keep (one) dangling

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keep (one) dangling

To maintain some form of relationship with someone without revealing one's true feelings or intentions; to keep someone in an uncertain position. If you don't want to marry him, then you have to tell him that—you can't keep him dangling any longer! A: "I'm never going to get a promotion, am I?" B: "With the way the boss keeps you dangling, I doubt it."
See also: dangling, keep

keep someone dangling

keep someone, especially a would-be suitor, in an uncertain position.
See also: dangling, keep, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
"I seem to have believed that a penis was at maximum size all the time, and in its classic shape, but in spite of this could be kept dangling down inside the leg of the pants, not hoisted up to put pressure against another body in this way." In "Hired Girl," the narrator realizes that despite her sense of being humiliated by the rich, it was she who wanted to shame, humiliate and hurt the wealthy woman who hired her: "Cruelty was a thing I could not recognize in myself.
But we will have to live with being kept dangling again.
That is why Ryan Giggs is being kept dangling, like some writhing fish on the end of a rod, by his manager and mentor.
Maybe I've seen too many letters from other woman who've been kept dangling on a string by a lover's sob story.
He kept us moving, kept dangling that carrot in front of us:'
CBS--which, thanks to Charlie Sheen's antics, won't have as many original "Two and a Half Men" episodes behind "Mad Love"--has certainly gotten considerable mileage out of "Mother," which has kept dangling "Who's mom?" clues for years, until it's almost beside the point.