What Does It Mean When a Guy Stands Close Behind You (FULLY EXPLAINED)

As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure for full info.

Guys aren’t always the most mysterious creatures to figure out, other times their actions or words are much more intriguing.

For example, what does it really mean when a man stands close behind you? Read on below and find out!

When a Guy Stands Close Behind You, What Does It Mean?

From such basic principles as magnetic attraction, in which case he probably isn’t even aware of how close he’s standing to you, to him purposefully standing closer to you in order to hear you, smell you, or touch you, there are many potential meanings for when men stand close behind you.

Here are 15 common reasons for guys standing close behind you on purpose:

1. He’s Attracted To You

Guy looking at a girl

First and foremost, men display their attraction to women in many ways: one of which is the open body language of standing as physically close to you as possible every chance they get.

Whether it’s to smell you, hear you better, or even to feel your body heat, depends on the particular guy and what’s on his mind.

If he is attracted to you, he’s likely to display additional body language signs of attraction as well. This could include anything from fidgeting and avoiding eye contact to smiling a lot and having a red face.

2. He’s Testing the Waters

Whether it’s because he genuinely likes you, or he just wants to sleep with you, a guy may come up behind you and stand extremely near you to see how you react.

If you respond in a way that lets him know his actions are welcomed, he may eliminate all distance between you and go straight to touching and feeling versus trying to carry on a conversation with words.

The question is whether or not he’ll correctly interpret body language displayed by you or not.

3. He Doesn’t Realize He’s Doing It

Guy looking at a girl

More often than you’d think, male body language like openly standing extra near to you without even realizing they are doing it.

They could be doing it because they’re attracted to you, want to hear what you’re saying better, subconsciously want to make someone else jealous, or a plethora of other reasons.

The main point is that they don’t even know that it’s happening (so let them know if you don’t like it!)

4. He Wants To Hear You Better

One of the main reasons that a guy may stand closer to you than normal is when he wants to hear you better.

This is especially true for situations that involve being out in a crowded place like a club, at work, at school, or at a live event.

5. He Wants To Smell You

Guy behind a girl

Sometimes, when a guy is really attracted to you, he may come and stand behind you just for the chance to get a whiff of your scent. Sure, it sounds a bit odd, but it’s true!

It could be that he simply enjoys your choice of perfume, but it could also be your sweaty little underarms that he wants to smell (seriously – it just depends on the guy!).

Don’t just take our word for it, ask the internet gods over at Google and they’ll back us up: there’s something about a woman’s scent that gets a man’s blood pumping, and they crave it.

6. He Wants To Touch You

It doesn’t take a doctorate degree to be able to determine that a man standing close to you may actually want to touch you (or at least be close enough that he knows he could reach out and touch you if he wanted to do so).

Touching normally occurs when there is no personal space left between two people (or specific parts of their bodies), personal space that is rapidly deducted from when he purposefully comes nearer to you.

That’s why it is a common sign that a man wants to touch you, or is at the very least more than interested in you, when men display body language like standing too close.

7. He’s Trying To Make Someone Jealous

Guy behind a girl

If he’s trying to make someone jealous, standing close behind you is more than enough in most cases… and he knows it!

VIDEO REVEALS: Words That Send Shivers Up a Man's Spine and Make Him OBSESS OVER You

You most likely won’t even be aware of what’s happening, or why. It doesn’t change the reaction from the other guy when he sees this one standing so close behind you.

So, keep this in mind; if the guy you really like is somewhere nearby, the next time another guy tries standing close to you, step away enough to recreate personal space.

All things considered, it isn’t a great sign that the person who’s attracted to you feels they need to make someone else jealous (let alone give you a key role in the scheme).

8. He’s a Vampire (And He’s About To Bite)

The chances are slim, sure. But, who’s to say it couldn’t really happen? People naturally think vampires are mythical beings out of storybooks… but, are they?

You’re standing near the bedroom window, admiring the night sky, and suddenly he’s standing directly behind you and invading your personal space with his long hard teeth and draining your delicious fresh blood into his favorite wine glass.

This vampire could be someone you know, perhaps even a good friend. That said, there probably wouldn’t be much talking going on.

The good thing is, you’ll either have eternal life or be dead soon after (either way, you won’t likely care much about what it means)!

9. He’s Madly In Love With You (Magnetic Attraction)

Guy behind a girl

Another very likely reason that a guy chooses to stand close behind you is that he’s madly in love with you and suffering from a case of magnetic attraction.

These situations usually involve the same type of men from number 3 on our list (those who don’t even realize they’re standing so close behind you).

When a man is truly deeply madly in love with you, the magnetic attraction will be undeniable (he won’t only stand close when he wants sex, he’ll do it constantly because he genuinely wants to be close).

10. He’s Being Dominate

Whether you’re dealing with a BDSM guru dungeon master sort or a young and cocky football player, the reason he’s standing so close behind you may have something to do with his obsession with dominating everything in his life (including you).

With these men, it’s extra important to quickly react in a way that makes it crystal clear how you feel about them (and how close they are standing to you, and why).

If you are into being dominated, give him a good sign, like avoiding eye contact and other positive-submissive body language signs.

11. He’s Making A Bold Move

Guy whispering something to a girl

When a guy is so into you that he can no longer keep it to himself, he’ll start making bolder moves.

One of these bold moves may involve him stepping in closer than normal.

Depending on how you react, his next move could be attempting to get even closer and/or touching you or kissing you.

12. It’s The Alcohol’s Fault

If you’re in a setting that involves alcoholic beverages, and a guy you know tries standing closer behind you than normal, it is highly likely that it is actually the alcohol influencing him.

In fact, if he has had more than his fair share to drink, chances are that he won’t even remember what happened the next day.

Keep that in mind while he comes up behind you, smelling like two fingers of Jose or a salted Margarita.

13. He’s Not Aware of the Term “Personal Space”

Guy behind a girl

Whether it’s because he’s intoxicated, emboldened by his flaming passion for you, or was raised in a barn with a herd of goats, it’s possible the guy standing close behind you isn’t currently aware of such a thing called “personal space.”

If you’re OK with his closeness and body langauge, all is well. But, if you’re not, it’ll be up to you to educate him about personal space, including how much is needed.

14. He’s Not Experienced With Social Interactions

Not all men are gurus with how to act around the opposite sex. In fact, a lot of men aren’t very experienced with social interactions with women (one-on-one) at all.

In this case, he could be unaware that he’s standing too close (or, he could simply be doing what he wants and not giving a damn what anyone thinks about it).

Not all body language is universal, but some male body language, like standing unnaturally close to a woman, has pretty clear indications (he’s attracted to her – even if he doesn’t know how to handle himself).

15. He Wants to Be Closer to You than Other Men (Literally)

Guy tries to kiss a girl

When a man wants to be closer to a woman than any other man, very little can stop him once he’s put his mind to it. This includes out in public, physically.

If you are at a party, club, or some formal function that includes lots of people (including another man), don’t be surprised if your man stands closer behind you than normal.

He’s protecting his interest and broadcasting to all the other dudes around to back the fluff off and to not even think about approaching you.

How To Respond When a Guy Stands Close Behind You

When a man displays strong male body language like standing extra close behind you and other signs (like smiling, fidgeting, and avoiding eye contact), there are several reasons for it (fully explained above) and just as many ways to respond.

However, before reacting, you need to know how you feel about it (as your reaction will either shut him down or fuel him up for further advances).

Below, we have a look at some of the most common ways to react to a guy standing close behind you:

1. Let Him Know It’s Welcomed

Guy behind a girl

The first and most important thing about your reaction to his male body language is whether he sees it (your reaction) as welcoming or not. This can be through talking or with body language.

This determines how comfortable he’ll be while continuing to stand close to you for the remaining time you’re talking.

So, if you’re into him, and welcome him standing close, let him know by giving him clear signs of attraction!

2. Let Him Know It’s Not Welcomed

Sometimes even close friends may attempt to get too close, despite being just friends.

In the case that him standing so close to you isn’t welcomed, you must let him know immediately. If he’s a good listener and cares, he’ll give you more space.

Or, you can try avoiding his attempts to talk and show clearly annoyed facial expressions to expedite your point immediately.

If you’re the non-confrontational type, simply cross your arms, walk away, or use easy-to-read body language to let him know it’s not welcomed, rather than telling him with words.

3. Step Away or Ask Him To Move

Girl saying no to a guy

When a random guy tries standing too close behind you for your comfort in a public place, simply move away a bit. If you can’t move, then ask him to give you some space.

There is no more direct way of letting him know that his advances aren’t welcomed and you aren’t comfortable with him standing so close behind you.

If you look around, it’s likely that it isn’t only you that he’s making such attempts with.

4. Lean Into Him / Whisper In His Ear

In the case that you are totally digging the guy who’s standing close behind you, try leaning into him and removing all space between the two of you. He’ll have no choice but to touch you then.

When you’re interested, but aren’t wanting to touch right here and right now, but still want to tease him, whispering into his ear instead of leaning all the way into him until your bodies are touching may be a very good sign to him.

If he’s really into you, the combination of you coming even closer to him, your smell, and the tiny bit of space that’s left between you, will drive him crazy.

As you check him for body language after (to see how interested he is), you’ll likely notice dilated pupils and restless or shaky legs as you continue to talk to him.

5. Stand Closer (Until There’s No Personal Space Left)

Guy behind a girl

One sure way to let a guy know that you’re interested in him and ok with him standing so close behind you is to stand even closer to him.

That’s right, back up a step or two and remove all distance between the two of you until there is zero personal space left. There is no better way to show him how much you are interested in him (or his body).

This move is also a good one for fending off any single man who might be interested in standing close to you (depending on the environment).


What does Standing Close to Someone Mean?

Standing close to someone has the potential to mean several different things all at once or nothing at all. There are several factors to consider before jumping to conclusions, such as the person standing close to you, your relationship with them, the location and environment, and much more.

What Does It Mean When a Girl Stands Close to You?

When a girl stands close to you it could mean that she finds you attractive, you make her feel safe, or that you’re the only person around that she knows (ha!). Girls are also known for standing close to their close male friends to prevent other men from trying to stand close to them.

What Does It Mean When Your Crush Stands Next To You?

When your crush stands very closely next to you, it means they want to touch you, smell you, hear you, and generally be as close to you as possible in every sense. Even a good friend’s feelings may evolve into something romantic, and standing close behind you is one of the subtle signs their open body language shows you if you’re paying attention.