You met a new guy and hit it off. Things started off great, but now he’s giving mixed signals. Hell, you might even be thinking, “He is playing me right now!” You could be right. While we all like to give chances and stay optimistic, there are times when you just need to cut him out and move on to someone who really wants you.
He only shows up when he needs something. Does he pop in when he has some sort of emotional problem? Does he only send, “u up?” texts when he’s horny and wants sex? That’s a big red flag that he is just sticking around for what he wants and has zero intentions of making things serious. A real relationship should balance both partners’ needs.
He never asks about your life or what’s been happening. Does he know anything about you? Does he care? Watch the way he talks to you. If he never asks about how your day was, your hobbies, or literally anything about you, run. Don’t try and convince yourself that he’s just “bad” at socializing and needs help. He knows perfectly well what he’s doing. Remember, he’s a grown man. If he really hasn’t learned how to care about other people by now, he won’t be learning any time soon.
He doesn’t answer personal questions about himself. If he’s always avoiding your questions about him or always has some reason as to why you’re not allowed to know more about him, he doesn’t plan on getting attached. It’s one thing to dodge questions on the first or second date when you’re trying to be mysterious, but if it’s been several weeks or months and he still can’t answer basic questions about his life, he’s playing you.
He makes you feel insecure about yourself. A man who gives backhanded compliments or makes you questions whether or not you’re “good” enough for him is someone who is manipulating you to please him. Maybe it’s a comment about your weight or something else about your appearance. It also means he never plans on making things official and just wants to tear you down to get what he wants. Once he’s done with you, you’ll never hear from him again. It’s not worth going through pain for someone who never cared about you in the first place.
He doesn’t want you to meet his friends. Sketchy sirens should go off if it’s been a while and you haven’t met any of his buddies. Men who are serious about you want to show you off to his friends and share the excitement of a new relationship. If his friends can never meet up or he makes excuses as to why he’s not ready for you to meet them, he’s full of crap.
He’s unpredictable. One day he’s sweet. Other days he’s sour, or just plain not around. You can’t pick out any kind of pattern in his behavior. The way he texts is sporadic and there’s no routine to check in with you. Dealing with that kind of behavior is an annoyance at best and total bullsh*t at worst. Dealing with unpredictability in general is stress-inducing. Find someone who is steady and consistent instead. You’ll thank yourself later.
He makes promises he never keeps. He promises you’ll meet his friends or family. But it never happens. He’s always late or breaks off planned time together. The worst of them all will make promises just to get you into bed and then drop the “I’m not ready for a relationship yet.” line despite saying the exact opposite 30 minutes prior. Ugh. He is the exact opposite of boyfriend material.
He pressures you into sexual activities. Is he rushing you to bed or pushing boundaries? That’s a signal that he’s just there to get into bed with you or to use you until he finds someone else. You’re not a bad person or a “prude” for setting boundaries. You’re protecting yourself. Any decent man would understand that and wait until you’re ready.
He talks sh*t about other women. You’re not “chosen” or “special” as opposed to other women in his life. He may say things like how you’re “different” from other girls and how that’s just so great. The thing is, he doesn’t respect any women when he talks this way. If he talks this way about other women to you, know that you will be talked about the same way once he’s done with you.
You just know. Always trust your gut. If you have this nagging feeling that he’s not serious about you, then you’re probably right. Stop giving excuses or justifying why he might be acting the way he does. It’s not your responsibility to “fix” him or to become a person you think he’ll want more than the person you already are.
What to remember when you think a guy is playing you
People who act like this are masters of manipulation. While he might describe seeing other women as “keeping his options open,” there’s a major difference between not putting all your eggs in one basket too soon and actively being deceitful. “If you’re a player, you’re playing someone, whether that’s telling the people you date that each of them is the only person you’re seeing, or convincing someone you’re single when you’re not,” says dating expert and relationship writer Demetrius Figueroa.
Flirting doesn’t = infidelity. While it’s easy to jump to conclusions that he’s playing you if you see the guy you’re dating being a little too chatty with other women, that may not be the case. “If a guy is flirty, but is honest about his relationship status, and doesn’t pursue anything beyond flirty banter, he’s probably just a big flirt,” Figueroa points out.
Don’t expect the player to change. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s anything you can do to make him like you so much that he eventually drops all the other women to be monogamous with you. “Players can and sometimes do change, but that change happens when they want to change. No matter how great you are, a player won’t change for you; they’ll change when they feel the time is right,” says dating coach Damona Hoffman. In this case, the best thing you can do is walk away. Figueroa advises: “If you’re looking for a monogamous connection with someone who would like to build a serious relationship, the most productive thing you can do when confronting a player is to leave.”
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