Why Does He Keep Me Around If He Doesn't Want A Relationship?
By: Carlos Cavallo
Have you ever been dating a guy who keeps you at arm's length? And you wonder: "Why does he keep me around if he doesn't want a relationship?" And why does he keep coming back?
It's a valid question, for sure. As a relationship expert, I hear this one quite a bit.
You might also wonder:
Should I stay, or should I go?
Why does he keep seeing me if he doesn't want a relationship?
Why is he sending mixed signals?
He doesn't want a relationship, but he also doesn't want me to date other people... why?
After all, why would he continue to date you if he wasn't interested in making a commitment to you?
Well, as we're going to explore here, there are a lot of reasons he might not want to go further with you.
Why Does He Keep Coming Back If He Doesn't Want A Relationship?
Before we get into the reasons he would do this, I have an important question for you:
Why is a guy who is NOT interested in a relationship more interesting to you than a guy who does?
This one is going to ruffle some feathers out there, but it's an important question. All too often, I find that my coaching clients are more obsessed with guys who are reluctant to get into a relationship.
Now that you have him, what's next...
I call this the "hard-to-get" syndrome. We're almost always more interested in the people that are harder to catch than the ones that are ready for a relationship.
But the real problem comes up when you start becoming obsessed with winning this guy when you know he's NOT the right man for you!
This is a very real problem for both men and women, where they put their brains on hold and start pursuing a person ONLY because they're a challenge. Not because they're the right person for them.
I distinctly remember talking to a woman on a phone coaching call who was practically obsessed with making a guy commit to her. Her feelings were running the show, and her rational mind had been shut down.
But, as I pointed out on the call:
He was verbally abusive...
He had anger issues...
He was insecure...
He wasn't satisfying her (in bed or otherwise)...
And that was just scratching the surface!
When I asked her:
"Why do you want this guy? A guy that is clearly not right for you?"
She just sat there in silence, and then proceeded to ignore my question. The next thing she asked me was, "Do you think if I gave him some space he might want me back?"
Facepalm... big time.
And she wasn't even dating him! This guy had ended this relationship with her a few weeks earlier. He wasn't what she wanted, and she wasn't what HE wanted.
And yet she couldn't let go of this past relationship - or this guy!
Now, this is an extreme example of this, but it's much more common than you might think.
So the important thing is to check yourself first before you get too attached to an unhealthy relationship that really isn't worth chasing.
Look, it's no secret that guys are more focused on sex when it comes to the start of a relationship. We try endlessly to jump in bed with you. Or so it seems.
Is he confused?
But here's the reality: The faster you sleep with him, the less likely he will fall in love with you.(Oh, there are lots of opinions out there on this, but in your heart of hearts, you know it's true.)
Men are programmed to look for women who challenge us and inspire us to become better men. This has not changed in hundreds of thousands of years, and I hope it doesn't ever change. It's a great system!
The process of falling in love is a sequential recipe.
This means that the ingredients that make it work come one after the other. If anything is out of order, the recipe for Love will not work!
Which is why sex is never ingredient #1. That's a big mistake. That guarantees he doesn't want a relationship afterwards.
One of the big reasons men keep seeing you without a relationship is that he's just satisfying THIS need of his. (Men have a physiological reason for this drive toward getting laid, and I explain it clearly here)
Guys will gladly stay in a relationship that is purely physical, until something - or someone - better comes along. He'll tread water for as long as she lets him get away with it.
REASON 2: He acts like your boyfriend because he thinks that's what you want...
Guys sometimes also get caught up in the game of "Well, she won't sleep with me if she thinks I'm not going to be her boyfriend." And a lot of the time, he'd probably be right.
You're out on dates and having fun...
But he's not being dishonest to hurt you, or mislead you. He just doesn't realize that if he were straight up about his intentions, then you could be too. Who knows, maybe you'd only keep him around as a "boy on the side."
There are a lot of expectations involved in love and dating. And let's face it - Americans (a big part of my audience) are sometimes torn by mixed messages about physical intimacy in their lives.
He might be playing the role of boyfriend, but not want to go any further right now. And that might be why you feel some resistance from him, too.
The best thing is to be clear with him if you do or don't want to take the relationship into more committed territory. If he doesn't hear from you that you want more, he'll just keep giving you what he has been.
Especially if he's heard no complaints...
REASON 3: He doesn't know what you really want in the relationship
Yeah, this is related to the last one, and it really does need to be said - even at the risk of repeating myself.
If a guy doesn't know what you really want - probably because you haven't told him - he's not going to push the relationship forward on his own.
What do you want...?
I've found myself dating women in the past that were very unclear about where they wanted our relationship to go. Now, I figure most of them were conditioned to stay quiet in fear of scaring me off.
But the problem was, I wanted a relationship!
And you know what? Most guys DO too! We don't want a "friendship with benefits" for long.
Guys are only "commitment-phobic" when we don't think THIS woman is the RIGHT woman for us. Then we try to play the "let's keep sleeping together" game while simultaneously trying to not show her that we don't see a future.
And the truth is, most women would agree with our assessment. They also know when they're not Miss Right for us.
But, as I said before, many women stay in a relationship purely because they have put so much time in already. I find that it's much harder for women to walk away from relationships than men.
I've even had a girlfriend tell me - (as I was breaking up with her): "Yeah, I know you're not the right one for me, but I just don't want to let go!"
How many times has this happened to you?
Have you ever been caught up in a relationship you knew was definitely NOT "The One" - but you just couldn't let go?
Maybe you couldn't handle the grief of the loss... Maybe you worried that you wouldn't get another chance...
All of those worries are fears that our mind invents for us.
And they cripple us.
Remember: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
Don't sit silent in your relationship hoping that he'll just "catch on" that you want something more secure and committed. It's been said before, but if you don't tell someone what you want, you can't blame them for not giving it to you.
Men don't function in a relationship the way women do. We don't have the same assumptions as women about "where this is going" or "what this is."
For a guy, whatever is happening RIGHT NOW is typically all we're looking for at the moment.
REASON 4: He's got his own life problems to deal with...
Men will put a relationship low on their list of priorities while they have life issues to deal with.
He's distracted by his own "Stuff".
What kind of life issues?
He's got some insecurities to deal with...
He's got fears to deal with...
He's got financial issues...
He's got job issues...
He's got health issues...
I could list a bunch more, but there's a bigger thing you need to know:
Men put you lower on his priority list because we are programmed to work our problems out alone....
Women put their relationship higher when they have problems because they see connection and support as necessary to work their problems out...
And guess what?
Neither one is wrong.
For guys, we do focus and accomplish more when we're using our single-minded, sequential approach to life to our problems. (Just beware of guys who are stuck in their problems and won't get help.)
For women, they do get the emotional support they need by calling in their resources to help them handle problems. (Just beware the women that don't turn that support into ACTION.)
REASON 5: He doesn't want a girlfriend...
There are some guys that need to "play the field," "sow their wild oats," etc, etc.
There are guys who are just looking to rack up an impressive list of lays.
I'm not going to kid you that this doesn't happen. It just happens a LOT less than you might think.
They are not doing this to hurt women. That's rarely (if ever) the motivation a man has. What he does want to feel is that he's MANLY.
Sometimes we just need our own spaces...
Men have been robbed of many of the ways we used to feel like MEN.
TRIGGER ALERT: Heck, my own son was in the Boy Scouts, which now include girls.
Forgive me, but I thought there was already such a thing as "Girl scouts"...? Why can't boys have their own private group to be themselves in?
It's important for both girls and boys to have their separate space to experience things before the world smushes us together in lots of confusing ways.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.
My point is that boys are getting fewer and fewer ways to really feel comfortable in their gender. And if he doesn't get enough when he's a boy, he won't grow up into a MAN. Which leads to him wanting to validate himself in ways that aren't healthy for either him or her.
Not every man wants a relationship.
And truthfully, not every woman is either!
Not wanting a relationship is not a bad thing.
But not wanting a relationship and SAYING YOU THAT YOU DO is something completely different. So if he's said it before, you should respect this.
REASON 6: You're Not Ready For Him To Commit...
Okay, you might want to sit down for this next thing I'm going to tell you...
The fact is that you might not be ready for him.
You might have some inner work to take care of...
Maybe you have anxieties... fears... insecurities...
Maybe you need to grow...
Maybe you need to let go of some mommy stuff...
Or daddy stuff...
Just because someone wants a relationship, that doesn't mean they're ready for it.
I can tell you that I wanted deep, committed relationships since I was a teenager. It wasn't because I was ready for one. It was just what I needed to soothe my insecurity and fear issues that came up.
Lucky me those early relationship experiences got me much more ready to be in one when the time came. But I still had to fix all other stuff in my head...
This is a common thing that many people do. They use relationships, substances, and other methods to give them a sense of calm - or a relief from anxiety. But underneath, the problems are still there waiting to come out and sabotage the connection.
Guys know when a woman is into the relationship, but is too busy taking care of herself. Mostly because we men need nurturing.
And if you're unavailable to nurture us because you have to constantly nurture yourself, we know it.
So make sure you're REALLY ready before you advertise to a guy that you're ready. Because he will eventually pick up on your energy and know if you're not.
He might even keep seeing you, but he won't go further until he knows you're really open to him.
REASON 7: He Doesn't Have to Commit To The Relationship
The flow of a relationship is that a relationship should move forward at a natural pace.
You meet each other...
You get together and the feelings of attraction grow...
You discover you have enough in common that you're compatible...
You get physically affectionate...
You see each other more...
You get intimate physically...
You see the differences, but you work through them...
You realize you're in love...
All of these are steps in the process of forging a really solid relationship. Even if you skip a few of the steps, you'll still come back around to them later.
And you can sometimes accelerate the pace of the steps as well. You can go faster...
But you still need time for that love hormone cocktail to really get its hooks in you. It's this time spent that really cements our addiction to someone into every cell of our body.
And at some point, a guy will naturally bond with you to forge a commitment.
But here's the part that some women miss: If a guy knows he doesn't have to make a commitment to you to keep you as his girlfriend (or to keep the sexy times a-happenin') - he won't.
Men realize that a commitment to a woman is a big deal. Especially for him.
The woman that a man commits to could make or break his future, and his happiness. Men understand this on a deep level. So he's going to be VERY cautious about giving that away.
Let me explain it like this:
For WOMEN, her sexuality is her prize to be awarded to the man that proves himself...
For MEN, his commitment is the reward he gives to the woman who proves herself.
This is a key distinction between men and women. You probably knew about the first part, but I'll bet the second one probably was new to you.
If he can keep getting the sex without having to make a commitment, he's just fine with that. Because that buys him time to figure out if you're The One for him.
But you know you won't be fine without that commitment. You need more.
This is why so many women who SAY they're okay with "friends with benefits" change their mind later on. And you should!
He has to understand that the price of having you is the commitment he gives to you.
Plain and simple.
And that's not hard to do if you know how men think - and what to say to get him to connect with you!
When it comes to a relationship, there are signs you are smothering him. And like it or not, one of the things in life a girlfriend doesn't want to do is smother her partner. There are lots of reasons for this coming up in a relationship. But the most important advice for you to know […]
When you're looking for a life partner, the first question you need to ask is how compatible are we? Compatibility in a relationship will help you understand if you're right for each other. Yes, you can take a quiz to find out more about your compatibility. (I'll point you to my compatibility quiz in just […]
For most women, the first time you kiss a guy is important, because it's the first intimate contact you have with him. Let's talk about how to kiss a guy - and how to make him crazy for you when you do! Let's get real here - you're probably not a beginner. But you do […]
It's tricky enough talking to people in person, but what if you want to start a conversation on dating apps? How do you do it? After all there are a crazy number of apps out there for your phone, and even websites for those of you dating on your computer. Online dating is a huge […]
It can be tricky to admit you're wrong. BUT if you made a mistake, you need to know how to apologize to your boyfriend (or your husband). It's an essential skill for any woman that finds herself needing to make amends. After all, anyone can make a mistake or act out of impulse and say the […]
It's probably pretty obvious but there are things you should never say to a guy. Some things are better left unsaid when all is said and done. One of the questions I ask all of my newsletter subscribers is, "What have you said to a man that you regretted?" And it's one of the most […]
What is a man thinking when he pulls away from you? Is he thinking about the relationship? Is he thinking about another woman? What exactly goes through a man's mind when he pulls away from the relationship? That's what were going to investigate here. The truth is going to surprise you. Very often a woman […]
If there's one pain that we experience that we would prefer to avoid it's a broken heart. But there is a cure for a broken heart, no matter how painful it may seem right now. But the most important thing you need to ask is, "Does my heart have to stay broken?" "Can I win […]
Let's talk about the attitudes men love about women. A lot of people get this wrong, so it's really important for you to get it right. If you do, he'll find you irresistible. If you don't, you'll struggle. Let's look into the most irresistible attitudes for women - the ones men can't resist. And probably […]
So you're texting a guy, and you're wondering how to tell if he likes you by his texts. How do you really know what he thinks about you? It's hard to NOT read into whatever words he sends to you, after all. You finally exchanged numbers with that guy. You know the cute guy you […]