A Guy Likes You But Doesn’t Want a Relationship: Will He Ever Be Ready?

What do you do if you’ve fallen in love with someone and he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship? Do you stick around or call it quits?

he likes you but doesn't want a relationship and is not ready

It’s safe to say that almost all of us have heard a guy say he’s not ready for a relationship. Yawn. It’s time for them to come up with better lines, don’t you think? If you’re with a guy and he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship, what should you do?

Sometimes we like guys who don’t like us, or they like us and we’re not interested in them. We’re emotional beings, so obviously, it’s going to be complicated in the love department.

If you’ve had a guy tell you he has feelings for you but isn’t ready to commit, step back for a moment and take a look at what’s really going on. [Read: 30 signs your guy is a commitment phobe and doesn’t want to commit]

He likes you but doesn’t want a relationship – why?

Maybe you have only dated for a short time, in that case, we understand why he’s not ready to jump into anything serious. But if you have been seeing each other for a while and he drops this minor bombshell on you, what are you supposed to think?

We only have so much time on earth *not to sound depressing*, and it’s important not to waste your time on someone who’s not investing in the relationship. So, if he’s telling you he’s not ready to commit to a relationship, it’s time to figure out the reasons why and what you need to do about it.

Women like to think men are simple. You just feed them, show them affection, and you’re good to go. But they’re complicated, don’t fool yourself. If he’s not committing to you, there are a couple of solid reasons why. [Read: How to make him want you back – The art of getting a guy to miss you]

1. He’s not over his ex

Gasp! That’s right, we said it. He’s not over his ex yet. Sure, he may have told you he’s over her, but of course, he’s going to tell you that.

If he told you the truth, you wouldn’t be seeing each other. If he’s not over his ex, then he’s not going to want to invest further into the relationship. [Read: The secret signs your guy is not over his ex]

2. There’s someone else

Double gasp! This is turning out to be a soap opera. We know it stings, but if he doesn’t want to get serious with you, there may be someone else who’s occupying his mind.

The only way you’ll know is through his actions and your gut instinct. [Read: The gut-wrenching signs your boyfriend is into someone else]

3. He’s happy with the situation as it is

Why would he invest in a relationship when he’s getting everything he wants right now minus the commitment?

Yes, he likes you but he probably doesn’t want a relationship because he’s enjoying the situation you have and he’s not looking to settle down. His friends, work, and hobbies are still a priority over you and he’s not looking to change that.

4. He’s commitment-phobic

Some guys can’t commit to anything serious, but for some, it runs a little deeper. This guy of yours could have a serious case of commitment phobia. And if he does, run the other way.

5. You’re not the one

Ah, this one is always a bummer. But if a man isn’t committing to you, you’re not the one for him. If a guy really liked you, he wouldn’t be giving you these lame “I’m not ready” lines. He would snatch you up and never let go.

If he’s not doing that, then he’s not the one for you. [Read: 23 signs you’re being used by a guy and it’s time to ditch him]

These are some common reasons why a guy isn’t committing to a relationship. Now that you know the reasons, you’re probably wondering what you should do. Good question.

When he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship, what should you do?

First things first, don’t assume this is something you’ve done or anything to do with your character. It’s all on him. You can’t make him want more, but you can choose what you do next.

Here’s how to handle it when you realize he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship. [Read: 15 surefire signs he likes you but isn’t into you]

1. Try to find out why

Of course, you probably shouldn’t ask him straight out if you’ve not been together very long. It’s very unlikely he’ll tell you the truth. But, now you know the main reasons why he might not want to commit, you can try and pinpoint the likeliest option.

This way, you know what your next move is, and if he is really worth sticking with after all. [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it]

2. Take it at face value

When you still can’t figure out what his reasons are for not wanting to be in a relationship with you right now, the safest thing to do is to simply take his words at face value. He says he can’t be in a relationship, and maybe he can’t tell you when he’ll be ready.

A smart move is to move on with your life and enjoy it, with or without him, free of expectations. The tricky part is to make sure you do not get too attached and just enjoy your time together while it lasts.

After all, maybe that’s the kind of relationship you need too. [Read: The signs he wants a relationship with you but is too scared]

3. Be clear with your feelings

 He can’t read your mind. Maybe he’s just scared or unsure of how you feel. It’s important you lay your cards out on the table and make sure he understands what’s going on in your head. Then, you can come to some conclusion.

Stay together? Be friends? Something has to happen and only you can make the choice. When he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship, you’re the one who has to decide on the next move.

4. Don’t assume he will change his mind

He’s probably not going to change and that’s fine. But now it’s your turn to look at the relationship. Ask yourself if this is something you really want.

Do you want a casual relationship with him? Does it make you happy? If so, then you’ll need to accept the relationship for what it is. If you don’t like it, then walk away. [Read: Why won’t he change? Your man says he will but he never does]

5. Be prepared for heartbreak if you stick around

While this undefined relationship makes you happy *besides, you like him a LOT, think you are falling for him, and you can change his mind later on*, it comes with a lot of complications. A man who cannot be open or honest with you about his feelings will always be difficult to deal with.

If he refuses to attach strings to make you his girlfriend and you’re okay with that right now, then be prepared to get your heart broken and your self-esteem trashed sooner or later.

Being with a man who likes you but doesn’t want a relationship will leave you frustrated. Chasing after him when he made it clear he doesn’t feel the same will destroy your self-esteem and open you up to more hurt. If you’re sure you have an invincible heart of steel, then go ahead. [Read: Love sucks! 21 reasons why we hate it yet crave for it]

6. Set your sights on somewhere or someone else

While you are going crazy over this guy, someone out there may be crazy for you. Maybe you know him or have yet to meet him. The thing is, there is definitely someone, somewhere, who is an amazing, attractive, caring, thoughtful, and funny guy, who fits your personality like a glove.

Who knows, that someone could not only be “the one,” but better yet, “your one.”

Instead of focusing all your time, energy, and emotions on a person who cannot even define what he feels and leaves you hanging, go out and explore your options. Go out there, have fun, and be open for something real to come along. [Read: How to make a guy fall in love with you: 21 ways to charm him]

7. Set boundaries

If you decide to stick around with him, you need to create boundaries. What will you accept and what you will not accept?

Since he’s not willing to make it serious, him sleeping over is probably not a good idea. You need to make sure you keep yourself safe and avoid getting hurt. [Read: 13 reasons why a guy could be acting distant and strange]

8. Make him invest in you

Listen, it’s something you can do, but we advise against it. You should never push someone into a situation they don’t want. If you want to make him invest in you, he’ll need to want to do that on his own.

Of course, you can get him to do things for you which will make him invest in you. Like changing your car’s tire or helping you assemble furniture. Since he’s putting effort into the relationship, it’ll subconsciously affect him. [Read: Tired of chasing him? Here’s how to make him want you]

9. Spend less time with him

When we like someone, we usually try to spend more time with them. But if you want him to become more attached to you, you need to do the opposite – distance makes the heart grow fonder. But again, you cannot force him to want more so this is a risky thing you could try, but probably shouldn’t.

You don’t need to disappear, but limit the amount of time you spend with him. It’ll give him an opportunity to miss you. [Read: Hidden signs we ignore when we’re in a one-sided relationship]

10. Say “thank you” and leave

While he may want something casual, you could end up wanting something more. So, when he tells you he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship, thank him for being honest with you, and then leave.

If you think you want different things out of the relationship, then it is not going to work out—at least at this time.

Instead of loving someone who doesn’t love you back, or hurrying off to someone to mend your broken heart and ego, take time off to love yourself.

Trust if he’s the one for you, he will sort out his feelings and pursue you. In the meantime, enjoy being unattached and carefree. [Read: 20 signs it’s time to accept he’s probably not going to be into you]

If you want more than he can give you, it’s time to walk away

Honestly, this is the easiest and best thing you can do. Yes, you can plot and plan away, but you’re really wasting your time. Eventually, you’ll come to see he’s not the one for you and all this hard work will be a waste.

So, leave while you’re ahead and find someone worthy of your love.

[Read: How to move on and deal with a breakup with a smile]

Do not settle for a guy who cannot reciprocate the love and attention you give him. If he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship and isn’t ready, he won’t change unless he wants to. Don’t waste your time.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...