getting him to like you

Reader N. R. asks:

I met a guy this weekend and I really think I like him. How can I make him like me back?

Dear N.R.:

I’m sure the advice “be yourself and have fun” won’t cut the mustard on this one, but they are good things to keep in mind. Getting someone to like you is actually a psychological game, regardless of how unromantic that sounds. Sometimes it just happens — good lighting, perfect conversation, the right band playing on the stereo. Other times, you actually have to watch your step. I’m going to tell you the tips I’ve learned from my kabillion years of experience in getting someone to like (or dislike) me. These tips work on getting a girl to like you, too; it’s all basic human psychology.

First off, don’t sleep with him right away. I know, sexual revolution, if you want sex you should have sex, blah blah blah. There are rare birds out there that are capable of handling a roll in the hay before you’ve established a personal relationship, but they are very rare birds. I have absolutely no evidence of this except personal experience, but there is something about the chase that tends to sustain a guy’s interest for longer. If you don’t want him relegated to the booty call (i.e. “imminently disposable”) segment right away, hold off. How long? That depends. Unless he’s saving himself for marriage (and in that case, you probably are too, and this advice doesn’t even matter), he may actually lose interest after a certain threshold. (And who knows, you might lose interest, too.) One month is probably a good line to draw in the sand. After two or three months, he may be looking for other outlets. (There are sex camels out there who can go for long periods without. They are amazing and they may just like you without you having to try.)


Everyone loves a puppy! Not everyone loves a person who's acting like a puppy, though. Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next up, make yourself slightly unavailable. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s that whole “chase thing” again. If you’re always right there like a puppy, there’s no reason for him to try, and even less reason to try to like you. Do not, under any circumstances, drop plans you have already made to go out with him at the last minute. Also, you don’t have to invite him to every shindig your friends are holding. Have other plans. He’s wondering if you’re available for dinner tonight? Ah, too bad, you’re already having dinner with friend X, but you’ll take a rain check. Say no once in a while. Keep him on his toes. Again, there are those rare moments where the lighting is perfect and you both just want to spend all your time together and it’s inevitable and whatever, but again, we’re talking about making someone like you, not reveling in the fact that someone already likes you.

In the same vein, don’t over-communicate. Don’t call him all the time; don’t text him all the time; don’t IM him constantly. I’m not saying don’t call at all, but take a step back and see if he comes to you first. If you’re always the one initiating conversation, you’re too available. There should be an even split between the communication. I am a huge advocate of deleting his contact information and forcing yourself not to call or text. Keep yourself busy.

Which leads me to my next point: be interesting. This is more for your own sake, and if you’re not already interesting by the time you’ve met the guy, it’s probably too late. Like I said before, you want to be yourself and have fun. But this means you should already have hobbies and activities that you’re into. Not only will this give you something to focus on other than him when you’re trying to be slightly unavailable, but it’ll give him something to ask you about, too. Get onto meetup.com and get going!

Finally, convince yourself that you don’t care if he likes you or not. Or at least throw that energy out into the universe. Maybe deep down you are roiling with desire for his very presence, but don’t let on about it. Desperation is, as I’ve mentioned before, anathema to getting someone to like you. The very idea that you might not even be interested at all is like throwing chum to the sharks. Keep a cool calm surface regardless of your interior monologue. Later, when you’re married, you can laugh about how calm you appeared when in actuality you wanted to jump his bones the whole time. But for now, play it cool.

And in fact, not caring is the best thing you can do for yourself. If it ends up he doesn’t like you in the end, you won’t have put all this effort and time into a failed project.

Oh, and did I mention “be yourself and have fun”? That’s the best advice I’ve got.


7 Responses to “getting him to like you”

  1. 1 Josh
    June 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Two words: pheromone spray.

  2. 3 Consuelo
    June 9, 2010 at 11:59 am

    This probably works for most guys…but only to a point. Personally, I like relationships where you start off being good friends with the gal and that doesn’t happen if too many bullshit games are being played. If gals are too avoidant I figure a)she’s not that into me or b)she’s into me but playing stupid games. Either way I tend to see what other tail is out there.

    Particularly if I am dating multiple women at the same time, I tend to go for the one that wants to be around me (unless she sucks or is unattractive or something). It’s like getting a job: people will hire the person who is showing up and showing up on time. The busy-body flake will be ignored.

    • June 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      I think you’re right to some degree. After you’ve been seeing each other a while, wanting to spend time with him is a good thing, and I think when two people like each other they naturally move towards spending more time together. But there’s got to be a balance, especially at the very beginning. And there’s a difference between “having your own life” and “flaking out”.

  3. 5 Valerie
    June 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I am a big proponent of deleting contact information. And by deleting I mean write it down somewhere that you can not easily access when drinking. That way if he/she sends you a message, or god forbid CALLS(!), you can figure out who it is and make your decisions from there. But then you can’t be tempted in your alcohol-induced stupor to send them a “where are you, I miss you” text, cause that never turns out as hoped. I also suggest NOT adding them on facebook right away. It’s stalkery, and frankly, facebook has too much information. Like Kat said, be elusive. If they know where you are, what you ate, and how many pics there are of you at every moment of every day, then what incentive does he/she have to contact you?

    Also, Josh, I am a BIG supporter of pheromone perfume. But, you have to have the wherewithal to avoid sexual contact while wearing it, no matter how much they may beg šŸ™‚

  4. 6 Richard
    June 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    If he has noticed you and doesn’t like you back (even a little), look in the mirror and shout “NEXT!” The only dating rule that ever made sense is: Never chase someone who isn’t chasing back.

    If he hasn’t noticed you, why not? Get yourself noticed!

    Evaluate your target. Two questions. Is he “in demand” and do you want to play games.

    1. He’s in demand and you don’t want to play games. Turn his head your way. He’ll chase you some if he’s interested but you have to keep his attention. If he’s interested in you, sex won’t make him lose interest. If he just wants sex, well, enjoy the ride and learn to pick better men.

    2. He’s not in demand and you don’t want to play games. Get his attention. Make sure he knows you are interested. Congratulations, he’s now in demand. Proceed accordingly.

    3. He’s in demand and you want to play games. Isn’t it amazing that things never work according to plan? Better reread that dog eared copy of “The Rules”. Take your time, he won’t miss you.

    4. He’s not in demand and you want to play games. Enjoy! Give him some attention, then withdraw it. Watch him skitter. No sex for a month? Sure! Go for two. He’s got nowhere else to go. Shred his ego until you find someone you don’t want to play games with.

    I think KatCox mostly got the psychological parts right in that things need to be balanced and that everyone should have their own life. It helps keep you from allowing some gamer to play you.

    There are physiological aspects to attraction too. Male plumbing is simple. Most people operate it flawlessly the first time without instruction. A bunch of dopamine is released in the brain at the same time as release down below. Dopamine is highly addictive. Oh – you can’t addict a man to you if he’s whoring around. He’s already addicted to whores.

  5. December 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    loved this post! -barktlysf

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