How to stop a guy from leading you on (17 practical tips)

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He probably didn’t want to hurt you, at least on a conscious level. However, it still happened.  

He led you on with no intention of keeping the promises he made. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way for you to control what others do with their lives and how they behave. But what you can control is having your own set of values and knowing exactly what you want. 

You can’t make someone want you more than they do, girl. 

I’m speaking from my own experience here. And I want to share with you the exact things I did when the guy I had a huge crush on led me on…and didn’t even apologize for it.

Spoiler alert: now I’m happy, fulfilled, and I’ve actually never felt better! So will you!

1) The block button is your friend

If someone’s being horrible to you, it’s not petty to block them. 

In fact…

I could go further: blocking people who bring nothing but negativity into our lives is necessary. 

Don’t let him hurt you, and don’t sacrifice your self-respect for someone who doesn’t appreciate you anyway. 

You don’t owe him explanations, and even if you’re a nice person… you don’t owe him respect. 

Block him!

It’s free, easy, and it will bring you peace of mind. If he’s harassing you about it, you can also change your number for good. It doesn’t mean you’re being a jerk: it means you’re valuing your mental health. 

The thing is that if you still have his number within reach and you have a moment of weakness, you’ll give in. 

Unfortunately, this will restart the cycle of breadcrumbing for you. 

2) Get to know and establish your boundaries

Before getting to know someone,  you must know your boundaries. Even more important is that you respect them in the first place. 

For example, if someone’s leading you on under the excuse of “being friends”, you can set rules as to how you want that friendship to progress in the future. This will stop him from flirting, and it will keep your heart safe. 

These are some things you can do to set rules around someone who’s leading you on: 

  • Don’t spend too much time together. 
  • Don’t follow him on social media, and if you don’t want to block him, you can silence his stories and posts. 
  • If he flirts, call him out when it happens. He’ll know you’re not playing around. 
  • When he tries to call you, don’t pick up instantly. Even better: don’t pick up at all, unless you really, really want to spend platonic time with him. 
  • If he insists on going out with you, organize a group meeting. 

While I hope this article can shed some light on the ways to stop someone from leading you on, a coach can help you sort this situation even more. 

We’re talking about a professional coach who will give you personalized advice. 

Relationship Hero is a website that seeks to unite amazing coaches with the people who need them. If you’re dealing with a guy who’s leading you on, they can help you move on in the healthiest possible way. 

How do I know this? 

Simply put, they helped me through a rough patch in my relationship. I reached out to them for help and was given helpful advice that let me see my issues in a useful way. 

Within minutes you could be at the other end of a video call with someone intelligent who will help you from a genuine place of empathy. 

This will enable you to heal your relationship in the best possible way… or to walk away and move on to the next best thing. 

Click here to get started.

3) Work on accepting yourself

In finding “the one,” you need to be clear on three major things: 

  1. Self-confidence, which comes from trusting our choices. 
  2. Progress, which enables us to “level up”. 
  3. Self-acceptance, because nobody is perfect, and we have to be patient with ourselves. 

To do so, start by sitting down in a quiet place and working on what you want: how do you want to be? What are those dreams you’ve always kept on the back burner? Is there anything you’d like to improve right now?

Make one promise to yourself. It doesn’t need to be complex it’s better to keep it simple. This will be your promise to work on accepting and cherishing yourself.

Afterward, make sure you keep that promise. You can build self-trust from the smallest place: drinking water daily, having a skincare routine, working out… you name it. 

4) Confide in your friends for support

Before you talk to him about the issues you’re experiencing, speak with your friends. They can give you a fresh perspective with a different opinion. 

In the best-case scenario, you’re overthinking the relationship and making yourself anxious with no reason for it. 

Don’t waste your energy on something that isn’t worth it and in torturing yourself. Talk to a trusted friend and get a better picture of the situation. 

5) Don’t think too much about the past 

I’ve been guilty of this before. Spending hours thinking about every little detail, overthinking my words and actions… 

Don’t waste your time. 

Thinking about the past will only hurt you. You can’t change it or control it. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up about supposed “mistakes”.

Instead, pick the areas to improve in: communication is a starting point for everyone. 

After all, the future is all you can change! 

Want to know a secret about dwelling in the past? 

Negative emotions can keep you stuck in a negative perception of yourself and others. You’ll get used to it fast, and then it will be harder to stay positive. 

Try to see the future with optimism and highlight the positive things that happen in your life every day. You’ll start to rewire your brain into good emotions really easily.

And one last thing: mourning forever over some guy who couldn’t make up his mind?

It’s never worth it. 

6) Keep yourself firm

If you trust yourself, it’s easier not to give in to the temptation of calling or letting him walk all over you.

Especially if you’ve been intimate with the person who’s leading you on, it can get more difficult to stop seeing him. 

Unfortunately, being physically intimate with someone like this will only hurt you more and more. 

You can get attached in an unhealthy way, so don’t give in. He won’t magically see you as the incredible person you are just because you meet him a few times a week. 

7) Don’t be too hard on yourself

The fact that he’s manipulative isn’t your fault. You’re an honest, kind person, and this is how you approached the relationship. 

That’s good! 

There’s no shame in feelings and in loving someone, even if they don’t deserve it. Don’t ever change your gentle heart just because someone decided to play with it. 

Feelings don’t last forever: you’ll learn to trust again, and this time, with someone better. 

Now, let’s be honest about being led on.

It’s the furthest thing from easy: you can feel like giving up on love altogether. 

I want to suggest some practical advice that I hope will help you: you have all the tools you need and are strong enough to move on and walk away from a toxic situationship. 

The modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê taught me how to change the narrative our minds create about ourselves. This helped me to escape the traps I’ve set for ourselves, especially in love and dating. 

Even more so when someone was leading me on. 

If we cut through the lies, I told myself. Watch this video to find out how true this is

Rudá’s lessons showed me a new way to see the world of dating. Thanks to him, I know now that codependency is not something I want to have in my future anymore. And now I’m ready to distinguish and avoid it.

I felt someone deeply understood me and was compassionate about my struggles. Finally, I was offered a practical solution that allowed me to stop dating guys who tried to lead me on. 

If you are sick of feeling like you’re wasting your time, watch this short video and keep your heart and mind open to endless, exciting possibilities in love. 

Click here to watch the free video.

8) Give yourself a reality check

You have to see things as they are, not as you want them to be. 

In the past, I was guilty of fantasizing about people and putting the other person on a pedestal. Nowadays, I keep it real: every relationship has its issues, even platonic ones.

There are limitations, communication problems, differences in goals… you name it. 

If you keep it real, you have a chance to identify if this relationship is something you want or not. You won’t see only the positives, which is something that happens when we fall in love. 

Don’t fall in love with possibilities and empty words. Fall in love with someone who’s there for you. 

The rose-colored glasses will only hurt you at the end of the day. 

To help you stay true to reality, you can start making lists. For starters, make a list of all his flaws. This can go something like this: 

  • He’s already in a committed relationship. 
  • He won’t date you. 
  • He drinks or smokes too much.
  • He doesn’t follow through with his promises. 

By doing this, you’re forcing your conscious mind to accept things as they are. This can keep you from idealizing this person and falling in love with someone who doesn’t exist

9) Get physical!

I don’t mean violence, of course. But oftentimes, our frustration and pent-up anger can be put to good use if we hit the gym or start a martial arts class. 

Feeling angry and upset is super normal, and it’s healthy! But you don’t have to stew in that negativity forever. Exercise can keep you in touch with your body and let your mind rest. 

It will also help you sleep better and relax when you need to. Consider the following classes in your nearest gym:

  • Kickboxing, karate, MMA.
  • Crossfit or a spinning class.
  • Swimming or weight-lifting. 

10) Invest in yourself

Being alone after a relationship or situationship ends is the best thing you can do. Not forever, if you don’t want to, but for a few months. 

Detoxing your mind and your feelings takes time; there’s no avoiding that. 

Toxic relationships tend to corrupt our minds and bodies for a long time, so if you rush to find a replacement because you can’t stand feeling lonely, chances are that the person will turn out to be toxic as well.

You’ll probably discover that not listening to your instincts and needs was what put you in the situation in the first place. 

You don’t have to blame yourself but work on listening to your inner wisdom and sensations in your body. 

11) Don’t see yourself as the victim

Everyone, men and women, has gone through this at some point. 

There are toxic folks everywhere, people who will play with the feelings of others without a care in the world. Not everyone is like that! So, there’s hope. 

I went through a dark time in my life when I thought men were purposefully playing with me. They weren’t: I simply had bad luck on a few dates. 

Some folks want love, and others just want to have fun with no strings attached. Things can get confusing, but it’s not a tragedy. 

12) Watch out for how you may allow him to act toxic

As a general rule, I say women who are being played aren’t to blame for it. 

But before you confront him, see if you’re letting him walk all over you. Believe me, men test women to see how and when they will stand up for themselves. 

Don’t do anything that will let him be toxic to you. 

If he knows you’re good and loyal and you will listen to him, he will try to take advantage of it simply because he isn’t a good person. 

13) Starting a journal helps a lot

I love writing in all its forms. Journaling is one of my most-tested coping mechanisms. 

I can pour out my feelings and heartbreak in my journal, “exorcising” them from my mind. 

Get it all out: the shame, the negativity, everything that keeps your self-esteem low. 

There isn’t a timeline for recovery, but if you take active steps to process what happened, life will get easier. You deserve good things! 

14) Don’t talk about him every day

Lots of people love gossiping, so there are a lot of chances that they will ask what happened between you and him. 

Let me make something clear: you don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

I’ll go even further: you shouldn’t be talking about it all the time. It’s your private life, and talking too much about what happened can create a negative loop in your life. 

Trust your closest friends if you need to vent, and do things to distract yourself whenever you need to. 

15) Memorize some mantras to help 

Putting things into practice is key: you’ll understand the theory, but it won’t be beneficial unless you start doing stuff. 

You can’t rationalize your way out of feelings.

So, create or search for a mantra to help you forgive and forget about the guy who led you on in the first place. 

Repetition creates a new, better pathway in your brain that keeps you from sinking into self-hatred. 

Some examples are:

  • I am worthy of love.
  • I don’t need him to see my value.
  • My value doesn’t depend on other people’s perceptions of me. 
  • I am not at fault here. 

The best part is that you can say it whenever you need to! 

16) Positive people are the best thing that can happen to you

Yeah, I know. 

Sometimes we need an afternoon to cry and despair about someone who led us on. 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go for it, but don’t let it become a habit. Positive friends, however, are the best antidote for heartbreak. 

They’ll listen and keep your energy high and happy. 

17) Don’t keep physical reminders about the relationship

Mementos aren’t good if you’ve ended things with this person, or if you’re thinking about it. 

Perhaps you kept the card from the flowers he sent you on the third date. Or that little sticky note he left on the mirror. 

Pictures, gifts, clothes books…. All that stuff will do is remind you of the toxic person you just left behind. 

Even if you weren’t in a “real relationship,” the mementos are there: you don’t need them. 

Treat this end like you’d treat any other relationship ending: throw away, donate or gift the stuff that doesn’t serve you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when someone is leading you on? 

Want to know the hard truth? It means they are pretending to like you more than they do. 

Now before you start beating yourself up about it, remember: not everyone will see you for the amazing human you are. 

If someone doesn’t want a relationship with you and you feel like you’d be amazing together, it’s not your problem: it’s theirs. 

Don’t let him use you for sex, emotional support, or even financial gain. He might not like you for some of these reasons: 

  • He’s already in a relationship with someone else. 
  • He simply doesn’t like you all that much. 
  • He doesn’t want to settle down. 
  • He’s terrible at communication. 

These are some of the methods that men use to play with your feelings and string you along.

If you read and recognize some, one, or all of them, don’t panic! Pay attention, and read carefully. 

Make choices that are based on your needs, your expectations, and his actions. Words mean nothing if they aren’t backed up by actions. 

It’s terrible for our egos to realize that we’ve been played. Trust me, I’ve been there myself. 

But if you understand why you gotta let him go, you can find someone who will actually be a better match for you. 

How do you confront someone who’s stringing you along?

First, you have to meet him face to face. This can’t be done over the phone. Get him to meet you for coffee or lunch. 

Then, be honest. Tell him that what he’s doing is hurting you, and tell him why. 

Here’s an example of how you can approach this difficult topic: 

“When we were getting to know each other, I thought we had an incredible, mind-blowing connection. I thought that I meant the same for you as you mean to me. Unfortunately, based on your actions, I think this isn’t true. So I’ve made up my mind: I won’t see you anymore. I’m not willing to play mind games. Thank you for all the good memories, and I wish you the best of luck in life and love.”

Afterwards? Don’t communicate any further. Block, delete, hit the gym, etc. 

Someone led me on. What happens now?

Ugh, this situation sucks so bad! 

It’s so hurtful, and it can be so bad for our self-esteem! This experience can cause a lot of pain. 

But remember not to become a victim because of it. 

You’re going to learn this lesson, and you’re going to develop a system to stop guys like this from playing you ever again. 

Why has this happened?

You’re not alone. This is one of the most human experiences you can have. 

We all need and want a relationship that fulfills our needs. 

There’s always the desire to find love, have an incredible sex life, being intimate and desirable by someone. 

It’s normal to want a nice, stable relationship. And keeping up the hope is important! 

Sometimes, unfortunately, people we’re talking to or dating start pulling away. 

Here’s a secret: it has nothing to do with you. 

Usually, it has more to do with them! Maybe they’re looking for something different. Perhaps they’re intimidated by you! 

And maybe they simply don’t like you enough to commit. 

It sucks, but such is life. There’s no way around it. 

Why does this happen to me all the time? 

If you’re a trusting person, chances are that you’re trusting them too fast. You’re not watching out for the red flags or discerning anything about them in the first place. 

If this isn’t the first time you’re being led on, it means there’s a behavioral pattern. Perhaps you haven’t noticed it before, but now’s your chance to change and become better. 

Get self-help books, contact one of our coaches and restart your dating life in the best possible way. 

You’ll be successful in no time! 

In a nutshell

While you can’t control what other people do; you can control your actions and make the best choices for yourself. 

So, the main thing to do when someone’s leading you on is to trust your own instincts when you feel something is not right.

Acknowledge that he was disrespectful. He played you. Once you accept that this has happened, you’ll be able to learn from the situation and move forward in the best possible way. 

Don’t let him come back because he definitely will try to. It’s disrespectful and not something you deserve. 

Even if he apologizes, you don’t need to let him come back. He probably doesn’t even mean it: he loves the chase and the fact that you’ve put a limit to his tomfoolery. Don’t fall for that old trick! 

Keeping and strengthening a positive mindset will ultimately help you recover quickly. It’s not your fault that he’s bad at love and dating. You don’t have to keep a toxic relationship in your life if you don’t want to. 

Put yourself first, and everything else will fall into place in no time. You are the master of your destiny, so smile and move on! You’ve got this!  

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

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I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

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