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What to Do When He Says He Doesn't Want to Be In A Relationship

by Sabrina Alexis

Here is a scenario that is very common in this day and age. You meet a guy, you start hanging out, you spend a lot of time together, you enjoy each other, you have fun together, everything seems to be going great. You think that maybe this is finally it... but then he tells you he "doesn't want to be in an official relationship." 

He may give you an excuse (he just got out of a serious relationship, he needs to get his life in order, he doesn't like labels, he wants to keep things as they are, etc.), and you may believe it, but now you're at a crossroads. Do you stay or do you leave? How can you tell if he's ever going to want to commit

It's hard to just pack it up and call it a day because you really like him, and he also likes you. OK, so he can't commit right now...but that can change eventually, right? So why should you risk losing him forever, you may as well just stick it out and try to turn things around. This is the approach most women take, and unfortunately, it usually leads to heartbreak more than happily every after. 

Here is exactly what to do if your guy doesn't want to commit: 

  1. Believe him
    It may sound simple, but this is actually one of the trickiest steps of all, the one that most women fail to master. Instead of taking his words at face value, a lot of women either choose to ignore them or see them as some sort of opening offer that is up for negotiation.

    She might think: "Sure, he's saying that now but he'll change his mind once he realizes how amazing I am!" Or that if she tries a little harder, if she pushes past his walls a littler further, then she'll get the commitment she wants. Or maybe she decides to wait it out and give it more time...

    All of these are bad options. When a man says he doesn't want to be in a relationship, you have to believe him. Forget about his reasons and excuses. The reasons don't matter; the facts do. 

  2. Keep your options open
    It's important to remember that you are single until you are in an official relationship. That means, don't act like his girlfriend when he isn't your boyfriend. In the best-case scenario, this will naturally happen. Other times, you'll need to confront him and initiate "the talk" to see where you stand.

    It doesn't matter how much you like him or how perfect you think he is, you are single until it is clearly and explicitly stated otherwise. This means you don't take down your dating profiles or turn down other potential suitors or mentally close yourself off to the possibility of dating someone else. You don't necessarily have to go out with other guys; just don't cut yourself off from the possibility. Basically, don't put all your eggs in one basket in invest in this guy before he has shown a reciprocal level of investment. 

  3. Don't try to win him over
    When a man won't commit, some women (very confident ones, usually) will see it as his loss and move on. However, the majority of women will do the opposite and try to win him over and prove they're worthy. They will be extra loving, extra doting, extra affectionate, extra everything. She may believe if she shows him how amazing she is, then he'll realize he can't live without her.

    Here's the thing, though. Men don't fall in love with a woman because of what she does; they fall in love based on how they feel in her presence. If getting a man to fall in love were as easy as cooking his favorite meals and mastering some intricate techniques in the bedroom then relationships would be a cinch!

    Being desperate for his approval is not what will win his heart. It doesn't feel good to be around someone like that, you feel like they are trying to get something out of you, like they have an agenda, and it's off-putting. 

  4. Get clear on what you want
    Do you want to be in a committed relationship? Are you cool with leaving things open ended and label-free? Figure out exactly what it is you want and how you will respond if this guy won't give it to you.

    Don't be ashamed of your own wants, or think you're being unreasonable. Confident people never feel this way. Instead, they recognize what they want and deserve and they don't settle for less than that.

    Before you even bring up the topic of exclusivity and have the dreaded "what are we?" conversation, get totally clear on what you want and how you will react should the conversation not go the way you would like. 

  5. Know when it's time to walk away
    An important, albeit painful, thing to realize is that usually when a man says he doesn't want to be in a relationship, he means he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you.

    When a man is in love with you, he wants to be with you. And when he likes you, it's obvious. When you have to guess and wonder and have conversations about what's going on in the relationship, it's usually a bad sign, a sign that he isn't into you enough to commit to you. And that's OK. One of the most empowering things to realize is that not everyone is a match, sometimes it doesn't work out and that's no big deal.

    When it's the right guy, things will usually come together pretty easily and effortlessly. There will be no force, no plotting, no stressing, and no analyzing. It will just click into place without all the drama. 


Sabrina Alexis is a bestselling author and co-founder and editorial director of A New Mode,  a women's lifestyle site with a focus on dating and relationships. Join A New Mode's mailing list for daily relationship advice and answers to all your burning questions:   Permission granted for use on 

Tags: Attitude, Behavior, Choose Wisely-Treat Kindly, Dating, Relationships, Tips
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