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Deep down, everyone wants to find “The One.” Yes, even guys — no matter how big of a jerk he might seem to the women who do not fit the bill. The problem with men is that they will never really tell you clearly that you are not the one for them, because hey, a guy has to get laid. But why do women settle? And why do they wait and hope for men to pull down their walls when clearly that is never going to happen?

When a man likes a woman — and I mean ‘like’ and not just ‘lust’ — it will be crystal clear and more obvious than a landing strip for a plane. No matter how many articles you read to “decipher” the “male psyche,” men are never really as complicated as women. They are simple and obvious; it is us women, who try to read too much into everything that ends with broken hearts and a bunch of articles that feed our delusions.

1. He told you precisely that this is a casual thing.

No matter what your friends say and no matter how much you read into his actions and sentences, he will never really want more. He told you something very clearly — though he probably sugar-coated it because he still needs a booty call, booty call backup, or a new addition to his full-fledged booty call roster. He knew right from the moment he laid eyes upon you that you are good enough for a fling but that, to him, you will never be good enough for anything more. And no matter how long you play this game and misread the signs, his perception will never change! If you want casual too, then go ahead, but even if the tiniest part of you wants something more, then have the strength to cut him off because no, you will never be able to stay just friends because he doesn’t even look at you that platonically.

2. You feel like you have to work on breaking down his walls.

Think about it: does your attention move to things on the internet or in magazines whose central idea is ‘How to make him like me?’ It’s always worded differently but it’s the same crap to distort our emotional quotient. The way to a man’s heart is never through his pants or his stomach or anywhere else, as a matter of fact. He might just treat you well occasionally on a human level but he will never care about you. Sure, he will appreciate the great things you do for him and who doesn’t but none of them will help you weasel your way in.

Men are not like women! We can be wooed, swept off our feet and made to change our minds about someone we didn’t really like at first. Men, on the other hand, know exactly how you can fit into their lives after the first conversation: lover, fling, booty call, friend, or absolutely nothing. If he really likes you, nothing will feel like an effort on your part because he will go out of his way to court you but if any tiny little part of your mind feels like finding ways to make him like you more, it’s just not worth the effort. Save that effort for someone who feels like doing the same things for you, before you empty your love tank on the wrong people.

3. He can’t carve out time for you.

If he likes you, he will carve out time for you in his schedule even if the is running a multinational firm and puts in 80 hours a week. He will take out time not only for the late night booty calls but also for couple activities in public places. No guy is too busy for the woman he truly wants. If you get these excuses from someone who is between jobs or someone who works 20 hours a week then… ding ding ding… he’s bullshitting! Time and distance are not a matter of concern for a man in love but it is of utmost importance to the man you are not good enough for. You don’t have to sit with your girlfriends and cook up excuses for him; ask your guy friends and be prepared for a brutally honest answer.

4. He’s not ready yet.

Weirdly it seems like sometimes men are not prepared to commit for various reasons, whether he’s not settled professionally, he has a goal that needs his undivided attention, he needs to whore around and test the waters to be prepared for the real deal, he had a terrible breakup that left him scarred, or maybe he’s too young. Again men are not like women, who can be struck by love at any point of time in their lives. This is an unexplained phenomenon but men fall in love when their love switch is ON, with the first girl they like right after the occurrence. It’s weird and I have no idea how this love switch works but there comes a moment when he knows that he’s ready for love and he’ll fall for the next girl he meets and it will not happen with the girl who was there the entire time to fill the buffer space, nursing him and waiting for it to flip back on.

Ever heard of the numerous stories where two people date for years and the guy was never ready but they break up and after an year, he’s married to someone he met just for a few months back? There’s no point banging your head against the wall searching for the switch board, it’s just easier to wait for someone with a flipped switch! Maybe the timing is not right, maybe love doesn’t fit into his plans right now but mostly, maybe you are just the girl who is good enough to fill the buffer space in the meantime, until he can trade up for what he really wants!

5. He’s “just not a romantic guy.”

Really? Because I have seen even the biggest of jerks turn to putty with the women they really care about. No guy lacks the romance bone. Men are just good at hiding it for the women who don’t really matter to them. Even dudes who look like John Cena are capable of the whole “flowers, candlelit dinners, and obscurely cute nicknames” deal with the woman they really want. The games and emotional constipation is for the sides with their entrées. Don’t treat someone like a king if you are just a servant girl for him. If he treats you like a queen only then treat him like a king; if he treats you like a game, show him how it’s played.

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