11 Signs You’re His Backup, Not His Next Girlfriend

Maybe you’re holding on to the guy you’re into, scrutinizing him for signs of interest and hoping you’ll be his next girlfriend. But if these 11 things are happening, you’re just on his back-burner, not his relationship radar.

  1. He’s always surprising you with dates. It’s not cool when you’re the person he always calls when he’s just finished work or in your ‘hood and wants to meet up for dinner. Sure, it might seem awesome that you were on his mind, but let’s be real: if he’s always calling you at the last minute, it’s clear you were last on his mind!
  2. When he’s down, he’s calling you. When he’s sick with the flu or has to work late a lot so his social life has taken a dive, you’re the person he wants to have lots of chats with. Seems nice, but here’s a reality check: if he then goes AWOL when he’s thrown his last Kleenex away or his social calendar has opened up, you were just there to fill a gap in his life.
  3. He’s dating other people. Maybe you guys have been FWBs for ages or you’re still platonic but there’s definite chemistry. Honestly, that doesn’t matter if he’s dating other women, even if things are casual between them. If he wanted you, he’d already be with you. He’s not going to wake up and realize you’re awesome.
  4. He always keeps things flirty. Whenever you chat, he’s always a bit flirtatious. Maybe he has cute nicknames for you or he compliments your latest Instagram selfies. This behavior can easily make you think that he’s keen on dating you, but it means nothing if he’s not actually taking you out.
  5. He never asks you out on a real date. Maybe you hang out all the time and chat until the sun comes up. That’s fun and all, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be his next girlfriend unless he’s actually asking you out on real dates that he can plan ahead for.
  6. He’s available for sex, but not deep conversation. When you want to go watch a movie or have dinner while chatting about important stuff, he’s never available. Convenient. On the other hand, when he’s keen to jump into bed with you, suddenly he’s got hours to spare. Hmm.
  7. He never mentions you. Although he talks to you about his mates, he never says anything about you to them. He might’ve told you that they don’t know about you or said, “I should introduce you to them sometime” but then he failed to actually make that happen.
  8. He’s vague about relationships. If he’s keeping you as a backup, he’s probably going to be quite vague about what he wants when it comes to you and relationships in general. I mean, if he’s only looking for a bit of fun but he knows you’re interested in more, he won’t tell you because it means you’ll walk out of his life. So, when you ask him if he’s looking for a relationship, he might say, “I don’t want a relationship right now.” It’s a clever way to make you focus on the “right now” of the sentence in the hope that he’ll change his mind and pick you. Don’t hold your breath.
  9. You know him, but… Sometimes it feels like there’s so much that he keeps private. This can be frustrating to deal with, but this mystery man is clearly trying to keep you reserved for one area of his life and is barring your access to the others so he can enjoy your company without letting you get too close.
  10. He acts jealous when you mention other guys. If you’re dating other guys (and you really should be), this guy might seem jealous when you talk about them. But is he really jealous? If he were, he’d want to snap you up! He might just be pretending to be upset so that you keep space for him in your social life.
  11. He’s joked about a marriage pact. Maybe he said that if you were both still single when you turned 40, you’d get together. You’re right in thinking, “Ouch” because clearly this guy is not keen on anything serious with you. You’re not someone’s last chance or backup plan because everything else didn’t work out. What an insult! Although it might be unclear what this guy wants, it’s clear what he doesn’t want: a relationship with you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.