The below post and its companion (Six Signs He is Stringing Her Along [Being Strung Along, Part 1]) 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!
As embarrassing as it is to admit, I have been on both sides of this coin. So many nights, I waited by the phone for a guy to call, drove him around when he did not have a car, and endured countless mind games. You would think as much as that hurt, my sense of decency would not allow me to follow suit. But, unfortunately, I was just as bad. In certain relationships, I enjoyed the benefits of “love” without committing to the person. Often, I fantasize about going back in time and making changes. Since that cannot happen, I will use this platform to say “I am sorry” (again) to anyone I ever hurt, and to warn guys to stay away from girls who are not yet ready for mature, selfless love.
Gentlemen, if any of those guys had stood up to me and meant it, it would have gone a long way towards changing my behavior. They would have grabbed my attention. We teach people how to treat us; and, when we allow someone to use us, they will continue as long as we let them. When I was seventeen, I had a terrible habit of smacking my boyfriend in the back of the head. It was not a hard smack. It was meant to be playful, like, “you’re so silly.” But, one day… he had enough. “What is this obsession you have with hitting me?!” It caught me off guard, but it woke me up. From that day forward, I never hit him again.
You teach people how to treat you.
This topic is often on the mind of young men and women as they search for their mate (and search our site). We want to know if a relationship is worth the investment. Fellas, if you think your significant other might be stringing you along, read this post and pass it along to others who may also be in your shoes.
Have you ever heard any of the following claims? “All men are pigs.” “They can’t commit.” “Guys are only after one thing.” “If you give your heart to a man he’ll stomp it flat every time!” In our culture, it has become acceptable and status quo to bad mouth men for their failures, but men do not have that same luxury. Sure, they can sit around with other men and complain about women; but, if a man walked up to a woman, slapped her in the face, and said, “All women are heifers!,” it very well might make the evening news! On the flip side, if a scorned woman feels justified in disrespectfully smacking a guy, mouthing off to him in public, and keying his truck, well… “He must have done something really bad to make her that mad. Poor girl.”
As a woman, I can say from experience how hard it is to have your heart tossed around and stomped by a guy who claimed to love and care for you, but the double standards are simply unfair. Just as it’s wrong for guys to be rewarded and labeled as “men” for having frivolous sex (while sexually active young women are considered “easy”), it is also wrong for women to be celebrated for humiliating and “sticking it to” men (while men are practically crucified for speaking in such a way to women).
From my own observations and experiences, it seems that men are constantly railroaded and badmouthed for stringing women along (and I agree that it’s wrong); but, let’s face it: ladies do it too – and sometimes worse!
So, here are six signs that a girl is stringing you along:
- She won’t commit to a title. In the same way uncommitted guys don’t want to make anything official, girls who are in a fake relationship (i.e., “just friends” or “friends with benefits”) will put off committing to a title. If you have been spending a lot of time with a girl, paying for her food, and interacting physically with her in private (e.g., hugging, kissing, hand holding, etc.) – but, she refuses to label your interactions as “a relationship” – she is most likely stringing you along. She likes the attention, the perks, and the emotional lift she gets from being with you, but she’s not willing to take herself off of the market. My advice is to separate from her, give her time to think, and then see where she stands. It could be that the relationship is moving too fast and she just needs space and time to think. Or, it could be that she’s just having fun with no intentions of ever making a commitment.
- She prefers to spend time with you in private… always in private. If your lady friend treats you like a buddy in public (or like you don’t exist) and then wants to snuggle and baby talk you in private, she’s probably not interested in a real relationship. What she likes is how much you like her. She likes feeling attractive. She may even kind of sort of like you, but if she is not willing to be yours in front of the world, she is not worth your time. A clear sign someone is into you is his or her willingness and excitement to show you off to the world (or, at least, to their world). If you have to keep your romance a secret (unless your families are feuding or she’s been betrothed to another man since birth), she’s not that interested.
- She’s always busy. Some women are legitimately busy, but I haven’t met a woman yet who wouldn’t make time for the man of her dreams. If your lady in question is busy all the time, that’s not necessarily a brush off; however, if she’s busy when you want her time, but not too busy for her other friends, she’s probably not that interested. If you can only spend time with her on her terms and she pushes you aside at a moment’s notice for more amusing activities, let her go. When you tell her you’re done with your pseudo-relationship, she may try to convince you that she really likes you; however, if her actions don’t show a long-term change, she’s not the one. If she truly likes you and was unknowingly taking you for granted, she’ll straighten up and fly right when she sees that you’re ready to walk away.
- She plays mind games. Mind games are manipulative and destructive. If you are playing mind games or are with someone who does, don’t consider getting married (yet) to that person. Anyone who plays games with another’s heart is not ready to be in a marriage relationship. Playing mind games is a sure sign of selfishness, immaturity, and disrespect. Is she overly friendly to other guys in front of you (obviously flirting) but then later tells you that you’re the only guy for her? Does she try to make you jealous? Do her actions make you feel insecure, but her words flatter you? If so, she’s either not mature enough for an adult relationship, or she’s stringing you along… keeping you baited until she finds a new fish.
- She freely accepts gifts and freebies but never reciprocates in any way. I’m an old-fashioned girl. I love the idea of a guy picking up a girl, meeting her family, paying for her dinner, and treating her like a lady. However, if you are always giving to a girl and she never returns the affection (e.g., picking you up your favorite soda, surprising you with movie tickets, any outward proof that she appreciates you and has been thinking about you, etc.) she may be stringing you along for the perks. It’s hard to resist getting new clothes, jewelry, fancy dinners, and tokens of affection; but, if she squeals with delight at the gifts you give her, but never inconveniences herself for you, she’s probably more interested in the stuff than a relationship with you.
- She’s extra nice when she needs your help, but cool around you when she doesn’t need you. Does the woman in your life love to ask you for favors (e.g., move furniture, fix her car, use your truck, etc.), but goes missing when you want to spend time with her? Whether she’s being malicious or not, she’s using you. It’s fine to extend your help to a friend with no expectations, but if this “friend” insinuates that you are more than friends when she needs a job done, she’s keeping you around for non-romantic reasons. Your time is too valuable. You are too valuable. It’s time to find a woman who wants to be your teammate – a woman who appreciates you all the time.
If it’s clear to you that your girlfriend is stringing you along, cut the cord. It won’t be easy, but you’ll be freeing yourself up to get to know other ladies. Don’t stay in a relationship with someone who is using you as an interim boyfriend. You and your time and energy are worth more! Ask God to help you forgive her and then move on with your life.
Do you know a guy who is being strung along? Pass along this post to him! Also, check out Six Signs He is Stringing Her Along (Being Strung Along, Part 1).
What are other telltale signs a girl is stringing a guy along? Help others out and comment below!