He Says He Doesn’t Want a Relationship

If he doesn’t want a relationship, what can you do? Discover my dating advice for women as I answer this question from a reader.

he doesn't want relationship

He Doesn’t Want a Relationship

But I Do

“Hi Ronnie, The Dating Coach for Women,

I have been happily single for a while after a couple of bad, short relationship with guys who knocked my confidence. Recently, I met a guy at a music festival when I lost my friends in the crowd after going to the bar. I was looking around for them and this guy asked if I was OK.

We chatted while the music was on, then walked back with his friends as we were on the same campsite. We stayed up, got on well, chatted for hours. He walked me to my tent, asked me for my number as he wanted to meet me again the next day. We met again after the bands played. Same thing happened again; chatted for hours and when he walked me back to the tent he told me to call him.

Then he started texting me daily, once or twice for general chit chat and asked me if I wanted to meet up. So a week after we got back from the festival, we had a ‘sober’ date which lasted 6 hours! I messaged him the next evening saying I had a nice time and do you want to meet again soon?

He responded with, ‘I thought we had a good time last night and I like you. But I am kind of funny about starting relationships, been on my own for 2 years. Do you mind if we leave it a while? Just don’t want to mess you around.’

It confused me as I have never mentioned anything about relationships, we just got on and had a nice time together. While on the date, he was putting his arm around me, wanted to stay out after we had watched a movie and kissed me before we went our separate ways. He said it was nice to see me again.

My response to his text was, ‘I have been on my own for a while too and I am not looking to rush into a full relationship myself. I would like to enjoy your company again, so if you would like to do that sometime let me know.’

I left it at that as I thought it redeemed me for asking the day after a date if he wanted to meet again. It’s a week tomorrow since the date and I have not contacted him again, but I’m wondering if he will be in contact again. What I should do if I don’t hear from him in the next couple of weeks? Should I send a casual ‘hi how have you been?’ text or take it that he’s not interested?

I really like this guy, he seems like a gentleman.

Thanks for your help,
Can’t Tell in Kentucky”


Dear Can’t Tell,

Let me help you with understanding men and their ManSpeak. Once you learn to read between the lines, you spend a lot less time feeling confused about what men mean. It’s not as hard as you may think when you get the hang of it. But to fully understand what men are saying requires three big things:

  1. You have to be willing to hear the truth
  2. You have to look at this logically and objectively and not with any feelings
  3. You have to let go of needing to know “why” he did something because you will never know

While you did ask him out the day after your date, which I would advise against in the future, I doubt that changed anything in this case. Something happened on that date once you got back home that caused him to change his mind. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. Maybe:

  • Being sober put a different spin or feeling on how you two related
  • He thought you were too good for him and wanted to back away
  • He thought he wouldn’t measure up to what you want
  • He respected you too much to waste your time knowing you probably want more than he can give

I could literally write pages of reasons why he changed his mind. This is the part you’ll never really know or have closure on. I know that’s disconcerting and difficult, but it’s the truth. Trying to figure out why he changed his mind is a huge waste of time and energy. Unless…you think you may have said or done something that pushed him away and other men in the past too. I can’t tell from your question if that was a contributing factor.

Your best next step is to look at what he specifically said to you to understand what he meant. The overall message is surely about how he doesn’t want a relationship.

“I thought we had a good time last night and I like you.
But I am kind of funny about starting relationships, been on my own for 2 years.
Do you mind if we leave it a while? Just don’t want to mess you around.”

1. Being funny about starting a relationship. He asked you out right? This demonstrates his uncertainty about dating and relationships right now by saying he’s funny about starting a new one. This is another way of saying he doesn’t want a relationship.

2. He’s been on his own for two years. Sounds like he’s enjoying not being in a relationship or not ready for a new one.

3. Do you mind if we leave it for a while? “A while” for men means from here forward or forever. Just like when a man says he wants to take a break from a relationship – his focus is on “break” without saying “breakup”. This is the “nice guy” way to avoid hurting your feelings. Men sometimes temper their message with a half truth such as, “for a while”.

4. Don’t want to mess you around. He doesn’t want to jerk you around or waste your time. This can be a sign of respect or another great excuse to end things, but look like a nice guy while doing it.

He probably is a nice guy. But he doesn’t want a relationship. So the long answer to your question is this:

You won’t likely hear from him and there’s nothing you can do. When a man says he doesn’t want a relationship, that’s when to believe him. Men often tell women what they want or don’t want. Trouble is women often don’t pick up on this or pay attention. I urge you to take men at their word in a case like this.

If you do reach out, you’ll be chasing him which never works because men do not like to be pursued. If a man is interested he will contact you and ask you out. Yes, it’s really that simple.

What you CAN DO is accept he’s not the right man for you and move on to meet other men with greater potential for the long-term, loving relationship you desire. There are plenty of guys out there and you’ll be much better off with a man who knows what he wants, knows he wants you and is ready for you!

Wishing you love,

dating coach, find love, meet men



Want more smart dating advice like this? Download my free book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes Women Make that Keep You Single and get my newsletter too.

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

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