guy saying no

Have you been seeing a guy for a while, but it isn’t developing into something more serious? Do you have feelings for him and want to be his girlfriend, but you aren’t sure if he feels the same way? Unfortunately, this is a widespread predicament, and most of us have been there. Figuring out whether he really wants you or is just bridging the gap between relationships is not always easy. Here are some of the signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

1. You always initiate contact

A tell-tale sign that a man is not as invested in you as you are when you always text him first, never the other way around. Of course, everybody has different texting habits and different needs for levels of contact. However, if this is becoming a steady pattern, it could be a sign that your feelings for each other are not equal.

2. He is difficult to get hold of

Obviously, people are often busy with work or other commitments. A guy not answering your texts quickly every time is not necessarily a bad sign. However, if this is a constant occurrence and you can’t see to get hold of him even when you know he is free, this is different. An emotionally unavailable guy is likely to be uninterested.

3. He cancels plans often

Sometimes busy adults have to cancel plans when unexpected events occur. However, if he is canceling plans to hang out at the last minute more often than not, developing a relationship with you may not be his priority. Perhaps he would rather spend time with his friends and family, or he may even be seeing other girls too. Instead of worrying about the reasons for this, it may be best to move on.

4. He never wants to take you out on dates

couples legs on the couch

Are you waiting for him to ask you out on a “proper” date, but it never happens? Perhaps you have even asked him yourself, and he just said he would rather hang out at home? Suppose he never wants to go out with you for coffee, for a meal, to a bar, or any other activity. In that case, he may not see you as relationship material. If all of your hangouts are in the home, this may be how he sees things.

5. You don’t spend time outside of the bedroom

If he never wants to go out on dates, you may be wondering why he keeps you around if he doesn’t want a relationship. There are several possible reasons for this, but one of them seems to be the most common. Often, guys want to keep you around just to get laid, without wanting the other commitments of a relationship. If you spend most of your time together in your bedroom, this is a sign that he only wants one thing from you.

6. He doesn’t make much effort with you

If you are looking for clear signs a man is not emotionally invested in your relationship, look at how much effort he makes with you. Of course, everyone has days where they are simply too tired to make much effort with anything. However, even if he is exhausted after a long day and doesn’t have the energy to cook you a fancy meal, there are other ways to show that he cares about you. If he wants a relationship, he will make an effort, even if it means simple gestures.

7. He talks about seeing other people

When it comes to clear signs that your relationship is only casual, a guy mentioning that he is seeing other girls is one of the most unquestionable. One of the most obvious ways that a man may let you know he doesn’t want to take things seriously is by doing this. If he makes it clear there are other women in his life, try not to invest yourself emotionally in him. If you already have done so, it is probably time to move on!

8. He avoids deep conversations

couple at home watching netflix

In serious relationships, a man will want to get to know you on the deepest level possible. When you really like someone, you want to know everything about them and to have them understand everything about you. If he only makes small talk, never asks you personal questions, and steers away from deep conversations, he may not see you as a long-term fixture in his life. After all, most of us don’t open up completely to people we aren’t extremely close to.

9. He doesn’t want to “label” things

It is normal to be cautious about putting labels such as “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” on a person after you’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks or less. However, if you’ve been hanging out, sleeping together, and doing “couples’ stuff” for months, but the guy doesn’t want to “label” your relationship, this could be a bad sign.

10. He doesn’t remember things you tell him

When we really like someone romantically, we are usually more likely to remember little things that they tell us. This is because they are always on our minds! Nobody will remember literally everything you say during conversations. Still, if you keep having to remind a guy of everything, this is a sign he either has memory problems or is just not that interested.

11. He is mostly AWOL on the weekends

Men in relationships are often happy to spend Friday and Saturday nights with their partners, either at home with a movie and takeout or taking their girl out on the town. Young single guys, however, are often more eager to hit the bars and clubs with their boys on these nights. If a man is hard to reach on the weekend, he is likely busy hanging with his friends (trying to pick up girls may be included in this). However, notice how I used the word “mostly.” There are exceptions to this, which bring us onto the next sign.

12. You are only his backup plan

sad woman looking at her phone

Suppose you have been trying to get hold of him while he has been on a night out. You hear nothing until the early hours of the morning (usually a misspelled text or a slurred phone call or voicemail message). In that case, he may just be using you as his “backup plan.” Perhaps he tried and failed to take another girl home and instead ended up drunkenly contacting you because he knows you are there for him.

This is not just limited to this situation. If he generally only contacts you when his other plans have fallen through, he probably does not see you as a priority.

13. He wants things to stay the way they are

A man who doesn’t want a relationship with you is likely to reject your suggestions of doing any activities together (unless those activities are sexual). This is because he already has everything he wants from you and doesn’t feel like integrating you into his life. He may say this outright or simply show reluctance to change anything about your arrangement. If every single date is the same, you are likely to get bored and move on before too long.

14. He doesn’t hide his flaws around you

When we really have feelings about someone, we usually want to impress them as much as we can. If he makes no effort to hide his flaws, he may not see you as a serious partner. Although a guy may be honest and vulnerable because he trusts you, this is different. A man who makes no effort to be the best version of himself around you probably doesn’t care much about you.

15. Your time together never matches your expectations

Have you noticed that your thoughts of him are much more positive when you aren’t with him? You may find yourself daydreaming about him and the “connection” you share, but when you do hang out with him, it never lives up to what you fantasized about. I saw a guy once I was obsessed with and couldn’t wait until the next time I saw him. When this time came, it was always underwhelming and just felt like hanging out with a friend. This frustrated me a lot, but ultimately it was a result of my own expectations being inaccurate.

16. He seems distracted

guy looking through the window

Even though he says he wants to see you, he may still seem distracted when you do hang out. Perhaps he is looking at his phone the whole time or just seems distant and always thinks about something else. Either way, your time together is not at the forefront of his mind. If this always happens, it is one of the signs a man may not be interested in developing the relationship further.

17. He doesn’t want to introduce you to his family

You have probably experienced how your family can assume every guy you talk to is your boyfriend. You introduce one male friend to your family, and three years later, grandma is still asking when the two of you are getting married. I’ve definitely been there! If a man makes excuses not to introduce you to the people in his life, this may mean he doesn’t want them to think you are a couple. If he wanted to be your boyfriend, he probably wouldn’t feel like this was an issue.

18. He never hangs out with you in public

Sometimes it is not just family he doesn’t want you to meet, but also his friends. Being introduced to friends and family can complicate things if the two of you are not serious, so he’d rather avoid this. A man may try to keep your relationship in secret because he is seeing other girls, and his friends could bring that up in conversation. If all of your meetings are behind closed doors and never outdoors in daylight, a relationship with you is probably not in his plans.

19. He is hot and cold toward you

Does he act very enthusiastic and engaged with you at one moment and then seem disinterested the next? This may be a sign he doesn’t really want a relationship with you. He might be conflicted inside, or he may occasionally show disinterest so that he doesn’t seem too attached to you. Either way, it is rarely a sign of commitment and interest.

20. He won’t commit to long-term plans

woman sitting on the floor with eyes closed

One of the most apparent signs that a man only sees your arrangement as a temporary thing is a reluctance or refusal to commit to any long-term plans. Does he change the topic of conversation when you talk about the future? Does he only ever answer “maybe” when you suggest doing something together a few weeks or months from now? If this is the case, he probably doesn’t know if he will feel like spending time with you at that point.

21. He hides his phone from you

Of course, it is perfectly normal to not trust someone with full access to your phone or laptop on the first few dates. However, if you’ve been dating for weeks or even months and a guy still angles his phone away from you, this may be a sign that he is trying to hide something. He may be talking to other girls or may simply not want to open up every aspect of his life and interests to you. Either way, he likely does not see you as girlfriend material.

22. He is still active on dating apps

If a guy is cagey about you seeing his phone, it may be because he is still on dating apps, even if he has told you or led you to believe he isn’t. One way to work out if this is the case is to ask any friends who use these apps if they have seen him. I learned this the hard way once—while describing a promising new man I was dating to a friend, she asked, “Is this him?” and showed me his Tinder profile on her phone. He had even been messaging her during one of our dates! Safe to say, he didn’t get to see either of us again after that.

23. He tells that he doesn’t want a relationship

Some girls believe that they can change a guy or turn a man from a player into a committed and happily monogamous boyfriend. Does this ever happen? Sometimes, yes. Is it likely in most cases? Usually not. If a man tells you that he doesn’t want a relationship with you (or any relationship, for that matter), this doesn’t mean he secretly wants you to change his mind. Most of the time, he is probably just being honest and upfront with you.

Do these signs definitely mean he doesn’t want you around?

signs he doesnt want a relationship with you

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that 53% of active daters find it challenging to meet someone who is looking for the same type of relationship. If you notice just one or two of these signs, that does not mean that you have conclusive proof of anything. There are many different reasons a guy might seem distracted, nervous, forgetful, or closed-off. For example, men with money problems may be unable to take you out on dates but are embarrassed to admit it. Don’t panic if you notice a sign or two, but everything else seems great. However, if several or more of these signs seem familiar, perhaps it is time to consider whether seeing him is the best thing for you.

What to do when he doesn’t want a relationship with you

Have you considered these signs carefully and come to the unfortunate conclusion that the man you are seeing doesn’t want a relationship? You may be wondering what you can do next. It may be tempting to hold onto him or convince him that you would be a great girlfriend. This probably isn’t the best course of action—trying to force something that isn’t to be is only likely to push him away faster.

Besides, if he is not into you, he is unlikely to be a good boyfriend even if he agrees to give it a go. Although you may feel attached to him, you don’t really want a relationship that lacks enthusiasm and love. This kind of relationship is unlikely to succeed, and the failure of it can be more upsetting than not getting into a relationship in the first place.

If a guy doesn’t want you as his girlfriend, don’t blame yourself or wonder what is wrong with you—not everyone is suitable for everyone! He may also simply just not be ready for a relationship with anyone at this point in his life. If he is after a casual relationship, you should only continue with him if this is what you want too. However, if you wish to be with someone who loves you deeply and is serious about you, you should probably cut your losses and move on to the next guy.

Brenda is relationships and lifestyle writer, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of new experiences. You’ll usually find her in a coffee shop with her laptop and a flat white scribbling down an article or searching for the next travel destination.

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