9 Signs A Man With A Guarded Heart Is Falling For You

Be patient with a man who is protecting his heart. It might very well be worth it!

man opening up to girlfriend, making her feel special svetikd via Canva

We all put up walls after having our hearts broken.

How many “Love Island” contestants have you seen who talk about their "wall" and how someone they met is ‘breaking them down?”

Men, especially, seem to put up walls after they have had their hearts broken. Why? I believe it’s because processing emotions is very difficult for them.

Women process their emotions 24/7 and have done so their whole lives. They have a support system set up for when they do need to process and avail themselves of that system regularly.


Men often do not have this support system, and, therefore, when they get hurt they get hurt. Hence, the walls.

A man who has his walls up is a man who you must be patient with if you want a relationship with him. He is not someone who is going to jump into a relationship headfirst. He isn’t going to love-bomb someone. He is going to tread cautiously, guarding his heart until he starts to feel comfortable sharing it with another.

This can be incredibly  frustrating for women. We like to open up and share our feelings about someone, to make ourselves vulnerable to the pain of a broken heart, hoping the risk is worth the reward. When we encounter a man who doesn't share this sentiment, it can lead us to think that they just don’t really like us.


That isn’t necessarily true.

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While a man might not verbally express his undying love, there are things that a guarded man does that indicate that he is, in fact, interested in you. If you can keep your eyes open for these small things, it might give you the confidence to continue pursuing this relationship in spite of the absence of the kinds of words you are used to and longing to hear.

Nine signs a man is protecting his heart — and falling for you anyway 

1. He starts opening up to you.

Chances are that your man is being protective of his heart if he hasn’t shared much of his life with you.


Sure, you had a great first date and talked about music, politics, culture, and adventures you have had; but I am guessing that he didn’t open up very much about his deepest thoughts or his past relationships or dreams that he has for the future.

That is because a man who is guarded doesn’t feel comfortable sharing himself with someone he doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to make himself vulnerable to being open and being rejected.

So, if your man has started opening up to you, and has started to share details about his life, then that is a man who is definitely starting to feel comfortable with you and, most likely, starting to really like you.

If you are interested in a man who hasn’t opened up to you, but who you are guessing has some pretty interesting stuff inside that might come out someday, be patient. Don’t push. This man might very well be worth the wait.


2. He talks about his hopes and dreams.

One of the things that makes us most vulnerable in the world is expressing our hopes and dreams for the future.

I remember when my college boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and told me that he wanted to be a dancer, I laughed at him. In his face. I told him that he would never be a dancer and let’s go get a beer. He was crushed. I remember it like it was yesterday.

So it is with a man who is guarding his heart. To open up about his future and the things that he wants makes him incredibly vulnerable to having someone laugh in his face and hurt his feelings. And feeling that way again is something that he just doesn’t want to have happen.

RELATED: 10 Phrases Of Affirmation Your Man Desperately Wants To Hear


3. He remembers the little things.

I have a client who has been dating a very guarded man. He is sweet when they are together but very rarely reaches out between dates. This makes her feel anxious and vulnerable and leaves her wondering if he is the guy for her.

And then, on their next date, he meets her at the door with a package of this totally random candy that she said she liked, one that is really hard to find. He made the effort and he found it.

This man, who isn’t necessarily telling my client how he feels about her or staying in contact the way that she might like, notices the little things about her. The things that she likes, the music and art she is interested in, a story she tells about her daughters, the small stuff. The important stuff.

Of course, men who aren’t guarded might remember the little stuff, too, or maybe they don’t because they are too involved in telling you how they feel about you. But, if a man who isn’t overly demonstrative remembers the little things, he definitely is starting to crush on you.


4. He is there for you.

Men who are guarded might have a hard time sharing themselves but one thing that they are really good at is taking care of someone else. And a man who is guarded, but into you, will always be there when you need them!

For my client who is dating a cautious guy, he is always available when she needs him, for matters big and small. She knows that she can count on him to follow through with what he says he is going to do. She knows that even if he doesn’t say that he cares, always being there shows that he does.

So, if you can count on your guy to be there for you, he most definitely might be protecting his heart, but he also definitely wants to take care of yours!

RELATED: How The 'Little Things' Make Or Break A Relationship


5. He makes you feel special.

I don’t know what it is about guys who are protecting their hearts, but they commonly seem to be really nice, sincere guys.

Don’t be fooled by some guy who tells you that he has been hurt before and that he needs ‘to move slowly,’ only to come and go as he pleases. That guy is a pretender. That guy really just isn’t that into you but wants you on his arm when he wants you on his arm.

A guy who is truly guarding his heart, and does like you, is someone who will make you feel special.  Much like always being there for you, your guy might not be willing to share how he feels verbally, but he can do so by making you feel important to him.

By remembering your favorite candy, your favorite movie, the thing that you told him yesterday, or what kind of cake you like on your birthday— making you feel like you are the center of his attention and seeing that he really enjoys it.


A guy who does this, who goes out of his way to make you feel special, is a guy who might be guarded, but also a guy who might be willing to let down some walls to let you in.



6. He trusts you.

Trusting someone is the ultimate compliment, especially for someone who has had their heart trampled on. If you find that your guy is willing to trust you with anything – his dog, his kids, his books, his time – this is a guy who is definitely letting down some walls and just might let you in.

Just know that the minute that he feels that he can’t trust you, for any reason, he will be gone.


So, think about this – if you want to be with this man, be honest and open and truthful every step of the way.

RELATED: 5 Warning Signs That Mr. 'Nice Guy' Will Break Your Heart

7. He initiates plans.

If there is one thing that a guy who is guarded does not do it's waste time on people he doesn’t want to be with.

A guy who is protecting his heart isn’t going to waste his time on someone he isn’t interested in, who he doesn’t trust, who he doesn’t see a potential future with. Doing so will just make him more vulnerable to hurt.

So, if your guy initiates plans with you, maybe even more times than you initiate them with him, then he likes you. Spending time with you makes him feel safe and willing to be vulnerable.


(On the flip side, if a guy tells you that he is protecting his heart and wants to ‘take things slowly,’ if he doesn’t initiate plans – run. Now!)

8. He introduces you to his friends and family.

On reality dating shows, when someone is going to bring someone home to meet their friends and family, it’s a big deal.

Friends and family are the most important people in one’s life and, most likely, the ones who have ridden out the hard times with them. Introducing someone to these loved ones is not something that someone who has their walls up does lightly.

Furthermore, he will be very protective of his friends and family because they are so important to him and he doesn’t want to risk them getting hurt any more than he wants to get hurt himself.


So, if your guy hasn’t yet told you that he loves you, but wants to introduce you to his friends, it is a good sign that things are headed in a very positive direction.

RELATED: 5 Key Signs His Parents Like You (So You Can Relax!)

9. He is protective of you.

It is most men’s natural instinct to be protective of a woman, to make sure that they are safe in this crazy world. A man who has had his heart stomped on knows what real hurt means, and they will go out of their way to make sure that that is something that you never have to deal with.

Being protective shows up in places big and small. Perhaps it’s walking on the outside of the curb, closer to the cars. Perhaps it’s holding your hand as you get in and out of the car. Perhaps it’s taking a different path if he sees some loud teenagers ahead. Perhaps it’s warning you that he sees your boss taking advantage of you.


These protective actions are the sign of someone who really likes another person. Again, someone who is protecting their own heart doesn’t want a person who they care about to suffer in any way, and they consider it their job to prevent that from happening.

Does your guy protect you in ways big and small? If yes, I think he likes you!

So, there you go, nine things that a man who is protecting his heart does — things that show that he cares.

Again, a man who has been hurt doesn’t want someone he cares about to get hurt and, while he might not share his deepest emotions, he will go out of his way to take care of and protect that person from harm.


If your love language is words of affirmation, try to learn a new language if you love someone with a guarded heart. He will show you that he cares, but maybe in a way that is different from what you are used to.

It might take some time for your guy to let his walls down but, when he does, you might very well be glad that you were willing to take the time to let them fall. After all, a good relationship is based on trust, mutual respect, and taking care of each other – exactly the things you'll build on by taking your time and being patient with him.

RELATED: 11 Signs A Man Is In Love With You

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate who works exclusively with women to help them be all they want to be. Mitzi's bylines have appeared in The Good Men Project, MSN, PopSugar, Prevention, Huffington Post, Psych Central, among many others.