It may be time to accept the painful truth.
So, you’ve figured it out. You’re falling in love. Sure, he leaves wet towels on the bed and he’s a maniac about telling you to turn out all of the lights in his apartment, but somehow, someway, you’ve managed to fall completely, totally, in love with this guy.
Now for the big question: If you say “I love you,” will he say “I love you, too?” In fact, will he ever even love you back?
It’s something that has kept more than one woman (try more like one billion women!) awake at night, as they try their best to assess just how much of a risk it would be for them to declare their undying devotion.
Chances are if you’re in a long-term relationship, you already have a pretty good sense of what he’s feeling. But what about in those more complicated situations, the on-again and off-again ones? The guy who is so hard to crack you’ve legitimately considered taking a nutcracker to his forehead (albeit in a 100% figurative way)?
The truth is that only the man in question can tell you for sure whether or not he’s falling in love with you by using his words to do it! However, there are some pretty clear red flags to watch for if you suspect there’s a good chance that he isn’t, and that he probably never will.
Here are 11 signs the man you’re falling in love with will never say “I love you” in return.
1. He only communicates on his own terms.
This guy is the kind of leaving you on read. He sees your text. He knows it’s there. He knows you know that he knows. But none of that is going to make him, you know, actually answer you.
It’s not that he doesn’t like you. He really does! You simply aren’t a priority for him — period, end of sentence. He’ll return your call or return your text when it’s convenient for him.
He’s not playing games, though, even though you’ll want to accuse him of this for sure. To be honest, he’s letting you know exactly where you stand. Believe him.
2. He hides you from his family and friends.
No, I don’t mean that before they come over to his place he drapes you in sheets or hides you in another room. That would be both ineffectual and weird, though also deeply entertaining. (For someone watching it on TV, of course, not for you. God, no).
What I mean is that when a man is serious about having you in his life as his girlfriend, i.e., as someone he is proud to be in love with, he wants you to connect with the people he feels closest to. If he keeps you away from his family and his friends, he’s made up his mind that you are not the one and you never will be.
I know. It sucks. But it’s true.
3. He won’t interact with your on social media.
Guys who already have one foot out of a relationship don’t want to leave any evidence of the fact that they were even one foot in, which is why they so carefully limit the amount of interaction they have with you on social media.
I’m not even talking about something as obviously as changing your relationship status. I’m talking about untagging himself in photographs you tagged him in the second he gets the notification because he already knows that you’re way more into him than he is into you, and he wants you and everyone else to know it, too.
4. He tells you he’s no good for you.
Men who have no intention of ever reciprocating your feelings of love will often tell you so, just not using those specific words.
When a man says something like, “You can do better than me,” or “I’m no good for you,” or “I have a dark side,” or “Everybody leaves me,” he’s telling you THE TRUTH.
If a man goes out of his way to tell you that he’s bad news, he’s got not reason to lie. Believe him, and move the heck on.
5. He never comes over to your place.
Sometimes, whether for logistical reasons or because it becomes a simple habit, couples get into a routine of going to one person’s place more than the other’s. To be clear, I’m not saying that if you’re in this type of situation and you always go to his place that he will never love you back, not at all.
What I am saying is if you tell him you want to go your place sometimes and he makes an excuse not to or cancels plans every time you do, it’s because he knows he will never love, he doesn’t want to lead you on, and frankly, he doesn’t want to be bothered to go out of his way for you.
6. He never introduces you as his girlfriend.
You guys had the talk and decided that you’re exclusive. He doesn’t want to change his relationship status on FB for reasons that annoy you, but, OK, you let it slide.
Now it’s your first night out as an official couple, and when you run into someone he knows, you get hit with him referring to you as “my friend” — or even worse, “your literal name.”
A man who really loves you is really proud to show you off, and he’ll slap you with that girlfriend title so fast it will make your head spin and you heart sizzle.
7. He’s all talk.
Men who know they aren’t in it for the long haul and who also know that you’re falling HARD have this wonderfully awful way of leading you to believe it’s going to be the two of you together forever, regardless.
He’ll talk about taking dream vacations together, what your house in the countryside will look like and what you’ll name the adorable puppy the two of you adopt together.
Compare those dreams he spins to what he actually does. If you aren’t even sure today whether or not you’ll see him tomorrow, chances are he’s never actually planning to take you to Hawaii for a week either.
8. He disappears for days on end.
When you love someone, you go out of your way to make sure they feel cared for. Love, after all, means putting someone else’s needs above your own, and it also means being EXCITED to do just that.
A man who goes radio silent for days on end and doesn’t tell you what he’s doing (or who he happens to be doing it with) is not treating you with love.
And he’s doing this because he doesn’t actually love you. If anything, he just loves the attention he gets from you when you beg him to get back in touch.
9. He gets drunk whenever you’re together.
I once dated a man who I thought I was in a serious relationship with. We texted all day long. We spent every weekend together.
But one thing I overlooked at first was the fact that whenever we were together, he was either drinking or already drunk when I arrived.
I wasn’t the girl of his dreams, I was the girl of his drambuie.
If a man needs alcohol to fuel the time he spends with you, he’s either got a drinking problem you cannot fix for him, or he views you as a little bit of fun, kind of like a pickleback to his shot of whiskey. This isn’t a guy who’s going to be making professions of love to you. Not when he’s sober, anyway.
10. He avoids eye contact with you.
Communication is the key to any healthy relationship. If you’re in love, that’s great, but even the greatest love of all means nothing if the two of you can’t sit down knee to knee and talk about awkward and difficult things. That’s what people in good relationships do.
If you try to talk to your man about serious stuff and he breaks eye contact with you, he is as good as telling you that he isn’t ready for serious, that he isn’t ready for love, that he isn’t ready for communication, and that he sure as heck isn’t ready for you.
Move on. Find a guy who can look you in the eye like a man.
11. He has zero interest in meeting your friends.
You think you’ve bagged “the one,” except for one little thing — he magically manages to make himself invisible whenever you mention you’d love for him to hang out with your friends.
When it’s just the two of you he talks about how much he can’t wait to spend time with them, yet when an opportunity arises for him to actually do so he has a million excuses for why he can’t “right now.”
The truth of the matter is that there is only one excuse. He knows your friends will see right through him. It’s time for you to do the same