11 Signs You're Being Strung Along

Is he legitimately into you, or does he just like to keep you strung along?

11 Signs You're Being Strung Along
Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash

There was one guy I knew who just loved the idea of stringing girls along. He didn't only love it; he relished in it.

He was one of those people who was unattractive in community college but then turned handsome. So, as a way to get back at all the people who rejected him, he began to be a player. Girls considered dating him a status symbol, but after a while, we all noticed a pattern developing.

He'd string girls along, but never commit. Girls would bend over backwards to try to get him to solidify their relationship, but he'd never do it. We thought that he was just holding out for the right girl or the right time, but we were wrong.

The truth is that we watched girl after girl get strung along, only to be unceremoniously dumped when he'd find an upgrade. He's not the only one out there who does this kind of stuff, either. Many men and women string people along.

The worst part about all this is how used and hurt you feel once you realize that the partner you wanted to be with was never serious about you. If you want to avoid being taken advantage of, you need to make sure you know the signs that you're being strung along.

He doesn't really invest a lot of time in you.

Photo by Elisha Terada via Unsplash

A partner who is serious about committing to you, or even dating you, will spend a lot of time texting you, talking to you on the phone, and just being there for you. If he only texts once in a blue moon, or if he doesn't really see you outside of late night meetups, chances are high that he's stringing you along.

You feel like he's dangling the carrot of commitment in front of you.

A lot of guys—particularly ones who are a bit sick in the head—like to mess with girls by dangling the potential of a relationship in front of them. They will talk about how they are "considering" a relationship with them, but might "need time" or "need convincing" for it to happen.

People, do not fall for this. It's a very thinly veiled way to manipulate you into accepting less than you deserve—and also have an excuse to leave you once they've had their fill.

When it comes to things like talking about marriage, or even getting him to commit to the label of "boyfriend," he balks.

Via Adriana Velasquez from Unsplash

The biggest, and most obvious, sign that he's stringing you along is the way he reacts to "the talk." Men who are serious about you will have no issue talking about commitment. Moreover, men who are serious about the girls they date will have no issue calling themselves the girl's boyfriend.

On the other hand, guys who enjoy stringing girls along will say things like, "Why do you have to put a label on things? That just complicates it." They may also just brush everything aside by saying, "Let's talk about this later."

Excuses are also pretty common here, particularly if you put your foot down. If given a date to get official, guys who string girls along will often make a point of giving excuses as to why it's not a good time for them.

Either way, if he wanted to commit, he'd say so.

When you first started talking to him, he told you that he "wasn't looking for anything serious."

One thing that women have to learn about men is to believe them when they say they aren't interested. Life is not a romantic comedy. When he said he's not looking for a serious relationship, that means he's not looking for anything serious with you.

Trying to get a guy who's already decided you're not the one to commit is a fruitless effort that really will not do anything good for you. At best, he might commit temporarily—at the cost of your self-esteem and years of wearing him down. At worst, well, you'll find out the hard way.

His text game involves really blithe, vapid, and unengaging talk.

James Sutton via Unsplash


Or, maybe he goes for the classic, "Wyd?"

That's all he says when he tries to get your attention, right?

Guys who string girls along don't usually put in much effort when it comes to getting the girl's attention. After all, they don't really care about the girls they're stringing along.

That's why men go for low investment, low reward methods of stringing girls along. They don't care about the girls they do this to; they just want to extract as much as possible without actually doing much to deserve it.

If you notice that most of his texts involve single word sentences, then his investment in you is low—and he's just talking to you to boost his ego. Needless to say, if he randomly texts you simple words, then it's a sign he's stringing you along.

He only is interested in you when you're walking away from him, or when you're with someone else.

One thing I've learned about men is that they really hate anything that could bruise their ego. This is particularly true about men who enjoy stringing girls along. The reason most men string girls along is because they have a need to feel desired and fawned over.

If you're being strung along, you'll often know because he'll snap to attention and ramp up his efforts the moment he sees you flirting with another guy—or worse, walking away. Then, if you decide to choose the stringer over the guy who was actually interested, his efforts will die out again.

This pattern of push-pull is a classic indicator that you're being strung along. Should this happen, it may be time to cut his strings.

Most of the time, you can't be sure he'll actually show up for dates.

Via Caleb Frith Unsplash

Men who are serious about you will have absolutely no problem giving you a solid date and time they're available. When you make plans with them, they will be there.

Meanwhile, guys who string you along won't care enough to actually keep plans set in stone. Even when you're planning things out, they may say something along the lines of "Lemme get back to you on that."

He might even stand you up, then call you as if nothing's happened the day after. If you call a stringer out on it, he also might emphasize how busy he is, and try to guilt you about getting annoyed at the disrespect and flakiness he's showing.

If he was legit serious—or even worth a damn—he wouldn't do this.

He could put Harry Houdini out of business with his disappearing acts.

Does he go dark for weeks at a time, only to hit you up late night at random? Does he only seem to be really interested when he runs into you at the club? This ghosting-unghosting cycle is a clear sign that you're being strung along.

The best way to handle this, of course, is to ghost him right back.

He insists on you being a cheap date, or insists on sex—or he'll refuse to show up.

Via Tanja Heffner Unsplash

Men who are serious about the girls they're with will want to enjoy her company in any circumstance. They won't care if they can't get laid that night, and they won't care if they have to pick up the tab at a mid-range restaurant, either. Why? Because they legit want to be with that girl.

On the other hand, guys who are stringing girls along don't care about the girl enough to be that way. So, if you give him a heads up that he needs to pay the tab or that you can't have sex, he won't want to go—and will cancel plans last minute as a result.

He's scoping out other women in your presence.

A good sign that he's stringing you along relies on how he behaves around other women in your presence. If he's constantly chatting up other girls, and talking to "female friends" in a dodgy way, it's fairly likely that he's stringing you along.

You legit feel like you're dealing with mind games from him.

Via Priscilla Dupreez Unsplash

Guys who string girls along are pretty masterful with mind games. They will have you second-guessing yourself, wondering if you're really unreasonable for wanting something substantial, and will even go so far as to lower your self-esteem, too.

If you feel like he's playing games, trust that instinct—and dump him. At the end of the day, life is too short to stress over a guy who's not worth your time.

Ossiana M. Tepfenhart
Ossiana M. Tepfenhart
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Ossiana M. Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of NJ.

See all posts by Ossiana M. Tepfenhart