There is a sociological theory called ‘The Principle of Least Interest’. You don’t have to research this theory to understand it, because you’re living it. It basically describes a relationship where one person is more committed than the other. The person with the least interest in the relationship knows they have the power and recognizes that they can use this lack of interest to manipulate the other person. The one who doesn’t have the power becomes hungry for that attention, and feeds into this painful dynamic.
If the person you’ve possibly met through online dating often ignores your calls or flirts in front of you, then they are just not that into you, and you’re stuck in the power dynamic described above. But you already knew that. These signs are obvious.
So, what about the not-so-obvious signs? The ones that, when you’re totally infatuated with that other person, seem to fall in some sort of grey area. If you let these signs go unrecognized or make excuses for them, you’ll eventually find yourself totally caught up in a flimsy, one-way “relationship” where you’re going to get your heart completely broken.
Here are the top 10 signs to look out for when trying to decide if the person you’re dating genuinely likes you back…
1. Constantly On The Phone While You’re Together
At the dinner table, on the couch, in the car – it doesn’t matter. Not only is he or she burying their nose in their phone disrespectful, but it says a lot about how much they value their time with you. If their phone is more exciting than spending time with you, then you need to reevaluate your connection.
2. Reads Your Messages But Doesn’t Respond
How often do you message the other person just to have them read it and ignore you? Sure, things come up. Maybe they’re at work and can’t reply to you until that meeting is over or maybe you aren’t a priority on their list. If your crush is constantly lagging when it comes to responding to your messages while you’re super excited to receive messages from them, then there is a definite imbalance when it comes to your interest in each other.
3. Constantly Interrupts You
Some people are just bad listeners, which is a huge character flaw that we’ll get into another day. However, when someone is really into you, they want to get to know everything about you! They want to hear how your day was and they respect your thoughts and want to hear your opinion. These people let you finish a sentence and want to hear your thoughts – if not, then you might need to rethink your commitment…
4. Don’t Ask Questions About You
What food do you like? How many siblings do you have? What did you study in university? If your partner doesn’t know the answers to the most basic of questions, then there is a big red flag signifying that they don’t really care to get to know you. Go ahead and give them a little test; you know what to do if they fail.
5. Doesn’t Initiate Contact
There should be give-and-take in any relationship, especially when it comes to communication. Are you the one that is always messaging first? If so, that essentially means that your crush is simply replying to messages instead of actually seeking conversation with you. Go a little silent and give the other person the opportunity to write you first for a change.
6. Only Calls After 2AM
The bars have closed, and your crush didn’t get lucky, so he or she calls you to come over. That, my friends, is what we refer to as a “booty call”. Just because it happens more than once doesn’t mean that you are some sort of favorite; it means that you are just a convenient option. This should really make you reevaluate the ‘relationship.’
7. You’ve Never Met Any Friends or Family
In the beginning, you two might be keeping things on the down low. But after at least two months, if your crush still is refusing to overlap ‘you time’ with ‘friend time’, then you need to recognize that this person doesn’t visualize moving forward with this relationship, and is compartmentalizing his or her relationships. This might not be someone you can build a future with.
8. They Aren’t Affectionate in Public
Listen, some people aren’t into PDA and that’s completely okay (sometimes even preferable). We aren’t saying that public make outs and butt grabs are necessary to determine whether or not your crush really likes you. But if there is a big difference between how your crush treats you in private and how they treat you in public – then something is up. Try something small like holding their hand or a kiss on the cheek, and see how they react.
9. They Cancel Plans Often
Don’t be a second option: you’re the priority! If your crush often makes vague plans with you and seems to always come up for a fantastic reason to cancel – it’s probably because they found something better to do. You’re always going to stay on the back burner if you allow them to keep putting you there.
10. Tries to Change You
Never let the person you’re dating cut you down by telling you that you’re not good enough or that you could be better if you just cut your hair or if your laugh was a little different. These suggestions of change start small but can grow into straight up abusive tendencies. You don’t need to change someone you genuinely like, right? And trust me, once you change because of them – they know they have you and can manipulate you in every which way.
Remember the theory we talked about at the beginning of the article? (The Principle of Least Interest) So how do you flip the switch in this scenario to where you’re the one with the power? Show a bit less interest. If the person you’re dating isn’t treating you right – don’t look for revenge, just pull back. Don’t be available at the drop of a hat and don’t be the only one sending ‘good morning’ text messages. Don’t go full silent treatment, just show a little restraint and maybe that person will start to see you in a different, more valuable light. And if they don’t, then move along, because there is absolutely someone out there who will like, love, value and respect you back.
For more tips and tricks when it comes to online and in real life dating, check out our list of Top 5 Dating Articles.