When you’re into a guy, the one thing you want more than anything is for him to feel the same way about you.
The issue is that he may not feel the same, and worse than that he may not have the courage to tell you.
Whether it’s bad news or not, the best thing is that you know where you stand, right?
If you feel like you’re being strung along or a guy is leading you on, there will be telltale signs to look for.
Here are 15 signs a guy is leading you on and what you can do about it:
15 Signs a Guy Is Leading You On
1. You Always Have to Initiate Contact
It’s not a nice feeling to always be the one who has to text, call, or do something to get a response from a guy.
If you’re constantly initiating contact, I’m sure you already have a hunch that it’s a sign that he’s not really interested.
Your best bet is to just wait it out and see how long it takes for him to contact you.
As hard as that will be and with the risk of losing him, it’s going to be for the best anyway if he doesn’t miss you and never contacts you.
2. You Have to Do All the Legwork and Arranging to Hang Out
Similar to being the one to always reach out first, if you also have to be the one who is always suggesting and arranging plans, it’s a red flag.
A guy who’s interested in you will want to see you and will make an effort to do so.
He’ll also want to do things for you that he knows you’ll enjoy and be excited about, and that’s what you deserve from someone you’re in a relationship with.
If your guy doesn’t do any of these things, it certainly sounds like he’s just leading you on and going with whatever you suggest because he doesn’t have anything else to do.
3. He Won’t Commit to Long-Term Plans
If you’ve been dating for a while and he still won’t commit to plans further in the future than next weekend, it’s a sign that he’s playing things day by day and leading you on.
If a guy was serious about you and your relationship, he would want to make plans that include you in his future.
4. He Goes Hot And Cold on You
Ah, the classic sign that a guy (or a girl) is leading you on is when they go from hot to cold and mess you around.
If your guy is giving you attention and affection one minute and then ignores you the next, it’s a sign that he’s not really sure what he wants and is playing games with you.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to give him some space and time to figure things out.
5. He Takes a Lot More than He Gives
Relationships are about give and take, and while things are never going to be 50/50 it’s obvious when a guy is taking more than he gives.
If you feel like your guy is constantly taking from you and not giving anything back, it’s definitely a sign that he’s leading you on.
Whether it’s taking your time, energy, emotions, or even money, a guy who is interested in you will want to give back as much as he takes.
6. He Won’t Introduce You to His Family and Close Friends
If your guy is keeping you away from the people who are important to him, it’s a sign that he’s not ready to let them know about you.
Whether he’s not ready for a serious relationship or there is some reason why he doesn’t want to get close to you, it’s not a good sign.
It means he’s not willing to commit in a serious and mature way, and possibly that he’s just leading you on.
7. He Won’t Post Pictures of The Two of You on Social Media
In today’s day and age, how someone behaves on social media says a lot about their intentions.
If your guy won’t post pictures of the two of you on social media, it’s a sign that he’s not ready to make things public – and is leading you on in person.
It could be that he’s not interested in a serious relationship, or that he doesn’t want his friends and family to know about you.
Either way, if this is happening to you I’m sure you’re frustrated and well aware that it’s not a good feeling.
8. He’s Always Letting You Down
Part of leading someone on is that you’re also letting them down on a regular basis.
If a guy you’re into or in a relationship with is always letting you down, he has to be leading you on to some extent.
I’m sure he always has an excuse, but if he really cared and didn’t want to let you down he simply wouldn’t.
9. His Excuses Are Bad and Not Consistent
We’ve all been there before – a guy says he’s going to do something and then doesn’t follow through and gives some bad excuse.
Worse still, over time he gets his excuses mixed up and they don’t even make sense anymore.
If this is happening to you, it’s a sign that he doesn’t care about you and is making up lies because he’s leading you along.
I’d call home out on his lies, chances are he’ll dig himself into a deeper hole lying, but it’s a wake-up call he needs.
10. He’s Secretive with His Phone and Who He Talks To
A guy who is leading you on and is checking some of the other boxes on this list will probably also be secretive about his phone and who he talks to.
He won’t want you snooping around or looking over his shoulder as he’s likely talking to other girls.
You shouldn’t want to see his phone, but it never feels good to see your boyfriend or a guy you like being secretive about what he’s doing online.
11. His Behavior and Actions Do Not Back Up What He Says
It’s easy to say the right things but a lot more difficult to actually back up those words with actions.
A guy who is leading you on will say he cares about you, make promises, and generally say the right things, but his actions will show the opposite.
If he’s clearly neglecting you, canceling plans, and not following through on his promises, his actions are not matching up to his words and he’s leading you on.
12. If You Turn Up Unannounced He Gets Really Annoyed
If you’ve ever shown up unannounced to see your guy and he’s gotten annoyed, it’s a sign that he doesn’t want you to know what he’s really up to.
I’m not saying you should turn up unannounced all the time, and I can see how it’s an inconvenience at times, but he shouldn’t get mad about it.
It leads me to believe that he has something to hide, which means he might be leading you on.
13. He Disappears for Periods and Doesn’t Seem to Care
If a guy you’re seeing or dating suddenly disappears for periods of time and doesn’t seem to care when you try to reach out, I’m sure you’re aware that this is also not a good sign.
It’s likely that he’s leading you on and is not interested in a serious relationship or getting close to you.
It might be the thought of commitment pushing him away, or he might have something going on he’s hiding from you.
It’s hard to say without doing some investigating, but it’s not something you should put up with.
14. He’s Not Interested in Really Getting to Know You
If a guy is leading you on he’s not going to want to get to know you on a deep, personal level because he doesn’t feel a deep connection with you.
He’ll ask the basics like your favorite color or food, what you’re into, etc, but he won’t want to know what really makes you tick.
This is a big sign that he doesn’t see a future with you and is just trying to string you along for whatever reason.
15. You Can Just Feel It in Your Gut
Sometimes you just know when something isn’t right, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it.
Call it a sixth sense, intuition, or just a gut feeling – whatever it is, if you get the feeling that a guy is leading you on, you’re probably right.
At the very least you should take a harder look at him and your situation and not just ignore your feelings.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re reading through this list thinking that it sounds a lot like the guy you’re seeing, I’m sorry to say but he’s probably leading you on.
The best thing you can do is confront him about it and see how he reacts.
If he’s genuinely interested in you he’ll be happy to talk things out and work through whatever is going on.
But if he gets defensive, starts making excuses, or tries to turn the tables on you, it’s time to think about walking away and finding someone who genuinely cares about you.
What Should You Do if A Guy Is Leading You On?
If you’re in the situation where you think a guy is leading you on, there are a few things you can do.
The first thing is to talk to him about it.
The more open and honest you can be the better.
Tell him how you feel and why you think he might be leading you on.
See how he reacts and take things from there.
If he’s worth your time he’ll listen to what you have to say and work with you to figure things out.
But if he gets defensive or dismissive and you know he’s leading you on, it’s time to move on.
The second thing you can do is take a step back and reassess your situation.
What were you doing to enable this behavior, if anything?
Learning and growing from experiences – good or bad – is always a good thing, so even if this doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to you can still take something positive from it.
Will a Guy Who Is Leading You On Change His Ways?
It’s possible for a guy to change, but to be honest, it’s not likely.
A guy who is leading you on is doing so because he gets something out of it – whether that’s attention, validation, or something else.
You can’t force him to develop feelings for you, or even compassion so that he doesn’t treat you the way he is.
If you confront him and he doesn’t change his ways it’s time to move on.
There are plenty of other guys out there who would be happy to have a genuine, healthy relationship with you.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.