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.”

Apparently, she’s wondering how to respond when he says he’s busy. Or could she do anything about it? Let’s find out!

How to Respond When He Says He’s Busy?

Below is a letter sent by an anonymous sender having troubles with a man who was acting weird on valentines:

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.

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 you 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 anymore
  • 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 a 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 insights and tips




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.

107 thoughts on “Understanding Men: Suddenly He’s Too Busy to See Me?”

  1. Hello, I went out with a guy the other night and we really hit it off. Good conversation, same wavelength, chemistry. Finally liked someone after a while and he seemed to like me. We kissed at the end of the date and he said he wanted to see me again. He messaged me next day (albeit late at night) to say it was great to meet me and that it would be nice go out again at some point if I wanted. I replied I can do sometime in the weekend if he is free, and gave him my number for easier communication. He replied late at night again and said that sadly he cannot do this weekend, and he is away for work during the week, but possibly free next weekend if I am around. He also sent me his number (I don’t get why he did not just text me straightaway but ok). Not sure if he is slowly pulling away or is genuine. I am free on Friday and Sunday next weekend so I am thinking of suggesting these two days and see if he reaches out. Or shall I also be vague?

    • Hi Trish, No need to be vague – this is a time to be clear! However, if he can’t meet you then either, he’s not looking for a relationship. A man genuinely interested and available wants to see you sooner than later – no excuses. Remember you can have a good time with someone and not want a relationship. Telling you he wants to see you again, he may hope to keep you around while he just texts. So, my dating advice is to cut him lose if he can’t see you the following weekend -too much time has gone by.

  2. Hi Ronnie, I met the guy who is older than me 12 years. He recently broke up with his girlfriend 6 months before meet me..,
    we chatted for a month then on the first date he said ” Can i tell you something? ” ” Yes” ” Everything is ok for me “….he paid all the bill and send me to my house and he went back. I was so impress him. He is busy because he’s MD and loves to play golf on weekend. We have second date, he bring me to his house and we have nice time. Before 3 date he went away for 2 weeks and he video call every night. After he come back we have 3 date. Now he hasn’t asked for 4 Date but we still text a lot. He says, “I don’t want anyone, I have met the best person. Its you. I like to talk to you”. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to make another date?. Thanks, Apple

    • Hi Apple, sometimes men don’t want a relationship. so they go on a few dates and then are done, but don’t want to let go. They collect women. He’s probably chatting with others just like with you. Stop texting him for a week- don’t respond and see what happens. But most likely you just have to block him and let him go because sadly, he’s playing some game.

  3. Hi there! I was dating a guy for a month. We hit it off so well, had a ton in common. He started to tell me he missed me. Started spending the night and asking if I wanted more kids eventually(I’m a single mom). Talking about the future a lot. Than he started doing this tv writing project and working on his new house more, got super busy and barely had time for me anymore. He would go days without texting and feel really bad. We just saw each other last week and he told me he missed me, again. We planned on seeing each other Sunday but he said it wouldn’t work, he needed to finish up on the house. I waited to hear back for 4 days and he told me it was going to work and that he is too busy. And he’s sorry that he wasted my time. He just didn’t want to drag me through his messy life. I’m so confused! I really thought we had something. It’s amazing how someone can just drop somebody like that and not even give it a shot. Not sure if he lying or just making up excuses.

    • Hi Marisa, Sorry this has happened to you. I’m not sure what happened, but being busy is certainly an excuse. A man in love is not too busy. His “messy life” is a clue. Does he have an ex? Or perhaps the closeness he felt with you spooked him and now he has pulled back. This happens to men who are not emotionally available. Regardless of the reason, it seems your tryst has ended and it’s time to let go. Enjoy what was good and know it is likely here to show you what is possible. There is a good man out there for you. Perhaps this fellow woke up your desire for love. Sometimes that is why men enter our lives. When you feel ready – go meet new men and you will find the one for you.

  4. Hi. I was dating a guy for months but all of a sudden, we started talking less and less. We didnt see each other anymore because he said he was busy. Then I found out that the girl he used to date before me came back and now they are together…it broke my heart. I just want to know if you could make him come back to me and leave that girl.

    • Hi Vivian, Oh so sorry you are brokenhearted. Sadly, there is NOTHING you can do to make a man do anything, never mind come back to you. There are tons of website who promise they can get your ex back but it’s all nonsense. Take time to heal, lots of self-care like massage, time with girlfriends, watching funny movies, exercise, or maybe a little retail therapy – shopping. You’ll feel better soon. And then go out and find a better man – one who cherishes you above all others. He’s out there I’m sure.

  5. Hello Ronnie,
    I met a guy late February on a dating site. We messaged for a few weeks, talked on the phone and eventually met. Things went well, we had many things in common and he was the total package: had a great education, job, and looks. We texted daily, but seldom talked by phone. Our dates were so romantic. After our last date in late June he said he was extremely busy and wrote less. In early July he texted saying he was sorry for being so unavailable but felt overwhelmed with work and family issues – mom and dad were sick and needed help. Apologized for not reaching out. I replied a few days later, trying to be sympathetic. I believed him and felt bad for him. It’s been 6 weeks. I’m sad, hoping he’ll contact me and things to go back to the way they were. What happened to him? Why didn’t I see this happening? Thank you!

    • Hi I, Maybe he is overwhelmed or maybe he wanted to break things off. It’s hard to say. Sadly, when something like this happens, they tend not to go back the way they were. Why you didn’t see this happening is also hard to know. Maybe there weren’t any clues. Maybe he is busy. I don’t know how many dates you had or how often. If you saw him inconsistently, then he probably was not serious no matter how romantic he was. Sometimes there aren’t any clues. Most importantly, do not blame yourself. The best thing you can do is move on. He’s not the right man for one of two reasons: 1) He really is overwhelmed with family obligation which makes him emotionally unavailable or 2) The right man finds time to see you. I hope you can see the truth of this and let go to start over. Sometimes things just don’t work out like you hope they will.

  6. Hi Ronnie,
    Thanks for breaking it down for me. And yes, apart from him, I’ve been dating multiple men at the same time. Just didn’t understand the sudden “cancellation” of plans on me at the very last minute, until you shared with me that men are wired that way where they won’t tell you that they don’t want to see your face anymore.


  7. Hi there,

    I have been on four dates with a guy in the past 3 weeks. He texted me to make plans for dinner for Friday evening after work and said leave the reservations to him. Just 45 minutes later he texted to say, “honestly didn’t feel like socializing” and that I better make alternate plans and he was sorry. Later that same night, I was on my dating app and found him Online which I felt upset about. If he didn’t is no longer is interested, why can’t he just tell it to my face? Or, was this his way of hinting about his disinterest and I should walk away? I just need an answer so I can move on or that he was actually telling me the truth about him wanting time to himself and I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    • Hi Eve, I can’t say if he’ll want to see you again or not. But what I can tell you is that after only four dates, you shouldn’t be surprised he’s online looking for other women. I would assume you have not discussed or agreed to being exclusive – its too early. I recommend you should see other people too until someone asks to be exclusive. That’s how you can avoid getting attached before you know he’s the right guy. It takes time.

      The second piece is that most men will not tell you to your face they don’t want to see you again. A few will, but it’s rare. Most will avoid you and disappear before they say they are done. This is just how men are. So don’t be surprised if this happens – its just the way things are. So if you want to know what to do now, I would connect with other men on the dating site and see who else you could meet. AIf this guy did just want time to himself, and asks you out again within 7 days, then you can go if you want to.

Leave a Comment