10 Signs He’s Leading You On & Will Never Be Your Boyfriend

When you’re in the beginning stages of something that might turn out to be a relationship, it’s natural to hope for the best, especially when the guy you’re seeing is basically everything you ever wanted in a partner. However, if he’s showing you any of these signs, it’s time for you to face the truth that this dude is never going to want an actual relationship with you:

  1. He’s a social media hound but never mentions you. There’s a reason the dude who posts about his breakfast cereal opinions isn’t posting about you: you don’t matter THAT much to him. Some people just never spend time on Facebook or Instagram so it makes sense that they wouldn’t post about the people they’re dating. The problem occurs when someone who never shuts up about even the most insignificant things online is completely silent when it comes to you. Don’t expect to be in the picture for too much longer.
  2. He’s strongly against any type of PDA with you. I get it — not everyone is down for making out in public. If he’s not even down for hugging you in front of other people, though, that’s a sign of something much more significant than simply wanting to be modest about what you have together. Someone who plans on making you a significant part of his life isn’t going to flinch when you gently squeeze his arm; he’s going to be proud to have you close to him, both emotionally and physically.
  3. He’s non-committal about future plans with you. No matter what he tells you about how much you mean to him or how much he likes you, he knows (and you SHOULD know) that it’s never going to go anywhere if he’s wishy-washy about plans you’re trying to make a few weeks down the line. Your situationship isn’t doomed just because he ducks the subject of a wedding and babies a month in, but you know deep down that he doesn’t plan on making you a part of his future if he can never say for sure if he’d like to hang out next week.
  4. He’s scared of labels. It seems like common sense: a guy who hates the terms “boyfriend” or “partner” will never be your boyfriend or partner. But so many people still hang on to hope that a fear of defining the relationship is just a little “quirk” that can be worked through. Trust me — the reason he doesn’t want the “boyfriend” label is because he also doesn’t want any of the responsibility or effort that being a boyfriend entails. Giving it a name just makes it that much more real for him.
  5. Your conversations are all shallow. Quite simply, a guy who doesn’t want to get serious with you isn’t going to have serious conversations with you. Any time you ask him about his goals or dreams, he’s going to get through the topic as soon as possible in favor of things that are more superficial. He isn’t going to care about the important things because as far as he’s concerned, you’re his “for now” girl… and he doesn’t even want to take the chance of making you his “forever” girl.
  6. You haven’t met his friends and he’s not interested in meeting yours. Why intertwine your lives that much when he knows you’re not going to be a significant part of his life? In many relationships, meeting friends and family is a big deal. It shows that you’re making an effort to get your partner more involved in your life, that they’re worthy of meeting other people you care about. What does it say if the person you’re seeing doesn’t want to bother taking that step? Deep down, you probably already know.
  7. You never hang out if sex isn’t going to happen. Someone who wants to make you their girlfriend is going to want to spend time around you, whether that means meeting up at a cafe during your lunch break, going to the gym together before heading to work, or even taking care of you when you’re sick. Someone who just sees you as a way to pass the time isn’t going to bother going out of their way to hang out unless they know you’re going to provide them a way to get laid. Pay attention if the guy you’re seeing is always “busy” if you’re on your period or can’t hang out at night — he’s sending a very clear message about what he wants from you.
  8. There are still other women in the picture. If you haven’t had the exclusivity talk yet, both of you are technically free to date and hook up with other people. You might be tempted to think of yourself as his number-one choice even if he is still feeling out his options, but honestly, do you really think a guy who’s planning on making you his girlfriend would even WANT other options? In the beginning stages of things, this type of behavior is acceptable, but if he seems to be dragging his feet on making you his one and only, that’s not a good sign.
  9. When he talks about his future, you’re never included. Is everything always “I” and never “we”? Does he treat his long-term plans like he’ll still be a single man when they happen? If it doesn’t seem like he’s about to stop living the bachelor life anytime soon, it’s because, well, he’s not going to. A man who wants to be your partner is going to assume (or at least ask) that you’ll come when he starts mapping out his summer.
  10. He specifically says he doesn’t want a girlfriend. Stop. You’re not going to change his mind, and you’re just going to get heartbroken in the process of trying. I know it’s a thrilling challenge to try to be That Girl who will make a guy see that you’re worth committing to, but the majority of the time, it’s not going to happen. Even if he’s treating you like his wife, even if he gives every indication that he’s madly in love with you, believe him when he says he’s just looking for something casual. He probably knows himself better than you do.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.