He says he loves me but doesn’t want a relationship (11 reasons why)

Is there anything more confusing than dealing with the opposite sex?

Trying to understand what they want and what they’re thinking. In your eyes, the two of you do everything that couples do together.

You go on dates.

You see each other often.

You’ve hung out with each other’s friends.

You might’ve even met each other’s families.

He’s even gone as far as to say the ‘L’ word to you.

Sure enough, it’s love.

And here’s the confusing part — despite all of this, he says he doesn’t want a relationship.

Is it you, or is it him? Is he just pretending to care?

The truth is, it’s usually one or the other. Working out exactly why he’s holding back can help you forge a plan moving forward.

Here are 11 reasons he might not be ready to commit to a relationship (despite loving you).

1) He’s scared of his own feelings

Have you ever noticed guys don’t really like to talk about their feelings?

Of course, you have!

At the same time, they often don’t even like to admit their own feelings to themselves. It can be frustrating, that’s for sure.

If you know your man loves you and if he’s told you as much, then he might be pulling away from a relationship because he’s simply scared of feeling this way.

It could be the first time he’s ever been in love with someone. For guys, this can be a difficult emotion to process.

For us women, emotions are easy. We’re open about them, we discuss them with friends and we are all too willing to accept them.

Men on the other hand, often see emotions as a weakness. It’s not something to be spoken about — in fact, they want to avoid them at all costs. The thing with emotions is, they can’t be avoided. They come to us whether we like them or not.

This can send some guys running for the hills. They think this option is much easier than confronting and dealing with the emotion they’re feeling. So, if this is your man, what can you do to help him?

Try and get him to open up and talk about it. Let him know, you feel the same way about him. But instead of running away from the feeling, you want to explore its future. To see if you have a future together.

It can help to let him know that you feel scared about it as well. Sometimes, because women are much more in touch with their emotions, we come across as very eager and forward — which isn’t necessarily the case. We have simply worked out our feelings much faster.

Hearing that you have the same fears might be all your man needs to open up or to simply accept his own feelings.

2) He doesn’t know what he wants

While his feelings might be telling him one thing, his head is telling him something completely different.

The truth is, he doesn’t know what he wants.

So, how do you know if this is your man?

Does he go hot and cold on you? One minute, things are intense and going full speed ahead. Then the next minute, he’s pulling back and withdrawing from you.

This is a guy who has no idea what he wants.

It can help to sit down and talk it out with him. Tell him about his behaviour as he may not even be aware himself.

It’s a good chance to get him to stop and think about what he really wants out of your time together and to make a decision one way or another.

3) Want advice specific to your situation?

Look, I seriously hope that this article helps you figure out what’s holding your guy back. But the truth is that sometimes it’s not as easy as all that, sometimes you need to dig a bit deeper – into a guy’s psyche – to figure out what’s going on.

And it’s at times like these that you could use some help, am I right?

That’s why I recommend speaking to a pro.

Let me tell you about Relationship Hero. It’s a popular website that provides one-on-one sessions with trained relationship coaches.

And the best part?

Most of their coaches have degrees in psychology, which means that they’ll be able to understand what’s going on in your guy’s head. 

They’ll help you figure out if he really loves you and whether he has commitment issues or if he doesn’t want to get tied down because he wants to keep his options open.

Stop wondering why and get an answer today – click here to get started.

4) He likes his independence

Let’s be honest — who doesn’t?

The older we get, the more we get used to our independence and doing things a certain way.

It can make it harder to get in relationships, as we’re less willing to bend to someone else’s way of doing things, no matter how we feel about them.

Your guy might enjoy his nights out with his mates. He might love living on his own. He might enjoy having time to himself each night. He might like making plans without having to check with someone first.

We get the appeal. The problem is, relationships are all about compromise.

If he isn’t willing to take that leap and jump into a relationship with you for fear of what he might lose, then this isn’t a guy you want to be with. He’s clearly putting himself first with no concern for your feelings or what you want out of this.

If this is your man, sit him down for a chat and let him know exactly what a relationship with you will look like. Will there be nights alone? Can he go out without asking you?

By addressing his need for independence you might be able to alleviate some of his fears to help him jump into a relationship with you and take a chance.

5) He’s focused on his own dreams

Another reason he might not be ready to commit to a relationship with you is because he quite literally, doesn’t have time for you.

Yes, he loves.

Yes, he wants you.

But he wants his dreams more.

Whether he’s achieving at work. Looking to travel overseas or has some other huge dreams that don’t involve you, he’s putting them first.

While you might be keen to go along for the ride for him, he’s worried about letting you down. He doesn’t want you to have to give up your life for him — especially this early on.

So, instead, he’s keeping you at a distance.

In this instance, you need to work out what you want. He’s holding you at a distance for a reason and it’s important to respect that. Don’t make him choose between you and his dreams.

Are you willing to wait on the sidelines until he’s ready to commit? This might be your only option.

His dreams might take him overseas. His dreams might see him moving countries. His dreams might be completely off track to what you want out of life.

Make sure you consider all of this before you make a decision.

His dreams aren’t your dreams — and as much as you love him, it might be worth letting him go for now and hoping your paths cross again later in life.

6) You haven’t triggered his hero instinct

Have you heard of the hero instinct?

The concept is fairly easy to understand. Men simply want to be your hero.

It’s this psychological instinct all men have inside them to want to protect and look after you. If you’re not letting him, then he’s not going to be ready to commit to a relationship with you.

Think back to your past encounters:

  • Has he ever tried to get you away from a group of guys who weren’t treating you the right way?
  • Does he try and walk on the roadside of you to protect you from traffic?
  • Is he always wanting to fix things, such as lights in your place?

These are all examples of his hero instinct at play. If you keep knocking him back and not accepting the help he’s offering, then he’s not going to be ready to commit to you.

Despite how he feels about you, if he can’t fulfill this psychological desire of his, then he’s likely to try and fulfill it elsewhere.

Next time you notice your man stepping up to the plate to take care of you, step back and let him. Better yet, praise him for it and let him know how much you value and appreciate his help.

This will naturally draw him closer to you and get him over the line when it comes to committing to the relationship.

Click here to watch a short and powerful video about the hero instinct.

7) He has too much going on

It might not be his dreams that are distracting him from a relationship with you, but everything else going on in his life.

We know all too well how stressful life can get. Things constantly happen that are beyond our control. Sometimes, things pile up and it can be hard to get on top of them.

He might be in this position.

His boss could be on his back at work.

A family member might be sick.

He could be in a large amount of debt.

He might have had a falling out with a friend.

There are so many different stresses in our lives, it can be hard to keep track of them. But it’s easy to see why someone might steer clear of a relationship when they have so much other stress going on.

He wouldn’t be able to give the relationship the time and attention it deserves. He might be worried about letting you down in the process.

Instead, he’s choosing to keep you close for when he’s ready to commit. For that time in his life when his other stresses are under control.

The choice is yours.

All you can do in this situation is sit and wait, or get up and walk away.

You don’t want to force him to commit to you when he has so much else going on. It’s important to give him his space and let him work through it in his own time.

Sometimes the act of walking away will force him to come back to you. It’s weird, but that’s human nature.

You’re either willing to wait for him, or you’re not. That part is up to you.

8) He’s just in it for sex

He may have told you he loves you, but what he meant to say was he loves to have sex with you. It’s not something you want to think about. No one wants to be used.

So, how do you know if this is you? How do you know if your guy is just after sex?

Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • He texts you late at night: This is one of those classic signs that he’s after one thing and one thing only. Often referred to as a booty call, if your guy only wants to meet up in the evening consider it a red flag that he has something else on his mind.
  • He leaves straight after sex: Let’s be honest. The post-sex snuggles can be just as good as the sex itself. It’s also the perfect opportunity to talk with your man and get to know him a little better. If your guy is always bailing straight after sex, take it as a sign. He isn’t looking to chat. He doesn’t want to get to know you. He’s just there for the physical side of things.
  • He isn’t concerned with your feelings: He says he loves you but is never there when you need him. If you’re sick, you can guarantee he’s nowhere in sight to help you out. And if you catch a side glimpse, he’s likely checking out another girl while he’s with you.

The truth hurts, but at least you can get out of this one early before any feelings get too hurt.

Recognize the signs for what they are and make your exit. If you’re still not sure, put him to the test.

Try and arrange a date in the middle of the day. Try and encourage him to stay after sex. Try and trigger his hero instinct and get him to help you. The way he responds will give you your answer.

9) He has mistaken lust for love

While he might have thought he loved you, he’s now realizing what he really experienced was lust. And that lust is now fading for him.

The beginning of a relationship is often full of so much passion and excitement. Everything is new and waiting to be explored.

As time goes on, that feeling often fades. It’s the natural progression of relationships.

As the lust disappears, you’re left to decide exactly how you feel about the other person and whether or not you can see a future with them.

What he thought was love was actually lust. Now that it’s gone, he might not be interested in a relationship with you.

It simply wasn’t meant to be.

It’s easy to get confused by the two and you might even feel the same way.

It takes more than lust to form a lasting relationship. It’s a good sign that he’s been able to recognize his feelings early on to avoid hurting you even more down the track.

This relates back to the unique concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct. When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to perceive your relationship on a deeper level than just mere lust.

And the best part is, triggering his hero instinct can be as simple as knowing the right thing to say over text.

You can learn that and more by watching this genuine video by James Bauer.

10) He’s seeing other women

It’s not something you want to hear but one reason he may not be ready to commit is because he’s still seeing other women.

He may love you, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only one.

These days, thanks to modern technology, it’s so easy to date multiple women at once.

Whether he’s on a few dating apps or perhaps he was already with another woman when he first met you.

He might simply still be making his mind up and ensuring he gets to know each of you first before committing.

On the other hand, he could be looking for an open relationship. Some people just don’t do well with commitment, and he might be one of them.

So, should you come out and ask if he has other women?

No, of course not.

Instead, pay attention to his actions:

  • Does he always seem to be busy despite not having much going on in his life?
  • Is he always checking his phone?
  • When you arrange dates, does he spend a while going through his calendar?
  • Have you ever called him and heard a girl on the other end with him?
  • Have you found other women’s things at your place?

While you might have thought you were mutually exclusive, if you haven’t had the talk, and aren’t in a relationship, then there’s no reason he should think the same.

There are a couple of different ways you can play this one out.

You can sit back and wait for him to make a decision one way or another. You can ask him outright if he’s willing to be mutually exclusive with you. You can up and walk away without a second glance.

It all depends on your own circumstances and how you feel about him as well.

11) He’s been hurt in the past

We all know how hard it can be when you get hurt in a relationship.

If he’s yet to open up to you about past women he’s dated, then there’s a good chance he’s been hurt in the past. It’s holding him back now and making him less willing to commit to a new relationship.

He loves you and wants to be around you but is scared of making himself vulnerable to that sort of pain again. It’s completely understandable. This one is going to take time.

No amount of reassurance is going to help him feel at ease with you. After all, not even you know where this relationship might end up.

Instead, you need to give him time to work it out on his own without the pressure.

If you aren’t willing to wait, then now’s your chance to walk away.

There’s no harm in talking to him about it and letting him know you’re there for him and will do whatever you can to ensure he doesn’t get hurt again. Words do help, even if they don’t act as a guarantee.

How to find out if he wants a relationship without asking him

It may be the case that he hasn’t made his feelings clear.

You’re doing everything that couples do together but are yet to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend.

What’s going on?

How do you know whether he’s interested in a relationship or not?

Of course, the easiest thing to do is to ask him straight out and see where he stands. But you might be avoiding this method for a number of reasons.

If you want to know whether or not he wants a relationship without asking him, here are 4 things you can do:

1) Talk about the future

Being in a relationship means making a commitment to each other and planning a future together.

It doesn’t help to try and plan out the next 10 years with this guy — as that could be enough to scare him away. Instead, look at planning a weekend away or a short break for just the two of you.

If he’s interested in a relationship, then he’ll be all too eager to go away and spend more time with you.

On the other hand, if he’s not ready to commit to you yet, he’ll steer clear of any romantic vacation as much as possible.

While it doesn’t mean he’s not interested in a relationship full stop, it does mean right now it’s not on his agenda.

2) Ask him to meet the family

There comes a stage in every relationship where it’s time to meet the family. This usually comes up when you’re feeling like you’re ready to commit to each other.

If you’re ready and not sure whether or not he is, suggest meeting the family. This will give you a good indication one way or another.

If he’s interested in you, then he’ll readily agree. He’ll likely be extremely nervous about it, wanting to make the best impression possible knowing just how important these people are to you.

If he’s not interested, then he’ll do one of two things:

  1. Refuse to meet the family altogether. Or at least come up with a number of excuses to keep putting this meeting off for as long as possible.
  2. Agree to meet them but not give a damn what they think of him.

If this is the case, then it’s like he has no plans to commit to you any time soon, if at all. Time to make a run for it!

3) Don’t be afraid to lean on him

Once you’re in a relationship and ready to commit to each other, you become each other’s, go-to person.

You should be able to open up to him about how you feel. You should be able to lean on him when you’re not feeling well. You should be able to count on him to be there for you. At the same time, he should be able to rely on you to do the same.

It’s time to test it to see where he stands.

Open up to him about something in your life that’s worrying you. Whether it’s an issue at work, something with your friends, or another thing entirely.

If he’s interested in you, he’ll be ready to listen. But more than that, he’ll want to help and comfort you through it.

If he’s not looking for a relationship, he’ll likely find an excuse to leave with plans to meet up again another time. In other words, when it’s not feeling so serious.

This is the guy who isn’t looking at committing and is actively avoiding it as much as possible.

4) Work out if he is reliable

It’s one thing to be there for you emotionally (and a big thing at that), but what about physically?

Whether you’re moving house, feeling unwell, or need a hand with something, will he drop everything and come running?

There’s no better way to test out how he feels for you.

Next time you need a helping hand, see if your man is willing to be there.

Of course, depending on what your needs are, he may already have commitments — like work — that need to come first. Before testing out how reliable he is, make sure you take this into account.

If he’s ready for a relationship, he’ll drop whatever he’s doing and come help you. He wants to be Mr. Reliable and the person you call when you’re in need. He wants to look after you and hopes that you see him this way.

If he’s not interested, he’ll make excuses and always be too busy to drop everything — even if it’s a lunch with mates. This is a guy who isn’t willing to commit to you and is ready to put everyone else before you.

He’s not interested in a relationship — and he’s definitely not relationship material.

He’s not interested in a relationship… what next?

If you’ve read through my tips above, then you have a good idea why he might be keeping you around despite his lack of commitment.

But, if you want to be 100% sure about what’s going on, you really should speak to a certified relationship coach. They’ll even help you come up with a strategy to change his mind about being in a committed relationship with you.

You don’t have to deal with all of this by yourself, I mentioned Relationship Hero earlier. They’ve got some very talented coaches working for them whose job it is to help people like you get through complicated love situations.

It’s really easy, all you have to do is go to their website, and in just a few minutes you could be speaking to a certified relationship coach and getting the advice you so badly need.

Click here to get started.

Felicity Frankish

My name is Felicity (Flick) Frankish and I am mum to Cassandra, Vivienne and Elliot. After studying journalism and digital media, I naturally fell into the online world - and hasn't left since!

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