How To Know When A Guy Is Playing You

One of the worst feelings in the world is falling for a guy only to realize soon after that he’s been insincere the entire time. Whether he’s just after sex or just wants to play games, it’s hurtful to realize that the two of you are envisioning the relationship differently. Here’s how to tell when a guy is playing you so that you can walk away and avoid wasting any more time.

  1. He takes a long time to respond to texts. It’s 2020, which means that everyone has a cell phone and everyone has approximately 10 different ways to contact other people on it. Unless he’s in the midst of a power outage, there’s no reason for him to wait so long to answer you back. A little bit of a lag is fine, but if you message him in the morning and don’t hear back until the next day? He’s not invested in this relationship regardless of how often he apologizes. Texts take very little time to respond to.
  2. He still has dating apps on his phone. You might have heard every excuse in the book. Maybe he “just downloaded it to teach a friend how to use it.” Or perhaps he “just likes to swipe on people when he’s bored.” All of these excuses are BS. If he was being sincere with you, he’d delete the app right as things were getting serious. It’s not that hard to re-download Tinder if things went wrong.
  3. Something about you doesn’t trust him. Maybe you’ve caught him in a lie or his details to a story didn’t really match up. When you can’t trust someone, you have a bad foundation for your relationship. If you let him get away with enough lies, he’ll think he’s smooth enough to go behind your back without having you realize it. Don’t even bother putting yourself in a position where you may get hurt. If you don’t believe what he says, cut him off before you get played.
  4. You see other girls’ numbers pop up on his phone. He might say it’s his sister or cousin, but the truth will come out eventually. Calling someone, especially for long spans of time, indicates a very strong relationship. If you’re under the impression that he’s sneaking away to talk to relatives, you’re in denial about the status of your relationship. It’s obvious that his feelings are scattered elsewhere. Run from this guy and don’t look back.
  5. You’ve gotten back together and broken up a few times. Usually, it ends if he’s “not ready for a relationship.” But then he apologizes and rekindles things with you right after you’ve gone on a few dates with someone else. A guy like this isn’t going to change overnight. He doesn’t want to be with you, but he likes the idea that he can get you back whenever he wants. Your whole relationship will be in his control if he keeps playing games like this. Just be done with him, and make sure your next relationship contains less drama.
  6. You’ve never met his friends. You’ve heard about them, but you haven’t actually seen them. And when you ask to meet them, your guy gets a little dicey. This is because, regardless of what he says, he doesn’t think your relationship has a lot of potential. Even if he tells you he wants to be with you forever, it’s a huge red flag when he separates you from the rest of his social life. It’s also possible that there’s a girl in his group that might be on a “more than friends” level. While you should never assume anything off the bat, it can definitely be another reason why he’s been secretive. Don’t expect to meet his parents anytime soon.
  7. He’s hazy on a lot of details. If you ask him questions about himself, he often gives a vague response before turning the question around on you. At first, you may think he’s being really attentive. But really, he’s acting shady. While he wants to make you feel secure, he also doesn’t want to become too vulnerable in your relationship. If he claims he doesn’t have social media, that’s another red flag. It’s okay for people not to hold accounts. However, it’s rare for him to have no online activity whatsoever. He may just be saying that to avoid having you look for a Facebook account that reveals he’s got another girlfriend.
  8. He makes plans with you at the last minute. If it’s 10 PM and you’re just getting a text from him, it means one of two things. The innocent answer is that he’s got a job with late shifts. Obviously, if you can verify that, he’s in the clear. Otherwise, you can assume you’re his backup plan. Something else may have fallen through, so now he’s sending you texts. Don’t settle for second place.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.