When someone tells you they aren’t interested in a relationship, believe them, says Chong. That’s because either they mean it, or it’s a way of saying they just aren’t feeling that kind of connection with you. “It’s already one-sided, and hanging out is very different from actually dating. Also, you might be in a situationship, which is a no-commitment romantic relationship,” says Chong. “This is a person who’s telling you that you’re great, but you’re just not that great to the point where you take priority in their lives. Or more painfully, you’re great, but you’re just not the one. But until they find that one, they want all of your benefits without any of the responsibility.”
While it’s not fun to realize someone isn’t into you, particularly if you’ve developed feelings for them, recognizing the signs can ultimately save you a lot of heartbreak in the end because it allows you to take action. If it’s someone you’ve been dating and you want to see if there’s a chance of salvaging the relationship, Spira suggests talking to them about what you’re noticing and feeling. “Schedule time to speak, and ask this person if their feelings have changed, or if they prefer to be friends. It provides them with an out, but gives you a clear answer and the opportunity to spend time with someone who thinks you’re the prize,” she concludes. And if it’s someone new who you haven’t formed a bond with yet, Chong says to do yourself a favor and cut them loose. “Walk away at once. The inability of someone to like or love you is out of your hands. All you have to know is that they’re not that into you. The reason usually doesn’t matter. And because they’re not that into you, you aren’t into them too,” she advises. And you deserve so much better.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships