If a guy recently was patting your back, this post will show you likely reasons why and what would make each of them more likely.

So, what does it mean when a guy pats your back? Possible causes of a guy patting your back are that he is attracted to you, he is trying to cheer you up, or possibly that he considers you a friend.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why a guy will pat your back but there are also some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason.

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What does it mean when a guy pats your back?

Below are likely reasons why a guy will pat your back and what would make each of them more likely.

He finds you attractive

If a guy pats your back and he doesn’t do it to any other women then it would be likely that he finds you attractive.

If he did it because he finds you to be attractive, it would be likely that he would show multiple other signs of attraction to you in his body language.

These signs can include:

  • Having dilated pupils when talking to you
  • Standing close to you when talking to you
  • Talking to you more than others in the group
  • Positioning himself to be near you
  • A lack of negative signals such as squinting, crossing the arms or tightening the lips
  • Pointing his feet towards you even when not directly in front of you
  • Getting anxious when you’re with other men
  • Glancing at you often and quickly looking away when you notice
  • Speaking with a deeper voice than normal when he is around you
  • Adjusting his hair or clothing as soon as he notices you
  • Asking friends about you
  • Making plans based on yours

He wants to be more than just friends

If he has been your friend for a while and he hasn’t patted your back before then it could be the case that he wants to be more than just friends.

If that is why he patted your back then he would probably have been showing multiple other signs of attraction when he’s around you that you haven’t picked up on.

If he did rub your back because he wants to be more than just friends, it would be likely that he would also get anxious when you’re around other men, show signs of nervousness around you and that he would typically make plans at times that he knows you’ll be free.

He’s trying to cheer you up

Sometimes a person will pat another person’s back to make that person feel better.

If he patted your back when you were showing signs of being upset and you were talking about something that might have made you sad or worried, he might have done it to reassure you.

If he was, it would be likely that he would only have done it when you were sad and he would be less likely to show a number of the signs of attraction mentioned above when around you.

He wants to see how you’ll react

He might have patted your back because he finds you attractive but he isn’t sure if you find him attractive so he wanted to see how you’ll react.

If that is why he did it, it would be likely that he would show the signs of attraction already mentioned.

He might also have patted your back with somewhat of an observant appearance and he might have looked anxious when he did it because he was unsure about how you would react.

He wants to be more intimate

The reason that he patted your back could be because he wants to get more intimate with you.

If that is the case then it would be more likely that you have been dating for a while.

Consider your relationship with him

When trying to figure out why a guy might pat your back it would be helpful to consider what your relationship with him is like.

If he has been your friend for a while and he gets anxious when you’re with other men, gets nervous around you and shows multiple other signs of attraction, it’s likely that he wants to be more than just friends.

If he was a person that you had not met before, it could have been the case that he had a more dominant personality or even that he was trying to pick you up. If he was then it would be likely that he would have shown it in other ways in his body language.

If you have been dating him then it could be that he wants to push the relationship to a more intimate stage.

Consider when and where he did it

The timing and location of when he patted your back would also likely be a helpful thing to think about.

If he patted your back when you were both alone together, it would make it more likely that he wanted to be intimate with you. That is unless you were sad at the time and you were showing it in your body language.

If he did it when you were both in a public environment, it could be that he was showing you that he wants more than just a friendship. However, it could also be the case that he has a dominant personality in which case he would show signs of domination in his body language.

Observe his normal behavior

When trying to figure out why he patted your back it would be helpful to think about what his normal behavior looks like around other women.

If you notice that he doesn’t pat other women’s backs and his body language changes around you, it would make more likely that he patted your back for one of the reasons mentioned above.

However, if you notice that he does it to other women and his body language doesn’t change around you, it would be more likely that he is either more dominant or flirtatious naturally. You would need to consider the type of body language that he normally shows to figure out which.

Observe body language in groups

When you are considering what his body language might mean it is important to think about it in terms of groups of body language and not draw conclusions from single pieces of body language.

There a usually many reasons that someone might show you a single body language signal. Whereas, having multiple body language signals all pointing to the same thing is often a much more reliable indicator.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.