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.

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

  1. Hi! My boyfriend just broke up with me I was wondering if I could get some advice we had been in a relationship for three years it was amazing he told me in the beginning he never wanted to get married now all of a sudden he tells me He has this feeling I am not the one and he wants to get married I am the only serious person he has ever been with and neither of us have children I am 39 and he is 10 years older than me. He doesn’t want kids either. But he tells me he still in love with me and wants to still be friends and still wants to hang out and do things. What should I take away from that?

    • Hey Carrie, Sadly, my take is he wants to have his cake and eat it to. This is an old saying which means he wants you in his life but doesn’t want to marry you. My advice is to breakup and move on to find a man who wants to marry you. I don’t think he wants to marry, but is using this as an excuse. He’s 49 and never married for a reason. Friendship after a romantic relationship is possible if you give yourself time apart to get over him. And move on to date others. Don’t stay friends, hoping that he’ll change his mind You’ll be lying to yourself and keeping yourself single for a man who can’t commit.

  2. Hi
    Earlier this year, I met a guy. We connected over conversations. We’d spend hours talking to each other and haven’t gone a day or two without or call. He’s really sweet and charming; buys me books and takes an honest interest in my life.

    Recently, he confessed that he really likes me, over text and apologized for that. He’s shy and said he doesn’t know how I would take it and was worried that I’d be pissed. I told him that we’ll have the conversation in person since he’s in another city.

    I really like him, I think he’s an intelligent guy but I’m worried that he might be playing me for a fool since he’s currently discerning the priesthood (he’s mentioned that he’s a bit undecided about continuing). I want to tell him that I feel the same way but I’m afraid that we might date and I’ll influence him wrongly.

    How do I talk to him about these feelings without hurting him and still remain friends?

    • Hi Lucy, He’s an adult. If he wants to be a priest, he will make that decision. So take the pressure of yourself – you are not at fault. However, this is a bit risky since he might just be playing out a last fantasy with you. If you want to avoid regrets, tell him you are interested but ask how this fits into his plan to become a priest. Then see what he does next. Many men love to fantasize so they write and call with no intention to meet. And if he’s using the priesthood as his reason not to meet you, that would be a great way to maintain your conversations without risk of ever meeting – in other words, (and I’m sorry to say) this could all be a big fat lie.

  3. So I dated a guy for 8 months. After a lot of suspicion and probing he finally admitted he has another girlfriend who he’s been seeing for a year. I asked him why he approached me and said he loved me first, he said because he does. We were planning on having a baby and even named it. I also loved him deeply. Our connection, chemistry and love for one another is undeniable. He loves both of us. After a huge fight I decided to let him go. He recently explained that his girlfriend is suicidal, suffers from depression and can’t leave her. He claims to have now noticed that she is unstable and doesn’t know what to do. He is not happy but can’t leave her. He did choose her over me but can’t let me go. We are friends and she hates that. I’m letting go of all romantic hopes but wondering where I stand with him.

    • Hi Miss T, Your instincts to let him go are right on the money! Now it’s time for you to strengthen your sense of worthiness because you deserve a man who’ll focus on one woman – YOU! This guy is a CHEATER and a LIAR. He can’t leave her? Oldest story in the book. Is that the kind of man you want to have a child with? Will he be a good role model and father? His morals are in question and his love for you is not enough. If he does leave this woman for you, he will leave you for another as well. Please move on to find an honest, monogamous man who wants to spend his life with you and make you happy.

  4. I have been in a relationship 9 months with a guy and he has been married and hurt in the past. He told me we will get married after his house is paid off which is 20 years lol. I am someone that likes to be shown affection and occasionally shown that he appreciates what I do for him he buys gifts for him self but last Christmas he was going on about a psp4 game that he really wanted so I thought I would get it for him Christmas Day comes I get a thanks and I say is that it and he said u know I don’t like surprises and don’t celebrate.we live together by the way. He only holds me for a few minutes he says he isn’t a cuddly touchy sort of person. I believe in celebrating things spending time with family where he doesn’t believe or like doing. he tells me he loves me but I get nothing my parents say he is a very selfish person. Plz help me

    • Hi Karen, I agree with your parents – he is incredibly selfish. His being hurt is no excuse. What do you need him for? Doesn’t sound like he shows you much love. Can’t give you a gift. Doesn’t enjoy celebrating life. Are you sure he loves you because it sort of sounds like you are a convenience – he can live there, do nothing for you and get away with it. Clearly, he won’t be the one delivering any joy or appreciation. You deserve better but it’s up to you to know your worth, let go of this guy and find it.

  5. I was in a relationship with a man I love to pieces for 2 years. We got on great. 3 months into our relationship he landed a contract which was huge but took over his life. I repeatedly complaining to him to the point he pulled away. Fast forward to December last year, I’d had enough of being ignored for weeks and used for sex. I ended it but we stayed in touch. He avoided ALL conversations about our relationship until recently. Before lock down he caught corona and we didn’t speak for 4 weeks. 2 weeks ago he said he wants to be friends. I told him I don’t want to see him. But if he has a change of heart, let me know. A few days later we spoke and he came over twice and chilled. Had a hug today, nothing more. I asked if he thinks we could sort this out and he replied “doubt it”. I feel confused. He’s made more effort the past week than he has in a year. He clearly likes me or he wouldn’t be in touch, but I’m worried he’s trying to pattern it so that he can still have sex and I’m not giving in. Any advice on what steps I could take next?

    • Hi Jane, Ok this is a tough one. First, yes he likes you, but not ENOUGH to be in a real relationship. Second, you drew the line, then let him back in. That’s on you. He told you straight out he doesn’t think this is going to work, but if he can worm his way in and figure out out he can get you to do everything on his terms, why wouldn’t he? You’ve got to be the one to end it forever. If you want to find lasting love he is NOT your man. He has proved that for 1-3/4 years. Do you really need more of this? I don’t think so. Cut your losses and move on FOR REAL. This is your life so make it what you want and stop waiting around for this guy who will NEVER deliver the love you want.

  6. I have a guy we’ve been in something since 2018. We broke up because we were struggling with our own issues. He found me and made contact with me after a whole year and was finishing up rehab. He had me around his mom and his friends. Cousins. All the time. He used to have an issue putting a label on what we were but he’d tell me he loved me. Fast forward to now I’m just wondering if I should even bother. He gets a bit hot and cold sometimes. I’ve been confused since he got in touch with me. Why not leave it alone after a year if he’s just playing games? I can tell he’s really trying. What do I do?

    • Hey Rebecca, If you can’t tell if he’s trying – he’s NOT. Hot and cold means he doesn’t know what he wants, so why get tangled up in that? If you want true, healthy and lasting love, sounds like he’s not “the one”. You can be the decider of your love life and walk away.

  7. So I have been seeing this guy I met on my way to work. We started dating after a month. He’s a good guy and treats me well. The problem is, he won’t introduce me to his friends,he asks me out on a date once in a while,he disappears for almost two weeks then calls me saying he misses me and wants to see me. He doesn’t reply to my texts or ask questions about my life. He claims that he’s so in love with me and actually wants us to start a family. Am so confused. Is he wasting my time? Should I move on?Please help

    • Hi Hannah, There is a HUGE gap between saying he wants to start a family and his poor treatment of you. How can you say he treats you well when disappears for weeks or doesn’t respond to you? His inconsistency tells you that he’s NOT serious at all. His unwillingness to introduce you to friends is a clue that he likely already has a woman. So he CAN’T get together more, respond to your texts, or have you meet his friends. Is he wasting your time? Oh YEAH! Be very suspicious of a man who behaves this way. Read this post also on men who are inconsistent

  8. Hello,
    So i have been seeing a coworker for a couple of months. He says his main issue is our age difference, which is 22 years. Our contact has been on and of since he wanted to end or romance a couple of times. Every time it ends i still cant help falling for his charms at work. He does extra nice stuff for me, which gives me mixed vibes. This hurts me a lot. Now a few days ago he ended it again. But now i think he really means it. He says he doesnt want to string me along. Our romance is somewhat secret although i think coworkers do sense that there is something between us. He hasnt introduced me to his parents. Hasnt taken me on a real date and when we see eachother i am always the one initiating. But i really do love him and i dont want to lose him. How do i make him realise that i am the one for him? Should i do no contact and let him reach out first? And if he does what should i say to him? I would really appreciate your help,

    • Hi Mila, I’m sure you don’t want to hear this, but there is NOTHING you can do to make him want you. He has to come to that alone. Sorry to say you’ve already lost him. 22 years is a BIG age difference although I do know cases where it worked. Since you are the one who initiated everything, you have one choice – STOP initiating and let go. That is the ONLY way you’ll know his true feelings by letting him make the next move. That is the problem for a woman who initiates. The man might say yes and go out with you, but if he doesn’t initiate, he might be going along for the ride. He could be curious, flattered or wanting the experience (are you the older one?).

      The way men get invested is through the chase and initiating and you took that over. You can be friendly and light if he approaches you, but don’t contact him. I wouldn’t expect much or hang around him. Go about your business and if there’s any hope, he might miss you and return. Your coaxing will not provide the results you want. He has to WANT to be with you all on his own.

  9. My situation is a little different. We met online last March a couple weeks after I got out of a one year relationship. We went on a couple hiking dates. I met his best friend who he lives with and his best friend’s mom. But shortly after I realized I wasn’t ready for a relationship at the moment so wasn’t interested. I told him that I wasn’t ready for a relationship that so we stayed friends. Soon after he got a girlfriend but recently broke up with her. He messaged me asking me if I wanted to go for a drive. I went. We went to a view. And we held hands kissed for the first time. After we kissed I realized I actually did like him all along. I asked him what this was and he said We are taking things slow and I said I’m okay with this because you just got out of a relationship. Next day I text saying I had an amazing night with him and he says he did too, but he doesn’t want to rush into anything and doesn’t know if he’s ready for a relationship. I totally agree. But I wanna tell him I do have feelings for him but i don’t know if he feels the same what do I do.

    • Hi Taylor, Sometimes two people just have bad timing. There is no point discussing feelings because he isn’t ready and told you so. Telling him about your feelings would be a HUGE mistake. He’ll feel pressured that you want more than he can offer. You have two choices; 1) Enjoy the friendship as is or 2) Skip it. If you decide to tell him about your feelings, you could say, “I have feelings for you so friendship right now would be hard. But when you feel ready for checking out a relationship, I hope you’ll come back to me”. If you hang on hoping, you could get hurt and very disappointed. Like I said at the start – bad timing. Sometimes that’s just how it is.

  10. this guy I met from five years ago flirted and asked me out. When I was about to tell yes he went to back to his ex girlfriend. At that time I was in love with him (first love which i didn’t date). I decided to move on and had a serious relationship.I got dumped within two years and his ended too. He had another relationship too ended with getting cheated. Now we’re single and he recently started talking to me two months wishing me happy birthday. Still talking, he tells me his problems, daily stuff, compliments me. But he told me he’s not into a relationship right now and will never date again. We flirt and talk all day and this feels so bad to me because he never asks me out. I’m totally in love with him again and he knows it. What can I do? Am I wasting my time? I know he really likes me too. please help me 🙁

    • Hi Melona, This is a simple fact about men and while it may be hard to accept.this is the truth of your situation. If he truly was interested, he’d ask you out and spend time with you – not just talk and tell you his problems. He’s leaning on you and taking advantage of the fact that you like him to get emotional support and feed his ego. But he’s made it clear – he has no intention of getting into a relationship. That means, YES you are wasting your time with him. I know you love him, but sadly love is often not enough. He doesn’t love you so the best thing you can do is tell him you’re not his emotional crutch and move on. This will free you up to find a man who is emotionally available and wants a relationship with you. This guy does NOT.

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