Does this sound familiar? You’re talking to a guy and all that really ever happens is, well, nothing. You have hope that you’ll get together but he never fully commits to anything, stringing you along, putting you on the back burner “just in case.” I hate to tell you this but you’re the backup, not the priority. Here are some red flags that he’s keeping you on the hook.
He keeps things vague AF.
He keeps things casual. He says he really likes you but that right now isn’t a good time. He keeps that door just open enough to give you hope that something will happen eventually. He’s having you follow him around like a puppy on a leash, happy just to be there and that someone is giving him attention.
Nothing is defined.
You’re not considered to be dating him and you wouldn’t even really consider him to be a friend. You aren’t given a label. That gives the guy the freedom to continue to put you on the hook with no real consequence. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll tell you.
You only see him in groups, not one on one.
Said guy wants to keep you at arm’s length and just keeps you around enough to peak your interest. Let’s be honest—being alone with someone is too much of a sign that he’s interested romantically or even sexually, and even that possibility is too much of a commitment for him. Being in a group keeps things casual and not too serious therefore being the perfect excuse to not give you “the wrong idea.”
You’re kept a secret from others.
You don’t meet his family and you don’t really meet his friends. As harsh as it sounds, he clearly doesn’t really want to be seen with you. You aren’t really a part of his life and he doesn’t want you to be—you’re just the backup in case nothing better comes along.
He only contacts you when he needs something.
You’re never the one he calls up just to say hi or the one he goes to just because he wanted to hear the sound of your voice. He keeps you around as an ego boost as well as his own personal service center. You’re the person he calls when he needs a ride back from the airport or someone to help him move house. You have the job of a friendly neighbor, nothing more.
You jump at the opportunity to help him out but he’s not all that appreciative.
Let’s face it—you do these things in the dim hope that something else will come of it when in reality, you’re just going to get a pat on the head and a mild thanks, maybe a slice of pizza or something for all your labor and time. It’s not exactly the relationship that you’re hoping for.
He flirts to keep hope alive.
It isn’t your fault for getting confused about what the lines are. After all, the relationship was never actually defined. And to make things even more confusing, he flirts and maybe even gives you cute nicknames to fuel that hope that something might actually happen someday. Eventually isn’t good enough—you need to GTFO.
Every time you try to move on, he gives you more reasons to stay.
Again, hope is the thing that makes you ignore your gut and turns you into a lunatic. You know this isn’t the ideal situation and you try to move on, but every time you do, he gives you more reason to think that there’ll be a time in the future that you’ll be together. Whether it’s flirting more or just giving you more attention, he just wants to tighten those reins to make sure you’re there when he needs you to be.
Your friends give you crap for it.
They might just give you little digs about your “imaginary boyfriend” or your more blunt friends might even question why you’re wasting your time with this guy. Ultimately, your friends just want the best for you and honestly, you deserve it. Pay attention to what they’re saying and don’t just brush it off—they can see the situation more clearly than you can sometimes.
You justify his actions.
You want to believe what this guy is telling you. When he cancels last minute but he says he wants to see you later (again keeping things vague), when he flirts with you but tells you that “it isn’t the right time” for a relationships or that he just wants things to be “our special little secret,” you want to believe him. But honestly, if he isn’t giving you the time of day, it’s time to move on.
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