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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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



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Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

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

  1. I have reconnected with an old friend from high school. We are both 69 years old. He has been widowed for five years and I have been divorced for 20. We get along great. Text every day, go to outdoor summer concerts weekly but he doesn’t feel ready to move into a true relationship. We have kept it casual there has been no intimacy. He hadn’t dated since his wife’s passing. Is there hope to move out of the friend zone?

    • Hi Mary, it’s so hard to say. Some people just don’t recover. Statistically men usually start dating after just one year where it often tales a widowed woman 5 years to start. Has he had any relationships since his wife’s passing? If not, that might not bode well. My advice is to do your best to enjoy what you have as it is right now. If he wants the relationship to move forward, he certainly knows how to do that so I wouldn’t push it. If you are feeling too attached, text him less and don’t be as available. This is not playing games but self preservation.

  2. I’ve been talking to a guy for 6 months. He’s from my area but his job has him 9 hours away. I’ve told him what I want, what my intentions are and what I’m looking for. He says he wants the same things. We did meet after 2 weeks of talking but nothing since. He texts me every day on his way to work and once he’s there before it gets busy. He’ll call about every 3 to 4 weeks. My “issue’ is EVERY text or phone call ALWAYS ends up being sexual. He says it’ll be different once he’s back closer to home. I’m not stupid, maybe I am for letting it go on this long, I just keep hoping he’ll put actions to words.

    • Hi Deborah, What kind of love comes from a once-a-month phone call? This is exactly why I tell women to not bother with long distance. His actions let you know he wants excitement and sex fantasy while he’s away. His work situation is what it is, so let him go. Please look for a guy who lives AND works locally. That way nothing is in the way of regular dates. If a man can’t see you on a regular basis and that is what you want, that automatically disqualifies him and you need to move on. If you stick with this guideline, you will avoid issues like this. Keep looking!

  3. Hi Ronnie, I dated this guy for 5 months and called it off last week. We did everything together. I helped him set up his business and move to city closer to me. We spent Christmas and new years together with his parents on a mini holiday. We talked every day and met every week. He stayed at my place or I stayed at his. Out of nowhere last week in the morning after sex, he said we never discussed out relationship status and told me he’s not into relationship because of his past. It might be in the future, but he doesn’t wanna hurt me. I didn’t like what he said because I invested a lot in him and us, emotionally and financially and I asked him to leave. He wanted to stay friends which I refused. He said he isn’t sad because its not the end for him and he’d call next week but hasn’t. I feel used – its terrible. Its been a week we haven’t been in contact. Deep down I feel maybe he will realize what he did was wrong or I am just too hurt to process the reality. Please Advise.

    • Hi Marie, My heart goes out to you because I know how painful this is. You have a good and generous heart. However, when a man says he doesn’t want a relationship, that’s when he’s telling the truth. I know this makes no sense considering how close you had gotten.

      Sometimes when a man is down and a woman comes to help, he appreciates the support and feminine energy. But when he’s back on his feet, he most often moves on. Sounds like that might be possible here. Men don’t want to look back to see their own weakness, so they move on. This is what makes you feel used because you gave him your all – money, effort, support, and affection, thinking he loved you and was committed.

      For the future, I recommend NOT investing in a man so deeply early on. Don’t rescue or help a man financially if you are not in a long-term relationship already (at least one year with a commitment). You did this while establishing the relationship and I’m sure it felt like the right thing to do. But there are a lot of “takers” out there in the world. Let a man get to know and love you without “doing stuff” for him. At least not big stuff like moving and lending money. Find a man who loves you for YOU, not for your incredible help.

      Let him go, doing your work to heal, and when you are ready, look for a man who wants to do nice things for you. I know you will find him.

  4. I met a man on a dating app and right away he asked if I prefer texting or phone calls. I hate getting stuck in texting, so I gave him my number and he called. Conversation was great, and he called again the next day. We can talk for hours. He remembers details of what I say. We have a lot in common and are attracted to each other. After a few days he hinted about a date but didn’t make plans. I waited a few days more and eventually I nudged him into a first date, set for Sunday. Leading up to the date we continued to chat. Sunday, he texts a few hours before our date and says he’s been in a car accident! He texted every hour, giving me updates about the ER, etc. He apologized for missing our date and having to reschedule. Most importantly, he didn’t set up a new date. Later that night, he called me as usual and we talked as usual and he said nothing about rescheduling. My intuition says there was no accident. But I’m not 100% sure. It’s been 10 days that we’ve been talking. Should I continue or ask straight up to reschedule? I think he should do it.

    • Hi Nicole, My intuition says you are correct about no accident. (I wrote a post about men who fake being sick.) Since he hasn’t rescheduled, looks like he doesn’t have any intention to do that. He is getting his needs met by simply talking with you. Could be he doesn’t want a relationship, he’s just lonely, he has sexual issues, he’s not truly emotionally available, he doesn’t look like his photo, or he’s in a relationship already, among other possibilities. The reasons don’t actually matter. The bottom line is – of course he should ask you but he’s hasn’t done it! Which means you have one smart choice – STOP TALKING TO HIM and block his number. You already don’t trust him, so why move forward or make the effort yourself? Talking with him may be fun but it’s not leading to a genuine romantic relationship. Hold your head up high, honor yourself, and walk away right now. You deserve the real thing and he is NOT it.

  5. I have been talking to a guy who is my classmates for a couple of months. We have mentioned about relationship and that he have shared with me about his past love experiences. Sometimes he would tease me, and care about my sleep schedule. He told me that he thinks that I am really patient towards him and had always been a great listener. I have no idea how I feel towards him and not sure if he is interested too. There are chances that we would end up in the same university in the future, and he often showed that it would be sad in front of my friends if we keep in contact in the future. Most of my friends think that both of us have good feelings for each other, but I am not really sure if there is true. After a month, we might also not be able to see each other in class anymore, unless we go to the same university. I am debating if I should I confess my feelings before we graduated, or just wait and see how it goes?

    • Hi C – If you tell him how you feel, just be prepared that he might not feel the same way. It doesn’t sound like you are even dating so not sure saying how you feel is a wise choice. If he doesn’t take you on real dates, then you are not really in a relationship. If you want someone to date, look around for someone else. If he is interested in you, he’ll do something about it and if he makes no move to date you then he’s all talk. Plenty of men like to hang out with a woman and enjoy kind hearted listening. That could be all it is since you are not actually dating. Forget what your friends say, it seems to me that he’s not interested enough to make this real.

  6. Hi Ronnie. I have known a guy for 4years, he has been in and out of two relationships between these 4years, finally he is single. We both have feelings for each other from the onset and we both have expressed how much we want to be together. However he has refused to just ask me out, he said he is scared I’ll break his heart and keeps saying I should do something out of the ordinary to make him feel more comfortable to make me his girlfriend.

    • Hi Gift, I know this sounds harsh, but he doesn’t have “feelings” for you. He’s playing head games! If he wanted to be with you, he would ask you out. Yes, it is that simple. What nonsense that he’s scared so you should do something special to make him feel comfortable! He sounds narcissistic and manipulative. You don’t need to prove yourself – he’s known you for 4 years. He’s clearly demonstrating what you’re in for – serious game playing and dancing to his mood swings. I sure hope you’ll take this advice and don’t fall for his crap which will surely break your heart and maybe your spirit.

  7. I’ve been talking to a friend that I know for a year, we had just started to get to know each other for two weeks now. I knew he had feelings for me and I recently had feelings back for him. But he said he doesn’t want to be in a relationship because he doesn’t want to deal with break ups. To very honest, I’m a little upset by what he said. But he did said he wants to stick around me and take care of me. Every time we plan on going dates we just don’t have the time. I am confuse please help?

    • Hi Sofea, Sorry to say once a man says he doesn’t want a relationship, that’s all you need to know. This guy is all talk and no action. Stop listening to what he says and pay attention to what he DOES. He’s doing NOTHING to see you, cancelling dates or maybe never making them. This is a giant red flag that he doesn’t love you regardless of what he says. To save yourself and your heart, RUN, don’t walk away from this man. He is talking out of both sides of his mouth and will break your heart for sure if he already hasn’t.

  8. I was dating a guy (33) for 12 weeks and he ended things 4 days ago. There were zero warning. We were still spending the whole weekend together and a night in the week. He took me out for a nice meal for my birthday and then cooked on my actual birthday which was 2 days before ending things. Over the last 5/6 weeks he’s referred to me as his other half, his missus, his woman, potential girlfriend. He made me his Facebook and Instagram story on my birthday meal. To me that was him telling people ‘this is my girl’. He even stretched out the amount of time we spent together 3 days before he ended things. So no hints etc. Out of the blue he asked how long we’d been dating, I said 12 weeks. Then he calls to say ‘I have feelings for you, but I think they should be stronger at 12 weeks’. He admitted to being attracted, having feelings, I had a great personality, great banter together. Massively confused. He clearly had labelled me as his girlfriend but he spent 1 day thinking about “us” and then decided to end things.

    • Hi Charlotte – That is awful! Three months is often a turning point where things get deeper or couples break up. I’m speculating, but he might be a commitment phobe. You don’t need a man like this who lives by some vague image in his head versus what is happening in real life. How fake is he? Sounds to me like he wanted social proof he could have a girlfriend and then once he made a big show, he exited. There is something unstable about this guy. I hate to say it but you just dodged a bullet with this guy. It might not feel like that right now. Clearly he is not who he was pretending to be and better after 12 weeks than a full year together. Hopefully you soon get to a place where you can say, “What a loser! Glad I’m free of him.” I’m sure once you recover, you will find a better man.

  9. I have been dating a guy for 6months. The first 3 months we spend much time together and he introduced me to his grandparents whom he was staying with. After 3 months he got a job in Nairobi and suddenly started changing. After work he’d only call for 5 min and says he had to sleep. Sometimes I begged him to chat for 30 mins. As time went by he could call after one week or not, if I don’t text, he never texted me. I see he’s online late at night and he claims he is planning for next days work. I told him how I felt but he was not ready to talk. I told him to call when he is free but he never called. He saw my status online about love issues and questioned me. I told him he is feeling guilty because of how he treated me. He said he won’t bother me with relationship issues. I asked what he meant and he said he was only having fun. I am confused. I don’t know whether should let him go and move on or I should be patient. We are university students but he is a year older than me. I am 20yrs

    • Hi Shantel, Once a guy stops contacting you and when asked, won’t talk about it, that tells you all you need to know. He’s no longer interested. Some guys won’t breakup – they want the woman to do it so they won’t feel like the “bad guy”. They treat the woman badly hoping she’ll get mad and end things. So, no need to be patient. Stop talking to him and let it go. Sadly your relationship has been one-sided for 3 months. At 20, you have unlimited opportunities to find a new and better guy. I hope you never put up with this kind of treatment again from any man. You can ask what is happening as you did, but there is really no excuse for such behavior. If this happens again with a new guy, leave quickly. Even a week is long enough to be treated poorly. You are young and have too many options to accept such bad treatment.

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