Maybe you’ve been crushing on your best guy friend basically since you met him or you’re harboring an infatuation with the boy who sits next to you in bio. No matter what the case, we think it’s safe to assume that all girls end up confused by the signals (or lack thereof) coming from the objects of our desire. Men are about as easy to understand as IKEA assembly instructions, and it can be difficult to decide whether a crush is worth hanging onto or if it’s long past time to let it go. We spoke with relationship expert Dr. Carole Lieberman and collegiettes across the country to help you figure out if a crush is worth hanging on to or not!
He’s hot then he’s cold
One day he’s super flirty—he seeks you out in the dining hall simply to ask about your day and he adds emojis to the ends of his text messages. The next, he ignores your texts, avoids eye contact when you pass each other on the quad and stops laughing at your jokes. What gives?
Guys who are bipolar with their signals can leave a girl super confused. Does he like you or not? If he can’t face up to how he feels and act in a consistent manner when he’s around you, then it might be time to ditch him. Think of it this way — if he’s that topsy-turvy with the way he treats you now, imagine how bad it would be if you were ever in a monogamous relationship. No, thank you.
Though most guys express affection in different ways than girls do and are less likely to show emotion openly, when a boy isn’t consistent in the way he talks to you or treats you, he’s definitely not worth your time. Relationships that leave you questioning your status are more trouble than they’re worth!
You only hear from him on weekend nights
When a guy only texts or calls you on weekend nights, he’s probably looking for a hook-up—not a relationship. “I was hooking up with this guy for almost two months when he suddenly stopped responding to my texts and stopped calling me… until about 2 a.m. on Friday nights,” says Anna, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These inconsistencies in communication are a huge red flag and usually signify that your crush (or hook-up buddy) isn’t quite as into you as you’re into him.
Guys who go MIA for weeks and then resurface suddenly are also ones to be wary of. Lily*, a sophomore at Boston College, was casually seeing a guy her freshman year until he “dropped off the face of the earth.” After accepting that it was over, however, he popped up again several weeks later, asking her to grab lunch. “It was super awkward, because I didn’t know what his intentions were,” Lily says. “It turns out that he wasn’t looking to rekindle things, which was kind of frustrating. I wish he had been more upfront about his feelings so that I wasn’t left hanging and wondering where he was.”
Guys who pop in and out at their convenience usually aren’t the ones who are looking for serious relationships. According to Dr. Lieberman, these last-minute bros are only showing interest “because they have nothing better going on.” Instead of waiting around for a guy to make up his mind, it may be a better idea to leave him in the dust and pursue a guy who is more willing to make you his number one commitment.
He flirts with you… and everyone else
When you’re at a party or run into each other in between classes, he’s super flirty. He makes strong eye contact, he puts his hand on yours and he laughs at basically everything you say. You may think that this guy is into you… until you see him repeating the same spiel with another girl.
It’s hard to tell if the way he talks to you is different or somehow more intimate than how he mingles with other girls, especially when it seems like every single person he talks to gets the same type of treatment. Dr. Lieberman warns, “When a guy's lines are too rehearsed or he's just a bit too charming, you can bet he's just looking for more notches on his bedpost.” Lines that come across as just that—lines—can be a tip-off that a guy’s intentions are less than pure.
Instead of spending endless hours guessing if his intentions are romantic or not, sometimes the best way to figure out a flirty guy’s thoughts is to ask him directly. “Last year, I hooked up with one of my best guy friends,” says Emily*, a collegiette at Boston College. “Afterwards, he started acting more flirty around me. The problem was, however, he also acted the same exact way with basically every other girl. In the end, I sat down with him and talked it out. He said he just wanted to stay friends, which I was upset about, but finding out how he was feeling was way better than guessing.”
When you can’t be sure if his signs of affection are actually signs of, well, affection, the best bet is to ask. If he can’t give you a straight answer or he blows it off, then it’s time to move on.
He never asks about you
Even when you make the extra effort to check in midday with your crush or ask him during the weekend how his week went, if he can’t return the favor and show interest in your day or week, he’s probably not worth your time. Dr. Lieberman says that “if he’s not really interested in how you’re feeling about anything — including him,” then he’s definitely not into you. Guys who seem to be able only to talk about themselves are not only annoying but also generally unable to commit to a relationship in a way that will be fulfilling to both of you.
Asking, “how was your day?” or remembering when your big chemistry test is may seem like little things, but they are in no way insignificant. Over time, if your crush is incapable of caring about anyone but himself, you’ll get burned out. Instead of waiting until you can’t stand it anymore, just let him free. He can talk about himself to somebody else. Collegiettes don’t have time for that nonsense.
Though there are exceptions to every rule, being aware of the way your crush treats you can tip you off to whether he’s interested or not. Even if it doesn’t work out, however, remember everything happens for a reason, and just because it’s time to move on doesn’t mean that something (or someone) awesome isn’t waiting for you right around the corner!