How to Recognize When You're Being (digitally) Baited

You're probably most familiar with this language when it comes to fishing. You bait your hook, sink the line, and wait for the fish to bite. Simple enough. 

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But what does it look like when someone is baiting you? And, maybe, more importantly, do you take the bait? 

Technology has made digital baiting commonplace; particularly in relationships, potential relationships, and crushes. And it's so common that many of us may not even recognize when we've been baited. 

Take this scenario, for example. It's 11PM. You've just turned your lights out when the all-too-familiar neon glow lights up the small corner of your bedroom. You look at your phone. It's a text from him. He sent you one word, "Hey". You stare at the screen. Maybe even for minutes. No other texts come through. What do you do? Well, if it's the guy you like, it's probably fairly obvious what you want to do. Respond, of course! 

But is that the best thing to do? 

Some of you may be the recipients of texts like this all the time, while others of you have only seen it once. Either way, it's bait. 

First of all, it's nearly the middle of the night. And second, there is zero content to the text message. If he had something important to say, he would have said it. If there was a question, he would have asked it. And if he was serious about his interest in you, there would have been a more complete sentence, a little more directness, and at an earlier time of day. At least, that's the type of guy you should hold out for anyway. That's what respectful men do.

Instead, all you get is bait. It's late. He's most likely bored or lonely, or both. He's looking for someone to respond. He's looking for someone to meets his needs so he drops some hints. He puts the line in the water, waiting for someone to bite. 

But instead, as women, we tend to see this as a sign that he's interested. I mean, after all, he could have texted anyone. And you're right, he could have! But the harsh reality is that he probably did. What happens, though, is that our emotions take over and we respond with, "Hi! (insert smiling emoji). What are you doing?? (more emojis)." 

We took the bait. He won. 

You may be thinking, "What's the big deal?" And I can understand that. But the reason it's a big deal is because it's a game, and on top of that, it's selfish on his end. Think about it like this. A fishermen goes fishing for the sole purpose of catching a fish so that he can do whatever he wants with that fish. He doesn't care what the fish wants, only that it comes over and takes his bait. It's purely one-sided. 

The same is true with men who bait you. The bait typically revolves around his schedule, his needs or desires, and how you respond (or not respond) will determine his next move. 

Let me be clear. They guy you're looking for will not play games. He will put forethought into his communication with you. And he will be clear in his intentions. I don't want you to settle for the guy who doesn't do any of these things. 

And lastly, when you recognize bait you don't have to take it. In fact, I hope you don't.

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