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When a Guy Pats Your Head: Here's What It Means

It's a friendly gesture that means he's feeling affectionate toward you. He may be trying to show you that he cares without resorting to physical contact. To fully understand why a guy is patting your head, it's best to observe the context in which this happens.Feature Image of When a Guy Pats Your Head

You're on a date with a great guy, and things seem to be going well. You both have tons to talk about, you can't stop laughing, and at the end of the night, as you start to walk away, he reaches out and affectionately touches the top of your head.

You can't help but wonder: what does that mean?

Hey there. You've got yourself a bit of a mystery on your hands, and I'm here to help you solve it! Getting patted on the head by a guy you like can be super confusing.

You're probably thinking, "What does it mean when a guy pats your head? 

Am I five years old?" 

"When a guy pats your head, what does it mean?"

 We've got you covered. 

Here are 10 things a pat from a guy conveys

When a guy pats your head, what does it mean? There are so many different things going through his mind that it's almost impossible to know everything he's thinking.

But no worries, because I'm here to set the record straight and help you figure out exactly what's going on in that guy's head when he reaches out and gives your head a little pat or rub.

#1 He thinks you're adorable

There's nothing more heartwarming than that little pat on the head. Besides, if someone is patting your head, it means they think you're adorable!

The feeling of being patted on the head can't be replicated—it's just pure kindness, even if it comes from a stranger. It's the kind of gesture you can't help but smile at.

Plus, if it's coming from your special person? Well. That's when things get cute. 

What could be better than someone you love saying, "I think you're adorable"? 


So let's be honest: a little pat on the head is one of the best feelings in the world. It's an intimate gesture that can make a girl feel cared for and appreciated. When guys pat our heads, they signal their willingness to care for us.

#2 He is attracted to you

If a guy pats your head, it means he is attracted to you, and he wants to let you know he's attracted to you. When a guy pats your head, he's saying, "I've fallen in love with you." 

If you're not sure how this guy feels about you, consider what else has happened in your relationship with him. If he's been sending you tons of signals that he's interested in, then there's a good chance this pat on the head was just another one in the long line of loving gestures he's been making. But if this is the only thing between you, it could also mean that he likes you enough to be playful with you. 

If you are interested in the man displaying this type of behavior, this may be a sign that you are compatible. If you are not interested in the man displaying this behavior, it may be a good idea to let him know that you don't like to be touched.

#3 He wants to be friends

If a guy pats your head, it's a sure sign that he wants to be friends with you! It makes the other person feel like they're family and that you're already close enough to do something as intimate and friendly as pat their head.

This is a common move when one person is trying to initiate a friendship with another—the patting. He's just trying to see if you're open to friendship! If you like him, too, this is your chance to make it happen.

So next time you're out kicking it with your squad, this cute dude comes up and gives you a little head-pat? He's saying, "Hey, I like you." What are you waiting for? Tell him yes!

#4 He's being playful

When a guy pats your head, he feels like a playful papa bear. They're playful and want to share that with you. They want you to feel happy.

Isn't it nice to know that he just wants to share his happiness with you?

It's nice to be reminded that a guy might be doing this because he just wants to share his happiness with you—right? So next time a guy pats your head, remember: there's no need to be alarmed—he's just being cute and friendly!

#5 He's trying to make you feel better

The answer is simple: if a guy pats your head, it's a sure sign that he's trying to make you feel better.

It's kind of like the way your mom would pat you on the head when you were little, and she wanted to make you feel happy or comforted.

When you think about your mom, it probably brings up some pretty positive feelings and makes you nostalgic for childhood.

Well, that's what your guy is going for when he reaches out to pat you on the head—he wants to make you feel better and cheer you up.

So next time a guy tries to pat your head, don't get mad at him! Instead, take it as a sign that he cares about how you're feeling. 

It's a subtle way to tell you that he cares about you and wants to make it all better.

This could be because he knows you're going through a tough time (and wants to let you know that he's there for you) or because of something else entirely (like wanting to tell you it was just an accident, or because your hair looked like it needed brushing).

#6 He's being affectionate

When a guy pats your head, it most likely means he's being affectionate. When someone reaches out and pats you on the head, they usually feel comfortable with you and want to show their affection sweet, non-sexual.

He likes touching you, so he probably pats your head because he wants to remind himself that you're someone he has a tangible connection with. 

If this happens in a relationship, the patting might take on a more purposeful tone.

For example, if you're having trouble making up your mind about something and your boyfriend is trying to help with the decision-making process. Instead of words of encouragement, he might give your head a little pat as a sign that everything will be fine.

#7 He thinks you need comforting

When someone pats your head, it means that they think you need comfort or reassurance. 

When a guy pats your head, he wants you to know that you're safe with him. He wants you to know that the world is good and that things will be OK. He wants you to know that he's there for you.

In other words, he wants to protect you.

You might not always notice it when someone pats your head, but it's often a sign they're feeling protective of you. A guy acting like a big brother or like a father figure will often pat your head or rub your back to let you know that he'll take care of everything and that everything will be OK. It's kind of like a nonverbal r "I got this."

It's an intimate gesture, and most people don't do it without meaning. So if someone is patting your head, he's almost certainly trying to let you know that he cares about you and wants to take care of you—whether he knows it or not himself!

#8 You remind him of his dear one

Patting someone's head is a gesture that is steeped in the desire to comfort, protect, and nurture.

The person who pats your head feels affection toward you. You remind him of someone he loves, and he wants to let you know that his affection for you is as deep and abiding as it is for this other person.

The gesture is usually reserved for those who are very dear to the one offering it. It's a gentle reminder of the affection there, and it's an expression of tenderness toward you.

When a guy pats your head, you remind him of someone he loves. The gesture is one of affection and tenderness toward you. It's a gesture usually reserved for those who are very dear to the person who uses it.

The act of patting someone's head is rooted in the desire to comfort and protect as if you were a child in need of reassurance.

#9 He's trying to get your attention

Every time you walk by, he pats your head. What's up with that?

He wants your attention. This is the most common reason guys will touch other guys' heads. If he pats you on the head when you walk by, he's likely trying to get your attention because he likes you.

If someone is patting you on the head, they're probably doing so because they want to talk with you or get a response.

They might just want to tell you something and don't feel like waiting for you to notice them on your own. Or they might have something more serious in mind: they might want to ask you out or bring up a problem between the two of you that needs addressing.

They feel they can't wait for you to notice them and come over; they need to do something that will guarantee that you see them and respond to them right away.

#10 He's maybe showing dominance

When a guy pats your head, he has a dominant personality and wants you to know it. He's letting you know that the dynamic in your relationship is in his favor and that he wants to maintain this power dynamic.

He may not even be aware of what he's doing, but the chances are that if he's doing something like patting your head, you're probably not on equal footing with him. It doesn't necessarily mean that he won't respect you or treat you well (though it could), but it does mean that he probably has a certain level of contempt for you.

If a guy pats your head, it might not be the right time to say anything, but if it continues to happen or gets worse, or if he starts treating you differently in other ways because of his attitude toward you, then you might want to sit down and have a talk with him about it.

However, not all patting is created equal. Here are some things to look out for

To fully understand why a guy is patting your head, it's best to observe the context in which this happens and take note of his body language and facial expression.

#1 Does he do it affectionately? 

If so, it's just a sign of endearment. When you pat your dog's head, it means you love them. Similarly, a guy pats your head in that way; he's showing affection.

#2 Does he do it condescendingly? 

If so, he might be degrading you in some way. Maybe you're having an argument, and he's trying to put you in your place, or he's just ragging on you for fun—either way, it's not nice.

#3 Does he do it playfully?

If so, he could be doing it to mess with you in a good-natured way. It could be a challenge or even just a joke; either way, if it's playful but not condescending from his end, then there shouldn't be any reason to worry about what it means.

Ways you can react when a guy pats your head

You can react to the pat in two ways.

#1 If you like being patted on the head, it's probably ok to just let it happen

If you like being patted, smile at him and let him know if it makes you happy!

Tell him how it feels to be patted. Let him know what it does for you. Do you feel like he's taking care of you?

Tell him how being patted boosts your mood or feelings of closeness to him. Does it make you feel safe? Is it a reminder that he's there for you whenever you need him?

#2 If anything makes you uncomfortable, you have every right to express that

This is your body and your comfort, and no one else gets to define how you feel about it. If he's a good guy, he'll respect that.

You can say to him:

  • I don't like it when you pat my head. I feel like it's something done to children, and I'm not a child. Can you stop doing that?
  • I'd prefer if you stopped patting my head! It makes me feel uncomfortable and weird. Is there another way we can cheer each other in the office?
  • I appreciate your sentiment, but I don't really like being touched without my consent. Could we come up with something else we could do to celebrate wins?

What does it mean when a guy strokes your head?

It can refer to the act of a male individual gently caressing or running their hand through someone else's hair. This physical gesture can hold various meanings depending on the context and the relationship between the individuals involved.

In some situations, head stroking may signify comfort, affection, or a show of support towards the person whose head is being touched. It can also express a sense of familiarity, intimacy, or a desire to provide reassurance.

However, it is important to note that the interpretation of this action can vary greatly depending on cultural norms, personal boundaries, and the specific intentions of the person doing the stroking. There are also variations like brushing hair from your face or even smelling your hair.


With this guide, you'll understand what's going through your guy's mind when he pats your head. 

Now you can say to yourself, "Oh! That's why he does it. It makes sense." And that's comforting. The more understanding you have about this behavior, and your guy's feelings, the less threatened you'll feel. Then, when he pats your head, you'll be less likely to snap at him or rebel against him.

Megha Chanda

Weekend Writer

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