“He led me on and now wants to be friends! What am I supposed to do now?”
At what point did it become okay for men to just play with our feelings like this? They lead us on, show us the beautiful side of love, but then don’t want anything serious with us.
How many girls have had their hearts broken by a situation like this? One moment, you’re looking into his eyes and seeing a beautiful romance story that keeps getting better. The next, you’re on your own, totally confused because there’s absolutely nothing that explains his behavior.
You want to believe that his intentions were pure, but you’re not going to lie to yourself. This will never become a serious relationship.
He was just flirting with you to the point where you genuinely thought things were moving in the right direction. It wasn’t your fault that you were hoping for something more serious. He gave you every single reason in this world to believe he was into you just as much as you were into him.
From the first time you saw him, to the first date and then up to the very moment he broke your heart, you probably didn’t even realize he would put you in the friend zone.
I was in this same situation where he really led me on until he got bored and now he wants to be friends. There’s nothing more humiliating than falling for someone who only sees you as a pawn in his game.
He led me on and now wants to be friends: Why would he do that to me?
In this article, we’ll go over why men tend to lead women on in the first place. And sometimes, the reasons behind it don’t make him the bad guy in the story.
You’ll spend a lot of time thinking about this, but have the answers right there in front of you all along.
It doesn’t matter if you met him on a dating site or if he was your best friend before you even started going out. It’s quite impossible to stay friends with someone you have such strong feelings for.
Close friends would never take advantage of you like this, nor would they ever consider doing this kind of thing to you. Your friendship would be so much more important than some stupid game.
So before we get to talk about the things you can do to save your heart from breaking further, you have to understand where he’s coming from. It may just end up not being as bad as it seems at first glance.
1. He got to know you in a different light
It doesn’t matter if you’ve known each other before or not, he has the right to change his opinion. He led you on and now wants to be friends, so that sounds like he just realized that you weren’t compatible with each other.
When you try to date a good friend, your love life becomes a little more complicated. Of course, there’s a possibility that you won’t be perfect for each other. In that particular moment, you will have to think about things rationally.
Do you have differing opinions regarding your future? Do you have different goals and dreams?
If things like this don’t align in your lives, I’m sorry to say, but it’s doubtful that you’ll find a way around them.
When you want to start a relationship with someone, you have to realize it’s not just about physical attraction or the first infatuation stage.
Love goes so much deeper than that. You have to recognize their wants and needs, as well as if they’re able to meet yours.
This is a long and complicated process. But often, a person can sense if you’re the right one for them quite quickly. And that might have been the case with him.
He didn’t lead you on, he just got to know you and realized that you weren’t the girl for him.
2. You were just there to fulfill his needs
More often than not, men will use women for their own satisfaction. It doesn’t matter what that may include. Sometimes, that includes physical pleasure, while other times, it’s about things like attention and validation.
Men aren’t as confident as we may think they are. They seek women who can provide the things they lack, which is in your case something emotional or physical.
He wanted to get you to trust him enough to give him what he was looking for.
That’s just awful and no one should have to go through this.
In my case, just because he led me on and now wants to be friends, doesn’t mean that I have to be okay with that. And the same applies to you. You have the right to choose if you’ll trust him after this.
To him, you were a convenience who happened to be beautiful at the same time. You couldn’t have known his intentions back then, so you can’t even blame yourself for wanting to have something more serious with him.
Now, you’re the one going through a hard time. You’re experiencing genuine heartbreak, while he obviously just found a way to get his cravings satisfied.
You can’t change that. The fact that you can’t be in a real relationship with him even though you developed romantic feelings doesn’t make you naive. It makes you honest and pure.
3. He’s found a better option
People these days aren’t dating one person at a time. They’re always looking for more because they believe that there are always better options out there.
That’s the thing with online dating. When you’re texting someone the entire time and only meeting them every once in a while, you can’t really be sure if they’re seeing other people.
This has to be disclosed at the very beginning – when you’re just starting to flirt with each other. It’s important because it’s a way to keep your heart safe from getting hurt.
If you don’t talk about being exclusive, there’s always a possibility that the man will go off and find someone else. He’s always looking for the best option and that’s what makes it so much more painful.
You weren’t his priority, you were simply an option until someone better came around. So when he found someone he thought to be more suitable for him, he told you that you should stay friends.
He probably didn’t intend to hurt your feelings this much, because he didn’t understand your true feelings. This whole time he thought that you were on the same page.
While he was this delusional, your self-esteem sank to the firey pits. He doesn’t get that having him as a friend will only break you more because that would mean you’d have to see him with this new girl constantly.
4. He just wanted the thrill of the chase
We’re all aware of the fact that men just love the chase. They adore playing their little cards right to get the attention of the girl they desire.
If this man is an old friend of yours, he probably wanted to see if he could pursue a romantic relationship with you.
Your guy friend obviously didn’t think things through as much as he should have, because he sent you mixed signals and put all the red flags up.
He wanted the thrill of the chase. He knew that chasing you would be a great game because he could meet up with you, flirt with you, text you all the time, and give you all of his attention.
And he probably didn’t even know he was so into you, but then something in his head just flipped.
He pursued you for a long time and the very moment you started catching feelings, he started to slowly but surely back off. This man got what he wanted.
He led you on and now wants to be friends, and to me, that just sounds like the thrill isn’t there for him anymore. He got your affection, you fell in love with him, so now he can move on to someone new.
It was like a little confidence boost for him to know that he could have you without much effort. Now, it’s a miracle if you get so much as a text message or phone call from him.
5. He’s scared of commitment
We all have a past that we’re not really proud of. We don’t want to think about it too much or talk about it with other people.
When you go through a rollercoaster in your life, you’re not really sure if a committed relationship is the right thing for you.
You’ll probably know if this is the case with him because people with commitment issues show a number of signs.
He probably didn’t talk about your future together at all, or whenever you tried to move things forward, he’d completely dodge the topic.
The most obvious sign is that, when you tried to have a serious conversation with him, he completely avoided it and then proceeded to ghost you.
Commitment-phobes aren’t people who consciously hurt you. They want to cuddle one moment, then they’ll run away from you the next.
He may be a great guy and an awesome friend, but as a boyfriend and partner, he’s absolutely awful.
If you’ve known him for a while now, you probably know about the long list of girls that he dated and never got to the one-year mark with.
When that guy suddenly told me that he wanted to be friends after leading me on for so long, I actually thought it was because he didn’t like me.
He simply used me to get the quick satisfaction he needed, because his commitment issues wouldn’t let him have anything more than that.
6. He wants to maintain influence in your life
At one point or another, we’ve all encountered a narcissist who simply couldn’t let go of us. It’s scary to think that people like that exist because you don’t want to believe such bad people are out there in this world.
When a guy tells you that he only wants to be friends with you after leading you on for months on end, there’s a good chance that he just wants to maintain influence in your life.
He wants to know what’s happening in your life and for you to always have feelings for him.
He thrives on the fact that he’s part of your life and that he can make or break your day in just a few words.
When he flirts with you, he knows that he’s being mean. He knows that your heart skips a beat whenever he looks into your eyes.
A man who’s your actual friend will not play with you like this.
The last time you were together, he flat-out ignored you because he wanted to show you that you’re not important to him. Today, he’s not shying away from physical contact and flirty behavior.
That’s the absolute last thing you should do to someone who’s developing feelings for you.
True male friends would never do something like this to you.
7. He doesn’t even know he’s been leading you on
He just thinks that you’re having a good time. When you don’t voice your concerns, he won’t know that your intentions are more serious than his.
He can’t just interpret eye contact as a sign of attraction. And especially if you are in a long-distance relationship and only communicate over social media.
You only see each other every once in a while, so he can’t even see your body language to determine what you’re thinking.
I know that it’s not really possible that he’s that blind. He can probably sense your emotions, but chooses to ignore your advances. He ignores them because he, himself, doesn’t think that he’s picking up the right clues.
That’s what happens when someone gaslights themselves. He’s doing just that and not even aware of it. So don’t hold it against him.
Instead, there are things you can do to help him out a little bit.
What should I do if he led me on and now wants to be friends?
Now that we’ve covered all the possible reasons for his strange behavior, you should definitely do something about it. You can’t just sit around idly and wait for him to break your heart even further.
Why would you want to settle for a friendship if you can actually have a relationship with this man? Friendship may not even be an option for you anymore.
So let’s find out what you could do to show him that you’re not someone to play with, but a woman of high value who deserves a man who treats her with utmost respect.
1. Be honest with yourself
Is there any chance in hell that you could be friends with a guy who obviously led you on and doesn’t feel bad about it for one second?
At the same time, do you believe that you could stay friends with him even though you’ve already developed such strong feelings for him?
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can answer these questions for yourself.
You wanted more than a hook-up, but he didn’t. When you expected him to give you a reason to stay, he gave you every reason to run for the hills. But you decided to stay and to analyze the situation rationally.
But you really have to be honest with yourself here. You have to ask yourself all of these important, painful questions and stop lying to yourself.
You’ll try to convince yourself that you can stay his friend because you don’t want to lose him. But the truth is your heart will break when he starts dating someone new and you have to watch that happen.
He led you on and now wants to be friends – but would a real friend ever do such a thing to you?
2. Tell him that you felt misled
What’s the worst thing that can happen? You need to have a conversation with him to let him know about your feelings. You need to make it clear to him just how much he hurt you.
If you truly believe that he’s your friend, that he’s able to be honest with you, and that he would have this conversation with you, then you have nothing to lose.
I mean, your heart is already broken and you don’t know if you’ll be able to ever trust him again. So you might as well share your heart with him and how agonizing this entire process is for you.
3. Ask him all the questions that are bugging you
When you get the chance to talk to him, make sure to ask him all the questions that are burning in the back of your mind. I mean you’re here, crying and sobbing, telling me: “He led me on and now wants to be friends!”
If anything, he could answer the questions that you have. Ask him if it really didn’t mean anything to him. Ask him if he really doesn’t have any feelings for you.
The upside is that if he does have some feelings for you, he’ll find a way to move past his trauma and commitment phobia to be with you.
When he tells you that he doesn’t want to be with you because he’s afraid of getting hurt, tell him that he’s the one who hurt you. This is also when you can ask him if he really doesn’t trust you at all.
In situations like these, you need to be prepared that neither of you really come out a winner. One (or both) of you often end up with a wounded heart. Neither of you deserves it, but it could easily happen.
At least, you should create a safe space where you can talk about this without being judged. This conversation will also help you determine if you can stay friends and if you’re compatible as partners. He could easily show you that he’s not worthy of your presence at all.
4. Remember that it’s not always about you
We tend to internalize and are quick to point fingers toward ourselves. You told me that he led you on and now wants to be friends, and I can see that you’re telling yourself that it’s your fault.
You’re trying to find all the reasons you’re not good enough for him and why he’s staying away from you. You’re so immersed in your own thoughts and insecurity, you’re not even considering that he may be the issue here.
He’s the one who’s making all the decisions here, if I’m not mistaken.
He’s the one telling you to rather stay friends after he misled you for so long. This man doesn’t mind telling you every reason in the book why he can’t be with you and you’re still wondering if it’s you who’s the problem?
He wouldn’t make these excuses if it really was up to you. It’s about his emotions and what he wants to do with them.
You can’t force someone to love you and it rarely has anything to do with you. You should understand his needs and either accommodate them or follow your own boundaries.
5. Know that the decision is yours
At the end of the day, you’re the one who makes the final call. You’re the one who decides whether or not you’ll stay friends with this man or if you still want to pursue a relationship with him.
Another option that you have is to completely walk out of his life.
You have the right to do that! You can pack your things, block his number, unfollow him on social media, and carry on with your life without him in it.
Yes, this sounds extremely brutal, but sometimes you need that to truly move on.
Your heart is broken right now and you have to take care of yourself. This is the perfect moment to decide for yourself and see where life takes you.
This decision is yours, so stop waiting on him to make it for you. You’re the master of your own life. You can even choose if you’ll continue to suffer in this unrequited love.
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