Is He Stringing You Along?

When a guy strings you along—casually keeping you in his life, until he decides what he wants, it's generally because he already knows what he doesn't want—you. Let me rephrase that, he does want you (for some selfish reason) in his life—casual sex, companionship or maybe until someone else better comes along. Either way, it's because he does not see a future or a lasting future with you. Ouch!

It's doesn't matter if you have been together for two months or six years—a guy will string you along as long as he can (and as long as you will let him) for his own benefit, which serves no one, but himself.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

When a guy starts to string you along, it can be natural to want to believe and hope that he's not, and if he is—it's only temporary, until he realizes how fabulous you really are. Although you are fabulous, (we are already know that!) the stringing along begins after he has determined that you are not the permanent one for him. Ladies, regardless of his sweet alluring words to keep you around, remember that actions always speak louder than his words—and words can be used as a distraction to appease you.


Being emotionally strung along is a dead-end road. It makes you feel unworthy, unimportant and eventually can make you feel unattractive. Ugh!! Honestly, who wants to feel that they are no longer good enough for a guy? I don't…although, I have had the not-so pleasurable experience of being strung along before.

How It Happens

Being strung along usually doesn't happen right away. A lot of the time, it occurs after you have been dating for several weeks or possibly months—when everything appears to be going great. The biggest sign is when things go from being consistently great, then suddenly, but slowly, changing in the opposite direction.

When you first notice a change in his behavior, you chalk it up to him having an unexpected overly busy week—it happens. Of course this would make sense to you, because you can't fathom that this guy, who wanted (and pushed for) exclusivity, could possibly be changing his mind about how he feels towards you so quickly. No...Not this guy, who proclaimed that he is a great communicator, and loves you. He wouldn't just pull away without sharing any concerns with you that he was having. Then, the text message or call—that you have been waiting for, finally appears.

Whew. Even though the text message just says, "Thinking about you. I miss you," he is still making an effort—that has to be a good sign, right? Although his communication has definitely lessened, you don't want to hit the panic button yet. When his lack of effort starts to gradually continue, adding the fact that you haven't seen him in prepared and I hate to say it, but most likely he is stringing you along.

6 Years and No Ring

I met a woman who was strung along by her man for six years. When she met her boyfriend she was very upfront with him that she wanted to be engaged, married and have children within a few years. Hearing this did not scare him, in fact he said that he wanted the exact same things. Years continued to go by, no engagement in sight. Every time she would remind him of what she ultimately wanted, he continued to claim he still wanted those same things. More years past, no proposal, no ring, and future talk was conveniently avoided by him. So, she finally ended things. Needless to say, he didn't try to stop her. Wow!

My Experience

I also dated a guy who was trying to string me along for who knows how long he intended. Since I am a hopeless romantic, I take the words, "I love you" more seriously than half the men I have known or dated. I believe that when a guy tells you he loves you—unless it's been less than two months, for me, it means through the good and difficult times—as long as the difficult times don't outweigh the good. It also means to value someone's heart, not to drag it slowly through the mud.

The guy I dated strung me along for seven weeks before I ended things. The first few months of dating were great—or so I thought. We would spend long weekends together, see each other during the week and would have daily communication—throughout the day. This was the bar that he set and established. Then, things began to change.

He would make plans and then cancel last minute—never suggesting a new date or time to see one another. When I would suggest an alternative day, he would agree, but then have an excuse to cancel last minute...Again.

Weeks continued to go by while I received text messages—just enough to emotionally entice me. When I started to wonder why we still hadn't seen each other, something any woman would do, he told me that seeing me only twice in seven weeks was not that big of a deal. He also had the audacity to tell me that pressuring him would only push him away. Hmmm. The first few months of dating he couldn't let three days go by before seeing me, to now, I'm pressuring him—because I wanted to see him more than twice over a seven week stretch? Interesting!

Thinking back, it was obvious that when he did make the effort—twice in a month and a half, it was mainly just to have sex—giving just enough attention to keep me around, which I'll admit, worked for a while. This guy was very selfish and immature in the way he handled the situation. Instead of him being emotionally mature and ending things, he was stringing me along. Although the signs were clear, I was too trusting and naïve to believe them.

5 Signs He's Stringing You Along

  1. The amount of time you used to spend together majorly diminishes—however, he will still make you believe that he's interested by calls/text, "I miss you," "I'm thinking about you," and/or "I love you," but will make little effort to actually see you.
  2. Compared to before, the only time you see him it revolves around sex—he went from spending time, planning dates to now screwing you (mentally and physically).
  3. When you're ready to throw in the towel and finally give up—then and only then does he make time for you.
  4. You're upfront with exactly what you want: engagement, marriage, children, etc. and he dates you knowingly, but will never give you the outcome you want.
  5. His view on women— "women are like busses, when one leaves another one is right around the corner." Aka: he already has one foot in and one foot out the door, before he even gets in a relationship—not fully giving any woman a chance.

Ladies, being strung along is awful. It's an emotional roller-coaster ride that no one wants to be on. You deserve to be with a guy who can be open and honest about what he wants, and is respectful enough to not keep you around for his own selfish pleasure. Don't wait until you’re forced to end the relationship—without any emotion or blink of an eye from him, to realize that you have been strung along. Take matters into your own hands and cut the strings that this puppet master has deceptively attached to your heart.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 21 months ago

"When a guy strings you along—casually keeping you in his life, until he decides what he wants, it's generally because he already knows what he doesn't want—you." - This is very true!

However I believe most men (especially young men) do not consider themselves "stringing women along". They actually believe both of them are having a "great time", going with the flow, and enjoying their youth.

The average male in his late teens or in his 20s is not in a hurry to become his parents! Every girlfriend during that phase of his life is "Ms. Right Now". If you had a 22 year old son you probably would advise him not to rush into marriage before getting his life in order.

I've known couples who count their teenage years of dating while living under their respective parent's roof on par with adult dating!

"We've been together for 6 years and he still hasn't propose." After ask the guy's age I find out they met when they were (16) and now they're both 22! In other words he hasn't dated anyone but her since the 10th grade. It's only natural he might wonder if he is missing out on something. Even when guys at that age do get married there is a high chance at some point they are going to cheat.

With regard to the woman who was strung along for 6 years: "When she met her boyfriend she was very upfront with him that she wanted to be engaged, married and have children within a (few years)."

Of course that's not going to scare a guy away. Maybe if she said in 6 months that would have sent him running. I often wonder what kept her from proposing to him!? "If it ain't worth asking for it ain't worth having"

It's not (his) fault that (she) chose to invest 6 years of her life. If someone is unhappy in a relationship and (they) choose to stay then they are choosing to be unhappy. All relationships are "at will".

I laugh at people who make up their mind (the next person) they date or enter into a relationship with they're going marry! It means they've made marriage (the goal) over meeting the "right" person!

Just because two people want to be married in a few years doesn't mean they should marry each other. Most men have not been "dreaming about their wedding day". There is no "urgency". The typical man who has never been married before doesn't seriously consider marriage until he's in his late 20s or mid 30s. Catching him years earlier and sticking around doesn't count.

In order for him to be "the one" he would have to see (her) as being "the one". At the very least a (soul-mate) is someone wants to be with you and shares your same goals for the relationship. :)

mary 21 months ago

Very informative and insightful.

Miss-Adventures profile image

Miss-Adventures 21 months ago from Denver Author

Thank you dashingscorpio for reading.

Yes, I totally agree that men in there 20s 9and frankly, early 30s), "do not consider themselves "stringing women along". They actually believe both of them are having a "great time", going with the flow, and enjoying their youth." However, this article is about men in their late 30s and older who string woman's emotions for their own selfish benefit. Lol..I probably should have been more clear. :)

Thank you again for commenting, I always enjoy your opinions.

Miss-Adventures profile image

Miss-Adventures 21 months ago from Denver Author

Thank you Mary and thank you for reading.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 21 months ago

Miss-Adventures, It's unfortunate that many women in their late teens, 20s, and early 30s have no clue that men their age are mostly looking to have fun or "go with the flow" concerning relationships.

These women are usually the ones that experience the most intense heartaches that come with waiting and hoping for a marriage proposal for years. Hopefully women in their late 30s are a "quick study".

Once again I commend you with coming up with very interesting article topics. Keep up the great work! :)

Miss-Adventures profile image

Miss-Adventures 21 months ago from Denver Author

totally agree dashingscorpio, "many women in their late teens, 20s, and early 30s have no clue that men their age are mostly looking to have fun or "go with the flow" concerning relationships."

Thank you so much for finding my articles topics interesting, for reading and taking time to comment. I appreciate your wise words. :)

Jessa 14 months ago

It's so hard to accept that's what is happening. He never let a day go by where we didn't talk, now we'll go multiple days. I'll reach out and it takes him a while to respond yet when he reaches out, if I don't jump that instant giving him attention he throws a fit. He's 41 so it's not a youth thing. He was amazing the first six months, our relationship was great, so great I fell in love. I'm pregnant and want so badly to have the balls to break it off because the hurt when we're not together, especially the fear of "where is he? With whom?" Is driving me insane but due to the pregnancy, I just can't let him go. I hate myself for being his doormat but I don't want to be without him during this period of my life. I've held out hope he'd come around again, wise up and be the man he once was, but I'm getting less and less each week. My heart is breaking.

Miss-Adventures profile image

Miss-Adventures 14 months ago from Denver Author


First I was to express that my heart goes out to you for this very difficult time in your life that you are experiencing.

I believe in not sugar coating anything and this situation you are in has do to with you---what you REALLY want? If you were not pregnant would you still want a guy that you don't trust and "fear of 'where is he? With whom?" How would that situation look like 3-5-7-10 yrs from now? Would you be happy?

Most people show their truest selves after 3-9months of dating....basically once the "honeymoon stage" has ended. Sometimes we can see this sooner depending on how much time we spend with someone or the questions we ask.

If this guy is treating you with such little regard as well as respect...and your Pregnant....why do you think that would change once your baby is born? Maybe he might come around, but would he stay---for the long haul?

From my understanding when you are pregnant you are supposed to keep your stress down to a minimum...doesn't sound like he's doing that for you? Shame on him!!!

When you told him you were pregnant was he happy and excited or was that when he freaked out?

What is your biggest fear? Are you afraid to raise this baby by yourself--without him....because it sounds like you are already on that road to possibly doing so---and I know you can. you sound like you have a Very big heart and that is one of the biggest qualities to have when raising a child.

This baby happened for a reason. A beautiful, wonderful reason that goes beyond a guy who treats you like 'his doormat.' Have faith that everything Will be OK.

You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves a man who will treat you with unconditional love and respect...Period! Stop being the woman who needs to, "held out hope he'd come around again, wise up and be the man he once was, but I'm getting less and less each week." You deserve more...much more.

Know that if a guy really wanted to be with you he would...he would do everything in his power to make that happen. By clinging on to the wrong guy, the right guy-- for you--has no room to enter into your life. Do you really want that?

This child is lucky to have You. I have friends who have grown up with a dad that was in and out of their lives and that experience has affected them---negatively--- how they view relationships you really want that for your child? OR do you want to be a strong loving mother who has a story of empowerment---wanting the best for yourself as well as your child? Jessa, the choice is Always yours.

There are many more articles that I have written on my page that might help you and give you more insight. Today I just published, "Keeping A Relationship Successful--a Man's perspective" to give women hope that there are Great quality men out there...past the honeymoon stage, that are waiting to love them. Honestly we get what we Think (internally) we deserve...change the way you think and you will get an Amazing man.

Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience with me.

Love and Light,


Safari Chic profile image

Safari Chic 13 months ago from United States

I enjoy your hubs very much and I keep coming back to re-read them. I have a better insight on relationships.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Miss-Adventures profile image

    Stephanie Bailey (Miss-Adventures)44 Followers
    195 Articles

    My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

    Click to Rate This Article