5 Signs Someone Is Leading You On That You Can Spot Before Things Get Serious

Finding love ain't easy. I know that isn't exactly a hot take, but it doesn't make it any less true. One of the trickiest hurdles to overcome is finding someone who's on the same page as you are about what they want. Some will tell you outright that they are just looking for a hookup, and while that might not be exactly what you'd hoped to hear, at least it was honest. Much worse, however, is someone who is misleading about their intentions. This is why you should always be low-key looking for the signs someone is leading you on any time you start dating someone new.

The key to understanding someone's intentions isn't necessarily in what they say. I mean, we've all known that sweet talker who seems to know exactly how to manipulate you with promises and misdirection. What you need to be paying close attention to, if you're trying to decipher how they actually feel, is their behavior. How do they act when they are around you, around other people, and maybe most importantly, when they aren't with you? What should you be looking out for? Here are some subtle signs that the person you're dating is just stringing you along.

1. They Are Great In Private And Cold In Public

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Do you feel like you are dating two different people? There is the private person who is physically affectionate and relaxed when it's just the two of you. And then, there's the one who goes cold in public or around other people they know. If the person you are dating holds you at arm's length in public, it could mean they are not trying to claim you, no matter how lovingly they behave when no one is looking.

2. They Flake On You At A Moment's Notice

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If someone is serious about you, you are the priority, not the backup plan. So, if the person you're dating flakes on you regularly at the last minute, they might consider you the contingency unless a better opportunity comes up. I know that sounds incredibly harsh, but you deserve the truth and a heck of a lot better.

3. They Avoid Answering Direct Questions About The Relationship

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Now, this could be the case for a person who is a bit nervous or unsure of what they want. But ask yourself, have you been seeing each other for a while but it seems like things may have stalled out? It's time to ask about the state of the relationship. If they are open to talking about where it's going, that's a good sign that perhaps they are just moving a little more slowly than you are — but still in the right direction. However, if they continuously try and avoid the conversation any time it comes up, well, take that answer for what it is.

4. Contact With Them Is Very Sporadic

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How do they behave when you're not around? The only way to really judge that is how good they are about communicating with you. Do you send texts that are never answered? Or do you hear from them constantly one week and then nothing the next? Look at both the the consistency of their behavior and their enthusiasm for staying in contact to gauge how they feel.

5. Your Gut Tells You They Are Leading You On

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We're all really good at believing what we want in relationships, as well as rationalizing away the signs that indicate they haven't caught as many feelings. At least on a conscious level, however, your gut rarely lies. If, deep down, you feel like something is off, then maybe trust yourself. Either they are leading you on, or they're not giving you what you need to be happy, fulfilled, and secure in the relationship. Both of these scenarios are legitimate reasons to communicate your concerns, and if there's no improvement, cut ties and move on so that you can be open to someone new.

Realizing someone you care about doesn’t really want the same things from the relationship as you do can hurt in the moment, but nothing is more empowering and healing than standing up for what you deserve. And yes, you deserve better.

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