There are few things worse than finding out the guy or girl you thought was really into you actually couldn't care less. It's hard not to feel deflated when weeks or months of texting, talking and hooking up results in a big fat nothing. It's horrible when something that you thought was valuable and important turns out to be a joke to someone else.
We all know how much this feeling sucks, so why is it that we still go around leading people on?
In case you need a quick definition, if you are "leading someone on," then you are letting them believe that you have sincere, romantic feelings toward him or her and that you are interested in pursuing a relationship that is more than simply physical when, in reality, you are only interested in the other person physically or possibly not at all.
Falling for people isn't exactly hard. After all, the heart wants what it wants. The process is made even easier when someone seems to be reciprocating feelings or interest. So imagine the massive letdown when it is discovered that the feelings are one-sided.
Being led on makes coming to terms with the end of a romantic relationship — or lack thereof — extremely difficult, because what seemed to be something exciting and promising turns out to be a bust for no apparent rhyme or reason. The person who has been "dumped" is usually left with hundreds of unanswered questions to try and muddle through.
The person left behind often wants to know what happened that changed the mind of the other individual. Was it something I did or said? Is there someone else? What went wrong? What did I do wrong? How can I make it better? In reality, this person did nothing aside from follow his/her heart and trust another's.
It's never OK to make someone believe you care for them and want to be with them when you're only looking for a casual hookup at most. Don't be one of those people who lets weekly phone calls and goodnight texts turn into unanswered voicemails and ignored messages. Don't tell someone you care when you know that they hardly cross your mind. Don't take advantage of someone physically because you know that they have feelings for you. Say what you mean, not what you think they want to hear.
Faking feelings is cruel. Do us all a favor and simply be honest from the get-go about your intentions in a romantic relationship. Even if you perceive it to be harmless and casual, the other person may be taking it far more seriously. Intent and feelings should be addressed at the beginning, not down the line when someone can truly get hurt.