How Do You Know If He’s Stringing You Along?

If you like a guy, it’s easy to tell yourself things are fine and ignore what’s going on. You want so much for something good to come from your time together that you don’t want to know that all is not well.

stringing you alongBut if you’re starting to suspect he’s not really into you, here are some very clear signs that he’s just stringing you along and not in it for the long haul. If any of these clues are uncomfortably close to the truth, it’s time to take a good long hard look at your relationship.


No Relationship Status

When he introduces you, are you still a “good friend”? Does he stutter or stammer when he’s forced to define who you are? If you’ve been going out for some time and he still doesn’t want to call you his girlfriend to his friends, you should start to get suspicious.

Note: Some guys prefer to keep their private life offline and don’t change their Facebook relationship status until they are just about married, but what he says about his relationship status with you in the real world truly counts and should show if he’s serious or not.


Not Comfortable Being Seen With You

If he’s happy about your relationship, he won’t mind being out in public with you. If he’s just stringing you along, he’ll suggest dates at home, meeting at places where you won’t be seen by people you know, or only meeting late at night after he’s seen his other friends. If you find he’s making excuses to avoid certain places or is never able to make it when you arranged to meet with friends, he’s stringing you along.


You Haven’t Met Each Other’s Families

Aside from not being seen with you in public, he finds ways to avoid meeting your family and introducing you to his. There’s no reason in his mind why he should introduce you to people close to him as he doesn’t see the relationship lasting. If you’ve been together with a man for an extended period of time and he still won’t introduce you to his family, warning lights should go off in your head.


Nice In Public, Mean In Private

If you get to meet his friends, it may be that he wants you as arm candy, but he isn’t all that into you. He likes treating you well when he’s being seen by others and will proudly present you to his friends, but will push you away and treat you poorly when you’re alone. Maybe he doesn’t have a problem saying that you’re his girlfriend; he might even act like he’s showing you off. He might be only too happy to be seen with you, but only because he wants everyone to know that he “owns” you. He’s not in it for the relationship if he doesn’t treat you the same when you’re alone as he does when he’s being watched.


Long Periods Of Absence

If he’s not seriously into you, he’ll only be around when he wants to be. You may not hear from him for a long period of time and suddenly he’ll be there to chat again. There is seldom a good explanation for where he’s been, he’s just busy. Because he thinks you’re just there for his needs, he’s not eager to explain himself logically and expects things to pretty much pick up where you left off.


Lies And Deceit

He may even tell lies to avoid having to explain his absences. As soon as you catch him lying to you, you should get ready to get out of the relationship. Unless he’s planning a big surprise for you, there is absolutely no reason why he should lie to you. He may find ways to deceive you about where he is and what he’s doing because he doesn’t want to be with you right then, or he may lie about dating other women. Whatever it is, it’s not good news.


Unfaithful, But Jealous

If you haven’t yet agreed to have an exclusive relationship, it’s understandable that he’s still dating other women. You might not like it, but at least, it’s not deceitful. However, in that case, you should be free to date other men. If he gets jealous when you date other men, he either needs to commit to a monogamous relationship with you or move on. Don’t let him string you along while he continues to play the field.


Attention To Keep You Hooked

A man who’s using you may be generous with attention only when it suits his purpose. Because of this, he might get lazy after some time, especially if you’re feeling close enough to him to give him attention without him having to put in much of an effort. But as soon as someone else starts to pay attention to you, he’ll suddenly start to go the extra mile again. He’s afraid of losing you. Even though you’re somewhat “disposable”, he wants to let you go only when he’s ready and will do what he needs to do to hold on to you until then.


Uncomfortable When You Try To Get Closer

He’ll find all kinds of ways to avoid any discussion about commitment and get uncomfortable when you try to get to know the real him – after all the real him is a bit of a shady character keeping you dangling on a string instead of being honest with you. Does he throw a question back at you or make a joke when you ask something personal instead of giving a straight answer? Does he find ways to get out of any kind of deep discussion, any talk about the future, or about you as a couple? He may be shy, but if some of the other signs are there, he’s more likely to be stringing you along.


It’s All Take And No Give

If you always have to be the one to adapt your schedule for him and make time when he says, he probably isn’t taking your relationship seriously. It will happen that couples have times when one partner has to make more sacrifices or adapt more. But there should also be a time when balance is restored in the relationship to accommodate the other. If he’s demanding you make all the adjustments, and he’s not flexible at all, it shows a lack of commitment.


He’s Content Just Having Sex

He might call you “friends with benefits” and be totally comfortable with that idea. If he’s using you just for sex, he might not even be that great as a friend. He won’t be there to hold your hand and let you vent as a friend would. Instead, he’s only there when he’s got the urge and you’re the best one around to fill it. If you’re fine with just having a sex buddy, then it’s all good. But if you want a relationship, a man who is only around when he wants sex isn’t the man for you.


He Treats You Great Only When It Leads To Sex

He might disappear for a few days or treat you badly when you’re together. Suddenly, he’s got a change of heart and goes all romantic on you. He gets you flowers, organizes a candle-lit dinner or offers you a massage. But his improved behavior is because he wants something from you. He sees getting sex from you as payment for the nice things he does for you, and you’re the best source he’s got until someone better comes along.

If there are clear signs that your guy is stringing you along, don’t wait to get hurt every time he treats you badly. You’re worth so much more than this. Take the initiative and give this guy the boot.

Over To You: Have you ever been in a relationship where you suspected your guy was stringing you along? How did you know? When did you break off with him? Please share in the comments below.

Image Credit: ©

10 Responses to “How Do You Know If He’s Stringing You Along?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. This is some great advice, Ana, thanks for sharing it! All these are such serious signs of the man’s insecurity and so women would better of without someone like that in their lives 😉
    Delia recently posted…Blog Commenting Weekend, Fri April 4

  2. Rachel says:

    Most of these sound like they’re a list of how to tell if the guy is actually married! The only thing missing is the advice to check out if his ring finger has a funny tan…
    Rachel recently posted…The public-private divide and the Facebook generation gap

  3. ROSE says:

    WOW!your article is great.I feel slap to my face this is describe how my guy treat me plus he is flaunting other woman infront of my face. i’ve been dating a guy in military for more than 3 years ..
    what is the best thing to do? i admit i am kinda needy and clingy. i always get back to him no matter how he treat me so bad. im like a doormat. i dont know how to start again with my life.
    is there a way i could play him too?

    • Ana says:

      Hi Rose, I’m not fond of game playing and I have a feeling that it would not work with this guy anyway as he treats you so badly. I can only repeat what I said in the article “You’re worth so much more than this. Take the initiative and give this guy the boot.” You will never feel confident if you let anyone do this to you.

      Stay single for a while. Work on your confidence and self-esteem and then find another guy – one who will love and cherish you as you deserve to be loved and cherished.

      Even if you don’t have a guy for a while, it’s much better to be alone than to let someone treat you like dirt. You may think you love this guy, but you only love the idea of him, not the reality. The reality sucks and is making you unhappy. Time to move on and find someone who is worthy of those loving feelings.
      Ana recently posted…5 Clear Signs You’re With The Wrong Guy

  4. ROSE says:

    Hi Anna,

    thanks what is the best hing to do? should i cut all the communication with him?
    but its hard to do.. he said he want to be friends to me…
    he does not want to define our relationship. he said we are friends sharing benefits that hurts..
    how i find a courage to let him go?

    • Ana says:

      Of course he wants to stay in touch. Why wouldn’t he? He gets everything he wants from you and all those other women as well. You get a broken heart. That’s not being a friend. Tell him that being a friend sharing benefits is not enough for you and you’ve had enough. This is like having the courage to stop a habit or addiction that you know is harming you. Difficult but essential to your happiness.
      Ana recently posted…Loving What Is

  5. Chelsea says:


    I have been in a 2.5 year relationship with a man I just discovered is married to a 57 year old woman in Nanaimo. Whilst he lives in the outskirts of Victoria. I had no idea he was married. He owns a condo he looks single. He owns a home in Nanaimo. You’d never guess he’s not single. He even dates his 65 year old neighbor and has threesome with his wife. They all go camping together as I just found out. So I am raising our 8 month old daughter on my own. He keeps telling me even now that we will be together just after he puts up another article. I’m crying tonight after knowing he took his neighbor that he makes love to to Port Renfrew and tonight cooked her supper. I’m struggling making ends meet as a single mom raising our little girl on my own. He takes money from my purse when he comes and eats all the food from my fridge. And just wants sex then leaves. I keep hoping he isn’t lie ing to me but he is. He had to boast about his trip to Disneyland with his wife that knows about me and is okay donating used becel containers and recyclables to me as a gift (insulting). He has every add posted on Craigslist as a man from 40, 41,42, and 50, 55. I’m crying because I hope every day he will see I’m a young 28 year old girl that loves him and had a child with him. I’m waiting and still hoping for him to love me.


    • Ana says:

      This man is bad news Chelsea. Bad News with a capital B and a capital N. You deserve so much better than this. Don’t wait for him any longer. He’s never going to change no matter what he says to convince you so that he can have sex with you again. Give yourself a chance to find someone who loves you back. Because this guy only loves himself and has no heart for anyone else. Build your life with your daughter without him and kick him out now before she grows up thinking it is okay for women to allow guys to treat them like crap. It is not okay. It is never okay.
      Ana recently posted…Should You Use Mobile Dating Apps?

What Do You Think? Anything to Add?


CommentLuv badge