You spend a lot of time together, laugh at each other’s jokes, maybe even hook up. But when you press further (but not too much further, because you don’t want to nag!), you always get the same response: “You know I like you! You’re really great. But–”


She’s not ready for a relationship.
He just wants to work on himself for a bit.
She has so much going on at work.
He feels YOU need to see other people.

Whatever the excuse is, it really sucks when someone who seems to like you gives you a shoddy rationale for why he or she “can’t” be with you — but then continues to pull you in.

These “manipulators and wafflers” will continue to string you along under the guise of being torn or unable to make up their minds about “what it is that [you're] doing here.” They’ll claim to be “so drawn to you,” but then make up excuses for why you can’t actually be together.

In a response to a letter from a girl whose older love interest is “worried about the age difference” and therefore doesn’t want to be with her, Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post gives some excellent advice for all daters to remember when faced with a crappy excuse:

“This one’s a comparative no-brainer. You’re both adults. Either you suit each other, in which case he should embrace you without apology; or you’re mismatched, due to age or whatever else — in which case he should take a cold shower and free you to find someone else. Or he admits his flingy intentions and stays only with your consent.”

Or, as my mother would say in moments of extreme uncouthness: sh*t or get off the pot.

“On top of that, getting swept up by the “real potential” of Mr. (or Ms.) Walls Between Us leaves you open to two types of people: manipulators and wafflers. You don’t want either of these, no matter how “incredible” they may seem.”


Next time you find yourself being strung along, remember: don’t let yourself get manipulated. Find someone who wants to date you, and don’t waste your time with people who don’t.

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