So, you like the guy. You went on a date (or a few) and he seems to fit the bill. Except he doesn’t seem to showing even half as much interest in you as you do in him. Nope, it’s nothing he said or did, but you just feel it. You have no idea why they’re not interested, i mean after all nothing’s wrong with you, right?
Can i be really honest here? You probably do know. Your instincts do tell you when something’s off. You do notice patterns or the fact that they’re acting vague and non committal ( not to you but dating you, someone like you, in general) If you were to be really honest with yourself , you would admit that you have some inkling of why is it that they are not showing interest at all or at least as much as you are.
Let’s cut to the chase and list those reasons. The big elephant in the room so to speak.
Commitment phobia and emotional unavailability. This is the number one reason why people often get confused about someone’s interest. It’s too much for an emotionally unavailable person to commit to dating properly especially with the understanding that you may want/expect something more down the road. They enjoy your attention but they don’t actually intend to make a serious effort to know you better. If you find yourself in this situation, just know that this type of behavior comes naturally to these people. Do not engage with them or you’ll only regret it later.
They have more ‘options’. No this isn’t about you at all. If you only want to date the ‘creme de la creme’ so to speak, then surely you’ll be aware that they will have a ton of other people they could potentially date (granted based on superficial qualities). So these people, sub consciously think they can do better if they wanted to. The weird thing is, at some level we all think like this. But for decent folks, usually the thought isn’t so strong that they treat the other person like they’re just another option. Yes that includes the very good looking, successful ones amongst us. This is why someone who makes you feel like they’re not interested, whether intentionally or not, is NOT the right person for you. They’ll never be able to bridge the gap in their mind and actually want to be with you. They are just using you to raise their ego. They might even like one particular thing about you, like your looks, education, career, social background etc but usually it’s not enough to be attracted to you overall. If you encounter such a person, it’s best to call it a day and not waste your time.
Being with someone like that will tear apart your confidence in the long run. Yes, things can look good on paper but at the end of the day, can you really be happy with someone who essentially thinks that you’re inferior in some way? This is different by the way, from seeking out partners, who can compliment your attributes. How so? Well, for one, it comes from a positive place and there is mutual interest.
Sometimes, when you have the pre existing notion that only certain types can find you attractive, then you operate from a place of low confidence. Yes, it’s not attractive as the other person catches on to it but even in this situation, a decent guy will never make you feel like you’re not in type. He’ll resolve that in his head before dating you.
So what can you do in situations like these?
Take a step (or a hundred) back. Back way waaaay up. Don’t plan dates, don’t text, don’t call them. If you are unsure about their interest, then allow them to show it. The thing to note is that when someone isn’t interested in you, each extra text or call seems to them to be an act of desperation on your part. Now that doesn’t mean you are, but that’s how they will likely perceive it.
Ask yourself why you feel the need to date someone who doesn’t seem very interested. Is it to cover for some self perceived ‘lack’? Hey, your preferences are your own. It’s perfectly fine to have a certain ‘type’. Heck i know i did when i was dating. But if you will ONLY date someone if they are of that certain type to the point of accepting disinterest and maybe even disrespect, then something is wrong. Don’t expect them to step up and tell you that they’re not that interested. It’s up to you recognize that it’s unhealthy and actually do something about it.
Set a mental time frame. Although the waiting game rarely works, it will allow you to set some boundaries. Have a time period in mind, by which time it’s absolutely essential that you have an answer one way or the other. You can continue to be ‘friends’ with this person but prepared to be friend zoned as well. While you’re doing this, keep it to yourself since this is more to hold yourself accountable in case you end up wasting a lot of your time with a guy who’s just not that into you.
Is it about the ‘conquest’? Maybe you saw them as a challenge and wanted to get their acceptance and approval to boost your self worth. Maybe you wanted to prove something to yourself. Although this is by no means a healthy enough reason to date someone, it is important to be aware of it so you can apply your thoughts and energies to something that is healthy for you. Even if you manage to impress them, what next? When you pursue something with an agenda, it never works out well. Either outcome will be disappointing, because you’ll end up bitter if it fails and if it’s successful, you’ll doubt yourself and be unhappy inside.
At some point, ask directly. Now again if someone was decent enough to not be vague or leave you guessing, that’s great. If they were interested, you would feel it even if they don’t state it out loud. But if that’s not the case, you have to ask openly if they are in the right headspace to date either casually or with a view to figuring out relationship potential (depending upon your own intention). I don’t normally recommend this because such people are rarely forthcoming about their intentions. In fact this will rank somewhat high on their desperato – meter. But it doesn’t matter because if it has come down to you having to ask them point blank, then it was probably not going to work out anyway. Either they’ll own up to not being interested, though most likely they won’t state it explicitly. They will likely say they are not sure just yet, they have other commitments, were only trying to get their feet wet and see etc etc.. in which case you have your answer. Or they might drag their feet a bit more and act vague yet again. In this case, you must end things then and there. No point in dating someone who is not clear headed about anything.
Trust your instincts. I know this advice gets tossed about a lot. And there’s a good reason why. If you feel like they aren’t interested, they aren’t. You’re not imagining things. If in the end, you’re not sure, just go with your instincts.
Whatever you decide to do, just know that persisting with someone even in the face of enough indications and instincts without knowing if they’re interested indicates low self esteem. Make sure that you work on that aspect of yourself before dating again. You deserve to invest your time on someone who is genuinely interested to get to know you. Anyone else is just not worth it.