So you have this girl in your life who is always looking for your attention, shows interest in you, might even go on a few dates, and yet does not think of you as a partner. When you ask her if she wants to make the relationship official, she always has excuses to say no. She hangs out with you, gets all touchy-feely, behaves like she is your girlfriend, and then suddenly when you least expect it, she withdraws. You wonder why she is suddenly losing interest and start chasing her even more. Be careful, these could be signs she’s leading you on.
Do you keep thinking about how complicated the situation is and wish your love was more simple and brought you happiness and joy? Then let us try to understand why she is leading you on and why the relationship is going nowhere despite your efforts. And no, you are probably not misreading the signals she is giving you; she is simply toying with your heart.
Leading someone on in a relationship is rather common and it is sometimes done unintentionally. Why would a girl lead you on? Maybe when a woman is unsure, is looking for attention, is always looking for better options but keeping you as a standby, she could be leading you on. You may feel like she is playing with your emotions and this breaks your heart little by little every day. But there will also be times when she is so loving and perfect that you can’t believe your luck that you found her.
Some of the best moments of your life would have been with her and you might slowly fall head over heels in love with her. She’ll behave like your girlfriend, and yet refuse to acknowledge herself as one. Let’s start with explaining the ‘leading you on’ meaning. How to know if a girl is playing you? She may seem just like the right person for you but isn’t. One minute she shows signs she is interested in you, and the next she is distant and will avoid you for days on end. And you keep asking yourself, “Is she leading me on?”
You cannot be blamed for your confusion. Leading someone on in a relationship unintentionally or intentionally does have repercussions. And if you are at the receiving end of this behavior, we’re here to help you identify the clear signs she’s leading you on so that you can take measures to protect yourself.
14 Signs A Girl Is Leading You On To Nowhere
So you have your doubts about the woman in your life and want to know if she is leading you on. You are not sure if she is toying with your heart and if it could be broken any time. Watch out for these signs a girl is messing with your mind and heart, using you to get attention, and treating you as a backup plan. Here’s how to tell if a girl is leading you on:
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1. The relationship is a secret
Even if she is dating you and on the odd occasion makes out with you, to others, you are still close friends who may be on the verge of dating. The real equation between the two of you remains hidden and she prefers it that way. When she introduces you to her friends, she always refers to you as a ‘good friend’ and will laugh it off when people tease you together.
She is not willing to acknowledge your relationship on any social platform and will not want to go on dates with you in public places where people might catch you together. She might even tell you, “I don’t want to lead you on.” What’s the meaning of that? Well, she is having fun and may not be ready for commitment.
2. Her plans don’t include you
Leading someone on in a relationship means you will have many conversations about your future and she may even share her future vacation plans or career goals but you will see that she doesn’t include you in any of these. Count it as one of the signs a girl is messing with your head.
When she plans her future, you are not even an afterthought. She may sleep with you, but when it comes to laying your true feelings for each other on the table, she will turn away. She probably does not see you in her life for the long term, nor does she think you will play any role in her future. This is an absolute tell-tale sign she is leading you on.
3. She acts moody and distant
When you pursue her and give her attention, she becomes detached and distant and may even avoid you. She will keep playing hard to get. She may stop calling you, replying to your texts, and meeting you altogether. Whenever you feel like the relationship is taking two steps forward, she will take four steps back.
Then if you back off, she will suddenly start missing you madly. She may not give you any reason for her strange behavior and will resume conversations on WhatsApp as if it’s business as usual. You will be left befuddled at her mood swings. You cannot overlook the possibility that she may have understood you have feelings for her and has turned manipulative. You need to look at the situation objectively so that you’re not left grappling with ‘she led me on’ regret.
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4. Then suddenly she wants you
The moment you take a step backward and think you should give her space and not cling to her, she starts to vie for your attention and is all lovey-dovey with you. She will go to any length to win back your love for her and spend time together.
This may lead you to think that she realized she needs you in her life but in all probability, you are making a mistake here. It is more likely that she only needs the attention you give her. She is leading you on in the relationship and this pattern won’t change as long as you’re with her.
5. You meet her only when she wants to
Since she does not consider herself your girlfriend, you only get to hang out with her on her own schedule. She will call you up when she is free, without being considerate of your family time, work, and social commitments. You may hear from her often when she is alone and needs someone to hang out with.
However, if you want to meet her when she is not feeling lonely, she will use excuses like a hectic work schedule or her mom’s sickness to wriggle out of it. If she sounds like a selfish girlfriend then chances are that she is one. But here’s the grey area. Is she your girlfriend at all? Has she ever committed to exclusivity? Or is she really in it to lead you on? Ask yourself that.
6. The nameless relationship
Just like you, your friends are also wondering what is happening between the two of you. She goes out on dates with you, sleeps with you, practically takes you everywhere with her, but refuses to acknowledge you as her partner. You will have a hard time looking for an answer to “Why do girls lead other girls on?” or “Why do girls lead guys on and stop suddenly when it comes to defining the relationship?”.
Your friends often raise eyebrows at this nameless relationship, leaving you feeling like just another option for her. This is for sure one of the signs she’s leading you on. It’s high time you have a serious talk with her and straighten out all the complications.
7. She says she needs you
If you ever raise questions about your equation with her, she makes herself appear helpless and needy and claims she needs you. She makes you feel like you are the most important person in her life and she would not be able to survive without your help, support, and advice. Even when you give her ultimatums, she begs you to stay but refuses to accept that this is shaping into a serious relationship. And after everything, she has the audacity to tell you, “I am not leading you on”. Then, what is she doing? Ask her that, please.
8. She hasn’t had many partners in her life
Perhaps because she leads them on, she hasn’t really been in a long-term relationship. When you ask her about her past relationships, she will tell you that there has never been a serious one. Even if you know she was going out with someone, she will dismiss the affair and say that it was nothing but just rumors about a friendship she had.
It might make you wonder: Why do girls lead guys on and stop or withdraw completely? Why do some girls do this to the girls they like romantically? What to do when someone tries to mess with my head? Should I cut all the threads in the relationship (if I can call it that at all) or wait for her to change her mind about me? Well, if there was no actual relationship because of her nature to hoodwink people into believing she is in love with them, and if she is pulling the same stunt with you, it pretty much points at your position in her life. These are the signs she is a big player and you better keep an eye out for them.
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9. She doesn’t appreciate you eyeing any other girl
One of the tell-tale signs you are being played by a woman is that she gets furious if you find another girl attractive or compliment someone. You give her the slightest of hints of being interested in someone else and she will go out of her way to seduce you with flirty conversations and naughty texts.
She gets jealous very easily and you end up believing that’s because she is into you. She wants you all to herself and sees every other person you find attractive as a threat. But this is just her instinct to keep you away from others so that she gets your 100% attention. Don’t fall for the trap or make yourself think that she is madly in love with you.
10. She may hook up with someone else, though
A coquettish woman leading someone on would go ahead and guiltlessly flirt with multiple people and then ask “Did I lead you on?” with such innocence that you can hardly blame her for anything. Since she claims you are just a friend and shows clear signs she is not ready to be exclusive, she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong in hooking up with another guy. But she will still give you her attention and act all flirty, leaving you confused and wondering what your relationship with her means.
You will be so drawn to her that you feel happy when she smiles at you and spends time with you, even though she treats you like you are dispensable and easily replaceable. You need to take a long hard look at the superficiality of the situation. You can’t even look at another girl and she goes ahead and hooks up. If that’s not leading someone on, then what is?
11. She is always in a push-pull mode
For days and weeks, she will have eyes only for you and will flirt with you. She will try to be closer and hang out pretty often. She may even have sex with you. But the moment you start behaving like a partner and ask for a little commitment, you can expect her to clam up immediately.
This is the classic sign of a push-pull relationship. There will be three stages in this kind of relationship where you pursue, feel the bliss of togetherness, and then suffer the phase of withdrawal. She would suddenly become busy and you will end up craving togetherness and intimacy. But she will keep denying the fact that withdrew. If you ask her what’s wrong, she will say “nothing!” with finality.
12. She cuddles and gets cozy
She tells everyone you are just a friend, but when she is alone with you, she gets all cozy and warm and wants to cuddle and hold hands. In your private moments, she will not shy away from letting you stroke her hair or kiss her, and may even become slightly adventurous to take things a step further. She wants you to be romantic too.
It all depends on her mood for the day. So, how to know if a girl is playing you? Public display of affection is a big no-no for her. If you try to hold her hands for a second in front of others, she would withdraw as if you have electrocuted her. One thing is for sure, women leading someone on would enjoy physical intimacy with that person in private but will freak out at the very discussion of commitment.
13. She behaves like your girlfriend in front of your family
One of the unmistakable signs she’s leading you on is that she not only visits your parents every once in a while but also behaves as if she is your girl, but the equation reverses when it comes to her own parents. She categorically tells you, “They don’t know about us yet, so let’s just keep it like that.”
She might insist on accompanying you to a wedding and charm your family members in no time! But you can hardly expect an invitation to a family event at her end. She is never sure about the relationship when it comes to telling her parents, but with your mom, she could be cooking up a storm in her kitchen. And after all of this, if you confront her, her response could be something as careless as “Did I lead you on? It was never my intention”. That’s rather odd, isn’t it?
14. She tells you not to get emotionally attached
“Is she leading me on?” If this question is giving you sleepless nights, pay attention to this tendency. She wants everything from the relationship she has with you, minus the emotional attachment. She will assure you repeatedly that it’s not a casual hookup and she is totally into you. But she doesn’t want an emotional mess in case it happens to lead ‘nowhere’. This is one of the signs a girl is messing with your head when she is prone to activating a no-strings-attached relationship rather than being emotionally vulnerable in front of you.
The ‘nowhere’ part is always on her mind instead of ‘somewhere’. If this is what your relationship looks like, it is complicated. This girl is leading you on and you better run when you still can. If you decide to be upfront with your dilemma, she may use her manipulative tactics making you all confused about your resolution to quit this toxic bond. Love clouds our judgment and that is what will happen to you as well.
Why Do Some Girls Lead Guys On?
For the fun factor, for the drama, or to bide the time until she makes up her mind: there could be various reasons that a girl leads a guy or a girl on. It may seem like a complicated deal, and may even hurt at times, but a girl giving you mixed signals could be confused herself as well. So why would a girl lead you on? Here are some of the reasons:
- Fun and drama: She feels good to have all your attention and time. Plus, she gets to toy with your heart
- She’s confused: She may be confused and needs some time to figure things out. But at the same time, she is not willing to let you go in case she decides to commit to you later
- You’re just a friend: She may just think of you as a friend and you are misreading her signals thinking your friendship means something more to her than it actually does
- She doesn’t think highly of you: She feels you are just an ‘average’ person and does not want her friends to know about her relationship with you for fear of judgment and embarrassment
- She likes someone else: She is interested in someone else but likes you as well and is keeping you as her backup plan
- She’s unaware: She doesn’t realize she is leading you on. She is just being nice and friendly because she does not want to reject you outright
However, if you are convinced she is playing with you and leading you on, you need to sum up these signs and walk out on her before it is too late.
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Wants To Be More Than Friends
What To Do When Someone Leads You On?
Now that you have ticked almost all the signs you are being played by a woman, you need to think about what you want for yourself. Are you happy with the scraps she is throwing at you? If not, you need to wash her out of your system though that will be a tough thing to do because you love her.
Girls who lead people on are like drugs; you reason and try to get them off you but keep falling prey to their charm over and over again, messing up your mind in the process. To escape the clutches of a girl leading you on, you will need to walk out of the relationship immediately. As per the signs she is a big player, she would do everything to woo you back with puppy eyes and flirty conversations.
It’s up to you if want to keep grumbling about “She led me on and broke my heart in the end” or gather your willpower and self-respect to resist her enchanting tricks and say “no” once and for all. It’s not going to be easy to let someone you love go, but is there a point in pursuing a relationship that has no future and will eventually hurt you more? Think about it.
Perhaps the girl enjoys the attention and love she gets from you. But the situation turns toxic when she knows absolutely well that she would never feel something real for you and her heart is with someone else. On the contrary, she is probably a very friendly, spontaneous person by nature and she is oblivious to the fact that you are picking up wrong hints from her way of talking to you.
When you two are alone, she would behave like the most caring and touchy-feely girlfriend there ever was. But she would deny introducing you as her partner to her acquaintances or define the relationship. She might act just as presumptuous and brazen with other romantic candidates too, but you mingling with another woman is strictly unacceptable.
At the end of the day, it depends entirely on you if you would let her keep playing with your emotions or discard this unnecessary drama from your life. Once you have comprehended her true intentions, have an open conversation with her about how her insensitivity makes you feel small. Calculate your next move depending on her response. If she can’t make up her mind, it’s always better to walk out.