Throughout history, songs, poems, cards, and many other sentimental statements have been written about the intense feeling of love. There’s nothing quite like it, and once the love bug has bitten you, you become a whole different person. When you care deeply about someone, you want the feelings to be mutual, but how do you know if someone is leading you on?

Twenty Signs Your Partner Is Leading You On

It’s scary to consider that you might develop unreciprocated feelings, but it happens all the time. How can you break free of  manipulation? And how do you know you’re in the friend zone? Sometimes, it’s easy to see, but other times you need to analyze the relationship. Here are twenty signs that indicate someone is leading you on.

leading you on

1. A Partner Leading You On Might Keep Your Relationship a Secret

If you’re dating someone, you want them to shout it from the rooftops that you belong to one another. However, when someone fails to classify that you’re their boyfriend or girlfriend, you must question the hesitancy. It could be that they have a fear of commitment that stems from childhood issues or bad relationships, or it could be because they’re just not that into you.

2. They Have No Serious Past Relationships

According to Psychology Today’s Dr. Karen Franklin, the best predictor of future behaviors is to look at the past. If you want some real answers, you need to look at what’s happened before. Do they have relationships that never worked out, or have they never had such a connection?

You may have heard some rumors that they’re players, but you ignored it because you couldn’t imagine them being toxic. It can be a red flag if there’s no significant love history.

3. They’re Needy When You Question Things

When someone is playing you, they may string you alone and act like you’re not needed until you threaten to end things. While they don’t want to commit, they don’t want to consider you being with anyone else either. The thought of losing you hurts them as they have a good thing going.

4. They Play Mind Games if They Are Leading You On

Sometimes people have more problems than a math book, and they like to play games with you to guess how they’re feeling. You may be onto them by this point, and you’re tired of playing cat and mouse.

According to Health Guidance, if you’ve been through the psychological ringer, you should know that mind games are there to test you and gain control. This tactic is a toxic method that many narcissists use to ensure they keep you interested enough and keep you right where you want to be.

5. They Make Plans That Don’t Include You

When the one you love makes plans that don’t include you, it’s a cause for concern. If someone sees life with you, they will alter their strategies to ensure that you will be together.

Things like vacation plans or career goals will be discussed with you and worked around your schedule. If they don’t consider you in all their tomorrows, they may be leading you on.

6. They Only Want to Get Together On Their Schedule

A person who won’t commit only allows you to hang out with them when it’s convenient. They want you to abide by their schedule, and they only call you when they’re free. It doesn’t matter what you have or your time constraints, as everything is all about them.

7. They Only Want Intimacy

You never thought you would be someone’s booty call, but here you’re being used for what you can provide. It’s hard to admit, but the only time you hear from this person is when you can fulfill their lustful desires, and other than that, you’re not a top priority.

8. They Have No Problem Seeing Other People

When someone puts you in the category of “just friends,” it frees them to hook up with others. This person won’t think twice about going on dates with other people. It’s just very confusing when there’s no commitment and poor communication, as you don’t know where you stand in their heart.

9. You See Mixed Signals From Someone Who Might Be Leading You On

Out in public, everyone knows that you’re only friends. However, it doesn’t change how they act when you’re alone. They want to hold hands, make love, and cuddle while watching a good movie.

You’re going through the roles that make you think that they’re into you. Yet, it’s evident when they won’t make the declaration of love that they’re leading you on.

10. They Refuse to Say How They Feel

Your partner might not want to tell you that they see you as nothing more than friends. They’re fearful that if they put their heart on the line, they’ll go the other way. While you may want to push the relationship further, they’re perfectly content to keep things the way they are.

leading you on

11. Their House is Off Limits

It’s always in public or at your house whenever you see each other. They don’t invite you over, and you might not even know where they live. It could be they’re married or in a committed relationship or don’t want you in their space.

12. They Get Angry If You Look at Someone Else

Even in “just friends” situations, the old green-eyed monster can rear its head. They don’t want to commit to you, but they will get angry if someone else looks at you or you look at another person. If a person gets jealous quickly, they’re into you and don’t want to admit it.

However, some narcissistic people like to own you without making it official. Poor communication is the cause of much jealousy, as they can’t be honest.

13. They’re Often Moody and Distant

Forget future plans! This person is so moody sometimes you don’t know how to be friends. They tend to be distant when they’re in these dark moods, and they shut you out. They may stop calling and won’t respond to text messages either.

You feel confused and like you took a few steps forward and many steps backward in your relationship. They’re leading you on.

14. They Flirt with Other People

If you’re in a crowd or hanging with some friends, though you arrive together, they have no qualms about flirting with others. It’s as if you’re only friends, and they’re free to flirt with whomever they want.

15. They Act Committed in Front of Your Family

Some say it’s one of the most significant signs that someone is leading you on. When you’re in front of family or close friends, they act like you’re exclusive. Their actions confuse you even more, as you don’t honestly know what you’re doing when you are together.

They put on the façade because they don’t want to bring these people into their twisted game.

16. They Text Constantly

Does this person constantly keep tabs on you? Narcissists like to ensure they have their victims right where they want them, so they will keep tabs on you to ensure you haven’t found them out. They may constantly text and call repeatedly, and they seem to know your schedule better than you do.

17. They Say One Thing and Do Another

They might tell you you’re only friends, but when they snuggle up to you on the couch and kiss your neck, it sends another message. When they say one thing and do another, it can be because they’re confused or leading you on. According to Dr. Abigail Brenner from Psychology Today, when someone says one thing but does another, it’s a sign of a classic manipulator.

It’s challenging to realize that some people aren’t interested in you only but as a vehicle to allow them control. They will twist their words and say anything to get you to hang around. They can promise the stars, but their words are like a vapor that fades away.

18. They Want Everything but the Emotional Attachment

Emotional attachments are challenging for some people. They may want everything a relationship has to offer without the official tag. Why not classify what it is?

The problem is that emotional attachment can make the situation messy. Many people can be intimate with others without any real feelings attached, as they don’t let their emotions get involved. Love tends to cloud people’s judgment, and even the selfish can’t stand getting too close to someone because it can cause them to clam up.

19. It’s a Push-Pull Game When Someone Is Leading You On

It seems like everything is going great, and your relationship is progressing. However, once you mention making things official, they freeze. You’re in a push-pull relationship where it’s a constant back and forth.

You’re together, you know you’re together, but once you mention anything about being a boyfriend or girlfriend, they will clam up and run. If you ask them for an all or nothing commitment, they will say “nothing” and run.

20. Someone Leading You On Might Run Hot and Cold

It seems like you’re stuck in a weird situation where one minute they’re hot and the next they’re as cold as ice. They will cling to you like plastic wrap if you decide to take a step backward.

However, if you want to push forward and try to make it official, they will give you the cold shoulder and avoid you. You’re so confused at this point that you don’t know what’s the right thing to do.

leading you on

Final Thoughts on Seeing the Signs That Your Partner Is Leading You On

Don’t waste your time or energy on someone who isn’t emotionally unavailable. Sure, they had terrible experiences in the past that impacted their perceptions of a relationship, but this isn’t your problem.

You deserve to have someone love you truly without confusion and issues. Isn’t it time you make them decide once and for all? Just make sure you’re strong enough to withstand the pain if they turn and walk away. Though it might alter your plans, it’s better to be alone than with this manipulator.