1. Relationships

Signs He Doesn’t Want a Relationship with You (According to 9 Experts)

When you really like a guy, you may find yourself questioning what his intentions truly are.

Does he want to be in a relationship with you, or is he just looking for a casual fling?

Here are some signs that usually indicate he doesn’t want a relationship with you, as discussed by experts.

Kevin Darné

Kevin Darne

Founder, Love Alert 911 | Author, My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany)

Firstly, I would tell anyone especially women that dating a man should not be some “riddle or puzzle” you need to solve! If a man is “into you”, he will usually go out of his way to make sure you know it and if he’s not into you he won’t expend much effort.

Know yourself, love yourself, and trust yourself.

Odds are if you have to “figure out” a man’s intentions, read the tea leaves, or confer with your friends and call the psychic hotline you are not happy! This person clearly is not doing or saying things that make you feel special and confident about the future prospects of this pairing.

Remember all relationships are at will.

It’s not just up to him to decide whether there will be a relationship or not! You should view yourself as being a potential buyer. Instead of focusing on where his head is or how he might feel about you invest some time determining if he meets your requirements! In other words, only you can truly determine if a man is showing you the signs he is a possible “keeper” or someone you should kick to the curb.

Honor your own mate selection/screening process and “must-haves list” when evaluating someone as a potential mate. Having an “I hope he picks me” mentality does not empower you nor does it build your self-esteem.

Don’t lull yourself into believing your “situationship” is a relationship.

Oftentimes men will come right out and tell women from the beginning they “don’t believe in labels” or they’re “not looking to get serious or settle down”. Since they just met, many women are inclined to shrug off that “red flag” because they are not emotionally invested at this point.

A potential heartache awaits them several weeks or months down the road when they assume they’re a “couple” and then realize his position has not changed.

Keeping your options open by dating multiple guys until you have a “meeting of the minds” with someone special will keep you from feeling desperate.

You wouldn’t suspend your job search just because one company has had you come in for multiple interviews but has not offered you the position!

Let go of the fallacy there’s a shortage of good men. In a world with over seven billion people, neither men or women are facing an option shortage. If you’re not getting what you want or you don’t feel you’re on the same page you should be mentally and emotionally prepared to move on.

Related: How to Let Go of Someone You Love and Move on

The world may not owe you anything but you owe yourself the world!

Here are a few signs that can help you see if he doesn’t want a relationship with you:

Quality and quantity of time spent together

Generally speaking, if a man is into you and wants to have a relationship he will ask you questions, listen, and find out what you want. Over the course of dating you, he will make sure the two of you engage in some activities he knows you enjoy.

In the first couple of months, a new dating pairing is often seen as being the “infatuation phase”. For the most part, both people are usually bending over backward to impress and please each other.

Neither person wants to say or do anything which might “blow it” with the object of their affection. There is usually some flirtatious banter, conversations, and laughter flow easily. Token gifts and cards are given “just because”. And sex is passionate, spontaneous, and off the charts!

Beware, however, there are some people who only want the “infatuation phase”. These types of people are in love with falling in love.
Once things begin to settle down and some routines are established they start to pull back or question if their mate is “right” for them.

Most healthy normal relationships usually contain some dependability, reliability, and stability which comforts many folks but may bore others.
Nothing and no one stays “new” forever. Anyone with a constant need to feel exhilaration probably will not do well in a long-term relationship.

You are not invited to meet his inner circle

On average if you have been frequently seeing each other over eight to twelve weeks an introduction to close friends, co-workers, and family is normal. People usually do not bring those they date around their inner circle to bond with them unless they feel the person they’re dating is someone special.

However, don’t read too much into it if he’s just introduced you to one or two of his drinking buddies. That’s not his true inner circle. He may be just wanting to show you off. An inner circle includes parents, siblings, lifelong best friends, and co-workers.

If the man you are dating invites you to attend his company’s holiday party or family gathering it’s usually a good sign he is taking you seriously. By the same token if he “falls off of the grid” during holidays and other special events most likely he does not want to be in a relationship with you.

He avoids meeting your inner circle

If each time your family and friends are having a gathering he makes plans to meet you afterward that’s usually a “red flag”. When a man has no interest in assimilating into your life meeting those you love and care about it’s because he doesn’t plan to be around long.

In fact, if the bulk of your time together is spent whereby he picks up a pizza or other take-out and the two of you watch TV and have sex it’s a “booty call”. There is also the possibility he is married or already in a relationship which would explain why he wants to keep your date outings low key. The fewer people you encounter together, the fewer odds he has of getting caught cheating with you.

He’s not all in when you do ask for exclusivity

Don’t be a “passenger” in your own life! As I mentioned before it’s not just up to the man to decide whether a relationship develops or not. Should you find yourself wanting to be in an exclusive relationship with a man let him know. Never be afraid to ask for what you want. If it’s not worth asking for it’s not worth having.

A fast rejection actually saves everyone time and potential long-term heartache. If he doesn’t respond by saying he wants the same thing or feels the same way then assume he is not the one for you. There is no amount of work or communication which can overcome being with someone who does not want what you want.

In order for him to be “the one” he would have to see you as being “the one”. At the very least a “soulmate” is someone who actually wants to be with you!

In a world with over seven billion people, rejection just means next! Every ending is a new beginning!

Iris Benrubi, M.A., R.P.

Iris Benrubi

Psychotherapist | Marriage Counsellor | Dating & Relationship Coach, Forever Love Coaching

The biggest sign that he’s serious about you is how far in advance he makes plans with you

Men who are not interested in a long term relationship will text you a couple of days before the weekend and ask you if you’re busy to make plans. Men who are truly interested in you will let you know on the date that they’ve enjoyed their time with you and would love to see you again and will make plans on the date to see you again.

A man who is interested in you will also plan for the foreseeable future meaning that he will discuss upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, he’ll tell you about a party or office function he’s going to AND will want you to be there with him.

A second sign to look for is, how does he introduce you?

Does he call you my friend? A man who is serious about you will declare “This is the woman I’ve been seeing” or “This is my girlfriend”. He wants the world to know that you and he are an item.

When a man just simply says: “This is my friend”,  he’s keeping his options option and not declaring to anyone that you’re his and he’s yours.

When a man is serious about you he wants to introduce you to people in his life

First, he’ll introduce you to friends who will give him their own perspective on you and either confirm how he feels about you or give him their take on who they think you are. After the 4-6 month mark, he’ll want to introduce you to his family (for holidays and birthdays) and kids once you’re in a committed relationship.

If he’s only seeing you one on one after the 4-month mark and not making any suggestions to bring you more into his world and get to know the other people that are important in his life, this is a red flag that needs to addressed and you can simply say: “I’m curious, I’ve noticed that the last few months we’ve only dated on our own. I’m wondering how you feel about introducing me to your friends and family?” and be quiet and listen.

It’s important that you do this in a feminine curious approach, not a detective, interrogative manner that will put him on the defensive. When things don’t go as you were hoping or expecting, it’s your responsibility to address them in a curious, interested, non-judgemental manner that will allow him to share what he’s thinking and his inner world. With that information, you can decide if you’d like to keep seeing him or move on.

Amy M. Baker

Amy M. Baker

Professional Mediator & Intimacy Consultant, The Pleasure Principal

I see men and women in my practice, of all sexual orientations, and one of the things that come up repeatedly are the signs that their partner doesn’t want a relationship with them, but it presents as:

  • their partner’s disinterest in what they are doing.
  • their partner’s criticism of what or how they do things.
  • their partner’s lengthening work hours.
  • their partner’s stated desire to have more alone time.
  • their partner’s refusal to have difficult conversations that “clear the air” and productively move the conflict forward.
  • their partner’s refusal to be known or to know them.
  • their partner’s desire to have an open relationship.

These partners are men. All of them. Very few of the men in my practice who are married to or date women have these issues, although I do see them.

What is important to understand the individuals who have partners like this is that they are interesting, smart, attractive, active people. They have hobbies and interests. They are world-travelers and give back in big ways. They are involved in their own lives, but often once they get into a relationship, they back-burner their own lives and interests, and focus intensely on nesting with their loved one.

This tends to make them work extra hard to show their disinterested or waning interested partner that they are worthy, when frequently, what has happened is that the person and the partner have gotten themselves into the trap of Anxious-Avoidant cycling.

When a person with anxiety over being wanted and cared for by an intimate person starts this scary dance down the drain with a person with avoidance tendencies whose main fears are engulfment and conflict, the more they try to make their partner’s gaze to return (often by wanting to be with their partner more, to track where their partner is, to have a heightened awareness over their partner’s phone and texts, the more the partner wishes to be at work more, to have more alone downtime, to “open” their relationship, to start to criticize the interests and ways of doing things.

This could be because he’s just not that interested, but it is pretty important to remember that his interest or disinterest is not generally personal—you are simply the manifestation of his fear, and until he works on his need to be securely alone, he will do this again and again.

The takeaway? It may not be you; it actually really maybe him. Let him go.

Do your work on becoming more secure in your own worth and value, and go for a guy who has done his work and will actually show up to the table for clear conversations when there is conflict.

Related: Best Relationship Advice for Women

Russelyn L. Williams

Russelyn Williams

Author, The Single Christian Woman’s Guide: Wisdom in Getting to Our God-Ordained Man of Promise

He does not return your calls

If a guy is interested in you; he’ll be glad to see that you’re interested back. If you reach out to him via social media or the telephone and he does not respond; nine times out of ten, he isn’t interested in you. He may have another girl in his view that he is seeking to connect with first.

If that doesn’t work, he may consider you then. However, a woman who knows her worth doesn’t allow herself to be a backup option. She knows that she is worthy of a suitor who unmistakably shows her he’s interested in her.

He gives you just enough to keep you around

Some men, when they are insecure, will indulge in the attention of a woman―especially a very attractive woman even when he has not decided to take things further.

The hurtful thing is when he finds the woman he really wants to be with; the woman he kept around becomes baffled. The reality is this man should have been honest in the beginning.

If he was not feeling the young lady; he should have made that plain. Unfortunately, in today’s dating culture many single people use each other until they find what they are looking for. This is why there are so many broken singles with low-self-esteem.

It’s better to build up our ownself-worth as singles so much so that we do not allow ourselves to put up with this type of behavior. Don’t fool yourself.

If a guy gives you just enough to keep you interested such as compliments or comments that show interest without actions that show interest; let him go. A man who is genuinely interested will make it obvious that he feels that way.

He keeps you a secret

When a man loves a woman; he will tell somebody. I had invited a guy that I was dating to my church and he knew some of the people on the praise team. I sat next to him as he caught up with them, and not one time did he introduce me. His friends felt sorry for me and said hello to me. It was awkward.

Later, when I bought it up, he shared that he wasn’t sure if he wanted me to be his wife or not. So, he did not introduce me as a friend, girlfriend, or someone that he’d been dating.

We did have a disagreement prior to this church date about my boundaries to avoid sex before marriage. I guess he’d been doing some heavy thinking and decided that he no longer wanted to pursue me because the celibacy became too much for him. I knew then, he was slipping away.

Honestly, it was hard for me to let go at the time, but I had to face the fact that his indecision in continuing to see me as his girlfriend or potential wife was a decision, and I had to make a decision to still love myself and protect my heart.

A man who is serious about being with a woman, will not keep us a secret. His friends will be the first to know.

Dr. Wyatt Fisher

Dr. Wyatt Fisher

Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Marriage Counselor, Couples Retreats

Here are some signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you:

  • One thing to watch for is you’re working harder at the relationship than he is, such as texting more than him, initiating dates more than him, etc.
  • A second thing to watch for is he doesn’t share personal or vulnerable information about himself. Staying evasive is usually a tactic when someone doesn’t care to become closer to you.
  • A third thing to watch for is a lack of attention on you when you’re together. If he’s more interested in other people or activities than you when you’re together he probably isn’t interested in developing a relationship with you.

Rosalind Sedacca, CLC

Rosalind Sedacca

Dating & Relationship Coach, Women Dating After 40 |
Author, 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50, & Yes, 60!

  • If you’re feeling disrespected in any way in your relationship, he doesn’t want or value a relationship with you. If you protest or leave, it just won’t matter that much.
  • If you’re questioning whether he’s fully committed to you, he doesn’t want or value a relationship with you.
  • If he says kind things one day but behaves uncaringly on other days, he doesn’t want or value a relationship with you.
  • If he doesn’t apologize when he hurts you and acknowledge his mistakes, he doesn’t want or value a relationship with you.

People show us who they are. Don’t put blinders on and pretend you’re not seeing the truth.

Kendra Allen

Kendra Allen

Founder, Break Up Bestie

Some people end up going through extremely painful breakups because they don’t recognize the writing on the wall that the other person didn’t want a relationship with them. They ignore the flashing neon signs and believe that someday the behavior will stop and the person will change. Some of these signs include:

The guy doesn’t initiate any plans

It feels like pulling teeth to get them to commit to plans. A man who wants a relationship with you will make an effort to ask when they can see you next.

Speaking of plans, if they won’t commit to any plans for more than a month in the future, not a good sign that they want a relationship. The reason they don’t want to plan a trip with you is that they don’t think they’ll be around in a few months.

No explicit commitment

Guys that say they don’t want to commit to an official relationship (being your boyfriend) because they’re “not ready” which means they don’t want a full commitment or full relationship. I’ve seen so many women (myself included) stay with someone even though they wouldn’t commit because they thought someday they would be ready. The truth is if someone wants a relationship they’ll make it happen.

The bottom line, if they’re not acting like a boyfriend, they probably don’t want to be a boyfriend.

Another thing to think about, if you stay with someone who does all of the above things, you’re endorsing the behavior. So if you’re wondering why the guy you’re with won’t commit, but you’re not expressing how no commitment doesn’t work for you – that’s why.

Adina Mahalli

Adina Mahalli

Mental Health Consultant and Relationship Expert | Founder, Enlightened Reality

You’re not his priority

Someone who wants to spend time with you will make sure to do so. If you find that he’s got a list of other commitments, is unable to put your wishes before pre-made work plans, or it just feels like you’re at the bottom of a long list of other engagements, he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

Although you don’t need to come first every time, someone who’s interested in a relationship with you will keep you in mind when making plans.

If he’s not trying to get to know you outside of the ‘relationship’, he probably doesn’t want a relationship

Someone who wants to date you seriously will take the time to find out about your hobbies, work-life, and even family life because they want to be a part of every aspect of your existence.

They want to know you well, and that comes through knowing more about you than just the fact that he’s romantically interested in you.

Chris Seiter

Chris Seiter

Relationship Consultant and Breakup Specialist, Ex-Boyfriend Recovery

When you feel that the guy you are spending time with doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship, there are some factors you can look out for.

He only spends time with you when it actually is convenient for him or benefits him in some way

When you are not a priority of his, so his social life with friends or alone time comes first, this is one where you can see he does not value you enough to make you a priority on that list.

If you are sleeping with a guy, but he is not your boyfriend, then you will find that once he has had sex, he is quite happy to leave or not see you again for a few days, during which he does not invest much time in speaking to you.

If he then asks to see you, but you are not feeling up to having sex and he cancels, that would be another sign that he does not want a relationship, just the benefits.

He is distancing himself from you when you are spending time together

He is withdrawn and becomes colder than he used to be. Some clients said that their ex began to withdraw so much so that it didn’t seem that they were fully present when spending time together.

He makes excuses to not be with you

A number of clients said that their exes were using work or plans with friends as an excuse to not spend time with them due to a busy schedule, in which time they would barely hear from their ex for a few days.

So, the obvious signs that someone does not want to be in a relationship with you, they will not include you in their lives or future plans.