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




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.

32 thoughts on “Understand Men: Believe Him When He Says It’s Not the Right Time”

  1. I had been talking to this guy for a few months then we went out on a date and made so many plans and everything was just fine then out of the blue he says we can’t do this I like you a lot but the time isn’t right. What’s he meaning?

    • Hi Brittany, He might not ready be for a relationship. He might have gotten scared. The plans might have sounded good but then he realized it’s not what he wants or maybe not right now. There are so many possibilities including the timing isn’t right. He has other priorities right now which actually sounds honest to me. He might not be ready for the serious relationship you want. It happens sometimes and it stinks. But, you will recover and find a better man who is ready. That’s my wish for you.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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?

    • 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. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

    • 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.

  7. 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!

    • 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.

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