16 obvious signs she is leading you on and playing you for fun

Think a girl might be leading you on?

I’ve been there before. Most of the time I was bang on with my suspicion.

It sucks when you genuinely like the girl as well.

But the truth is this:

Girls, in general, have more options than guys, and it’s not uncommon for a girl to flirt with a guy for reasons other than the fact she genuinely likes you.

For example, she might be trying to make a guy jealous.

Or, it could be that she’s just having fun and doesn’t really have any interest in where this is going.

It sucks, but every single guy will have to deal with it at one point in their life.

After all, female hypergamy means that the odds aren’t stacked in our favor.

If she won’t fess up, here’s how you can tell if she’s stringing you along or just playing hard to get.

This will help you decide if she’s worth pursuing or if it’s time to move on.

Here are 16 surefire signs she is leading you on. After that, we’ll talk about what you can do about it.

1. She’s only interested when you seem to look at other women.

You know she’s leading you on when she catches you looking at someone else and she’s suddenly all over you and interested in being around you.

When the other woman is out of sight, she’s back to sitting on the other side of the booth.

Why does she do this?

Because it’s all about her. Women constantly compete with each other. This is why women look at other women. They’re sizing up the competition.

In this case, your woman is competing with another woman for your affection, but not because she likes you, but because she wants to boost her own ego.

Once she’s won the little battle with her female competition, she’ll go back to the same old story of not being truly into you.

2. When you try harder, she suddenly acts more distant

When you make an effort to pursue her and give her attention, does she act detached and distant?

I can’t tell you how many times this happened to me when I was a lad growing up.

When I thought a girl liked me, I’d begin to signal my attention, and then she’d lose total interest.


Because I probably appeared more attractive when I didn’t care whether she was interested or not.

But as soon I approached her, I looked needy and desperate for her approval.

Completely unattractive.

It’s not all bad though.

If this is what is happening to you, then you need to work on being more confident and less needy.

And you need to be willing to lose her. Otherwise, you’ll care too much.

This also goes for the guys who are in a relationship.

If every time you try to take your relationship two steps forward, she takes two steps back, then that’s not a good sign.

It probably shows you’re more interested in her than she is interested in you.

You can definitely give her time to come around, but if this behavior seems never-ending, then it might be time to call it a day.

3. She reacts to your body language

Have you ever noticed how or whether she reacts to your body language?

If you haven’t you definitely should because body language plays an integral part in intimate relationships.

And also, women are highly tuned into the signals a man’s body is giving off…

They get an “overall impression” of a guy’s attractiveness and think of him as either “hot” or “not” based on these body language signals.

Watch this excellent free video by Kate Spring.

Kate’s a relationship expert who helped me improve my own body language around women.

In this free video, she gives you several body language techniques like this guaranteed to help you better attract women.

Here’s a link to the video again.

4. She’s not telling anyone about you

This is for the guys who are actively dating the girl we’re talking about.

Maybe she goes on dates with you, or makes out with you every now and then, but when it comes to letting other people know what you’ve been up to? She shuts up shop.

Her friends don’t know about you. You rarely meet them. And most of the time you’re just an afterthought to hang out with because she has nothing else to do.

It’s definitely not a good sign if she only answers the phone when she’s alone and she doesn’t tell you about her life.

It’s important to be honest here. Don’t try to trick yourself into thinking that she’s just an introvert who doesn’t have many friends or an emotionally closed person.

99 percent of girls that genuinely like you will tell their friends about you. Girls are much more social than guys, and they tell their best friends everything about their dating life.

If you’ve been on more than a few dates and she likes you, she’ll absolutely want you to meet her friends.

After all, she wants her friends to suss you out.

Now if you do meet her friends, watch how she introduces you.

If she says you’re just a friend and laughs it off when other people tease you two together, then that probably shows she’s leading you on.

On the other hand, if she gets shy when someone asks if you two are together then that might indicate that she actually likes you.

But if this has been going on for a while, and you can’t believe you haven’t met any friends or family members, then unfortunately that’s not a good sign.

Another sign she is leading you on is if she also doesn’t want to meet your friends.

The boys are coming over to hang out? She’s not heading to your place tonight then. She has no interest in meeting your friends or seeing whatever game is on television.

5. She’s making plans without you

If she’s never around but then when you do talk to her, she seems to be living la Vida Loca without you, then that’s not a good sign.

A girl that likes you will make time for you. There’s no doubt about it.

But if you’re struggling to organize a meeting with her, then something is up.

Perhaps you only meet her every second weekend, even though you’d really like to meet her every weekend.

If this is happening, then there is a power imbalance in the relationship. You want to meet her more than she wants to meet you.

And when she does meet you, it’s only because there is nothing better to do.

Sure, she might like you, but if you’re an afterthought then she clearly doesn’t like you like romantically.

When you do meet up with her, she might be more focused on the present moment. She won’t discuss the future with you because she already knows that you won’t be part of it.

Now if you’re just in it for fun, then you might be able to ink a little more out of it (if you’re sleeping with her already that is).

But if you’re looking for a relationship, then she’s probably won’t commit if she doesn’t see you as in her future.

Females can be very particular about the guy they want in the future, and unfortunately, you might not be fitting the bill.

6. She never has any men in her life

What is her dating history like?

If she has hardly ever had a boyfriend or serious relationship, then it might because she is always leading them on.

In fact, when I look back, most girls that friend-zoned me and led me on were perpetually single.

They have no problems in flirting with guys, or making friends with guys, but an actual relationship?

They just can’t go through with it.

Perhaps their standards are too high, or they have commitment issues, but one thing is for sure:

As long as she keeps flirting with you and being friendly with you, she’ll lead you on because she simply doesn’t have the capacity to be involved in a serious relationship.

7. You’re expecting too much, too little, or living in your head

I’ve been there. 

A chronic over thinker, dating can be both a blessing and a curse.

I used to adore replaying every slightly dubious interaction with dates in my head over and over again until I was certain they didn’t like me. That there was something wrong with me.

Part of me whispered that if she wasn’t chasing me, she didn’t want me at all. She was just mocking me.

But this is a part of the silly misconceptions a lot us carry when it comes to the dating world.

To improve my own relationships, I had to do some real reflection. Rudá Iandé, a world renowned shaman who has helped thousands of people to navigate relationships with themselves and with others, was critical to my journey.

He has loads of free resources like this Love and Intimacy Masterclass which I would definitely suggest you try out if you’re in the same boat.

Because the truth of the matter is she might be leading you on. You might be reading the signals wrong and be chasing the wrong person.

But you might also be allowing outdated, fairytale-style visions of love to cloud your judgement.

So try out the class – through the guided exercises, you’ll really get to grips with emotions you might currently be unaware sit within you.

Click here to try out the free masterclass.

8. You’re Plan B

She’s leading you on if you can only make plans on a last-minute basis with her.

Your weekend is wide open and you’d drop anything to meet her.

But despite your efforts in getting her to commit to a plan on the weekend, she never does.

You don’t seem to be her first choice for hanging out or doing much of anything.

She always says she’ll let you know when you ask her to hang out.

In the end, there is a power imbalance, and unfortunately, she’s the one wielding the sword.

9. She only replies to your texts; she never messages you first

She’s leading you on if she’s not sending you messages before you send messages to her. If she was thinking about you, she’d let you know.

This shows where her mind is at. She doesn’t really care to make an effort with you, but she probably replies back because she doesn’t want to be rude.

And occasionally you might be able to get a meeting in because as we said above, she has nothing better to do.

So, what can you do?

Forget about messaging her. See if she messages you first.

If nothing happens, then the signs, unfortunately, point to her leading you on.

10. She talks about a future without you in it

She talks about going on vacation or visiting a new city or moving somewhere entirely different with no consideration of how you fit into those plans.

When you ask her to plan something together she seems to brush it off.

If she really liked you, she would absolutely want to have you in her future.

But if it’s clear she’s leading you on if she never considers you when she makes future plans.

Think about it. If you really liked a girl, and you were about to go away for a one-month holiday, would you tell her?

Of course, you would. You wouldn’t want your one-month absence to hurt your chances.

If she doesn’t reveal her future plans to you, then you’re clearly just an afterthought, and she’s not too fussed if you’re in her future or not.

11. She never changes her schedule for you

There’s no flexibility with her. She’s got a packed calendar and she leaves very little room for you in it.

She can’t go to your cousin’s wedding because Saturday afternoon is when she goes shopping. She has her own schedule and thinks giving in means she’s not independent.

She doesn’t listen.

You’ve told her three times that you want to take her to your cousin’s wedding and when the weekend arrives she’s made plans with her friends.

You know she’s leading you on if you just don’t seem that important to her. If she genuinely liked you, going as your date to a special event would get her excited.

But she seems to ignore your genuine advances because she genuinely doesn’t really like you.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, no doubt. But the quicker you realize that she’s leading you, the quicker you can move on and focus on the countless other fish in the sea.

12. She wants all of your attention but won’t give you any of hers

She’d freak out if you looked at another girl but she’s always talking about other guys. What’s up with that?

She is happy to hook up with other dudes but doesn’t want to hear about your adventures.

Because she claims you’re only friends, she is more than happy to talk about the guy she hooked up with on the weekend.

But it’s a different story when you try to do the same (hooked up with a girl, that is).

She just doesn’t want to hear it. It makes her feel jealous.

And she feels like there might be a danger of her losing control of your attention and love.

It’s a one-sided relationship. She loves receiving love and admiration for you, but she refuses to give it. At least, she doesn’t express it.

I mentioned Rudá Iandé above but to stress again, the energy balance between partners is a precarious thing.

Giving and not receiving, or being completely entwined and codependent are neither good.

Rudá’s Love and Intimacy Masterclass

covers these bases and can provide you with a far clearer picture of 1. what you’re currently expecting out of your relationship with her, and 2. what’s actually reasonable and healthy.

Not to say you’re currently expecting too much – you might well be expecting too little.

Every relationship is subjective, but it is through resources such as these that we get a better understanding of what we each individually need.

Click here to try out the free masterclass if you haven’t already.

13. She’s keeping her distance

You don’t actually know that much about her except for a few things that she tells you here and there. She’s not interested in learning much about you either.

She’s almost like a fairweather friend of yours. She seems interested when it suits her needs but other than that? She’s nowhere to be seen. These are classic signs of a girl that is leading a guy on.

If you’ve expressed your feelings, but she’s not clear on how she feels, then it might be time to call it for what it is.

She doesn’t talk about the future and if she does, you’re not mentioned very often.

These signs all point to the fact that she doesn’t seem to need you.

You’re all for women having their own lives, but the truth is that guys like to feel needed from time to time. She’s giving you the cold shoulder at every turn and doesn’t ask you for anything.

14. She cuddles you when you’re alone but shows no signs of affection in public

This is a big one that a lot of guys miss. Perhaps you’ve reached a point with this girl where you are touchy-feely with her when you’re alone at home watching a movie.

But when you’re out in public, how does she behave?

Does she avoid holding your hand at all costs?

Does she immediately say “we’re just friends!” when somebody asks how you guys know each other?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then, unfortunately, her feelings for you might not be genuine.

How she behaves in public says a lot about how she truly feels about you.

Look, she probably enjoys cuddling you when you’re alone, but that is because it suits her.

But if she really liked you, she’d want other people to know that you’re dating. After all, she’d want you only to herself.

15. She’s up and down

Some days she is all over you. Flirting and complimenting you. Make you feel a million dollars.

And other days she hardly gives you any attention at all. She’s completely distant and withdrawn.

And this is the same with her responses to your text messages.

Sometimes she responds immediately and seems eager to communicate with you.

Then out of nowhere, she doesn’t respond for days like she’s completely forgotten about you.

She’s clearly leading you if she’s behaving like this.

When you truly like someone, you’re always willing to communicate with them. You certainly don’t go days without responding.

It shows that her feelings for you are highly fickle, ready to drop at the tip of a hat.

If you’re feeling like you’re on the edge of whatever is happening here, you’re probably right to assume things aren’t going to work out.

For whatever reason, she is keeping you at bay. If she means a lot to you, talk to her about how she keeps you at a distance.

But don’t be surprised if she turns it around and makes you feel needy for asking for more.

It sounds like she’s not interested in the same things you are. It might be time to move on and find someone who will invest as much as you will in a relationship.

16. She gave you back the sweater you “forgot” at her place

It’s perfectly normal to forget a sweater when you stay over, but she doesn’t want it there and gives it back to you under the guise of “I thought you might want it back.” Ouch.

If she actually liked you, she’d keep the sweater and use it as a string to get you over again. Girls are always thinking ahead when it comes to relationships.

If your girl is doing any of these things, she’s probably leading you on. Women want to be wanted and if she’s not letting you get close, it’s because she doesn’t want you to.

It might feel like you’re just taking it easy and playing it by ear, but if you feel left out of the conversation, you’re probably right to assume that she’s not the one for you.

I learnt this from relationship guru Bobby Rio.

If you want your girl to become obsessed with you, then check out his excellent free video here.

What you’ll learn in this video isn’t exactly pretty — but neither is love.

Why might she be leading you?

As I mentioned above, a girl usually leads a guy on for her own reasons that have nothing to do with the guy.

Here are some common reasons a girl leads a guy on:

– She may have recently ended a long-term relationship with another guy. She’s still recovering and wants to give herself more time before she enters into another relationship. It can sometimes take a year or more before someone fully moves on after a breakup.

– She just wants to boost her own ego. The more that guys like her (such as yourself), the better she feels about herself. It makes her feel sexy and attractive.

– She might be confused about what she wants at this point in her life. Does she really want a relationship with another guy? She doesn’t know, so she’ll lead you on while she tries to figure it out.

– She only considers you a friend and you’ve been misreading some of her actions as flirting when really she is just being friendly.

– She’s attracted to you, but she may fear a dint to her reputation if she’s seen dating you.

– She’s interested in another guy but keeps you around because she still likes you as a backup.

– She’s a naturally flirty girl. She might flirt with lots of guys and you’re just another guy that has fallen for her charm.

– She might be bored and need something to occupy her time. Ouch, right? She might want to be with you, but not just you.

– She might be holding out for something (or someone) she thinks is better.

There are endless reasons why girls lead guys on, but if you’re starting to question her motives, you’re probably onto something here. She might be leading you on.

What to do if you’re in love with a girl that is leading you on?

It’s important to think about yourself right now.

Are you happy with the current arrangement?

If you’re clearly not happy, then you need to come clean to her about how you feel.

Be honest. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?

Look, I’m not going to lie, your chances aren’t high if the signs point to her leading you on.

But you might be misreading some of the signs above, and there certainly is a possibility that she genuinely likes you. She might just be waiting for you to make a move.

But if she tells you she doesn’t like you romantically, then you need to see it as a huge positive.


Because you can finally move on with her life.

Girls who lead guys on can be toxic, and this toxic relationship can go on for a long period of time.

I’ve been there myself and looking back, it ended up being a giant waste of time.

The quicker you get out of that type of relationship, the better.

Trust me when I say:

There is plenty of fish in the sea. It might be hard to see now, but the more you get out in the world and meet other girls, the better perspective you’ll have.

While I understand it can be tough to let a girl go, what is the point of continuing a relationship that clearly isn’t going anywhere?

You know what you need to do next…

If you notice that she’s not telling other people about you, she’s making plans without you and doesn’t consider you in her future, maybe she’s leading you on.

I mentioned coming across a game-changer in my dating life – relationship expert Kate Spring

She taught me a few powerful techniques that took me from being “friend-zoned” to “in demand”. 

From the power of body language to gaining confidence, Kate’s tapped into something most relationship experts overlook:

The biology of what attracts women.

Since learning this, I’ve managed to get into and hold down some incredible relationships. Relationships with women I could never have imagined dating in the past. 

Check out this free video by Kate

If you’re ready to level up your dating game, her unique tips and techniques will do the trick.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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