You’re always the one making plans

No relationship is ever truly 50/50, but if you’re the only one ever making any kind of effort, you might not be in a relationship at all. If your crush only hangs out when you do all the work of planning and preparing, and even then it takes some cajoling, then it’s more likely that they’re keeping you on the back burner just in case.

They don’t talk to their friends about you

The first thing many people do when getting into a new relationship is gush to their friends about what’s going on. While you obviously don’t want every little detail of your romantic life shared, if your crush isn’t talking about what’s going on between the two of you at all, that’s a sign they see it as temporary, unimportant or a secret.

You don’t want them to meet your friends

Similarly, if you don’t want your crush to meet your pals, it’s likely because you know that what’s going on between the two of you isn’t actually a partnership. Maybe you’re embarrassed to let your friends see that you’re being strung along, or maybe you’re worried that introducing them will be too much commitment for your crush and scare them away.

They’re reluctant to define the relationship

Waiting a while to define the relationship or talk about where it’s going is totally understandable, as nobody wants to jump the gun and ruin something really special. With that said, if you’ve been stuck in nebulous, undefined territory for an extended period of time, it could be because your crush wants to keep making you think that it could turn into something serious.

You’re embarrassed to talk about what’s going on

If you want to know whether you’re in a relationship or just being strung along, ask yourself this question: Would you be embarrassed to tell your friends and family exactly what’s going on, without any glossing over or flattering veneer? If the answer is yes, then you secretly know that you’re being taken for a ride and not being treated how you deserve to be.

They’re always venting to you

Sometimes people lead others on in order to enjoy a physical relationship without any of the commitment, but just as often it’s emotional closeness without the strings that they’re looking for. If your crush is constantly leaning on you for emotional support and venting to you about their job, their family or, most dangerously of all, their exes, then you’re probably being led on.

You can’t vent to them in return

In a healthy, reciprocal relationship, both parties feel able to give and receive emotional support as needed. If you feel like you’re constantly giving your crush help with their problems, but they never seem to give yours the time of day, it’s worth asking if you’re in a relationship, or if your crush is just using you as a free therapist and shoulder to cry on.

They never post about you on social media

There are some people who could be in the happiest, most fulfilling relationship in the world, and they still wouldn’t feel the need to post their other half on Facebook or Instagram. With that said, there are others who avoid posting pictures of dates or movie nights because they don’t want to limit their options by signalling to the world that they’re no longer on the market.

You can’t communicate your issues

Communication is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, and so it bears out that if there isn’t any communication, you’re not in a relationship at all. If you feel completely unable to voice discomfort or annoyance in case your crush packs up and flees, then it’s fair to say that they’re probably not invested in building something long-term and serious with you.

They’re hot and cold

Does your crush bombard you with messages for hours or days at a time, but then go completely silent for extended periods of time? If the answer’s yes, they might be juggling other options behind the scenes, or only come to you for attention and love when they’re feeling insecure, bored or dissatisfied. Be careful, and don’t bite just because they reach out.