Understand Men: Believe Him When He Says It’s Not the Right Time

understand men, find love, dating coach

How to Understand Men Better – Believe Him When He Says It’s Not the Right Time

This question comes up so often with my dating coaching clients. How do you know when to believe what a man says to you, and when to disregard the words and look for more accurate signals of truth in his behavior? I’ll explain a simple way to better understand this situation and understand men.

Please help me understand men!

Dear Ronnie The Dating Coach,

I work with this guy Jake and we flirt all the time. When I met him four months ago,  I was in a relationship with George. Small world. Any way, I ended up breaking up with George and moving out. I made it KNOWN to Jake that we weren’t together anymore. I wasn’t happy in that relationship with George and I had come to really like Jake.

Once I told him I was available, Jake ended up giving me his number. That’s a clear indication that he was into me too, right? We text all the time, everyday. But, last weekend I invited him out and he said he was broke and couldn’t come. Then I find out from a friend he didn’t want to intrude because I was out with a friend. That puzzled me.

When we text, he’s always making flirty comments to me like “we need to get together.” But, I asked him again when can we get together and he said,  “We will…it’s just not the right time right now.” What does all of this mean?? Does he think he’s just a rebound because I just got out of a relationship, or what? He’s also in college but he has time for his friends on the weekends. I just don’t understand men! Please help me with this situation.

Thanks so much,
Confused in Colorado

Dear Confused,

First my heart goes out to you for the emotional pain this confusing situation is causing you. Trying to understand men can be difficult, but I am going to share two concepts that will make things so much easier in the future. One is below in this post . The other will be posted next week.

1. Believe men when they give a reason for not being in a relationship. So often my advice is not to believe what a man says, but to watch his actions instead. However, in this case, the opposite is true. When a man tells you he’s not ready, the time isn’t right, or he doesn’t want anything serious with you – BELIEVE HIM!

Most women tend to ignore these clear statements men make, thinking he’ll change his mind or it conflicts with his actions. I understand why this is difficult and confusing, but trust me – the very best thing is to take him at his word when he is pushing you away.

This is very different from a man telling you how perfect you are and spelling out his great plans for the future, yet he doesn’t follow through. In that case – I recommend to my dating coaching clients that they believe his ACTIONS, not his WORDS.

Let me make this very simple:

When a man pushes you away and gives a reason, believe him.
When a man draws you in with sweet talk, watch his actions instead
to know his true intentions.

Following this wisdom will keep your heart safe and help you read between the lines to understand men better.

2. Don’t Pursue Men.  I’ll talk more about this second point next week.

Photo Credit – North Charleston




30 responses on “Understand Men: Believe Him When He Says It’s Not the Right Time

  1. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Sam, The romance you have a with this man is sexual chemistry which can fool you because he has given you all the signals he DOESN’T WANT a relationship. “Let’s be professional, I’m too busy, if it’s meant to happen.” This is his way of trying to get you off the idea of a relationship. He may want to sleep with you (or no) but no relationship. Getting attached to him is a VERY BAD IDEA. If you want to train with him great, but do not date him because he doesn’t want love and it seems like you do. By the way, he is NOT SUFFERING to keep his distance, but he’s really good at SEDUCTION. For example, believing in destiny and if it’s meant to be. He’s feeding you lines and my bet is he’s a serious flirt and maybe a player. Work out and then go meet men who want a relationship.

  2. Sam

    Hi, I just met this guy 2 weeks back and we instantly clicked and have a strong deep connection. Every time we look into each other’s eyes there so much romance. He is training me to lose weight & lives in the same apartments as me so we have common neighbor friends that we hang out with. We are compatible and want the same thing out of life. He dates women causally and had 1 serious relationship where his girlfriend cheated on him and he went through therapy to get over the heartbreak. He just started a business so he’s super busy. He says he likes me and is attracted to me physically & emotionally. But this isn’t the right time as we don’t know each other too well and we both are super busy. He feels we should be professional and serious about the training to get me back into shape and he doesn’t want anything to come in the way of it. I can see him suffering to keep his distance and not look me in the eyes while training. I completely agree with him but I just don’t know if I should get attached with him or try to move on from him. He says let’s be friends and get to Know each other. If it’s meant to be it will happen for sure. And that he believes in destiny.

  3. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Ann, I agree. with him – focus on other things – like dating to find a new love. This guy is living in another country, says his life is a mess and so is lost to you. Believe what he says and move on – there’s nothing left to do and hanging on with hope sadly, won’t bring him back.

  4. Ann

    I know this guy for almost 3 months and we got on well at the beginning, however we now living in different country and its hard to get on hold with each other sometimes. I told him i have been missing him and express my frustration a little. He told me he is a mess, I should focus on other things, he is the last thing I need to think of. I know completely how his life been difficult and saw its my eyes. what would you suggest though?

  5. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Deniece, How can I tell you what was up with this guy? There is no way to know. But I can say this is better off left alone. Why reconnect now if you are happy and have a family? I can only think you’d be better off staying away. Who knows why he seemed interested and then stopped communicating – maybe its as simple as you saying you didn’t want to have a long distance relationship. Maybe he didn’t want another friend, but wanted romance.

  6. Deniece Dyer

    I was seeing a guy on and off for a year about 6 years ago. We had both come out of long term relationships when we started dating. He told me he felt a connection, that he was catching feelings for me but the timing was wrong because he was going traveling. He said he would love it if I visited him but I never did because I was focused on my career. He asked if I thought we could have a long distance relationship and I said I didn’t think it was practical but I still wanted to stay in contact and he agreed. Before he set off to travel he ghosted me. I tried contacting whilst he was traveling with no response. Despite dating one another, we were friends beforehand and use to message each other to see how the other was. When he got back, he never spoke to me again. I moved on and met someone and had a child. I tried emailing as a friend to see how he was and tell him I had a daughter. I am not wanting to pursue a romantic relationship with him now but, always wondered why he never wanted to talk as friends ever again?

  7. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Zee, I suppose anything is possible and he might figure out his life and come back. But may I suggest you not wait, hoping that will happen? Instead, go about your life, meet other men, etc. And if he comes back someday, you’ll decide if you are still interested. Chances are low he will return because time marches on…and they meet other women. Sometimes the timing is wrong and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  8. Zee

    This guy i was seeing for 5 months started to become distant saying he’s crammed with school and work that he doesn’t have time for a relationship right now but says he really likes me. He wanted to take a break until he could figure his life out and said hell be in touch when he’s ready. We’re still friends and talk but he doesn’t really reach out to me. I don’t know if he’s stringing me along or if he really means what he says? I really like him and hope it does work out but I’m not sure if he’s for real or not.

  9. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Sarah, When a man says he isn’t ready for a relationship, no amount of space will help. He DOESN’T WANT A RELATIONSHIP. So, you might want to read this post “Does He Like Me?” and move on now. More time will not change anything. This is why I always tell my clients don’t text longer than 7 days without meeting a man because you get attached. You feel there is a connection but (and I said this compassionately) you are living a fantasy. You have never met him. Let go and move on. And don’t get sucked into these virtual texting relationships or even phone conversations for months. It’s a heart breaker for sure. If a man can’t meet you in 7 days, he never will, especially if he’s far away. It’s EXTREMELY rare that a long distance guy wants more than a romantic fling once or just the fantasy and female attention.

  10. Sarah

    So I started talking to this guy about 3 months ago we were getting on so well, had a connection and really liked each other. I asked where we were going with things and he said he likes me a lot but isn’t ready for a relationship. So I backed off for a few days and said I didn’t mean to be too much, but needed to know where I stand. He has said he likes me and it made him freely out a little as he had finished with his ex of 8 years a year ago. And saying if the timing was different then who knows? What should I do as I do really like him? Should I stop messaging him and leave him to get some space? Really confused. Thanks.

  11. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Marie, Is he the right guy? I’m not so sure. Is the right man for you so absorbed in his own life and hurt by a past love that he couldn’t do anything about having a relationship with you until you told him you were leaving? Think about that for a while. I think he’s a bit lazy or not into you enough to be a man and step up do start a relationship. If you don’t mind being with a wishy washy guy who’s more beta than a leader, then he might he right guy. But since you are already questioning this, I would say too little too late from him. And you are moving away anyway. What does he mean by a matter of timing? He means he’s been too distracted with his own life to take steps to date you. Whatever his problems are, have they somehow magically cleared up? I doubt it. Be careful because a man who can’t get out of his own way could drag you down with him. You’re young and there are lots of guys your age. Why get caught up in this when you are planning to leave anyway? Sorry, I cannot advise you to get serious with this guy.

  12. Marie

    Hi Ronnie!
    I worked with this guy and we’ve been talking like friends for a year now. I really like him and was hoping he felt the same. He told me bits of his feelings through texting. He doesn’t talk on the phone but, rather see me in person. Since this is a new year, I figured I’d finally tell him how I felt because it’s been off and on with us for a year. I got accepted to another college and will be moving in a few months. When I told him, it took him 2 days to reply and tell me how he felt hurt. Why did it take him a whole year to finally spill his feelings out to me when I told him I’m moving soon. He tells me all the time how much he misses me and wants to see me but, he has a lot going on and felt afraid of having a real relationship. Someone he use to date caused him to doubt himself. He says he has deep feelings, wants me in his life and wants to see me before I leave. He felt bad for taking so long to tell me. For a whole year, both of us felt the same way about each other but I had to be the one to tell him first and that’s when he finally opened up to me. He said it’s just been a matter of timing. What does he mean by that? I’m confused because I think of him all the time and would like for us to give it a try and told him that. Is it the right guy at the wrong time kind of thing? Help!

  13. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Maria, Sadly, he’s breaking up with you. He means the time is not right because there have been too many arguments. But, he doesn’t want to start another so he’s indirect with nonsense about when the time is right. If you are smart, you will let him go with grace. Some people do not enjoy fighting and this can push a man away. Often men look to women for fun, enjoyment of life and peace. It could be that you just were not compatible over time. You’ll find another man and hopefully one you get along with better.

  14. Maria

    This guy i was with for 4 years said he does not want to be with me right because of all the arguments we been having for a while. He said he wants to be with me but does not want to get back into the relationship right away but when the time is right . What does he mean?

  15. Kay

    I walked…. gracefully.

    We talked a lot about what was going on. He has some ridiculous guilt trip about the split with his ex, needs closure, wants to move on with me but cant. We mutually agreed to stay away. He seems sincere but, confused. My gut tells me he is just in a mess. Told him that I won’t be a player in a game with more than two participants. If and when he sorts himself, he knows where I am, though I might not be available anymore. Sucks though. He was like a best friend…. they are few and far between.

  16. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Kay – Run! You are on the money there. This man has another woman in his life but is spending time ego-building and enjoying you. Dump his ass fast and don’t waste time with men who don’t have time to date you RIGHT NOW. There is only today. Future talk is 99.999999% meaningless, designed to string you along and give you hope. There’s no hope here – your instincts are right so run, don’t walk.

  17. Kay

    So I’ve met someone unexpectedly. We hit it off majorly. Then his ex gets in touch. I walk away. We reconnect. He’s always telling me how much I mean to him and how much he likes me. How I feature in his ideal future. There is no FWB. He likes me too much. Blah blah blah….we talk every day, all day. He says he knows we will be together One day. – I should cut and run right?

  18. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Nini, Those flaws are REAL. Even if you can see the good, my bet is the bad weighs more. On top of that he is telling you the timing is wrong which is his way of saying he’s not going to get serious. So, no matter how much you like him, to guard your heart walk away. You can tell him to give you a call when the timing is right and if you’re still available then you’ll see what happens. Do not let him convince you otherwise. This is a time to be true to yourself.

  19. Nini

    I’m dating a guy and we have been for about 6 months. He expeessses that he can see himself with me and I make him want to be better but he feels that the timing is wrong. He continues to say it’s not time…we have met each other’s kids and he wanted me to meet his mom. He has a lot of flaws and negative but I can see the good. I’m not saying I’m looking for a relationship but I am getting attached… should I just run to protect my heart?

  20. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Happy – The “time will be right” means he’s in no hurry to see you again. You ‘d be ready right now but not him. He’s got other things to do or women to see. So it means he’s not the man for you if you want a guy who’s really into you.

  21. Happy

    Hi, what does “we’ll meet again when the time is right” mean
    what gives him the impression that now isn’t the right time? I really like this guy

  22. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Peyton,
    When a guy says he doesn’t want anything serious, you need to hear that and believe it. I’m sorry to say this but there is no reason to continue seeing him if you want a real relationship and he doesn’t. Just to be sure, ask him why he wants to meet your family if he doesn’t want to get serious. Normally, that is a step in getting serious and into a long-term relationship.

    The problem is, the longer you stay with a FWB guy who doesn’t want a true relationship, the more attached you’ll get. But he’s not the guy for you since he doesn’t want what you want which IS a serious relationship. Give this situation some real thought. No matter how much time you spend with him, if he doesn’t want a relationship, you are wasting your time with the wrong guy. You are probably better off spending the summer looking for a man who wants to be in a relationship than with this guy.

    On a rare occasion when you let a guy know you are moving on because he doesn’t want a relationship, he might decide to go for it. But you can not do this if you are not willing to really walk away. You can’t fool him or blackmail him. But on occasion if you are truly willing to move on, a man can get motivated if he doesn’t want to lose you.

  23. Peyton

    Hi so I’ve been friends with benefits with this guy for 5 months now we’re both in college. Next year he’s going to a different campus 40 minutes away but I will also go that campus after next year. . Our first date was to a ball, we’ve slept in the same bed for 4 months but it’s summer now. I have even met his parents and stayed over for 4 days, and he is intent on meeting mine pretending to be my boyfriend so we can spend time together over summer. Now he got out of an 8 month relationship 3 months before we started talking. We go on dates and do all that relationship stuff even not sleeping with anyone else, but he says he does not want anything serious. We both have feelings, but I feel like it’s getting too fake serious. What are your thought on this? Also my question is should I wait all summer and see how things go next year or just end if he doesn’t want anything serious right now?

  24. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jenny, My bet is there is more to the story. When a man doesn’t know what he wants or is unsure about his own future, he’ll have trouble committing to a future with a woman. When he started your relationship he was into it but things changed for some reason. Its very possible it did have nothing to do with you. So sounds to me like he was being honest with you – he just cant’ handle it right now. Unless…he met someone while he was on his trip…You never know.

    right now the best thing you can do is take him at his word, let go and move on. There are other men who are relationship ready – you just have to meet some new guys.

  25. Jenny

    I was dating a guy for about half a year. In the beginning, he always talked about our future, he was very sweet and attentive. He seemed so sure that he wanted a relationship with me even though I wasn’t so sure. Then he went away on a trip, he said he didn’t want to lose me so we did long distance for the 3 months that he was gone. We messaged and called a lot less near the end of his trip, things got a bit rocky sometimes but the expectation of us being together was still there. When he got back, he told me that he just doesn’t want a relationship with anyone right now. He told me that it’s not me, he said he likes me, it’d be with me if he did want a relationship, he just doesn’t want any obligations right now. He cried when he broke it off with me. I guess I’m just really confused.

  26. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Nuli,
    What he means is that he needs his freedom. He kindly suggests you’ll see him again but I wouldn’t hold your breath. This is his way trying to soften the blow that he can’t see you any more. He sounds like a charmer. Take him at his word and move on. He’s not the man for you – the right man would never walk away like this.

  27. Nuli

    What does a man mean when you says to you “I need to find myself in this life. I have alot on the line and i just cant jeopardize everything. Your an amazing person and i thank the most high i got the opportunity to meet you. But if you love me the way you say then youll understand and help me. Ima be gone but when the time is right ill see you again.”

  28. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Kerry,

    Who can say for sure. But my bet is he did like you but wanted to have his own family just as he said. Otherwise, why would he get so emotional? I don’t think he was messing with you – I think he was being honest and he found it hard to say that, share his truth and hurt you.

  29. kerry

    Hi, I was seeing a guy for a year when he told me on Xmas night he wants to be with someone with no children that he wants kids of his own. I was devastated and he was crying when he ended it.. I’m not sure how much he liked me but he said I’m the right guy for you but this isn’t the right time… I’m really confused why he said this was he trying to mess with my head or was it an easy way out??
    Please help me ease my thoughts x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *