Ah, the “talking” phase – it’s such a thrilling time full of butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms and starry eyes full of dreams. You spend hours fantasizing about the possibilities of this new maybe-relationship, but something’s a little off. Over time, your guy doesn’t seem quite as enthusiastic. He’s kind of distant, it’s hard to make plans with him, and even though he blows you off to hang out with his boys all the time, you’ve never even seen one of his friends. I hate to break it to you, sister, but I don’t think your boy wants to date you at all.
He’s not technically single yet.
Oh, it’s okay, though. He’s in the middle of a breakup. He’s working on extricating himself from his ex. It’s not like he’s in a relationship, either, it’s just that he’s not really single. He doesn’t think it’s a big deal – and probably can’t understand why it bothers you.
If he describes anything about his previous relationship as “complicated,” he ain’t serious.
Regardless of how he describes his current romantic status, be aware of this statement. Beware of this statement. Nothing is so complicated that he can’t at least try to explain it. If he’s hiding behind excuses like this, trust that there’s a reason.
He makes a point of telling you that he’s not ready for anything serious.
In some cases, this is admirable. Seriously, good on every woman and man who says, up front, they just want something casual. However, if he acts like you’re dating but still uses this excuse, he’s just leading you on while he waffles.
It takes him forever to answer your texts.
On its own, this isn’t a crime but bear with me. You can’t get mad at someone for being busy or distracted. Once it becomes a chronic issue, however, it starts to make you feel distinctly unimportant, even invisible.
Yet, he’s always on his phone when you’re hanging out.
Yeah, so, that whole texting thing is problematic when this is also true. He’s never not on his phone while he’s with you. He obviously doesn’t have a problem texting anyone else in a timely manner. Maybe he doesn’t answer you quickly because he’s not really into you.
Every time the topic of dating comes up, he avoids it like the plague.
He’s determined not to commit. He doesn’t want to talk about the subject. Even if you just want to tell him that you’d like to keep things chill, you never get the chance because he consistently shuts down the conversation before it starts.
You are entirely separate from the rest of his life.
You’re never around when he hangs out with his friends. He has no interest in meeting yours. Family is similarly off-limits. Do the two of you have any mutual friends? Pay attention to that because if he keeps your “relationship,” such as it is, from the friends you have in common, he’s not serious worth a damn.
The two of you don’t go out on actual dates.
You hang out a lot, mostly at your place. Instead of dinner and a movie, it’s always Netflix and delivery. On the rare occasions you do go out, you probably cross the city limits, don’t you?
He doesn’t think twice about canceling.
Sometimes he lets you know, but he probably stands you up fairly frequently, as well. It suggests that he’s definitely not dying to see you, and it implies that he’s got more important things to do at any given moment. Your time isn’t valuable to him – and neither is your company.
You don’t know what he looks like in natural light.
Because you only really see him at night – get it? Ba-dum ching. For real, though, while you can’t quite call him a booty call, you’ve probably noticed that you’re never out in public during the daytime, right? You see each other in the evening if you see each other at all.
You’re nowhere near social media official.
You are nowhere on his social media, period. He won’t tag you in pictures, on Instagram, or even in Twitter replies. He doesn’t reply to comment, he won’t like any of your statuses or shares, and you will never see yourself in a photo with him.
He assures you that he’s just “bad at relationships.”
So, obviously, whatever you’re doing is just pretend. This is a fall-back position, by the way. It’s an easy way out. This way, when he does a duck and fade, he has a ready-made excuse.
Besides, he’s super happy with the way things are – aren’t you?
Press him hard, and this is what he’ll tell you. Aren’t things just fine right now, with no boundaries or rules or definitions? Aren’t you happy constantly worrying about where you stand and what you are? No? Then maybe you ought to take a page out of his book. Why do you want to date such a goober anyway?
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