17 Signs He Likes You But Doesn’t Want A Relationship

Seeing signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you but seems to like you? It can be so confusing! Here’s how to know for sure if the man you’re dating is wasting your time or truly interested.

How to Know If He Isn’t Serious

signs he doesn't want a relationship

Whether you’re intuitive or not, women always wish they could read a man’s mind.

The reason? Because we need to know DOES HE LIKE ME OR NOT? And we spend a LOT of time trying to figure this out.

You watch all the signs and read into situations to interpret what you think they mean.

Wracking your brain, you read a bunch of articles on the web. Feeling frustrated and at your wit’s end, you drive yourself (and potentially your friends and family too) CRAZY!

But here’s what you really need to know. You don’t need to be a mind reader to discover if he’s serious about you.

Instead, understanding where he stands is not about what he THINKS as much as WHAT HE DOES. For the most part, a man’s actions tell you everything you really need to know.

There Are Signs He Doesn’t Want A Relationship With You But Likes You

I’ve uncovered 17 signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship and I’m sure there are even more.

If you read through these, you’ll know what to look for or how to read the signs he is sending.

So, read through the list and if you have more than one of these situations going on, it’s time to get real about this guy and realize he’s probably not “The One” for you.

1. He Texts But Doesn’t Ask You Out

Some men love to text or they call and talk on the phone for hours. Yet, they never get around to asking you out. Or they go on one or two dates then revert to the phone.

This type of thing is usually a sign that a man wants attention and maybe emotional support, but not the responsibility or expectations that come from a true relationship.

He’ll take what he can get from you, but never give you what you need. The solution – STOP COMMUNICATING.

He Asks You Out But Doesn't Make a Solid Plan2. He Asks You Out But Doesn’t Make a Solid Plan

After some texting or talking, he finishes up with, “Let’s get together this weekend.” But he doesn’t nail down a plan.

What is this about? He might enjoy texting or talking with you but doesn’t want or need anything more from you.

Or he’s stringing you along while he’s waiting to see who else might be free before committing to a date.

3. He Talks About The Future But Puts Off Plans

Some guys love to talk about the future. They bring it up even if you don’t, which is why you think it has MEANING.

Truth is, future talk means NOTHING and could just be his fantasy. Or the idea feels good at the moment.

You know this because he doesn’t follow through with plans. He might actually say he can’t make plans now because he’s too busy or has things to straighten out first.

signs he likes you but doesn't want a relationshipHow To Tell He Likes You But Doesn’t Want a Relationship

4. He Doesn’t Introduce You To Friends Or Family

When a man is serious about you, he will slowly introduce you to some of his friends and then his family.

It could take longer for a family – may be up to three months. (For children it might take up to 6 months which is perfectly acceptable.)

Usually, within the first two months, he will introduce you to SOMEONE.

So, if he’s keeping you a secret and not getting you to meet his peeps, he doesn’t want a real relationship.

5. He Won’t Define The Relationship

If you’ve been seeing a man longer than three months and he refuses to define the relationship, that is NOT a good sign. A man who is serious wants to claim you as his and give you the “Girlfriend” title.

This is definitely one of those telltale signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship.

6. He Disappears But Comes Back

This guy is either texting like crazy or completely silent. He shows up, interacts with you and maybe goes on a date or two, and then he’s gone again.

What is up with that? He may have intimacy issues, be dating other women or doesn’t want anything serious to develop.

A man who is on and off again is NOT the right man because you need consistency for healthy, lasting love. Often this is one of those signs he doesn’t know what he wants.

Signs He Doesn’t Care Enough

signs he doesn't know what he wants

7. He’s Too Busy To See You

Perhaps he says he likes you and you are the one for him or maybe he’s not saying anything except that he’s too busy to see you.

He can’t make plans right now because of his job, his boss, his crazy ex, his family, etc.

If he puts you off, that’s a sign he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

8. He’s Friendly When He Bumps Into You

This guy is SO happy to see you when he bumps into you at a party or around town.

He sticks by your side as if he really likes you. So, you would think he’d contact you after. But nope, he doesn’t connect.

This is extremely confusing because of his actions when he sees you are different than when he’s out of touch.

Just keep in mind that a man who does nothing to see you does NOT want a relationship with YOU. Or it could be one of those signs he doesn’t know what he wants.

9. He Won’t Make It Official

 signs he doesn't want a relationshipYou’ve been seeing this man for several months, but he won’t make it official. He prefers to just go along as things are and don’t want to rock the boat.

It’s good the way it is, right? Not if he’s serious about you!

That’s a sure sign he doesn’t like you enough to take things to the next level.

If A Guy Says He Likes You But Doesn’t Want a Relationship


10. He Says He Misses You, But Does Nothing To See You

Some guys just know what to say to keep you hanging on and this is a perfect example. If he says he misses you but makes no attempts to see you, it’s complete bullsh*t.

Don’t fall for this and believe his empty words. If he really meant it, he’d do whatever it takes to spend time with you. No excuses!

11. He Refuses To Be Exclusive Or Take Down His Profile

Pay attention to this – it’s one of the biggest signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship.

When a man is unwilling to take down his profile for any reason, he’s letting you know he has NO INTENTION of being exclusive.

This is a man who wants to play the field and is not interested in monogamy. The same thing goes for a man who is unwilling to agree to exclusivity. Forget these men – they don’t want what you want – lasting, monogamous love.

signs he likes you but doesn't want a relationship

12. He Said Doesn’t Want A Relationship

A lot of men will often come right out and TELL you they don’t want a relationship or aren’t looking for anything serious. When a man says either one of these phrases, BELIEVE HIM!

Many women tend to ignore this because he couples this comment with, “But I’d like to get to know you and see where it goes.”

That’s the sign of a man who is non-committal and just wants something casual.

More Signs He Doesn’t Want A Relationship

13. He Has Problems To Work Out

You might meet a great guy who has many of the qualities you want. Too bad he has issues that are getting in the way.

Maybe he’s unemployed or has a difficult boss and has to work all the time. He’s got a crazy ex and has to carefully manage her and the kids. Perhaps he has health issues that he blames for not being able to get together.

Whatever his problems are, they become your problems if you let them. Yet, last time I checked, you didn’t need more problems!

If you meet a guy who is wonderful but has issues dragging him down, he’s NOT READY for a relationship. Let go and move on if you want a good relationship.

This is not the same as if you were in love for years and a problem cropped up – that’s completely different.

14. He Cancels Frequently

The guy you are seeing talks a good game and makes plans, but often cancels. Keep in mind it’s not the making of the plan that counts, it’s the follow-through.

Whether he means well or not, no one cancels often without it being one of those signs he doesn’t know what he wants. Move on.

He Avoids Talking Things Over With You

15. He Avoids Talking Things Over With You

An issue crops up with the man you’re dating. You try to talk about it and let him know how you feel, but he will not discuss it. That’s one of the signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship.

You cannot maintain a healthy relationship if you cannot communicate or talk things through. This is how you get stuck with an impossible man where everything is his way or the highway.

Don’t let it happen to you. If he’s unwilling to talk or is inflexible, walk away and find a better man who is relationship-oriented and more emotionally mature.

16. You Don’t Go On Real Dates

This guy is sweet, but for a number of reasons you never go on real dates. He’s happy to hang out with you at your place.

He might bring over a pizza or take out. He’ll watch a movie or sit by the fire – it’s all very romantic.

The problem is, you never go out or on a real date. He doesn’t take you to dinner like most men. He doesn’t want to be out in public with you.

Ahhh, there’s one of the biggest signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship. That’s because he’s already in one!

This guy is cheating on a woman and CAN’T BE SEEN WITH YOU or he’ll get caught.

Run, don’t walk, away from this guy no matter how much you love him.

17. He’s Not Curious About You Or Your Life

is he interestedLast of the 17 signs he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship, is that he’s not at all curious about your life.

He doesn’t ask many questions. He doesn’t remember some big events in your life or wants to know how it went.

He’s not boring, it’s just that his main interest is himself. So, if you’re happy with everything being about him and being in a one-way relationship with a narcissist, that’s your choice.

My dating advice is to dump him and find a better man for a loving relationship that works for you both.

Signs He Likes You But Doesn’t Want A Relationship

Now that you know what to look for regarding how he doesn’t want a relationship, let me give you a super quick run-down on the signs he DOES want a relationship.

  • He takes you on a real date at least once a week
  • He communicates in between dates, texting and at least one phone call weekly
  • After 4-6 weeks he starts introducing you to his buddies and siblings
  • After about three months you go on a weekend away
  • Slowly, he starts to discuss his life decisions with you
  • Your man asks how you are and is very interested in your happiness and life
  • You love how he does nice things for you
  • He expresses how he feels although it might take time to say the word LOVE
  • You can count on him
  • He keeps his promises
  • You trust him
  • You feel comfortable with him and can be yourself
  • Your friends like him
  • He accepts you for who you are 
  • He is proud to be with you and show you off
  • Thankfully, he’s happy to help when you ask
  • He agrees to or asks you to be in an exclusive relationship

Wishing you love!

signs he likes you but doesn't want a relationship



Want more smart advice to find love faster? Listen to my Free Audio Program 5 Surefire Ways to Get a Quality Guy!


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

65 thoughts on “17 Signs He Likes You But Doesn’t Want A Relationship”

  1. I met a great guy online but with his extreme work hours and the distance between us, we both agreed that a relationship wasn’t going to work. He did say he could come my way for dinner and drinks at some point again but that’s all he could do. Fine. Well his texting has been dwindling. I figured we’d still text and joke, but he has dropped off the radar. I attend a New Years party every year and I am considering asking him to visit and go to the party. We’ve only been on 2 dates but texted constantly until the relationship chat. I’m super comfortable with him and truly enjoy talking with him but he has always let me take the lead. Should I ask him to go in a couple of weeks? He probably has to work but I wanted him to realize I am still thinking of him and do want to be friends.

    • Hi Sarah, I’m going to be really honest with you and I hope that’s OK. You are hanging on and hoping about this guy. Why do you need to keep texting a man who can’t be in a relationship? That will get you more attached and dependent. He has stopped texting and told you a relationship won’t work. If you ask him for New Year’s date which is a big “ask”, you’ll likely end up sleeping with him, feeling more attached and then what? This is path that leads to heartbreak. Long distance love creates tremendous pressure and problems. Why do that to yourself? Keep your online dating radius close by so you don’t get into these situations. And let go of this man since he has already shown you he’s not the one. Don’t settle for him even in the short term. He’s \not available and he’s not the right man for you. Look for a local guy to fall in love with!

  2. Like Rugby, I met a man online who was very flirtatious! He lives over an hour away and it didn’t seem like a bother at the time. He traveled to me twice and we had amazing dates. He said he loved getting away from the city and told our bartender that he would absolutely be back to see me. No He’s been slow with things and I had to actually initiate the dates because he felt more comfortable flirting via text. In person he was absolutely fine and old school gentlemen. I’m getting over a horrible relationship so this is a breath of fresh air. I messed up during one of our morning texts asking if he was going to leave the dating app. Since that point he has become colder,distant and said he doesn’t know about a relationship but would still like to see me and chat. I never told him how I would be okay with moving slow and actually prefer that and am hoping I can in person. Really do not want to mess this up and lose this guy. I don’t mind if this moves slow and a LDR is all we have but I wish I could get the flirty side of him back. Think I screwed up tho!

    • Hi Murmur, I want to unravel this for you so you can get really clear. He told you he DOESN’T WANT a relationship. He’d like to text and see you because he can handle that, but don’t get ideas he wants something deeper. He’s not going to be exclusive and isn’t thinking long-term even if this goes on for months.

      While it seems like his slowness suits you during your recovery, you can’t mess up what he doesn’t want. In other words, he’s not available for true love and you can’t build anything with him. Going slow to men usually means don’t expect anything including a relationship. Also, many women choose LDR and feel OK with going slow because in a way they aren’t ready either.

      It’s time to get real and be honest with yourself. First, recover from the bad relationship ON YOUR OWN. Then you can find a man who wants a healthy, lasting love relationship. Unfortunately when you turn to a man to help you get over another, you are likely recreating another bad situation.So my advice is to take care of your own emotional needs and if you want to see this guy – enjoy it for what it is – fun in the moment with no future. Sometimes that works as a fun distraction if noting else.

  3. I met this amazing guy on Bumble 2 months ago who works nights – up to 85 hours a week! We met for a date and it was incredible. We clicked, I felt comfortable and we made out. He kept saying, “I can’t wait to see you again.” A week later he drove to see me for dinner and spent time at my place after making out… nothing wild. He’s been honest, telling me about family and texting daily. Then, his flirting slowed and he sent a text saying he’s not ready for a relationship because of his work to put his son thru college. He doesn’t even have time for himself. He’d love to stay in touch and have dinner again. What the heck? He still texts and flirts a tiny bit but nothing like before. I’m assuming it’s because it would be torture for him. He’s got time off in a week and would love to see him but don’t want to push him away. He’s just so nice, and we are all over each other when we see one another. How do I proceed ??

    • Hey Rugby, Regardless of your amazing chemistry and how “nice” he is, he is the classic UNAVAILABLE MAN. If you stay open to him, your relationship will be all about fitting into his schedule. He has nothing to give working 85 hours a week – that is literally half the total hours in 7 days and doesn’t include sleep! But if you let him (because he’s nice and you have hot chemistry), he’d be happy to text, see you occasionally and sleep with you. Why not? He’s not a bad guy – he was honest. But he’s not available! So, if you’re smart, looking for lasting love and value yourself, you will let him go. Close the door. I know it seems like a shame, but making this wise choice is what will keep you from getting your heart broken.

  4. Hi Ronnie, I met a man 2 years ago on a online dating site. We went on a couple of dates and I even met his family a year ago. We talk everyday. However, he told me he wasn’t interested in a relationship because he wants to work on himself… finances.. etc. He had a divorce and had a lot of bills she left. Anyways, he want a friendship. I waited 2 1/2 years for him. No sex.. nothing. He be playing on my phone sometime sending text messages like he texting another female but send it to me to get a reaction which I don’t understand why if this is not going anywhere. So recently I met a new man and we clicked. We became intimate and now I’m wondering how will I explain this to him so he can move on. He really disappointed me on wasting my time.

    • Hi Sonya, Why are you worried about the first guy who disappointed you? He might not care. I don’t see how you have anything to explain to the first man – you are just friends. You’ve never had sex and he doesn’t want a relationship. But you do. So go for it with this new guy and don’t look back. Just be direct and tell the first guy you’re now seeing someone else who does want a relationship. Then you can decide if you want to bother continuing the friendship or just move on. You only stayed with it because you kept hoping he would change his mind – which by the way almost never happens.

  5. Hi Ronnie,
    I’m perplexed about a man – we’ve been on four dates and he initiated the first three. He is sweet and we have a good connection – slept together on the third date. My problem is he is slow at replying to texts. He’s punctual texting to make date arrangements, but when it comes to just catching up, he may take a day to reply. I am not flooding him with messages every day. I don’t think he is trying to cut off communication, as we talked about meeting again. Still this response delay is hurtful and rude. He has told me he’s not great at replying. Last week I asked to meet and he wrote back but forgot to hit send! I was devastated waiting until the situation cleared! He apologized and said he would be more careful, and we saw each other after that. But here we go again. What should I think? And how should I handle this without sounding needy? He does not strike me as the person to play games.

    • Hi Natasha, Not every one likes to text and your timing might not be the same as his. When you text to see how he is or ask to meet, you are taking charge. What would be better is to follow his lead during this first phase of dating until you discuss exclusivity. Try holding off until he contacts you. That way you’ll know he’s ready to communicate. And if he takes too long, you’ll know he’s not as into you as you are into him. The simplest way to seem needy is to stop initiating. When you let a man seek you out, you’ll learn a lot more about what he wants and if he really is into you or not. This post explains more

  6. I have been dating a guy for almost 4 months, we Have GREAT chemistry and attraction, do a lot of stuff that couples do, but i still have the feeling he treats me a little as a friend. I mean he is always kissing me and saying nice stuff, but he refuses to go to the next level. I haven’t met his family or best friends and that really makes me feel not as important. But I don’t want to talk to him because I don’t know how he might react. Should I give him more to make up his mind or what?

    • Hi Becca, First hot chemistry is a sign of a good sexual partner, not necessarily a long-term romantic partner. You’ve seen some of the signs that he doesn’t want a relationship like not introducing you to the people in his life. That’s not treating you like a friend – that’s like a place filler until a better woman comes along. Or he doesn’t want a serious relationship. Did you ask him that at the start – what are you looking for in a relationship? That’s the best time to ask. Are you in an exclusive relationship? Depending on your age (this is better for over 30) ask to meet his friends and family. Just say that. If he says no or delays (you could give him another month I suppose) then face the facts that he is NOT serious about a relationship with you. Even if he likes you – that doesn’t mean he wants a relationship. Sadly, no matter how long you wait and hope, a man who is commitment phobic won’t suddenly change his mind.

  7. Hello,
    I met this man that I really like. We have been on three dates so far (all of which he initiated) and in the last date, after having dinner out at a nice restaurant, we went back to his place and spent the night there. He has not given me any reasons so far to suspect he does not want to see me again – quite the contrary, he’s been really nice and attentive – but due to past bad experiences I am really scared things will go wrong. So after that night we did not make concrete plans, just said we will see each other soon. This was two days ago and he has not been in touch yet. In general, we have not been texting a lot, all the texts so far were only about arranging to meet in person – which is fine, better see him live than text endlessly! At the same time texts in-between dates would ease my anxiety! Is it ok if I get in touch with him in a couple of days and invite him over for dinner to my place? I thought since I did not suggest anything so far, it may be my turn now? Or should I just wait and see?

  8. Hi Ronnie,
    I have been talking to this guy for 19 months – 1 year was online texting, we only met offline for the past 7 months because I was overseas. We text daily, meet once a week, send good morning, good night texts. He never forget any meet ups. But we never talked anything about relationships ever. I don’t even know if he dated anyone before! He hardly speaks about any girls when we meet. Do you think he just have good feelings for me but doesn’t want the commitment? (I am having a major exam this month, and I know it’s not the right time for any rs to happen now.)

    • Hi Sonea, Plenty of men don’t discuss the relationships – women do that. I can’t say what he wants. But what I an say is you have a voice. This is not the start of dating – you are in some kind of relationship, so after 7 months of dating, you are entitled to have this kind of conversation. It might be casual going no where. The way to find out is to ask him. Wait till after your big exam and casually, like it’s no big deal, ask him something like, “Am I your girlfriend? What do you see in our future?”

      This may open up a healthy discussion so you can get to know what he thinks about the two of you. Just be prepared – you may find out he’s happy as things are, seeing other women, not ready to settle down or whatever. Might as well know now because why invest more time with a causal guy if that’s not what you want. Of course I don’t know you’re age, so at 20 or 22, he might not even have a plan for his future, never mind one for the two of you.

  9. Hi Ronnie
    I have been dating a guy from work for a yr. He has always mentioned female friends who he helps fix things, but I never knew their names or met. I thought how nice of him to do stuff for free. But a red flag went up once when he complained the woman didnt want to ” hang out” after all the work he did. This tells me maybe he offers to help for other than altruistic reasons. Then at work an acquaintance was talking to some one in our break room about a guy in office seems to be “everywhere” she is & he starts talking to her. Then she mentioned my guy’s name! I freaked out & had no idea he was seeking out other women in our office. I told him what I heard and he was visibly upset that he made someone feel uncomfortable. He seemed sincere. Is this guy playing me for a fool? It’s hard to tell if he is a player and if I’m just one of many.

    • Hi Donna, I don’t know if he’s playing you for a fool. But you need to decide if you want to see a man who wants to hang out with other women from the office. Doesn’t sound like it works for you and honestly, I’d find this a problem too. Seems like he doesn’t understand social mores and what is appropriate. If you want a man all to yourself doesn’t seem like he’s the one.

  10. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 1 year and 8 month’s now.. i don’t get to see him as much as I used too he dont really spend much with me anymore either.. if I’m lucky I see him 15 or 20 mins … i know that his son comes first but damn where do I fit in he won’t even move in to a new place with me I spend all of my days and my nights alone I seen him for 2 seconds tonight and I asked him why he dont spend time with me anymore he said because of the way you act. If I was to go to park with him and his son when for back to his house I would sit in the living room by myself he would walk in the oh your just jealous that you don’t have anyone to make memories with.. he knows I want children of my own I’m turning 32 on September 18 … i get told that I’m crazy and I’m allowed to be in son life but I’m no included any of the school things it’s always him and his son and her husband and I’m always left out

    • Hi Mandy, The question isn’t why does he do this, the question is why do you put up with it? Get some dignity girlfriend! Build up your self-esteem and stop accepting the sprinkling of crumbs this guy gives you. You deserve real love and this guy doesn’t offer you even a drop. Dump this selfish man and look for a man who treats you like gold.

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