No one, and I repeat, NO ONE likes to be lead on by the person they have developed feelings for. But, not surprisingly, in this day and technology age, it’s easier and easier to be led on more than one might think. These days, we seem to have the world at our fingertips thanks to social media sites like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook so we’re able to connect with people so much faster than we did back in the age before the internet. Sure, that makes it easier to meet new people and date, but it also makes it easier for someone who has a wondering eye to stray the path a bit. Or it makes it easier to date someone who just is dating for the fun of it and has no real aspirations to settle down.
It’s hard to tell those types of people apart, but there are obvious red flags to look for: when he says “he’s in a difficult place right now” or that he’s “not looking for anything serious” after the third date or that infamous “why ruin the fun we’re having now by looking too deep into it?” line. These are all easy to spot and usually sends women who are looking for a commitment running for the hills. But then there are the ones who seem extremely into us one minute, and then can’t be found in any capacity one minute later.
Here are 20 signs that his attention to you is on the fake side, just in case he might be a difficult book to crack.
20 He Only Texts When He’s Feeling Flirty, And Never When He’s Not
We all know that if a guy is into you, he tends to text non-stop… at least at first. It’s all “good morning, beautiful” and “how is your day going so far, gorgeous?” (he never fails to use those words when throwing nicknames your way because he knows it makes you go “awwww” even though you should know it should just be considered another red flag) but the longer you’re “together,” you’ll start to notice that those text messages are no more and you only hear from him late at night.
And not only that, but he seems to be nowhere to be found if YOU yourself are feeling flirty. Basically, what he’s trying to tell you subtly is that you’re working off of his time and his time only. He’s only texting you when he feels like he’s in need of attention, which is why it’s usually late at night. He wants someone who jumps when he says jump and thinks that if he throws enough attention at you in the beginning, you’ll do this constantly. Let him know you won’t tolerate any of that nonsense, and just walk away. Or, better yet, run at full speed away from this man-child.
19 He’s Always Busy, Hellooooo
Unless he’s a doctor, a criminal defense lawyer in Hollywood, or a bartender working in Washington D.C., he’s never too “busy”. This is a giant red flag if a guy’s lame excuse to blow you off is that he’s always “too busy”. You should always take it as a hint to hit the road because he’ll constantly be setting you up for disappointment right from the start. If you find that he was showering you with attention in the beginning (you know, after warning you that he is a busy person as to set it up perfectly later down the line) and then suddenly disappears with the lame excuse that he was “working too hard and didn’t have time to simply text you back,” you need to just cut the cord.
If a man truly has feelings for you and wants to be in your life for the long run, he’ll find the time to be with you. More importantly, he’ll make the time to be with you and make you a priority (even if he’s one of those three things I mentioned in the first sentence). No man is too busy to be with the person he genuinely cares for. I know that’s probably tough to hear, but it’s nonetheless true.
18 It’s All About Him All The Time
There are times where you feel like a therapist, even if you’re not, especially if you’re dating a man who is often always “me, me, me” every second of every day. Sure, you may be dating a guy who is self-conscious or is just basically a narcissist (heavy problem areas in both departments) but if he’s only constantly texting you or calling you in order to talk about what a rough day he’s having or is going through a bumpy point in his own life WITHOUT asking you about how you’re doing, he’s using you to replace his own shrink or local bartender.
This is fine if the problem sharing is quid-pro-quo and he’s helping you out just as much as you are him because that’s what a stable relationship actually is. But if you feel like you’re taking a long stroll down a one-way street, it’s probably because he’s only using you as a soundboard and nothing else. If a guy is interested, he’ll want to know all about you and even share your problems with the intent of helping you out any way he can. If he’s not really interested, he’ll simply brush off your problems in order to continue blabbing about his own.
17 All Your “Dates” Are Group Events
So you met this guy on an online dating app and you two seemed to hit it off pretty dang well. After talking non-stop via messaging and text messages, you find that he wants to meet in person, but doesn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable on your first date, so he makes it a group event (which is perfectly fine when first dipping your toe in the dating pool, especially if you’re into online dating). But, after a bit, you’ll notice that not only has the texting and messaging died down a tad but that every single so-called date you go on happens to be a group thing.
This isn’t always a bad thing if the man is shy himself, but if you go out more and more and he’s still not putting in the effort to have a little one-on-one time with you, something is amiss and it’s probably that he really doesn’t have any interest to be alone with you. By putting you in a group setting with more of his friends, he’s simply saying that he’s placed you in the friend zone, and if that’s not what you’re looking for, it’s okay to say “well, I was looking for a relationship” and move on.
16 He Talks About A Lot Of “Plus One” Events But Never Asks You Along
So you’ve met this amazing guy who over-exceeds all the expectations you have, he just seems so perfect. Though you notice that he talks about all these events he has to go to where a plus-one is required (like a wedding, or a work night event) and he never invites you along. Sure, you figure he could be fishing for you to say something like “oh, that sounds great, you need a date?” but if you say that and he politely shies you off, he’s not looking for something serious.
If he actually saw you as a potential long-term partner, he’d invite you to these functions because he wants to show you off to his friends and wants you to meet his co-workers.
“When a guy is really proud of the relationship he’s in, he’ll usually want his friends to know he’s going out with you,” writer Eric Charles of Ask a Guy says. “For him to hide your relationship the way he is, it makes me think that he enjoys the intimacy, but has some issue about having a boyfriend-girlfriend type relationship with you.”
That’s when you have to ask yourself if you’re okay with dating someone like that, or if you want something more. And if it’s more, you should walk away from whatever it is you two share.
15 When He’s Having A Bad Day, He Texts You A Lot But Goes Off The Grid When You’re Having A Bad Day
This goes back to the whole texting only when he feels like it and how it’s all about him and not about you. But this takes it one step further. The sign of a true narcissist is when he completely goes off the grid when you have a problem you want to talk about. Since it’s not about him, he has no desire to discuss it with you.
“Like the myth, narcissists feel superior to others, yet depend upon them to reflect back a positive self-image,” Darlene Lancer, JD of Psychology Today says about being in a relationship with a narcissist. “Surprisingly, most narcissists are codependent, too. They’re hypersensitive to any perceived challenge to their illusion of being the best, and often see slights where none exist.”
She also talks about how true narcissists tend to be thankless, so you can spend all day listening to his bad day rant and won’t even appreciate it (in a way you think) and when you attempt to find some counterbalance by trying to share your own troubles, he won’t hear it because troubles outside his own world don’t exist. That’s when you have to ask yourself is it worth all the trouble being in a relationship with someone like this?
14 “I Like You, But I’m Not Really Ready For A Relationship” Is Something You Hear A Lot
Ah yes, this famous “I’m not really ready for a relationship” line you tend to hear a lot whenever you bring the subject of being an official boyfriend-girlfriend couple. That right there should be a dead giveaway that he has no intention of dating you officially. If you have all the key elements of a relationship including the intimacy and he still says this line, you have a problem on your hands. Thing is, he’s telling you EXACTLY what his plans are without lying, you’re just not seeing the light.
“There is a dark dimension to the statement – whether it is actually true or not,” blogger Matt Clark says. “When it is true, it really starts to dive deep into the core of who we or they are. And it’s almost always used by someone who knows somewhere inside of them that relationship is something they either want or is an important part of their calling.” This is if the statement is actually true. If the statement ISN’T true, they’re just using it to string you along. Either way, it’s a chance for self-examination on both parties, especially him since he really needs to figure out if he should be using that sentence.
13 Wait, Now He’s Competitive?
So you’re seeing someone who says they “aren’t ready for a relationship” but seem to be jealous if you have guy friends you’re close to or even huff at the mere mention of some actor you innocently have a crush on? That’s a sign of a controlling nature and needs to be addressed. If he has made it known that you two are dabbling around in the "just friends" zone, he shouldn’t be getting jealous of other men in your life. This just makes him controlling and that he likes using you as a plaything rather than actually being your boyfriend and he doesn’t want anyone else to fill that role. Or even have you considering someone else for that role.
If he’s jealous, and it still feels like he’s stringing you along, you need to ditch him because his attention is basically fake as heck. He likes that your attention is on him and him only, but he also disappears when you want to hang out with him unless it’s on his time. He’s a complete double standard and is completely stringing you along. Even though he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend, he hates the competition. And trust me, if you think by “making him jealous” will get him to want to become your boyfriend, you’re dead wrong.
12 You Always Need To Be The First To Text
If a guy is incredibly into you, he’s always the first to text because he craves your attention. And he’ll text ALL THE TIME, even if way later in the relationship after the honeymoon phase is over. But a guy who really doesn’t want to be in a relationship will be hard to get a hold. At the beginning of whatever it is you have with this guy, if you’re the first to text, that’s great – more power to you. But if you have to ALWAYS be the first to text him, you have some contemplating to do. Chances are if you always have to be the first to make a move, he enjoys being chased and gets a rush from it.
Giulia Simolo, a writer for Bolde, performed an experiment where she stopped being the first to text a guy she wasn’t into and had been seeing for about a month. It really opened her eyes when it took him a week of silence for him to actually ask her what was up.
“I hadn’t realized it at the time, but I’d been chasing this guy – hard,” she wrote. “I wouldn’t go a maximum of two days without getting in touch. It was ridiculous and he’d been lucky enough to have me there without having to lift a finger. He never actually moved those texts to something more because he just wasn’t into me enough. Taking time away from him showed me that loud and clear.”
11 He Really Doesn’t Like To Carry On Conversations
We all have that one friend that annoys the heck out of us in this particular fashion: whenever we have something important to say and write out a long paragraph, all they comment back with is “K”. What does that even mean? Basically, if they’re a close friend, they’re either just being lazy or they know it annoys you to the point of madness (I have a lot of friends like those. Brats are common). But what if the guy you happen to be enamored with tends to send you one-word answers to things you tell him or things you ask? You start to notice that he’s not one to carry on a conversation no matter how hard you try. You know what it means? It means you have to stop trying with this guy because he clearly isn’t very interested in dating you.
If a man isn’t a mime and doesn’t seem to like conversing with you, it’s time to let him go. Sure, your friends may say he’s shy and needs to open up a little more, but if a guy is fond of you and wants to date, he’s going to attempt to carry on a conversation with you (regardless if he’s shy or not) because he thinks highly of you and is genuinely curious about what you have to say. If all you’re getting is “K” as a response, it’s time to go.
10 He’s The King Of The Guilt-Trip
Usually, men like to assume that women sit upon the guilt-trip throne and cast judgment upon everyone else, but the truth is… we sometimes do. But usually, us sane people like to do it only when it’s deemed necessary. We’re not really fond of the people who do it all the live-long day. But what about if the guy you’re seeing tends to constantly put YOU on a guilt-trip even though you two have no definite label as of late. If it’s happening at a constant rate, it could mean he’s emotionally manipulating you. Does he tend to do it every time you bring up why you two aren’t official? Because if he is, he’s definitely using it to get out of a situation.
You should have a zero tolerance policy for a man who does this to you because he’s not only not interested in being in a long-term relationship with you, but he’s also someone you wouldn’t WANT to be in a long-term relationship with because if he’s doing it now, he’s going to do it all the time. It would be best if walk away from this fake relationship now because your sanity depends on it.
9 You’re Always The First To Apologize
This tends to go hand-in-hand with the emotional manipulation thing. If you’re the first to apologize the first few times, that’s fine and it shows that you just wanted to get things back to normal. While you’re not afraid to own up to your mistakes, he isn’t. Or he simply doesn’t care. Usually, if a guy has strong feelings for you, he will be the first to apologize OR your apology to him will usually trigger him to apologize to you as well so things are set on a mutual ground.
“They say forgiveness is more for the person that was hurt rather than the one who did the hurting,” writer Mattie Gold of Bolde puts it. “In the same way, an apology is sometimes more for the person who is hearing it than the one who is saying it.”
Apologies are supposed to make things better, but it’s one-sided, it really doesn’t matter. Chances are if he’s not really emotionally invested in whatever this non-relationship is, he won’t care one way or another if you actually apologize or not. You should probably try to find someone who will either be the first to apologize, or appreciate your apology if you’re the one who says it first.
8 He’s Claimed All His Ex-Girlfriends Are Crazy
I’ve been out with men before who, on the first date, have said the oh-so-used common line of “all my ex-girlfriends are crazy.” This is a massive red flag and you should run away as fast as you can before you get in too deep.
“When your man is quick to play the “crazy” card about his ex, it should raise warnings,” writer Sabrina Gauer said on Elite Daily. “Men who want to constantly blame others, and talk about the faults of their exes, are looking for your sympathy.”
But chances are if he’s called her crazy, he’s going to call you that as well and use it as a reason why not to get into a relationship with you. Also, he’ll use it to control whatever it is you two have between you on a short-term basis.
“They’re making you feel like you have to watch your step, and like you have to work harder to be better than the ex. Many times, it’s a form of emotional manipulation. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll save yourself from pain and heartache.” A good man who actually wants to be in a relationship with you would treat past relationships with respect when speaking about them.
7 When It Comes To His Social Media Pages, He’s Always Coy
Okay, we’ve all done it: whenever we’re interested in someone, we tend to take to social media in order to do a little bit of investigating (hey, we want to know who we’re going out with is not a crazed psycho). Turns out, he has a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you dive right in for an evening in order to see what type of person he is.
Only, after doing some digging, you’re still somewhat confused.
He’s actually seriously coy and ambiguous when it comes to his posts. He’s always out with friends and/or by himself. You don’t see any posts with girlfriends or even ex-girlfriends. You don’t think anything of it until YOU start to date him and his social media still remains the same. Nothing on this his pages proves that he’s in any sort of relationship, and that’s because he doesn’t want other women to actually think he’s in one since technically, he’s still on the market.
If he actually had any intention of being in a relationship with you, he’d like showing you off to all his friends and friends that are girls on his social media. Perhaps it’s best if you move on to a guy who is thrilled to change his status on Facebook.
6 He’s Constantly On Snapchat
At first, we thought it was adorable and flirty – when he would send snaps of him with different, playful, filters to let you know he was thinking about you. You two were in the beginning stages of your dating and figured everything was okay until you noticed he has a reeeaaalllly high number of snaps he sends out, and that number is constantly growing with each passing day.
Snapchat is one of the most popular forms of social media these days thanks to the Kardashian clan and Rihanna hyping it up. And if you’re familiar with Snapchat, you know that the messages disappear after you open them (the personal ones – a story can stay up for 24 hours before disappearing). And if you take a screenshot of a picture or video, the person who sent it gets notified.
Thing is, if he’s only sending you messages through Snapchat and not texting, it’s a giant red flag. It’s because he knows that if he says something completely moronic, there’s no evidence of it after it is read. Their feelings, like the Snapchat stories, are fleeting and have an expiration date so it’s best to try to avoid anyone who chooses to ONLY flirt with you on this form of social media.
5 He Only Compliments Your Looks
Those daily “good morning, beautiful” text messages managed to reel you in, and now you’re looking for a deeper connection. You’ve managed to have a couple of somewhat intimate conversations, but nothing ever too deep because he seemed like he wasn’t too interested in knowing exactly who you are and your life in general. By only complimenting your looks, he’s made it clear that he really only sees you as an object – a trophy that he plans on admiring for a bit before retiring you to a shelf and never really thinking about you again.
“While everyone wants to look their best and feel attractive, if you’re in it for the long haul, you’d obviously like your partner to appreciate you and not just your body,” The Health Orange reveals. “Men who are serious about a relationship will be in awe or at the very least be appreciative of your other qualities like your intelligence, generosity, kindness, or sense of humor too.”
If he’s only in it for your looks, he would constantly compliment only that aspect of you, and that’s a clear-cut warning sign that he’s not willing to get into a serious relationship with you and it’s best if you just walk away.
4 His Friends? You Have Never Met Them (And Probably Never Will)
This goes back to the whole, “he won’t take you to any event where his friends or family is present”: same goes for here. You haven’t met his friends yet and you wonder exactly why. If you ask him questions about his inner circle and he’s vague, that’s a red flag that his attention is pretty dang fake.
“A genuine guy who sees a future with you will be thrilled that you’ve taken an interest in his life and his social circle,” Bolde states. “He’ll enjoy talking about them, tell you funny stories and start to paint a picture of what the different personalities are like. If he’s unwilling to give you any details, it either means he isn’t interested in sharing with you or he’s exaggerating the relationships, neither of which is a good sign.”
If you’ve been dating for a few months, it’s always natural that you ask him to meet his friends or family. His response will tell you everything you need to know, especially if he’s unwilling to set up a day to meet them. Try to draw him out by introducing him to your friends and if he’s unwilling to even do that, you know what you have between each other is not genuine and only short term.
3 Intimate Conversations Don’t Happen Unless It's Happy Hour
We’ve all been there before, but it’s usually with that one friend who starts crying her eyes out and talking about her ex-boyfriend after a few drinks. And that’s fine, we all have stories like that. We all have stories too about the guy we used to date who wouldn’t commit but enjoyed opening up to you after a few drinks during spring break. There are a few reasons why he might be this way.
“When you can only get a meaningful word out of him when he [isn't all there] it could mean he is just too scared to reveal those meaningful words to you when he is [fully aware],” writer Nicole Tarkoff of Thought Catalog reveals. While this may be true, there’s also another reason. That the guy is just plain immature. “He most likely doesn’t remember how he ever got home last night, let alone who he called or texted on the way. This type of guy is quite possibly the most [worrisome] because the next day he could either be painfully embarrassed and pretend like he doesn’t remember anything, or he could truly… not remember anything.”
Yikes, you should always just walk away from a guy like this. Nope, nope, and nope.
2 He Doesn’t Really Like Your Friends And Makes Sure You Know It
If a guy doesn’t like your friends, it says a lot more about him than it does about your friends in general. If you go out with your friends in a group setting with him along, and he doesn’t engage with them, and then, later on, complain about them, something is up. And if he’s throwing a fit if just YOU go out with them, it’s a red flag.
“Generally, it’s because they are scared of the vulnerability that comes with loving and trusting someone,” Maria Hartwell-Walker of Psych Central says about why guys usually act this way. “They may have been betrayed by a former girlfriend and fear of being hurt again. They may have grown up observing relationships where the man held the upper hand by controlling the woman. Their self-esteem may be so low that the only way they can be sure that someone will stay with them is to make the girl’s self-esteem even lower.”
Basically, it’s the sign of a controlling boyfriend who wants an object, not a girl with a mind of her own, so you should probably hike right on out of there. Being over-dominating isn’t a sign of love, it’s a sign that he only sees you as property.
1 You Have A Gut Feeling His Attention Is Fake
Most women know that their female intuition is always right on the money. If you have a bad feeling about something, that’s usually a sign that you need to trust your gut and stay away from whatever it is. It’s extremely difficult to do this if our gut is telling us not to be with a certain guy that we have intense feelings for, but it’s usually the case. If you feel that he doesn’t care about you the way you care about him and that you’re on a path headed for a heartache, the sanest thing to do is to cut him off before you fall too hard. But, of course, when we think we’re in love, all of our senses go right out the window.
Thing is, our gut is always there, whispering in our ear that it’s a bad idea, and we should always follow our gut regardless of how we feel about someone. If we know deep down that it won’t turn out well and this guy is going to end up breaking us, we need to learn to walk away from him. We’ve ignored that little voice in the past and ended up getting hurt in the past, so we need to follow it for our own good now. Trust your intuition, there’s a reason why us ladies have it.