Trying to figure out if someone wants to be in a relationship with you can have its challenges. You may try to dissect their every word and spend time interpreting their every move in order to understand if your feelings are requited and if they want to commit to you. Fortunately, there are five key signs that can help to clue you in that someone wants a relationship with you but is scared to take that leap.
They Have Deep Conversations With You But Then Pull Away
A classic sign that signs someone loves too deeply and they're afraid is to open up to you only to pull away soon after. For instance, if you have deep conversations about your past, your families, and your hopes and dreams for the future, they're showing you that they're willing to be vulnerable around you and that they want to confide in you. However, when someone is too scared to get involved, they’ll often try to offset these moments of emotional intimacy by pulling away and acting more distant and aloof soon after—only to come back to you and start the process all over again.
They've Mentioned They Have Been Hurt in the Past
Is your potential partner just getting out of a serious relationship? Have they told you that they were blindsided, hurt, or betrayed by an ex? In many instances, someone may want to be in a relationship with you but is too scared or worried to pursue anyone new because of a negative experience from the past.
And while this person may be truly interested in having something more with you and starting a real relationship, they may be scared and scarred by what they went through with a previous partner. The best thing to do in this situation is to "practice loving kindness and not engage in that negative pattern from his past," advises psychologist Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. "If a guy is truly into you and willing to grow, he will face down his fears and make it work with you."
They Hang Out With You on Non-Dates
When someone wants a relationship with you but is too scared, they’ll look to spend time with you in ways that don’t seem like actual dates. For instance, instead of taking the lead and asking you out to dinner and drinks, they may hint that they’ll be in your neighborhood and ask if you plan to be around that night. Rather than deliberately and definitively asking you out, they’ll find roundabout ways to try to spend more time with you without having to risk rejection. People who are scared will often resort to these types of non-date tactics in order to hang out with you without having to commit to anything serious.
They're Vague About the Future
When someone is too scared to get involved on a deeper level, they’ll often choose to dodge or deflect questions about a future with you and remain more detached. For instance, while you may want to plan a weekend getaway with them for a few months down the road, they’ll give you hints that they’re interested in this idea but won’t settle on a specific date. This allows them to keep you on the hook and at arm's length, all while preserving their freedom to bail on the plan.
Is this fair to you? Nope. Remember, actions speak louder than words: "A healthy relationship includes two givers, who each give to each other and the relationship in small ways that matter," advises Scott M. Stanley Ph.D. "If you are seeing someone and considering a future together, ask yourself if you see evidence that they can put aside what they want at times for what is best for you." If the answer is no, then it might be time to cut ties—or be prepared to risk a lot of wasted time, energy, and heartache on your part.
We don't always make the best judgement calls when we're crazy in love. When in doubt, turn to friends and family members to give you their honest take on the relationship, even if you're afraid you won't like their advice.
They Take Things Slowly
Relationships can develop at different paces, but if you notice that your potential partner is taking things very slowly, this can sometimes be an indicator that they're scared to jump into a relationship with you. He or she may keep stringing you along without giving you any clear indicator of what they want or where your relationship is headed. If your relationship is too casual, it’s up to you to decide if you want to stick things out with them or move on to someone else.