The below post and its companion (Six Signs She is Stringing Him Along [Being Strung Along, Part 2]) have been two of the most upvoted posts on our site. In this Year of Hindsight, we are revisiting several highly upvoted posts and are highlighting and updating them!
“But I thought we had something. I thought you loved me; and I loved you.” An ex-boyfriend said this to me in the driveway of his parents’ home. Maybe your first inclination is to think, “Awww, he wanted you back,” or “How sweet. He still loved you.” Well, not exactly.
He was my ex, but he was not a recent ex. In fact, he made this comment to me not one, not two, but three years after we broke up. Why? Because I was in the early stages of a new relationship and he wanted to manipulate me. (He did not want me – not a bit; but he had something to say about everyone I dated for years after we called it quits.)
He was interested in me when I was in a relationship, but when I was free, he pushed me away.
He was stringing me along.
He was keeping me in his back pocket just in case he was ever lonely.
He had no intention of seriously dating me again, but he needed some love insurance. He needed to know someone out there wanted him.
Though hurtful, this education is not something I would trade. It taught me a lot about human nature and gave me the ability to spot insincerity a mile away. If someone comes around trying to pull the wool over my friends’ eyes, I will be there with the truth.
It hurts to have someone string you along, but it hurts less when you spot it before your heart is completely submerged. Please enjoy this upvoted post from a few years back and send it to other women you love!
Okay, ladies. Hopefully today’s blog will help answer that nagging question we have all faced or are facing now: “Does he really like me or is he just stringing me along until he finds someone he likes better?”
Even though this is written primarily to women, I would strongly recommend the gentlemen take notice of the following signs as well. We have tackled the question “Is she stringing me along?” here: Six Signs She is Stringing Him Along [Being Strung Along, Part 2]
Here are six signs that a guy is stringing you along:
- He will not make your relationship official. This is the classic sign for both sexes. Guys who are stringing girls along will not commit to the relationship. “We are just friends.” Girls do the same, so expect to see this on the ladies’ list in our other post too. When a guy is into a girl, he wants the world to know she is his. Ladies, do not ever settle for a man who is not proud to be with you. If you talk and act like a couple in private, but he will not commit to being in a relationship with you, mark him off your list. If he is up front with you and says that he wants to get to know you better before moving past the friend stage, that is different… as long as he is not acting like your boyfriend in private.
- He butters you up in private and then acts like you do not exist in public. I am going to shoot straight here. If you are with a guy who sweet talks you in private and then ignores you in public, walk away – now. He is not worth your time and energy. If you are wondering how he feels about you, I can tell you. He does not care about you. I am not trying to be harsh; I just know the type and it hurts my heart when girls hang around guys who make them feel like princesses in private, and then ignore them in front of people “who matter.” If this is happening to you, he is the insecure loser, not you. Walk away with your head held high and trust God to bring you a man who will adore you.
- He is missing in action until he senses competition. This one almost makes me laugh… almost. I picture a guy sitting back, relaxing, and thinking, “I’ve got her. She’s crazy about me,” only to look in the distance and see another guy sweet talking “his” lady. Suddenly, he is interested in her again. He buys her flowers. He takes her to nice restaurants. He parades her in front of his competition. Then when the competition becomes interested in someone else, he goes missing again. This kind of guy likes to keep you at arm’s length but becomes very insecure when someone else is looking your way.
- He plays mind games with you. Mind games are not gender specific in any way. Guys and girls alike throw mind games around in relationships and nothing good ever comes from them. Does your guy play mind games with you? Does this sound familiar? “This girl I used to like called me last night. I am confused. I don’t know if my feelings for her are completely gone. What should I do?” If a guy who is supposedly into you has the nerve to ask your advice about whether to cheat on you, he is playing mind games. He wants you to beg and plead with him to stay with you. It makes him feel wanted and important. Mind games come in all shapes and sizes, but if your guy is making you feel crazy because you can never tell if he is serious about you or not, assume that he is not and walk away. If he is serious about having you in his life, he will make it clear! Guys have been known to go to great lengths to win a girl’s heart. Guys will fight for what matters to them! (And if he is not willing to fight for you, you do not need him.)
- He makes you feel guilty for considering other guys, but refuses to commit to you. If a guy is stringing you along, he will not take care of your heart and he will not like the idea of you looking past him at another guy. In fact, he will probably try to lay a guilt trip on you. “I thought we had something. I cannot believe you would even consider talking to him. What about us?” You do not have time for this. Do not ever commit your affection, time, and energy to someone who is careless with your heart. He is wasting your time and investing no energy in pursuing you. I said it before, and I will say it again… you are worth more than that!
- He takes from you physically (e.g., late night off road make out sessions, inappropriate touching, etc.) and calls it “friends with benefits”… Drawing physical boundaries is difficult in many premarital relationships, but if your guy friend tries to coax you into compromising positions without so much as calling you his girlfriend, he is using Let him go. Period. Do not get me wrong. If your boyfriend is trying to sweet talk or guilt you into compromising your morals, do not put up with that either. There is a difference between a guy and girl who genuinely care about each other struggling to remain pure and a guy using a girl (or vice versa) merely for physical pleasure.
Many of us ladies know what it is like to be strung along and what it is like to string a guy along (and the guilt that goes with it). I am sure some guys can resonate with this list, but have since grown up and changed into mature, godly guys. God can change a heart and I am so glad He can!
However, if you are in an on today, off tomorrow relationship with someone who does not want to commit to you, but does not want to let you go either, cut the cord. Even if he turns out to be the best catch in town in ten years, he is not right for you now. It hurts to let go, especially when your heart has been tangled up and bruised, but time diminishes the pain and God can heal and restore. Do not settle to be the understudy in some guy’s romantic drama. When a relationship is as it should be, you will be the leading lady.
Do you have a friend, sister, or co-worker who is being strung along? Pass along this post to her!
What are other telltale signs that a guy is stringing a girl along? Help others out and comment below!