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What Does It Mean When He Says He Cares About You?

Sophie Simons
December 16, 2023

After spending some time with a guy, eventually, feelings will develop, whether romantic or a deep friendship. He will, at some point, let you know that he cares about you, but it can be confusing to know how to respond if you’re unsure how he means the sentiment or how you might feel in return.

You want to ensure you don’t hurt this person or ruin the possibility of a good relationship if you believe you might have romantic feelings also. Open, clear communication in this situation to let the other person know precisely the direction you want things to progress is vital, letting him know exactly where you stand in no uncertain terms to avoid confusing the situation.

That means telling the guy whether you see the two of you dating or if you have no interest in him in that way if you really like him and want to pursue those feelings further to see if there might be a romantic spark, or if you can only view him as a friend. 

When you’re caught by surprise by a man telling you he cares about you, it’s wise to take a step back before making any kind of response to ensure you make the right one.

What Is The Meaning When A Guy Says He Cares About You?

Men typically avoid communicating their emotions and feelings since often they do so with many questions unanswered. For instance, if a guy lets you know he cares about you, but neither of you has discussed progressing what has thus far been a casual acquaintance, it can leave you confused and unsure how to respond.

That’s especially true if there are no hints as to what he means by the sentiment. Is he declaring romantic feelings and a desire to progress into a dating relationship, or does he merely want you to know that he’s beginning to sincerely care about you as a close friend? In either event, when a man vulnerably opens himself up, respecting that honesty and responding delicately is crucial.

That can mean if you believe he’s speaking in romantic terms and you’re not on the same page, you must gently but clearly let him know you cherish what has developed into a close friendship, but friendship is as far as you want the relationship to go. 

However, if you have romantic inclinations, but you’re unsure if that’s what he’s inferring, it’s important to clarify his intentions. Here are a few ways to respond if you believe he wants to progress into a romantic partnership and you’re on board.

1. Profess that you would like to pursue a dating relationship as well

When a guy indicates that he cares for you and the implication is that he wants to pursue a romantic partnership, you can simply respond by letting him know that you are interested in moving forward with dating. Men like partners with a straightforward approach instead of making the situation confusing and complex.

When you let him know you also care for him, he realizes that you respect and value his place in your life and that developing a deep connection is also important for you.

2. Make your response light-hearted, even humorous

Men have difficulty expressing their feelings and emotions. Doing so leaves them incredibly vulnerable to being hurt. In order to put the guy at ease, adding a bit of humor to your response will ease the pressure. If you already feel as though the partnership is gradually moving toward a deeper level and he expresses caring for you, let him know it’s about time he fess up.

This lets him feel safe and allows him to continue sharing what he’s thinking and what he hopes will be the next step. It encourages greater communication from this point, one of the most important parts of a healthy, thriving partnership. 

If you don’t have the sort of relationship where humor and fun are understood, you won’t want to make light of his feelings. He won’t understand why you’re “making fun” of something he considers to be serious.

How Should You Respond If You’re Not Interested In More Than Friendship

Some people prefer to keep close friendships separate from romantic involvement to avoid the possibility of losing that person from their life if dating doesn’t work out. The endurance of friendship is critical; it’s too valuable to take undue risks. 

How will you respond if you don’t want to change the dynamics of the relationship? Here are a few ways to handle the situation when you are not interested in the same way.

1. An immediate, clear response is vital

You should avoid being harsh or rude, but it’s essential to be clear with no chance for any confusion when letting the person know that you, in no uncertain terms, have romantic feelings, nor do you wish to pursue anything further than a close friendship. You can thank him for his honesty and courage in sharing vulnerable feelings, but express that you don’t feel the same when he continues to come back.

This is relatively bold, requiring considerable courage to be able to refute someone’s feelings straight away without balking but it’s essential to avoid leading him to believe there’s the slightest chance. When you’re upfront from the start, the man can move on to find the right person and maintain your close friendship.

2. Separating could be best

If this person doesn’t really know you very well, maybe you’re still only acquaintances, but he declares caring for you, it may be wise to let him know that you don’t want to continue seeing them in any context. By letting them know how you feel, there’s no confusion that you would prefer not to continue even in a friendship. 

The best thing as far as you’re concerned is that you no longer see or speak with each other as friends or otherwise. It would be a good idea for the guy to find other friends to socialize with. Express that this shouldn’t be difficult since you’ve only known each other for a brief time.

 It’s crucial to set that boundary and let him know you don’t want to invest time in getting to know more about him. While he appears to have a more vested interest, you haven’t invited him into your life and prefer not to.


When a guy lets you know he cares about you, responding in a straightforward, clear, and concise manner is critical, especially if you have no interest in moving into a more romantic partnership . . . or maybe you’re on the same page. In either event, open communication is key to the most suitable outcome.

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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