Everyone has experienced that awkward phase between having a crush and dating, someone. Many people call it “talking” as in, “oh John and I are just talking.” It’s an inherently weird period where you’re texting and hanging with someone, but you haven’t “defined the relationship”.
All relationships go through this phase at the start, and it’s totally normal. What can be frustrating, however, is when the nebulous undefined period goes on seemingly without end. After talking for a while, or going on a few dates, things can become more unclear if you both haven’t officially decided to date.
Unfortunately, sometimes the guy on the other end doesn’t necessarily want to break out of the limbo.
Some guys are either too indecisive, or worse, deliberately like keeping an array of different girls in their web. This, sadly, is a reality in modern dating where it seems like half the people are looking for something real, and the other half are just looking to play games. This article offers 21 different signs that your crush probably isn’t going to be your boyfriend any time soon.
21He’s Always Texting You But Has Excuses To Not Meet Up
This has happened to all of us. We have someone we are interested in, and they (usually) reply to our texts and DMs but can’t seem to actually hang out.
A lot of guys love the attention of texting with girls but have no real intention of seeing if there could be something “real” there.
This can be really frustrating because, naturally, when someone is actively replying or talking to us we assume that they are interested in us on some level. It’s very counterintuitive to have someone talking to you, holding a conversation—even if it’s not always the most engaging—and then realize they have no interest whatsoever.
This is why the “meeting up” part is just so important. If you can see them face-to-face then you can get a much better feel for how they actually feel about you, and what they are thinking. When conversation happens in real-time (vs. via text) you really get a quick sense of how you are gelling, and whether the two of you would make sense as a couple.
20Also, A Lot Of That Texting Happens At Night
We just went from a little red flag to a gigantic red flag. If you’re usually talking to him after 8 pm, it’s unlikely that he’s looking for something serious. He’s probably just sending you messages when he’s bored, or when he’s out and looking for someone to hook up with.
When someone is into you, they don’t wait to text you until the middle of the night. If it’s early, they might not be texting you all the time (they might be trying to figure out how they feel) but there should be some regularity to it. When they only slide into your DMs at night, it really suggests that he is only thinking about you when he is thinking about hookups, or when he’s bored. That should be a big concern for you if you are looking for something more long-term or real.
A good way to test this: if he texts you at night, ignore the message and reply in the morning. If he gets back to you that day, maybe there’s something there. If you don’t hear from him for days, then that’s probably a good indicator that your crush isn’t going anywhere real.
19He Always Seems To Be “Busy”
He is always “so busy!!”
Here’s the deal: we make time for things we care about. If he never has time to hang out with you, do the math.
This is 2018, we are all busy. Except maybe for a lucky few, there is nobody on this planet who is just loaded with idle free time. We all have to make schedules and figure out what we are going to do with every day. We fill those schedules with things we have to do (work, school etc.), and things we want to do.
Things we don’t particularly care about are the things that we neglect and sometimes fall off the radar.
See how shallow it is for someone to always be too busy for you?
Now, everyone has busy spells. If he has shared that he has exams, or has had a rough week at work, maybe there’s a reason for him to be sparse for a week or two. That’s normal too. But if you’ve been talking to a guy for weeks or even months and he hasn’t found time for you, you should find time for somebody else.
18And He Only Gets Back To You When It’s Convenient For Him
It’s all about his timing, the things on his plate, his day. You could text him about something downright sucky that happened during your day, and if you aren’t on his schedule for that moment you won’t hear back.
A critical part of a relationship is being available for the other person when things hit the fan. It’s being interested in their day, their week, and their life and being able to respond to the things they are going through. Of course, when you’re talking to somebody it is a little silly to expect them to already be on that level as if you were taking, but there should be an interest.
They should ask you about how things are going, and followup about things you’ve mentioned in the past. If the whole conversation runs on their time (i.e. “Oh sorry I didn’t get back to you the last few days, busy hanging with my old friend from high school!”) that can be an issue that shows he isn’t super invested in you. Again, if it’s an occasional thing where he doesn’t get back to you, that’s understandable. Life happens. But if you see a pattern of him only hanging out with you, or texting you, when it’s convenient for him, that’s a sign that you guys aren’t going to become anything more.
17Sometimes It Takes Days For Him To Respond
Sometimes (aka late at night or on weekends) he might respond to you right away, but during the week he takes hours or days to get back to you. We always have busy spells sometimes, but if someone isn’t texting you back within the same day, they aren’t that invested in you.
The stupidest phrase in the world is “I’m bad at texting!!” I hear it from my friends all the time. It doesn’t mean anything. It just means that that person is lazy and you weren’t of immediate importance enough for them to respond to.
If a guy is interested in you seriously, he will respond.
When I am interested in someone I’ll go use the restroom at work to text them back. I will get back to them. If it’s taking days and days, they are (brutal honesty) probably just busy texting someone else back instead.
16He Keeps Saying He “Misses You” But Never Does Anything About It
Words are words. If he really missed you, he would hang out with you.
If someone could block the phrase “I miss you” from Android and iOS the world would be a whole lot better off. Real talk: the phrase has absolutely no meaning if it’s coming from someone who won’t make the smallest amount of effort to spend time with you.
If the phrase is coming from someone you are dating, or an old friend, then it is packed with meaning. But if someone is effectively saying, “I wish I was hanging out with you” and then ghosts you for three days after you suggest doing something fun, then it’s totally meaningless. He could hang out with you if he wanted, but he’s choosing not to.
“I miss you” is just a really clever phrase designed to keep you on the hook as he considers his options. You hear this and it’s making you believe that he’s thinking about you all the time, but if it’s not marked by action then you should honestly just ignore the text message.
15When He Finally Does Hang Out With You, It’s Always 1 On 1 And Never With Friends
For some reason, he never seems interested in introducing you to his friends or meeting your friends. He probably sees you as just someone to have a good time out with, not someone to come home to.
If you care about someone and want to make them a part of your life, you want them to know their friends and the other people they care about.
Granted, this might not happen immediately. It’s perfectly natural to have several dates just one-on-one to make sure you both are actually a good fit for each other. But once you’ve been talking a while, it will only be natural for him to want to introduce you to the people who are close to him. And from the other side, it would make sense that his friends would want to meet you because presumably he’s talking about you to them — or at least, he is if he actually wants something real.
Likewise, he should be open to meeting your friends too. It’s a pretty bad sign in my eye if you ask him to chill with you and some of your pals and he consistently claims to be “busy” or only wants to see you one-on-one.
14Also, It’s Never A “Date”
You’ve never called anything officially a date. It’s just “hanging out,” it’s just “chilling,” it’s just “grabbing a drink.”
This is how a lot of people approach things at first — keeping it super casual. There’s nothing wrong with that, but eventually, it should naturally evolve into something more. You should be able to talk about “our date last weekend” or how “going bowling was an unexpectedly fun date!” If you are feeling like you have to tiptop language in order to stay “super chill” and avoid “scaring him” this is a big sign that things probably won’t work out.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably here because you don’t want a relationship limbo. You want something real and sincere. As hard as it is to hear, that won’t happen when you’re with someone who is more concerned with being sufficiently vague than actually getting to know you. You should be with someone who, after having a reasonable amount of time to get to know you, is super excited to go on dates with you and at the prospect of being an “item” with you.
13He Posts Tons Of Social Media Pictures With Other Women
Now, there’s certainly a case for not getting obsessed with a partner’s social media and what they post, but this is different. This is clearly posting flirty photos with other girls or posting pictures that are deliberately trying to get attention from other girls.
People here can sometimes “overshoot the rim”, so it’s very important to give the benefit of the doubt. You shouldn’t be constantly looking at their Instagram or Snapchat for what he posts — that’s not healthy or respectful either.
BUT if you do see something that causes you to raise an eyebrow, you absolutely should not ignore it. If he’s posting a photo of him and another girl that’s super flirty or even suggestive, that’s concerning.
Definitely, make the distinction between photos with a group of friends (which are bound to be a little silly and irreverent) and a one-on-one pic with another girl.
The best way to go about this is to ask directly, but with a civil tone that looks to discover what the two of you actually are. Avoid anything super accusatory or attacking. You aren’t officially “with” him yet, so that would be unfair. Saying something like, “Hey, I saw this picture of you and Sarah and it made me think: what are we exactly?”
Something like that can open up a conversation and help you discover whether this crush is something worth spending more time on.
12And You Definitely See Him Flirting With Other Girls In Real Life Too
Again, even when you’re seeing someone they should be able to have close friends who are girls, but this is over the line. This is actively flirting with, and trying to get the attention of girls IRL. Sometimes he might be blatant enough to do this in front of you, or you may hear it through the grapevine, but either way, it’s not okay. Clearly, he just sees you as one of his many “options.”
It’s really worth avoiding falling for someone who has a tendency to talk to a lot of different people at once. But, of course, that is much easier said than done!! If you hear that someone you’ve been talking to is also flirting with a lot of other girls, like above, the best thing you can do is be direct. Saying something like, “Hey, I realized last night that I felt a little hurt when you were cuddling with Melissa last night. We’ve been talking a lot recently, how to do you see ‘us'”?
11He Almost Never Wants To Talk On The Phone
Phone conversations are a much more intimate way to keep in touch with someone you actually care about and want to hear from when you are apart.
Texting makes it easier for serial daters to touch base with a lot of people super quickly and keep them in their orbit. Phone calls are time-intensive and extremely intimate, as two people are just “hanging out” on the phone and talking about their day.
In this age where talking on the phone has fallen out of fashion, couples still do it—especially if they aren’t going to see each other for days or weeks on end.
When you are falling for someone, it isn’t enough to just see words on an iPhone screen, you want to hear their voice and hear them laugh.
So many people use the excuse, “I don’t like talking on the phone!” which can definitely real, but almost never happens when someone is super interested in the person asking to talk on the phone.
If the guy you are talking to is totally against jumping on the phone, you should seriously think about what he wants from you.
10And He Really Likes Communicating Through Apps Like Snapchat
Snapchat is often a best friend to flaky men. No record of your conversations, and super easy to transition to sending pictures vs. having deep chats.
For me, this is the classic red flag of someone not looking for anything serious. This has happened to me multiple times (I attract all kinds of irritating people!!) and I understood nothing was going anywhere when I realize that I was on a Snapchat listserv (lol) and not having real conversations with someone.
Real couples and serious relationships definitely use Instagram DMs and Snapchat to communicate, but that isn’t usually the ONLY place they interact. If he doesn’t want to jump on the phone but does want to send you a ton of DMs on Snapchat, that should be a pretty good indicator of where your crush is heading with him.
9You Frequently Get Vague Snaps / DMs That Were Probably Sent To Multiple People
You definitely get the sense that he is sending his snaps to multiple girls at once. They are often vague, not tailored to anything you’re specifically trying to discuss.
Again, this totally happened to me! The guy I was talking to would always send me these Snapchats that almost seemed to be tailored for me but were all vague enough that it was clear he was sending them to multiple people. A few times, I’m pretty sure he sent me snaps not meant to go to me at all.
This is a serious pet-peeve of mine because it’s the classic “string ’em along” player routine made even more efficient by Snapchat’s ability to send the same picture/message to multiple different people. To do this when someone knows I am probably looking for something serious is pretty cheap and annoying.
If you are talking to someone like this, they are a player.
They are not looking for anything real or long-term, and you should slowly just stop responding to their Snapchat messages all-together if you are.
8He Makes Big Promises But Usually Doesn’t Come Through
He’s always talking about all the fun stuff you guys “should” do together sometime, but it somehow never quite happens. He hypes up himself as a fun guy, but when push comes to shove, he wants to get you excited about the idea of dating him without actually dating.
This can play out one of two ways:
One, this is definitely used by serial daters to keep you on the hook while they consider all their options. It creates the image in your mind of hanging out in the future, and it will be so fun!! Like the “I miss you” text, it is a pretty empty gesture if they aren’t actually taking any action to hang out with you.
Second, this can also be someone who isn’t deliberately “playing” you, but also doesn’t care enough about you to make you a priority because he is “busy.”
Either way, this one is an easy one to test. If they promise to do something with you—or make any other promise for that matter—hold them to it. If they talk a big game about spending time with you and then ghost, don’t feel bad about leaving them behind and moving on.
7He Refuses To Have Any Serious Conversation
Most of your conversation revolves around silly jokes or him hyping himself up in some way. Any move to try to discuss some deeper matter will be totally brushed off.
You don’t have to have hours-long discussions on philosophy or religion, but it’s expected that someone who is interested in you will also be interested in your views and opinions.
If every single conversation you have with him is superficial and just endless casual banter, that’s a sign that things aren’t getting particularly deep between the two of you.
When most people have a crush on someone they are head-over-heels trying to find different topics of conversation to discuss with that person. It isn’t normal for someone to be crushing on you, and then only talk about the weather.
6Especially Any Type Of Conversation About “Putting A Label” On Your Relationship
Oh, and he mega resists any attempt to clarify what you guys are. He “really likes you” but “isn’t ready to commit.”
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think labeling things is almost always really important in “talking to someone” turning into a relationship. If you’re the kind of person who sincerely doesn’t mind just going with the flow, that’s cool, but if you want a relationship this is really something that you should clarify.
Some people think it’s “weird” to directly ask someone to “define the relationship” with them, but what’s actually weird is continuing to talk on and off with someone for weeks or months without knowing if it’s actually going anywhere.
If you are stuck in a limbo, just directly ask: “Hey, what are we?” If he doesn’t have some kind of answer after spending a significant amount of time talking to you, it’s time to forget him.
5He Only Starts Really Paying Attention To You When You Start To Drift Away
Almost like magic, once you’ve decided you’ve had enough and are going to let this “relationship limbo” fade away, suddenly he rears his head again, ready to pull you back into his never-ending orbit.
Indecisive guys who can’t decide whether they want to be with someone (or one of the other several people they are talking to) still like keeping all their options open.
If they sense that you are losing interest, he will suddenly flood you with some attention. Be prepared to welcome back some of the best hits (“I miss you”, “we should totally do something fun sometimes” etc.)
And it’s really tough to resist that. When you get positive signals like this after losing hope, it can be extremely tempting to jump right back into his newly re-interested arms and forget the fact that he basically ghosted you for two months.
4As Soon As You Get Your Hopes Back Up, He Ghosts Again
But it never lasts long. It’s just all about keeping him in your mind and letting him keep his options open.
Taking a relationship from the “talking” level to the “dating” level requires commitment. It requires frequent conversation and open dialogue. None of that is impossible if he’s only interested in you a few times a week. If your goal is to find a rewarding relationship, it’s your responsibility to set your expectations higher and decide the qualities you want from a guy. If you don’t set those expectations in your head (and stick with them) you’re going to keep getting trapped in “almost relationships” that always seem to be going somewhere, but never actually are.
Him deciding to reach out to you after days (or weeks) of neglect is NOT a sign the crush is going somewhere. It’s a sign that he is bored and a jerk.
3He Never Remembers Any “Big Days” Of Yours
Despite always keeping your hopes up that he’ll remember your birthday or a big test, he always disappoints.
He doesn’t retain anything about you—or at least, very little. It all goes in one ear and out the other. He isn’t really listening to you, he is just making sure you are still on his line. So if you notice that he doesn’t follow up about that exam you were really stressing out about, or doesn’t remember it is your birthday.
He isn’t paying attention to you, he just wants your attention.
This really should be a wakeup call to most people, but some people try to excuse this “Oh he is so busy, oh he said something really sweet the other day!” Resist that temptation.
2And Even When You Pour Your Heart Out, You Get Basically Nothing Back From Him
You want someone to share experiences with. Someone to adventure with. Someone to share memories with. He seems to just be interested in games.
If you want a quick and dirty way to check this, look through your text message logs and see who is doing the bulk of the talking. If you notice that you have tons of really long, deep messages and he is replying with emojis or one word answers over and over again, think about whether you guys actually have a real connection or not.
It is true that some people aren’t crazy about texting, but as I said before, you usually suspend this rule if you’re interested in someone. Also, if he’s truly not into texting but he is interested in you, you should be going on dates. If you aren’t hearing anything from him electronically or in real life, that’s a bad sign for how seriously he’s taking you.
1He’s Really Fun — But For The Moment
And it’s hard because you might’ve had some really fun times with him at some point. He might be the life of the party or have a special way to make you laugh. But your crush on him isn’t actually going anywhere.
Maybe you guys went to a really fun party together, or maybe you went on one date that was absolutely amazing. He might be really funny in person, and you couldn’t stop laughing.
It can be really hard to walk away from those memories, but if he isn’t investing in you presently, you might have to.
There are lots of people you might have a good time with. Friends, family, your pet—whatever. But your partner should be someone you have a deep emotional relationship with. Yes, you should be having fun, but that’s only one part of a successful relationship. If you are going out and having a good time one every few weeks, but there are no signs of the crush building into something more, it might be worth asking him “what you are” and figuring out whether it makes sense to keep investing your time and emotions in this crush.