If you want to keep swiping through Tinder on tipsy weekends, if you want to party with your friends until two in the morning, if you want to keep your booty calls on your contact list, if you want to casually hook up with exes, if you want to keep your options completely open, then stop leading her on. Stop making her think there is a chance you will settle down. Stop giving her false hope.
If you are not ready for a relationship, that is perfectly fine — as long as you make your intentions obvious through your actions and your words.
Saying you are not ready for a relationship right now is not enough, because if you are still holding her hand in crowds, if you are telling all of your friends about her, if you are cuddling with her after sex, if you are taking her on cute little outings where everyone can see you together, then she is going to get the wrong idea. She is going to assume you are only trying to protect yourself. She is going to stick around with the hope that, eventually, you will turn her into your official girlfriend.
If you are serious when you say you are not ready for a relationship, then stay away from her. Stop texting her first thing in the morning. Stop liking every single one of her photos. Stop calling her beautiful. Stop inviting her back to your place. Stop hugging her. Stop kissing her. Stop acting like you are already dating without the label.
You are only confusing her. You are making her feel like the connection is real. Like she shouldn’t be pursuing any other guys because you two are already an item.
Meanwhile, you are still living the single life. You are texting other girls. You are getting numbers at bars. You are acting like a bachelor. You don’t even care if she finds out about what you have been doing, because you feel like she has no reason to complain. You feel like you are off the hook, because you already told her you are not ready for a relationship. You make yourself feel better by pretending it’s her own fault for getting attached. By acting like you played no role in making her fall for you.
As much as you want to deny you did anything wrong, deep down, you know the truth. You know that she had feelings for you. You know that you were leading her on. You know your actions and your words were telling her two completely different things.
If you are not ready for a relationship, stay away from her. Don’t even keep her around as a ‘friend’ because you know she will always want more than that. You know the only thing you are capable of giving her is pain.
If you care about her even a little, then you will walk away from her because she is never going to be the one to leave.