One would think that a simple question like, “Is he stringing me along?” should be easy enough to answer. Yet it’s usually the most difficult one.
Sure, when you have no feelings it’s easy to detect. But as soon as feelings are involved, our eyesight betrays us and we start lacking common sense and the ability to assess the situation.
That’s why when love is clouding our judgment we need some help in discovering where we stand with that special somebody. We need to know are we just a fling or are we something more.
Here are some ways to tell he is stringing you along and some pieces of advice that will help you:
1. He likes that you are making an effort but he is unwilling to do the same.
He expects you to text first. He will have no problem replying to your message, but the initiative has to be yours. He hardly ever texts first. You are also the one who plans most of your dates or common activities.
His ego is growing by the minute and he is comfortable with that situation. He is allowing you to invest in him without giving anything back. If he is unable to establish communication and show that he is willing to go out of his way to see you, the odds are he is just stringing you along.
A tactic you can use here is ‘ignore’. That’s the only way for you to get his attention if he is really into you but just used to being lazy. Men are hunters by nature. To make him chase you, make him work for it, and don’t make it too easy for him by being the only one trying. He will get bored sooner than you think. All the efforts and investments must be mutual. Even the tiny ones like texting. If not, it’s better to walk away sooner.
2. He never uses the term ‘girlfriend’ to refer to you.
Of course, he won’t call you “girlfriend” after a few dates, but if enough time has passed and he is expecting and enjoying all the boyfriend benefits, he should also be willing to put a label on your relationship. If he beats around the bush or changes the subject when somebody in your surrounding asks him, or he avoids the topic completely when you yourself ask him, he is just wasting your time.
Him not saying anything actually says a lot. It says that he is there for something short-term and casual. Make sure he knows that you are interested in something more and if he is unable to step up his game and make you his girlfriend, then he is unworthy of your time.
3. You have a feeling that he spends time with you only when he has nothing better to do.
“We’ll see.” , “I’ll get back to you on that.”, “Maybe.” and “I don’t know.” are his favorite and most used sentences. They must be getting on your nerves by now. He is clearly giving you these vague answers because he is unsure where he stands with you. This type of behavior suggests that he always has one foot outside the door.
Play his game. Follow his lead and let him have a taste of his own medicine. Next time he asks to see you, write: “Oh, not sure if I can make it. I’ll see and get back to you on that.” It will confuse him. Dropping everything you are doing just to be with him won’t make him change. It will only make him take you and your time for granted.
Don’t just act busy. Make yourself busy doing your own things. Make him wait to see you. If he is there to stay, he will start to miss you and make an effort to see you at your convenience. If not, his loss. But at least you won’t be strung along anymore.
4. He is more into your body than into your mind.
Most of the time you spend together revolves around sex. Your texts seem more like foreplay than as regular texts. He never spends the night—he always flees. If he is not interested in how your day went, how your mind functions, and what are your fears, hopes, and dreams, he is not really that into you as a person. He is only interested in the physical aspect of your relationship.
This situation might agree with you at first when the chemistry is over the roof and sparks are flying in all directions. But as soon as you develop deeper feelings for him, you will feel unsatisfied with that situation. Speak your mind and tell him you don’t want your relationship with him coming down to just sex. If you want his body as much as you want his mind, he should be able to provide you with same. If not, show him the door.
5. The mere notion of commitment freaks him out.
He avoids that topic completely and you can see clearly that he gets uncomfortable only when the idea of commitment is mentioned. He is most likely a commitment-phobe which might pass with time if he is just too young or your relationship hasn’t reached that certain level where he feels the urge to commit.
Then again, his commitment phobia might be terminal and he might never change. He might be one of those guys who are not there for the long run. Not just for you but for anybody. If he is a ‘no strings attached’ type of guy, he is most definitely a ‘string you along’ type of guy, too.
If you think his commitment phobia might be something temporary, avoid mentioning the topic. Give him enough time and space to get there on his own. Sometimes a woman can see that ‘that’s it’ sooner than a man can. So, maybe your man might simply need more time to come to the place in your relationship where you already are.
If you think his commitment phobia is something terminal, you have probably already given him more chances than you should have and more time than necessary. You and your partner are clearly not on the same page about where your relationship is going. So, the best thing you can do is not to waste any more time stuck in a dead-end relationship.
6. He is big on promises but not so big when it comes to keeping those promises.
He is the type of guy who always promises he will change but he never does. He promised that he will change his life as well as his behavior towards you. He always says that he will put more effort into your relationship and that he will step up his game. He always asks you to give him time. He uses promises so beautifully that you have no other choice than to believe his words.
But, don’t trust his words. Trust his actions and you will see exactly where you stand. If he is just full of it you will see that as time passes his promises are nothing more than empty words. And the sad truth is that he will never change or do anything about the things he said he would.
He probably doesn’t have a clear image of where he stands in his own life, let alone with you. He might be going through some things and he is asking you to give him time to resolve them before he enters wholeheartedly into a relationship.
Pay close attention: if you see that he is all talk and no walk, he is probably just making some lame promises as an excuse to keep you waiting. If you see that he is not making any efforts to change his life or the situation he is in with you, you will have to admit to yourself that he never will.
7. He has ex-issues.
If you have this feeling his ex is also a part of your relationship, you are not in the right kind of relationship. Relationships are built for two, not three or more. You don’t need ghost of exes past interfering in your everyday life. He doesn’t have to have feelings for her, but she might have affected him in a way that he still feels the consequences of the past relationship.
She also might be one of his friends and he is is still in constant contact with her. It’s only natural that his relationship with her will affect everything you have with him in a negative way. It will bring questions and doubts into your relationship. And you don’t need her shadow in your love life.
If you recognize yourself in some of these symptoms, you have to speak honestly and openly with him. Let him know how his ex- situation is affecting you and the relationship you have with him.
You probably feel that situation at hand is keeping your relationship stagnant and you are unable to be entirely happy. You feel like he is distant and you need closeness that won’t come if he is unable to deal with his past. Talk openly about it with him and see how he really feels about you and if there is anything you both can do to better the situation you are in.
8. He doesn’t want to stay with you but he doesn’t have guts to admit it.
The best way to recognize the symptoms of him wanting out is when he changes drastically. He does everything differently than he used to. He makes excuses and he is always busy to see you. Texting you is the last thing on his mind; he comes and goes as he pleases, barely putting any effort into the relationship. He is simply not there with you.
He has no intention to hurt you, but his behavior is hurting you anyway. He might lack the strength to tell you he wants to end things and the more he procrastinates, the more pain it will cause you. You know you can’t force things, so give it to him straight and tell him that this is not working for you and that this entire situation is making you sad.
Act immediately and don’t allow things to go any further. If it’s not meant to be, you are only making both of you unhappy. Then again, if he wants to work on things, that is really a good sign. It means he still cares enough to make an effort and feels like what he has with you is worth saving. The worst thing you can do here is not doing anything—it will only make things worse.
9. You feel like everything is one-sided.
If you feel like you are the only one putting your heart and soul into the relationship. Giving your best is never good enough and all of your hardest efforts go unnoticed. The odds are that the other person is taking you for granted; he is simply used to taking things without giving anything back.
One-sided relationships never work. Stop giving your best to someone who wouldn’t even lift his little finger for you. Love yourself enough to walk away when he is not making you feel like you are his one and only. When he has no intention of making you feel happy and safe. When you are underappreciated and poorly treated. You deserve the world—don’t settle for anything less.
If you have to ask yourself: “Is he stringing me along?”, deep down you probably already know the answer. The thing is you care for him very much or you are so into him that you can’t see the reality of things. You would much rather stay than risk losing him. But the thing is you can’t lose what’s not already yours.
If you say you want to change and he doesn’t budge, he is not the man for you. On the other hand, if he bends over backward to make things work, if he sees you are not pleased with the way things are working and he starts making an effort, he is a keeper.
Men have these phases in the relationship where they are in some state of deep sleep and they need a women’s words to wake them up and make them move. If he cares, he will do everything to keep you by his side. If not, you will at least be certain of where you stand with him and you won’t be strung along anymore.