Have you ever had a guy confess he likes you romantically, only for him to start dating someone else – another woman – a hot minute later?
It’s a scenario many women have found themselves in at some point. Things are going well with a guy you like. The flirtation is in full swing, and you start to really like him back. But right when you think it’s getting serious, he suddenly goes official with another girl.
Ouch…talk about feeling blindsided.
You’re left wondering what happened. After all, he clearly said he likes you! So why would he start dating another woman so soon? Was he just playing games? Were you misreading his signals? Or is something else going on?
This phenomenon of “he likes me but started dating someone else” is frustratingly common. As women, we’re often taught that if a guy likes us romantically, he’ll ask us out and be eager to date us. But in reality, that’s not always the case. Even if a man likes you, he may end up dating another girl for various reasons.
In this article, we’ll explore the top nine reasons a guy might like you but still decide to date someone else. Understanding the psychology behind it helps you avoid over-analyzing and stop blaming yourself.
Reasons Why a Guy Might Like You But Date Someone Else
So why would a guy who likes you decide to date someone else instead? There are several common reasons that this happens. Let’s explore some of the main ones.
1. He got scared of his feelings for you
When a guy starts to really like a woman, it can sometimes scare him or catch him off guard. Even though you two hit it off and he was initially interested, his feelings may have deepened faster than expected.
The emotional intimacy and attraction between you probably took him by surprise. When things get more serious, it can overwhelm a guy who wasn’t prepared for intense feelings.
Rather than open chat, some men cope by pulling away or putting up emotional barriers. The vulnerability of falling for someone can be terrifying. So he may start seeing someone else to avoid dealing with those confusing emotions you make him feel.
It’s not the most mature reaction, but fear of getting truly close can make people do strange things. He may feel like he lost control of the situation and started liking you “too much,” so he jumped ship and started seeing another girl. Dating someone new can feel safer for him than facing his fears about falling for you.
2. He thinks you’re out of his league
Even though he likes
you, he assumes you’re too good for him, so he doesn’t even try
to date you. If you seem more attractive, intelligent, or “out of his league” in some way, he may convince himself not to pursue you.
His insecurities and lack of self-confidence hold him back even if he’s drawn to you. He likely finds you amazing but thinks you deserve better than him. This can stem from low self-esteem on his part.
Rather than stepping up to win you over, he started dating someone else. A guy may figure you’d reject him anyway, so why try? In this case, he settles for a woman he considers more attainable.
Of course, he wants to make himself feel “good enough” by being with someone else. But just because he thinks you’re out of his league doesn’t mean you agree!
3. He’s not ready for commitment
Some guys aren’t ready for an exclusive, committed relationship, regardless of how much they like a woman. While he might enjoy spending time with you and feeling connected, the idea of “locking it down” makes him anxious.
It can freak certain men out if things are progressing into relationship territory. They want to continue playing the field or at least keep things casual. A guy may worry that committing to you means sacrificing his freedom.
So rather than communicate where he stands, it’s easier for him to back off and find someone he doesn’t feel as emotionally connected to. He knows you’re looking for commitment, so he chose to date someone else and cut ties.
Of course, leading you on first is unfair. But try not to judge too harshly if commitment-phobia was his reason. Some people just aren’t at a place in life where they can handle exclusivity, no matter how great their partner is.
4. You’re his backup plan
Sadly, he may have admitted he likes you just to keep you on the hook as a backup option. While actively seeing someone else, he wants to keep you interested if it doesn’t work out with the new girl.
Rather than asking you out properly, he drops hints about his feelings for you. This keeps your hopes up and ensures you’ll be waiting around for him.
Then he started dating someone else, even though he made it clear he likes you too. Now he can have fun with the new girl while keeping you in limbo as plan B.
Being someone’s backup plan means you’re not their priority. You deserve better than waiting around for crumbs of affection. Don’t let him keep you hoping without making any real effort. Know your worth – you should be someone’s first choice, not an afterthought!
5. He was hoping to make you jealous
Some guys start dating another woman as a way to provoke jealousy in someone they actually like. After confessing he likes you, he may have expected you to get territorial.
When you didn’t react strongly enough, he thought making you jealous would do the trick. So he started getting involved with someone new, hoping it would kickstart your competitive instincts.
In his mind, having you fight for him or try to “win” him back from another girl proves your interest. Of course, these types of mind games are immature and unhealthy.
But the mentality is there for some men. Rather than communicate openly, they’ll play head games to force a reaction. Don’t stoop to that level by competing – you deserve more than manipulation.
6. He’s just not that interested
The hard truth may be that he just didn’t have enough connection to date you. Even if he said he liked you, he may have realized the chemistry wasn’t there for him after all.
Instead of telling you and hurting your feelings, he started to like someone else. Some guys avoid uncomfortable rejection talks. They just move on quietly.
It hurts when that honeymoon phase ends. But don’t take it personally. You deserve someone who fully loves and chooses you. He simply wasn’t the one.
7. You took too long to make up your mind
The guy expected you to reciprocate his interest within a reasonable time. But he assumed you weren’t interested if you hesitated without responding.
Rather than continue waiting around, he took your uncertainty as a sign to move on. From his perspective, your lack of enthusiasm was a red flag that this wouldn’t go anywhere.
So he started dating someone else who was more eager to date him. Your indecision was mistaken as disinterest. This guy didn’t want to waste time hoping you’d make up your mind eventually.
In the future, if you do like someone back, try to communicate that clearly. Making them wait forever while you ponder will often lead to missed opportunities. Be aware that hesitation can be misread as rejection.
8. He wants to play the field
Some guys simply aren’t ready to settle down yet and want the freedom to date around. Even if he likes you, he may want to play the field first before getting to know someone on a deeper level.
At this point in his life, he wants to keep things casual with women and avoid commitment. He may be upfront about not wanting exclusivity or mislead you about the potential for a relationship.
Either way, his priority is fun flings over a real girlfriend. It likely felt too restrictive for his taste when things started progressing with you.
So rather than be “tied down” in a relationship, he pulled back and met someone that have no strings attached. Of course, leading you on is unfair. But for some men, the appeal of playing the field trumps taking things to the next level with one woman.
9. He’s afraid of ruining your friendship
If you two were friends before expressing romantic interest, he may fear risking what you already have. Some guys are hesitant to date a long-term female friend.
Even if he’s attracted to you, he likely values the friendship deeply and doesn’t want to jeopardize it. Pursuing romance could make things awkward if it doesn’t work out.
To keep friendship stays intact, it’s easier for him to date someone else rather than talk to you openly. That is because he cares about you platonically and doesn’t want to lose that bond.
What Should You Do When A Guy Said He Likes You But Started Dating Someone Else?
As hard as it is, trying to pursue him will only hurt your self-esteem and pride. Actions like constantly texting him or showing up uninvited will make you appear desperate. If he wanted to be with you, he would put in effort without you chasing. Let him make the next move if he really cares. Resist the urge to reach out first.
Focus on self-love
Rejection hurts, but don’t let someone else’s actions define your self-worth. Take time to do things that make you feel confident and happy, like taking a class, going to the gym, or booking a spa day. Treat yourself to a makeover or a fun solo trip. Boost your self-esteem through positive experiences. Don’t dwell on what he’s doing – focus on you.
Surround with support
Lean on close friends and family who build you up. Their reassurance can be a balm for your hurt heart. Don’t isolate yourself while grieving. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who have your best interests in mind is crucial. They can remind you of your worth when you’re feeling down.
Know when to move on
Permit yourself to process the pain fully, but don’t wait around forever, hoping he’ll have a change of heart. Set a timeline, and if he hasn’t reached out by then, begin to move forward. If it’s meant to be, it will happen naturally without you forcing it. As time passes, opening your heart to new possibilities will get easier.
Remember your value
You deserve someone who is thrilled to be with you. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth or pine after someone who doesn’t appreciate you. Getting over this betrayal will bring you closer to someone who will love you better than him. You are worthy, so don’t accept anything less.
The Take Away
While rejection stings, don’t let someone else’s actions define your worth. Their reasons for dating another woman likely stem from their own fears, not yours.
Give yourself time to grieve, but stay strong remembering your value. Focus on self-care, supportive connections, and opening your heart to new beginnings. You deserve deep love – never settle for less or be someone’s second choice.
This pain will pass, and you will emerge wiser. Keep believing in your own capacity for joy. The right person is out there searching for you.