Nothing hurts more than realizing a new relationship isn’t going to last, or that your new crush is a one-sided scenario. Rejection never gets easier, does it? Add to that the alarming trend of people failing to have conversations about their feelings, in exchange for ghosting and vague brush offs. It sucks, it never gets any better, and honestly, it’s not doing anyone any favors. So how can you tell when the person you’ve been into just isn’t into you?
It’s easier to see the signs than you might think. We’re intelligent, experienced adults, and when our gut feelings tell us something is off, it’s important to listen to them. Instead of making excuses, or convincing yourself questionable behaviors are normal, why not rely on your internal compass to determine which way a relationship is heading? Giving people the benefit of the doubt is wonderful, but in the beginning stages of a relationship, everyone should be on their best behavior–which means no excusing bad manners! We polled our staffers for their best advice on how to tell when your crush is going to crush your heart and how to pull away.
1. They won’t make time for you
We’re all busy, but no one is consistently too busy to make time for dinner, drinks, or a movie. Here’s the scenario: the date went well, you both said you’d like to see each other again, but they aren’t eager to make–or accept–plans. Instead, there’s flirty texting, late night check ins, and even the semblance of “getting to know one another.” But why won’t they say yes to a follow up date? Why do they keep stringing you along? The answer is simple: you are simply an option, and not even a top contender. When people are into you, they will do whatever it takes to spend time with you. Sure, we can all have a week of crazy meetings or travel, but when people are being honest about their interest, they’ll be explicit with their availability and set time aside to spend with you. In person. Like an adult.
2. They request nudes right away
Come on, this should be obvious, right? But is it? With the casual nature of social media, some people feel very quickly entitled to see revealing images of your body. A quality person isn’t going to initiate this conversation with you. A quality person will make sure any sexual innuendos, acts, or suggestions are consensual, and benefiting both parties. There’s nothing wrong with sending sexy pictures, or having an intimate relationship right away, but these things should be done with a mutual respect and understanding. Demanding naked photos isn’t just creepy, it demonstrates a tangible disrespect for your body, time, and personal boundaries. If a potential partner jumps into the naked selfie waters this fast, it’s probably time to delete their number.
3. They’re dismissive of your needs
You’ve been on a few dates, you’re getting to know one another, but you keep repeating yourself about work-night curfews, or dietary needs, or entertainment preferences. And yet they don’t listen. You’ve stated you’re a vegetarian and yet they keep making steak house reservations. You’re pretty clear about disliking musicals, and yet they keep insisting. While there’s nothing wrong with learning about the other person’s interests, or trying new things, everyone has certain reasonable non negotiables. If your date doesn’t want to make room for you in their life, or get to know more about your preferences, you should ask yourself if they really like YOU. You don’t have to feign interest in the other person’s preferences in order to date, nor should you expect them to love all of your hobbies, but you should be able to respectfully, consistently uphold each other’s needs. While some of this may seem superficial, imagine when the chips are down–will they respect your opinions about essential things? Will they stand up for you? If they aren’t now, the odds are they won’t later.
4. They’re rude to your friends
Again, seems obvious, right? But in the early stages of dating, people will write off most inconsiderate behaviors as quirks, or shyness, or over-compensating. While these things may occasionally be true, no one worth your time is going to be willfully, intentionally rude to your people. Even worse, what if they’re rude about you to your friends? When you’re alone, things are great, but as soon as you’re in front of other people, they start to make “jokes,” or share embarrassing stories, or flat out ignore you. Why? Because they are insecure about your role in their life, and they care more about what their friends think than how you feel. Can you say high school? If anyone is mean to you, or unkind to your friends, they don’t deserve your time, full stop.