It’s easy to find yourself wasting a lot of time and heartache over guys who were never really serious in the first place.
What usually happens in these stories: a guy approaches you and shows some interest, and you start texting and talking on the phone. Maybe you go on a date. Things seem fun, but after a while his interest just sort of tapers off, or he only makes contact at random intervals, drifting in and out of your inbox.
You feel you’ve already become attached to him, yet you don’t know where you stand.
Now you’re thinking about him a lot, discussing his behaviour with your friend, and over-analyzing every text he sends (when he does bother to send them).
You are investing deeper and deeper in this guy, despite the fact that he’s not showing any signs of chasing.
I know this position sucks, and what makes it worse is that the guy gives you no obvious sign about what he wants.
Chances are, he feels some level of attraction to you, or enjoys your company, but he doesn’t feel enough interest or urgency to seriously make an effort.
Why Guys Show Attention But Don’t Take It Further
Men who string women along tend to be those who need of a lot of sexual validation.
He may not be interested in any kind of serious relationship, but he wants to boost his self-esteem by reminding himself that women are attracted to him sexually. Hence he goes and dates and sends flirty texts even when he has no desire for things to move forward.
So what can you do about this?
The trick is knowing the difference between him pursuing and him chasing.
Look for the following signs to know if he’s chasing you:
- He gets back to your texts and calls in good time (i.e. he doesn’t wait for a week or more before texting out of the blue).
- He suggests meeting up and actively tries to schedule a date.
- When he meets you, he expresses a desire to do real dates, rather than just hanging out at his place.
- He wants to get to know you rather than just sleep with you.
- He doesn’t express a desire to be single (i.e. if he keeps saying he doesn’t want a girlfriend, take him at his word).
Before a guy does these things, by all means you can be in contact and flirt with him, but don’t hold out a false hope that with enough time he’ll suddenly “get serious” and start pursuing you for a relationship.
In some cases, it is possible that a guy is not chasing because he’s got a ton going on in his life, or because he’s under immense career pressure and can’t imagine a relationship right now, or because he just broke up with his ex and needs to heal first.
The point is, whatever is going on his life is totally out of your control. Our job (men and women) in the dating is not to play the guessing game, or try to change anyone else’s situation. Let people do what they do, and react accordingly.
My brother Matthew has a rule I’ve repeated before: Like those who like you.
I would also amend this slightly: Get serious about people who treat you as serious.
Some people advise taking a chance on the unknown. Others think that’s crazy. I don’t think it is. What is undeniably crazy though is taking a chance with your heart on someone you already know isn’t bothered about giving you theirs.
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Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.