You like him. You want a relationship with him. You two spend quality time together, have fun, and are getting closer.
However, you’re not sure if he wants a relationship or not, and you don’t know what to do about it.
Uncertainty about a potential partner’s intentions is tricky. You don’t want to push things or pressure him, especially since you two are having such a good time, but you don’t want to waste your time either.
He may be very special, but if what you two have together isn’t going anywhere, you may want to reconsider your intentions and values.
If you’re unsure where your connection is going, it’s wise to ask him. Honesty is the best policy, even though it can be daunting.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship; if it is lacking, so will the quality of the relationship.
Below we’ve included a list of obvious and subtle signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you.
Remember that everyone is unique, and his behavior may stem from many reasons, not just a lack of desire for a relationship. Still, if he’s acting in the ways we’ve outlined below, it may be worth considering the return on your invested time and energy.
Signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you
Does he want an actual relationship, or is he happy with a casual fling? Does he want only you, or is he still dating other women? Is he able to communicate effectively, or is he closed off and shut down?
1. He doesn’t take an interest in your friends and family
A serious relationship is a trusting, intimate partnership. That intimacy is not just sexual. Intimacy comes in many forms, and one of its forms is your partner’s close relationship with your loved ones.
A man who wants a relationship with you will take a vested interest in your friends and family. He’ll want to know all about them and, more specifically, how you feel about them.
He’ll ask about your relationships with your family members and best friends and listen when you have relevant stories and feelings to share.
If he’s not interested in having a relationship with you, he probably won’t take much interest in your family.
Sharing and understanding bring people closer together; if he doesn’t want to get that close, he’ll avoid the steps toward it.
2. He only meets you when it’s convenient for him
Mutual respect is as important as healthy communication in a relationship. Letting go of unrealistic expectations and standards in your search for love is wise, but respect is an expectation that serves you.
One clear sign that he doesn’t want a relationship with you lies in how he treats you.
Does he make time to see you? Does he go the extra mile to cultivate a stronger connection with you? Or does he only get in touch when it’s convenient, or only when he wants something from you?
Some guys will be all about you until they get what they want.
Maybe it’s just your attention, or perhaps it’s your physical affection.
After they get what they want, you become less valuable or novel, and you don’t see or hear from them again until they have a new craving to satisfy.
A man who wants a committed relationship will make an effort. He’ll put you on his list of priorities and won’t use you just for his gratification.
If that doesn’t describe the man in your life, he’s not the best choice for a partner.
3. He doesn’t want a label
He doesn’t want to label the connection. It’s normal to avoid labels in the early days. In the ‘getting to know each other’ stage, you can’t know if you want a relationship with that person yet.
You may think this person is perfect for you, but the fact is that it takes time to get to know someone. Not jumping into a label is wise because it allows freedom and space to get to know each other genuinely.
However, when you both become more familiar after some time, it’s normal to want to know where you stand. You don’t even need to use the terms boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but you should at least know whether or not that’s on the cards.
If he continues to spend time with you, sleep with you, and generally behave as though you two are together but still wants to avoid a label, that’s a pretty clear sign that he’s not yet ready for a relationship.
4. He won’t stop seeing other girls
It’s completely normal to date more than one person at a time.
We’re incredibly connected these days – social media and dating apps make finding and meeting people with similar interests easier. As such, many people like to keep their options open when dating.
However, if you two have been dating for a while and become close, you may start seeking an exclusive relationship. That’s also completely normal and healthy; you’re entitled to ask for it.
If a guy tells you he doesn’t want to be in a monogamous relationship and wants to keep seeing other women instead, these are obvious signs he doesn’t want a relationship.
If he suggests an open relationship, give it careful consideration.
Some people accept an open relationship because they like the person so much that they’re willing to compromise on their relationship preferences.
Feel free to explore alternative relationship dynamics but know that you don’t have to settle for a relationship in which you’re not happy.
5. He’s emotionally unavailable
There is a common stereotype that men are emotionally unavailable. This is false, as many men are in touch with their emotions and can open up.
However, there are a lot of men who are emotionally evasive and see opening up as too much vulnerability to handle.
If you’re dating a guy who won’t seem to open up, he may not be ready for the relationship you seek. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him, but it does highlight incompatibility, especially if you need an emotionally open partner.
A man who wants to be in a relationship with you will brave the fears and vulnerabilities of emotional availability. He’ll recognize your emotional wants and needs and attune to them so that you can enjoy a healthy, loving, and compassionate relationship.
6. He doesn’t remember details about your life
The man for you is the one who’s genuinely interested in your personal life. He’ll pay attention to you when you share personal stories, thoughts, and feelings and try to remember what you tell him.
If he’s naturally forgetful, he’ll still make an effort by asking you again.
When a guy doesn’t care for the details of your life – when he seems distant, distracted, or disinterested when you open up – he’s not ready for a relationship.
He may think he’s ready and explicitly say so, but if he’s not ready to learn about you or he’s losing interest in getting to know you more, he’s not ready.
7. He ghosts you
Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship, yet partners don’t have to be tied at the hip or in constant communication to have a strong one.
However, both parties must know where they stand. Even when there’s distance, both partners should feel safe and loved in the relationship.
If a guy ghosts you (suddenly disappears without explanation), he probably doesn’t want a relationship with you.
If he did want it, he’d let you know where you stand. He’d let you know if he didn’t feel like talking for a while. He wouldn’t ignore your texts and calls or arrange to meet up and then stand you up.
If that’s the case, then it’s essential to consider if you would want a relationship with such a person in the first place.
Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship?
If the signs above apply to your guy, you may wonder why he keeps you around if he doesn’t want a relationship. There are several reasons why a guy may behave this way.
1. He wants sex
One primary reason a guy will keep a girl on the hook is the gratification he gets from physical intimacy.
If you two are sleeping together, he won’t want to give that up easily, even if his intentions about the relationship are clear.
If that’s the case, you must assess your wants and values. It’s perfectly normal to have a casual sexual partner without a relationship, but it’s only healthy and beneficial if that’s what both people want.
If one person wants more than satisfying booty calls, the connection will fray sooner or later.
2. He needs company
A lonely guy who doesn’t want a relationship may just want to keep you around for the company. Either he lacks solid friendships, or he doesn’t know how to be happy alone, so he seeks the company of women to fill an inner void.
3. You enable his disrespectful behavior
To reiterate, it’s perfectly normal to want a casual relationship without too much commitment. It’s normal and healthy when both partners are on the same page.
However, if you’ve clearly expressed your wishes, intentions, and boundaries and he continues to ignore or dismiss them, that’s not someone you should be with or even want to be with.
So, if he keeps playing games, keeping you on a hook but not intending to go further, you need to set a boundary.
If you don’t set boundaries, that doesn’t make you an easy-going person; it makes you a pushover. He may be keeping you around because you let him enable his behavior.
4. He wants you to ‘fix’ him
Some guys (and girls) seek a relationship hero who will ‘fix’ their unhealed wounds. Conscious partnerships can handle such a dynamic because both partners bring mindful awareness, but these relationships are often unhealthy.
So, if he doesn’t want to commit to a relationship, but he’s still keeping you around, it may be because you play a healing or savior role in his life.
You can choose to play such a role in someone’s life, but remember that it’s a choice, and you don’t need to feel guilty if you can’t or don’t want to play that role.
5. He’s not ready for a relationship yet
He may just not be ready for a relationship yet. That doesn’t mean he won’t be ready in the future.
Entering a relationship with someone is a big responsibility. It’s all fun and games at the start, but personal and emotional responsibility and commitment come with relationships, which can be daunting for many.
It’s essential to communicate your wants and needs. You don’t have to dismiss him completely if he doesn’t want a relationship yet, but don’t neglect yourself.
Let him be if you know what you want and he cannot give it to you. You don’t want to push anyone into a relationship – doing so means it’s only a matter of time before resentments set in.
It’s important to know all the signs that a person doesn’t want a relationship with you.
Some of us spend weeks, months, or even years dealing with a guy who keeps us wondering. It’s OK to take your time and to offer patience to potential partners, but don’t neglect yourself in the process.
Your time and energy are incredibly precious, far too valuable to throw away on someone who doesn’t respect and appreciate them.
If a guy refuses to let you know where you stand, only reaches out for a booty call, or never wants to define the relationship status, you may have to assess if this is the guy for you.