When He Says He Doesn't Want a Relationship

Couple holding hands in cafe
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Ruby asks, "I've been dating a guy for a few months and things are going well. We talk for hours, hang out several times a week, and we're both really attracted to each other. He tells me I fascinate him, he's affectionate with me, and we have a ton of things in common. Basically, this is the kind of relationship I've been looking for!

Problem is, he's not looking for a relationship and has said as much. Repeatedly. When I try to discuss it with him, he pulls away and changes the subject, or gets mad and says these things can't be forced.

I'm frustrated. I feel like I've been looking forever to find what we have and he's not feeling it in the same way at all. What can I do?

Ruby, your question touches on something that, I believe, a lot of women want to know. Namely, why can't I find the right guy? Or, I think he's great and I want to see where things can go, but he wants to keep things light and easy. He's not ready or wanting a relationship right now.

Someone I used to date reminded me while writing this article that there is another option - that the guy seriously isn't ready for a relationship, and it wouldn't matter who he was dating because he just wasn't able to commit at this time. That may well be true in your situation; there's no way for me to tell. But no matter what his reasoning is, my answer is still the same:

You won't find what you want until you stop accepting what you don't want.

If for whatever reason, your guy isn't giving you what you want, it's time to move on.

Perhaps he's unable to commit, or being dishonest. Maybe he's dating other women still, mooching off you, or otherwise being a pain in the butt. If any of those things apply, then your choice should be obvious - his problems are his own, but you aren't going to change them. The only thing you are responsible for is you, so that means doing what you need to do: leave.

If he's really an outstanding guy and treating you like gold, then there's no need to do anything so drastic. Instead, try avoiding your relationship status for a few weeks - barring any discussions required about safe sex and outside partners, if this applies. Focus entirely on giving yourself whatever it is you think he brings to the table.

See if releasing that pressure to 'be your boyfriend' changes anything. If it doesn't, and he still won't budge, then again, it's time to go. He's not giving you what you want. There are a lot of negotiables in a relationship, but if you want a relationship and he doesn't, it's time to find someone that's as excited to be with you as you are, them.

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