if he is over his ex. Spend time with him and assure him you won’t hurt him intentionally. You don’t have to ask him out on a date. Just hang out as friends and get to know one another. 

he acts interested one minute and distant the next
Image by stockking on Freepik

11. His intentions are crooked 

When he acts interested one minute and distant the next, it shows how crooked his intentions are. Such behavior is called push and pull tactics.

He is giving you mixed signals to keep you on your toes. Basically, he is breadcrumbing you and playing games with you till he finds someone better. 

He will be nice when he needs something from you. When you are done serving him and his purpose, he will ignore you like you don’t exist. He will discard you like a tissue paper. Maybe he just wanted to have sex with you because he thinks you are hot.

This shows he has no real feelings for you. He just wanted to brag about this to his friends that he hooked up with someone like you. If this is the case, then it’s clear that he doesn’t care about your feelings or personality.

People express feelings in unconventional ways. He has chosen rudeness to portray his growing feelings for you. Scroll down and read how you can respond to his rudeness.

How To Deal When A Guy Acts Rude If He Likes You 

Before you do anything to hurt or offend him, take a moment to think why he is being rude to you. Is this coming from a place of love or pure hatred? If it’s the latter, stay calm and don’t bother giving him attention. He just wants to see how you will react to his mean behavior. If it’s coming from a place of love, then try doing the following things:

1. Communicate and set boundaries 

Shed light on his behavior and let him know that his actions are unwarranted. Figure things out together by using honest communication. Here are some tips to have an effective conversation with your potential partner while setting boundaries:

  • Use “I” statements to express your feelings
  • Tell him you prefer respectful communication and establish boundaries
  • Convey that his rudeness is off limits and you won’t entertain such behavior in the future

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2. Consider his perspective 

Try to understand his perspective. Sometimes he might act rude out of personal insecurities, a lack of confidence, or a lack of social skills. Try to unravel the hidden meaning behind this behavior by reading between the lines as it will offer insights into his underlying issues.

Nevertheless, always remember that nothing can justify a rude nature. It is hurtful and can take a toll on a person’s mental health and self-esteem.

3. Evaluate your feelings 

Reflect on your own feelings toward him. Do you like him? Or do his actions consistently make you uncomfortable? If he is mature enough to let go of his silly conduct, then you can think about making the first move.

Otherwise, be wise in your decision-making and consider whether pursuing a relationship is the right choice for you. You need to prioritize your own happiness and well-being.  

Infographic On : Why Do Men Act Rude When They Like A Woman

why do guys act rude when they like a woman

Key Takeaways 

  • Men and women go through the same emotions but men find it difficult to express their feelings 
  • That’s why they end up acting rude in front of the ones they like
  • Some of the reasons why guys act rude when they like you include a shy nature, being confused, and being a commitment phobe  
  • If you don’t like his rude behavior, communicate and set boundaries before it’s too late 

Navigating a situation where a guy acts rude when he likes you requires a thoughtful and balanced approach. Once you recognize the signs, you need to maintain a healthy dynamic where you won’t tolerate his disrespect. 

Don’t let him act rudely and get away with you. You can understand his perspective but give him the benefit of the doubt that you are okay with his actions. 


1. How do guys act when they like you?

Guys express interest in various ways. Some give you attention all the time, others try to win you over by showering you with compliments. Those who are shy will be rude to you because they don’t know what to do with the affection they have for you. Other guys will use sarcasm and humor to be close to you.