He Doesn’t Want A Relationship? 14 Things To Watch Out For

He Says He Doesn’t Want A Relationship? Watch Out For These 14 Warning Signs

He Doesn’t Want a Relationship

In this article you will learn:

  • What it means when a man says he doesn’t want a relationship with you.
  • The answer to your question, “he is not ready for a relationship, should I wait?”
  • 3 possible reasons why he doesn’t want to commit, and what you can do if that’s the case.
  • How to know whether a guy is using you for just one thing.
  • What to do if he doesn’t want to commit, but you do.
  • And much more…

What it means when a man says he doesn’t want a relationship

A man says he doesn't want a relationship

You’ve been dating a guy for a while. He’s kind to you. He’s nice. And sometimes, he really treats you like you’re his girlfriend.

It’s going really well, and you like to spend time with him. But you want something more: a relationship. Someone to rely on. To feel safe around, so you can be vulnerable and form a deeper connection with him.

And you can tell that he also cares about you. But in what particular way, you have no idea.

Does he see you as a flirt? Does he only want something superficial (sex)? Or does he also want more?

You’ve already carefully tried to find out what he really thinks of you, on more than one occasion.. And you’ve asked him what he tells his friends about you, and how he sees you. But you can’t seem to figure him out.

You are afraid to ask yourself, “Is he using me?”

Even when you invited him to your cousin’s wedding, he had some reason why he couldn’t make it… Until one day when you have “the talk” with him. At first, he somewhat avoids the topic.

He might mumble things like:

  • “I just want to see how it goes.”
  • “I think it’s best to take things slow.”
  • “I don’t want to put any label on it.”
  • And my favorite: “Let’s just have fun together and see what happens.”

But after you dig deeper… he finally admits it:

“He doesn’t want a relationship with you”

He doesn't want a relationship with you

Yep. He actually said it, and you don’t understand it. He likes you very much and he wants to keep seeing you. At least, so he says.

But he doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend.

Then he comes up with a proposal: He’s not into relationships but likes to see you. Or another way of putting it, he doesn’t want anything serious, except keep having sex with you.

In other words, he wants everything… except having a real relationship with you.

So essentially a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship.

You begin to wonder if there’s something going on:

All these mixed feelings from him… It’s driving you crazy.

You want to be with him… And not only that, but you also want him wanting to be with you.

But he has reasons why he doesn’t want to commit…

He has unprocessed emotions

Of course, he has reasons why he doesn’t a relationship with you. It could be that:

  • His previous relationship just ended.
  • His ex treated him very badly.
  • Experience tells him it’s less fun when he’s in a relationship.
  • He wants to put his career first.
  • Or some other excuse why he doesn’t want to get serious with you.

And you want to believe him. You’re trying desperately to convince yourself that’s the case. After all, you really like him. But deep down, you know that none of these are the real reason.

The real reason why he is not ready for a relationship with you…

His excuses are hardly ever the truth as to why he doesn’t want a relationship.

Most men will never tell you this, so pay close attention now.

He already has experience with relationships and has learned a number of things over the years.

For example. He knows that when he’s just starting to date a woman, everything is fun and exciting.

So he already has all the advantages of having a girlfriend.

He has somebody to have fun with, and someone to talk to after a difficult day.

In other words, his emotional need to feel loved has been satisfied. He gets sex whenever he wants, and he has someone he can share a drink with.

In fact, all of his needs are fulfilled…

But he knows that several things will change if you become his girlfriend

He can’t see the positive side of having a serious relationshipHe knows that during the “dating period”, women will put on their best behavior, without asking for too much in return. But the moment he’s officially her man, she will start to expect things like:

  • To be there for her when she needs him.
  • To join her at family events.
  • After a few months, the sex becomes less frequent or interesting.
  • She dresses less sexy around him. (Come on, if he’s your man, you can wear sweatpants on the couch at night, right?)
  • She can open up her “real” self to him. Many women are great when a man starts dating her, but in a relationship, then she starts to show her insecurity and vulnerability.

Oh, and when we men label ourselves as your man…

Then we no longer seem to be available to other women, and that goes against our deep primitive need to constantly date new women.

And we’d like to keep that option open, just in case.

“Why is he putting me through this hell of uncertainty?”

He can’t explain his behavior

Don’t get me wrong. There are a number of reasons why men enter into a relationship with a woman. I’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, I’d like to quickly explain to you why he is doing this. I want you to understand WHY he makes you go through this hell of uncertainty.

Because here’s a funny thing.

All the disadvantages I just mentioned, also apply to you. But…

Strangely enough, you do want a relationship. How is that possible?

Very simple:

Because for the past 250 thousand years, women HAD TO find a man that committed to her, in order to survive.

If you became pregnant with a man and he left you, the man could live on and find another woman, but it was over for you and your future child as you wouldn’t be able to make it on your own.

That’s why women have a much deeper natural urge to commit to one good man. While he on the other hand, only fully commits if he’s 100% or 200% sure.

Here’s what it really means when he says he doesn’t want you to be exclusive with you

Okay, so he doesn’t want a relationship. At least that’s what he says. So what does he really mean?

There are 3 things it can mean:

Option 1) He likes you, but not enough for a relationship

He refuses to be vulnerableHe’s into you. However, he’s not 100% sure that you’re his best option.

He likes you enough to keep you around for the time being. But when he gets all the downsides with having a relationship as well, then he is not sure that’s what he wants.

Here are the signs he only wants a casual relationship and is not that into you

  • Sometimes he treats you like his girlfriend, other times he doesn’t. One day he’s constantly texting you, then he ignores you for a few days.
  • Although he’s sweet, he doesn’t seem to try very hard. He’s not nervous when you’re around.
  • Even though he doesn’t want to get serious with you, he’s jealous when other men hang out with you.
  • He never asks you to join him and see his family.
  • When you start talking about a relationship, he doesn’t tell you “no”. But he doesn’t say “yes” either. He doesn’t want to exclude the option, but he doesn’t agree to it either.

My advice when a guy says he wants a casual relationship:

Don’t give him an ultimatum, or force him to decide. Doing so will only make him more afraid of any future demands you will put on him.

Use another fear instead, the fear of losing you.

  • Be less available to him.
  • Meet up with other male friends.
  • Flirt with other men when he’s around.

When he feels that you will not always be there, or that he might lose you to another man, then he may realize how much he likes you.

Option 2) He doesn’t want a relationship, but just wants to sleep with you


I’ll be very honest with you:

We men do this sometimes. It’s a nasty, naked truth.

But using you for sex doesn’t mean we’re unkind to you the rest of the time. Most men are just “good men” who treat you well. Even if they use you to get laid.

You can tell from these 5 signs if he just wants to sleep with you:

  • He always wants to see you after 10 pm.
  • There’s often alcohol involved when you’re together.
  • He doesn’t take you to places where his friends are.
  • He never comes up with something you can do together (except “just”  hang out).
  • You hardly ever see him on Friday or Saturday nights.

My advice:
These are clear signs that he has no plans of getting serious with you. Decide for yourself if that’s okay with you. If it’s not, and you want more? Leave him.

Don’t fall into these common traps:

    • Thinking that he will naturally like you if you just spend enough time with him.
    • Hoping he will fall in love with you, as long as you keep him sexually satisfied.

You deserve better than that. Tell him how you feel. Ignore his twists and turns, and his mumbling.

Stop listening to him saying that he is not ready for a relationship, but likes you.

Protect yourself and your feelings.

It may hurt for a while. But sometimes it’s better to stay single, and therefore be available for a great guy when he comes along.

And just accept the fact that he doesn’t want you, and move on for the right man, who does.

Option 3) He’s in love with the attention you give him

Woman gives attention to man

We might let you think otherwise, and would rather cut off a finger than admit this to you, but…

We’re also insecure beings who need love and admiration.

And we do everything we can to hide this behind our macho behavior, and our big mouth. But it’s there.

And when someone is in love with us, we feel great.

This is a powerful feeling.

When other people don’t admire us like that, and there’s a woman in our life who does, then we keep her close by. Even if we don’t like her that much.

Use these 4 signs to see if he’s only dating you because of the attention you give him:

  • He’s constantly looking for your confirmation. Whether you think he’s handsome, why you’re dating him, and so on.
  • He shows little interest in you but talks about himself for hours.
  • When you do your best for him, he’s always a little short-tempered and doesn’t return the favor. However, if you’re busy and don’t contact him, then he suddenly reaches out to you.
  • He often contacts you when he has had a bad day.

My advice:

  • Stop being his emotional go-to person.
  • Make sure you’re not always available to him.
  • Let him have to make more of an effort to see you.

In doing so, he will increase his appreciation for you, and you also give him the opportunity to like you back.

The more effort a guy has to make for you, the more he will appreciate you. Maybe even so much that he suddenly wants you to be his girlfriend.

And what if he doesn’t put in the effort for you? Then it’s time to prioritize yourself first. Because this can be a strong sign that he doesn’t care at all about your relationship.

Your Mr. Right is out there…

Let me be honest with you. Sometimes it’s better to leave a man who doesn’t want the same thing as you.

But I’m not here to preach. I think you understand that by now.

My final recommendation for you:

Apply the advice I laid out for you in this article, and if he still doesn’t want to be with you, then it’s his loss.

And that brings you one step closer to finding your perfect guy.


P.S: Don’t forget to let me know how it went in the comments, or over email if you prefer to be more private.


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17 thoughts on “He Says He Doesn’t Want A Relationship? Watch Out For These 14 Warning Signs”

  1. I need some advice on my current situation. The man I’m in love with I’ve known since I was very young and we just happened to be in the same workplace years later, and one thing led to another and we both had feelings for each other. This started almost a year ago now, and at that time he was amazing, he told me he wanted to be with me, he was sweet and I could tell he had feelings for me, but then he ended up back with his ex for a couple months and we’ve just been friends with benefits for months now, all of his friends like me and think we should be together but he doesn’t have the same feelings for me that he did back then atleast he doesn’t act like it. How do I make him want me again?

    1. Hi, I’m sorry but you are his second choices. Unfortunately it’s not down to his friends who he wants to be more with. Try to see him less and make yourself not available. Special not as the benefits, if only as a friend. Perhaps his ex is not available for the benefits ? Best of luck

  2. Luziirobzmegan2000@gmail.com

    Currently we are not staying together i was with a man that pursued me for 3 months, and he was dead serious for a relationship but just after we had sex twice he told me that he doesn’t want to hurt me.and he wished me the very best in life. But again we talked things out he said he had family problems that he was dealing and he was quite emotional to the point he cried so i believed him .we made love again for the third time..but soon afterward he told me that i should not fall in love with him in these scenerio what should i do.? Please help me.

    1. Hi,
      Listen to him what he is saying and his actions spoke louder then his words.
      After 3 month he had sex with you and decided against a relationship.
      Besides what he is telling you. If he likes you the same he wants to spend time with you… Try not to contact him. If he wants you the same, he will make sure to meet up with you. X

  3. Also it was after i realised that he had a kid and i was so scared that i told him that we should not have a serious relationship abut maybe just have sex and part ways ..and right now i think am falling for him but he keeps reminding me that we had agreed no falling in love, though he claims he loves me and he wishes me the very best but he seems so distant unlike in the past .. since we work in the same environment i keep asking him whats is wrong but he says everything is okay i dont know what to do help me please

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Great advice and graphics! I’ve been sleeping with a guy on and off for a year. The last 4 months he shared he wants to work towards a relationship. When I asked him about this last weekend he didn’t want to talk snlut it still wasn’t ready to commit. While it hurts, I’m pretty much over it. This article was also a little confirmation for me.

  5. I needed to read this. I’ve been projecting my feelings on to him when he’s flat out told me he wants to keep things “open”. I know better but it’s helped a lot to read it from someone who can articulate so well what I needed to hear. Thank you. As much as it hurts, I’m glad this article validated what I had suspected all along.

  6. I, too, think I project my feelings on to him and he has told me he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. He doesn’t say “I love you” to me when we are spending time together, though he has told me that he loves me during conversations about our relationship. It’s gotten so bad, that even when I feel like I want to say I love you to him when we are together, I don’t because I don’t want to push him away and he has never said it to me first. I’m thinking that’s not a healthy thought to have in a relationship. I am so overcome with emotions, because in my heart, I really feel like this relationship is so fragile and isn’t going to last – or is already over and I’m in denial.

  7. This article gave me the confirmation I needed. I was with a guy that I was in a relationship with. He then ended things saying ‘He didn’t see us working. He needs to focus on him etc’. A week later he told me he missed me. Asked if we could be in an open relationship… I told him no obviously. I told him ‘I think we need to focus on ourselves. I want to be with someone who only wants to be with me’. Then it just flipped. He was telling me if he can’t have me, he doesn’t want anyone else. I believed him, because he’d never opened up like that. Or told me these things. So we took things slow, from my choice. He wanted to jump straight back in, asking me to be his girlfriend! Then recently I ask him where I stand with him and everything he said before, he said again. This time claiming he wants something casual. He doesn’t want a to commit. Then saying I need a break this week, we’ll see next week. Like it’s ridiculous.

  8. My fwb came back to me and had left me because of the strong feeling s I had for him. And now he says he’s aware of how I feel for him he said he wants to take things a little faster and let’s see what happens. We hardly have sex because it’s his choice. Im the sex freak. He takes me out daily and the only time he has cancelled is because he had had a bad day … But kept contact through phone throughout the day. He doesn’t touch me a lot only a few times he”ll “accidentally” brush up on me. We go to the casino n he’ll give me high fives and he’ll ask for hugs sometimes they’ll be with pats on my back side hugs and sometimes they’ll be bear hugs front to front. He told me that has been hurt in the past. What does his behavior really mean?

  9. 4 months of a beautiful relationship. Started off with hun chasing me. Pushed and pushed to be exclusive. Finally I agreed. The other day told me that he doesn’t know what he wants and can’t be in a relationship right now. Came out of nowhere. Everything was great between us up until this point. Still contacts me every day, checks in and says sweet things to me. Told me that he hopes he will figure himself out soon as he doesn’t want to lose me and has deep feelings towards me.
    Feels like a game. Feels like a mind game.
    Not sure what to do and where this all came from. I adore him and only want him. I just don’t know how long I can wait.

  10. We were classmates In High school, then last year we became friends with benefits. We both developed feelings for each other, which made it more like a situationship. So I put my foot down and told him I wanted a relationship because we can’t be in a situationship for over a year, even though he says that he wants me. He begged for a few days, but eventually agreed that he can’t give me what I want. I’m in love with him and I’m heart broken. Did I do the right thing?

  11. what do i do when he says he dont want a relationship and then he turns around and says he might look for one next year i am a freshman and he is a junior that means if we ever get together i will only be able to see him in school that one year and then he is gone and i just want him this year so i will be able to see him for longer so what should i do?

  12. what do i do when we both like each other but he says he doesn’t want a relationship. He is a freshman and i am a sophomore. i really like him and cant stand the thought of losing him, and will have to see him every day for hours until i graduate. i just dont understand if im doing something wrong???

  13. You forgot option 4:
    4) You’re 10x more attractive than any woman he has dated before, he could never ever approach someone remotely as attractive as you, and he just had to experience “a stable relationship, lasting as long as *he* wants, with someone this attractive” once in his life, but you don’t match as persons and souls.
    But he has big dreams, and believes he will be a high roller someday, and when that day comes, the pool of available women will – finally – expand, and he expects to meet the “got it all” girl (super smart, lively, likes his things, super beautiful, likes him for who he is, etc) only then. Unfortunately, he has to work to get there, a very long time.

    On top of that, he knows your qualities, and is afraid that even when “that day” comes and he does become a high roller, the girls then will be gold diggers and unstable, lacking the simple but sturdy and incredibly powerful loyalty you give him every day. He knows that, once wisdom comes, he will live to appreciate fully everything that you had – and that he left behind. But now is not that time, and he just HAS to be this adventurer, and he can’t be that adventurer without letting you go and risking you meet somebody else and leaving you forever.

    And this dilemma might literally eat him out and make him go insane. For years.

    Dodge this…

    Try to solve that kind of knot. It’s moebius’s ring. It’s unsolvable. You can only break up and hope to not regret it from 40 to 90 years old.

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Tim Veninga is a dating coach, relationship coach and social psychology bestseller author from the Netherlands.  He has been featured in media like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire & Elle.

Hi, I’m Tim Veninga. Since 2008 I’ve been coaching men and women to archieve succes and happiness in their love lives.

For years I’ve only been writing in Dutch, but in 2019 I started writing in English as well after many women asked for it.

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