I think we all know that dating is stupid hard. You have to make a connection with a virtual stranger, and rarely are people on the same page, especially because you’re both trying to figure out what the other is thinking and act accordingly. It leads to a whole bunch of mixup, and things only get more complicated if you have stronger feelings than the guy you’re going after. Developing a serious attachment to someone who isn’t interested leads only to serious heartbreak, but maybe you can save yourself if you’re good enough at reading the warning signs. Here are 10 ways to hopefully tell if your crush is playing games!
1. He Won’t Define the Relationship
This is a huge red flag. You don’t want to waste your time getting involved with someone who’s unsure about whether or not he wants to be with you! Every person deserves more than that. If you don’t know how to answer when someone asks if he’s your boyfriend, then something is wrong. That should be an easy question with a clear yes or no. Get out of here with that “it’s complicated” stuff. It isn’t, and if it feels like it is, then you should know your guy isn’t interested in getting serious. If you find yourself shrugging off not knowing now, you’re going to get a rude wakeup call later when you realize he was never really interested in being anything more, just dragging you along in uncertainty. Or even worse when you realize he’s been talking to other girls because “you never said you were exclusive.” This is a sure fire way to tell he has been playing games!
2. He’s Not Interested in Meeting Your Friends
Being in a relationship means becoming apart of each other’s lives, getting to know each other in every aspect of your personality. That’s why we get to know the friends of our S/Os, to get to know the people they’ve chosen to spend their time around, become a part of that group, and get to know what your bae is like around his friends too. If your guy expresses zero interest in meeting your group of friends and maybe is even resistant to it when you invite him to get dinner or go to a party, then he’s not interested in getting serious with you. He doesn’t have that desire to fully get to know you and those who are important to you, which means he isn’t interested enough to take real steps toward a strong relationship aka he’s playing games.
3. He Doesn’t Reply to your Texts
Oooooh, do not get me started. Y’all, texting is not hard, and any boy who tells you it is is ly-ing. No one in their whole lives has ever been too busy to send a simple “hey,” or even say “I’m busy right now. Can we talk later?” All of these are acceptable answers, and yet all of these are deemed “too hard” by some boys who are “bad” at texting. Listen, if texting is important to you, and you’ve made that clear to whoever you’re interested in, and he still has trouble getting back to you as frequently as you’d like, then he isn’t interested. He’s not thinking about you enough to send you a quick text, which means he isn’t thinking about you enough to seriously date you. End of story. Say g’bye. And if he’s not texting you back just to play hard to get, then he’s still playing games and you should still say g’bye.
4. He’s Unreliable about Plans
This sign of a guy not wanting to be serious comes in multiple forms: he forgets you have plans. He blows you off. He is always rescheduling. He says, “Let’s hang out tomorrow. We’ll get lunch,” and then doesn’t ever respond to your texts. That night after you’ve wasted your whole day waiting around for him, he pops up and says, “Sorry, I took a nap.” You took a nap for the entire day? Sure. In the end, they’re all the same thing. Your guy isn’t serious enough about perusing a relationship with you to keep a date. It’s just common courtesy to practice throughout life. You make an appointment. You follow through. Why would it be any different in a relationship?
So if your guy is frequently exhibiting any of these behaviors, he’s playing games. He wants something easy for him, to call you up whenever he becomes free or wants to stay in and be with someone or doesn’t have anything else to do, and that’s not the kind of “relationship” you want to be in.
5. He Avoids Talking about the Future
Lots of people like to say they “live in the moment,” and that’s good I guess, but eventually one has to think about the future in order to get anywhere. Even if life is crazy and things don’t always go your way, it still takes some planning, and it’s not crazy to wonder about how things might be in a few months. If you’re dating someone, then with this comes wondering how your guy imagines things going, too, because that’s an important thing to consider in your future plans. But if he shrivels up into a ball every time you ask where he sees things going, then he isn’t interested in being serious with you. If he wants to “just see how things turn out,” that means he wants to see if dating you stays easy for him and he isn’t interested in putting in the work of anything serious or hard. So say goodbye, he is playing games.
6. He Hasn’t Introduced you to Anyone
Just like it’s important that he meet your friends, it’s important that you meet the relevant people in his life too. With my last ex, I often thought about how ridiculous it was that, even after four months of dating, he could hypothetically just die and no one would know to tell me because no one close to him really knew who I was or that I was involved in his life. If you mean enough to a guy that he wants to be serious, then he’s going to want you to meet his friends and his family and for them to get to know you too. It’s all about having a part in each aspect of his life, which is apart of becoming serious. It doesn’t mean you have to be there every time he does something with other people, but they should have at least met you and know you exist.
7. You Don’t Actually Do Things Together
If your relationship has never upgraded from the stage of “Netflix and Chill,” then he is most definitely playing games. Spending all of your time together on the couch or in bed doesn’t equal a serious relationship, no matter how many months you do it for. Yes, relaxing with your bae is so great, but there’s an entire world out there! A guy who really wants to date you is going to want to take you to his events, or tag along with you to yours. He’s going to want to go on real dates or even just catch a movie. There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of your time in. That’s up to you. But if it’s all you’re doing, and you’re never moving on to bigger things, maybe he’s even resistant to going to things that are important to you, then he doesn’t want to be serious. He wants to sit on a couch with a girl he likes nearby and chill.
8. He Won’t Make Sacrifices for You
If you find yourself in a relationship where you’re the one putting in all the work to only get a little return, then something’s up. Yeah, in relationships sacrifices have to be made and we make them because we want to see whoever we’re with or make them happy however we can. You drive a little extra to visit. You stay up a little later doing work so you can take time to get dinner together. You watch their favorite show. You bring them lunch. You spend the night at their place sometimes, even though you like yours more, etc. It’s natural and it’s necessary. But if you’re the one making all the sacrifices, while they stay comfortable in their life regardless of you, then they’re not interested in putting in the effort to really be in a serious relationship.
9. He Doesn’t Give you the Time you Deserve
Whatever your top love language is, quality time is important! It’s how you get to know each other and how you strengthen the relationship, so it can naturally become serious on its own. If your guy won’t give you the time you need to feel close to him, then you’ve got no chance. How much time you need is all up to who you are as a person, but in the end how much you need is just how much you need and there’s not really any way around that, so don’t try and convince yourself you’re fine with whatever he gives you. If he really wants to be in this with you, then he’ll make time to see you and talk to you, even if he’s busy. It’s just a necessary part of being in a serious relationship. And if he really likes you, he should want to. Spending time with someone you like shouldn’t be a chore. If he isn’t spending time with you, he is playing games. Time to move on.
10. You had to Talk him into the Relationship
Even if you are technically in a relationship, and your guy technically agreed to be in said relationship, that unfortunately still doesn’t mean he wants to be serious. Honestly, maybe he thinks he wants to be serious, but internally he doesn’t want to put the work in to really follow through on what that entails. That’s where things really get tricky, when even he doesn’t know he doesn’t want to be serious. But it still can be true. One clear way to know is if you had to convince him to be in the relationship. Maybe you had stronger feelings than he did, and so you talked him into being serious, or maybe you threatened to dump him if he didn’t step up his game and he complied. Sometimes this does work out. A guy just needed a wakeup call and now he’s in it for real. But if he’s demonstrating some of these other non-serious symptoms and you had to talk him into the relationship then it is most likely that he is playing games with you.
When you like someone, you want things to work. You crave being with them, so you do whatever you can to keep that going. But in the end, if someone isn’t looking for the same serious relationship that you are, you’re working hard only to make someone else happy who doesn’t care enough about you to do the same, and that always ends in pain. Try as best you can to wake up and see the warning signs. It’s a hard thing to do, but each time we learn and we get a little better at taking care of ourselves, rather than making sacrifices to be with someone who doesn’t deserve it.