If He Tells You You’re “Leading Him On” By Doing These Things, He’s Not A Good Guy

Some guys can’t handle rejection and some are firm believers in the friend-zone. Those are the same dudes who get angry when a girl they like doesn’t return their interest. You’ve probably met one of these charmers before. Upon expressing your lack of interest, he probably accused you of leading him on in some way, but guess what — you weren’t.

  1. You aren’t leading him on when you laugh at his jokes. Laughter is not a lead-on. Finding humor in a clever remark is just that. There are dudes out there who genuinely believe that if a woman laughs at a joke, it means she’s flirting. That’s not how conversation works. A joke is a joke. A funny comment is a funny comment. A laugh is a laugh. It doesn’t have to mean any more than that.
  2. Sending him a text doesn’t mean you’re into him. Don’t ever let a guy tell you that you’re leading him on because you texted him – not even if you texted him first. Unless your text explicitly states that you’re totally into him and want to bang, then your message is in no way a promise, an offer, or an invitation. Furthermore, if a man ever tries to tell you that your smiling emoji is suggestive, just go HAM on his ass because that is foolish.
  3. You’re not a tease because you maintain eye contact. It’s polite to look at someone while they’re talking to you. Keeping up eye contact is a sign of respect. I don’t know about you, but I do it even if I’m not particularly interested in what someone’s saying, simply because it’s polite. Intense eye contact can be a sign of flirtation, but only in the presence of other gestures, such as intentional touching or mimicking body language. On its own, it’s just proof that you have manners. You’re not sending him a silent message that you want to ride his jock.
  4. Your outfit isn’t leading him on. Oh, you know there are boys out there who legit believe that a woman’s outfit sends signals. It’s the biggest load of BS I’ve ever heard, but it exists. Let me tell you something: you aren’t leading on anyone with your sartorial choices. No man has the right to look at you and assume that your skirt’s flirting with him. GTFO, Romeo.
  5. Asking for a favor doesn’t mean anything. Naturally, you shouldn’t take advantage of anyone’s kindness or generosity. That being said, asking a guy for a favor that he willingly provides isn’t an invitation or a declaration of interest. You’re welcome to owe him a favor in return, but it’s on your terms. By no means do you owe him sex, a date, or even a conversation.
  6. Your friendship isn’t an invitation to anything else. Forget all that crap about the friendzone. Being friends with a guy isn’t leading him on, not in any way, shape, or form. If he likes you, well, that’s nice, but you’re not obligated to like him back. Unless you’re flirting with him or suggesting that you’ll go out with him someday, then you’re not promising or hinting at anything with your friendship. It’s friendship.
  7. If you need to cancel plans, you’re not leading him on. I include this because some guys think that women who cancel are just playing games. Not every guy will think you’re playing hard to get because you have to eighty-six the evening’s activities. Most won’t, probably – hopefully. Those who do clearly have a warped view of women, so at least be thankful that they reveal themselves pretty early.
  8. Just because you call him, it doesn’t mean you want him. Since texting is the most common means of communication these days, actual phone calls hold the same significance they did when we were kids. The idea is that if you call someone, it’s more meaningful than shooting off a quick text. That’s sort of true, but it’s also kind of not. See, sometimes you just want to talk to a friend and have a chat – yes, even with a guy. If he looks into it too deeply, that’s on him.
  9. Hanging out isn’t a promise for something more. It blows when you’re hanging out with a dude you consider a friend, and then you find out that he assumed it was something more or expected it to lead to a date, sex, or a relationship. Asking a guy to come to Target with you isn’t a romantic date. It’s not your fault that he has a ridiculous expectation just because you wanted to hang out with him. It’s his issue. You didn’t do anything wrong.
  10. ‘Liking’ his stuff on social media isn’t a come on. Okay, if you like pictures he posted 44 weeks ago at 3 a.m., then yeah, he might think you’re interested. However, if you RT a funny tweet or like a mountain biking picture, it’s not a secret sign. It’s not anything.
  11. You’re not leading him on just because you say “no.” Once more for the bros in the back: this isn’t a game of cat-and-mouse, and you aren’t playing hard to get. You mean “no” when you say it. Turning down his invitation to go on a date is just that. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done together before that moment. It doesn’t matter how often you text, how many times you’ve hung out, or how many kindness coins he’s tried to toss at you. You can still turn down the invitation – and no, that’s not leading him on, either.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.