What does it mean when someone you dated—a guy you still like even though things fizzled out—is still engaging with your social media?
In this week’s brand-new video, I dive into the psychology behind his actions to reveal exactly what it means when someone likes your social posts (but doesn’t reach out in any other way) . . .
Drop me a comment and tell me what you think!
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What does it mean when someone you’ve been on a date with, had a lot of text exchanges with, but someone who ultimately fizzled out keeps interacting with your social media? Maybe you notice that on each story you post, they’re watching that story. Maybe they’re responding with emojis. Maybe they’re liking the pictures you post and it’s confusing. Why am I even on their radar if they’ve decided that they’re not interested? Does that mean that maybe they are interested? Does it mean that there’s more to this story than I realized? Maybe there’s a reason it fizzled that I don’t know about, but they’re still trying to engage me because they like me. Maybe there’s still potential for it to go somewhere. Maybe I should reach out to them, given that they keep engaging with the things I’m posting. What does it mean?
We, especially when we like someone, have this innate urge to create story out of what they do. Someone gives us a morsel of engagement or attention, and we want to construct a narrative out of that that might fit with the idea that they do in fact like us, that they do want our attention and that there may still be some potential in this situation. And because we’ve created that story, we now begin, consciously or unconsciously, to invest in that story. So now you find yourself posting something, which is kind of for them. You’re posting a picture of yourself looking sexy so that they’ll comment on it or they’ll engage with that story. It might elicit a message that could lead somewhere, but all it does instead is keep resulting in the same kind of attention.
You post a story and they respond with a flame emoji. Your love life has been reduced to a flame emoji. What do you do in a situation like this? Well, firstly, we have to start becoming self-aware about how A, we’re creating story. In other words, there’s no reason to believe that this means anything. This is the lowest form of attention someone could possibly give you.
Think of the way we scroll through Instagram, and you just like something. Yeah, okay scroll, like, scroll, like. When we take such minor behavior as evidence for a much bigger story, we have to suspect ourselves because we may tell ourselves, “Well, he does like me. It’s clear that he’s just been really busy or that it fizzled out for some legitimate reason, but he’s trying to get my attention again, or there’s some reason that he’s found it difficult to reach out to me more directly, but he clearly still likes me because he’s doing this.” We have no more evidence for that narrative than we do that every Sunday, this man dresses up as the Easter Bunny and goes around the neighborhood delivering eggs to his best friends. We have to suspect the narrative we want to be true.
Now, why would someone do it if they’re not interested? Why even bother with that? Well, someone can be attracted to you but not in any way be moved to do anything more about it. Maybe they’re seeing lots of people. Maybe they’re just kind of lazy and aren’t actually interested in investing in anything right now. Maybe it’s just super easy for them to like an attractive photo of you and just enjoy you from a distance versus actually taking you on a date and having to make anything of it, which is effort.
We almost don’t need to worry about why someone is doing that. What we need to do is see it for what it is, a level of engagement that shouldn’t even be interesting to us because our time and our energy is worth so much more than rewarding that level of investment with our analysis and our attention. And you may say, “Oh, it doesn’t take that much time for me to check if they’ve liked my post or to send a quick like back on something they’ve posted.” But if you actually think about the times when you’re out with your friends and you could be taking a risk or speaking to somebody, having a fun conversation with a stranger, and instead you’re looking down at your phone to check if they’ve engaged with the latest thing you’ve posted, that does take up time. It does take up bandwidth. It does occupy our focus.
Now the problem with indulging this kind of attention is that for you, it becomes a form of microdosing. Microdosing in the relationship or romantic context is when someone who isn’t meeting our needs, we continue to indulge because we’re getting some kind of hit out of it. It’s not making us happy, but there is some comfort in knowing that person is still there, that something might happen, so we keep giving it our time and attention.
Now you may be wondering, “But what if me responding leads to him trying harder? What if when he watches my stories or sends me some quick emoji, me responding leads to a conversation?” When you respond to the absolute lowest form of investment, after you’ve had better investment from a person, all you’re doing is tacitly approving of that behavior. So when someone sees that they sent a fire emoji in response to your story and you then sent a smiley face emoji, what they’re learning is, “Oh, I can still just send you this kind of attention and know that you’re there. You may even be waiting around for this kind of attention from me.”
So, there’s no drive. There’s no desire to do anything more. Someone has to understand that when they send that, they get nothing from you. And if he suddenly sends something a bit more interesting, like an actual question, asking how you are, what you’re up to, saying he’d like to catch up, if he does that, you can respond to that. But when you respond to that, what you’re saying to him is all that stuff you were doing until now wasn’t enough for a response. What you’re doing right now is enough for a response. Now, you’ll still have to see where that goes and be careful not to do more than he is. Be careful to mirror the amount of investment you’re getting instead of jumping the gun and giving more, but at least you’re getting something worthy of a response. You have to decide that if someone wanted to reach out to me, they would.
Let’s be clear. We’re not talking about a guy who’s on the other side of the room in a bar who you’ve been giving eye contact to who hasn’t come over yet. There, the principle of “If he liked me he’d come over,” is nonsense because people are scared of rejection. So in that situation where you’ve never spoken before, there’s some truth to that. In a situation where somebody who’s already been on dates with you, who’s already got your number, has a means of communicating with you, when they don’t reach out, it’s because they don’t want to reach out. Not because you’re some big, scary monster that they’re intimidated by.
Before you go, if you liked that video but you want to know why someone pulls away in the first place, why do they go from giving a lot of attention to you to suddenly going cold, I have a free guide for you that explains the top five reasons why someone pulls away. The link is right here. It’s WhyHesGone.com. Download it now before you leave. And please don’t forget to like this video, subscribe if you haven’t subscribed already, and maybe even leave me a comment letting me know what you thought of the video. Did you enjoy it? Was it helpful? Did I have too many buttons unbuttoned on my shirt? I think the answer was yes, Jameson. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t realize there was that much chest showing.