As someone who has been led on by guys and has even led on a few guys in her time, I am uniquely qualified to answer the question, is he leading you on?
The thing about being led on is that when it’s happening you have no clue. You’re hopeful and excited, never even considering the question: is he leading you on?
If you’ve ever been led on before, you know that the end result is anything but hopeful or exciting. In fact, it feels like you’ve been royally screwed over. And that’s because you have.
When someone leads you on, they are not treating you with respect. They play games with your emotions with little to no sympathy for the pain they cause you.
This is why it is important to be able to spot the signs that he is leading you. Is he leading you on or is he genuine in his intentions? Put a stop to it before you get hurt. [Read: How to play the player and return the favor like a boss]
What does being led on really mean?
Before we get into the signs he’s leading you on, let’s make sure you really know what being led on means. It isn’t always black and white and can be confusing. So, I’m going to lay it out there for you.
When someone leads you on, it means they are giving you false hope. Some consider flirting with someone that buys you a drink a form of leading someone on. In my book that is a little too petite to be considered leading on.
In my book, being led on is when someone gives you hope, indirectly or directly, that they are interested in you when they know they do not plan on following through.
You can be led on and then ghosted. You can be led on and then stood up. Or you can be led on and then dumped or used and always let down.
I’ll give you an example of being led on from my own personal collection of experiences. I was talking to a new guy for about two weeks. Early on I asked him flat out what he was looking for. He told me he wanted to take things slowly but was ultimately looking for a relationship.
After that, he continued to push that point home by telling me what we would do on future dates, how he was nervous I wouldn’t like him once we met, and how happy he was he met me.
I being the person I am was skeptical, of course, and as it turns out, rightfully so. Out of the blue one day, he texted me that he was sorry but had no desire for anything serious. He led me on for weeks. He didn’t give a reason or make an excuse.
Now, I appreciated the honesty. It was certainly better than all out ghosting, but that is what leading on is.
Sure, he could have his own reasons like he met someone he liked more, lost interest, was scared of our connection, blah blah blah. But, in my book 9/10 times when someone leads you on they planned on dropping you from the start.
Sure sometimes they want something out of you like sex or companionship. Other times they just do it to do it. But no matter the reason, it sucks. You deserve to know when it’s going to happen. [Read: 10 signs he’s not playing hard to get he’s just playing you]
Is he leading you on?
Why do you think he’s leading you on? What led you to this article?
Whatever it is, I can confidently say that there is about a 90% chance your gut feeling is spot on. If something feels off and you’re questioning his intentions, you probably should be.
Now, I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but those are the odds. Sure, sometimes we overthink and have trust issues, but if you feel like he is leading you on, he probably is.
Is he leading you on? Well, trust your gut, ladies and gents. And if you still want to be sure you can feel good about dumping his ass, read on.
Signs he’s leading you on
If he shows these signs he is leading you on. Are there excuses that could be made and arguments that could prove me wrong? Sure. Why waste your time when you deserve better?
Here are the signs he’s leading you on.
#1 He said he wasn’t looking for anything serious. This is something a lot of us tend to ignore. Some guys straight up tell us that they are leading us on. We either ignore it or deny it.
When a guy says this but then starts treating you like he wants a relationship we assume he changed his mind. But you cannot assume. No matter his actions, if he said he didn’t want something serious then treats you like he does, he is leading you on openly. [Read: Why do guys ghost? 15 common reasons why they turn into cowards]
#2 He’s newly single. Not every newly single guy is a player, but there is a good chance a guy who is fresh out of a relationship isn’t looking to settle down. Even if he claims to be over his ex and didn’t plan on leading you on, it will likely turn out that way. Stay alert.
#3 He doesn’t keep in touch. A guy who is leading you on only gives you the perfect amount of attention so that you seek him out. He wants you to think he is interested just enough so that he doesn’t have to make the effort. [Read: 10 reasons a guy could be ignoring you]
#4 He’s too charming. Anytime you feel like he is too charming or suave or smooth, he probably is. When a guy is truly interested he gets nervous, yes even the most confident ones too. If everything he says is so perfect, it is not because he’s perfect. It is because he is great at playing you to get what he wants.
#5 He likes you too much too fast. I’m not saying you don’t deserve someone that likes you, but when someone likes you loads without even knowing you, it is weird. Guys seem to think this is the best way to grab your interest.
And we do tend to fall for it. Instead, question what this guy really knows about you. Does he really like you? Does he really want you to like him?
#6 He doesn’t live up to his word. Words only go so far. If he makes plans and cancels them or says he’ll call you later and doesn’t, he isn’t as invested as he claims to be.
#7 He’s confusing. If you’re talking to a guy who makes you question everything he is probably leading you on. He wants to find a balance of keeping you interested and keeping his distance so he doesn’t have to take accountability for hurting you later on.
If he’s making you feel crazy its because he’s trying to. [Read: Blowing hot and cold? 3 stages to explain why he’s doing that]
#8 His story changes. Did he first tell you he was free every Thursday but when Thursday rolls around he has plans? Did he tell you he would text you at 8 but when 8 o’clock strikes he doesn’t reach out and doesn’t respond to you?
If he can’t keep his story straight, it’s because he is lying and probably to more than one person.
#9 It is a struggle to make plans. A guy who is leading you on will be a nightmare to make plans with because he is waiting for something he considers to be better to come along and wants to string you along as a backup.
#10 You’re always waiting for him. Are you always waiting for him to text you? Are you waiting for him to be over his ex or to have time for a relationship? If he is keeping you waiting, not only does he not consider your time as valuable, but he doesn’t consider you as valuable either.
#11 He always turns the conversation to sex. A lot of guys that lead you on are looking for one thing. Sex. And if that’s what you want, great. If not, and he knows that, he will string you along until he gets what he wants.
If you just send him a cute selfie or outfit photo and he turns everything into something sexual, he is most definitely leading you on and getting impatient while doing it. [Read: The signs he just wants sex and is using you for his enjoyment]
#12 He doesn’t go anywhere with you. A guy who is leading you on puts in the exact amount of effort he needs for you to remain interested. He will say the right things, but will not do anything he doesn’t want to.
That means he likely won’t take you dancing, out for dinner, or even drinks. He’ll stay local.
#13 He uses the same lines. If he repeated himself a lot, there is a good chance he is leading you on. Maybe he uses pet names too early or repeats something he knows you responded well to before.
This is not because he is sweet or a good listener. He is lazy and doing the absolute least to impress you.
#14 He says “he is not like other guys.” If a guy says this, you should run away ASAP. He is most definitely leading you on.
#15 He overreacts to your worries. If you’re a mature person and share your concerns with him and he gets defensive or guilts you for questioning him, he is leading you on. And he is good at it. [Read: The 12 clues your guy is just using you]
#16 You just get a vibe. Sometimes you just feel it. When something is off and you can’t put your finger on it is just because he hasn’t shown you he is leading you on. Your intuition was made for this.
Is he leading you on? Sadly, if you came looking for this article, he probably is. But, don’t worry. You can do better and you will.