Leading her on is when you send mixed signals, when you make her feel like you’re interested, even though you aren’t ready for a real relationship right now. Or worse, even though you’re already in a relationship with someone else.
Leading her on is texting her after you have a fight with your girlfriend and going on about how unhappy you are. It’s making her think that there is hope you are going to break up soon and get back on the market. Hope that she has a real chance with you, because she’s the one who understands you, she’s the one you run to whenever you’re upset, she’s the one you are meant to be dating.
Leading her on is remembering the little things about her that no one else has seen. It’s surprising her with her favorite candy. It’s driving miles to make her feel better when she’s hurting. It’s doing thoughtful things for her that you haven’t done for any other friends.
Leading her on is getting drunk and sending her texts about how much you miss her. It’s inviting her out for drinks with you after midnight. It’s making her feel like you want her involved in your life, like you actually give a damn about her.
Leading her on is leaving heart emojis and winks on her Instagram pictures. It’s complimenting her on how pretty she looks or how good she smells every time you see her. It’s staring at her like you want more than friendship from her, like you are thinking exactly what she’s thinking.
Leading her on is getting jealous whenever she mentions another guy. It’s making her feel like she is doing something wrong when she flirts with somebody who isn’t you. It’s making her feel like she belongs to you, even though you’ve made it clear that you don’t belong to anyone.
Leading her on is sending her shirtless snaps directly to her. Telling dirty jokes every chance you get. Making comments that are subtly sexual. Dropping hints that you are interested in ending up in her bed without actually saying the words.
Leading her on is texting her again and again until she finally answers. It’s asking her to hang out every time you’re bored. It’s watching movies inside of your bedroom instead of hanging out in groups.
Leading her on is letting her borrow your jacket. Taking her out and paying for the meal. Holding her hand. Cuddling with her in bed. Doing things that boyfriends and girlfriends are supposed to do.
Leading her on is crossing the line from friendship into something more. It’s telling her how much you like her. It’s kissing her on the hand, on the neck, on the lips. It’s letting clothing come off. It’s making her think that your feelings are just as strong as her feelings.
Leading her on is slowly breaking her heart. And if you care about her at all, you’ll either choose her — or you’ll choose to leave her the hell alone.