It’s never easy to hear, but sometimes facts are facts: the person you like doesn’t like you back – or at least not in the way you might want.
Romantic feelings, whether they’re a crush you developed last week or unrequited love you’ve been holding onto for years, are powerful. They’re some of the most powerful feelings we can experience — how else to explain all the art about love over the course of human history?
These feelings can move us to great heights of joy and rapture, but they can also bring us lower than we’ve ever felt when they’re rejected (or we simply perceive them as being rejected.)
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In fact, that last part is a big part of the problem. Because people are often loathe to reject someone outright, and women are often socialized to soften the blows of things they tell men, there’s a good chance that, if you’re a guy who primarily dates women, much of the rejection you’ve faced in your life hasn’t been an explicit „No“ so much as vague signals of disinterest or texts going unreplied to.
Of course, that can feel frustrating — Are you imagining it? Maybe she’s just a really busy person! — when you’re pining for someone and hoping for clarity. Any tiny sign of interest or kindness can be magnified out of proportion into a rock-solid confirmation of that she’s attracted to you, when maybe it’s just sheer politeness.
But if you find yourself having an exhausting back and forth about whether your crush really does return your feelings, there’s a decent chance that they don’t. After all, when people want something, they tend to pursue it, don’t they?
And yet there’s not necessarily a way to be 100% sure. So, if you have even the vaguest sense that the object of your affection is not reciprocating your same feelings, here are ten signs she’s not into you — from flaking on plans to direct rejection in words — that will confirm it for sure:
10 Signs She’s Just Not Into You (Sorry!)
1. She Constantly Flakes on Plans
Not every cancellation of plans means that your crush isn’t into you. Everyone occasionally needs to bail on arrangements because of illness or an absent-minded double booking, and if your crush has asked to rain-check only once or twice, this probably doesn’t spell doom for the relationship. However, if she is constantly flaking on you, especially last minute, this is a pretty strong sign that she’s not into you anymore.
„My go-to move when I’ve agreed to a date I’m not really into is to say that I’ve come down with something last minute,“ Fiona, 27, told AskMen. „It’s easier than saying I’ve changed my mind because you can’t really argue with someone being sick. Basically, I’d use the same excuse to get out of a date I didn’t really want to show up to as I would to avoid going to work on a hungover Monday.“
If you really think she might still like you and is genuinely sick or busy, then leave the planning of the next date up to her. If she never suggests another outing with you, that’s a clear sign that she’s not into you, and it’s time to move on.
2. She Keeps Reinforcing That You’re Just Friends
Another way a woman might signal that she’s not interested in dating you is by reinforcing that the relationship is strictly platonic. If she’s constantly stressing that it’s so nice „having you as a friend“ or explicitly introducing you as „my friend, [your name],“ then she’s trying to tell you something – namely, that you are not her boyfriend and never will be.
Although this can sting, be careful about how you respond to it. It’s important that you don’t throw a tantrum about being put in the „friend zone„: Friendship is, after all, a precious gift, and you should be grateful that she’s offering you that much. Insisting that she owes you anything more than friendship is pure entitlement, and may land you with no relationship with her at all.
If you don’t think you can handle just being friends with your crush, then you should make a clean break instead of lingering in the background, hoping she’ll change her mind. This will only lead to resentment when she eventually moves on to another relationship, so either graciously accept the friendship, or move on entirely.
3. She Avoids Physical Contact
When two people are into each other, constant touching is second nature: Resting hands on each other’s legs, grazing backs of arms or even playfully hitting each other. If your crush isn’t doing any of these things, and if her body language is stiff and unapproachable, then she’s probably showing you subliminally that she’s not interested in you.
„I had been on what I thought was a really great date,“ explained Val, 30. „We were in the car at the end, and I told her I’d been wanting to kiss her all night and kind of leaned in, expecting that the time was right and it was the perfect end to the date. She backed off and told me, flustered, that she just wanted to go home. I couldn’t believe how badly I’d read the situation, but that confirmed it for sure.“
This is definitely an area where you don’t want to force things – unwanted physical contact is creepy, invasive and potentially criminal – so leave the ball in her court on this one. If she wants to initiate physical contact she can, but if you’ve been seeing each other a while and she’s not just nervous or awkward, its absence is probably a sign that she’s not into you.
4. Her Replies to Your Texts Are Blunt and Terse
When someone likes you, it shows up in how they communicate. Unfortunately, the same is true when they don’t like you. If you’ve received your 11th „k“ or „yup“ text in a row from her, chances are she’s not reciprocating your feelings. If she was, the opposite would be true: she’d be constantly updating you on mundane details about her day or idle gossip that barely involves you.
„If a woman replies to your text instantly, it is a potential sign of disinterest,“ says Maria Sullivan, Dating.com’s VP and dating expert. „Of course this can vary, but I’ve found that women tend to think through their responses in detail and brainstorm options in order to achieve the reaction they’re hoping for. If she’s replying right away or double texting, it’s possible she sees you just as a friend.“
When you’re crushing on someone, you tend to text them incessantly, so if there are tumbleweeds in your messages folder or she’s replying with quick, bare-minimum responses, it’s not a good sign.
„I’d say the #1 way I know a girl is losing interest is her falling out of normal communication patterns: being more terse with texts and calls, being slow or overly quick to respond, or just obviously breaking your established communication flow,“ Moses, 42, said. „Also, being un-inquisitive about you and your life and just generally giving off a vibe of ‚I’m not interested in learning about you anymore‘ is a giveaway.“
Again, this is a good situation to leave things up to her. If the conversation dies off completely as a result, you know for sure you weren’t her Prince Charming.
5. She Hasn’t Introduced You to Anyone in Her World
If you and your crush have been „dating“ (at least, in your eyes) for weeks or months, but she’s weirdly evasive about letting you meet anyone in her world, she’s probably not quite as committed to the relationship as you are. Introducing a partner to your friends and family is one of the most solid signs of commitment, and if she’s being evasive in this area, it probably means she doesn’t see you as part of her future.
„I’ve only ever introduced two boyfriends to my parents, so for me, it’s a huge step,“ said Lily, 29. „As soon as I knew I was serious about someone, though, it’s something that would need to happen.“
A reluctance to introduce you to friends and family is probably not a fatal sign very early in a relationship, but if you’ve been going steady for a while and it’s not even on the cards – or if she’s reluctant to meet your friends and family — it’s not a good sign. If your worlds aren’t meshing at all, and she’s the one preventing it, then it’s probably time to look for a more committed partner elsewhere.
6. She Avoids You for Days and Responds to You Intermittently
If the communication between you is always patchy and intermittent, it could be because she’s trying to fade you out, but wants to avoid looking heartless by ghosting you completely. If she gives a lukewarm response to every third message of yours, but you otherwise don’t hear from her at all, this could be what’s happening.
When asked about how she fades out guys she’s not interested in, Anna, 27, said, „I stop asking questions about them and their life, and just in general don’t bother with trying to keep the conversation alive when I lose interest in somebody.“
This is a difficult situation to deal with, because it’s not as clear-cut as never hearing from her at all, and there’s some plausible deniability she can appeal to here („What do you mean!? I do text you back!“). Use your gut instincts and, again, leave things in her hands: stop texting her at all, and if she’s interested, she can reestablish the flow of conversation. If she doesn’t, you know the drill.
7. She Never Initiates Meetings Between You Two
If your crush is never the one to initiate plans between the two of you, this is a sign that she might not be as invested in the relationship as you are. Think about it: if she was really into you, you’d be one of her go-to people whenever she wanted to visit a gallery or check out a new movie, like she is for you.
This one often goes in tandem with another sign on this list: constantly flaking on plans. „I think a big indicator for me is if we’re trying to set up another date and they’re busy, but they also don’t suggest another time,“ David, 29, said. If she’s flaking on you, failing to initiate plans, or the dreaded combo of both, it should be pretty clear that things aren’t going well.
Sullivan agrees, noting that a woman may even try to redirect the conversation in a way that is more comfortable for her if she is trying to avoid making plans for a date that she knows she does not want to attend. This might include her attempting to keep things platonic by saying something like „I’m happy as a single woman for right now.“ Or, she might agree to the „date,“ but say that she needs to leave at a certain time in an attempt to avoid any end-of-the-night flirtatiousness or other romantic spontaneity.
You deserve better than a partner who is tepid and unenthusiastic about spending time with you, so cut things off if she’s never initiating plans or avoiding them altogether. It will save her having an awkward conversation with you later about how she likes you, but just not like that.
8. She Gets Weird About or Won’t Commit to Future Plans
Much like meeting friends and family, locking in future plans is a key sign of commitment. If she blanches and changes the subject when you suggest making New Year’s Eve plans six months in advance, it could be a sign that she hasn’t imagined staying with you that long.
„I remember the death knell for my relationship with my ex was when he asked if I’d come to his best friend’s wedding in Thailand,“ explained Jess, 25. „I tried to say it was about the money, but really I didn’t want to embed myself into his life that early – we’d been dating under a year at that point, and I didn’t see it going much further. After he offered to pay for my flight, I had to come clean about the real reason.“
Because there are genuine reasons your partner might be reluctant to make long-term plans, such as money worries or concerns about not being able to take time off work, you’re going to have to use your instinct with this one. By asking the right questions and taking stock of how often it happens, you should be able to get a pretty good read on whether an aversion to future plans signals a deeper disinterest. If you see a pattern forming, the relationship is probably dead in the water.
9. She Tells You, Directly and in Words, That She’s Not Interested
This one is about as straightforward as it gets: if she’s told you, in words, that she’s not interested in you, then you don’t need to keep analyzing her behavior or look for signs that maybe she didn’t mean what she said.
Plenty of women AskMen spoke to were happy to make themselves completely clear about not being interested in a guy. „I tell him, ‚There’s no spark,'“ explained Mary, 35. „I usually get, ‚Fair enough‘, or no response at all to that; i.e. they can’t argue with it.“ Kerri, 31, uses an even more unambiguous approach: „Usually after a date, if it is not obvious to him that there is no connection, I block him on my cell phone after telling him, ‚Thanks, but no thanks.'“
Clear rejection like this is a horrible feeling, but there is a silver lining. You don’t need to waste your time trying to mind-read now: she’s let you know straightforwardly that she’s not interested, so you can move on to someone whose feelings are reciprocal this time.
10. She Lets You Know Indirectly That She’s Not Interested
Sometimes it’s hard for women to be direct with men. Because women are socialized to always be sweet and compliant, saying a straightforward „no“ can be difficult, and may even expose them to retaliatory violence.
„If she’s socially graceful, it’s easy to mistake charming politeness as confirmation the feeling is mutual when it’s not,“ says Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and author of The Final 8th: Enlist Your Inner Selves to Accomplish Your Goals.
So, if she’s saying anything along the lines of „I’m not really interested in seeing anyone right now“ or „I’m pretty busy with work, which doesn’t leave much time for dating,“ she’s telling you, as kindly and indirectly as possible, that she’s not interested in pursuing things with you.
Don’t push her on this or call her out for „lying“ if she gets a boyfriend in three weeks or posts vacation pictures on Facebook: She was trying to let you down gently in a way that protected her own safety. Most people tell the odd white lie or two to spare other people’s feelings, so take the hint and move on like a mature adult: You’ll both be better off if you don’t make a fuss or try to probe her on her true feelings.
Moving On When She’s Just Not Into You
There’s nothing worse than really liking someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you, and if one or more of the above signs are cropping up for you, you’re probably feeling pretty dejected right now. However, if you’re still unsure about whether or not she has romantic feelings for you, Gaspard has one guaranteed way to clear things up.
„Have the nerve to ask directly if she’d like to go on a date,“ she says. „The courage you exercise will establish your character. It’s a singles ‚best practice‘ that separates the men from the boys.“
Just be sure to honor her response, whatever it may be.
„As a therapist, I’m stunned by the number of singles who dismiss when their unrequited crush tells them directly about their lack of romantic interest,“ says Gaspard. „Believe women when they say they’re not attracted to you romantically, even though this can sting like overpouring the piri piri sauce on your breakfast burrito.“
In the end, it’s ultimately healthier to call off a relationship that’s only limping along with one party’s active involvement, so if you think that’s what’s happening in your situation, do the brave thing and move on. When you eventually meet someone who is as enthusiastic about you as you are them – and you will! – you’ll be glad you didn’t keep wasting your time.
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