No one likes to think they're on someone else's hook, but the truth is, we are all on a hook by someone. Being on a hook means that someone is keeping you around to boost their ego while they look for other people to date. For example, you could totally like a guy and think that he likes you back, but he might also be telling you things like "I like you as a friend for now" or "I like you, but I don't want to date anyone right now." The key words in both of those phrases are "for now" and "right now" because they make you want to stick around and wait it out with the hopes that something will happen between you two later on.
One of the biggest ways to tell if you're on a hook is if the other person keeps things very vague between you two. I remember I was on a hook by a coworker of mine in high school. I would ask him if he wanted to hang out and his responses were common "on a hook" responses like "maybe" or "we'll see" Here's a tip my parents told me when I was going through that: Parents typically tell their children "we'll see" if their child wants something or wants to go somewhere and, as a parent, you don't want ruin their day by saying no. So, you say "we'll see" to give them that glimmer of hope without committing to anything. If a guy is doing this to you...RUN. Run as far away as possible because he doesn't deserve your time.
One of my biggest signs I look for when I'm trying to tell if I'm on a hook or not is to see if he flakes out last minute when we plan on hanging out. Here's an example, when I came back to college this semester, I was talking to a good friend of mine who I considered dating. One day, I asked him to hang out the next day and this is what he said to me:
The next day I assumed we had something planned, so I texted him asking if he wanted to come over when I got back from lunch with a friend and he replied by saying he had a lot of work to do instead. I noticed he was flaking on me and said, "I mean you said yesterday that you wanted to hang out." This is what he replied to me with:
...yep...probably one of the most illogical excuses I have ever received. After that interaction, I cut everything off with him because he obviously didn't value his time with me.
When it comes to being left on a hook I think we all need to remember that someone who actually likes you will value every second they spend with you and won't make silly excuses to not see you. You are great and deserve the attention of someone who deserves it. Don't fall for the wrong ones, wait for the best ones.