Is He Stringing You Along or Taking It Slow? How to Read His Mind

Is he stringing you along or taking it slow? Discover the signs that he is taking his time or being a fool when it comes to your heart.

is he stringing you along or taking it slow

If you have ever been led on by a guy, you know how annoying it is. You know mixed signals. You get excited and then let down and can’t seem to make sense of your own feeling let alone his. But, when you assume a guy is leading you on, he may just be respectful and taking things at a slower pace. How do you know is he stringing you along or taking it slow?

My first piece of advice would be to ask him. I know this sounds risky, but give it a chance. If you are confused by a guy’s actions, ask him what’s up.

If he admits he is taking things slow because he’s fresh out of a relationship, great. But, a guy who is stringing you along probably won’t be honest about it.

[Read: The signs he just wants sex and is only using you for his enjoyment]

When a guy is leading you on, there is a reason for it. He wants his ego boosted or he wants to sleep with you or he wants to keep you around just in case. Maybe he even wants to keep his options open. But, he is afraid that if he tells you the truth about being unsure or shares his true intentions, you’ll dump him or worse, tell him off.

So, although I wish open and honest communication worked here, guys lie. So, you may need to try some other things to figure out if he is stringing you along or taking it slow.

What is taking it slow?

Before we figure out what your guy is up to, I want to clarify something. When you’re wondering, is he stringing you along or taking it slow, you are probably hoping for taking it slow. You hope he is nervous or hesitant because of his past or maybe he is just super respectful. But, taking it slow, even if he says that, doesn’t always mean what you think.

[Read: Looking for official? The real signs he wants you to be his girlfriend]

Although relationship timelines are meaningless and each relationship moves at its own pace, it needs to work for both of you. If it has been six months and you feel like you should have met his family by now, but he isn’t calling you his girlfriend and you haven’t met his friends, things are off. That may be too slow for you but totally fine for him.

And when a guy says he wants to take things slow, it gives you hope. You think that means things will progress eventually, but he is taking his time. Unless he explains why he is taking it slow and you agree, the slowness could simply be an excuse to string you along.

Maybe he isn’t doing it on purpose. Maybe he really does like you, but if he isn’t ready for a relationship and is scared of commitment, that slow pace could last a lot longer than you think.

[Read: Is he a commitment phone? Here’s how to tell for sure]

If you figure out that he is taking it slow, don’t just accept that and move on. Discuss why he wants to take it slow. Talk about what your ideal pace is. Are you okay moving slow or would you like him to meet you halfway? Also, find out what slow means to him. Does it mean you won’t be having sex? Does it mean you’re having sex without commitment? Maybe it means you’re seeing other people. Or does it mean you’re going on dates or just sharing the couch and Netflix?

Ask him what moving slow means to him. Does he know or is he just going with the flow? Without this clarity, knowing that he is taking it slow won’t put your mind at ease. In fact, it may worry and stress you out even more. [Read: Is he leading you on? 16 definitive signs he’s playing you for fun]

Is he stringing you along or taking it slow?

Now that we clarified the meaning of taking it slow, let’s find out if he is actually doing that or if he is in fact, stringing you along.

If he is taking it slow he will:

Make time for you. A guy who is into you, no matter how slow he wants to take things, will make the time. He will drive to your house if you can’t meet up. He will FaceTime you or call you on the phone just to talk. If you aren’t seeing each other, it isn’t taking it slow, it is staying still. [Read: Is he a player or a gentleman? 13 clear giveaways]

Share things with you. Even if you aren’t labeling anything and just getting to know each other, he will share things with you. He will talk about his family, his dream job, and more. He won’t just talk about movies and sports. When you take things slow, you are aware of your vulnerability but sharing those things that make you vulnerable, even slowly shows you are taking steps forward.

Go on dates. You may not be meeting his family just yet, but he will take you out to eat, to the movies, or just for a walk in the park. A guy who likes you will want to impress you with thought-out dates.

He won’t just leave things up in the air or bring you over for takeout from the start. Getting cozy on the couch is not really taking it slow, is it?

Include you. Even if you are feeling things out, if he sees a possibility of this going somewhere he will include you. He will invite you to his friend’s party or introduce you to his roommates. He may not invite you to his family reunion, but he won’t avoid others when he’s with you.

Make plans. A guy who sees something with you, even when taking it slow will make plans for the weekend. He will say things like, “We should see that movie when it comes out,” or, “We should try that restaurant next time.” It may seem small, but this shows he has the intent of seeing you more often.

Be stable. If he is taking it slow, he will gradually progress. He will still talk to you the same amount. He will go from getting coffee to getting dinner and eventually invite you over. But he will not make you continuously question his interest in you. [Read: How to take a relationship slow, but not so slow that it ends]

If he is stringing you along he will:

Give mixed signals. This is the number one sign a guy is stringing you along. If he is all in one day and then he disappears off your radar for days only to reappear without explanation, he is not taking it slow. He is riding a roller coaster of your emotions.

Make last minute plans. A guy who is taking it slow will make plans ahead of time, but someone stringing you along is not making you a priority. He will reach out to see if you want to grab a drink or come over the night of because he was waiting to see if something better would come up.

I know that is harsh, but it’s true and you deserve better. [Read: 15 things immature men do and why you should avoid them]

Avoid deep conversations. If you mention something about the future, he will change the subject or not answer. He will talk about movies, complain about his ex, or even mock people who are in serious relationships but won’t be vulnerable with you. If he does cry or open up but won’t support you when you do the same, he is only in it for himself.

Stay in. A guy who is stringing you along will not be putting in a ton of effort. He won’t be taking you out to eat. He might get some fast food and invite you over for Netflix, but probably won’t clean his room for your benefit. This guy isn’t trying to impress you.

Make excuses. He will make excuses in every sense of the word. He will make excuses as to why he hasn’t gotten his brake lights fixed. Then, he will make excuses as to why he never called when he said he would. He will also blame his mixed signals on someone else instead of taking responsibility or accountability. [Read: How to deal with a guy who is sending mixed signals]

Wants sex. A guy who is stringing you along will not be waiting to have sex. Maybe a couple of dates, but beyond that, he only wants one thing. If he asks for dirty photos, tries to have phone sex, or invites you over at night because he is lonely, he is stringing you along and will keep doing it because he is getting what he wants with no strings.

[Read: The decoding guide for how to tell what a guy wants from you]

So, is he stringing you along or taking it slow? I hope you got the answer you wanted. If not, good riddance. You are better off enjoying yourself than being with a guy who disrespects you.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...

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