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Every time you see his name pop onto your phone, your heart jumps in your chest. It doesn’t matter if all he did was double tap on his phone. If he didn’t even bother to leave a comment beneath your picture or send a text to have an actual conversation with you.
To you, a like is enough. A like means he knows you exist. It means he spent at least two seconds of his day thinking about you. It might even mean that he finds you attractive. That he wants to date you. That he wants the same things you have stayed up late daydreaming about for months now.
Your expectations for him are so low that a like keeps you on the hook. He barely has to do anything to hold your attention.
It’s easy for him to lead you on, because he can go weeks without talking to you and then immediately make you interested again by dropping a few likes on Instagram. He can ignore your texts. He can cancel plans with you. He can treat you like a second choice, all without feeling like he’s losing you. Because he knows the second he likes one of your pictures again, you’ll consider it a mixed signal and go right back to hoping a relationship is on the horizon.
Stop letting him get away with doing the minimum amount of effort. You are allowed to get excited whenever he likes your pictures, but you shouldn’t think too far into something so small. Just because he likes your pictures, it doesn’t mean he likes you.
But who knows? Maybe it does mean he’s interested in you. Maybe it’s his way of flirting with you, of hinting that he has strong feelings for you. If that’s the case, do you really want him? Do you really want someone who thinks liking a picture is enough?
You should hold out for someone who realizes that putting in effort means more than doing the bare minimum. It means more than liking a photo and sending an occasional text. It means more than watching your snap story and sending heart eyed emojis.
Real effort means showing up in person, face-to-face, and looking each other in the eyes while you talk instead of having every conversation over text. It means expressing his attraction to you by holding your hand, kissing your lips, and asking you on an official date, not just complimenting a selfie.
If liking your pictures is only one of the many things he does to show you how much you mean to him, then great! But if his likes are the only reason you’re convinced he’s interested in you, you might have to change your way of thinking. You might be fooling yourself into believing what you want to believe.
He likes your pictures on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean he likes you. It doesn’t mean he wants to date you. It doesn’t mean as much as you think it means.