Understanding Men: Suddenly He’s Too Busy to See Me?

Need help understanding men? This post answers a question from a reader about men and explains what is happening when a guy tells you, “I’m so busy.”

understanding men“Dear Dating Coach Ronnie,

I need your help. We’ve been dating for almost a month. He’s been attentive, making dates, really into me and then suddenly –a week before Valentine’s Day– he didn’t make time to see me. At the end of every date or time together he has followed up quickly… and now nothing. No texts for 3 days.

So I sent him a text advising him of my first day off in 4 weeks. He quizzed me about the day asking when I’m free and what work I’m doing now. Then nothing until LATE last night, he sent a weird message about how he’s been so busy and “did you have a fantastic day?” What is that about? I’m so OVER this dating bullsh*t.

I really like this guy and i thought he really liked me, you know? But not talking to me at all for 3 days and then quizzing me instead of having a heart-felt conversation (like we’ve had numerous times up until now) doesn’t cut it.

I’m sure Valentine’s Day is playing a part in freaking him out. I don’t care too much about Valentine’s Day – I just enjoy spending time together. I feel he’s losing interest in me. I want to ignore him right now because I’m so angry. 🙁 I don’t know what to do. Please give me some of your dating advice.

Thanks,
No Texts in Texas”

 

Dear No Texts,

I’m sorry this is happening to you. It’s so hard when dating seems to be going well and then BOOM, it fizzles out. And you have no idea what went wrong. Of course this is certainly not uncommon – pretty much standard dating nonsense.

Is he freaked out by Valentine’s Day? Maybe. But if he were as into you as he was acting, why would he risk turning you off?  I’m going to guess something else is going on. When a man tells you he’s been so busy, that’s the biggest RED FLAG. He was so into and now he’s suddenly busy? I don’t think so.

I hate to break this to you, but “I’m so busy” is ManSpeak or code to cover a bunch of circumstances. Let me help you with understanding men and explain what those words could mean:

  • I’m not that into you any more
  • I met someone else
  • I don’t have time for you
  • Dating is not my priority right now
  • I’m done, but want to keep you hanging

He could also be pulling away like so many men do when things are going well and it occurs to them that a relationship is starting. That’s another reason why a guy might scamper off and become too busy. They do get scared about commitment and getting caught up in something. Usually this is the sign of an ambivalent man – one who isn’t sure what he wants.

There is no denying that dating is a process. It takes time to observe a man’s behavior in a variety of situations. You are watching for consistency in a man’s actions. This guy started out doing all the right things, but now he’s doing a disappearing act. I realize this kind of thing can take a toll on your heart.

I lived through this myself and it was tough no doubt. But I came up with a way to handle the disappointment and actually guard against it. When I was dating over 40 to find love, I noticed a lot of guys showed up gung ho, then evaporated. I also got sick of this quickly.

Date More Than One Man at a Time

For me, the solution was to date several men at the same time. Any man who pursued me and fit within my idea of a potential mate – I went out with him. This way, if a man was only around for one, two or three dates, I had other contenders in line.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s not sleazy – it’s very smart dating strategy!  Especially for online dating – just expect men to be seeing other women until they tell you they want to be exclusive with you. Then you won’t be shocked when you find out you are not the only one.

Understanding Men – Realize Dating is a Glorified Sorting Process

The idea is to realize that dating is not the same as being in a relationship. From the first 4 – 8 dates, you are still in dating mode. Until you know you have a standing date on Saturday night (depending on schedules), you are NOT in a relationship.

Relationships take time to develop. Everything else is just dating where there is no commitment. The purpose of dating is to spend time with someone to evaluate his/her potential as a mate and decide if you want to invest more time getting to know each other.

So, it’s time to let go and  move on. Brush yourself off and start again. It’s not easy, but this is the only way you will find love. And believe me, if you persevere, YOU WILL FIND LOVE. I know because against all kinds of odds, I found an adorable man and we’ve been married now for nearly 15 years. I had no prospects when I started dating at 40, but found 30 guys to date in just 15 months.

Dating is a journey of self discovery. You are learning about yourself – what works and what doesn’t and how to react to keep yourself open to meeting more men. That’s the biggest secret of successful dating – don’t stop until you find the right one.

Wishing you love,

dating coach, understanding men, true love

 

 

PS. Learn more about understanding men’s mixed signals in my Free book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing! Find Out What He Really Means and get my newsletter with helpful insightful and tips

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74 responses on “Understanding Men: Suddenly He’s Too Busy to See Me?

  1. Alex

    This article has rung true on quite a few levels for me and I’m very glad I found it! I was dating a guy for around 4 months and we had been chatting on and off for a month before our first “date”. He is a lot older than me, baggage that I wouldn’t have put on my want list but we hit it off and before I knew it he was introducing me as his girlfriend, wanting me to meet everyone including his family and children and his best friend and we spent a few months spending 2 or 3 nights a week together, went away a couple of times and he discussed the future. All this seemed to come to a rather abrupt end the day I laid eyes on his “ex lay” (sorry don’t have a better word to describe her) who he still works with – she had been there the whole time we were dating but I never saw her. Fast forward to a few weeks later, cancelled dates, “too busy to answer the phone” moments, illness, parents evening and generally being unavailable and I decided to make it clear enough was enough. Needless to say he did the manly thing and decided to vanish into thin air whilst I was waiting to speak to him (she was there in the background) and he then chose to end things via a text message 2 days later and returned my items, together with gifts I had given him the following day. A month on and I have days of being unable to comprehend what the hell happened with us, he was the man I saw as my future and someone I fell for deeply yet no contact since that day, not one word and I am glad. This article just shows that until you have been with someone for a good number of months you never know them. They can portrait a very different side to themselves for a good while before their mask slips.

  2. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Alex,

    So sorry to hear about how your relationship ended. It certainly did seem like it was going in the right direction. Sounds like his old girlfriend took him back. Your point is well made – finding out if a man is the right one takes time.

  3. sharon l reynolds

    Met this guy online he texted a little, asked me and my daughter to join them for dinner I turned him down because it was to short notice. He said he’d talk to me tomorrow then didn’t text I didn’t either. Next day I texted him he apologized said he was busy at work and would Text when he got some free time…is he on the level or not

  4. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Sharon, We don’t have enough information yet to know if he’s on the level. If a week goes by and you haven’t met him yet, move on.

    On a separate note I do question the wisdom of having a first date including kids. Exposing your family to men you aren’t serious about is probably not a smart practice. Best to build a relationship before you introduce your children if possible.

  5. Nat

    So I’ve been dating this guy for about 5 weeks, dates, dinner and all that stuff. He’s in the army but see each other a lot, we talked about all kinds off stuff, some personal. But now he’s saying he’s busy at work.. I understand he might be because of what he does but is it really a blow of ?? Only been 2 days

  6. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Nat,
    Yeah, he might be busy, but unless he’s got a secret assignment or is going off to a foreign country, there’s no excuse not to be in touch. See how long this busy period lasts. Did he say how long it would be? Any vagueness leads me to think you might be right about the blow off. If it’s more than a week without any contact, it’s probably time to move on.

  7. Em

    I’ve been seeing someone for a few months, and we spent a ton of time together. But lately, he’s become busy (with very legitimate things, school and work and other “housekeeping”) and we have see each other much less frequently. He’s established that he doesn’t want a serious relationship right now but there is mutual interest and we care a lot for each other, he always texts me at least once every day. I know that it may sound like a waste of time, but I want to continue to just spend time with him. How do I ask him to try and make time without sounding like I’m pushy or trying to force something since he is somewhat far from me and is stretched thin?

  8. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Em
    I gotta be honest with you – he doesn’t want a serious relationship and is not open to more time with you. If he was, he wouldn’t have excuses. You want more and he wants less so he’s not the right man for you. Yes it is that simple. If you act needy or clingy, that won’t bring him closer either. The best thing you can do for yourself is to let go and move on to find a man who wants a relationship and one with you. He is NOT that guy.

  9. lizz blair

    I recently had a guy tell me we were dating and I was like, “What, we’ve never been on a date.” He just wanted to tell me were an item to get nude photos. Ladies if they don’t spend time with you, you are not important.

  10. Jennifer

    I have read many of the posts and understand the point don’t pursue the guy, but at what point should you feel like you can communicate and not just wait for guy to initiate conversation? How many dates is this? I’ve been dating a guy I met on online site for a little over 2 months now. Text each other almost everyday and have been on 4 really good dates. Should I still only wait for him to text me first and initiate dates?

  11. Sasha

    I’ve been seeing this guy almost a year. And he had a lot to do before. But a few weeks a ago he started to text me he’s busy. Which i can believe. He has his own buisness and a list of other responsibilities. But what was an everyday i’ll talk to you thing has become a maybe 2 to 3 days with way less texts. I still think he likes me. Because of the way he talks to me. But could he be acting this way because i rejected his proposal to move in with him? And kind of one of marriage. Im scared of those things and i really want to make sure he is it. But this feeling of not really having him like i did is making me more scared than of marriage or sharing a place with him. If i can, how can i fix this?

  12. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Sasha,

    There’s so much I don’t know about your situation making it hard to give you a good answer.

    He asked you to move in and get married. You said no strictly because you are scared of those two things? Or are you scared of them with him? If the fear of losing him is becoming stronger than the fear of living with or marrying him, why not talk to him about that? When one person wants more from a relationship than the other, it’s hard to hang in there.

    One idea I have recommended to many people that works, is to live together for three months as a trial run. Keep your apartment, just move some of your stuff into his (He could also keep his place and move in temporarily with you.) Then see how it goes to discover if this could be the right next move. It’s safe and is the least disruptive, allowing you to focus on your relationship with fewer worries should things go south. If at the end of three months, you feel more ready, then you can make it official and one of you lets go of his/her home.

    This is the safe and baby step way to move your relationship to the next level. I myself did this with the man I married. He moved in with me, but kept his place in case things didn’t work out to his liking. After two months we both knew it was a go and so he let go of his apartment and moved everything in with me. We got engaged and married within 6 months.

    Talk to him about your fear and find a way to take those baby steps if you feel he is the right guy. Don’t lose him over your fear of commitment – that would be so sad.

  13. Yvonne

    I’ve been seeing this guy for a month. The first week we seen each other a lot. Recently he’s been real busy. He has a repo business. So I can understand. But there was a moment where he didn’t call or text in 2 days. Am I being to pushy about it? He has talked about settling down, making a family. And we’re even trying for a child. Am I doing wrong trying to keep in touch.

  14. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Yvonne – you know this man a month and you are trying to have a child with him? I say this with care but please chose your future child’s father with greater care. After one month you know NOTHING about this man. Men who talk about settling down and having a family when you first meet, don’t try for a child immediately. That is a seduction tactic so you’ll trust him and sleep with him. He is playing you in a shameful way, not a gentleman and not serious about you. Please be careful.

  15. Alicia

    Ive been talking to this guy for over a month now. He took me on a date then texted me right after it saying he had a great time. since then we talk everyday. we have only hungout once after the date and havent seen him for 3-4 weeks, but we still talk. he talks about hanging out with me but doesnt make the effort. i know he is genuinely a busy person but i feel like he could make time. i confronted him and he said “its just a busy time for me right now and im being honest”. ive thought about just stop talking to him to see what his reaction would be but im not sure. i think im wasting my time but hes not really communicating to me what he really wants.

  16. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Alicia – Yes, you are wasting time with this man. Don’t bother texting or talking to a man more than 7-10 days after a first date without another. He just wants a texting buddy and that “I’m busy” stuff is nothing but excuses. If a man wants to see you, he finds a way! Build confidence enough to walk away vs. wait for men who leave you hanging. Just say “No thanks” internally to men who don’t have time to see you or don’t treat you right.

  17. Priscilla

    i was introduced to his man by a friend and we have been communicating-video calls, chat, text -for about four months now-we are distant apart and were doing so well, i felt after 3 years of getting over a jilt, i found someone i could call my own and was in love with. Then he started ignoring my messages, wasn’t calling back…i got so scared, cos i didn’t want to loose him. after 4 days of being on and off…he sent a message that he cant do this anymore; he has lost strength of holding on to a distant relationship.He thought we could do it, but its stressing him out. am trying on my part to get my documents intact and be with him cos i dont want to give up on us.( we discussed some months back cos that was the only way to be with him)
    Ronnie, am i pushing things by getting my documents intact or i should just let it go?

  18. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Priscilla – have you ever met him face-to-face in person? If not, I would not forge ahead. I’m not sure what kind of documents you are talking about but how can you move to be with a man you have never met for real? I strongly recommend letting it go and looking for a local man. That is SO MUCH EASIER and far more REAL. The long-distance thing rarely works if you’ve never met and even if you have. It can happen, but it’s not so likely. And with this man already telling you he is stressing him out and pulling away, I’d move on with grace and dignity while you can.

  19. Em

    I have been talking to a man for about two months. We have been on 3 dates due to his time constraints. He owns his on business, fencing. He has 2 children one of which is in baseball and they are practicing ever night plus weekends and games. He recently had to take over his father’s business due to his father broke his ankle. We are going to see each other Sunday because we are both off Monday. Since his father broke ankle, he has not been in touch but is super sweet when I text him occasionally. .. Is he blowing me off?

  20. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Em,
    Sometimes men use busy-ness to not get close to a woman. Sometimes they just don’t have time to date. It sounds to me like your guy is not really available. He may be nice, but he’s not relationship ready because he has too much going on. So you are not a priority. Of course this is a shame, but if you want a loving, mature relationship, he probably can’t give that to you. He’s not a bad guy, it’s just is life is too taxing.

    So if you don’t mind being casual and seeing him occasionally, then keep going. But if this is aggravating and you truly want more, he’s not the man for you. It doesn’t matter how much you like each other or how good you are together – its just what is true. I know that’s hard but when will this get better? Sadly t won’t.

  21. Philippa

    I’d appreciate your feedback I started seeing a guy last October. I really like him – he’s totally different than the usual men I go for but in a good way. When we met he had been just offered a new job moving away! But we saw each other for 3 months until he moved. He has visited 5 times. I was due to meet his family and visit for the first time 5 weeks ago but became ill so didn’t make it. I’ve been ill not for 10 weeks and he hasn’t visited. But he keeps in contact every day. His new job has made it difficult to take the time out. He reassures me it isn’t because he doesn’t care. He is saving for a house for us. He was due tomorrow for a 3-day visit but cant find anywhere to keep his dogs as my landlord wont allow. So I don’t know yet whether he’s coming. H also plans to visit in 2 weeks for a week as he is house sitting for someone nearby where he can bring his dogs. Should I be worried that he hasn’t visited in 10 weeks? It’s making me hurt, wary, anxious, and upset

  22. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Philippa, this is tough because essentially you haven’t seen him for almost as long as you dated him (10 weeks vs. 12). You were going to meet his family which is a good sign,but then you couldn’t go. He might have to work, but it sounds like a great excuse as well. See what happens when he house sits nearby and how much time he makes to see you. He may not be interested any more but doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or have a big emotional scene. Men often stay in touch even when they have moved on. I know this is hard but you probably need to wait and see. The one thing that is worth thinking about is how can you move your relationship forward if you do not spend time together? it just might not work out due to the distance which does happen sometimes.

  23. Philippa

    Hi Ronnie thanks for your reply I am just interested to know your thoughts when you say he may just be keeping in touch would he do that several times a day and last thing at night with I love you etc? it would just be interesting to now what you feel on this yes you are right can we move the relationship forward we had plans every 4/5 weeks and it is worth knowing also the reason for this time gap on my part has been chronic illness too but he didnt visit I guess the test is the week coming up and if it happens Philippa

  24. Philippa

    Oh and when I confront him directly if he still wants this he says believe me you would know if I didnt! I would let you know

  25. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Phillipa – yes, sometimes men do contact you several times a day, tell you they want you and still not make time to see you. His talking has no value without matching actions. Text and talk are easy – action is what matters. So see if he comes through with the next visit.

  26. Lola

    Hi Ronnie I met this guy online hes 18 still at home with his parents..his parents are strict we were talking for a month before he started to act different stop calling me baby stop telling me goodnight etc less texting then the word busy came out he claims hes busy cause his parents have him on a new schedule and he can’t do anything that he genuinely wants to be with me that hes not leading me on but he can’t cause of that new schedule I’m confuse if he just lost interest in me or if its really true that he couldn’t be with me cause his parents have him working all the time. Please help cause I’m sad over this.

  27. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Lola, I know this might sound harsh but if you haven’t met him in a month you never will. Don’t text guys for weeks without meeting them – it’s a guaranteed waste of time. The next point is when a guy says he’s busy, just like in the article, he’s pushing you away. That’s a strategy to create distance when a guy doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. The stuff about wanting to be with you is camouflage for not wanting to hurt your feelings. So is he leading you on? Not really – he told you he can’t see you. Take him at his word, believe him and move on.

  28. Claire

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 3 years and we’ve had our ups and downs. This summer he’s been working to pay for college so I understand that he’s busy and I know asking for his time is sort of selfish be ause paying for college is important and he needs all the money he can get but lately his conversations with me have turned into cold, one worded responses that keep dwindling. Now he just doesn’t respond to my messages (a week or longer if I don’t send something like a question that needs a response) or if he does it’ll be an insincere apology and an “I’ve been really busy”. I don’t know if maybe it’s time to break it off because I’m mad and incredibly upset about this and I feel like there’s nothing I can do because I don’t know what he’s thinking. It could be pet troubles, family troubles, he’s exhausted from work, or that he’s losing interest and doesn’t know how to break it off. I’ve thought about this from every angle and tried to be understanding but this is getting sort of ridiculous.

  29. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Claire, I’m sure this will be heard to hear but he is telling you something. He’s no longer interested. He doesn’t make time for and doesn’t feel your relationship is important to him. Even though he’s not saying this, he is CLEARLY SHOWING YOU THIS. So the next step is up to you. And the best thing you can do with a man who doesn’t respond is stop trying. Stop texting, calling and frankly caring. Because the hard truth is he doesn’t care any more. It’s not because of his troubles. It’s because he doesn’t feel it anymore. So let him go and move on with dignity.

    One of the hardest things about relationships is that women over want closure. But true closer doesn’t really exist. If he wanted to tell you why he felt this way, he would do that. Instead he’s taking the coward’s way out and being cold and distant so you will break up with him. Do yourself and in this case him a favor and move on. Of course it hurts, but really you aren’t walking away from anything real at this point. Take time to heal and you’ll find a new boyfriend and a man who wants to spend time with you.

  30. Claire

    Thank you for your reply. I’m slowly starting to agree to the idea.
    How do I break up with him if I never see him and can’t get him to respond?
    I dont want to stoop to a lower level by breaking up via text or phone call…

  31. Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan

    Claire – you are thinking about this as if he’s in love and you don’t want to hurt his feelings. But unfortunately that is not true. He’s really already done the breaking up with his distancing. You can simply stop texting. Or you stand up for yourself and say, “I deserve a man who wants to spend time with me. Good luck with school.” You are NOT stooping to his level. He may not be a bad person but sure doesn’t deserve special treatment or your caring nature.

  32. Claire

    If I just stop texting him, will that automatically mean we’re broken up? Like hypothetically if I started dating someone else would everyone not label me as a cheater because I never actually broke up with him in words?
    Also, I thought texting a breakup was one of the worst things a person could do. Is that no longer true?
    Thank you!

  33. ANIS

    Hi Ronnie, I just start going out with this guy, we had 6-8 dates already and everything has been good, at the beginning he would ask me for a next date while together, but lately he doesn’t even say anything until a day before or same day. We used to go out on weekends, but now he only invites me to his place at nights for movies because he is always busy during the day. This last time, I proposed to go to the park Sat. afternoon, since he hasn’t say anything to me, and he said he was busy on Sat and Sunday, but to watch a movie at night will be ok..I am so frustrated because it looks like he just want me to fill out the “extra time” he has. Please give me an advice. I really enjoy when we are toghether, and don’t want to rush things, but… should I move on?

  34. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Andrea, I’m so sorry to tell you that you are right on target. I’m just confirming what you already know. He is filling time with you and has another woman he sees on the weekends. There is no other explanation. The good news is that you are smart enough to figure that out rather than waste your time hoping things will go back to how they were. Definitely move on – I’m sure there’s a better man out there for you. Keep looking until you find him.

  35. Julie

    Relationship or sickness? I believe the later of the two! In February 201 will (hopefully NOT) mark 20 years of an on and off “thing”.. Truly no one drives me more insane and wild at the same time. We break up for months at a time, then make our way back to each other, we’re so happy to be together and we work in MANY ways :)..then POOF..it blows up in our faces.

  36. Amber

    Hi Ronnie,

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship for 3 months now. My boyfriend has his own business and I know he’s been having problems with his work. I understand but he can go on days without contact. When he does he says he misses me and that he’s been busy. He also asks if I’m okay. I just want to know if I should still go on waiting for him to come around or should I just give up.

  37. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Amber, Don’t waste time waiting around for some guy if you are only three months in. Did you read the post? Because what I said in it pertains to you as well. The point is a man who is too busy is letting you know you are not his priority. If he’s not making time for you when things are new, he he never will. If you want to be important to a man – he’s not the one. Either he’s too consumed with his business and therefore not ready or emotionally available to date or you might not be the right woman for him. Either way, he sure isn’t the right man for you. Time to let go and move on to find someone on the same wave length.

  38. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Julie, I wrote a blog post about your question because the answer was too long for the comment section. You can read it here.

  39. Robin Silverest

    Gosh, I hear this from so many women–including my 18 yr old daughter who has just entered the dating world. I had a LTR with a guy who would pull this crap with me from time to time, he was one of those that didn’t want a relationship, but didn’t want to let me go either. YEP LADIES! Move on and do it quickly. Frankly it is a sign of “sheepish” behavior, and that isn’t attractive at all.

  40. Mary

    Hello, I met this this guy and things were working perfectly for a month. We used to talk a lot almost all day long texting, and going out 3 times during this period. However, now he is just telling me that he is too busy with work, work events, and family. He always tells me that he misses me and loves me, that I make him happy, but I’m so confuse because is being a week that he is just telling me that he is busy and “I really miss you baby” . I don’t know what to do or what is it..please help me

  41. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Mary, I’m sorry to say that this is a man’s way of ending things when he isn’t good at being direct. My advice is to let it go gracefully – there are more men out there.

  42. Alexandra

    Hi Ronnie,
    I met this guy online a few weeks ago and the first week we hung out three days in a row and now its like once a week. Also when i text it takes him 4+ hours for a simple response and he is constantly saying how busy he is but then asks me how my day was. If i respond to a text he just sent he still waits several hours to text me back. Its been 4 weeks now and 5 dates and I feel like we should communicate a bit better not worse then initially. Is he pulling away or am I being clingy? How do i mention my issues with communication without seeming too much or should i let it go? Thanks

  43. Katherine

    Hey Ronnie,
    Hopefully you can help me? I’m a college student and I stupidly caught feelings for a guy who’s been pursuing me since the second week of school.
    He’s sweet, helpful, and straight from South Korea, so I know things take time, but is he just stringing me along? Alot of times, I set up times for us to hang out, but he is always doing something else. Homework, (which I understand, since we’re both in college), errands (he’s also president of the Korean club), and he told me only once that he was too tired, but there always seems to be something!
    Maybe I’m impatient? My friends say that it takes patience to deal with Asian men, but I’m not sure…yesterday we set up a lunch date together and VOLUNTEERED to cook for me, before he cancelled the whole thing because he’s got an errand to run in another and has yet to reschedule. He apologized profusely, but it still hurts, Ronnie.
    What do I do?

  44. Anno Nymous

    I met guy from dating site, we did 3 months of chatting 2 to 3 times a week. The 4th month we met for coffee (2 times), on 5th month we hang-out in his apartment 3 times.

    The 6th month we had misunderstanding on some issue telling me to take it slow. I felt hurt so I backed-off a little. The 7th month we didn’t communicate at all. The 8th month I contacted him and say hi, he replied but we had inconsistent chatting, and usually I have to initiate for him to reply.

    The 9th month I ask him to meet me but he said he is busy at work. I ask him if he has seeing other woman, he doesn’t want to answer the question and saying he doesn’t want drama. There are times he asked about if we wanted to have kids but says he will not marry me because he doesn’t want divorce. He even asked me if we get married would i accept if he has other woman but he will be discrete about it..

    Now it’s the 10th month and suddenly he wants to see me every Wednesday. I joked, asking if his other woman is on vacation so I have a “slot”. He said there is no such thing, he just want to schedule everything so he’ll not get lazy In 10 months, we’ve met only for 5 times.. I barely know this guy, until now he never talked about family, work or friends…- but wanted to have deep connection and relationship with him, that is why I didn’t give up till now…

  45. Mary

    Iv been seeing sme one for 2 and a half months..they only ever come around my house. And I keep asking if we can go out and we never do. They used to txt me during the day but now barely ever txt me during the day and ignore about 90% of my replys cos they are too busy and when I bought it up they said I just didn’t understand them. They only ever want to come pretty late ish at night. This is a nothing isn’t it?

  46. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Mary,
    Sounds to me like you’ve been getting “booty calls” and you are right, that kind of attention means nothing for long-term love. Don’t bother with men who don’t see you on dates at least once a week. My best dating advice is not to keep texting men who don’t respond. That means they are not interested enough so don’t keep after them.

  47. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Anonymous,
    It’s so unfortunate that you have put yourself through this. The difficult truth is you were chasing him because you kept in touch when he didn’t. Next time let the man initiate all contact for the first 6 dates. And if the dating is going to build into a relationship, it won’t take 10 months! If a man is genuinely interested he’ll want to date you at least once a week. So if a man doesn’t contact you let him go – that’s a sure sign he’s not interested enough to fall in love with. Also, directly asking a man if he has another women so you should move on often doesn’t get you an honest answer. Some guys like to keep a woman hanging but in truth, you allowed this since you kept connecting with him. You might want to read this post about chasing men and this one about inconsistency to help you better understands how dating works today.

  48. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Katherine,
    Sorry to say he is wasting your time. No matter how busy a guy is, if he’s genuinely interested, he’ll make time.I’ve seen this over and over again. So this guy is stringing you along – who knows why. But it’s up to you not to put up this kind of treatment. You don’t need any drama to end this, just don’t respond and don’t reach out. Or you could block his texts. More than anything keep in mind that a man’s actions, what he does to see you and spend time with you are far more meaningful than what he says. Volunteering to cook lunch sounds nice but cancelling frequently is the truth about how he feels about you. You are not his priority and he shows you that through his actions. There are more men, so move on.

  49. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Alexandra,
    If you have to ask a man why he takes too long to respond to your texts, that’s your signal that he’s not the right man. Once a man tells you he’s too busy, that’s the end of the line. You are seeing that you aren’t his priority and maybe dating isn’t ether. He probably can’t handle a true relationship or something deeper right now. Or he’s not emotionally available. Let go and move on because a man who is really into you doesn’t avoid you!

  50. Chris

    Hi Ronnie im in a sad situation I was together with him 16 years he moved in when my son was two and now we also have a 20 month old daughter together. He started a new business and changed dramatically and one day just never came home. Abuseful hurtful disgusting behaviour verbally. mentally and emotionally scarring me as he always did. He knew I wanted us to be a family but no effort was made by him. Is it because he so confident and I’ve made it easy or does he no longer want to be with me. Every time I’ve tried to leave he drags me
    Back with promises that are never met. I am 43 with a 20 month old daughter I believe he never had any intentions of coming home it been over a year yet as much as I don’t want to let go he won’t let me. I know it’s my choice and I’ve made it. I just wanted a second opinion

  51. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Chris – OK here’s your second opinion. Honey – you need to work on your self-esteem. Why on earth would you take back a man who abuses you in any way? You do not NEED him. Stand on your own two feet and move on. He wants you back? TOO BAD. That choice is your so make it! Say NO and move on. Take care of yourself and your children. Find a good therapist and work on your self confidence so you NEVER take any abuse again. When you feel good about yourself, you can find a better man who respects you as you respect yourself. I’m rooting for you!

  52. Melanie

    Hi Ronnie I really hope you see this. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and a few months now and this evening when I asked my boyfriend to call me when he finished his school work he told me that he was “too tired” to see me for the first time. I understand this as he is very hard working, but we have always ended up making plans work no matter how tired we were or how late it was. When I got the text I couldn’t help but feel strange as if something is changing. I got the weirdest feeling in my stomach and I can’t stop obsessing over the idea. I know myself and I know that I would never cancel on him even if I was utterly exhausted. When re-reading I understand I sound dramatic but it worries me for some reason. I also want to abstain from confronting him because I feel too dramatic, so I am stuck with my anxious self. Please help!

  53. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Melanie,
    Given its the first time and he probably is exhausted, I would say there’s no cause for alarm. If this becomes a new pattern then that’s a different story. You can’t confront a man over being tired once – that would make you seem intensely demanding. And you can’t compare his actions to yours – you are not the same people. So take a deep breath and see what happens over the next week before you start to panic.

  54. Jessica

    Started talking to a guy a month ago and he sent me nudes the same day and I sent him some too. We texted and I went to see him in Vegas. Upon arrival he asked me to be his girlfriend (I’d already been through this with another guy who told me what I wanted to hear to get me in the sack and then dump me the next day). I laughed and told him to wait. He took me to dinner, then to a club and we had a blast. Went back to his place and had sex. He asked again if I’d be his girlfriend and I said yes.

    On the way back I was immediately saddened that this cross state romance (I’m in California) wouldn’t last long. He’d told me he works in the film industry and would be super busy for the next month. Then he came to CA two weeks later to hangout with friends and potentially meet up, but I was annoyed that I was an afterthought. So I went out with my friends and then I broke things off. But I regretted that and we decided to give it another shot. Now he’s incredibly busy and it’s hard for me to tell if he’s even interested even though he says we are fine and that he wants to be with me. I hear from him about three times a week but considering he’s my boyfriend I expected a little more attention and enthusiasm. Is he just humoring himself? :/

  55. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jessica,
    Sounds to me like he’d prefer a casual relationship. He wants to know your his girlfriend but he doesn’t have time to see you? So there is a compatibility problem because you don’t share the same idea of what being boyfriend and girlfriend really means. Sounds like he’s not the right man for you.

    But to be really honest with you, you don’t know him yet. This girlfriend/boyfriend stuff is nothing more than words because it takes time to get to know someone and make a commitment. You two put the cart before the horse defining your relationship when you do not have one yet. You haven’t put the time in and it doesn’t seem like he has the time to give either. He might not be emotionally available even though he talks a good game.

    I recommend that you hold off on sexting and jumping into bed with a guy before you know him. You’ve already been through this before right? You know some men will say anything so they can get you into bed. Give yourself a chance to qualify the guy and find out how serious he is about you. Let him lead, ask you out or choose to visit. Don’t initiate for 5-6 dates – That’s how you can really know if a man is into you or not. A man with genuine interest finds time and wants to see you!

  56. Holly

    I met a guy and had such a great date, we went out twice more that week. He almost cancelled before our third date because he felt like he was too into me (he doesn’t like “feeling vulnerable”), but I told him it was mutual, we went out, and by the end of that date, we were exclusive. We were really compatible, could talk for hours, and he looked at me like we could be soulmates. He said he hoped we’d be together for a long time. He even invited me to his graduation! We dated happily for a few weeks, but he broke up with me out of nowhere shortly before his graduation and the holidays.

    He said he was too busy and stressed for a relationship but hoped we could still talk. I said I wouldn’t mind taking the back burner for a little while but would respect it if he said that was what he needed. I haven’t heard much since then. He was friendly and replied to my text when I finally asked how he’s been, and he said that he’s still really busy and stressed, but getting through it. He hasn’t initiated anything himself. Is it possible that he really is that busy and just can’t deal with feelings on top of everything else? Should I see if he wants to catch up when things settle down? Or do you think he’s just being polite and is too nice to say he’s just not that interested? (He was really, reallyyyy into me at the beginning though, and nothing really changed to affect that prior to our breakup)

  57. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Holly,
    Don’t push it – leave him alone. If he was being real with you, he might come back on his own. But the last thing you want to do is push. He might be busy and overwhelmed but most likely he wanted to be with you at the end of school and now he’s moved on. It’s terrible how sometimes men say things they know you want to her to make you trust them. [Women do this to men as well.] Sometimes a guy might even mean what he says in the moment, but not the long run. It happened to me too – it happens to everyone.

    Best thing you can do is stop thinking about him and move on. Hang out with friends, start a new project or exercise to distract yourself until you stop thinking about him so much. Then do something to meet new men.

  58. Nicole kelly

    Dear Ronnie,

    I would like to ask you a question about this kind of topic but, my friend and I were really close and talked non-stop. We use to be together but not anymore since he cared about how I felt and didn’t want to damage anything. But lately he has been too busy with “projects” and hasn’t talk to me for 2 weeks. What should I do?

  59. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Nicole, Sometimes people are too busy to talk and its that simple. Sometimes they are letting you know you’re no longer important to them. Not sure which is true, but I do know you can’t make anyone stay in touch if they don’t want to.

  60. Katie Granger

    I know that all of this is excellent advice – it is the same advice you get whenever you Google ‘he’s too busy”. But I want to share my story about a guy where we had several dates that went well, but he managed to be too busy for weeks in between. After the last one, which I thought went very well, with him hinting about how we would buy a condo someday, he became ‘too busy’ for 3 months. He kept assuring me, though, that he was eager to talk and get together soon, he just didn’t know when. But every time I texted he was too busy, every time I suggested something, he was too busy. So I did what the websites and the dating books said: I texted him saying that I was looking for something serious and that I couldn’t keep waiting like this. He didn’t respond. I ended up apologizing and we tried to be friends, but he started pulling away because I had “random emotional freakouts”. I know this sounds like this guy is a major red flag situation and that is probably true. But it occurs to me now – as I’ve watched out friendship grow more and more distanced – that he’s fearful avoidant and so am I – I got terrified of rejection and ran based on the information that no guy who likes you is ever too busy for you. I wish I hadn’t acted so forcefully. I wish I could have seen his behaviour not as a black and white “Red Flag” but as the behaviour of someone who was afraid and needed baby steps and I tried to force a major leap. I lost someone who was important to me – we still talk, but from a real distance and when I look in his eyes now I see nothing but fear.

  61. Jenny

    Hey Ronnie,

    I was dating this guy for 6 months. In the beginning I was busy with school and work so didn’t see him much. Yet, he was persistent with going on dates. When I gave him a chance I fell for him. He’s actually an introvert and I’m an extrovert, even though we had different personality types, we got along well. I was always respectful when he needed alone time or whatever to decompress. Two months in I saw him at 2-3 times a week and we spent a lot of time together. He met my friends. Then a week before my birthday he became distant and detached. I assumed he was busy because he’s an engineer and I know he has a project he had to finish on. On my birthday, I think he forgot it was my birthday…but I was just happy to see him.

    A couple days later I asked him what’s wrong because he’s been acting a bit distant. He told me work was insanely busy and will be from now on. He also said he feels this detachment and separation occurring and that its unfair to keep this relationship going since he’s going to be so busy. I didn’t want to insist him on being with me. I am such an understanding person, I don’t expect anyone to choose me over work or over anything actually. I’m just a bit confused and sad. I really liked him and pictured us going far. We were going so well and then he suddenly cuts of off? I even had a key to his place and everything but of course he asked for that back the last time I saw him. I’m unsure if he’s really busy or something happened? I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and say that he’s really busy but I just don’t get it.

  62. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jenny, Something definitely changed – and not getting busy at work. Maybe he met someone new. Men (and women too) often use “I’m so busy at work” as a way to wiggle out of relationship. You seem like a good and trusting person, but this is not the place for the benefit of the doubt. He took his key back so the hard truth is your relationship is over. Sometimes there isn’t any way to know except by being perceptive, as you were, with noticing behavioral changes. You were smart to ask about it and now you know.

    Not all relationships are meant to go the distance. But you do learn from each experience. There will be another guy for you out there. Heal from this shock and when you are ready, get out there to meet men and find the one for you.

  63. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Katie,
    Even if you didn’t follow advice from Google, that would not have brought your fearful or commitment-phobic man closer to you. Nothing could cure his lack of desire or inability for a full relationship no matter what you would have tried. He has to want to change himself. So while you regret doing what you did – you absolutely did the very best thing FOR YOURSELF. The only other choice would be for you to still be waiting around for him to be less busy. Don’t you deserve better than that?

    Both men and women play the “busy” card when they want to avoid true intimacy. Since that is something you want, it’s time to get over Mr. Busy and go meet new men to find one who has time and wants to spend it with you. That’s one of the ways to help you decide if a man is right for you. It’s not all about his looks or how much fun you have together. It’s also abut his emotional IQ and availability. Your last boyfriend was just not available no matter how you reacted or ended things – that would never have changed his relationship with you.

  64. ann

    I’d appreciate some advice. I’m in my 40’s and began dating a man in his early 50’s about 6 months ago. It moved very quickly to an exclusive relationship and we spent a vacation away a month ago and he mentioned marriage and that he hasn’t fallen in love with a woman so deeply in such a short period of time. I don’t see that he makes a huge effort. We are either at his place or mine, have maybe 2 dates a month, but every time we are together we have intimate relations. He can go over 24 hours without calling or texting, he avoids any deep emotional conversations on progressing the relationship, or just talking about where we are both at with things. The big thing here is that he has ONLY dated women in their 20’s before. It’s a concern for me and his distance and casual nature about us not seeing each other for sometimes a week is concerning me after all of he words he has spoken, but yet his lack of deep meaningful conversation. I’m very confused and don’t know what to do at this point. Any thoughts?

  65. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Ann,
    A man in his 50s who dates 20 somethings shows you he has little interest in a serious relationship. I’m not sure that his not calling you for 24 hours is a big deal and not all men have deep meaningful conversation. However, since you feel he is casual then that’s what matters. You say he doesn’t make a big effort and you only see him twice a month. Clearly he is not meeting your needs.

    Love can mean different things to different people. You want a closer relationship than he does. So if you want a man who talks more openly, sees you more often and stays in touch better, this is not the man for you. There’s no way to change him – he is who he is. So it’s up to you to stay true to what you want for your own happiness and go find a man who better suits you.

  66. Anna

    Hello there,

    So I’ve been seeing this guy we’ve been off a bit since December since we had this huge argument but regardless we got over it and we still see eachother, text etc. but I only saw him TWICE last month- he’s 20 years older, has a daughter from his first marriage and due to problems with his ex wife his daughter has to be with him full time now so He didn’t text me for 2 days this past week and I often have the last reply when it comes to texts…he used to text me everyday and we use to hangout at least twice a week…like he claims he cares about me and states “why wouldn’t I want to be with you? You’re hot as heck” yet it feels like I’m the one making all the effort all the time. What do I do? I actually LOVE HIM he’s like the first guy I actually loved and we get along so well and he’s like my bestfriend too- should I back off and see what happens? Because it feels like I’ve been texting him for the past couple of days…or maybe it is his daughter situation I don’t know!
    oh AND HE LIVES 500 ft down the street from me—-HELP!

  67. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Anna,
    The biggest clue for me was when you asked this man why he doesn’t want to hang out like he used to, his reply was about how hot you are. That tells me his primary reason for seeing you is sexual. I know you love him but it’s time you face the facts that he doesn’t feel the same way. He thinks your hot, but he’s not emotionally invested or he would have said something with more feeling.

    I know he’s convenient just being down the street and now you are attached after a few months. But he is pulling away and not texting or seeing you as much. That is another HUGE sign that he doesn’t want the same kind of relationship you do. He’s looking at this as casual and prefers that you have no expectations of him.

    Why do you want this old man with a complicated like anyway? It’s time to let go and move on. Spare yourself more time and heartbreak with this guy and go look for a younger man who wants to spend time with you on a regular basis.

  68. Anna

    Like he told me that he cares about me and that it “isn’t my vagina” but something he really like about me…idk if we can even remain friends or if there’s too much emotion all together in this. Like I don’t even know but I actually did love him because we got along so well and I’m rather inexperienced in the dating world and he’s kind of the realist relationship I’ve had. It’s just so sad and it makes me cry.

  69. Sheila

    I been dating this guy for a few months now. He always chased me & now i noticed he doesnt anymore. He said he did all the chasing & now its my turn to do it. Building a relationship is 50/50. He is either working or doing other things. I see him maybe once a week, i feel like i deserve more time.

  70. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Sheila,
    At some point dating becomes the first phase of relationship. This is when the chase is no longer necessary because you are in a relationship. So he might have something about taking turns to set up dates. Are you in an exclusive relationship? Do you see him on the weekend? Do you know you’ll have a date on Saturday night? These are the signs of being in relationship. This is when women can start to initiate too because you know you are together.

    Now if this applies and you want to see more of him, simply suggest it. You could say, “I have such a good time when I see you once a week – I think twice a week would be great. I’d like that what about you?” Then see what he says. If he’s not willing, you may want to rethink the relationship. That’s also true if you haven’t discussed exclusivity. Ask him about that too. “Are we ready to be in an exclusive relationship?”

    His responses to these questions will let you know where his head is at regarding your situation and then you can decide if this is working and you want to move forward or if it’s time to cut your losses and move on.

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