Please take a look at my contribution to the newest article on decodinghim.com.
In this collaborative article, experts share thoughts and advice about what to do when your partner or love interest may be leading you on.
My tips are listed as #5 in this article:
# 5. Follow the 3 tips below
1. Be honest.
Be honest with yourself first, and also be honest with the man or woman who is possibly leading you on. If you aren’t ok with the way you are being treated, don’t convince yourself that you are. Address it directly, both within yourself and with the other person. Often if we are feeling “strung along”, we engage in uncharacteristic behavior ourselves while we are trying to analyze the situation. Isn’t it funny how when someone we are interested in is being indirect or inconsistent, it makes it harder for us to be direct and consistent ourselves? Fight that. This leads us to #2…
2. Stop trying to de-code the person’s behavior.
The moment you catch yourself trying to decipher, read into, or “figure out” the other person’s behavior, you are leaving the present moment and neglecting your own feelings, and instead going into a place of endless speculation, confusion, and frustration. The answer to “What is he/she thinking?” only comes from that person, so trying to find it in your own mind will have you going in circles.
3. Instead, use this time to focus on more deeply understanding your own feelings and behavior.
Sometimes the fear of being rejected is what keeps us from being direct with both ourselves and others, and this possibility of rejection can feel very daunting. However, avoiding directly addressing what you think and feel is often what leads to the over-analyzing (#2, above), and the allowing of behavior (from others and ourselves) that is not acceptable to our true selves (#1, above). Make some quality time for yourself, during which you consider what you need and want from a relationship, what your boundaries and limits are, and how you want to move forward. If possible, turn to a therapist or trusted mentor to help you process these things and help you find your answers. At this point, it will be easier to be clear and direct with another person (also #1, above), if you choose to be.
I believe that the answer to “How much is too much?” and “What does this relationship really mean?” will never truly come from the other person. An answer must come from within yourself. Even if the other person does start to be more attentive and direct, it is still up to you to decide what your needs and boundaries are, and to make those clear – through your actions as well as your words. Then, you can have a relationship with someone in which questions like “What does this relationship really mean?” can be discussed between the two of you and a shared feeling and connection can thrive. You deserve the happiness that you desire, and it’s up to you to begin to access that happiness now.
Kristine Gottesman Tye, M.A. LMFT – http://www.kristinemft.com