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How can you tell when a guy likes you but doesn’t want a relationship with you?

Recognizing the signs that he isn’t really serious about you is often easier said than done!

Guys who are afraid of commitment or simply undecided often do everything in their power to keep all of their options open.

This is why they’ll put in just the right amount of effort to ensure that you keep on chasing them.

But at the same time, they’ll make sure to dodge all uncomfortable questions and never give you the stability and security you’re craving from them.

Being stuck chasing someone and endlessly second guessing what their true intentions are, is exhausting!

You deserve to know for sure where he truly stands, so that you can make up your mind and not let him string you along forever.

There are guys out there who will never settle down. Trying to get them to do it a waste of breath.

At the same time, some men actually need their significant other to stand up to them in order to get them to snap out of their own indecision and realize their true feelings for you.

In this article, I’ll explain why a guy might keep you around even if he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

I’ll list the signs that he is not serious about you and give you tips on what to do, to give him one final chance to finally come around and commit.

When a Guy Has Feelings but Doesn’t Want a Relationship

Yes, it sometimes happens that a guy who actually likes you and has genuine feelings for you still doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you!

This makes an already complicated situation all the more confusing.

If this is the case with you two, then you’re likely thinking:

“If he does care for me, why doesn’t he want to be together? Why am I chasing him for something that he himself should want?”

The thing about being in a committed relationship is that it requires a certain degree of maturity.

It can be scary to open up and let another person actually become a part of your life. You also have to be willing to take responsibility and commit to making things work in the long term.

Some men are simply not there yet.

They’re either too immature or too emotionally unavailable to take this step.

For you, love and commitment likely go hand in hand.

For them, it does not!

This is why a guy might want to keep you around, even if he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

He probably likes you and enjoys spending time with you. But he doesn’t want to let you get closer and will never be able to give you any guarantees.

He is happy with how things are and feels safe and secure enough as it is.

He might keep you waiting FOREVER, because he doesn’t need or even want to move things forward.

9 Signs He Doesn’t Want a Relationship With You

The key to recognizing when a guy doesn’t want a relationship with you is that it has less to do with you and almost everything to do with him.

It’s not you who is doing something wrong here…

He is the one who is stringing you along and giving you false hopes, without ever making you feel safe and secure.

Doesn’t matter how hard you try to come his way, it doesn’t make a difference.

Because he is just either too immature or too emotionally unavailable to be in a long term relationship.

Here are the signs that he is not serious -not just about you, but about commitment in general:

1. He Is Distant and Secretive

The telltale sign of a guy who is emotionally unavailable and might be completely incapable of being in a committed relationship is that he will keep you at arms length at all times.

He might be so afraid of letting someone get close to him, he will avoid sharing any personal information and showing vulnerability altogether.

You can get a distant man to open up, but for it to happen, he must be willing to let you in at least a little.

But, if even after spending a lot of time with him, you feel like you don’t actually know him, consider it a sign that he is just too emotionally unavailable and doesn’t actually want a relationship with you.

2. He Is Very Unreliable

Being in a committed relationship requires both parties to be there for each other.

Of course, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and let our significant other down sometimes.

But if a guy you’re dating keeps on arriving hours late, constantly cancels last minute or even ghosts you every now and then, that’s a definite sign he is just too immature to actually be serious about you.

You can’t hope to build a future with someone you can’t rely on.

If he wanted a relationship with you, he would have tried harder.

3. He Hardly Ever Initiates

Another typical sign that a man might like you, but doesn’t actually want a relationship with you, is when he hardly ever makes the first move.

You’re the one who starts texting him and you’re the one who arranges to meet, too.

Once you’re together, things might feel great, though!

This is why you suspect that he does actually like you. BUT it’s always up to you to make things happen.

Maybe you even fear that, if you didn’t initiate, you’d never hear from him again.

Even if deep down you believe that he does care and wants you…

If he never initiates, it’s a sign that he just isn’t serious enough and is not boyfriend or husband material.

You deserve better!

4. He Isn’t Willing to Put in Any Effort

No matter how perfect you might be for each other, being in a committed relationship takes work.

Both of you have to be willing to come each other’s way and put in an equal amount of effort.

But there are men out there who will let you do all the work for them without ever returning the gesture!

You might have experienced some of these with him:

  • Are you the one who has to always come over to his place?
  • Do you keep on watching movies or shows he is interested in?
  • When you’re together, you’re only doing things he likes or wants to be doing?

Maybe things didn’t start out this way, but now you’re so tired of begging him for attention, you just give in and do what he wants instead.

If you keep on putting in a lot of effort without him ever coming your way, consider it a warning sign:

He might be too self-important and self-absorbed to be serious boyfriend or husband material.

Even if he likes you, maybe he is just too immature to want to be in a serious relationship with you.

Keep in mind, a guy who truly loved you, would never treat you this way!

5. He Stops Responding When the Conversation Gets Uncomfortable for Him

A guy, who wants to keep you around but doesn’t actually want a relationship with you, will always try to avoid showing you his true colors.

Because he knows that if you saw through him, you’d just leave.

This is why he is keeping things vague on purpose.

He likes having you chase him, it flatters his ego. It might even make him feel safe and less alone.

This is why he will try to wiggle his way out of any situation that might threaten the status quo.

The best and easiest way for him to do this is by simply ignoring the things you say or write that are uncomfortable for him.

Keep in mind, no response is in fact a response.

A guy who just goes silent when you’re confronting him about something, likely is not serious about you and doesn’t really want to be in a relationship.

6. He Keeps You Separate From His Friends and Family

Another classic sign that a man you’re into might just be too emotionally unavailable for any serious commitment is if he keeps you separate from his friends or family.

Some people are comfortable introducing their significant other to their loved ones right away. Others might need a few months before they are ready to take this step.

It takes time to overcome trust issues in a new relationship.

But if you two have been dating for half a year or longer, and you have been kept completely separated from all the other important people in his life…

Consider it a warning sign that he might be too mistrustful or guarded, to actually let you in and want a committed relationship with you.

7. He Blames You for Needing Basic Things From Him

A man who likes you and wants to keep you around but doesn’t want a relationship with you, will try to avoid taking responsibility as much as he can.

When you ask him for basic things, he isn’t willing to give, he will turn things around and try to make you feel guilty for needing anything from him at all.

He’ll make you feel as though you’re being unreasonable, needy or controlling.

When what you’re asking for are just basic things anybody needs like checking in with you, asking you out, reassuring you and showing you that he cares, texting first, trying to be on time etc.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not uncommon for men to get defensive when you tell them how you feel.

But someone who is serious about you, will make an effort to give you what you want, to whatever degree he can.

But if a guy you’re dating isn’t willing to come your way one little bit and keeps on blaming you for having any needs or demands at all, take it as a sign that he is likely too immature for serious commitment and doesn’t really want a relationship with you.

He is happy just taking and doesn’t want anything about that to change.

8. He Needs So Much Space, You’re Hardly Ever Together

It’s normal and healthy to need space from each other every now and then.

Especially when you’re still a fresh couple and your lives are very separate.

It’s also common for men to keep on pulling away from women they love, to test them and to test their patience…

It’s one thing to need space for one week in a month. Or even to spend as much time apart as you do talking to each other.

But if the guy you’re with pulls away so often and for long and you feel like you’re hardly ever together, it’s a sign he is likely very detached and emotionally unavailable.

So much so, he might just be too scared of closeness, to be able to build a stable relationship.

Even if he likes you a lot, he may still not want to be committed to you, because it’s just too much for him.

9. He Wants to Keep Things Undefined for Months on End

People rarely jump into defining their relationship right when they start dating each other.

It’s normal to need a few weeks or even a month or two before you start discussing commitment.

When my husband and I started dating, it took us about a month to become officially exclusive.

And we know from some of our coaching clients that they can need even longer before they’re ready to take this step.

It’s all well and good to take things slow. There should be a limit of how long you’re willing to wait for him to make up his mind, though.

Because a guy who wants to keep you around without being in a relationship with you, can try to drag this on forever.

Several months will pass, and he will continue needing things to be undefined.

If it’s been half a year or more, and you still never had the: “What are we?” conversation, it’s a definite sign that the guy you’re dating isn’t really serious about you.

For all you know, he might even be a player, purposely avoiding explicitly stating he is in a relationship with you, so that he can continue seeing other people behind your back…

How to Know for Sure That He Doesn’t Want a Relationship With You

One way you can know for sure that a guy, who likes you, doesn’t actually want a relationship with you is by putting him to a test.

But for you to be willing to take this step, you have to be ready to face the truth of where his feelings truly lie.

This is the tricky part.

It’s often easier to keep on chasing him and excusing him over and over, then face the fact that maybe this is just not meant to be.

As hard as it might be to let go, holding on forever is going to be even more painful for you.

Because the guy who doesn’t want a relationship with you will never give you a sense of stability and security everybody needs and craves.

And the truth is, you deserve BETTER!

This is why you need to put him through one final test.

It’ll be his last chance to prove to you if he is in fact serious or not.

Tell him once again where you’re at and what you need from him, and then stop all your efforts until he responds.

If he cares about you enough, he will get the message, cave in and give you what you want.

But if he just does nothing, then you’ll have your answer.

If you need more help getting yourself to feel ready, to put him through a test, this is something we can support with in a Coaching Call.

Here we will listen to you and empathize, so that you feel less alone with your situation.

We will then help you see things for what they are. This way you’ll be able to stand up to him, in a way that will have the highest of chances, of actually getting him to come around!

Click Here to Check Out Our Coaching Calls

If after reading all of this, you still feeling increasingly frustrated with how he has been treating you lately, check out my other post:

When Is Enough Enough? How to Know When to Give Up and Let Go

Thank you for reading! I hope you have more clarity now about why guys might keep you around when they don’t want a relationship with you.

If you have any question about any of the signs listed above, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.


Karolina Bartnik