If Your Partner Is Doing These Things, They’re Leading You On

It’s one thing when someone needs to take things slow—that’s reasonable and even honorable. Stringing you along, however, not so much. Here are some signs that’s exactly what’s happening in your relationship.

  1. They disappear for periods of time. You’ll see them frequently for a bit then they’ll fall off the face of the earth. They may say that they’re busy with work or life, but it’s all crap. They’re avoiding you because they don’t want you two to get too caught up in one another. They’re essentially scared of anything in the realm of vulnerability so they use the disappearing act to avoid it.
  2. They text you only when they feel like it. Their texting is likely inconsistent. It’s rare that you can expect a morning text from them every day. Instead, their messages are sporadic; sometimes they text you a lot and others you barely hear from them. You can’t really find a pattern to be able to predict when you’ll get something. This is definitely stringing you along—you deserve someone who’s clear and consistent with you.
  3. They say they aren’t into labels. A sure sign that someone’s just playing games is when they utter the words “I don’t like labels.” Then you know you’ve found someone who’s either scared of or just not interested in commitment. At this point, they want all the perks of dating you without actually having to let you call them your partner.
  4. They don’t talk about the future. They may even just say that they love to “live in the moment” and don’t want to think too far ahead. To a degree this is true, but their version is exaggerated. They avoid talking about the future at all costs. Maybe because they aren’t interested in you long-term or they’re scared of their own future. Whatever the reason, this is a sign to abort mission.
  5. They make plans when convenient for them. They don’t take your schedule into consideration when making plans. Instead, they expect you to adapt to whatever they choose. This leaves you sometimes canceling other plans to hang out with them, otherwise, you may not get to see each other at all. They also may ask you to hang out at the last second as if their other plans got canceled and they’re looking for something to do.
  6. They don’t make an effort to plan dates. Whenever you ask what they’d like to do when you hang out, you get an, “I don’t know, doesn’t matter to me.” They’re lazy about your hangouts and probably always down to just Netflix and chill. You deserve to be taken on lovely dates where the mental prep work is shared. None of this nonsense about you doing all the legwork!
  7. They avoid meeting people important to you. Several times you’ve invited them to meet your friends, but they’ve made up excuses. They avoid meeting people close to you at all costs. This is a sign that you’re not that important in their life and they don’t take the relationship very seriously. They’re for sure stringing you along, otherwise, they’d be happy to meet those important to you.
  8. They cancel plans last minute. A marker of someone who’s just stringing you along is that they’re unreliable with plans. Again, it seems to only be at their convenience rather than both of yours. They cancel at the last minute… frequently. You never want to be set on a date because you know they may cancel. This is a really crappy feeling that you just shouldn’t have to deal with.
  9. They don’t like PDA. Who knows what exactly they’re afraid of, maybe being seen by someone, but they don’t like PDA. They push you away when you try to kiss them in public and they aren’t a huge fan of handholding when you’re out and about. I don’t know about you, but I love me some PDA. I wouldn’t be able to be with someone who’s clearly not in it for the long haul.
  10. Their friends haven’t heard about you. A sure-fire sign that this person is just stringing you along rather than taking it slow is that they answer the phone and say “Hey, I’m with someone.” A person who cares about you and the relationship has mentioned you to their friends, so they’d say your name. They wouldn’t be all cryptic and weird. Huge red flag!
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.