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Sex + Relationships

4 Signs He Wants You to Make the First Move

Trying to figure out if a guy wants you to make the first move can be extremely frustrating. You want something more, but you don’t want to get shut down. We’ve talked to Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist & bestselling author, to let you in on the signs a guy wants you to make the first move. Quit playing games with that guy you’ve been talking to and figure out if he wants you to be the one to make a move.

Signs he wants you to make the first move

1. He does nice things for you


If the guy you’ve been talking to goes out of his way to do something nice for you, odds are he wants something more. Guys can be shy too, so he may be testing the waters to see if you’re as into him as he is into you. “If a guy does nice things for you— such as bringing you a snack when he knows you’re up studying for a test, or fixes your flat tire, or cooks you dinner— chances are he’s hoping for something more than friendship,” Dr. Lieberman says. If you find your guy is leaving you sweet notes or delivering coffee to you, he wants you make a move!

2. He can’t keep his hands off you


If a guy is touching you whenever he has the opportunity to, there’s no denying he wants something more. He may be using this touch as a go-ahead to you to make the first move if you’re into him. “If he looks for ways to touch that could seem innocent, such as putting his arm around your shoulders to lead you somewhere, or helping you out of a car, he wants more,” Dr. Lieberman says. He may not want to seem too pushy, so he’s laying the ground for you to come to him. Go for it if you’re interested!

3. He introduces you to his friends (and pays the most attention to you)


If a guy is introducing you to his friends and still being as flirty, he definitely wants you to make a move. If he likes you enough to bring you into his group but won’t do more than that, make the move yourself. Magdi Candelaria, a fifth year student at Carlos Albizu University, says a guy wants you to make the first move when “he introduces his friends to you but he pays more attention to you and how everything’s going with your life.” If he cares enough about you to give you the time of day in front of his bros, you’re in the clear to make a move.

4. He makes a lot of eye contact


You know that look a guy shoots you from across the room—the one that makes you feel weak inside? That’s a sign he wants you to make the first move. Allison Zeppuhar, a junior at James Madison University, says, “When a guy is looking at you from across the room, you can tell he wants you to come up to him. Eye contact is his way of letting you know he’s into you.” Next time you’re getting googly eyes from a cutie, go say hi! He may be too shy to come up to you on his own.

Related: 5 Flirty Texts That Will Guarantee a Response

Why won’t he make the first move himself?


If you recognize these signs, you may be wondering why your guy won’t make the first move on his own. “Most often, they’ve been burned before by a girl who rejected them when they made the first move, so he’s playing it more cautiously this time,” Dr. Lieberman shares. Your guy may be hesitant to get rejected again, so it’s up to you to make a move if you want the relationship to progress into something more.

Should you make the first move or play hard to get?


Once you know your guy is into you, you may not feel comfortable making the first move. If you’re into him and want something more, go for it! “If you like the guy, then you could start making subtle moves, but don’t just do it out of guilt for all that he’s done for you,” Dr. Lieberman says. “You may find it a little off-putting that he doesn’t just ‘take charge’ and make the first move, but some guys are shy, insecure or afraid to offend you.” As we said, your guy may have had a negative experience in the past that’s preventing him from being forward with you. If you want to see where the relationship goes, take charge.

How should you go about making the first move?


If you’ve decided you’re going to go for it, you may be wondering how to go about doing so. If you’ve been casually hanging out and think he wants you to make the first move, you could suggest a more intimate hang out. “You could offer to buy him drinks to thank him for some nice thing that he’s done, or you could offer to cook him dinner, and then hope that this encourages him to take it into the boyfriend-girlfriend zone,” Dr. Lieberman says. By initiating a more “serious” date, you’ll give him the go-ahead to move things along. You could also make him more confident by sending a flirty text. You’d be surprised how much a simple emoji can do!


Once you know the signs a guy wants you to make the first move, you can decide what to do from there. If this is something you’re seriously interested in, put your best foot forward and give it a shot. Good luck, collegiettes!

Rachel graduated from the Honors College at James Madison University in May 2017 and is pursuing a career in the media/PR industry. She majored in Media Arts & Design with a concentration in journalism and minored in Spanish and Creative Writing. She loves spending time with friends and family, traveling, and going to the beach.
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