5 Signs He Wants a Relationship but Is Scared

Couple taking selfie.

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Trying to figure out if a guy wants to be in a relationship with you can have its challenges. You may try to dissect his every word and spend time interpreting his every move in order to understand how he actually feels about you and if he wants to commit to you. Fortunately, there are five key signs that can help to clue you in that he wants a relationship with you but is scared to take that leap.

1. He Has Deep Conversations With You But Then Pulls Away 

A classic sign that a guy is into you but is too afraid to admit it is that he opens up to you only to pull away soon after. For instance, if you have deep conversations about your pasts, your families, and your hopes and dreams for the future, he’s showing you that he’s able to be vulnerable around you and that he wants to confide in you. However, when a guy is scared of being in a relationship, he’ll often try to offset these moments of emotional intimacy by pulling away and acting more distant and aloof soon after—only to come back to you and start the process all over again. If your guy tends to emotionally invest in you and your connection only to seemingly retreat soon after, it’s clear that this guy wants something more with you but is too scared to admit it.

2. He’s Mentioned He’s Been Hurt in the Past

Is your guy just getting out of a serious relationship?

Has he told you that he was blindsided, hurt, or betrayed by an ex? In many instances, a man may want to be in a relationship with you but is too scared or worried to pursue anyone new because of a negative experience from the past. Breakups can be emotional roller coasters, and it can be hard to move on from an ex and risk ending up brokenhearted once again.

And while this guy may be truly interested in having something more with you and starting a real relationship, he may be scared and scarred by what he went through with a previous girlfriend. He may see you as a potential partner at some point in the future, but in this moment he’s not ready for anything new or serious and is frightened to take that major step.

3. He Hangs Out With You on Non-Dates

When a guy wants a relationship with you but is too scared, he’ll look to spend time with you in ways that don’t seem like actual dates. For instance, instead of taking the lead and asking you out to dinner and drinks, he may hint that he’ll be in your neighborhood and was thinking of checking out a spot in your area if you happen to be around that night. Rather than deliberately and definitively asking you out, he’ll find roundabout ways to try to spend more time with you without having to put himself out there and go on an official date. That way, he doesn’t have to risk rejection or ridicule and can still spend time with you, which is what he’d like to ultimately do. Guys who are scared will often resort to these types of non-date tactics in order to hang out with you without any additional pressure.

4. He Takes Things Slowly

Relationships can develop at different paces, but if you notice that your guy is taking things very slowly, this can be a clear indicator that he’s scared to jump into a relationship with you. For example, while you may be used to having the exclusivity talk after two or three months of dating, you may have already spent six months with this guy and still not know exactly where you stand with him and where your growing connection is going. If things are moving at a glacial pace, this is a common approach of men who are hesitant about getting serious too soon, and they'll keep going on dates with you without giving you any clear indicator that they want something more with you. If your guy is currently on the slow track, it’s up to you to decide if you want to stick things out with him or move on to someone else.

5. He's Vague About the Future 

When a man is scared of being in a relationship, he’ll often choose to dodge or deflect questions about a future with you and remain more detached. For instance, while you may want to plan a weekend getaway with him for a few months down the road, he’ll give you hints that he’s interested in this idea but won’t settle on a specific date. When a man shows interest in a future with you but won’t take that next step, it’s clear that he’s too scared to be in a relationship and make that kind of major commitment to you at this point.