1. Saying they “don’t want a relationship right now,” but acting like your significant other anyway.
This is not a sign that they love you, but aren’t ready to commit – this is a sign that they like you, but not enough to make it official. They are placing you in a trial period, testing the waters to see whether or not it feels right enough to leap. Most of the time, getting to this point means the answer is already no.
2. Acting differently when their friends are around.
Sure, if anyone acted exactly the same way they do with their significant other in public as they do in private it would probably be gross, but if their behavior seems to shift dramatically when they are in front of other people, it usually means they’re putting on a front to one or both parties.
3. Refusing to attempt any work/life balance.
Nobody wants to be a workaholic as a lifestyle choice, it’s usually an avoidance mechanism. You know what makes people want to live as much as they work? Meeting someone who makes them come alive again. If they seem consistently consumed by work with no intention to even try to make time for you, it means they’re more in love with their desk job… and that’s probably not something you want to pursue anyway.
4. Saying they are afraid to “miss out” on some part of their youth.
FOMO may be something we all experience intermittently, but if someone is using it as an excuse not to date you, it truly means they think there could be something more – or better – out there for them.
5. Allowing you to get close – but never opening up completely.
They might obscure personal life details, or never let you meet more than one or two of their friends. They may get super emotional and confide in you one night, then act standoffish and disinterested the next. Regardless, they aren’t trying to build real intimacy.
6. Sending mixed messages about what they want long-term.
If they are at once trying to tell you that they could see being with you forever, and then positing their plans to maybe move across the country or try a new career or never settle down at all, it means they feel they probably want to embark on some soul-searching… which means they think there’s some part of themselves they still have yet to find.
7. Claiming they were burned too badly in the past to try again.
The way someone speaks about their ex tells you everything you need to know about how they still feel – and if they claim they are “too hurt” to try again, it means they are still heartbroken… and it means they still care.