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He Says He's Into You, But His Actions Say Otherwise? Learn What's Going On!

He says he likes me but makes no effort to show. Find out why he’s acting this way and what you can do to change it. Read the unspoken hurdles of love now!

He says he likes me but makes no effort: Why This Happens, What to Do, and Is He Worth It?

“I like you,” he says. Your heart flutters. But then the days and weeks go by, and those words start to feel empty. There’s a nagging sense of confusion, a mismatch between what he says and what he actually does. If you’re stuck in the frustrating cycle of “he says he likes me but makes no effort,” you’re not alone. This situation is all too common, and the emotional toll of feeling desired yet neglected can be immense.

The bottom line? Actions speak louder than even the sweetest words. This experience can be incredibly hurtful, but understanding the potential reasons behind his behavior is the first step toward regaining clarity and making the best decision for yourself.

Why He Says He Likes You But Doesn’t Actively Put in the Effort

A Woman reflecting alone in a café, pondering over unreciprocated affection-(he says he likes me but makes no effort . Source of image: )
Why He Says He Likes You But Doesn’t Actively Put in the Effort

Now, let’s dissect some of the common, and sometimes complex, reasons why a guy might express liking you but then fail to follow through with actions that demonstrate that interest.

Fear of Commitment or Vulnerability:

For some men, the idea of a committed relationship evokes anxiety, even if they genuinely like you. This fear could stem from past relationship wounds, a desire to protect their independence, or an ingrained fear of getting hurt emotionally. They might express interest and then withdraw when a genuine connection feels too risky.

  • Scenario: He opens up about a past heartbreak and then suddenly seems distant.

Mixed Signals and Life Circumstances:

He might have true feelings for you, but internal confusion, external life stressors, or even simply poor time-management skills could create a mismatch between intentions and actions.

  • Scenario: He’s enthusiastic about plans but keeps having to cancel due to work emergencies or family obligations.


The term ‘situationship‘ describes a vaguely defined, casual dynamic. He enjoys the benefits of spending time with you – attention, companionship, possibly intimacy – but without offering the commitment, consistency, and emotional investment of a traditional relationship.

  • Scenario: He wants to hang out whenever it’s convenient for him, but there’s little effort to include you in his larger life.

As dating coach Evan Marc Katz describes:

“A situationship is defined by one person wanting more emotional/physical intimacy than the other is comfortable providing. As soon as ‘I like you’ turns into ‘I like you…but,’ you’re in a situationship rather than a relationship.”

Also Read: we both like each other but no one is making a move

This manipulative tactic involves dropping just enough ‘breadcrumbs’ of attention or affection to keep you interested but with no intention of building a genuine relationship. It’s about maintaining an ego boost without offering real commitment or vulnerability.

  • Scenario: He sporadically texts you compliments or flirty messages but never makes an effort to see you in person.

Emotional Unavailability:

Past relationship trauma, unresolved personal issues, or buried emotional baggage can make it difficult for some people to be fully present in a relationship. They may like you but lack the emotional capacity to consistently invest in a healthy connection.

  • Scenario: He struggles to express his feelings or have deeper, vulnerable conversations.

He’s Just Not That Into You:

Unfortunately, this is the harsh truth sometimes. A lack of genuine, deep interest might be masked by initial attraction or politeness. While it hurts to accept, it’s important to listen to that nagging intuition that something is off.

He’s Seeing Someone Else:

While not always the case, inconsistent behavior could indicate that he has other romantic interests he is juggling. Being honest with yourself about this possibility is an important step in deciding how much of your energy you want to continue investing.

As relationship expert Tristan Coopersmith states:

“Being non-exclusive doesn’t excuse stringing multiple people along through lack of effort and transparency. If he’s trying to keep you all on the backburner while evaluating his options, that’s emotionally manipulative.”

Deciphering the Signs: Is He Not Interested or Playing Games?

Analyzing his patterns of behavior is key to deciphering whether his inconsistency stems from disinterest, manipulative game-playing, or simply a complex situation outside of his control. Let’s break down some telltale signs.

Minimal Effort vs. Consistent Actions:

Pay attention to the quality of his effort, not just its frequency. Does he lean towards grand gestures every now and then, or does he show genuine interest in the small details of your life, even when it’s not convenient? Thoughtfulness and consistency matter more than the occasional extravagant surprise.

Inconsistent Communication:

Does your communication follow a hot-and-cold pattern? Intense bursts of texting or conversation followed by radio silence can indicate a lack of true investment. This might also be a tactic to keep you interested without offering real substance.

Talks vs. Action:

Is he full of exciting plans for the future, painting a picture of amazing dates and shared experiences, but never follows through with actual bookings or reservations? Take note if his actions fail to back up the grand promises.

Also Read: when do dumpers realize they made a mistake


Does he show a genuine interest in getting to know YOU – your thoughts, feelings, dreams, and everyday life? Or is he primarily focused on himself and keeping conversations light? Reciprocity and a desire to connect deeper are essential signs of healthy interest.

Trust Your Intuition:

Our intuition is extraordinarily perceptive on a subconscious level. If, deep down, something feels off or emotionally draining, don’t ignore it. Our gut feelings often pick up on subtle cues that signal something isn’t quite right.

Future Talk Without Action:

Does he constantly drop hints about potential trips, romantic scenarios, or even living together someday, but with no concrete steps toward those goals? Be cautiously aware if his words create a fantasy while his actions stall in the present.

How to Respond When He Says He Likes You But Doesn’t Act Like It

Dealing with this type of inconsistency can be incredibly frustrating and confusing. It’s essential to prioritize your emotional well-being and respond in a way that protects your self-respect while also giving him space to clarify his intentions.

Communicate Your Needs:

Don’t be afraid to have an open, honest conversation. Express what a healthy relationship means to you and the kind of effort and consistency you expect. He deserves to know how his behavior is making you feel and what you need.

  • Example: “I enjoy spending time with you, but I get confused when you say you like me and then don’t follow through consistently. I value connection and want to be with someone who makes an effort to show they care.”

Set Healthy Boundaries:

Decide what behaviors you will and won’t tolerate. Communicate your boundaries calmly and clearly without blaming, and then upholding them. If he oversteps repeatedly, you have to be willing to take the next step of creating distance or walking away.

Examples of boundaries you may need to set include:

  • Not being available for last minute plans or requiring X days notice.
  • Only scheduling dates X number of days in advance to avoid yo-yoing.
  • Limiting the amount of instigating or emotional labor you’ll put in.
  • Having a policy where unresponsiveness after X days signals disengagement.

Prioritize Self-Respect:

It’s easy to lose sight of your value when you’re focused on someone who isn’t stepping up. Remind yourself that you deserve someone who makes you feel consistently cherished and appreciated. Don’t settle for anything less.

Give Him Space:

Instead of constantly trying to get his attention, give him the space to figure out his feelings and how he wants to move forward. If he’s genuinely interested, this space can motivate him to step up. If not, it’ll confirm that it’s time to move on.

Focus on Yourself:

Don’t let obsessing over his behavior take over your life. Invest in your friendships, hobbies, passions, and goals. This not only improves your well-being but also shifts your energy away from his inconsistent behavior, making you less emotionally dependent on his actions.

When to Walk Away:

Sometimes, the healthiest option is to accept that he’s not able to offer the effort and commitment you deserve. Choosing to walk away doesn’t mean you’re giving up on love; it means you’re making a choice to protect your happiness and make space for someone who truly values you.

Sings it may be time to walk include:

  • Nothing changes after multiple conversations about your dissatisfaction.
  • You constantly feel emotionally unsafe, unheard or disrespected.
  • Most of your time centers on making excuses for their behavior rather than feeling joy.
  • You find yourself compromising core values or who you are at your essence.

Is He Worth Waiting For? Signs It Might Be Time to Move On

A young woman sitting alone in a cozy café, looking thoughtfully out the window with a blurred man in the background-(he says he likes me but makes no effort . Source of image: )
Is He Worth Waiting For? Signs It Might Be Time to Move On

Navigating this situation also involves deciding on whether it’s worth your patience or whether cutting your losses is the healthier choice.

Here are some key indicators that it’s time to move on:

Chronic Plan Cancellations:

Repeatedly cancelling plans, particularly at the last minute, demonstrates a lack of consideration for your time and energy. If this becomes a pattern, it’s a significant red flag.

Also Read: best response to a cancelled date

No Interest in Deeper Connection:

If he seems satisfied with surface-level interactions and avoids talking about hopes and dreams or building genuine intimacy, it’s a strong sign that he’s not willing or able to invest in a deep and fulfilling relationship.

Self-Focused Conversations:

Feeling constantly unheard or unseen is a clear signal that your needs aren’t a priority. If he constantly redirects conversations to himself and shows little interest in your life, it’s time to reevaluate where you’re investing your energy.

Too Busy to Prioritize You:

If someone continuously claims they’re “too busy” to make space for you, it reveals a fundamental truth: you’re simply not a priority. Everyone makes time for what they genuinely value.

Doesn’t Reciprocate Effort:

Does it feel like a one-way street where you initiate, plan, and constantly invest with little in return? Healthy relationships thrive on balance and reciprocity; don’t settle for less.

Absence of Appreciation:

Notice if you frequently feel taken for granted or unappreciated. This lack of gratitude points to a potentially toxic dynamic where your efforts are minimized. You deserve to feel valued and cherished within a relationship.

Signs He’s Done with You:

Sometimes, a guy’s withdrawal might be the most revealing clue. Drastic changes in communication frequency, reduced effort, and a general sense of disinterest could signal that his feelings have changed. While difficult to accept, it’s kinder to respect his unspoken exit than clinging to a connection that exists in name only.

Expert Advice on Love, Effort, and Healthy Relationships

Let’s incorporate some wisdom from relationship experts to help you navigate this situation and understand what balanced, fulfilling love genuinely looks like.

“A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, reciprocated effort, and a sense of partnership. If these elements are consistently missing, the relationship is fundamentally unbalanced.”

By Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship expert.

Self-Worth, Moving Forward, and Finding Fulfilling Love

A contemplative woman sitting in a serene field at sunrise, with a single red rose beside her, symbolizing self-worth and the search for fulfilling love-(he says he likes me but makes no effort . Source of image: )
Self-Worth, Moving Forward, and Finding Fulfilling Love

This experience, while undoubtedly difficult, can serve as a powerful catalyst for personal growth and attracting healthier relationships in the future. Let’s focus on healing and empowerment!

Affirmation of Self-Love:

Your worth is not dependent on any one person’s actions or their ability to see your value. You are inherently worthy of love and genuine effort. Don’t let this situation chip away at that truth.

Emotional Healing:

If this experience has reopened old wounds, brought up patterns of chasing unavailable love, or affected your self-esteem, don’t hesitate to seek support. Consider therapy, journaling, or finding resources that focus on healing from past relationship hurts and building self-compassion.

Healthy Dating in the Future:

Be on the lookout for green flags – indicators of good character, emotional maturity, and genuine interest.

Here are some positive signs to watch out for:

  • Actions Align with Words: They follow through on plans, make an effort to stay connected, and show consistency in their behavior.
  • Prioritizes Your Time: They carve out space for you and are excited to see you. Your time and presence are valued.
  • Reciprocal Interest: They express a desire to get to know you deeply, show curiosity about your life, and make you feel seen and heard.

He says he likes me but makes no effort: Conclusion

Navigating the confusing waters of “he says he likes me but makes no effort” can feel incredibly disheartening. Remember, your feelings are entirely valid, and you deserve a partner who enthusiastically matches the level of effort you’re willing to give.

Two people standing apart on a rustic bridge at sunset, symbolizing emotional distance in a relationship where one partner professes affection without showing effort.-(he says he likes me but makes no effort . Source of image: )
He says he likes me but makes no effort: Conclusion

While some situations might improve with patience and honest communication, don’t let yourself get stuck waiting forever for someone to change. Know your worth, and don’t hesitate to walk away from any dynamic that persistently leaves you feeling disrespected or undervalued.

“You demand unwavering devotion; never accept uneven effort. Relationships should be a source of joy and upliftment, not emotional exhaustion.”

By Dr. Samantha Joel, relationship therapist.

Key Takeaways:

  • Trust your gut: Your intuition often picks up on subtle cues of indifference.
  • Communicate your needs clearly: Let him know what kind of connection you value.
  • Prioritize self-respect: Don’t compromise your worth waiting for potential.
  • Emotional healing is empowering: Address past hurts that might make you vulnerable to this dynamic.
  • Demand more: Expect consistency, enthusiasm, and effort from those you choose to invest your heart in.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some questions related to the topic “he says he likes me but makes no effort”:

Why does he say he likes me but makes no effort?

When someone says they like you but their actions don’t align with their words, it often signifies a lack of genuine interest or commitment. There could be several reasons for this discrepancy, such as fear of intimacy, lack of emotional availability, or simply not being fully invested in the relationship. It’s essential to evaluate their actions rather than relying solely on their words to gauge their true level of interest.

What are the signs of a low-effort guy?

A low-effort guy typically exhibits behaviors like irregular or inconsistent communication, making minimal plans or effort to spend time together, prioritizing other commitments over the relationship, and failing to follow through on promises or commitments. They may also display a lack of emotional investment, attentiveness, or concern for their partner’s needs and feelings.

He says he misses me but makes no effort to see me; what does it mean?

If someone expresses missing you but doesn’t make an effort to see you, it could indicate that their words are not backed by genuine feelings or a desire to maintain a meaningful connection. It may signify a lack of prioritization, commitment, or emotional investment in the relationship.

Why isn’t he pursuing me if he says he likes me?

There could be several reasons why someone might express interest but not actively pursue a relationship. They may lack confidence, have commitment issues, be dealing with personal challenges, or simply not be as interested as their words suggest. It’s important to evaluate their actions and level of effort to determine if their interest is genuine.

How should I respond to a low-effort guy?

When dealing with a low-effort partner, it’s essential to communicate your needs and expectations clearly. Set boundaries and hold them accountable for their actions. Assess if the relationship is fulfilling and worth the investment of your time and energy. If they fail to make positive changes, it may be necessary to reevaluate the relationship’s viability.

He says he likes me but doesn’t show it; how do I interpret this?

Actions speak louder than words. If someone’s behavior doesn’t align with their professed interest, it’s important to trust their actions over their words. This discrepancy could indicate a lack of genuine feelings or commitment on their part. It’s advisable to have an open and honest conversation to understand their perspective and decide if the relationship is worth pursuing further.

Why do guys stop putting in effort once they have you?

There could be various reasons why someone might stop putting in effort after the initial stages of a relationship. It could be due to complacency, taking their partner for granted, or a shift in priorities. Some individuals may also struggle with maintaining the same level of effort and attention over time. Addressing this issue requires open communication and a willingness to work on maintaining a healthy, balanced relationship.

What does it mean if he doesn’t make an effort in the relationship?

A lack of effort in a relationship can be a significant red flag. It often indicates a lack of interest, commitment, or prioritization of the relationship. It can also signify deeper issues, such as communication problems, incompatibility, or a mismatch in expectations and needs. Addressing this issue is crucial for the relationship’s long-term health and survival.

How can I tell if he genuinely likes me or if he’s not that into me?

To determine if someone’s interest is genuine, pay attention to their actions and level of effort. Do they make time for you, initiate plans, and actively engage in the relationship? Or do they exhibit a pattern of inconsistency, lack of follow-through, and minimal investment? Genuine interest is typically accompanied by consistent effort, attentiveness, and a desire to nurture the connection.

What steps can I take if I feel like I’m the only one making an effort in the relationship?

If you feel like you’re the only one putting in effort, it’s essential to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Express your feelings and concerns, and try to understand their perspective. If the issue persists, you may need to set boundaries or reconsider the relationship’s viability. Seeking counseling or therapy can also help address imbalances and communication issues within the relationship.


Hi, I am Asif, a relationship expert and blogger who loves to share practical tips and advice on how to improve your love life. I am an author on, a blog that covers topics such as dating, communication, intimacy, and breakups. I believe that everyone deserves to find happiness and fulfillment in their relationships.

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