12 Painful Signs He Doesn’t Want A Relationship With You

Suffering and Healing | | , Senior Editor & Correspondent
Updated On: November 22, 2023
signs he doesn't want a relationship with you

What is pretty obvious to one person may not be to another — This statement describes my best friend’s relationship so well. A few months ago, I told her gently, “We are concerned. It’s becoming obvious to us that he is no longer interested in you. He’s been showing many signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you, love.” 

But she clung on and kept excusing his bad behavior: “I know that he likes me but doesn’t want a relationship yet. It doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to commit in the future.” It got me thinking. Why couldn’t this bright, beautiful girl see what was right in front of her? I decided to explore this interesting topic in a bit more detail. If my friend’s situation sort of describes what you are going through, please read on. I intend to share 12 painful signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you and what you need to do about it.  

Why Is It Important To Know The Signs A Guy Is Just Keeping You Around

A committed relationship is one where both feel the same way about each other. If you’re always the one making an effort, reminding him to follow through with his promises, or perpetually feeling disappointed when he doesn’t, then these are the first few signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

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The guy couldn’t be bothered and only seems to be around to enjoy the perks that come with an always-available girlfriend. But the impact on you is quite clear as your emotional health is suffering. So, why is it important to know the signs a guy is just keeping you around? Because facing the truth will help you to:

  • Protect your emotional well-being: If he doesn’t want a serious relationship and is stringing you along, it will soon impact your self-esteem. Get out when you can to protect your heart and mind
  • Maintain your self-respect: How on earth can anyone feel good when they know their relationship means nothing to their partner? Especially if you’ve begun to see the signs he wants you to leave him alone
  • Avoid wasting time and energy: The emotions and energy you invest in this relationship are not worth it. It’s better to redirect these to other pursuits or relationships
  • Make better choices for your future: Letting go of a going-nowhere relationship will allow you to make better decisions for your future
  • Prioritize yourself: I get angry seeing my friend put her needs and happiness on the back burner. At some level, I believe she knows that she is nothing more than a booty call when he wants some physical intimacy. But when the text messages or calls come in, the hope on her face is gut-wrenching as we all see premium tears loading
  • Create better future relationships: The hurt and anger from such a relationship, if unresolved, will find its way into the next one. Getting out is the only way to take charge of your personal life

Don’t ignore your instincts or even the few red flags that are signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you. Leaving early will allow for a quicker recovery otherwise, it does too much damage to your self-esteem and self-worth.

Related Reading: Exclusive Dating: Meaning, Readiness And Rules

12 Signs That Indicate He Doesn’t Want A Relationship With You

Don’t wait until he walks out to realize the man of your dreams is not into you. There are some subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you, wherever the reason may be. Let’s explore 12 of them. These should serve as warning signs for you to exit the relationship.

1. He explicitly says he doesn’t want a relationship right now

It may be very painful when a guy you adore expresses disinterest in commitment. But at least he is being honest with you. Anything else would be a bad sign as it could be indicative of someone playing games. Take his words at face value, and don’t try to convince him to get on the same page as you.

Also, don’t try to give yourself false reassurance by saying, “He doesn’t want a relationship right now but he likes me.” If he did, he would enter a serious relationship with you and see how things work out. He’s showing all the signs he is not into you. Accept it.

2. A man doesn’t want to be with you anymore if he avoids defining the relationship

We were surprised when my friend asked one day, “Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship? Even his body language is different around other people; he prefers to keep a distance between us. Making excuses for all this comes naturally to him, too.” When she pointed out his behavior to him, he said she was overreacting to absolutely nothing.

Well, I told her that was a big deal and could be a warning sign that he was casually dating her. Or he could be dating someone else too and just stringing her along. If he constantly deflects conversations about the nature of your relationship, these are important signs that he’s not interested in labeling your dynamic.

3. He doesn’t introduce you to his social circle

signs he doesn't want you
If he ignores you, he may not want a relationship with you

A man who likes you as much as you like him will be the first to introduce you to those who matter to him. It will be important for him that you get along with them, especially when he has a long-term picture of your relationship in mind. If he continues to keep you a secret, consider it a sign he doesn’t want a serious relationship.

A Reddit user expressed her concern that her boyfriend doesn’t introduce her to his friends. One user responded like this, “My real friends always know what’s going on in my life, and it’s not what’s on my social media, which I mostly have to use for work.” Another Reddit user talked about their partner, “He’s a very private person and doesn’t share private info online but he makes it clear that he’s in a relationship with me. There’s a BIG difference between being private and HIDING things.”

Another user said that her ex kept her separate from his life “so breaking up the relationship would be much much easier because he didn’t make a lot of effort to fully integrate me into his life in the first place.” Here’s what many people on this thread felt: If he truly loves you, why keep you a secret?

Related Reading: How To Love Yourself In A Relationship – 21 Practical Tips

4. He prioritizes other plans or people over you

We organized a big do for my friend’s birthday. On D-Day, her boyfriend simply didn’t show up because a friend of his was coming into town. Ironically, the said friend was going to be around for some time, so it wasn’t like they wouldn’t catch up another day. Needless to say, the birthday was ruined for her.

Such patterns of behavior are the clearest signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you anymore:

  • You’re always an afterthought
  • He may consistently cancel plans with you to make time for other commitments
  • He has no problem accepting other plans even if you already had yours made

Such actions are a big sign that you’re not a priority in his life. It’s time you learn how to make him realize your worth or move on.

Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You – Don’t Waste Your Time!

5. A man is not feeling a relationship if he lacks emotional availability

You may have laid bare your emotions to this guy and have confided in him about the things that keep you awake at night. However, has he opened up to you the way you have to him? When a man is not willing to share his fears and things in life that drive him, it is among the saddest signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you. Yes, even when a man is avoiding a relationship, he may keep talking about his feelings and his past. But it’ll all be shared in a superficial light.

Emotional intimacy is crucial for a fulfilling, committed relationship. If the dude is emotionally distant, avoids discussing personal matters, or shuts down, he’s not invested in an emotional connection. Indeed, he is displaying clear signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you at all. But please note he may be emotionally unavailable due to some trauma or an underlying issue. He may need to heal from the past relationship before entering another.

6. He doesn’t show signs of affection

Let’s refer to my friend’s story again to be able to spot more signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you anymore. “My man is no longer affectionate,” said my friend. “He hardly touches me even when I try. He’s forgotten how to give compliments. I miss the little things he used to do.” Even the sexual intimacy had faded and boiled down to mechanical moves. Come on, darling sister, please see the signs a guy is just keeping you around at this point.

The lack of affection is the loudest indicator that you have sunk to the level of a booty call or an emotional cushion. You may just be one of the multiple women who allow him to get his rocks off without emotional intimacy or commitment. A Reddit user summarizes her experience: She started feeling that her partner was losing interest. There were no more cuddly conversations, gifts, or thoughtful notes. It took a whole year before he finally left. Now, she is more aware of what she deserves and doesn’t think the loss of affection is a normal part of the relationship cycle. 

7. Signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you anymore: He mentions other potential partners or compares you to others

Like most women, I have had to learn a lesson of my own too. I really like this guy and have been hoping for more. It is clear he enjoys my company but doesn’t want a relationship. Mostly because of how he speaks about other girls. He tends to admire or lust after them openly and may occasionally compare me to his ex. He also seems to like his female friend more than me. Clearly, his focus is not on developing a meaningful connection with me.

I know that a man who likes me will never disrespect me by openly showing interest in other girls. So, yeah, a man is not feeling a relationship if his relationship talk includes his future dating scenarios — With you not in them.

Related Reading: 20 Signs You Are Ready To Be In An Exclusive Relationship

8. Red flags of someone who’s not ready to commit to you — He’s inconsistent with communication and effort

If his communication and effort fluctuate greatly, it can be confusing and emotionally draining. One moment, he may seem attentive and engaged, and the next, he may disappear or become unresponsive. Here is how it typically goes.

You light up when you see text messages from him. You talk for a few minutes. You may feel content now that you have the man’s attention. However, things die down after that, and silence reigns. He doesn’t text you back or takes forever to. You keep waiting patiently, hoping he will notice your absence. You may feel more disturbed if you see his social media posts and stories. Knowing he has been active but ignoring your presence may make you feel miserable.

But he may text again, and you may get your dose of attention for the moment. Everything could seem fine again. However, this is a ludicrous cycle and a strong sign that he is not interested in a relationship with you.

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9. He doesn’t include you in future plans

When you really like him, your mind may paint rosy pictures of long-term scenarios ahead. For example, you may want him to be your date for a wedding, attend a concert together, or even go on nice trips. However, he may skillfully steer clear of making long-term plans when he doesn’t want a relationship. It also means that there are fundamental issues with commitment. Don’t live out the lie that “he doesn’t want a relationship right now but he likes me a lot.” No, there’s no future there.

10. He’s quick to make excuses or deflect responsibility

Other signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you are if he frequently makes excuses for his behavior or avoids taking responsibility for his actions. It indicates a lack of maturity and accountability. For instance, he was meant to call you last night but he didn’t. On pointing this out, he says you could have called him too, even though he had told you not to. He manages to come up with the most ridiculous reasons for not doing things. Yet he will never accept that he is in the wrong. Think about it for a minute: Would he do this to someone he wants to commit to? Accept it, the man is not feeling a relationship right now, or ever.

11. He prioritizes casual intimacy over emotional connection

The man is not feeling a relationship if he thinks you’re a booty call. He is engaging you in steamy conversations over text, or maybe he has shown interest in getting intimate. If sex is a recurring subject in your conversations, it is a clear sign he doesn’t want you as a partner but simply wants to get physical with you.

If you also want to have just a sexual relationship, it is up to you. But then, it cannot be treated as a doorway to a meaningful long-term relationship. All of this points to the signs that he is just there for sex but doesn’t love you. Forget about the relationship progressing to anything beyond that.

12. Your intuition tells you something is off

I asked my friend to be honest about what she felt about her situation. Her reply was, “I know I said he doesn’t want a relationship right now but he likes me. I did hope that he would change his mind one day. But my gut tells me there’s nothing worth pursuing. He has obviously lost interest and is emotionally unavailable for a committed relationship.”

Pay attention to how you feel around him. If you consistently feel uneasy, unsure, or undervalued, trust your intuition. Your inner voice can often pick up on subtle cues that your conscious mind may miss.

5 Things You Can Do If He Doesn’t Want A Relationship With You 

You have been trying to hold on to the love you think exists, but a new reality is dawning on you. There is no saving this romantic love. Now comes the big question, “What to do when he says he doesn’t want a relationship?” It may feel like your life is about to come to a crashing end, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Related Reading: When A Guy Cancels A Date – 5 Common Scenarios And What You Should Text

1. Allow yourself to feel your emotions

It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or disappointed. Acknowledging and accepting your emotions is a crucial step in the healing process. Remember, he may have feelings but not want a relationship at that particular moment. That’s his right, as long as he’s not leading you on.

Don’t stick around, hoping he will change his mind. Process what you are feeling and if he was honest with you, take that as a good sign. Maybe he is not boyfriend material, maybe he likes another girl or wants to spend time with multiple women before he settles down. He could be doing you a favor, as he could be the type of guy women don’t want to date. That has nothing to do with you, so don’t personalize it. Listen, acknowledge, process, and move on.

2. What to do when he says he doesn’t want a relationship? Reflect on the relationship

How can he have feelings but not want a relationship, now or in the future? — A common head-scratcher. When a man doesn’t want a relationship even though he feels for you romantically, it can be very frustrating and will affect his and your personal life. But remember, his decision isn’t always about you.

The second scenario is when a man doesn’t want to be with you anymore. Take some time to reflect on the relationship you had together. Identify what you learned from it, and don’t look at it as a failure. It will help you gain closure and move forward with clarity about what you want in future romantic liaisons.

Related Reading: 13 Signs He Disrespects You And Does Not Deserve You 

3. Prioritize self-care and cut him off if he doesn’t want a relationship

I have an optimistic view when a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship right now. To me, it is a blessing because I don’t have to spend time trying to spark dating chemistry, hoping he will fall in love. So, engage in activities that bring you joy and comfort instead of wasting time and effort in a futile pursuit. Focus on your physical and mental health and well-being by eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

4. Reconnect with friends and family

I told my friend that she needed to cut him off if he doesn’t want a relationship. She should instead lean on her loved ones as she recovers from the disappointment. Spending quality time with loved ones can provide the necessary emotional support and encouragement.

Related Reading: What He Thinks When You Ignore Him – 11 Surprising Revelations

5. Avoid rushing into another relationship

The final bit of advice I gave my friend was to take some time for herself before rushing into a relationship again. This is important because she needs the space to heal and reflect on what she truly desires in a partner. Your new partner deserves someone who’s entirely available for a commitment, and not hung up on the past.

Key Pointers

  • How do you know a man doesn’t want a serious relationship? Because you both are not on the same page. The man doesn’t want to be with you anymore if he is heading in the opposite direction
  • Mixed signals that raise concerns are obvious signs that your partner is losing interest or is more interested in casual relationships
  • Physical intimacy could dial down to nothing more than a booty call. He may have feelings but not want a relationship at that particular time in his life
  • An emotionally unavailable partner can damage your self-esteem and self-worth, so seek clarity and move on

When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship right now, it is bound to sting. However, at least he is being upfront with you. It’s when the guy you’re with starts sending all sorts of mixed signals but continues to keep you around that things get complicated. When that happens, just don’t sit around and wait for him. There is no changing his mind and getting him into a serious relationship if that is not where his mind is right now.  

FAQs

1. Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship?

There could be many reasons why he is keeping you around. You could be his buffer or he just expects physical intimacy. Sometimes, guys can be confused and may not even know why they want you around. If he is too confused, don’t ignore this red flag. You need to be on the same page with regard to your relationship status. He should know if he’s ready for a serious relationship or not. However, if your gut instinct is screaming, run!

2. Why does he keep texting me if he doesn’t want a relationship?

Some guys will text you when it is convenient for them, sparking the common question, “Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship?” Simple, it is because you are available, and he feels he can play around with you when he feels like it. It gets worse if there is physical intimacy without the label of being in a serious relationship. Do yourself a favor and see the warning signs early on. 

3. What do I do if he doesn’t want a relationship?

When a guy says he doesn’t want a long-term relationship right now, try to move on. We cannot force our choices on someone. Take your time to get over it. Always believe that there is something better in store for you.

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